YOG athletes resume rivalries in Rio
A number of tough and tense rivalries from the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) are being rekindled at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. As YOG graduates step up to sport’s biggest stage, they’re coming up against some familiar faces.
Since winning gold in the 63kg category at the YOG Nanjing 2014, Egyptian weightlifter Sara Ahmed has bulked up and forced herself into the world’s top 10 in the 69kg category. Ahmed will be joined on the platform on Wednesday by two rivals from Nanjing who have also made the jump to 69kg: Ankhtsetseg Munkhjantsan of Mongolia, the holder of an Olympic Soldarity Scholarship, and Florina-Sorina Hulpan of Romania. Still in their teens, the three are all making their Olympic debuts.
Goals mean gold
A goal from an extra-time penalty corner gave the Netherlands a thrilling 2-1 win over Argentina in the girls’ hockey final at the YOG Singapore 2010. Marloes Keetels, one of the stars of that team, is currently in Rio – and so are two members of the silver medal-winning Argentina side, Agustina Albertarrio and Florencia Habif. All three players have featured in their sides’ early qualifying games, and there’s a good chance the two nations may meet again in the competition’s knockout stages.
Jumping for joy
After carrying her country’s flag at the opening ceremony, Swiss pole vaulter Angelica Moser edged out Venezuelan Robeilys Peinado in Nanjing. Last month, Moser and Peinado also finished in the top two places at the IAAF World U20 Championships in Poland, a terrific warm-up for the pair’s Olympic debuts. Moser and Peinado aren’t the only jumpers rekindling a YOG rivalry in Rio: Yuliia Levchenko, from Ukraine, and Michaela Hrubá, from the Czech Republic, have gone from strength to strength since winning high jump gold and bronze in Nanjing. The two 18-year-olds also competed in July’s IAAF World U20 Championships: this time, Hrubá came away with gold while Levchenko took bronze. Both are among the top-20 jumpers in the world this year, and have high hopes of reaching the final in Rio.