Triple gold for Team GB at the European Youth Olympic Festival
Baku 2019

Triple gold for Team GB at the European Youth Olympic Festival

23 July 2019 / 20:10

Double gold in the pool and a win for cyclist Zoe Backstedt headlined a successful day for Team GB at the Baku 2019 European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF).

In total, six medals were won on day three, five in the pool, including a second gold for Katie Shanahan, and one on the bike as Team GB took their Baku 2019 medal haul to seven; four gold, two silver and one bronze.

Backstedt began the medal action with gold in the girls’ individual time trial on a 10km coastal course dogged by strong crosswinds throughout.

The 14-year-old was one of the last riders out and coped well with the conditions, powering past two other cyclists on her way to finishing in 14:35.25, over 19 seconds clear of second place and almost a minute clear of third.

Backstedt, whose sister Elynor won time trial bronze at the same event two years ago in Hungary, had been targeting this event and was delighted to step onto the top of the podium.

“This is the best medal I’ve won in my cycling career so far so I’m really happy," said the Welsh rider.

“I’ve had the goal since the start of the year to at least podium in the individual time trial.

“I knew I was strong enough to do that and I’m strong in the wind so I knew out here I’d have a good chance. I rode the course yesterday and came today hoping for gold and I managed to pull it off.

“There were a few moments where I thought the bike was going to go from underneath me due to the wind but I managed to push all the way to the finish and catch two girls who were one and two minutes ahead of me."

Millie Couzens joined Backstedt in the top 10, coming home 10th in 15:52.30 while Imani Pereira-James (16:35.03), the youngest rider in the field, was 27th out of the 75 athletes.

In the boys’ event, Finlay Pickering was the pick of the British riders in fifth with Josh Charlton only one place behind in sixth as only 19 seconds separated the top six. Team GB’s third rider, Tom Lord, came home in 26th.

Over at the Baku Aquatics Centre, Shanahan continued to impress, adding 200m backstroke gold to last night’s victory in the 400m individual medley.

The 15-year-old from Glasgow finished with a time of 1:38.06, 0.83 ahead of second and set her second EYOF record of the week in the process.

And she wasn’t the only Team GB athlete to enjoy victory as Evelyn Davis, Tamryn van Selm, Ed Mildred and Jacob Whittle set an EYOF record of their own in the final. The quartet edged out Russia into second and took their 2017 record by over a second too with a winning time of 3:32.48.

There were also silver medals for Freya Colbert in the 400m freestyle final and Van Selm in the 100m freestyle, while Sophie Freeman collected bronze in the 200m butterfly.  

Elsewhere in the pool, Mildred is fastest into tomorrow’s 200m butterfly final while Mark Ford was eighth in his 100m backstroke final and Will Ellington seventh in the 200m breaststroke.

The boys gymnastics team fell just short of the podium in their final, finishing in 4th behind Ukraine, Russia and Italy who secured the podium places.

The team of Raekwon Baptiste, Sam Mostowfi and Luke Whitehouse recorded a combined score of 158.250 from their six apparatus, just short of Italy’s 159.183 which was good enough for the bronze.

The final also doubled as individual qualifying as Mostowfi and Baptiste both qualified for the all-around and vault finals with Mostowfi also set to compete on floor.

Matilda Mutavdzic is into the third round of the girls’ tennis singles after sealing victory via match tie-break over Denmark’s Johanne Svendsen. Mutavdzic came through 10-3 in the breaker having been tied a set apiece at 4-6, 6-1 and will play Matilde Morais of Portugal in the last 16.

Yujiro Onuma is out of the boys’ event though after a 6-3, 6-0  defeat to Belgium’s Noah Merre. Onuma also saw disappointment in the doubles, going out at the second round stage alongside Matt Rankin, the pair going down 7-5, 6-2 to Poland.

Day three also saw the end of the wrestling competition at Baku 2019, with both British athletes coming up against tough early round opposition.

Lucy McGrath was drawn against eventual -65kg silver medallist Nesrin Bas of Turkey for her opening fight before being beaten by home favourite and bronze medallist Nigar Mirzazada in the repechage.

Wigan’s -55kg freestyle wrestler Harvey Ridings completed his Baku 2019 on Sunday, also losing to the eventual silver medallist in his first round, Azerbaijan’s Abulfaz Nasirov, before being defeated by Georgia’s Bezhani Barsonidze in the repechage.