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Gold and silver for Australia at Youth Olympics track and field

15 October 2018

BUENOS AIRES 2018: The Australian track and field team today announced themselves as world class with a gold and two silvers at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympics, led by flagbearer Keely Small’s gold in the 800m.

Sophie White and Oscar Miers won silver in the 100m hurdles and high jump respectivelyto add to Australia's medal haul.

Small, Australia’s flagbearer at last Saturday’s Opening Ceremony, ran a commanding race to win Australia’s 4th gold of the Games in 2:04.76.

The Canberra local was ecstatic to win in front of a packed stadium at Youth Olympic Park.

“I’m absolutely stoked to get here and get the gold,” Small said.

“It hasn’t sunk in quite yet. This whole experience has been amazing, to be announced flagbearer and now see the Australian flag raised from on top of the podium with a gold medal – I’m so stoked.”

Keely Small in action in the women's 800m at Buenos Aires 2018

Keely said the crowd support, from a vocal Australian minority and the local crowd appreciating her dominating performance, spurred her to the top place on the dais.

“I was a little nervous coming off the heat run and coming in top ranked, but the crowd really got me going down the back straight.I could hear all the Aussies cheering their guts out, it was awesome.

“It’s been a big year with Commonwealth Games and Youth Olympics, but the big goal now is Tokyo 2020. I’ll get back into training when I’m home and have a good season to keep working towards Tokyo.”

The race format at BA2018 is a two-stage competition, with the gold medal going to the quickest combined times over two races. Winning both stage 1 and 2 races, Small demonstrated her class in an elite field.

Sophie White wins silver in 100m hurdlesEarlier in the session, Perth hurdler Sophie White got the Australians off to a flying start, claiming silver in the 100m hurdles in a windy personal best time behind America’s Grace Stark.

“That felt great, it was a great race to be a part of,” White said.

“I’m not going to lie, I was nervous at the start – it’s a final at the Youth Olympics, that’s everything! But I just focused on getting a good start, getting out there and smashing it.

“I can’t ask for any more, a PB and silver medal, it’s a great feeling. Standing on the dais and seeing the Aussie flag – no matter how many national comps you do - you never get this feeling.”

White’s time of 13.01 bested the U18 national record of 13.14 she shares with legend Sally Pearson, but the illegal wind (+2.8) means the record remains shared at 13.14 for now.

High Jumper Oscar Miers continued Australia’s stellar day at the track, winning silver with an incredible 8cm Personal Best of 2.22m.

“It's a great sensation I loved that. An 8cm PB! I don't know where that came from. I wanted it, went for it and popped it out!” Miers exclaimed.

“I didn't think 2.22 was doable. I thought 2.20 was pushing it. I can't even describe how I was feeling when I cleared 2.22.

“Out teams going really strong with even more potential to come, I can't wait to come out and support them over the next couple of days.”

Reminiscent of Australian high jumper Brandon Starc wearing odd coloured shoes, Oscar was rocking a green sock on one leg and gold on the other.

“It's great to rep the green and gold, I reckon the socks were a great help!"

#TeamAUS continues its athletics campaign tomorrow with long jumper Josh Cowley and middle distance runner Jaylah Hancock-Cameron right in the medal mix. Follow along at www.olympics.com.au/live-stream.

Dom Sullivan

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