Team England’s boxers delivered champion performances throughout day six to ensure that Team England left the Bahamas victorious. A magnificent seven gold medals from seven boxing finals left the team as undisputed kings and queens of the boxing ring.
Eithan James’ unanimous points win began a run of victories that never came to an end, and by the time the session came to a close, Georgia O’Connor had secured England’s seventh gold. “I don’t think there are any words in the English language to describe how I feel right now. I’ve dreamed of this moment since I was this big and as soon as I won I started crying, I thought it was a dream and someone would punch me out of it.
“I was really nervous beforehand and despite what people told me I knew this was an important fight and in the back of my head I knew it was for a gold medal, my first international gold so it took me a while to get into it but once I did that was it. It all happened so quick.” said O’Connor.
Perhaps the highlight of the day was Aaron Bowen’s debut international gold medal in an epic toe to toe encounter with Kane Tucker of Northern Ireland. Bowen said “It was a great fight to be part of, I’m proper happy with my performance. I enjoyed the whole lot. He started off well and thought I’ve got to put it on him here and up my work rate. I knew I was fit and that I could go the three rounds at that pace so I just gave it my all.”
The athletics team gave the whole Games the perfect finish by claiming a medal in the final race, the 4x400m mixed relay. Alex Botterill, gold medallist in yesterday’s 800m spoke of his pride at how the whole team had performed across the Games: “I think that we’ve come over to the Bahamas with a really strong team and performed well in every discipline. Getting medals across all the sports has been great and even people who haven’t won medals have put in some amazing personal best performances. The medal table doesn’t lie and we’ve been really lucky to be a part of it all.”
Indiana Spink took tennis bronze by a walkover to ensure that Team England won medals in all of the seven sports they competed in at the Commonwealth Youth Games. Spink was delighted with her success despite not taking to the court on finals day, with her opponent withdrawing ahead of the match. She said: “It feels really good, I’m really proud and my friends and family are really proud too and that means a lot. I’m really happy. The support has been amazing. I’m going to show my medal off to my mum as soon as I get home and she’s going to be so happy.”
Overall, Team England topped the medal table with 51 medals, beating the total of 44 won in Samoa two years ago. A number of junior athletes have already set their sights on the senior Games on the Gold Coast next year and their performances in the Bahamas will no doubt have given inspiration to their senior teammates.