Firework display on show during closing ceremony of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games held yesterday.Picture: SYOG
The inaugural Youth Olympic Games officially came to a close after 12 days of sporting competition, as well as cultural and educational activities for athletes, yesterday.
President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BNOC), His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah was present to witness the closing ceremony.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge, who nurtured the event, hailed the Games for exceeding all expectations with medals won by nearly half of the nations and territories that took part 93 of 205.
The IOC chose to not register the records and medal tallies for the YOG, preferring instead to focus on 'achievement and excellence rather than performance.'
Independent medal tally however showed that China won the most medals with 30 gold, followed by Russia (19 gold) and South Korea (11 gold).
"Congratulations Singapore for a job superbly done. You rose brilliantly to the challenge of combining elite sport, education and culture," said Rogge, who earlier in the day said that the YOG had exceeded his highest expectations.
"Athletes, you proved you have learned what it means to be a true champion and not just a winner.
"These were truly inspirational Games," added the IOC president.
Inspirational indeed, for the challenge at the international level had managed to bring out the best in the Sultanate's representative: Amanda Liew Xia Jin, Jeremy Joint Riong and Maziah Mahusin.
Liew was the best local performer in the junior edition of the Games. The 17-year-old set a new national record for the 50-metre freestyle event, clocking 28.2 seconds at the Singapore Sports School.
It erased her disappointment in the 50m breaststroke event, which she timed 36.51 seconds to finish last among seven participants in Heat Two.
Compatriot Riong bested two personal records in the outing: 1:11.27 in the 100m butterfly and 30.68s in the 50m butterfly.
Though Brunei's sole athletics representative Maziah failed to perform at her best, the experience was a lesson well learnt on how she needed to improve on her techniques.
She was disqualified in Heat One of the Girls' 400m hurdles race at Bishan Stadium. A more cautious and wary Maziah challenged the tracks again in the Girls' 400-metre hurdles final B race on Monday and clocked 1:10.56, still a distant cry from her personal best of 1:08.32.
Before the Olympic flame was extinguished, Rogge declared the Games closed and handed over the Olympic flag to the Mayor of Nanjing, Ji Jianye.
Nanjing, China will host the next summer Youth Games in 2014. Innsbruck, Austria will host the first Youth Winter Olympics in 2012.
Courtesy from Brunei Times