Amelie Morgan stole the show once more at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games as she took her medal haul to three following silver on floor and bronze on the beam.
And it was the beam which started the medal action on day nine with Morgan scoring 13.033 to eventually sit second behind China’s Xijing Tang (14.033).
The 15-year-old then had a nervous wait while the rest of the field tried to push her out of the medal positions, however with only Russia’s Kseniia Klimenko successful with 13.533 Morgan could celebrate her second medal of the Games.
She was soon back in action to make it three with the floor final, scoring 13.233 to take silver. Italy’s Giorgia Villa, who has dominated the women’s artistic gymnastics competition at Buenos Aires 2018 with three golds and a silver, was triumphant again but Morgan couldn’t have been happier with her performances at the Games.
“It feels absolutely incredible,” said a jubilant Morgan, who also won all-around silver in Argentina. “I was not expecting three medals at a Youth Olympic Games coming into it so I’m absolutely over the moon.
“Going into this competition I knew it was my last one as a junior and I just wanted to go out there and show everyone what I can do as a junior. It will be a lot harder going into seniors but this has given me that extra confidence that if I can do it on this level.”
Adam Tobin brought a busy and overall successful Games to a close as he competed in the parallel bars.
The 17-year-old was eighth on the start list so knew what was expected of him and there were some strong scores already on the board, most notably from Takeru Kitazono of Japan (14.166) and China’s Dehang Yin (13.800), with Tobin scoring 13.366 for a fifth place finish.
In the acrobatic gymnastics mixed pairs final, Team GB’s Clyde Gembickas and Sophia Imrie-Gale finished in eighth, scoring 26.770 as Bulgaria took gold with 27.850, Israel with silver (27.590) and Ukraine in bronze (27.450).
At the cycling team event, Team GB were in the points on a strong day in the combined cross country and an impressive performance in particular from Harry Birchill who won the big final earning the men’s team 100 points in the process.
The competition saw riders compete in heats all the way through to the finals, with three of Team GB’s four cyclists racing in finals and all four scoring points for their teams.
Birchill was the man to beat throughout the day and his final time of 1:44.000 was enough to see off the challenge of the Italian rider Tommaso Dalla Valle in second (1:45.000) and bring home maximum points.
It was a tougher day for Sean Flynn who was eliminated in the quarter-finals but still secured three points and helped the men’s pair sit in third on 117 points, with Kazakhstan leading on 220 points, with two events left.
Confident performances from Harriet Harnden and Anna McGorum in the big and small finals respectively capped off an impressive points tally for Team GB on day three.
In the women’s event, Harnden finished in fourth on 1:55.000, which was enough for 50 points, and with McGorum adding 25 more the pair’s total of 95 left them in ninth after three of the five events.
Two of Team GB’s number one boxing seeds were in action in the form of Caroline Dubois and Ivan Hope. First up in the Oceania Pavillion was Ivan Hope, who came up against fellow flyweight Algerian Hichem Maouche.
Hope put in a dominant yet rusty display with all five judges returning verdicts in his favour to progress him to the semi-finals where he will meet Irishman Dean Clancy.
“It wasn’t my best performance but I’ve been waiting a long time so it was nice to get the rust off,” said Hope. “Every fight you have nerves and I’ve boxed this kid before and beaten him so you can’t take it lightly.
“Sometimes it’s better to box someone who is highly skilled rather than someone who just comes and has a fight with you as you can read it and box to a game plan. For that fight you can’t really prepare for it, you just need to get in there and adapt which I did.”
Dubois was last up in the early afternoon session and she didn’t disappoint making light work of Tunisia Mawada Taghouti, winning by unanimous decision with all five judges going with the blue corner.
The Londoner will be last on tomorrow night and it’s fair to say the atmosphere will be electric as she takes on Argentine fighter Oriana Saputo in the 57-60kg category.
“I was a bit disappointed with the performance,” admitted Dubois. “I was just going for her in the first round but I should have paced myself more.
“It’s been hard to wait all this time [to start fighting] and then switch from a long period of training and getting down to fighting.”
Over at the beach volleyball it wasn’t to be for the Bello brothers Joaquin and Javier as they were beaten by Argentina in a thrilling quarter-final, 35-33 21-14. A mammoth opening set saw the upper hand seesaw between the two sides before the home favourites ran away with the second to book a semi-final place.
Buoyed by a partisan home crowd the Argentine duo of Juan Bautista Amieva Tarditti and Mauro Zelayeta eventually won the first set, despite the British pair having opportunities to close it out. They didn’t hang around in the second set closing it out in 15 minutes for a place in the semi-finals versus the Netherlands.
“It was a long first set in which we didn’t put on enough serving pressure when it mattered,” said Javier. “Then we didn’t start the second set with any aggression or conviction.”
“We made two mistakes at the end of the first set and that was all it took,” added Joaquin. “We made mistakes at the start of the second and they just took over from there.”
At the diving, it was the turn of Maria Papworth in the women’s 3m springboard final, following Anthony Harding’s silver medal yesterday.
Despite qualifying in 12th position this morning, Papworth put in a consistent display of dives to finish the competition in fourth place, just 10.65 points behind bronze medallist Bridget O’Neil of the USA.
“I’m gutted with fourth place. But I’ve increased my world ranking – I came fifth at the world championships so to go one better is a positive, but I feel like I should be up there on the podium,” said Papworth.
“I’ve got mixed feelings about how I dived this afternoon. I’m very happy with my mentality and the way I approached my diving, but technically things need a little bit more work.
Alyssia Tromans-Ansell safely navigated her first round in the archery individual event, exacting revenge on Nicole Marie Tagle of the Philippines for the mixed team loss inflicted the previous day. Tagle started strongly but Tromans-Ansell finished confidently, ending the match a 6-4 winner.
It wasn’t an easy day for Dan Thompson, however, as the Welsh archer bowed out to Carlos Vaca Cordero earlier in the day, losing 6-0.
Nor was it for the mixed team golf pairing of Joe Pagdin and Lily May Humphreys who slipped down the leaderboard following today’s individual strokeplay.
Pagdin and Humphreys had been on -3 following the fourballs and foursomes but they soon came unstuck with a string of bogeys seeing the pair drop to +8 for the day.
Some steady closing holes saw a flurry of birdies steadied the ship and the pair finished tied for ninth with Japan and Australia on +4. The medals were shared between Thailand (gold), USA (silver) and Argentina (bronze) with scores or -12, -11 and -7 respectively.
Image credit: Team GB/Lumix UK