Richmond fail to defend Youth Games crown

Streatham Guardian: Solid defence: Richmond's hockey girls clear their lines at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre last week Solid defence: Richmond's hockey girls clear their lines at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre last week

Richmond cyclist Anthony Anderson proved age is nothing but a number as he collected gold at the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games finals weekend in Crystal Palace, writes Nick Atkin.

The 13-year-old was once again strutting his stuff at Europe’s largest annual sports event, having picked up gold in last year’s junior cycling competition.

And, although this time Anderson was classed as a senior, the result was the same as he helped Richmond finish top of the cycling pile for the second successive year.

But Anderson insisted he was far from done yet, already looking at next year’s competition with the tantalising prospect of a hat-trick hanging there for him.

“I am delighted to have won gold for Richmond, it was a really good achievement by everyone in the team,” said Anderson.

“I won here last year but that was as a junior so it was nice to come back and win it as a senior.

“But it wasn’t just winning the medal that was pleasing as I also got a pretty good time so that makes it even better. I can come back next year so I will be looking to make it three golds to really complete the set.”

Despite Anderson’s best efforts Richmond were not able to hold on to their Jubilee Trophy, after finishing fourth overall as Croydon took home the main prize this time around.

However there was still plenty for the borough to shout about over finals weekend as they finished second in archery and aquathlon, while there was gold in the girls’ tag rugby.

Asija Zeidaks was one of Richmond’s archers to shine, taking home gold in the girls’ short Windsor as well as the shootout head-to-head trophy.

“I normally just get one medal at most but it was a really good event for me and it’s one of the competitions I love to come to every year. We have a great team,” said 13-year-old Zeidaks.

“I just want to carry on and try to get better. If I had a chance to compete at the Olympics then I would go for it, but I have a few years yet.”

Balfour Beatty has agreed to support the London Youth Games through to at least 2015, meaning a total contribution of £2.5m since 2007.

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