YOG stars make their mark in May
Youth Olympic Games (YOG) athletes continued to shine on the global sporting stage. Here, olympic.org looks at some of the highlights over the last month…
Swedish golfer Marcus Kinhult secured his maiden European Tour title at the 52nd time of asking after birdieing the final two holes to win the prestigious British Masters by a single shot. The 22-year-old, who won individual silver and mixed team gold at the YOG Nanjing 2014, had gone into the final round at Hillside Golf Club tied for the lead with England’s Matt Wallace on 14-under par. Standing on the 18th tee, the duo was in a four-way tie with defending champion Eddie Pepperell from England and young Scot Robert MacIntyre, who were nervously watching on following the conclusion of their rounds. While Wallace narrowly missed his 15-foot birdie putt, Kinhult coolly rolled his eight-foot attempt into the cup to sign for a final-round 70 that secured his breakthrough victory. "I've been dreaming about it for such a long time and to finally do it is sort of amazing,” he said afterwards. "It was so close all day between us. This is a very prestigious event and a nice little trophy to have. To get it as my first win is special.”
After a YOG title in 2010 and Olympic gold medals in 2012 and 2016, British taekwondo star Jade Jones finally captured her first world title as she triumphed in the World Championships in Manchester (Great Britain). The featherweight secured a 14-7 victory over defending champion Lee Ah-reum to clinch gold, having lost in the semi-finals to the Korean at the last World Championships in 2017. "It doesn't feel real, but it's amazing," said the 26-year-old, who is now aiming for a third Olympic gold medal in Tokyo next year. "I want to be a legend and no one has ever won three Olympics in a row, so that's the target.”
Joel Kiviranta was part of the inexperienced Finland team that claimed a surprise victory over Canada in the final of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships. The 23-year-old forward – who was also a member of Finland’s gold medal-winning team at the Winter YOG Innsbruck 2012 – claimed two goals and an assist during the tournament, as the Finns went on to beat Canada 3-1 in the final, despite their roster lacking much international or World Championship experience.
Canadian rugby sevens speedster Charity Williams shone on home soil at the Canada Women's Sevens from 11-12 May, scoring six tries during the tournament, but her efforts weren’t enough to carry the hosts to the finals as Canada finished in fifth place. Williams – who was part of the Canadian team who won silver at the YOG Nanjing 2014 – opened the fifth leg of the 2018/19 World Rugby Women's Sevens Series with two tries in the opening group game against Brazil, en route to Canada finishing second in the pool behind Australia. Facing the USA in the quarter-finals, Williams again crossed over to level the scores at 7-7 before Alev Kelter secured a 12-7 win for the Americans. Williams then scored one of the tries of the tournament in the fifth-place semi-finals against Spain, going the length of the pitch in the 31-0 victory, before touching down again in the fifth-place final against England, setting Canada on their way to a 31-7 victory.
Swedish pole vaulter Angelica Bengtsson reached new heights in May as she claimed her first IAAF Diamond League victory. Competing on home soil in Stockholm, the 25-year-old – who won gold at the YOG Singapore 2010 – cleared a season’s best of 4.57m to clinch victory ahead of compatriot Michaela Meijer. In cold conditions, Bengtsson raised the bar to 4.75m – two centimetres above her own Swedish outdoor record – but was unable to go clear. “It felt right to try it anyway,” she said afterwards. “It wasn't the world's most beautiful attempt; I know I can do better. I still feel like I have taken myself to a new level.”