New Zealand’s Commonwealth Youth Games athletes added another 9 medals to their tally on the fifth day of competition in the Bahamas.
In the pool the swimmers finished off an incredibly strong campaign with another 5 medals, taking their total tally to 19, made up of 7 gold, 7 silver and 5 bronze.
Fielding’s Mya Rasmussen began proceedings with a silver in the women’s 200m medley in a time of 2.16.55.
“It’s been an amazing experience, I’m stoked to have won three medals here and it’s been a really great place to learn and take on some of the best swimmers in the world,” said Rasmussen.
“When I got my gold medal I was tearing up, it was amazing, words can’t explain how great you feel, I’ve got butterflys in my stomach just talking about it, I’m really grateful for this experience.”
Laticia Transom, originally from Taihape, added a bronze swimming a time of 26.02 in the 50m freestyle.
Lewis Clareburt added two individual medals, both silver with a time of 2.03.06 in the 200m individual medley and 2.00.24 in the 200m butterfly.
The Wellingtonian then paired with Auckland’s Finn Kennard-Campbell, Whangarei’s Ciara Smith and Laticia Transom in the mixed 400m relay, with the team swimming a time of 3.57.21 for another silver.
The swimmers say the hard work ahead of the campaign is what’s led to their success.
“We have a really good team environment and we all have amazing coaches who have helped us to get here and we love supporting one another,” said Rasmussen.
Above: Lewis Clareburt, Finn Kennard-Campbell, Laticia Transom and Ciara Smith with their silver medals
Above: Interview with Mya Rasmussen
The New Zealand team was also involved in a special moment where it gifted excess team uniform to the Tanzanian swim team which struggles for equipment. Swim coach Garry Hollywood is hoping to keep the relationship up and send old swimming equipment to the Tanzanian team upon his return to New Zealand.
On the track Katrina Robinson led the charge racing a superb 3000m final. Robinson became boxed in a one point but always stayed near the front of the pack, opening up in the last lap to move up from 4th to 2nd and win silver.
“It was really hot and no one wanted to take the lead so it was a really slow and tactical race until the finish which was really quick and tough. I tried to stay relaxed as long as possible and kick at the end and it worked really well,” said Robinson who adds the silver to the bronze she won in the 1500m.
“It means a lot it’s a great experience, to get two medals is more than I could have asked for.”
In the boxing ring New Zealand had three semi final bouts.
Kyle Chen from Paihia fought first against a shorter English opponent in the under 75kg division. Although Chen had the reach his opponent controlled the fight, both landed some big hits but a standing 8 count hurt the New Zealander who lost in a split decision. The loss leaves Chen in third equal in his division, earning him a bronze medal.
“It was a tough fight, I was knackered by the third round but I did my best and unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough to get the win,” said Kyle.
“I’m a competitive person I wanted the top spot but I’ll take the bronze, go away and move on and keep working on my boxing.”
Shylah Waikai then took on a smaller Scottish opponent in the under 51kg fight. The pair danced around each other with no defining moments in the fight but Waikai’s reach enabled her to land more jabs, the Kiwi winning in a unanimous decision. She now progresses to the gold medal bout tomorrow.
Auckland’s Pelea Fruean took on an Australian in her under 60kg semi-final bout. Fruean landed some good punches but was unable to match her opponent who was judged the winner in a split decision. The loss sees Fruean take a bronze medal.
The women’s beach volleyballers were unable to hold their own against a fired up Australian side in the gold medal match. Jasmine Milton from Whangarei and Ella Akkerman from Tauranga left it all on the court but went down 21-13, 21-13 in two sets to take the silver medal.
“We prepared really well but unfortunately we got really nervous on court and didn’t play our normal structured and controlled game,” said Akkerman.
“We’re proud of where we ended up, we were aiming for quarterfinals so we exceeded those expectations which is really cool”.
Medal tally: Gold x8, Silver x13, Bronze x8
Above: Jasmine Milton and Ella Akkerman with their Australian opponentsBahamas 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games