Zhang Mengyao leads girls ranking round with personal best in Buenos Aires

12 October 2018
Buenos Aires (ARG)
A Chinese athlete won the girls’ event at the last Youth Olympic Games.

Zhang Mengyao of China scored 675 out of a possible 720 points for the 72-arrow 60-metre ranking round to finish top of girls’ qualification at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, a new personal best.

“I did good, everything worked smoothly for me today and qualification was just as I expected. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to be here,” said Zhang.

“Being first here helps me and makes me happy but it doesn’t mean I should be too confident. I need to continue shooting and keeping my consistency.”

Japan’s Ruka Uehara finished in second with 667 points and India’s Himani followed on 665 points.

As well as the individual events at the Youth Olympic Games, athletes compete in a unique mixed nation mixed team event, with the pairings decided based on the results of the ranking round.

The top-seeded girl, Zhang, is partnered with the lowest boys’ seed, Leonardo Tura of San Marino.

Despite a significant language barrier – Italy is the language spoken in San Marino and Zhang speaks Chinese – the leading girl in Buenos Aires said that the key to the pair’s success would be communication.

“The mixed team here is a challenge, it will take effort but it’s manageable,” she said.

“It’s important to first be yourself and shoot well, then communicate and work with the other archer to ensure you understand each other. And if you don’t speak the same language, then finding a translator.”

China’s Li Jiaman won gold medals in both the girl’s event and the mixed team competition at the last Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing.

The third edition of the Youth Olympic Games takes place on 12-17 October 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.