Team England’s athletes continued to do the nation proud and retained their place at the top of the medal table after day four at the Commonwealth Youth Games. The team won a total of eight medals, half of them silver.
The swimming team led the way with another six gongs to take their total for the competition up to 14 with one day of competition in the pool remaining. Leah Crisp, one of the three City of Leeds swimmers on the England team, produced a storming finish to claim her first international gold in the 400m freestyle. A delighted Leah also achieved a new personal best in the process “I felt so good. I had no idea where I was I just put my head down and went for the wall, it was a good personal best as well so I got two in one with both the gold and the PB.” Crisp’s Leeds teammate Ciara Schlosshan added to her medal from yesterday with silver in the 100m butterfly. Layla Black, the third Leeds swimmer in the team was however unsuccessful in her attempt at completing a Commonwealth Youth Games “double double” after she finished a creditable 5th place in the 100m breaststroke, an event she won in Samoa.
The rugby 7s team lost out to a disciplined Samoa team 10-5 in the gold medal match. Try scorer Ollie Sleightholme reflected on just how far the team had come in such a short space of time. "You have to look at the team we lost to today. They are the best team here and they are one of the best teams in world rugby 7s right now. It was always going to be a tough challenge and today wasn't our day but as a group we'd never played 7s together before so to pull together in the way we did was a fantastic performance.” Harry Barlow thanked his Team England teammates from all the other sports for the support they have shown over the competition: "The experience being part of Team England has been unreal. It’s been great seeing all the other athletes and staying with them. The whole tournament has been an amazing experience. I'll never forget it and we've learned some great lessons. I love seeing the support in the stands especially from all the other sports. We're all one family at Team England, it’s been an unreal atmosphere."
Sussex athlete Amber Anning recorded a new personal best to claim the bronze medal in the 400m at the athletics track. She put her success down to a switch in tactics from her heats earlier in the evening. “The race went well in the final. It was a really difference set of tactics to the heats earlier on because I went off too fast in those and I was too tired coming to the end but this time I conserved a bit more energy, didn’t go off as fast and that meant that I had much more to give in the end. I think that change is the reason I got my bronze medal. I was strong and I finished the race how I wanted to.”
With the boxing team guaranteeing a further six medals by winning places in the semi-finals the last two days of competition are set to be memorable ones for Team England.