Amy Harding-Delooze has won the first gold medal for Australia during day one of the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa.
The Year 11 student at St Clare’s College Waverley and talented middle-distance runner placed first in the 1500 metre event at the Games on September 7 with a time of 4.18.02. Ugandan competitors Peruth Chemutai and Janat Chemusto placed second and third. Amy was selected to the 26-strong Australian athletics squad along with twin sister Lily in April. Both will compete in the Games’ 800 metre final on Wednesday, September 9. Amy went to the Games an Australian record holder in the Under 18’s 1500 metre event. Her medal-winning run in Samoa’s capital, Apia, has shaved a little over three seconds off that time.
Amy and Lily share an interest in dance, surfing, music and swimming, and will study the same subjects for their Higher School Certificate. They train at the Randwick Botany Harriers Athletic Club with coach Ken Green in an experienced middle-distance squad. They run about 60 kilometres a week. Amy said it was good to train with girls who were tactical and had similar goals – ultimately to represent Australia at the Olympic Games. “Every race is different so it’s good to have that strategic thinking when you’re going into a race,” she said.
Coach Ken Green said it had been a tight race between Amy and competitors from Uganda and Kenya.
“Amy came over the top of them in the home straight and just pipped them on the line,” he said. “It was a significant improvement on her best time. A Commonwealth medal at any level is hard to achieve. There are not many Australians who have done it, especially in the middle-distance events which tend to be dominated by east Africans, so it’s a terrific achievement.”
The twins may rest for a week or two before training for the NSW All Schools Track and Field Championships, a prelude to the National All Schools event which will be held in Melbourne in December.
Read more about Amy and Lily here.