Hot talent shines at Australian Youth Olympic Festival
In the heat of one of Sydney’s hottest summers on record, the Australian Youth Olympic Festival took place. As one of the 17 sports on offer at the festival, rowing was held at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith.
Four nations – New Zealand, Vanuatu, Great Britain and Australia (divided into its six states) – competed in rowing with Great Britain finishing on top of the medals table with 10 medals. New Zealand was second (nine medals) and New South Wales third (six medals). These top three places all earned three golds each.
Competing in the 12 events available, Great Britain’s gold medals came in the women’s four, lightweight men’s double sculls and the men’s single sculls. Winner of the men’s single, Jack Beaumont was seventh last year at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships when he raced in the double. Great Britain also finished second in the single with Luke Moon two seconds behind Beaumont.
The three golds for New Zealand were in the men’s four, lightweight women’s double sculls and Andrew Potter and Thomas Jenkins in the men’s pair. The men’s pair proved to be quite the boon for New Zealand as they also took out the silver.
Australia’s state of New South Wales was the top scoring region for Australia ranking in third position overall. New South Wales gained three gold medals with wins in the Blue Riband women’s eight as well as the women’s pair (Jessie Allen and Genevieve Horton ) and women’s quadruple sculls.
The tightest race was in the men’s quadruples sculls. In this final the top three boats finished within half a boat-length of each other. South Australia was first in a time of 6:12.11 with Great Britain following slightly back in a time of 6:12.84. New Zealand was third in a time of 6:13.58.
Australia took out the top three places in the women’s single sculls. Eleni Kalimnios of Tasmania had an easy nine-second win over Narelle Badenoch in second. Lucy Trembath was third. Kalimnios is just 17 years old and her win came after her single had to be repaired prior to the race as another boat fell on top of it. Kalimnios competed last year at the World Rowing Junior Championships when she raced in the women’s quadruple sculls for Australia.
The rowing regatta was held over the last two days of the festival which turned out to be beneficial as record temperatures had peaked at 48°C earlier in the festival. Rowers instead raced in temperatures of about 28°C with some wind and a little rain.
Australian Olympic Committee President and IOC member, John Coates said: “Not only the level of competition but the spirit of competition was fantastic. It will give a lot of inspiration for our younger rowers, and we hope to see many of them at the next Youth Olympic Games and future Olympics.”