After the excitement of the spectacular Opening Ceremony it was down to business as Team GB competed across six sports on day one.
The first Team GB athlete to complete an event at Buenos Aires 2018 was triathlete Libby Coleman, who finished the women’s event in 23rd place.
Coleman, from Kirkby-in-Ashfield, was sitting in 13th place following the swim and safely in the main pack during the cycle leg of the sprint race.
The 17-year-old couldn’t bridge the gap to the leaders during the 5km run though and admitted her disappointment at the end of the race.
“It was a really tough race today with a lot of top girls in the field,” said Coleman. “It was first race in a world-class field and it just wasn’t my day but I can take away the great experience of the race but also being here at this event.
“Now I know what it like to be disappointed and I know I don’t want to be in this position again.”
In the BMX Racing Ross Cullen and Elissa Bradford were representing Team GB in the mixed team event. Two semi-finals of eight were split across three heats with the top four in each semi-final progressing to the final.
After a fourth place for Cullen, he followed up with two second places, securing his place in the boy’s final. Three fifth places for Bradford meant she missed out on the final.
Preston-born Cullen entered the final as one of the fancied riders, however, a slow start meant he found it difficult to recover and eventually finished in seventh.
“Sometimes the racing doesn’t go to plan but I was still happy with some of the laps I put in and pretty happy with my overall performance.
“I was feeling good going in to the final, the hot weather and the short rest didn’t help but I was still confident that I was capable but BMX can be such a savage sport and sometimes it just doesn’t go your way.”
The pair finished 10th overall, and Bradford was disappointed they couldn’t have had more. “I wish I could have ridden better. I was disappointed with how it went but that’s racing. There will definitely be things I want to work on after these Games.”
Theo Darlow and Michael Dalton enjoyed an impressive start to their rowing men’s pair campaign, finishing the opening day time trial in first place.
The duo completed in the 500m course in 3:19.03, 1.34 clear of the Argentina pair in second with the heats starting tomorrow. In the women’s single sculls, Georgina Robinson Ranger finished 10th fastest in her time trial in 4:01.25, 12.62 off local home favourite Maria Ordas.
Over at the Youth Olympic Park, Amelie Morgan and Adam Tobin both booked places in the artistic gymnastics finals on the first day of qualifications. Morgan qualified in fourth on the floor with 12.966, while Tobin will contest the men’s floor and pommel finals on Saturday.
Team GB’s acrobatic combination of Clyde Gembickas and Sophia Imrie-Gale safely progressed into their mixed pair final after coming through qualifying in sixth.
The Kent based pair negotiated their balance, dynamic and combined routines to finish with a total score of 80.960, just 1.110 behind qualification winners Israel. Gembickas and Imrie-Gale will bid for the medals on Monday 15th.
Elsewhere there were opening group stage wins for both Team GB badminton players as Grace King beat Nazlican Inci of Turkey 21-17, 17-21, 21-16 while Chris Grimley easily overcame New Zealand’s Oscar Gup 21-8, 21-14.
Finally, Team GB’s sailors were competing in the Techno 293+. Finn Hawkins secured two fourth placed finishes in Race 1 and 2, whilst Islay Watson finished 17th and 14th respectively.
Day two at Buenos Aires 2018 sees Team GB compete for two medals. Calum Young takes to the start line in the men’s triathlon while reigning world junior taekwondo champion Aaliyah Powell bids to become GB’s first medallist at the Games in the women’s -49kg event.
GB Judo added seven medals to their 2018 Glasgow European Open haul on Sunday 7 October at the Emirates Arena.
The two silvers and five bronze medals won today, in addition to the two gold medals from Saturday, meant that GB Judo finished second in the medal table behind France.
Shelley Ludford (-78kg) and Stuart McWatt (-81kg) both lost out in close finals to Ilona Lucassen (NED) and Shamil Borchashvili (AUT) respectively.
Ludford was fighting in her first European Open and has been at -78kg for less than a year. The 19 year old from Basingstoke had little trouble against Australia’s Melanie Wallis as she threw her waza-ari and finished the fight in osaekomi.
Her newaza came to the fore in her next two contests as she forced both Laia Talarn (ESP) and Anett Meszaros (HUN) to tap from shime-waza (strangles).
This setup a final against Lucassen and the Dutch judoka took the win thanks to a single waza-ari score.
Despite missing out on gold, Ludford was not too disheartened with the result:
“I’m really happy with my performance today, especially my semi fight, beating the Hungarian, I was really happy with that.
“I won a lot in newaza today but just shows that my technical sessions are working.
“I didn’t expect to get into the final. I know it’s bad, but I literally didn’t have any nerves the night before. I just wanted to go out there, perform my best and I did.”
Inverurie judoka McWatt had won bronze at the Glasgow European Open three years ago but had missed large parts of 2016 and 2017 due to back to back ACL knee injuries.
McWatt had to grind out his opening fight against Netherlands’ Thomas Snijders with a waza-ari proving decisive.
His next fight against Adam Borchashvili (AUT) was ended with just over a minute left as McWatt scored for waza-ari twice.
He then had to go to golden score against Hungary’s former European Championships medallist Szabolcs Krizsan, once again a single waza-ari giving the win to the British fighter.
McWatt controlled large parts of his final against Shamil Borchashvili but made an error in golden score and was thrown for ippon by the Austrian judoka.
The 21 year old was disappointed to have missed out on gold in front of a home crowd but was pleased to have medalled.
“Getting to the final, having a chance to fight for gold and then you almost you lose to get silver, it was hard.
“Especially because I thought I fought a pretty good fight in the final and it was a small mistake.
“But to come here, back to Glasgow, get a medal at a Continental Open, really proud of myself today for performing quite well.”
Jemima Yeats-Brown joined Ludford on the -78kg medal rostrum as she won bronze.
The Kent judoka has now won senior world ranking medals at three different weight categories (-63kg, -70kg and -78kg) and has only been at the heavier weight since May.
Yeats-Brown went to golden score in her medal fight against Giorgia Stangherlin (ITA) and with just under five minutes on the clock she was able to throw the Italian for waza-ari.
Young Emily Ritchie (+78kg) was the youngest medal winner for GB this weekend at just 17.
Ritchie started her day well with a comeback win over Patricia Ferrer Bartulos (ESP), throwing the Spaniard for ippon.
She was due to fight fellow GB judoka Sarah Hawkes for bronze but Hawkes was unable to fight due to injury.
At -90kg Jamal Petgrave won his first senior world ranking medal with bronze.
The former Junior European silver medallist had missed the last two to three months of competition due to injury but was able to grind out the bronze medal fight against Bas Van Empelen (NED).
The Westcroft judoka threw Van Empelen for a second waza-ari with little under a minute left to secure his podium finish.
Rhys Thompson (-100kg) has had his fair share of injury troubles in recent times, including ACL surgery.
The Bath judoka was fighting for only the third time this year but performed brilliantly in his bronze medal contest as he threw Emil Mattsson (SWE) twice for waza-ari inside 90 seconds.
Adam Hall won an all-British bronze medal fight at +100kg as he beat Wesley Greenidge in golden score.
Hall used his experience well as he countered Greenidge for waza-ari.