Team England finished the first day of competition at the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa with three gold, one silver and three bronze medals.
England’s first gold medal of the Youth Games was awarded to Emma Hamplett, who won in the women’s Javelin with a throw of 49.57m. She said: “Super proud to take home England’s first medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games, it’s a great honour and I‘m so proud.”
Further athletics success came from Rechmial Miller who came second in the men’s 100m final, narrowly missing out on the title to South Africa’s Tlotliso Gift Leotlela. England’s Oliver Bromby, from Southampton, came close to a medal but eventually finished the race in fourth.
In the final of the 1500m, Brighton’s Archie Davis and County Durham’s Markhim Lonsdale narrowly missed out on medals finishing 4th and 5th respectively. Hannah Williams, sister of Commonwealth silver medalist Jodie Williams, finished 2nd in her 400m heat to qualify for the final tomorrow.
A fantastic heats session in the morning saw all of the English swimmers qualify for the finals that evening and saw England’s swimming team take home two gold medals and three bonze. The first gold came from Georgina Boyle in the 200m freestyle and that was shortly followed by success from Stafford’s Tom Derbyshire who became the men’s 1500m champion.
In the pool, England’s bronze medal success came from Lewis Clough in the 50m butterfly who also achieved a lifetime best. Kyle Chisholm swam to third place in the men’s 200m freestyle final and Tazmin Pugh claimed England’s final swimming bronze of the day with a strong women’s 200m butterfly final.
Also competing on the first day were England’s young boxers, with Dalton Smith winning his first fight of the competition against Australia’s Harrison Garside. Tomorrow sees Smith facing New Zealand in the Quarter Finals.
England’s Lawn Bowls team enjoyed a strong start to the Youth Games, with three wins from three for 15 year old Ruby Hill who has secured her place in the Semi Finals. Despite a good opening for Bradley Coles, beating New Zealand, he was unable to overcome strong competition from Australia and South Africa.
Three-time Commonwealth Games winner Ellen Falkner, Lawn Bowls Team Leader said: “There are lots of positives to take from today’s performances; both Bradley and Ruby coped extremely well in difficult conditions. Ruby has got a great opportunity tomorrow to make a statement on the world stage and bring home a medal for England.”
Over on the Squash courts, Halifax’s Patrick Rooney set himself up for a Semi Final against Pakistan tomorrow having beaten Mohammed Mia from Bangladesh 3-0 and Stephen Hurst of Northern Ireland 3 – 0 in the Quarter Finals. England’s Mari Taylor also started well, reaching the Quarter Finals but lost to Mihiliya Methsarani of Sri Lanka in a tough match.
England’s weightlifters today completed their final preparations and are looking forward to tomorrow when Chris Murray aims to win a medal at his first international competition in the 62kg category. Kian Pinjavi, 69kg, starts his final competition as a youth athlete and hopes to capitalise on European success as another medal hopeful.
Today’s official practice for England’s archers went well, with both athletes passing equipment inspections and they are confident leading into tomorrow’s qualification rounds.
At the end of the first day, England are third on the medal table, which sees South Africa topping the charts ahead of Australia in second place.
Around 1,000 athletes aged 14-18 are competing for 107 gold medals in nine sports over five days of competition in Samoa. Team England’s travelling delegation includes 60 athletes, representing eight sports (Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Lawn Bowls, Rugby 7s, Squash, Swimming, Weightlifting), plus coaching and support staff.
The fifth Commonwealth Youth Games is taking place in the Samoan capital city of Apia. England has attended all previous Commonwealth Youth Games, always finishing within the top three nations.
Some of England’s highest profile sports stars have appeared at the Commonwealth Youth Games including Jessica Ennis-Hill, Beth Tweddle, Danny Cipriani, Zoe Smith and James DeGale. The Games provide a number of England’s emerging talent with their first exposure to an international, multi-sport environment.