Two finals yesterday evening at the Youth Olympic Games lead to two top eight finishes for Team Ireland.
Tanya Watson finished fifth in the Women’s 10m Platform event. The Southampton born diver with family in Derry, finished the Preliminary Round in sixth place and moved into 5th in the Finals with a score of 362.45. In this event all divers progressed to the finals, with their best four dives of eight being added to the four dives later in the day.
“This afternoon I did four dives, and I did eight this morning,” said a pleased Watson after the competition. “The first four dives from this morning were carried through, so it was important that I perform them well this morning, and they went well. My first dive this evening was better than this morning, so I was happy with that.”
“I improved in my score from the Preliminary by just under 10 points so that was a bonus as well,” added Watson, “it was nice to improve from Preliminary to Final, because that’s what you’re hoping to do.”
Watson’s coach Jack Crewlow was pleased with how she went, “Tanya has had a fantastic day overall, she dived very strongly in the Preliminary this morning, we are delighted with her performance overall.”
Next up for Watson is an unusually structured event – the mixed team event.
Emma Slevin finished eighth in both the vault and the uneven bars today, having performed outstandingly to qualify for the final. Slevin achieved a score of 12.833 in the vault and 12.600 in the bars, with solid clean performances.
Happy with her performance, Slevin pointed out that she was competing with a sore foot in the finals today, “it’s been okay, I struggled a bit with my foot. I hurt it in the warm up of the vault, but I pushed through and I did it, so I’m happy.”
Fifteen-year-old Slevin has had one of the most gruelling schedules at the Youth Olympic Games this week, having competed in six out of the seven days of competition so far, and she is taking it in her stride, “It’s tiring but sure everyone’s the same – none of us are used to it. But it’s a good challenge for all of us.”
Reflecting on how she has dealt with the schedule she noted, “If you get tired, that doesn’t have to affect your performance, if you are five days into a competition it can be just as good as the first.”
Competition continues for Slevin on the 15th October with the finals in the balance beam.
Team Ireland had a phenomenal day on the golf course, with the pairing of Lauren Crowley Walsh and David Kitt finishing in fifth position with 63 (-7) in the mixed team four-ball stroke play. They compete tomorrow again, in the mixed team foursomes.
Today (day eight) at the Youth Olympic Games will see Dublin’s Lauren Kelly and Sligo’s Dean Clancy making their Youth Olympic Games debut in the women’s middle-weight and men’s fly-weight respectively. Sophie Meredith will compete in stage two of the women’s long jump with Lauren Crowley Walsh and David Kitt on the course for the mixed team foursomes.
Team Ireland in Buenos Aires comprises of a squad of 16 athletes from 9 sports. The team of 5 male athletes and 11 female athletes includes Nhat Nguyen (Badminton) and Mona McSharry (Swimming), recipients of Olympic Solidarity Scholarships which were awarded to assist with qualification and preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
This is the third edition of the Youth Olympic Games which are hosted every four years. The Games, running from October 6 to October 18 will feature more than 4,000 talented junior athletes aged 15 to 18 from 200 countries in over 32 sports.