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Men’s discus gold medallist Connor Bell (NZL), pictured centre, managed to avoid a head-shave (Thomas Lovelock for OIS/IOC) Thomas Lovelock (IOC/OIS)
14 Oct 2018
Olympic News, Buenos Aires 2018, YOG, Athletics
Buenos Aires 2018

Connor Bell eats well, wins discus gold and keeps hair

The Kiwi athlete dominates his event but falls short of the 75-metre marker which would have resulted in his head being shaved.

New Zealander Connor Bell dominated the men’s discus competition on Sunday and credits the abundance of food on offer at the Youth Olympic Village for his success. The 17-year-old led the field of 15 athletes by a wide margin in both stages of the event, and his combined 133.08m bettered that of his closest competitor, Jorge Luis Contreras (PUR), by more than 18 metres.

“I wouldn’t want to be the person paying my food bill,” Bell said. “I went crazy on the first day. It’s been full-on.

“I’ve just been (eating) in the Village but it’s a free-for-all and you can just load up the plate. You want to move quickly (in competition) - a big thing in discus-throwing is applying force to the discus, and speed’s a big part of that. But throwers do like their food.”

While Bell’s performance was clearly worthy of the gold medal, it was, however, short of the challenge set by athletes in another sport.

Gold medallist Keely Small (AUS) leads in the women’s 800m (Simon Bruty for OIS/IOC)

“Someone came up with a bet that I had to throw a certain distance and if I did it I’d have to cut my hair,” Bell said after throwing 66.84m and 66.24m.

The marker was 75m, a bit ‘out there’. Unfortunately, I didn’t make the distance so I got to keep it - the swimming boys were going to shave it off in the Village. Connor Bell New Zealand

The dining hall is not just for eating, it seems: medal-winning athletes have openly been wearing the spoils of their success around the Youth Olympic Village.

“I’ll definitely be doing that,” said Keely Small (AUS), looking at the gold medal she won in the women’s 800m. “I want that dining-hall applause when I walk in. It’s pretty cool.”

Women’s 100m gold medallist Grace Stark (USA) will wear her medal, too. “If you want to show off that you worked hard and that you really earned that medal then you should really show it off if you want,” she said.

For full results on Sunday’ athletics action, click here.

Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018

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