New Zealand’s Bobbi Gichard and Australia’s Clyde Lewis led a charge from Oceania at the opening day of the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa.
Gichard led a kiwi 1-2 finish in the girls 100 back, topping her teammate and Junior World Champ Gabrielle Fa’Amausili. Gichard was 1:00.51, just about a tenth off what she went in taking fourth at Junior Worlds, and Fa’Amausili was 1:00.86, only about a tenth off her finals time from Worlds as well.
Lewis, meanwhile, added a gold and a silver medal on day 1 in back-to-back events. The Junior World Champ in the 200 IM, Lewis took on the 200 free and 100 back in Samoa. First, he won the 200 free in a blazing 1:48.88, a time that would have earned him fourth at Junior Worlds, had he swum the event. Shortly after, he took second in the 100 back, going 56.19.
Northern Ireland’s Conor Ferguson won that event, putting up a 55.87.
Oceanic swimmers also swept the 200 fly races on day 1. New Zealand’s Wilrich Coetzee won the boys event in a touchout, narrowly topping India’s Supriya Mondal 2:01.85 to 2:01.94. In the girls race, Australia’s Gemma Cooney won easily in 2:13.51.
Other event winners:
- Opening night also featured the sprint-distance 50 fly. Zane Waddell of South Africa won the boys event in 24.52.
- South Africa made it a sweep of the 50 fly with Erin Paige Gallagher going 27.20 to win the girls event.
- Only four boys entered the 1500 free, and the gold went to England’s Tom Derbyshire in 15:31.18.
- The night closed with the mixed 4×50 medley relay. South Africa took gold followed by New Zealand and Northern Ireland, though splits were not available.