Dutton becomes first athlete to grab gold

 18 Aug 2014 - 0:00

Gold medallist Australia’s Brittany Dutton (centre) poses with silver medallist Stephanie Jenks of the US (left) and bronze medallist France’s Emilie Morier after the medal ceremony of the women’s triathlon during the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

NANJING: There are hundreds of medal winners in a championship or meet of multiple sports but it is always the name of the first gold medal winner that remains etched in memory for long.
Australian Brittany Dutton became the proud owner of the maiden golden glory of the Nanjing’s Youth Olympic Games as she claimed the triathlon title.
Dutton finished the event, held at the Xuanwu Lake Venue, in 59 minutes and 56 seconds.
“Throughout the bike I could see that I could probably pull out and I tried it and got away. I decided to hold my lead and it worked,” added Dutton.
She was only half a second ahead of the chasing pack after bike leg but powered to improve the lead in the run before coming home 37 seconds ahead of second-placed Stephanie Jenks of the USA and spoiling her birthday bash.
Still, the silver medal must be a good present for the triathlon specialist Jenks, who was timed in 1:00:33.
“I had confidence in myself that I could do well. It’s so great. It’s a great birthday present too,” Jenks said.
French Emilie Morier bagged the bronze medal, finishing in 1:00.55, beating Germany’s Kristin Ranwig narrowly.
“I’m so happy. It’s a very good race for me, so it’s perfect. I’m exploding inside,” Emilie commented.
Dutton was eighth in the swim leg but finished first in both the bike and run legs. She hit the front on the final corner of the second bike lap, pushing ahead of Minami Kubono of Japan.
 That turned out to be her crucial move as she managed to push a pack of 11 pursuers 30 seconds back and this lead helped her during the remainder of the race.
Earlier, the Japanese triathlete was first out of the water in the 0.75-km leg swim leg, completing it in 10 minutes and five seconds.
She had nearly fallen as the course rope caught her leg when she was coming out of the water. But she quickly regained the balance and was still the first one to reach the bike.
But she was chased down just a couple of seconds later by Canadian Emily Wagner, Venezuelan Katherine Vanesa Clemant Materano and Mexcan Jessica Romero.
Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said they had banned three west African athletes from competing in combat sports and pool events in China as a precaution after the world’s worst outbreak of Ebola which has claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people in the region.
IOC President Thomas Bach said that following the move, taken after discussion with the World Health Organisation, the governments of Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone had opted against allowing their athletes to compete in the 13-day event.
“Two NOCs (Sierra Leone and Liberia) decided together with their government to not come here. We have to respect the decision of the government in such a difficult moment for their country,” the German was quoted as saying by China’s Xinhua.
“We also have been informed that the team of Nigeria wants to go home. Obviously the Nigerian government has decided to send them home,” he said.
“We feel sad for the athletes as it will be extremely difficult for them. They already felt the excitement of living in the Village and now they have to leave - that’s a very difficult task.”
Xinhua also quoted an unnamed official of the Youth Olympics Organising Committee saying they were “appreciative of and grateful” that the trio withdrew.
“On behalf of other delegations and their athletes, I hereby extend to them the heart-felt respect,” the report said.
Organisers of the second Youth Olympics were also concerned about adverse weather in Eastern China over the fortnight disrupting competition for the athletes, who are between aged 14 and 18.
“There is the possibility the city could face frequent rainy days, electrical storms and occasional occurrences of haze and possibly typhoons,” the Nanjing 2014 Meteorological Services Centre said.