Michelle Jenneke has won Australia’s first athletics medal at the Youth Olympic Games with a blistering run in the 100m hurdles final.
The 17-year-old won the silver medal in a big personal best of 13.46, behind Russian Ekaterina Bleskina in 13.34.
Switzerland’s Noemi Zbaeren, who was neck-and-neck with the Australian over the 10 hurdles, won the bronze in 13.50.
Jenneke, who is one of the most bubbly athletes on the Australian Youth Olympics Team on a normal day, could hardly contain her excitement.
“I’m so excited, I’m almost speechless, I’m so happy,” she said after producing her dream performance.
Jenneke, from lane six, got a brilliant start and maintained her technique under pressure. Bleskina, the pre-race favourite in lane three, was always just in front.
“I got away well with the other girls and I felt like I kept gradually pulling away towards the end,” she said.
“I wasn’t nervous I was just excited and I felt great warming-up. It made a big difference having familiar faces in the crowd.
“I really want to thank my coach and all my family for being here and for all their support.”
Jenneke, coached by Mick Zisti at Cherrybrook Athletics Club in Sydney since she was 10, came into the championships with a personal best of 13.79 seconds. She lowered this to 13.65 in the heat and by a further 0.19 seconds today.
“It’s hot so it's fast conditions and I had so much adrenaline but I didn’t think it was that fast.
“I had hoped to break 13.60 today but to run 13.46 is fantastic.”
In the following race, Victorian 400m runner Luke Greco ran well to place second in the C final with a time of 50.76 seconds.
It was a more relaxed and improved performance from Greco’s heat run a few days ago.
“I’m happy with that it was a bit better than the other day,” Greco said.
“I’ve only trained for four weeks as I got called up late for the team so to be running these sort of times at this time in the season is pretty good.
Greco also enjoyed a lot of crowd support.
“My family and aunty and uncle are here so a big shout out to them for coming. The whole experience has been amazing and a lot of fun.”
Four more Australians feature in finals tonight including Nick Hough (110m hurdles), Liz Parnov (pole vault) and Brandon Starc (high jump) who are all chasing gold.
With thanks to Andrew Reid and the AOC
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