Trenton Cowles wins Youth Olympic Games final in straight sets
The USA’s Trenton Cowles dropped just a single set point through five matches on his way to winning the individual boys’ title at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, securing the gold medal with a straight-set win over India’s Akash in the final.
“Happy to get it, finally be over with the competition. It shows that my hard work is paying off, has paid off, and that for future tournaments I can just trust my shot and relax,” said Cowles, who had support from family in the stands who had travelled to watch him compete.
“It means the whole world to have them here with me.”
The 16-year-old, who also took a mixed team bronze medal at the event, was seeded 15th after qualification.
He was the most impressive archer in the matches, never dropping below 28 points for a single set and surrendering just a single set point throughout the eliminations. That came in a 7-1 victory over Asian Games team gold medallist Tang Chih-Chun of Chinese Taipei.
Cowles increased his per-arrow average from 9.24 points during the ranking round to 9.52 in head-to-head matchplay.
The final wasn’t close, with Akash shooting an arrow into the six in each of the first and third sets. Cowles stuck to his level, shooting sets of 28, 29 and 28 points on the 60-metre target to take the match.
“I’ll take away the experience of shooting with all these archers, being on a stage, on live television and shooting with some of the best in the world,” said Cowles.
It is the USA’s first individual Youth Olympic medal since the quadrennial Games were launched in 2010.
Akash’s silver medal marks the second consecutive Youth Olympic Games in which India climbs the podium following Atul Verma’s bronze in the boys’ event in 2014.
“I feel good but I lost the gold medal. There was too much wind and my arrow landed outside. I have trained in the wind, but here there was too much,” said Akash.
The third edition of the Youth Olympic Games takes place on 12-17 October 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.