Swimmers kickstart medal haul with great night at the pool
9 October 2018
BUENOS AIRES 2018: Australia has won its first medals of the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, with three silvers and a bronze at the pool on Monday night.
16-year-old Queenslander Michaela Ryan kickstarted Australia’s medal haul with bronze in the 200m butterfly, followed by silver to Chelsea Hodges (50m breaststroke), Kaylee McKeown (100m backstroke) and the women’s 4 x 100m medley relay.
16-year-old Ryan was ecstatic to take out Australia’s first medal of the Games – made even more impressive by doing it from Lane 1 after sneaking into the final.
“That was amazing, I was not expecting that at all,” she said. “Being in Lane 1 was a challenge, but I couldn’t be happier with that result,” Ryan said, who won bronze in a time of 2:13.12 behind Blanka Berecz on Hungary (2:10.37) and South Africa’s Dune Coetzee (2:11.71).
“It was amazing being the first Aussie to be on the podium here in Buenos Aires.”
Queenslander Hodges touched in 31.42 in the 50m breaststroke to claim silver, pipped by Lithuania’s Ange Selekaite by just 0.05.
“To come away with silver – I couldn’t ask for anything better,” she said. “My parents are up in the crowd and I know mum’s probably crying.
“Seeing the Aussie flag raised from the podium and hearing the Aussies cheering in the crowd brought up a lot of emotions. I’ve been training for so many years and it was so special being up there on the dais.”
McKeown brought home Australia’s third medal in the 100m backstroke in a time of 1:00.58, behind Russia’s Daria Vaskina who won gold in 1:00.44.
There were less than five minutes between McKeown being awarded her silver medal and jumping back in the pool to lead the women’s 4x100m medley to another silver.
The medley team included all three medallists, anchored by Abbey Webb who qualified for the 100m final in her semi-final earlier in the evening, meaning all four girls were backing up with their second swim of the night.
After leading for most of the race, the Aussies were pipped on the line by China by 0.28 seconds.
“It was such a great experience racing alongside these girls,” McKeown said.
“It’s a challenge to take on but we managed to do our best to get back up. It was a great experience and we picked each other up to win another medal for Australia.”