Bexley rower among success stories at London Youth Games
PUBLISHED: 13:53 05 July 2012
Bexley rower Asher Wilson admitted he surprised even himself after storming to gold at the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games finals weekend.
With 15,000 young competitors arriving at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre to do battle over 17 sports, 12-year-old Wilson knew he would be facing a challenge.
But he made sure he stood out from the crowd by collecting gold in the year seven boy’s indoor rowing competition, helping the borough improve on last year’s sixth-place finish to end up third this time around.
It wasn’t enough to help Bexley collect the prestigious Jubilee Trophy however, the borough finishing sixth in the overall standings while Croydon ended up with the main prize.
But there was no wiping the smile off Wilson’s face as he left Crystal Palace with his head held high.
“I’m amazed that I’ve been able to win a gold medal especially because it was my first time competing at the London Youth Games,” he said.
“I thought I had a chance before I arrived because I’m quite a big kid for my age but when I saw the other guys I was a bit worried – some of them were huge.
“I would love to come back next year to try and win it again. I play a lot of sports but I enjoy rowing so I’d like to pursue it outdoors too.
“The London Youth Games has been a lot of fun. There was a great atmosphere when we were rowing, which made it even better.”
There was plenty more for Bexley to celebrate over the weekend as the girls’ volleyball team won bronze, while the borough finished the weightlifting competition in second.
The borough’s female hockey players also ended up with silver and 14-year-old Rosie Jones admits it went some way to banishing the nightmares of last year’s fourth-place finish.
“I am pleased to have won silver, “ she said. “We didn’t expect to finish that high going into the competition.
“Last year we finished fourth on penalty flicks so we are all really happy to have done much better this year.
“It is especially nice for me because this was the last year I could compete at the London Youth Games so I am really pleased to go out on a high.”
Balfour Beatty have agreed to support the London Youth Games through to at least 2015, meaning £1.1m worth of funding post-2012 and a total contribution of £2.5m since 2007.
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