Discus thrower Connor Bell has been named New Zealand team flagbearer for the closing ceremony of the Youth Olympic Games.

The Auckland 17-year-old was named flagbearer at a team function attended by around 100 athletes and support staff.

“I’m extremely proud to be chosen as the flagbearer, I’m a little bit nervous as well but carrying our flag across the stage is going to be an awesome way to close out the Games.”

Bell’s performance was one of the most dominant of the Games, with the teenager breaking a Youth Olympic Games record and consistently throwing almost 10m further than any of his nearest rivals.

“The competition was great but the whole experience and this environment has been really valuable to me and has really helped my development as an athlete.

“It’s been great to make new friends as well and I’m looking forward to seeing lots of my teammates at competitions in the future,” said Bell.

New Zealand Team Chef de Mission Barbara Kendall says Bell was a team player on and off the field of play.

“Connor performed extremely well in competition but he’s also one of the most outgoing and lovely people in the New Zealand team.

“He’s friends with everyone, whether they be athletes or support staff, and I look forward to him carrying the New Zealand flag and beaming that big smile of his at the closing ceremony tonight,” said Kendall.

Today was the final day of competition at the Youth Olympic Games with karate athlete Raukawa Jefferies the sole Kiwi in action. Jefferies drew one of his pool bouts and lost two so did not progress to the knock out rounds.

Across the 12 days of competition at Buenos Aires 2018 Games the New Zealand team won 6 medals:

GOLD – Connor Bell, men’s discus
GOLD – Rugby sevens, women’s u18 team
GOLD – Dylan McCullough, men’s triathlon
SILVER – Dylan McCullough, Brea Roderick, triathlon mixed relay
SILVER – Finn Anderson, men’s C1 slalom
SILVER – Oscar Guo, badminton relay team

As well as medals New Zealand athletes recorded five fourth placings and broke nine New Zealand age group records and one Youth Olympic Games record.

Chef de Mission Barbara Kendall says the Games have been a brilliant experience for all 61 New Zealand athletes.

“It’s fantastic to have some great results but this experience is about more than just medals. These young athletes have been exposed to a range of learnings and cultural activities which will benefit them not only in their sporting endeavours but in their general lives.

“I’m very proud of these athletes and what they’ve achieved and I look forward to seeing much more of them in the near future.”

The closing ceremony begins at 1120 NZT and will be shown on Sky Sport pop up channel 57.


Buenos Aires 2018 Olympic Summer Youth Games
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