Team England claimed 5 medals, including 4 gold, in the judo hall to top the medal table on day 1 of the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas.
Tom Lish began the gold rush claiming the very first gold medal of the Games in the -90kg judo. Lish won all three bouts in a round robin format to secure the Commonwealth Youth title. “I’m really excited and proud to have claimed the first England medal of the Games. Winning was an amazing feeling but despite the tough competition I’m pleased I came through.” said a delighted Lish.
No more than twenty minutes later Holly Bentham followed the example set by her teammate in claiming the second gold medal of the games in -70kg. Bentham was elated “It feels amazing, it’s a very proud moment but I’m very tired. Things can always change on the day but I felt really strong. It was a good day all round.”
After a short break the afternoon session resumed in the same rich vein for Team England. There were further gold medals for Sian Bobrowska and Leah Grosvenor in the -48kg and -57kg respectively with Grosvenor claiming the victory on a Golden Score after a tense bout. But Team England’s young judo squad were not finished there with Lachlan Moorhead rounding off the day with a bronze medal at -73kg.
Team England’s success was not limited to the judo hall with both beach volleyball pairs progressing to the quarter finals. Ellena Austin and Yasmin Kaashoek bounced back from an early defeat to Australia to beat the Bahamas and book a spot in the last eight. However the honour of being the first Team England athletes in action fell to twins Joaquin and Javier Bello who beat New Zealand 2-0 and the repeated the trick against Jamaica later in the afternoon. Javier expressed the team’s satisfaction at the early win “It was good to get the competition underway with a win and I’m sure that will put us on a good footing for the forthcoming matches. Joaquin added “The serve worked really well for us today. There was great support for England in the crowd and that helped us in the crucial moments.”