Track and field golds for Chinese, Qatari, Icelandic and Finnish athletes
The athletics competitions at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 came to a close on Tuesday 16 October with 11 medal events, including the women’s 5,000m walk, the men’s and women’s 200m and the men’s javelin.
In the first of those four events, Xi Ricuo of People’s Republic of China’s shed tears of joy as she crossed the line first in Stage 2, in a time of 22:40.23, to win from Mexico’s Sofía Elizabeth Ramos Rodríguez and Greece’s Olga Fiaska. Having recently considered giving up the event on account of fatigue, the 17-year-old Xi was clearly delighted her coach had convinced her to carry on.
Ramos was no less pleased with her silver: “There’s a whole mix of emotions going on and I’m so happy I was able to win a medal for Mexico.”
In the men’s 200m, meanwhile, Abdelaziz Mohamed of Qatar clocked a personal best of 20.68 in the event’s second stage to secure victory from Brazil’s Lucas Conceicao Vilar. Antonio Watson of Jamaica took the bronze. While Mohamed said he was “delighted” with his “magical” win, the Brazilian commented: “It’s so beautiful to represent my wonderful country.”
The women’s 200m gold went to Iceland’s Gudbjorg Jona Bjarnadottir, whose combined time gave her victory over Dalia Kaddari of Italy and Brazil’s Leticia María Nonato Lima. “This medal means so much to me because I’ve been dreaming about and preparing for this moment for so long,” said Bjarnadottir. “Winning this medal is amazing for my country because it’s very small.”
Finland’s Topias Laine threw a career best 78.85m in Stage 2 of the men’s javelin competition to claim a gold he did not expect to win. The silver went to Argentina’s Gustavo Agustín Osorio and the bronze to Czech Republic’s Martin Florian, with both also throwing personal bests to earn places on the podium.
“I don’t know how I did it because I haven’t been throwing that far in training,” said a surprised Laine. “It’s also tough for the Europeans to be at their best so late in the season.”
“I thought I’d finished third, but I discovered a few minutes later that I’d actually got second. I felt so happy,” said Osorio. “I want to beat the world junior record, which is 86 metres.”