UCI Trials World Youth Games: medals for six countries
Courage and strength were among the qualities displayed by talented young athletes who gathered from all over the world for the UCI Trials World Youth Games in Zawiercie, Poland.
As they did in 2013, Spain won two titles, while France and Germany took one gold medal each. Japan won its first title during the Polish Games, which took place from August 1 to 3.
The preliminary rounds on Saturday saw 12 boys qualify for the battle for victory in the categories Poussins, Benjamins, Minimes and Cadets. In the girls’ competition, eight athletes made it through to the finals. No fewer than 10 nations had at least one athlete in the finals. Spain and Germany, each with 14 finalists, were the best represented, followed by France (10 finalists).
Spain’s Marti Yelamos was the winner in the Poussins category thanks to a second round worthy of a champion. Another Spanish contender, Nil Benitez, finished second, with just three more penalty points than Yelamos and three less than Hugo Serieys (France) who took bronze. Competing at an international level for the first time, these young athletes impressed with their skills and mental strength.
In winning the Benjamins category, the Japanese Seiya Ujikawa offered his country its first-ever title in this leading competition for young trials specialists. But it was a tight battle, as he finished in a tie with Britain’s Adam Morewood. The regulations state that in such a case, the semi-final result must be taken into account. As Ujikawa beat Morewood in the semi-final, he wins the gold medal. Two Spanish athletes, Toni Guillen and Alan Rovira also finished equal in the fight for third, but it was Guillen who had the advantage to claim bronze.
Another Spanish participant, Alejandro Montalvo, made the difference from the first round in the Minimes competition. He beat France’s François Vallon who never managed to make up his deficit. Only 2 points separated the two. Belgium’s Romain Leonard claimed the third spot on the podium and his fourth world medal since 2010.
France’s Nicolas Vallée, already successful in the World Cup, easily won the Cadets category. Third last year in this category, he had already got a taste of gold in 2012 when he won the Minimes competition. His French rival Noah Cardona, winner of the Minimes last year, took silver in his first year as a Cadet. Spain’s Sebastian Ruiz finished third, in front of three fellow Spanish competitors.
Germany’s Nina Reichenbach, two-times champion in the girls’ competition and who has won a World Cup round this year, easily won in Zawiercie. She finished in front of another German, Larena Hees. Spain’s Carla Caballe, second in 2013, finished third this year.
At the end of the weekend, Spain was easily in the lead of the medals table with six medals including two gold and at least one medal in each category. France follows with four medals (one gold) then Germany two medals (one gold), Japan one medal (gold), Great Britain (one silver) and Belgium (one bronze).