Australians add to medal haul with another two Athletics silvers
16 October 2018
BUENOS AIRES 2018: Australia added two silver medals to its Youth Olympics tally on Monday, with Joshua Cowley and Jaylah Hancock-Cameron finishing second in the long jump and 1500m/cross country combined respectively.
Hancock-Cameron and Cowley continue the incredible form of the track and field team, which has netted a gold and four silvers in the past 48 hours.
With a huge personal best of 7.82m, the Brisbane based Cowley was ecstatic with his silver.
“That’s definitely the highlight of my career,” he said. “It’s only just starting to sink in now. Standing on the dais I was just so proud and stoked to come away with silver.”
In front of a packed and vocal crowd, the 17-year-old stepped up on the biggest stage.
“It’s really rewarding to be able to come and perform like that on the Youth Olympic stage.
“It was amazing seeing a massive crowd, stands packed and the green and gold stands out so well. It really pushed me to jump higher, I want to push myself for the crowd watching.”
Cowley was agonisingly close to the top of the podium, eclipsed by Cuba’s Lester Lescay by just 1 centimetre over two days of jumping.
Cowley held a 6cm lead over the Cuban after Friday’s first stage, but the Cuban’s 7.89m in today’s final stage was enough to claim gold. In a surprising quirk, despite coming second, Cowley is the new Youth Olympic Record holder, with his 7.82 made with a legal +1.5 wind, while Lescay’s 7.89 was achieved with +4.3 making it ineligible for records.
Despite launching himself into elite company with a Youth Olympic medal, Cowley was quick to shift any accolades to his coaching staff and supporters.
“My coaches and family have put so much time and effort into me, to get me jumping like this.
“I don’t think I’ve made sacrifices, just choices. It’s my family and people around me who have made sacrifices for me and I’m so thankful for that.”
Jaylah Hancock-Cameron won silver in her combined 1500m/cross country event after a gutsy run in the cross country leg in blistering heat.
“The race was hard and the last two laps were more mental than physical, I’m feeling really good though. When I crossed the line I had nothing going through my mind I just collapsed, I was spent,” the 16-year-old said.
“I found out I got silver when I was in the tent and it was so exciting.
“It’s so amazing being able to stand in front of that big crowd and receive the medal.”
The runner from Broulee, NSW, finished behind Kenya’s Edinah Jebitok, who led the cross country leg for the entire 4km.
The competition format was a combined total across the 1500m track race and a 4km cross country.
After running a personal best time of 4.18.44 to finish second in Friday’s 1500m leg, Hancock-Cameron was in second place and primed for a medal run.
“I took almost a second off my PB – the atmosphere was amazing and I was really happy with the run,” she said.
Today’s cross country run also included competitors from the women’s 3000m and steeplechase, adding a level of complexity Hancock-Cameron had to overcome. It also meant she had a nervous wait after crossing the line to work out exactly where she finished in the rankings.
“I knew everyone I had to beat from my 1500m, I memorised their numbers so I could keep track of them on the course.”
“After being able to perform on the big stage here, I’ll take this experience and use it in big races going forwards.”
Elizabeth Moss narrowly missed out on a medal in the women’s high jump, finishing fourth with a combined total of 3.60m (1.78m in Stage 1 and 1.82m in Stage 2)
Luke Young finished his campaign in the 1500m/cross country double in 5th overall, with Jamie Hiscock also finishing 5th in her steeplechase/cross country combination after a tough cross country leg.
Rochelle Vidler threw 56.45 in the hammer throw to finish 10th overall on combined scores.
800m runner Anthony Vlatko ran a 1.54.34 in today's stage 2 heat, finishing 8th overall on combined times.
The Australian track and field team wraps up their Buenos Aires campaign tomorrow with Tom Throssell in the 400m Hurdles.