Kayaking: Bailey 'stoked' to gain silver medal

Jess Bailey (17) takes silver in the kayak at the Australian Youth Olympics. Photo supplied.
Jess Bailey (17) takes silver in the kayak at the Australian Youth Olympics. Photo supplied.

A young Wanaka kayaker has won a silver medal at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival.

Jess Bailey (17) was competing in the K1 white-water slalom event and was part of a New Zealand team of 156 elite junior athletes at the festival.

The team picked up 69 medals over five days of Olympic-style competition in Sydney.

Bailey was competing against 13 kayakers from New Zealand, Australia, China and Japan on the whitewater course built for the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

She is now in Auckland preparing for two North Island events in which she will attempt to retain her place in the New Zealand team due to compete at the world junior championships in Slovakia in July.

Bailey said she was ''really stoked'' with her silver medal.

Having qualified fifth, she had a fast final run and picked up no penalties.

She was beaten by Naomi Fox, of Australia, whose father, Richard Fox, is a six-time world champion.

Chef de mission Chris Arthur said the New Zealand athletes had displayed maturity beyond their years during the competition.

''Our elite junior athletes have taken everything in their strides, including Sydney's hottest day on record, and have performed with all the mana of the Olympians they are aspiring to be.

''New Zealand can rest assured that we have a real depth of talent emerging across a number of sports and I hope to see many of these athletes at the Youth Olympics in Nangjing, China, next year.''