Team GB ended their 2017 European Youth Olympic Festival in style today, collecting three bronze medals on the final day of competition.
Gymnast Amelie Morgan was the first athlete onto the podium after finishing third in the women’s beam final. Enya Dale then followed suit in the canoe sprint K1 200m before Dale joined the K4 for their 200m final.
The three bronzes takes Team GB’s final medal tally for Gyor 2017 to 10 (three gold, one silver, six bronze). In total, five of the six sports represented by Team GB won medals in Gyor and 12 of the 50 selected athletes stood on the podium during the six days of competition.
Team GB’s Chef de Mission for Gyor 2017 Paul Ford said: “At the end of a hectic week I am delighted with how the 50 athletes have represented their country, both in terms of their performance but embodying the values expected of them as Team GB athletes.
“In competitions like this development of the athletes’ performance is at the heart of what we’re trying to achieve. Creating tangible areas for the athletes to go away and work on as they continue in their careers and the pathway to Tokyo 2020 and beyond.
“However, it’s important to celebrate and recognise the incredible efforts of those who have won medals during the week and the support both from their teammates but also their coaching staff and the wider HQ team to make it possible.
“The pride and unity which the athletes have shown throughout, both to their own teams but also the wider team has been exemplary and something everyone should take great pride in.
“The quality, organisation and the execution from the Organising Committee and EOC was first rate and it’s this quality that allows the athletes to get a first-hand insight in to what they might experience at a future Summer Olympic Games. It’s been a demanding schedule with a lot of sport played but the chance to compete against some of the best in Europe is unique and an opportunity I’m pleased everyone grabbed with both hands.”
Jamie Lewis: Gymnastics Men’s All-Around
Jamie Lewis: Gymnastics Men’s Rings
Amy Platten: Judo Women’s -44kg
Jake Jarman, Jamie Lewis, Pavel Karnejenko: Gymnastics Team
Elynor Backstedt: Cycling Women’s Time Trial
Enya Dale: Canoe Sprint Women’s K1 200m
Enya Dale, Zoe Clark, Alex Greaves, Ed Nightingale: Canoe Sprint K4 200m
Charlie Hutchison: Swimming Men’s 400m Individual Medley
Amelie Morgan: Gymnastics Women’s Balance Beam
Josie Steel: Judo Women’s -57kg
Amelie Morgan’s balance beam bronze medal on the final day of action at Gyor 2017 took Team GB’s gymnastics tally to four for the week.
Morgan, who had finished fifth in the team event with Zoe Simmons and Taeja James and then seventh in the all-around, scored 13.233 which was enough for third place.
The 14-year-old also competed in the floor final this afternoon, finishing just 0.2 off the bronze medal spot with a score of 12.666.
“I wasn’t even expecting to medal so I’m over the moon,” said Morgan. “It was really nerve wracking being last on the beam, watching everyone go and trying to stay calm. Once I’d finished my routine I was really happy but I had no idea whether it was going to be good enough to get a medal.
“It’s been an amazing week. Both our teams have done amazing and for me personally it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. I’ve done 10 routines and I haven’t hadn’t a fall and that’s a first for me, so that’s really pleasing.”
Jamie Lewis ended his week with sixth place in the men’s parallel bars and it’s been a Games to remember for the Woking gymnast after two golds and one silver medal.
The 16-year-old began the week with team silver alongside Jake Jarman and Pavel Karnejenko before claiming individual gold in both the all-around and rings finals.
That all-around gold was the third straight AA champion produced by Team GB at a European Youth Olympic Festival after Brinn Bevan won four years ago in Utrecht and Joe Fraser climbed onto the top step of the podium at Tbilisi 2015.
“This feels absolutely amazing,” said Lewis. “I’ve put so much hard work into my preparation and I’m so glad it’s paid off.
“This is the best medal I’ve won so far in my career. I won team gold at the Europeans but this definitely tops everything.
“Words can’t describe how much I’m enjoying being out here and competing. The arena is special and it’s great to be meeting so many new people – it’s such an amazing experience.”
The best was saved until last for the canoeing squad as two bronze medals on the final afternoon of action capped off an excellent week for the six athletes.
Enya Dale led the medal action, coming home in third in her K1 200m final with a time of 44.84, squeezing out Germany’s Vanessa Bülow by four hundredths of a second and winning Britain’s first ever EYOF canoeing medal.
