Silver medals for swimmers Emily Large and Rebecca Sutton got Team GB’s Tbilisi 2015 European Youth Olympic Festival campaign off to a great start as the first day of action draws to a close in Georgia.
Only two sports featured Brits on day one but neither disappointed with three of the four young tennis stars progressing into the singles second round to add to the medal success in the pool.
Sutton, the busiest Team GB swimmer this week, took second in the girls’ 400m individual medley in 4:55.65 but it was Large who had the honour of being the first Brit to make the podium with her silver in the girls’ 200m butterfly with a time of 2:16.20.
“It feels really good and I’m so happy. I didn’t really expect that to be honest,” said the 14-year-old from Newcastle.
“I was going into the final third fastest but second, third and fourth were all within one second of each other so I wasn’t confident of a medal. But then to get it was amazing. I’m really happy.
“After the first 100m I knew I had it in me so it was just a case of making sure I didn’t come fourth. I was just hoping for any medal but on the last turn I could fourth place falling behind so I just went for it.
“This was my best event so I was hoping to do well but a medal has just topped it. Being the first athlete to get a medal is amazing and I’m overjoyed.”
Across the city the tennis singles tournaments got underway for boys and girls and a host of strong performances saw three Team GB athletes progress to the second round.
Nell Miller saved two match points before winning 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 against Slovakia’s Kiara Petrovicka while Edinburgh’s Jacob Fearnley was on the right side of a double bagel, seeing off Ba Juliusson 6-0, 6-0.
Elsewhere, Victoria Allen came up just short in three hour thriller with Switzerland’s Leonie Kueng, eventually losing 6-3, 3-6, 5-7. However it was better news for Emily Hudd who had no trouble in despatching Cherera Zerdilas of Greece 6-4, 6-1.
Hudd now takes on home favourite and fifth seed Nikoloz Davlianidze tomorrow but feels today's win will give him every confidence going into a match against a partisan crowd.
“He’ll be a home favourite but it should be good fun. I’m looking forward to it. I need to replicate what I did today and stay aggressive and take my opportunities,” said the 15-year-old.
“It was tough out there in the heat. But you can’t change it so need to just get on with it. The first win is the toughest so to get that under the belt gives me a lot of confidence for the tournament.
“It was a tough game today. He was a good player and made a lot balls, especially on his forehand. He was very aggressive and liked to do what I do on the forehand and dictate the play so at the start it was quite difficult and he came out strong.
“I had to just stick in there. I knew if I hung in there I would get my opportunities and was mentally strong – I thought that was the big difference today.”
Day two sees all five of Team GB sports in action as artistic gymnastics, cycling and judo begin their respective Tbilisi 2015 competitions.
Three-time Youth Olympic Games gold medallist Giarnni Regini-Moran spearheads the boys’ artistic gymnastics team as Hamish Carter and Joe Fraser join Regini-Moran in a bid for medal success.
Medals are also up for grabs in the cycling time-trial and swimming finals, while three British Judoka take to the mat from 9am BST tomorrow.
Day Two Schedule: Tuesday 28th July
Boys’ Qualifications / Team Finals: 10:00-18:00 local time / 07:00-15:00 BST: Hamish Cater, Joe Fraser, Giarnni Regini-Moran
Girls’ Time Trial: 11:00-14:00 local time / 08:00-11:00 BST: Lauren Dolan, Pfeiffer Georgi, Jess Roberts
Boys’ Time Trial: 16:00-19:00 local time / 13:00-16:00 BST: Harry Hardcastle, Tom Pidcock, Fred Wright
Eliminations and Repechage: 12:00-14:30 local time / 09:00-11:30 BST: Girls’ -44kg (Olivia Piechota); Boys’ -50kg (Henry Wakes), -55kg (Ottavio Razzino)
Finals: 16:00-18:00 local time / 13:00-15:00 BST
Heats: 09:30-12:00 local time / 06:30-09:00 BST
Girls’ 100m Freestyle: Athena Clayson, Rebecca Sutton
Boys’ 400m Freestyle: Brodie Williams, Jamie O’Connor
Mixed 4x100m Medley: TBC
Boys’ 50m Freestyle: Scott McLay, Elliot Clogg
Girls’ 800m Freestyle Slow Heat:
Semi-Finals/Finals: 17:00-20:00 local time / 14:00-17:00 BST
Boys’ 400m Freestyle Final
Girls’ 100m Freestyle Semi-finals
Boys’ 100m Backstroke Final
Boys’ 50m Freestyle Semi-finals
Boys’ 100m Breaststroke Final
Girls’ 100m Backstroke Final
Boys’ 100m Butterfly Final
Girls’ 800m Freestyle Fast Heat:
Mixed 4x100m Medley Final
Singles: Boys’ Second Round 09:00-22:00 local time / 06:00-19:00 BST: Emile Hudd, Jacob Fearnley
Singles: Girls’ Second Round 09:00-22:00 local time / 06:00-19:00 BST: Nell Miller
Doubles: Boys’ First Round 09:00-22:00 local time / 06:00-19:00 BST: Emile Hudd & Jacob Fearnley
Doubles: Girls’ First Round 09:00-22:00 local time / 06:00-19:00 BST: Victoria Allen & Nell Miller