Date: June 30, 2014
Author: AOC

Elmassian, Coletta to represent Australia at Youth Olympics

<image="1" align="left" />Junior golfers Elizabeth Elmassian (NSW) and Brett Coletta (VIC) will represent Australia in golf at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China in August.

There may be a World Cup and a few Commonwealth Games medals to win over the next two months, but come August 16, sporting eyes can shift to the next generation in Australian sport.

Under the guidance of Olympic Champion Susie O’Neill, 89 Australian teenagers will travel to Nanjing to represent the green and gold at the second summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG).

“I hope they do their absolute best in the sporting arena. But I also want them to support each other, cheer one another on and be proud to wear the Australian tracksuit,” eight-time Olympic medallist O’Neill said.

“I hope the Team will have a positive experience in what will be their first contact with the Olympic movement.”

For many, this will be the first time they pack the golf clubs, rugby boots or archery bows for an international multisport competition. Australians will feature in 23 of the 28 sports on the YOG program including golf and rugby sevens- the two new sports on the Rio 2016 Olympic program.

Aged 14 to 18, the Aussies are competing in most of the medal winning sports from the London Olympics including athletics, canoe/kayak, hockey, rowing, sailing, swimming and triathlon as well as archery, badminton, beach volleyball, boxing, equestrian, fencing, gymnastics, judo, modern pentathlon, shooting, table tennis, tennis, wrestling and weightlifting.

The majority of athletes are from New South Wales (33), followed by Queensland (26), Victoria (12), Western Australia (9), South Australia (7) and Tasmania and ACT with one apiece.

“The next two months is all about each athlete doing the best they can every single session. It is about giving 110 per cent each day and not thinking too much about the Youth Olympics at this stage,” O’Neill said.

“Hopefully when the athletes arrive in Nanjing they will know they can look back and know they have prepared as well as they could have and can relax and enjoy the competition.”