Euro-stars who lit up the YOG
As celebrations take place to mark Europe Day on 9 May, highlighting peace and unity across the continent, we take a look back at some memorable moments from the Youth Olympic Games when young European athletes came together to compete alongside each other in mixed-NOC events
Last-gasp triathlon victory in Singapore
The triathlon mixed relay at the inaugural YOG in Singapore in 2010 produced a thrilling finish, with Team Europe's Alois Knabl battling Team Oceania's individual YOG champion Aaron Barclay for the lead in the closing stages of the race.
Towards the end of the 1.7km run, a last-minute burst from Knabl – who won bronze behind Barclay in the individual event – saw him pull in front just a few metres from the finish line to clinch an exciting victory for Team Europe, which also included Eszter Dudas (HUN), Miguel Valente Fernandes (POR) and Fanny Beisaron (ISR).
Top fencers unite for gold
The mixed-NOC team fencing event at the YOG Singapore 2010 saw nine continental teams – one African, four European, two from Asia-Oceania and two from the Americas – competing against each other, with teams featuring three male and three female athletes. The final proved to be an all-European affair, with Europe 1 and Europe 2 facing off for gold. In the end, the Europe 1 team of Alberta Santuccio, Marco Fichera, Camilla Mancini, Edoardo Luperi, Yana Egoryan and Leonardo Affede proved too strong for their rivals, securing a 30-24 victory. "It was difficult at first because there was a bit of a language barrier," said Egoryan at the time. "Eventually we were able to communicate with gestures and it worked out well!"
Europe fight back for gold in Nanjing
At the YOG Nanjing 2014, the triathlon mixed relay once again provided plenty of drama, with Team Oceania setting the early pace, led out by Australia's individual gold medallist Brittany Dutton on the first leg. A superb bike ride by France's Emilie Morier on the third leg pulled Team Europe 1 back into contention, however, before she handed over to individual gold medallist Ben Dijkstra on the fourth leg. The Brit closed down Team Europe 3's Lehmann Bence on the bike and then surged away on the run to win by 23 seconds, clinching gold for Team Europe 1, which also featured Germany's Kristin Ranwig and Denmark's Emil Deleuran Hansen.
Dramatic jump-off sees Europe strike gold
There was a nail-biting finish to the equestrian team jumping event at the YOG Singapore 2010, as Europe, Australasia and Africa were all tied on eight penalties after two rounds, meaning a jump-off against the clock would be needed to decide the medals. It had looked as though Europe would clinch gold in the second round, when their final rider, Nicola Philippaerts of Belgium, cleared fence after fence. But a rail down at the last fence left the three teams in a tie. The jump-off saw both Martin Fuchs (SUI) and Wojciech Dahlke (POL) go clear for Europe, with their fast times helping them top the podium alongside team-mates Philippaerts, Carian Scudamore (GBR) and Valentina Isoardi (ITA).
Equestrian gold again for Europe
Europe's team jumping victory at the YOG Nanjing 2014 was slightly more straightforward than it had been in Singapore four years earlier. Featuring Matias Alvaro (ITA), Michael Duffy (IRL), Jake Saywell (GBR), Filip Agren (SWE) and Lisa Nooren (NED), the Europeans took the first-day lead with no faults, followed by South America on four and North America on eight. Day two boiled down to a battle for gold between the Europeans and the South Americans, with both teams chalking up clear round after clear round to keep the pressure on each other. The duel was decided when Agren, Europe's third rider of the day, went clear, leaving South America to settle for the silver and North America the bronze, as all three teams ended the day without incurring a single fault.