Youth Olympics: Silver and bronze for Armenia in Singapore

Team Armenia have returned with four medals, including one silver, from the first-ever Youth Olympic Games that ended in Singapore last week.

The 2010 Summer Games held August 14-26 had brought together around 3,500 athletes, aged 14-18, from 205 countries.

The multi-sport event included 14 young Armenian athletes competing in a dozen sports, including weightlifting, swimming, Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, boxing, judo, gymnastics, track-and-field athletics, archery, rowing and aquatics.

Gor Minasyan (85 kg, Gyumri) placed second in weightlifting, bringing the only silver medal to the Armenian team. His fellow weightlifter Smbat Margaryan (56 kg) from Yerevan won a bronze. Armenia’s other two bronze medalists at the Singapore Games were Artak Hovhannisyan (46 kg, Armavir) in wrestling and David Ghazaryan (66 kg, Vanadzor) in judo.

Yana Yegoryan, an Armenian performing for Russia, won two gold medals in saber-fencing (in individual and mixed competitions).

In the overall team standings Armenia finished 67th in the list of 98 nations whose representatives managed to get to an Olympic medal podium.

Armenia’s South Caucasus neighbors Azerbaijan (5 gold and 3 silver medals) and Georgia (one bronze) finished 11th and 84th, respectively.

(China won in the team competition with 30 gold, 16 silver and 5 bronze medals. Russia (18-14-11) and South Korea (11-4-4) finished second and third, respectively.)

The returning Armenian delegation were given a warm welcome on their arrival in Yerevan on Sunday.

Armenian National Olympic Committee President Gagik Tsarukian hailed the successes of the Armenian athletes in the youth Olympic events, but said that there had been “far more expectations” from the team generally.

Some of the team’s 15-17-year-olds are likely to be Armenia’s hopefuls at the next [adult] Olympic Games in London, UK, in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2016.

At the latest Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008, the 25-member Armenian team represented in seven sports won a total of six bronze medals and finished 78th in team competition among 86 medal-winning nations.

The next summer Youth Olympic Games are scheduled to be held in Nanjing, China, in 2014, while the first-ever winter Youth Olympic Games will be hosted by Innsbruck, Austria, in 2012.