Dale was back in medal contention again just two hours later as she joined Zoe Clark, Alex Greaves and Ed Nightingale in the K4 200m, and the quartet, who had knocked out the strong Hungarian boat in the semi-final, also won bronze in 34.96.
Away from the medals there were personal bests aplenty with Greaves, Nightingale and Dale all setting quickest times in their K1 events while Alix Aitchison leaves Hungary with PBs across the C1 200m and 500m.
“It’s been an unbelievable day and will take a while to sink in,” said Dale. “Initially I thought I had finished fourth but when Alix came running over to tell me I won bronze I was just so happy. It’s amazing really.
“Standing on the podium was just unreal and it’s so nice to receive something back from all those hours and that hard work, it’s great to know that it really does pay off.”
Two events made up the cycling programme at Gyor 2017 with competitors bidding for medals across a time trial and road race.
And it was in the former where Team GB saw their greatest success with Elynor Backstedt winning bronze on Day Two of the Festival.
Daughter of Tour de France stage winner Magnus Backstedt, Elynor’s triumph was Team GB’s first medal of the week and the women’s event saw teammates Ella Barnwell and Amelia Sharpe finishing ninth and 16th respectively on the 10km course.
“This has just been the most amazing experience of my life,” said the 15-year-old Welsh cyclist. “I targeted this event before the week started and would have been happy with a top ten so to get a medal makes me so happy and it’s amazing to win Team GB’s first medal.”
In the boys event, two British riders finished with top 10 placing as Sam Watson and Lewis Askey came home in seventh and eighth.
In Thursday’s road race, Ella Barnwell’s bunch sprint effort was good enough for fifth while Alfie George ended his week with ninth in the boys event.
Team GB’s 12 judoka leave Hungary with two medals to show for their fine efforts after an intense week of competition.
Amy Platten got the week off to the best possible start, winning gold in the -44kg and beating the home Hungarian favourite Tamea Kardos in the final with a perfectly executed ippon to win by golden score.
“I’m absolutely over the moon,” said the 16-year-old from St. Albans. “I had a lot of nerves which is strange as I don’t usually but this is a big event and with the Hungarian seeded first I knew it was going to be a big crowd with a lot of pressure.
“It was amazing to play in front of the home crowd and I just absorbed the energy and put it into the fight. Every time I heard a cheer I was getting something from it too.”
The second medal of the week came via Josie Steele’s bronze in the -57kg. The 16-year-old from Inverness had to do it the hard way though after a second round defeat to Slovenia’s Kaja Kajzer by waza-ari meant going through the repechages.
However, Steele negotiated the path with aplomb, eventually triumphing over Renata Zachova of the Czech Republic via ippon to clinch bronze.
After the bronze medal match, Steele said: “In that last fight I felt a bit under pressure as I wasn’t getting the grips I wanted but I finished it off nicely so got the job done. Every single fight was a battle just to get to this point so to come away with a medal is amazing.”
There were also good showings from Dan Rabbitt and Charlie Young who both just missed out on making it to the bronze medal matches.
Charlie Hutchison’s 400m individual medley bronze was the highlight of a strong week for Britain’s swimmers in the pool with the majority of the 16-strong squad competing against athletes a year their senior.
Hutchison, who also finished a narrow fourth in the 200m backstroke final, opted for the bold strategy of going hard in the IM final but it paid off as he hung on to third place to secure the medal.
“I know I’m stronger in the first half of the medley but I also know that the other guys would be good in the back half so I went out hard and thought I had nothing to lose,” said Hutchison.
“It’s great to say that I’m a medallist. It’s a really good feeling. The atmosphere has been amazing and walking out and hearing all my team cheering me was great.”
Elsewhere, five other Team GB swimmers qualified for finals while there were personal bests for seven British swimmers including PBs in every event entered by Sam Osborne, Will Bell and Kyle Booth.
Adverse weather throughout the week caused severe disruption at the tennis with organisers reducing sets to four games apiece by the end of competition.
Team GB’s four young tennis stars all made it through to the second round of the doubles, before Toby Samuel and Barney Fitzpatrick were defeated by the number one seeds from Poland and Lilly Mould and Holly staff lost to a strong double act from Estonia.
In the singles, both Mould and Samuel made it through to the second round after first round defeats for Staff and Fitzpatrick.
“It’s obviously really disappointing to lose,” said Mould. “But I will get the chance to reflect on it in due course. It’s been the most amazing experience and like nothing else we’ve ever done. We’ve all loved every minute of it.”