Abass is the sprint star but Newham finish near the back
PUBLISHED: 15:45 07 July 2011
Newham sprinter Abass Hemoh smashed his personal best to bits on the way to athletics gold at the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games in Crystal Palace last weekend.
The 13-year-old showed incredible fight to come from behind and sneak the win over 200 metres on the home straight in 23.50 seconds, half-a-second inside his previous best.
And Hemoh, who attends St Bonaventure School and is a member of Newham & Essex Beagles, was ecstatic with his performance.
“I’m really happy with how that went,” said Hemoh who also competes in the 100m and the long jump. “It’s the second time I’ve won the 200m at the Games but it’s always good to win.
“I know the competition was very strong and I knew I had to really go for it at the end and it’s great to have come away with the win.”
Fifteen-year-old Jaspreet Kaur Sagoo picked up silver in the London Youth Games Archery competition.
The Langdon School pupil, came third in the same event last year, and was looking to win gold, but just missed out on the top prize.
Kaur Sagoo competes and trains with Newham Archers twice a week and has also won gold in the London County tournament.
The London Youth Games has been the catalyst for many a budding international athletes careers and not so long ago Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu was strutting her stuff for Newham.
Ohuruogu, who also doubled up by playing netball with athletics, dropped in on the action on Crystal Palace last weekend – and she was impressed by what she saw.
“I always love coming to the Games. I remember when I was kid I loved it, and I’m sure the kids competing loved it as well,” said Ohuruogu.
Over in the pool, there was further joy for Newham as 14-year-old Frederic Lawrence scooped 50m backstroke bronze in an impressive time of 31.44.
“I’m really pleased with my performance,” said Lawrence. “I’ve been swimming for a few years and it’s great to come to events like this and get a medal.”
Elsewhere, the Newham boys’ basketball team found themselves within touching distance of gold only to see Lewisham come from behind to beat them in the final.
Overall though it was a disappointing final position for the Olympic borough who finished 28th of the 33 boroughs, one place down on last year as Richmond secured the trophy for the first time.
Newham’s problem came with the fact that they only competed in 29 of the 60 events overall.
■ Balfour Beatty is committed to helping raise the aspirations, motivation and attainment levels of young people in the communities in which it operates and has committed over £2million to help develop the London Youth Games until 2013.
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