YOG graduates continue to impress
We pick out more starring performances from former Youth Olympic Games (YOG) athletes on sport’s biggest stages.
July’s Wimbledon Championships featured several former YOG athletes, with Latvia’s Jeļena Ostapenko reaching the semi-finals of the women’s singles before falling to eventual champion Angelique Kerber, of Germany. The 2017 French Open winner, who won doubles bronze at the YOG Nanjing 2014, lost 6-3 6-3 to Olympic silver medallist Kerber, who went on to beat US legend Serena Williams in the final to clinch her third Grand Slam title.
Kerber had also beaten another YOG medallist en route to the final, having triumphed 6-3 7-5 over Daria Kasatkina in the quarter-finals. Russian Kasatkina, 21, was the doubles silver medallist at the YOG Nanjing 2014 and was playing in her second Grand Slam quarter-final of the year, having also reached the last eight at the French Open. Fellow YOG medallists Karen Khachanov and Jiří Veselý also impressed in the men’s singles as they each progressed to the fourth round.
Khachanov, the 22-year-old Russian who won doubles silver at the YOG Nanjing 2014, defeated former world no.3 David Ferrer and 2006 Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis on his way to the last-16, where he was beaten in straight sets by eventual champion – and Olympic bronze medallist – Novak Djokovic.
Veselý also fell to a legend of the sport in the fourth round, as he was beaten 6-3 6-3 6-4 by 17-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal on Centre Court. It was the second time that the 25-year-old Czech, who won doubles gold at the YOG Singapore 2010, had made it to the last-16 at the All England Club, having lost to compatriot Tomáš Berdych at the same stage in 2016.
IAAF Diamond League
Former YOG stars continue to shine in the IAAF Diamond League series of events. July saw US sprinter and YOG Nanjing 2014 gold medallist Noah Lyles twice set a world-leading time in the 200m, as he clinched victory in Lausanne in 19.69 seconds before winning again in Monaco in a personal best and meeting record of 19.65s.
Nanjing 2014 high jump gold medallist Danil Lysenko was in similarly impressive form during July, clearing 2.37m to win in Lausanne and then setting a new personal best of 2.40m as he triumphed in Monaco. Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser also continued her dominance of the women’s 400m with a fifth successive Diamond League victory in Lausanne, but even a new personal best of 49.08s in Monaco wasn’t good enough to extend her winning run as she was beaten by Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas (48.97s).
YOG Singapore 2010 high jump champion Mariya Lasitskene saw her incredible run of 45 successive victories come to an end as she was beaten by Bulgaria's Mirela Demireva in Rabat, but the 25-year-old soon returned to winning form at the Anniversary Games in London with a world-leading jump of 2.04m.
World Fencing Championships
YOG medallists Alexander Massialas and Yana Egorian were among the medals again at the 2018 World Fencing Championships, which were held in Wuxi, China, from 19 to 27 July. Massialas – the foil and mixed team silver medallist at the YOG Singapore 2010 – was part of the US team that won silver in the team foil, losing to Italy in the final. It was a fourth world championship silver medal for the 24-year-old, who also won individual silver and team bronze at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.
Egorian, who won YOG gold in both the individual sabre and mixed team event at Singapore 2010, was also a losing finalist at the World Championships, as she was part of the Russian quartet that was beaten by France in the team sabre event. The 24-year-old – a double gold medallist at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 – also won bronze in the individual sabre event in China.
Hockey Champions Trophy
Australia’s men’s team clinched its 15th Champions Trophy in Breda, Netherlands, beating India 3-1 in a thrilling penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw in the final. Scoring Australia’s second penalty was YOG Singapore 2010 gold medallist Daniel Beale, while fellow YOG champions Tim Howard, Jeremy Hayward and Flynn Ogilvie were also part of the winning squad.