Zoe Backstedt becomes double European  Youth Olympic champion
Baku 2019

Zoe Backstedt becomes double European Youth Olympic champion

25 July 2019 / 20:16
Zoe Backstedt is a double European Youth Olympic champion after following up her gold medal in the time trial with victory in today’s road race at Baku 2019.

The 14-year-old was helped into a three rider break by teammate Millie Couzens early on in the 50km race before pulling away on her own in the final few kilometres to seal a convincing win.

Not far behind Backstedt, Couzens then led out Imani Pereira-James for a sprint finish for fourth, with the Glasgow rider finishing in sixth. 

In winning both events, Backstedt becomes the first female to win both the time trial and road race at an Olympic event and only the third cyclist after Bernhard Eisel and Elia Viviani to win two road cycling events at the same Games. 

“It’s been tough to win these medals but hearing that stat is pretty special. Hopefully one day I can achieve what they’ve been able to,” said Backstedt.

“Our team goal was to get one of us on the podium. The winds were tough today, they were incredibly strong, so I’m really pleased I managed to get the win.

“It wasn’t the fastest of starts today so I tried to stay in the wheels until a gap opened up after the first climb on the descent. Millie [Couzens] left a little bit of a gap which allowed us to get away.

“We worked together for about 15km and then I felt I was still really strong so pulled away and managed to solo until the finish.”

In the boys’ race, Finlay Pickering was the top ranked Team GB rider in sixth after the Hull cyclist managed to get himself across to the break group but was unable to ride away before the sprint finish conclusion to the 75km race.

Teammate Josh Charlton secured a second top ten finish of the week for himself while Tom Lord came home in 45th, 2:40 behind the leaders. 

In the gymnastics, Ondine Achampong followed up team bronze yesterday with individual all-around silver.

The Hertfordshire gymnast, who qualified for the final in third, produced four nerveless routines and capitalised on mistakes on the uneven bars from Russia’s Iana Vorona to clinch silver with a final score of 52.950.

World champion Viktoriia Listunova took gold with 56.000 with Vorona in bronze with 52.550.

In the men’s all-round final, Team GB’s Raekwon Baptiste and Sam Mostowfi finished 20th and 22nd with scores of 75.450 and 75.100 respectively. 

Over at the Baku Aquatics Centre, two medals headlined Team GB’s penultimate finals sessions in the pool as Freya Colbert picked up silver in the 200m freestyle and there were also silver medals for the 4x100m mixed medley quartet.

Colbert, who won 400m freestyle silver earlier in the week, pushed gold medallist Beril Bocekler of Turkey throughout and just missed out the title by 0.28 seconds. 

In the relay, Katie Shanahan, Cameron Williams, Sophie Freeman and Jacob Whittle chased down France in the final 100m to clinch the silver medal in 3:57.06, 2.79 seconds shy of Russia who took gold.

The two medals mean Team GB have won 12 medals in the pool, one short of Russia who top the swimming medal table going into the final day of racing.

Elsewhere, Shanahan and Ed Mildred were quickest into their respective 200m individual medley and 200m freestyle finals while Williams was second fastest into the boys’ 100m breaststroke final and Jemimah Berkeley fifth quickest into her 100m breaststroke final. 

Freeman finished seventh in the 100m butterfly, as did Nick Skelton in his 200m backstroke final.

At the tennis, Matilda Mutavdzic will definitely play for a medal after cruising into the girls’ singles semi-finals.

The 15-year-old dispatched Switzerland’s Chelsea 6-3, 6-1 in just 77 minutes and will face Oceane Babel of France in tomorrow’s semi the with gold and bronze medal matches set for Saturday.

Across at the judo, Team GB’s Opening Ceremony Flagbearer Tatum Keen just missed out on bronze, losing on golden score to Romania’s Alexandra-Maria Pasca after coming through the repechage to fight for a medal.

Isobel Kitchen made it through to the last 16 before eventually losing out in the second round of the repechage while there were opening round defeats for Grace Griffith, Ethan Nairne and Ryan Rijksen-Salman. 

Team GB have now won 16 medals at the Baku 2019 European Youth Olympic Festival: six gold, eight silver and two bronze.