Buenos Aires 2018 Day 1 Wrap Up
8 October 2018
BUENOS AIRES 2018: Today marked the first day of competition for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) and your Aussie squad kicked it off with a bang, making their way into multiple finals and semi finals.
At the very first medal event of the Games, Alex Hoburg was in fine form in the men's 10m Air Rifle, entering the finals ranked fourth on a score of 623.4. The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games athlete narrowly missed out on medalling with a fifth-place finish in an uncharacteristically tight final.
Grateful for the experience, the 16-year-old said,
"It feels unreal to even call myself a Youth Olympian. My goal for the last three years has been to come here, and now I can say I made it, which feels amazing.
"There are some incredible shooters here that are really highly ranked in the world, who I am also lucky enough to call my good friends," he shared.
"I qualified in fourth and I was really happy with that, it's about what I expected. My final was a bit average unfortunately, but I'm still happy with it. The first 11 shots were really good, I was in the lead, but then I fell a little bit towards the end.
"I want to congratulate the medallists and everyone else who competed today, we should all be so proud that we even made it to the Youth Olympic Games," he finished.
Tennis player Rinky Hijikata went down 2-1 to China's Tao Mu in the first round of the men's singles but just like his Australian teammate Hoberg, Hijikata says just being at the Games is a win in itself.
"It feels really good to call myself a Youth Olympian, but it is bittersweet at the moment. It was a tough match today, but I left everything out on the court," he said.
"A goal of mine this year goal was to play at this tournament and the greatest honour you can have is to represent your country and play in the green and gold, so I am always happy to do that."
Tomorrow, Hijikata will team up with Bulgaria's Adrian Andreev against South African Philip Henning and Benin's Delmas Ntcha for the first round of the men's doubles.
“I’m looking forward to the doubles, it’s another chance to get out there, and maybe perform a little bit better than today. I’ve never played with my partner either, so I think tomorrow should be pretty interesting,” Hijikata said.
Foil Fencer Giorgia Salmas had a tough pool draw, only securing a win over Hong Kong. She went down to Canada’s Jane Caulfield 8-15 in the round of 16 to miss advancing to the quarter finals.
"Straight after the competition, I did feel quite disappointed,” the Melbournian said. “I felt like I could've made it a lot further, but considering it was such a difficult line-up, I'm not too upset with my performance overall.
"The whole experience has just been incredible and one of a kind. I'm so appreciative to have competed at the Youth Olympic Games. The biggest thing I've learnt from this competition, is that even if you've lost a couple of points, that game isn't over. Recollecting and picking yourself up is the hardest part,but is essential when competing at this level."
At table tennis, men’s singles competitor, Benjamin Gould fought hard against a tough competitor in Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto, ultimately going down 4-0. The 18-year-old found his feet and bounced back to take down Belize’s Rohit Pagarani 4-0. Gould’s campaign continues tomorrow when he takes on Brazil's Guilherme Teodoroin the afternoon.
Australia’s women’s beach volleyball team, Lauren Taylor and Tiaan Smith played in front of a packed out venue of thousands in their preliminary round at Green Park today.
They took on tough opponents, the USA, but ultimately lost out 2-0.
"Warming up was quite daunting. I've never played on a show court before, let alone in front of thousands of people!” Taylor explained.
“But I'm quite glad we had that match, now I know how it feels to play in front of a crowd of that size, where you don't have much time between points and have to collect yourself and keep a positive mindset."
Her team mate Smith agreed,
"I think playing in front of such a massive crowd did get to me a bit. It was a good first game although a little disappointing, but a good learning experience for both of us, so now we know what to expect next time."
Triathlete Charlotte Derbyshire finished 17th in her individual event, and although disappointed with her result, she is looking to bounce back for the mixed team event on October 11.
“While I’m disappointed with my race today, it’s still all about getting the experience. This was only my second international race, and I’m looking forward to giving it another crack on Thursday,” Derbyshire said.
In the evening, the Australian Swim Team put some encouraging results on the board with Chelsea Hodges placing 2nd in her 50m breaststroke semi-final to qualify 3rd fastest for Monday night’s final. Lewis Blackburn placed 4th in his 100m backstroke semi to edge his way into tomorrow’s final in 8th place.
Kaylee McKeown qualified second fastest for the women’s 100m backstroke, before returning to the pool only two races later for the 200m Individual Medley final, where she placed 7th.
In other results:
The men’s Hockey 5s Team, and defending YOG Champions, kicked off their Buenos Aires campaign in style, with a 7-0 victory over Kenya. The women’s Hockey 5s followed in a similar fashion with their incredible 10-0 win over Zimbabwe.
Artistic Gymnast Kate Sayer finished seventh in her qualifying Floor round to kick off her All-Around competiton.
Zecily Fung went down to Chinese Taipei 2-0 in the opening Badminton round
On the water, Cormac Kennedy-Leverett finished 10th and Taylor McCarthy-Smith finished 14th in their respective individual Rowing time-trials, securing their seeding positions for when the major competition gets underway tomorrow.
In the 1000m Roller Speed Skating semi-finals, Giselle Stogdale finished 11th in the women's event and Alex Myint finished 14th.