It was a double medal day for the New Zealand team at the Youth Olympic Games, beginning with a bronze for New Zealand and Australia in the Mixed Team International Triathlon and closing with a bronze at night for Gabrielle Faamausili in the 50 metre backstroke.
New Zealand flagbearer Gabrielle Faamausili, 14, Auckland, followed her fellow 14-year-old teammate Bobbi Gichard, Hawkes Bay, on to the podium at the Youth Olympic Games in China today.
Faamausili, from the Roskill club in Auckland, won the bronze medal in the 50m backstroke in 28.69s, only 3/100ths of a second behind Great Britains silver medallist Jessica Fullalove, while Maaike de Waard (NED) won the gold.
The race was a difficult one for the current World Youth record holder over the same distance.
"They weren't just going to give it to me because of what I had achieved last year," said Fa'amausili after the race.
"But I though this is good, I need this and hopefully next year i'll come back stronger."This adds to the bronze medal won by Gichard in the 100m backstroke, also behind Fullalove with de Waard back in fifth.
While among the two youngest in the competition, both Famausili and Gichard have earned real respect for their achievements and potential against swimmers up to 18 years of age.
It proved another strong performance from Faamausili who will be in action again tomorrow as part of the four-strong Kiwi team with Gichard, Michael Mincham, 18, Auckland, and Jacob Garrod, 18, Auckland, in the mixed medley relay.
In other swims today Gichard was 29th in the heats of the 200m butterfly in 1:06.16; Faamausili was seventh fastest in heats of the 50m freestyle in 26.12s, but scratched from the semifinals to focus on the 50m backstroke final.
Also Garrod was 28th fastest in heats of the 50m breaststroke in 30.04s and Mincham was 13th fastest in the 800, freestyle in 8:15.47.
The New Zealand and Australian Mixed Teams Triathlon took home bronze today, with Elizabeth Stannard and Daniel Hoy joining with Australian womens gold medallist Brittany Dutton, and her countryman Jack van Stekelenburg to make up Oceania One.
The Australians opened up the relay, with Dutton taking the lead early but earning a penalty for not storing her swimming equipment properly after the swim. A pair of goggles fell out of the holding box, incurring a 10 second penalty that the athletes could assign to any of the other relay members.
To make up lost ground, Dutton hammered the run home, handing over the race to van Stekelenburg with a 21 second lead on the chase pack. The race tightened over the 250 metre swim, 6.6 kilometre bike and 1800 metre run and Stekelenburg handed the race to New Zealands Stannard in first, but with the chase pack closing in.
Europe One and Three made the decision to put their strongest women on the third leg with Stannard racing the eventual gold medallists, Europe One, and silver medallists Europe Three.
Im incredibly proud of Lizzie, Im incredibly proud of our team for banding together, said coach Nathan Richmond.
Daniel Hoy took the race in third with a gap to close on the leaders, individual mens gold medallist, Ben Dijkstra from Great Britain, and 8th individual place getter Bence Lehmann of Hungary.
Hoy described the race as a lot harder than the individual race as he was out on his own for most of the three disciplines. But the silver medallist and New Zealand junior 1500 metre record holder, held on to the bronze even given the task of waiting in the penalty box in the home stretch of his run.
Hoy described the penalty a bit of a break as he finished the 1800m run and anchored the team relay.My legs had nothing in the first kilometre, he said. But the team held on to Bronze and finished 19 seconds off the race winner.
It was the third and last round of competition for golfers Julianne Alvarez, 18, Lower Hutt, and Nick Coxon, 18, Hamilton. Julianne shot two over, which was 74 and finished 7th. She gave herself a lot of birdie opportunities on the course, but couldnt improve her green performance, according to Alvarez.
Whenever you finish a competition, you always feel like you could have done more, she said. Im pretty happy with my performance, but I still had a bit of trouble on the green.
Coxon said that he was a little disappointed after the tournament. He shot two over with the same score of 74, finishing 14th.
Sophia Dong, 16, and St Kitts teammate, TAnje Johnson, fell 3-0 in her 3rd round of the mixed team international competition.In her game against Belgian Lisa Lung, Dong was up 7-3 in the 3rd set before losing the game.
Dongs exchanges with the Belgian proved to be a lot stronger, making for a stronger assault.Dong proceeded to play Hong Kong in the afternoon, where she played world number one Hoi Kem Doo. She fought really well and even managed to hit a couple of winners past her, which was nice, said Seaholme.
Dong will play in the consolation draw tomorrow, hopefully drawing a player outside of the top 16.
The heat out on the beach volleyball court almost proved too much for Kahurangi Robinson and Nathaniel Moore today as they played Jamaica in their 4th game of pool competition.
On court, the temperature was in the high 30s resulting in errors from the kiwi side, according to coach Darrell Boyd. The kiwis won the first set 21-19 but struggled in the second, battling the Jamaican team for points and eventually losing the set.
The 3rd set was much stronger, the New Zealand team winning 15-6 to take the game.
The duo is sitting third on the table, but the players were disappointed with the performance.
Moore said that they underestimated the Jamaicans. I think we might have gone into it a bit cocky, but they came out with a fighting spirit after yesterday, said Moore.
Coach Darrell Boyd said the players made it a lot tougher than they really should have. The team will return to the courts tomorrow to play Germany.
The womens hockey team fell to Uruguay today, pulling themselves back up in the last third from a 4-point deficit to finish 3-6. Coach Caryn Paewai said the game was disappointing for the girls and that they placed unnecessary pressure on themselves.
It wasnt their best game, individually or as a team, said Paewai. They started to make some uncharacteristic decisions on the pitch and Uruguay took advantage of the errors, they outsmarted and executed their skills better than our girls.
The mens hockey drew six all in their game against Pakistan today, in what coach Dave Kosoof called the best hockey weve played all trip.The team were up by two after the first two thirds, but struggled to fill the defensive gaps in the last third.
"We lost our way defensively in the last third," said Kosoof. "We gave them too much space."
The team will use tomorrow's rest day to recover and move forward into the next rounds.Nanjing 2014 Olympic Summer Youth Games