Kiwis conclude Youth Olympics with 69 medals
New Zealand's 156-strong team has ended the Australian Youth Olympic festival in Sydney with 69 medals after adding 15 on the final day of competition yesterday.
Medals were claimed in rowing, wrestling, cycling, golf and swimming to conclude the five-day extravaganza as the Kiwi contingent tallied 11 gold, 25 silver and 33 bronze medals from the 1700-athlete, 30-nation event.
Invercargill's Jeremy Presbury, 17, picked up his second gold of the competition in yesterday's men's sprint, having won gold in the men's Keirin race earlier in the week as well as being part of the men's silver medal-winning sprint team. Blenheim's Callum Saunders, 17, collected his third silver in the men's Scratch race to go alongside his medals in the Keirin and men's team sprint.
The rowers finished off their campaign with a gold for the men's four, made up of Andrew Potter, Tom Jenkins (both Napier), Louis van Velthooven and Jefferson Haldane (both Auckland). The women's four and men's eight claimed silver and the men's quadruple scull bronze.
In swimming, Hamilton's Bradlee Ashby backed up his silver medal winning performance in the men's 400m individual medley with a bronze in the 200m individual medley. He also broke his own New Zealand record, which he set late last year, twice during the day. Meanwhile, teammate Natasha Lloyd of Kaiapoi claimed bronze in the 200m breaststroke.
The New Zealand wrestlers picked up five medals with Papamoa's Merinda Bramley, 14, Auckland's Ruth Minturn, 15, Hamilton's Matiu Pouri-Lane, 16, Paraparaumu's Lucy Rutten, 16, and Chance Sullivan, 15, of Wellington, all claiming bronze in their weight categories.
There were also two medals on the golf course, with Te Awamutu's Compton Pikari, 17, picking up two bronze medals, in the men's individual competition and as part of the team event.
The athletes will now be hoping to emulate London Olympic medallists Lisa Carrington, Blair Tuke and Peter Burling, who began their careers at the festival.