The opening day of the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games saw last night's Team GB flagbearer Ross Cullen secure a 10th place finish alongside Elissa Bradford in the BMX mixed racing event.
Both riders raced separately with their combined scores across the men's and women's events deciding the medals in Argentina.
Two semi-finals of eight were split across three heats with the top four in each semi-final progressing to the final. After a fourth place for Cullen, he followed up with two second places, securing his place in the boy’s final. Three fifth places for Bradford meant she missed out on the women's showpiece race.
Preston-born Cullen, who has two world junior titles to his name, entered the final as one of the fancied riders, however, a slow start meant he found it difficult to recover and eventually finished in seventh and ensuring the duo ended the event in 10th.
“Sometimes the racing doesn’t go to plan but I was still happy with some of the laps I put in and pretty happy with my overall performance," said Cullen.
“I was feeling good going in to the final, the hot weather and the short rest didn’t help but I was still confident that I was capable but BMX can be such a savage sport and sometimes it just doesn’t go your way."
Bradford was disappointed they couldn’t have had more. “I wish I could have ridden better. I was disappointed with how it went but that's racing. There will definitely be things I want to work on after these Games.”
The first Team GB athlete to complete an event at Buenos Aires 2018 was triathlete Libby Coleman, who finished the women’s event in 23rd place.
Coleman, from Kirkby-in-Ashfield, was sitting in 13th place following the swim and safely in the main pack during the cycle leg of the sprint race.
The 17-year-old couldn’t bridge the gap to the leaders during the 5km run though and admitted her disappointment at the end of the race.
“It was a really tough race today with a lot of top girls in the field,” said Coleman. “It was first race in a world-class field and it just wasn’t my day but I can take away the great experience of the race but also being here at this event.
“Now I know what it like to be disappointed and I know I don’t want to be in this position again.”
Theo Darlow and Michael Dalton enjoyed an impressive start to their rowing men’s pair campaign, finishing the opening day time trial in first place.
The duo completed in the 500m course in 3:19.03, 1.34 clear of the Argentina pair in second with the heats starting tomorrow. In the women’s single sculls, Georgina Robinson Ranger finished 10th fastest in her time trial in 4:01.25, 12.62 off local home favourite Maria Ordas.
Over at the Youth Olympic Park, Amelie Morgan and Adam Tobin both booked places in the artistic gymnastics finals on the first day of qualifications. Morgan qualified in fourth on the floor with 12.966, while Tobin will contest the men’s floor and pommel finals on Saturday.
Team GB’s acrobatic combination of Clyde Gembickas and Sophia Imrie-Gale safely progressed into their mixed pair final after coming through qualifying in sixth.
The Kent based pair negotiated their balance, dynamic and combined routines to finish with a total score of 80.960, just 1.110 behind qualification winners Israel. Gembickas and Imrie-Gale will bid for the medals on Monday 15th.
Elsewhere there were opening group stage wins for both Team GB badminton players as Grace King beat Nazlican Inci of Turkey 21-17, 17-21, 21-16 while Chris Grimley easily overcame New Zealand’s Oscar Gup 21-8, 21-14.
Finally, Team GB's sailors were competing in the Techno 293+. Finn Hawkins secured two fourth placed finishes in Race 1 and 2, whilst Islay Watson finished 17th and 14th respectively.
Day two at Buenos Aires 2018 sees Team GB compete for two medals. Calum Young takes to the start line in the men’s triathlon while reigning world junior taekwondo champion Aaliyah Powell bids to become GB’s first medallist at the Games in the women’s -49kg event.
Image: Team GB / Lumix UK
Team GB full results and schedule for all events at Buenos Aires 2018 can be found here.
All action from the Games is available to watch on demand via the Olympic Channel and can be seen by clicking here
. While some events are streamed live with the schedule available here