Australia has added another two medals to their tally on the penultimate day of the athletics competition at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.
In a see-sawing long jump competition Josh Cowley has taken silver, while earlier in the day, Jaylah Hancock-Cameron clinched silver overall after a solid cross country performance.
It could not have been more dramatic. Coming into the long jump competition Josh Cowley held a six centimetre advantage over Cuban Lester Alcides Lescay Gay, courtesy of his wind assisted 7.71m leap in stage 1.
But that was quickly eroded when Lescay Gay opened with 7.62m, surpassing Cowley’s first round leap of 7.52m. But then Cowley launched himself out to 7.82m (+1.5m/s) to sieze back the lead, but it was only momentarily as Lescay Gay responded with a heavily wind assisted leap of 7.89m (+4.5m/s), to hold a mere 1cm lead.
Could Cowley respond again? Yes, but it would not quite be enough, hitting a brilliant 7.80m leapt.
Cowley was satisfield with his performance
“Super happy to come home with a silver, wasn’t quite the gold but I’m really happy with how I went,” he said.
“It was a team effort with Stacey Taurima my coach. He and I have been working on getting those little things right and over the years we have learned when you need to perform, you just have too.”
Cowley arrived in Buenos Aires with a PB of 7.52m and leaves with a new lifetime best of 7.82m as he moves into the top-10 juniors (U20) in Australian history.
The fluctuating temperatures in Buenos Aires saw a warm 29 degrees greet the cross-country competitors on day five of the athletics competition. The highly competitive races included the track athletes from the three events - 1500m, 3000m and steeplechase, all held a few days earlier.
Jaylah Hancock-Cameron was in a good position to finish on the podium after placing second in stage 1, the 1500m, in a personal best time. Mixing it with dozens of Africans, Hancock-Cameron placed fourth amongst her 1500m competitors and overall claimed the silver medal.
She had found the cross country course a challenge.
“It was bumpy all the way around and towards one of the back corners there was sand, so you had to take that a bit slower so you didn’t slip,” she said.
“It was hard on your legs, but I was thinking it would be harder than it actually was.”
Maybe inspired by her team mate, Oscar Miers who won silver in the high jump the day prior, Lizzie Moss, cleared an equal PB of 1.82m to place third and finish overall fourth, just missing the medals by 3cm.
In today’s competition, she gave herself every chance of finishing on the podium with a clean sheet all the way to a 1.82m, before missing 1.85m.
Also competing in the cross country, their stage 2 event, were Luke Young and Jamie Hiscock. Both placed 26th overall in the cross country and both wound up fifth overall after competing in the 1500m and 2000m steeplechase respectively.
Hiscock was suffering after the race due to the heat.
“I had a lot of hydration (after the race), the heat got to me a bit.”
Hiscock had a race plan and push hard during the race.
“Going into the race I really wanted to move up two places, by defeating the French and Sri Lankan athletes to get into the medal position. So I went out hard with the Kenyans and gave it everything.
“It was five laps of a 800m course, full of turns and we went out quick and I gave it a crack.”
Luke Young, who also ran the challenging cross country revealed, a little Australian advantange engineered by team coach Ben Norton.
“We ran on it (the course) on a few days giving us an advantage over other athletes.”
In the women’s hammer throw Rochelle Vidler maintained her consistent form placing 12th, after earlier in the week finishing 11th. Battling a sore back today she threw 56.45m on her second attempt.
A hamstring problem in the leadup had hampered Anthony Vlatko but he had a real crack in the 800m stage 2/final, leading most of the first lap. He eventually finished eighth in 1:54.34 and overall was also eighth.
“I wanted to made top-8 so I achieved my goal, but unfortunately the final didn’t go as I wanted it to.”
Tomorrow morning there is one final athlete to compete, Tom Throssell in the 400m hurdles, details are:
· Thomas Throssell - 400m hurdles (stage 1, 4th 54.22, overall #9) 05:40 AEDT
David Tarbotton for Athletics Australia