Sunday might be a day of rest for most, but for our Youth Olympic Gamers turned Olympians it was another full day of action.
Leading the charge was Viktoria Komova from Russia, who topped the artistic gymnastics individual all around qualifications, helped secure her team second place in team all around qualifications and also guaranteed her place in the final for the uneven bars and beam. Viktoria’s fellow Youth Olympic Games athletes Ana Sofia Gomez Porras (Guatemala), Carlotta Ferlito (Italy), Joanna Adlerteg (Sweden) and Moldir Azimbay (Kazakhstan) finished 16th, 20th, 39th and 58th respectively. The top 24 individual gymnasts go through to the final, while the top eight teams progress. Carlotta and Diana Bulimar (Romania) will also take to the floor again for the final of the team all around and Diana will meet Viktoria in the beam final.
There was also drama in the pool for New Zealand’s Matt Stanley and Canada’s Tera van Beilen. The Kiwi finished 7th in what was the fastest heat of the 200m freestyle, just missing out on a place in the semi-finals. “It was pretty close and that’s what’s disappointing,” he told us. “I could have done with a little more race experience, but that’s something I can work on,” he added.
Tera’s first day of competition was anything but ordinary. Her debut performance in the women's 100m breaststroke saw the 19-year-old grab the last place in the semi-finals. “I’ve never swam at this high a level before so it was just good to get that first race off my chest,” she said. The semi-final race offered even more excitement. After finishing with a time of 1 minute 7.58 seconds, emotions were running high when the scoreboard lit up to reveal that she had tied, meaning she had to race again in a rare swim-off. “I get more races now so it’s perfect,” the perky teenager told us. Just over an hour later, Tera narrowly lost out to Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson for the last place in the final, but she will be back in the pool later this week for the 200m breaststroke.
Over by the rackets, despite putting up quite a fight, Spain’s Carolina Marin was unfortunately defeated in her first group game in the badminton competition and will not progress any further. Meanwhile there was victory at the tennis for Hungary’s Timea Babos as she beat her opponent two sets to love, and both Veronica Cepede (Paraguay) and Ons Jabeur (Tunisia) play their postponed matches on Monday.
Wow, what a day for our athletes. Watch out, world - Youth Olympic Games athletes are here to make their mark!