Published Friday 18 January 2013

New Zealand’s team of 156 elite junior athletes collected medals in track cycling, weightlifting and canoe/kayak sprint at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney today.

The first medal came from paddling duo Aimee Fisher (17, Hastings) and Lucy Johnson (18, Christchurch), who backed up yesterday’s silver medal-winning performance in the K-2 500m with another silver in the K-2 200m.

It was also the third AYOF silver medal for Johnson, who yesterday enjoyed success in the K-1 500m and the fifth medal for the canoe/kayak sprint team overall.

Olympian Nathan Twaddle, who is providing athlete support for the team, was impressed with their achievements. “Our young paddlers’ have performed exceptionally well in their first Olympic-style event and will now be hoping to follow in the footsteps of London Olympic gold medalist Lisa Carrington (K-2 200m) who began her career at AYOF.”

In weightlifting, 17-year-old Aucklander Charlotte Moss took bronze in the Women’s 53kg category, while in cycling our men’s sprint team of Callum Saunders (17, Blenheim), Quinn Karwowski (16, Blenheim), Jeremy Presbury (17, Invercargill) and Zac Williams (17, Auckland) had a nail-biter final against Australia, missing out on the gold by just 0.14 of a second.

A number of personal bests were also set by athletes' competing in the shooting and cycling events today.

Meanwhile the athletics, canoe/kayak slalom, diving, gymnastics and triathlon events get underway tomorrow.