22 Dec 2017
We pick out more star performances by YOG athletes on sport’s biggest stages…
Katie SummerhayesSince finishing fifth in the halfpipe at the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Innsbruck 2012, the British freestyle skier has made a big impact on the senior slopestyle stage – including winning a silver medal at the 2015 World Championships. At the end of November, the 22-year-old also grabbed the third World Cup podium finish of her career, as she placed second in Stubai, Austria, and will now be aiming to carry that form into the New Year and the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
Panipak WongpattanakitThai taekwondo star Panipak Wongpattanakit claimed 44kg gold at the YOG Nanjing 2014 – and went on to win 49kg bronze at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 just two years later. Her 2017 season has been even more impressive, culminating in victory at the World Taekwondo Grand Prix Final in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, at the beginning of December. The 20-year-old had already enjoyed Grand Prix victories in Moscow and London earlier this year, with her win over Olympic champion Kim So-Hui in the final in Abidjan capping a superb ascension to the elite senior stage.
Akane YamaguchiFollowing her silver medal-winning exploits at the YOG Nanjing 2014, Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi has firmly established herself as one of the best female badminton players in the world, and recently enjoyed the biggest win of her career as she claimed victory at the season-ending BWF Super Series Finals in Dubai. The 20-year-old had already excelled in 2017, winning the China Open for the fourth Super Series title of her career, as well as reaching the finals of the Super Series events in Australia, Denmark and France.
Dominique Du ToitDominique Du Toit was one of the stars of the YOG Nanjing 2014 as she helped Australia make history by winning the first rugby sevens gold medal to be awarded at an Olympic event. The lightning quick winger scored eight tries throughout the Games, including a remarkable hat-trick in the final, but has since had to wait for regular opportunities in Australia’s senior team. The 20-year-old grabbed her chance at the recent World Rugby Sevens Series opener in Dubai, however, scoring five tries in the tournament – including two in the final against the USA – as Australia romped to victory.