Isle of Man News - POSTED Tue 06-09-2011

World class athletes to take part in Commonwealth Youth Games

by Tessa Hawley

World class athletes to take part in Commonwealth Youth Games

SOME of the world's leading athletes and potential stars of the future will take part in this week's Commonwealth Youth Games.


A total of 1,000 athletes from 66 nations will compete across seven sports and include athletes who won medals at the World Junior Championships in July and who could feature in the 2012 Olympic Games.


Leonard Kirwa Kosencha from Kenya won gold in the championships with a time of 1:44.08 breaking the junior world record in a time that would put him at the top of the Great Britain rankings for male senior athletes.


He will be joined in the athletics team by his 800 metre bronze medal winning team mate Timothy Kitum and William Malel Sitonik and Patrick Mutunga Mwika - who took gold and silver respectively in the 3,000 metres in the same championships.


The Kenyans have also selected Norah Jeruto Tanui who won gold in the steeplechase and her bronze medal winning teammate Lilian Jepkorir Chemweno.


A fast race is anticipated in the 400 metres where England’s Clovis Asong, who won at the European Youth Olympic Festival, will line up against Machel Cadieno of Trinidad and Tobago and another leading Kenyan, Alphas leken Kishoyian, who finished runner up in Lille. Clovis was described by the Daily Mail as the UK’s answer to Usain Bolt.


Elliot Safo (long jump) and Sophie Papps (100m) were other English winners at this event, and together with world youth hammer champion Louisa James and Sophie McKinna, who ranks second in the world in the shot, form part of a strong England team.

Scotland's Tom Holligan, the European Youth Olympic Champion, also looks a strong contender for a medal in the 200 metres.

South Africa's team includes several medalists from Lille including 110 metre hurdles champion Andries van der Merwe, javelin runner up Morne Moolman and discus bronze medallist Gerhard de Beer.


England have chosen a strong gymnastics team including 16 year old Dominick Cunningham from Birmingham who took the junior all-around title at the prestigious Gym Sport Tournament in Porto earlier this year and 2010 under 14 British championship Jay Thompson from Devon and bronze medal winner Brinn Bevan, from Essex.


The English girls' gymnastics team will be led by 14 year old Rebecca Tunney from Ashton Under Lyme - the 2011 British junior all-around, bars and floor champion.

Rebecca is part of the British senior squad alongside club teammates Beth Tweddle MBE, a former Commonwealth Youth Games gold medal winner and Hannah Whelan.

She is joined in the team by Abbie Caig, 13, from Liverpool who took an all-around bronze medal in the 2011 British Junior Championships and 14 year old Gabby Jupp from Borehamwood, the 2011 British Junior Beam Champion and silver medal winner in the all-around category. Gaby also competed for Great Britain at the 2011 Youth Olympic Festival winning a silver medal in the beam category.


Malaysia's competitors will top the list of favourites in the badminton. Their star name is Zulfadli Zulfiffli who won the prestigious Asian Junior Singles Championship becoming the first Malaysian to take the title. His teammate Joo Ven Soon is the current Dutch Junior Singles Champion,

Competition in the girls' badminton is also expected to be fierce with a number of high calibre athletes. Pusarla Sindhu from India won the Victor Indonesian International Challenge in 2011 while Tara Pilven from Australia won the Oceania Junior Singles in 2011.
England's Holly Smith is expected to feature in both the ladies and mixed doubles. She is the current Italian Junior International Open Champion, which she won with Rhys Walker and, partnering Sophie Brown, won the ladies doubles title in both the Portuguese and Italian Junior Open International Tournaments.
A number of the world's leading rugby nations have confirmed their participation in the sevens tournament. Heading the list of teams are Australia and South Africa both of whom have strong heritage in senior and junior world rugby. England and Scotland will be hoping to provide a strong test while the Isle of Man, Canada, Sri Lanka and Trinidad and Tobago will all be hoping to make their mark.


Tickets for all events can be purchased from the Welcome Centre in the Sea Terminal, Douglas and the Villa Marina reception. Alternatively they can be bought over the telephone by calling 01624 600555.

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