Blue Mountains athletes won three medals at the recent Australian Youth Olympic Festival which featured more than 1700 competitors from 30 nations.
Katoomba’s Lachlan Tremble, 18, shot his way to success in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol event at the Sydney International Shooting Centre, winning a silver medal for Australia. His podium finish was a comeback performance after he finished 11th and out of finals contention in the men’s 10m air pistol.
The talented junior shooter and Katoomba High School graduate was in a gold medal shoot-out with Great Britain’s Kristian Callaghan after both competitors achieved total scores of seven.
Callaghan scored one extra shot in the shoot-out to snatch the gold medal while Canadian Jeremy Gyoerick received bronze.
Tremble was pleased with his performance after facing a few stumbling blocks in the qualification round due to equipment malfunctions and a dose of nerves.
“In the heat I felt the full pressure of being in an international competition but by the end of the second round I got more control and I shot well in the final,” he said.
“I missed a shot by just one or two millimetres in the shootout for gold, but it was an awesome feeling to win silver.
“Afterwards I swapped jerseys with him (Callaghan).”
In his final event on day four, Tremble qualified for the men’s 50m pistol final and finished in seventh place.
Katoomba High School student Kayla Tompkins, 17, finished sixth in her only event, the women’s 10m air pistol.
Blaxland High School Year 11 student Noemie Fox won gold in the women’s single kayak (K1) and a bronze in the women’s single canoe (C1) while being cheered on from the sidelines by her older sister Jessica, a former Youth Olympics K1 champion who went on to win silver at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Noemie, 15, started her K1 campaign by finishing second in the qualifying heat just 13-hundredths of a second behind fellow Aussie Kate Eckhardt.
The Penrith resident’s talent and strong determination helped her to secure first position by a convincing 2.12 seconds when it counted in the final, ahead of New Zealand’s Jessica Bailey and China’s Yinou Zhang.
Jessica personally awarded Noemie the gold medal on the podium with a warm, sisterly “congratulations.”
Apart from competing, Fox, Tremble and Tompkins enjoyed their first taste of the spirit of an Olympic Games-style event, complete with opening ceremony held at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.
“I got to bunk with other Australian team members in the Games village where there was a tremendous spirit and I got to meet athletes from all over the world,” Tremble said.
“We marched under the Aussie flag at the opening ceremony, which is something I will remember for the rest of my life.”
The Australian Youth Olympic Festival was held from January 16-20.