Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Leander athletes strike gold down under at Youth Olympic Festival

ALL three Leander athletes returned with gold medals from last weekend’s Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney, writesRobert Treharne Jones.

ALL three Leander athletes returned with gold medals from last weekend’s Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney, writesRobert Treharne Jones.

Racing over 2,000m at the Penrith Lakes course, venue for the 2000 Olympic regatta, Jack Beaumont opened his account in fine form in the men’s single sculls, beating Luke Moon of Tideway Scullers into second place, to complete gold and silver for Great Britain.

Next up were Ben Board and Jamie Copus who finished on top of the podium after coming from behind to take victory in the lightweight men’s double sculls.

Their win prompted team manager Richard Boulton to liken them to the 2008 Olympic champions, Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase.

Boulton said: “It was a very exciting race and reminiscent of Hunter and Purchase’s 2011 World Championships victory ahead of New Zealand.”

Speaking after his win, Copus, a 2011 World Junior Championships silver medallist in the eight, said: “We knew that if we rowed well we would have a very, very good chance of winning. So we stuck to our guns and just held on there and when we chose the moment to go we just went and didn’t stop until we were ahead.”

Not content with their wins the three athletes doubled up to contest the bigger boat classes, as the regatta rules demand, to take silver in the men’s quads and bronze in the men’s eight, in which they joined forces with athletes from Oxford Brookes University.

The festival, held every four years at the Sydney Olympic venues across 17 sports, including rowing, has seen past winners go on to become Olympic champions.

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