Taekwondo starlet Abigail Stones is vowing to improve even further despite getting Team GB off the mark on day one of the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing with a bronze medal.
Stones, who entered the competition at the quarter-finals stage, faced Eman Aladeileh of Jordan, who beat the Liverpudlian earlier this year in the Youth Olympic Qualifier, in her first bout.
But Stones took her revenge, beating Aladeileh 5-2 to progress to a semi-final showdown against Ceren Ozbek of Azerbaijan.
With similar fighting styles it was a closely contested match and Stones missed out on the gold-medal match by the narrowest of margins, losing 2-3.
And while a bronze medal at just the second summer Youth Olympic Games is no easy feat, Stones is already eyeing up a higher step on the international podium.
“I tried my best but there is nothing else I could of done,” said Stones. “I kept trying different things, but we fight the same, and we couldn’t get around each other’s legs. It was just hard and not the result I wanted.
“It’s the Youth Olympic Games and from how far I have come in the last 12 months it really meant a lot to me to try and get to the final and try and win it.
“The experience has been amazing and there is still more to come other the next few weeks. I need to reflect what has happened here and improve for my next performance.”
First up in action for Team GB on day one was Sian Rainsley as she went for glory in the women’s individual triathlon.
And while the podium proved just out of reach Rainsley can be proud of her eighth-place finish in 1:01.53 hours, just under two minutes shy of winner Brittany Dutton of Australia.
Rainsley also battled back from pneumonia early in the year to take her place on the startline in China and after recording a top-ten finish the 17-year-old was grinning from ear to ear.
“I said at the start of the race if I achieved a top-ten finish then everything would have gone well,” she said. “So I am over the moon, I just can’t believe it.
“I wasn’t sure how I would perform because I had pneumonia in January, so to be back out racing it just amazing.
“We had a good front group in the bike but unfortunately we got caught on the last lap. I knew there were some really strong runners so I just thought I have got to do my best and see what happens.”
At another part of Xuanwu Lake rowers Chris Lawrie and Anna Thornton finished second and fourth in their respective single sculls heats, meaning they missed out on the automatic semi-final spots and will be hoping for better luck in Monday’s repechages.
There was disappointment for Peter Miles at Longjiang Gymnasium as the judoka, having only recently come back following seven months out with a broken elbow, lost by ippon with just nine seconds left of his -66kg round of 32 bout with Costa Rican Julian Sanchez.
He still had the repechage to turn things around but again Miles ended up on the losing side, this time by shido against Elios Manzi from Italy.
Gymnast Giarnni Regini-Moran was in scintillating form in the men’s qualification and heads into Tuesday’s all-around final in first place.
Regini-Moran didn’t miss a beat on any of the six apparatus on his way to amassing a total score of 84.400, 0.900 points ahead of his nearest challenger.
In addition, the teenager also booked himself a spot in the floor, pommel horse, vault, parallel bars and horizontal bars finals later in the week.
However, most of the day one action was in the pool, with Team GB’s 4x100m freestyle mixed relay team of Duncan Scott, Martyn Walton, Amelia Maughan and Charlotte Atkinson finishing sixth in the final on a promising day in the Nanjing water.
Scott led the team out and put Team GB in second place before Walton had the quartet in first at the midwasy stage.
However, despite their best efforts, Maughan and Atkinson were hauled in by the chasing pack as they touched home in 3:33.28 minutes.
While Walton failed to advance from his 400m heat, Team GB will have three finallists on Monday.
Georgina Evans was joint first in her 50m breaststroke heat with a time of 32.27 seconds, while Luke Greenback, who won his 100m backstroke heat in the morning, also qualified for the showpiece.
And Jessica Fullalove laid down a marker as she goes through to the 100m backstroke final as the fastest qualifier after winning her semi-final in 1:01.35 minutes.
“It feels really good to go into the final as the fastest qualifier,” Fullalove said.
“The morning swim was a bit ropey and I didn’t do what I wanted so to get that out of the way and get my heat swim out of the way I feel really good now and I am ready to rock in the final.
© Sportsbeat 2014