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VENEZUELA STRIKES FIRST AT YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES

Judoka Maria Giminez of Venezuela claims the first gold medal for the Americas at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games on the first day of competition in Argentina. Her teammate and weightlifter Katherin Oriana also took home a gold medal on Sunday, giving Venezuela a strong at the Youth Olympics.

Young athletes from the Americas are taking advantage of competing at the first Youth Olympics in history to be held in the region. After the first two days of competition, eight of the 41 countries that are part of the Panam Sports family have already won medals, including five golds from Venezuela, Colombia and Mexico.

Venezuela was the first country to claim a medal for the Americas in the Argentinean capital on the first day of competition. It was a historic moment for the nation as judoka Maria Giminez won not only Americas’ first medal of the Games, but also Venezuela’s first gold medal ever at the Youth Olympics, now in its third edition.

But Giminez was not alone. Venezuela’s top youth weightlifter Katherin Oriana also claimed a gold medal on Sunday, winning the women’s 44kg weight class.

After the early success from Venezuela, Colombia has climbed to third place in the overall standings at the Games, with two gold medals in the men’s and women’s combined speed skating 500m sprint competitions. Yineth Molina was also able to secure a silver medal for Colombia in the women’s 48kg weightlifting finals, while Estiven Jose Villar took home a bronze in the men’s 62kg weightlifting finals. Finally, Colombia’s team also earned bronze in the BMX Mixed Race.

Mexico is the third and final country from the Americas to already have a gold medal at the Games, with Yesica Yadira Hernandez finishing first in the women’s 48kg weightlifting finals on Monday. Her teammate Alicia Monserrat Rodriguez also contributed a bronze medal to Mexico’s total in the women’s 44kg taekwondo competition.

Canada and the United States are currently tied with one silver and two bronze medals each. The breakdancing B-Girls of Canada won a silver medal to go along with the bronze by Finlay Knox in the men’s 200m individual medley swim and the bronze by Keagan young in the men’s 81kg judo competition.

For the United States, Anastasija Zolotic won the silver in the women’s 49kg taekwondo finals while May Tieu and Rhyan White each earned bronze medals in women’s fencing individual foil and women’s 100m backstroke swim, respectively.

Brazil’s first medal of the Youth Olympics came courtesy of the country’s swimming 4x100m freestyle relay team winning the silver.

Cuba and the Dominican Republic have each earned a bronze medal at the Games as well, with Nahomys Acosta winning bronze in the women’s 52kg judo competition for Cuba, and Antonio Tornal winning bronze in the men’s 66kg judo competition.

Athletes from the 41 countries of the Americas competing at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games have 10 more days to showcase their talent in the world’s largest international youth sporting event. The Youth Olympics conclude on October 18.