YOG athletes continue to make their mark on the global stage
We pick out more star performances from former Youth Olympic Games (YOG) athletes on sport’s biggest stages.
Ireland’s Ryan Burnett continues to forge an impressive boxing career since winning gold in the 48kg event at the YOG Singapore 2010. The 25-year-old successfully defended his WBA (Super) bantamweight title against Venezuela’s Yonfrez Parejo in Cardiff, Great Britain, at the end of March, extending his unbeaten professional record to 19 wins. Burnett was taken the full 12 rounds by his experienced opponent, but secured a unanimous decision from the three judges after dominating the fight from the opening bell. Later, on the same evening’s bill, Burnett’s fellow YOG graduate Joseph Parker fought Great Britain’s 2012 Olympic champion Anthony Joshua in a highly-anticipated heavyweight unification match. After 12 rounds, the Singapore 2010 silver medallist lost a unanimous points decision to his British rival, relinquishing his WBO heavyweight title as he suffered the first defeat of his professional career.
Japanese wrestler Yuki Takahashi – who won men’s freestyle 54kg gold at the YOG Singapore 2010 – recently excelled at the 2018 Wrestling World Cup in Iowa City, USA, continuing his glittering rise in the sport. The 24-year-old – who was named one of the Breakout Wrestlers of the Year in 2017 by United World Wrestling after winning the 57kg world title – won all four of his bouts in Iowa as Japan secured third place behind the USA and Azerbaijan. His unbeaten run included a 4-1 victory over American Thomas Gilman, the same opponent he also defeated in the final of the 2017 World Championships.
Charity Williams & Hannah Darling
YOG rugby sevens silver medallists Charity Williams and Hannah Darling were recently in action for Canada at the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast. The pair, who were also part of the Canadian team that won Olympic bronze at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, both scored tries in an emphatic 29-0 opening win over South Africa, with Darling also crossing the line in a 24-12 victory over Kenya. After a 33-7 semi-final defeat to Australia, the duo lined up together for the bronze medal match against England. Despite a late try from Williams, they were beaten to the podium after losing a close contest 24-19.
Two-time Olympic diving bronze medallist Tom Daley – who competed in the YOG Singapore 2010 – added to his extensive medal collection by winning synchronised 10m platform gold alongside Daniel Goodfellow at April’s Commonwealth Games in Australia. The duo, who won Olympic bronze together at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, beat fellow English pair Matthew Dixon and Noah Williams with 405.81 points despite a poor final dive. It was Daley’s fourth Commonwealth Games gold medal, and adds to the individual 10m platform world title he won in 2017.
Fresh from an impressive performance at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, which included a round robin victory over eventual champions the USA, YOG curling silver medallist Amos Mosaner and his Italian team-mates entered the recent Men’s Curling World Championships full of confidence. Playing fourth and vice-skip on the rink skipped by Joel Retornaz, 23-year-old Mosaner and his team-mates enjoyed victories over Russia, China, Japan, Germany and the Netherlands to finish eighth – narrowly missing out on what would have been a historic place in the playoffs.