Colombian Gomez wins gold
21 August 2010
Unseeded Colombian Juan Sebastian Gomez has outlasted Indian Yuki Bhambri to win the boys singles gold medal at the Kallang Tennis Centre on Saturday, with an ailing Bhambri withdrawing from the match in the third set with a left leg injury.
After the first two sets were decided in tie-breaks, Bhambri started to struggle early in the deciding set, and retired from the match with Gomez leading 6-7(5), 7-6(4), 4-1.
Bhambri called for the trainer after the third game of the final set after appearing to injure his left leg, and after dropping the next two games, he walked to the chair umpire to concede the match - and the Youth Olympic title - to the plucky South American.
The Indian had endured an injury-interrupted preparation to the inaugural Youth Games, and said his physical state and Singapore's warm weather contributed to his injury.
"I lasted for two hours, and in the end the heat got to me. Gomez does not hit the ball really hard, but he has great movement to get to the ball," Bhambri said.
"A lot of it had to do with fitness. If I was in better shape, I would have done better."
Gomez, who said he was "so tired" in the third set, tried to fight his fatigue by playing aggressive tennis as Bhambri's physical condition deteriorated.
"I tried to move around a lot, use my back(hand) and my forehand. I only thought about moving and attacking," he said.
"My expectations in a tournament is always to win. I don't compete to lose, so I'm happy because winning was my goal.
"That was the final everybody expected to see tonight."
Gomez was considered little more than an outside chance for success in Singapore despite the tournament being played on his favourite hardcourt surface.
The world number 14 in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior rankings, Gomez didn't look back after ousting fifth-seeded Czech Jiri Vesely in the second round, and he emerged as a genuine threat to win the tournament after racing past Oliver Golding of Great Britain in the quarterfinals for the loss of just four games.
Earlier on Saturday, Bosnian Damir Dzumhur beat Russia's Victor Baluda 7-5, 6-1 for the bronze medal in the boys singles.
"I said before the tournament that even if it's going to be a bronze medal, that would be perfect. I am very happy," Dzumhur said.
In the boys doubles, Golding and Vesely paired up to represent Europe to beat Russian duo Baluda and Mikhail Biryukov 6-3, 6-1 to win gold.
"Before I came here, if someone had told me I would get a medal, I wouldn't have believed them," Golding said.
"To get one is probably the best moment of my career."
The Slovakian boys doubles team of Filip Horansky and Jozef Kovalik claimed bronze on Thursday.
On Saturday in the girls doubles, Chinese pair Zheng Saisai and Tang Hao Chen won gold after a tie-break sealed their victory over Slovakian pair Jana Cepelova and Chantal Skamlova.
The Chinese duo beat the Slovakians 6-4, 3-6, [10-4].
Hungary's Timea Babos teamed with An-Sophie Mestach of Belgium to beat the Russian duo of Daria Gavrilova and Yulia Putintseva 6-2, 6-2 to claim bronze.