A team of 27 young athletes won a total of 20 medals at the Commonwealth Youth Games and are on their way in the complex world of multi-sport events as the event wound down on Saturday. 

A traditional closing ceremony wrapped up the five days of competition as New Zealand athletes celebrated 20 medals, inlcluding an outstanding ten from the young swimming team. The team also had a powerful insight into the benefit of sport and the power it has to inspire others. 

Gold and Bronze in Weightlifting

New Zealand weightlifter Vernon Taylor (17) took gold in the Mens 94kg weightlifting in Apia on the penultimate day of competition with team mate Albi Anderson (16) securing bronze in the 85kg competition.

Taylor, from Auckland, opened with 118kg before moving up to 123kg, just one kilogram under his Commonwealth Record winning personal best secured in the Pacific Games in July.

It was a good comp - It is what i came for - a gold medal, said the athlete on his win.

He finished with 267 points (118 Snatch and 152 for clean and jerk).

Jordan Sakkas of Wales and Isuru Senadeera of Sri Lanka finished narrowly behind only 3kg separated the top three.

Bronze medal winning Anderson from Christchurch began his event strongly with the snatch before completing competition with 226 points (101kg in the snatch and 125kg in clean and jerk).

Tied Silver for Swimming

Gabrielle Faamausili (15) of New Zealand and Erin Paige Gallagher of South Africa tied in a photo finish in the womens 50m at the Samoa Commonwealth Youth Games in Apia over night.

The nail biting final finished with the two swimmers tied in a dead heat for second place with the same time of 25.82.

The silver medal concluded action in the pool for the Kiwis and brought the young swimmers medal tally to ten. The overall New Zealand tally grew to 21.

Bronze for Archer

Sixteen year old New Zealand recurve archer Chayse Martin claimed bronze in the mens recurve bow final, sharing the podium with Mohammad Islam of Bangladesh winning gold and Nishant Kumawat of India with silver.

Silver for Girls Squash Doubles and Bronze for Mixed Doubles

 Elle Epke (17, Auckland) and Abbie Palmer (17, Waipu) went down to the wire against Malaysia losing 11-10 11-10. 

While disappointed to not secure gold, the pair was thrilled with the silver.

In the mixed doubles Luke Jones (18, Pahiatua) joined Palmer to take a strategic approach to their semi-final focusing on adding a medal to the teams tally. 

They won the first match confidently but the second was a lot closer with Palmer and Jones both showing nice touches to stretch the Scottish pairing and finish with bronze.

Bowlers Bow Out

The last day of competition started for the NZ Youth team with mixed pairs in bowls Seamus and Ashleigh had a good win against Scotland, but lost to Cook Island in the semi-final. The mix pairs played Malaysia for the bronze, which they eventually lost. It was tough conditions playing in the heat of Samoa. Both Seamus and Ashleigh have represented their sport with pride.

The total Commonwealth Youth Games medal tally for New Zealand was 20.

Check out New Zealand Olympic Team on Facebook for medallist photos and more information. 

Medals for:

Gabrielle Fa'amausili: Swimming  50m Back Gold 100m Back Silver 50m Freestyle - Silver

Bobbi Gichard: Swimming 50m Back Silver 100m Back Gold 200m Back - Gold

Wilrich Coetzee - Swimming 200m Fly Gold 100m Fly - Gold

Bayley Main - Swimming 100m Back Bronze 50m Back Bronze

Ashleigh Jeffcoat - Lawnbowls Singles Womens - Gold

Seamus Curtin - Lawnbowls Singles Mens - Silver

Eleanor Epke - Squash Singles Womens - Silver

Eleanor Epke and Abbie Palmer - Squash Doubles - Silver

Abbie Palmer and Luke Jones - Squash Mixed Soubles - Bronze

Chayse Martin - Archery Singles - Bronze

Ben Collerton - Athletics 110m Hurdles - Silver

Kaeley Elkington - Weightlifting Womens 63kg - Silver

Albi Anderson - Weighlifting Men's 85kg - Bronze

Vernon Taylor - Weightlifting Men's 94kg - Gold

Samoa 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games
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