Team GB are guaranteed three Youth Olympic boxing medals after Ivan Hope Price, Karol Itauma and Caroline Dubois all recorded semi-final victories on day 10 at Buenos Aires 2018.
Defeat for light welterweight Hassan Azim prevented a clean sweep of finals for British boxers in Argentina but the 17-year-old still has a chance of a medal when he fights Morocco’s Mohammed Boulaouja for bronze on Thursday.
Hope Price goes for gold tomorrow against Thailand’s Sarawut Sukthet while Itauma will face European champion Ruslan Kolesnikov of Russia on Thursday, the same day as Dubois fights Porntip Buapa, also of Thailand.
Hope Price got the action off to the best possible start in the early afternoon, with a unanimous points victory over Irishman Dean Clancy in the men’s flyweight.
Then Itauma followed suit, defeating Youssef Ali of Egypt with all judges giving the fight to the Kent-based light heavyweight.
“That was a lot better than yesterday [quarter-final win],” said Hope Price. “I beat him [Clancy] in the European finals so he’s a good boxer but I listened to my corner and adapted and thank god it all paid off.
“One of my best assets in boxing is my footwork so I just tried to get my feet going and flowing. Yesterday I was a bit stiff but today was a lot sharper and I didn’t get hit as much – I was much quicker and too elusive for him.
“It’s good to win and secure that Youth Olympic medal but for me my mindset at the start was to come here and win gold.”
“I’ve boxed him [Ruslan Kolesnikov, Itauma’s gold medal opponent] before in the European final,” added Itauma.
“He’s tough, he’s experienced – the world champion, and I know it’s not going to be an easy fight. Since we met in the Europeans, I’ve improved. I’ve got stronger and I’m a lot smarter and I think that’s going to help me a lot.”
Dubois, who is now undefeated in 34 fights, was the third and final Team GB boxer to book her place in the gold medal bout, defeating home favourite Oriana Saputo with a unanimous victory in front of a noisy, partisan crowd in the Youth Olympic Park.
“I feel really good after that. I’m excited to get to a final and to get to perform in front of all these people. It’s been amazing here and I’m enjoying every second. I’ve never boxed in an atmosphere like that before and I pray that I get the chance to do it again on a level like this.
“I paced myself well. I knew this girl was going to come forward and come forward, that’s what she does in all her fights. Credit to her but I had an amazing game plan to fight her and I did what I need to do.
“I’ve never fought her [Buapa] before, she lost in the semi-finals of the Worlds when I fought the winner but I’m just excited to get out there.”
Team GB’s cycling pairing of Harriet Harnden and Anna McGorum moved into the bronze medal position in the team event following a second place for the former in today’s cross-country short circuit.
Harnden was only beaten by Austria’s Laura Stigger, with the pair working together in the final to see off the Danish duo of Sofie Pedersen and Mie Saaybe, who were third and fourth respectively.
That gave Harnden 80 points to add to the team’s total and, with McGorum coming home in 13th and earning a further four points, the pair lie third with 179 on the board, a long way off Denmark and Austria but 24 clear off Hungary in fourth.
“I’m still on a bit of a high to be honest,” said Harnden immediately after the race.
“After yesterday we had a fair idea who’d be the stronger riders and obviously the Danes are absolutely flying. Me and Laura [Stigger] decided to try to work together as a bit of team against them and that worked out really well.”
“The couple of teams up the top are really far ahead but the bronze is up for grabs and that really spurs you on,” added McGourm.
In the men’s event, Britain’s men slipped from third to fifth after adding 36 points in their cross-country event. Harry Birchill, who won yesterday’s eliminator, was sixth today with teammate Sean Flynn coming home in 12th.
The boys have 153 points to their name after four of the five events, 21 short of Hungary who occupy the third and final medal position.
The cyclists return to the road tomorrow after two days of mountain bike racing, with the medals being awarded following the conclusion of the criterium race.
Alyssia Tromans-Ansell’s Youth Olympics came to an end in the second round of the individual archery.
The 17-year-old had seen off Nicole Marie Tagle of the Philippines yesterday but came up short against Mexico’s Valentina Vazquez Cadena, eventually losing 7-1.
But the Staffordshire archer was pleased with her performance, which saw her lose two sets by only one point and shoot 106 to Vazquez Cadena’s 111.
“My shots were strong and I did the best that I could do,” said Tromans-Ansell.
“I aimed off when I needed to and my power was towards the target – they were good shots so I couldn’t really do much more than I did.
“I was really happy with yesterday’s performance. I didn’t have to think too much about the arrows and that showed that I can shoot 10s and I can win.
“I’m hoping this is the first of many Olympic experiences for me. The set up here is very similar to an Olympic competition so that’s certainly a positive to take from this.
“It’s amazing being here. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m really glad I got selected.”
The modern pentathlon competition finished with the mixed team event as Team GB’s Annabel Denton and Toby Price went head-to-head partnering with athletes from other nationalities.
And it was Denton who won the British battle, finishing in fifth alongside Zhonghao Zhao of China with Price two places back with Switzerland’s Anna Jurt.
The 15-year-old, who finished eighth in the individual event despite being one of the youngest in the field, was delighted to end the Games on a high,
“I’m so happy with how I performed – it was a really good joint result, and together with my teammate we were able to place higher than how we started the laser-run.
“I shot so much better than I did in the individual event and I ran a lot faster so I’m extremely happy with the fifth place.
“The team event is something very new to me, especially in an international event – it was a great experience and I’ll learn lots from it.
“I’m very happy with my overall performance, I gave it my all. I never thought I’d be able to compete on this stage, but I have and it’s exceeded my expectations. It’s been an amazing experience and I will hopefully have a great future ahead of me.”
Image credit: Team GB/Lumix UK