Australia’s success across all cycling disciplines has continued on the final day of competition, with eight medals, including five golds, while athletics wrapped up the final day of competition in style.
Noah Blannin (QLD) secured the first medal of the day in the Men’s Points Race, claiming Bronze with 14 points, whilst Sam McKee (TAS) finished 10th on four points.
McKee’s turn came in the Men’s Scratch Race, as he sprinted to Gold off the back of Blannin’s wheel. His victory completed a clean sweep for Australia’s cycling cohort, with each member securing a medal during the games.
“Super stoked to come away with Gold in my last event with not much success in others, so feels really good,” said McKee.
Setting a new track record, Liliya Tatarinoff (NSW) claimed her maiden gold medal of the campaign, clocking 36.023 in the Women’s 500m Time Trial. She also added another Bronze in the Women’s Keirin to take her total medal count to three.
Trailing at each interval of the Time Trial, Tatarinoff said “[she] was just trying to hold the pace of the first lap” to beat Sarah Johnson’s (Scotland) time of 36.214.
Not to be outdone, self-proclaimed ‘Ginger Ninja’ Tayte Ryan (SA) added to his gold medal by claiming victory in the Men’s Kilo Time Trial in a time of 1.03.663. He later completed his sweep of sprint events by taking first in the Men’s Keirin to make it three Golds.
“I knew it would be tough to back up two races, but I’m really pleased how I’ve performed at these games. I’m over the moon with these results… this has been such an awesome experience,” said Ryan.
The Women’s 2000m Individual Pursuit was a battle between Australia’s two most successful cyclists of the games, with Lauren Bates (ACT) and Keira Will (NSW) racing for Gold after qualifying 0.001 seconds apart. Ultimately it was Will who crossed the line first in a time of 2:28.149, with Bates 0.463 behind.
The race wraps up the games for the two cyclists, with Bates and Will medalling in all of their events.
“The games have been very special, I’m thrilled to represent my country and to do it with one of my friends is awesome. We’ve known each other a long time now and raced since we were little kids, so to do it together is special,” added Bates.
Jackson Love (NSW) and Toby Stolberg (Qld) have rounded out Australia’s athletics campaign at Trinbago 2023 with gold.
Competing in the men’s T38 long jump for athletes with cerebral palsy, Love becomes the first green and gold charge to win a para-sport crown at the Commonwealth Youth Games and heads home with two personal bests and two medals.
His 4.86m (w: +2.7) was enough to ensure the victory, edging out his compatriot and silver medallist Ori Drabkin (Vic, 4.55m). Drabkin’s best leap came in the final of six rounds, settling into competition after two fouls to begin proceedings.
“I thought I was going to go behind five metres at one stage but just couldn’t get it done in the conditions. We’ve been training for the tail wind and just moving the run back a little, going with the flow,” Love said.
“I’d love to be staying for more competition. It’s so good to be here alongside all athletes.”
“It wasn’t easy out there, but we made adjustments as needed and got a legal jump in with the third attempt for my own sanity,” Drabkin added.
“It’s a credit to Trinbago for welcoming para-athletes. Everyone here is cheering for able-bodied and para-athletics the same, which shows they’re enjoying it as much as we are.”
Stolberg’s success came from the women’s high jump final, with the Australian all-schools champion clearing 1.78m on her second attempt to jump into the lead. She entered the competition at 1.70m, making light work of her opening height before a follow-up jump of 1.75m ahead of her winning height.
“I wasn’t happy with the height, but completely shocked that I’ve won the gold medal. I wasn’t expecting it, so it’s strange to have mixed emotions,” Stolberg said.
“I hope to qualify for world juniors now, I’m aiming for top-five but I need to make the team first.”
She shared the dais with Thea Brown (1.78m) of England and her teammate Izobelle Louison-Roe (1.78m), with the trio split on countback.
“It was a great atmosphere out there. I’ve had so much fun. I’m not sure that I want to go home, I’m loving this heat and all that the Games have given me,” Louison-Roe said.
Competing in the women’s 800m final after automatically progressing through the heats, Fleur Cooper (NSW) won bronze in a time of 2:05.86.
Cooper was among a congested pack at the 500m mark when Ugandan athlete Brenda Chekwemoi stumbled, providing a gap that allowed the 15-year-old to charge to the line to claim third behind Pheobe Gill (gold, 2:02.30) of England and Asha Barla (silver, 2:04.99) of India.
“I got boxed in a couple of times but in the end, I had enough energy to sprint,” Cooper said.
“I was pretty scared when the Ugandan girl fell over and I didn’t want that to happen to me. I had to get in a good spot, and I did.”
“I’ve got my mother and brother here with me, and it’s so good to share this with them. My friends at home are up watching, so hopefully there as happy as me.”
The mixed 4x400m relay team rounded out the medals, crossing for bronze in 3:26.33 behind Guyana (gold, 3:22.07) and England (silver, 3:22.29) respectively.
Grace Krause (NSW) also took to the track for the women’s 200m final, placing seventh (24.46) to add to the bronze medal she won in the women’s long jump behind Delta Amidzovski (NSW).
In the men’s and women’s 3000m finals, Ky Hehir (WA, 8:25.81) and Grace Vincent (Vic, 10:02.60) placed fourth and sixth respectively, as Kenya won double gold in the longest event on the program.