YOG Day 1 – Middleditch raced from bottom three to a personal best
Emma competes during the Women's Triathlon Event at Green Park in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
By Justin Kor in Buenos Aires
When Emma Middleditch emerged from the water after the 750m swim leg of the women’s triathlon finals, she found herself in one of the worst possible scenarios at a triathlon race – 30th out of 32 competitors.
“The swim is my weakest leg, so I was just trying to hang on and push. I was hoping I could catch up. Because if this was it, it would be such a shame,” said the 16 year-old.
And she duly recovered in the 20km bike and 5km running course of the race on the opening day of the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG).
She powered her way up 19 places to place 11th overall, setting a personal best of 1:01:04. She was also the fastest Asian at the race.
“That’s what I like about triathlons – it’s never over until the end. You just got to keep hope because anything can happen,” quipped Emma, who started participating in triathlons when she was eight years old.
Her next race will be on Thursday in the mixed team relay. Mixed gender events have always been a special feature of the YOG as the competition looks to promote friendships among athletes.
Emma was not the only Singapore athlete who achieved an individual record. Over in the pool, swimmer Christie Chue also set a personal best of 31.95sec during the heats of the 50m breaststroke, bettering her previous time of 32.38.
She missed out on the finals after placing 13th out of 16 in the semi-final leg.
“Getting a personal best was quite unexpected to me because I haven’t been training much in the breaststroke,” said the 17-year old, who has five more events at the YOG.
“I’ll just take it slow and steady, one race at a time. I’ll be mainly looking to break my own timings, and if possible, make the finals.”
Other Singaporeans in action on day one:
Women’s Singles group stage – Jaslyn Hooi (SGP) beat Svabikova Tereza (CZE) 2-1
Men’s Singles group stage – Joel Koh (SGP) beat Maharjan Rukesh (NEP) 2-0
Women’s (Artistic) Floor exercise qualifications – Tamara Anika Ong ranked 22nd out of 35. Did not make it to the finals.
Windsurfing Women’s Day 1 of 5 – Marsha Shahrin is currently ranked 8th out of 23, after 2 of 12 races
Windsurfing Men’s Day 1 of 5 – Alexander Lim is currently ranked 4th out of 24, after 2 of 12 races
Men’s 100M Breaststroke heats – Maximillian Ang (1.04.24) Finished 19th out of 31. Did not qualify for semi-finals
Mixed 4×100 Freestyle relay – (3:41:47) Singapore finished 12th out of 20. Did not qualify for finals
Men’s Singles group stage – Koen Pang (SGP) beat Solanke Azeez (NGR) 4 – 0
Women’s Singles group stage – Kamath Archana Girish (IND) beat Goi Rui Xuan (SGP) 4-1