YOG stars set to shine Down Under
As the Commonwealth Games get underway in Australia, olympic.org takes a look at some of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) athletes who could be topping the podium on the Gold Coast.
Dominique du Toit
The 20-year-old has recently established herself in Australia’s rugby sevens team, scoring five tries in the Dubai leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series – including two in the final against the USA as Australia romped to victory – and will be hoping to get plenty of playing time on home soil. The lightning-quick winger was previously one of the stars of the YOG Nanjing 2014 as she helped Australia win the first-ever rugby sevens gold medal to be awarded at an Olympic event, scoring eight tries throughout the Games, including a remarkable hat-trick in the final.
Chad le Clos
The South African swimmer is tackling an incredible eight events at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, as he looks to add to the array of medals he has won since starring at the YOG Singapore 2010. Eight years ago, Le Clos won five medals in the pool – including gold in the 200m medley – and then just two years later was crowned 200m butterfly champion at the Olympic Games London 2012, beating his hero Michael Phelps to gold. Now with four Olympic medals to his name, as well as 13 world titles, the 25-year-old will be tough to beat on the Gold Coast.
The 25-year-old sprinter has made steady progress since winning silver in the 200m at the YOG Singapore 2010. Two years ago, she qualified for the Olympic Games Rio 2016, making it to the semi-finals, and in 2017 she competed in her first global final as she finished eighth in the 200m at the IAAF World Championships in London (Great Britain). Gaither will compete in the 100m on the Gold Coast and will likely have to run close to her personal best of 11.21 seconds to challenge for a medal, but a place on the podium seems a natural progression for the talented Bahamian.
The 25-year-old diver was already an Olympian and a World Championship bronze medallist when she won two silver medals at the YOG Singapore 2010. Since then, she has added two Olympic medals – including 10m synchro silver at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 – and has also won a total of four bronzes at the World Championships. Already a Commonwealth Games gold medallist, having won 10m platform gold in New Delhi in 2010, Rinong will now be looking to regain the title on the Gold Coast after winning silver four years ago in Glasgow.
The 25-year-old has already made more than 120 appearances for the Australian men’s hockey team since advancing to the senior side after winning YOG gold in Singapore in 2010, and the “Kookaburras” are sure to be favourites for the Commonwealth Games title on the Gold Coast. The midfielder, who scored six goals en route to YOG gold in 2010, made his senior debut in 2013 and has since helped Australia to Commonwealth and World League titles, as well as playing at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. As the Kookaburras prepare to defend their title on the Gold Coast, Beale could also be lining up alongside fellow YOG graduates Jeremy Hayward, Flynn Ogilvie and Dylan Wotherspoon.