Team GB’s young athletes enjoyed another day of success at the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) adding a further five medals to the medal table winning two golds and two silvers in the pool and a silver in the women’s artistic gymnastics (WAG; pictured above) team competition.
Inspired by the men’s artistic gymnastics (MAG) team gold medal yesterday, Tyesha Mattis (Tottenham), Amy Tinkler (Bishop Auckland) and Ellie Downie (Nottingham) made history of their own by winning silver in the WAG team competition.
The girls, who scored 109.800, were just edged out of the gold medal position by a strong Russian team who scored 110.300.
“It’s amazing,” said Tinkler speaking after the medal ceremony.
“We had to go through a lot of trials to get here, so to just be here was great. We didn’t expect to win a medal so to come away with silver is brilliant.”
The trio put in solid performances across all pieces putting them all in with a chance of winning individual finals later this week. Mattis topped the individual all-around qualification table and performed her ‘double double’ in her floor routine, a high difficulty tumbling skill which involves a double twisting double backward somersault.
“It feels amazing to win silver,” said Mattis.
“I worked really hard to get here so to come away with a medal is really good.
“I finished top of the individual all-around which I didn’t expect. I tried really hard and just went out there and stuck all of my routines. Hopefully I can perform like I did today in the finals, maybe even perform a bit better”
Teammate Downie is hot on her heels qualifying in fourth place for the all-around final tomorrow.
“I finished fourth in the individual all-around today with a personal best score,” she said.
“I also got a personal best on the beam and floor so I was really pleased with my performance today.
“I am feeling positive going into the finals. Hopefully we will win some medals on the vault and just do our best.”
GB’s swimmers put in another strong display at the Swimming Pool De Krommerijn with Abbie Wood (Buxton) winning a further two medals; gold in the 200m breaststroke and silver in the 200m individual medley.
Wood said: “To get the gold in the 200m breaststroke was so great because it's my favourite event.
“I really wanted to win that one for me so I'm pleased I did and to get silver on top of that is amazing.
“It was a very close race and I came back strong on my breaststroke but it was just not quite enough.”
A speechless Charlie Attwood, who claimed Team GB’s first medal of the evening session, won gold in the 100m breaststroke.
“I knew it was going to be hard from the start,” said Attwood.
“When it came to the race I just tried to stay with the boys who were out in front. I kept up with them throughout and then managed to time it right to come through in the end and win gold.
“I felt very proud standing the podium. It was actually a little scary. Hearing the national anthem play was great and it has certainly given me a confidence going into my last race on Friday.”
Holly Hibbott (Southport) also added to Team GB’s medal tally securing her first medal of the EYOF swimming with a silver in the 800m freestyle.
“It was such a close race but it is an amazing feeling to get a medal,” said Hibbott
“I was so close to gold and I was a bit annoyed after the race. I took 11 seconds off my personal best which shows how hard I've been working in training.
“I've still got the 200m free and back to come so I'm looking forward to doing well in them as well.”
In the other pool finals Martyn Walton (Stevenage), competing in the 200m backstroke, placed 4th and the 4x100m mixed medley team also finished just outside of the medals finishing fourth.
Luke Gunning (Orpington) finished 6th in the 400IM, Bethany Newton (Bridgwater) placed 8th in 100m freestyle final and Suleman Butt (Aberdeen) was 11th in the 50m freestyle.
Over at the tennis Thomas Wright (Beckenham) and Harry Simpson (Hull) continued their progression through the boy’s doubles draw. The boys were 5-1 up in the first set when the fifth seeds Serbia retired from the tournament. Wright and Simpson are now through the to the quarter-finals were they face Estonia.
At the Jaarbeurs Utrecht, GB’s judokas were hoping to add to the silver medal won by Peter Miles (Bristol).
Abbi Blackie (Melrose) (-52kg) was the highest ranked of the four GB judokas in action, placing seventh after a repechage match against German Laura Ackermann.
Blackie scored a stunning ippon in the second round against Moldova's Eugenia Ciobanu winning the fight in just 20 seconds. In the quarter-final, Blackie faced the number two seed and was beaten by two waza-ari’s, leading to the repechage against Ackermann.
“Obviously I wanted to medal but I did not come here expecting to do that,” she said.
“I went out in the first round at the Europeans earlier this month so this is a big improvement on that and I am pleased.
“My judo technique and my all-around play felt much better. She was very strong and got bronze in the Europeans.
“I had a moment when I almost caught her so I take positives from this performance. My technique was great and I won my second round very quickly with a throw I have not used in a long time.
“I need to get a bit stronger and I will come back for the juniors next year much better. This is a good season for me with a bronze in a cup and seventh here.”
Teammates Jodie Caller (Northampton), Neil McDonald (Glasgow) and Stuart McWatt (Aberdeen) were all beaten in their second round matches.
Caller narrowly missed out on reaching the quarterfinals after losing by a yuko to two time Slovenian Senior Champion Anja Stangar. McDonald suffered the same fate as Caller when he lost by a single yuko to Portuguese opponent David Reis. MacWatt was beaten by Russian Ishmail Chasygov, who was the eventual winner of the -66kg category.