A day of mixed results for Team Ireland at the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games; huge excitement as Tallaght’s Niamh Coyne medals in the women’s 100m breaststroke. Nhat Nguyen is knocked at the quarter final of the men’s badminton singles after a tight game against Shifeng Li from China while Emma Slevin qualifies for two further finals in women’s gymnastics.
Dublin’s Niamh Coyne took silver in the women’s 100m breaststroke with a time of 1:08.90. Sligo’s Mona McSharry finished just out of the medals in fourth place with a time of 1:08.97. Mona was first to turn at halfway, just missing out on a medal in the closing meters.
Coyne was delighted and commented; “I wasn’t really expecting to medal out here, it’s October which is a weird time for swimmers. I was really happy with it. The first 50 I build and get my turn right, and then after that just go for it.”
At the halfway point Coyne was lying sixth, with McSharry leading, Coyne said; “I couldn’t really see anyone, even with the turn, I couldn’t see anyone so I didn’t know where I was. I just thought touch the wall, for the last 25 metres. I was just shocked and just happy, this is probably my top achievement. I still have the 200 left, I’ll probably keep my head down until that’s over.”
Nhat Nguyen was beaten by Shifeng Li in the quarter finals of the men’s singles.
Nhat commented following the defeat; “Obviously, I’m quite disappointed. I had my chances and I’m disappointed I didn’t take them. He [Li] played better towards the end of both the second and third sets, so that’s what I have to take away and learn from for the next. We have the world juniors in two or three weeks, so I’ll have a couple of days rest here and come back and prepare for that.”
Gymnast Emma Slevin has qualified for two more finals today following a phenomenal performance on the balance beam, netting her a fourth place with a 12.433. This means that she has not only qualified for the balance beam final, but also for the all-around finals which take place on Friday 12 October.
Lauren Crowley Walsh is sitting T9 on 73 (+3) after day four (Wednesday), which gives her a 148 (+8), six shots off a medal. Tomorrow she plays with an Argentinian player and Lucy Lee, who will garner a lot of interest. David Kitt was less fortunate and tomorrow will be targeting a top 30.
On Lauren; “It went reasonably well, Lauren shot 73 for 3 over par so that’s a total of 8 over. She’s currently sitting tied ninth at the moment about six shots back form the medals, so it will be a bit of an ask tomorrow but all she can do is see how low she can go and see what happens in front of her. She played really well today, hitting a lot of greens in regulation, just putts weren’t really dropping for her. She was a little bit frustrated about that, but got her first birdie of the day on 17 so at least she finished reasonably well. Tomorrow she’s in a group with the Argentinian girl, and Lucy Lee who was playing in the US Open as a 12 - year old, so there will be a bit of a crowd following them on the course.”
On David; “Another bit of a struggle – David shot nine over today. The low light of the round was a ball being lost after a bird took it up and flew away with it. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but he was steady then finishing up, some other people might have chucked it in, but he kept it going and fought hard and I think he was probably level par on the last couple of holes and was unlucky with a couple of putts that might have dropped for him.
Day five of the Youth Olympic Games sees golfers David Kitt and Lauren Crowley Walsh back on the green to continue their pursuit for success. Mona McShary will take to the pool for the women’s 50m freestyle event with Robert Powel placing his focus today on the men’s 50m butterfly. Limerick’s Sophie Meridith will make her Youth Olympic Games debut in the women’s long jump later in the day.
Team Ireland in Buenos Aires comprises of a squad of 16 athletes from 9 sports. The team of 5 male athletes and 11 female athletes includes Nhat Nguyen (Badminton) and Mona McSharry (Swimming), recipients of Olympic Solidarity Scholarships which were awarded to assist with qualification and preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
This is the third edition of the Youth Olympic Games which are hosted every four years. The Games, running from October 6 to October 18 will feature more than 4,000 talented junior athletes aged 15 to 18 from 200 countries in over 32 sports.