Day Three - CWYG Medal Tally Increases with Gold and Silver for NZ
New Zealands medal tally at the Samoa 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games continues to rise with an additional four medals (two gold swimming, one silver weightlifting, one silver athletics) won on Day Three of competition in Apia.
Silver Medal in Athletics
The New Zealand athletics team at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa won their first medal of the tournament with boys 110m hurdler Ben Collerton (Christchurch) taking silver.
Collerton, aged 17, finished the event with an outstanding time of 14.22 with 1.1 wind points behind Mpho Katlego Tladi, 17, of South Africa in a time of 13.50
Collerton was clearly wrapped with his silver medal and has his eyes on ongoing improvement following his Commonwealth Youth Games experience.
I'm pretty stoked - I was aiming to do a big PB coming into this event and that's what I've done by .4 secs.
Im going to keep improving and aim to break the 14 sec barrier. Ive got to keep working on my technique and see where it takes me.
The medal concludes competition for the New Zealand athleteics team and follows a string of personal bests throughout the team, demonstrating they have what it takes to push boundaries at key competitions. The five young athletes head home proud of their success and record of one silver medal, seven top eight finishes and nine personal bests.
First Medal for Weightlifting
The New Zealand weightlifters are underway with a strong result from 17 year old Kaeley Elkington winning silver in the womens 63kg class.
Her outstanding efforts saw her finish competition with a 65kg snatch and 78kg clean and jerk which set four New Zealand records a personal best for the Hamilton teenager.
With the teams first medal secure, the remaining four New Zealand lifters take the platform tomorrow.
Two more Gold Medals Swimming
Kiwi swimmers Bobbi Gichard and Wilrich Coetzee both grabbed their second gold medals on the penultimate night of finals at the Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa.
Gichard, 15, who also won the 100m backstroke final and was third in the recent junior world championship, produced a stunning performance to win the 200m backstroke.
The Greendale club swimmer from Hawkes Bay clocked an outstanding 2:10.02 to win the final, nearly three seconds clear of her nearest rival.
Her time was only 27/100ths of a second outside the FINA A Olympic qualifying time that she will need to reach at next years open championships. It was also the fastest time ever recorded by a New Zealand age group swimmer 18 years and under.
I am not sure how the good time happened. I was thinking about how to get a podium. I thought it felt like a 2:12 or 2:13, Gichard said. I was really stoked with that because I have been trying to get down to 2:10 for two years now so I am very happy with my time.
Coetzee from the North Shore club showed his strength and stamina in bucket-loads tonight. The 18 year old clocked 54.48 to win the 100m butterfly after a belter of a final, equal second at the 50m turn, Coetzee powered home to win by just 7/100th of a second to Australias Brayden McCarthy with a further 35/100ths back to South Africas Brendan Levy.
It was a personal best for Coetzee, who after a delay in his podium presentation, had to step back in the pool for the 200m backstroke final where he finished fourth but clipped 3.5 seconds off his previous best.
Clear Head in Archery
With enthusiastic support from the wider Kiwi Team, New Zealand Chayse Martin (16, Auckland) quietly went about his work today with two head to head matchplay shoot outs with Cyprus and Scotland
Crystal-clear control sees Martin moves through to semi-finals tomorrow afternooon.
Seamus Curtain (15, Porirua) and Ashleigh Jeffocat (16, Hamilton) continue their steady performance at the Commonwealth Youth Games with three strong wins in the mix pairs on day four of competition
While the hot and humid temperatures in Apia are a challenge, both young bowlers maintain focus on the medal rounds on Day Four.
17 year old Abbie Palmer from Waipu anchored the New Zealand mixed and girls doubles today in Apia alongside compatriots Luke Jones - 18, Pahiatua, Ellie Epke - 17, Auckland
With hard-fought for wins under their belts, the mixed and girls pairs will be a threat going in to the final stages of this tournament on Day 4.
Commonwealth Sport Promoting Community Impact
While the 27 young New Zealand athletes have no doubt that they are in Apia to compete, the positive impact sport can have on the citizens of the Commonwealth is nonetheless a focus of the 14 18 year olds.
Double gold medal winning athlete Bobbi Gichard saw a need for support for the Soloman Island team and has donated swim-wear for the teams use.
Luke Jones, Ellie Epke and Abbie Palmer from Sqaush have also decided to support the local community, donating squash raquets to local clubs in Apia.
New Zealand boxers are no longer competing, but are focused now on supporting the wider Commonwealth Youth teams, providing a backbone of the support for the remaining athletes still competing. Their passion and support is valued by athletes and support-team members alike.