Youth Olympics: Rio now on Georgia's mind after gold rush

Bournemouth Echo: DORSET MEDALLISTS: Izzy Songhurst and Georgia Hall (right) DORSET MEDALLISTS: Izzy Songhurst and Georgia Hall (right)

BOURNEMOUTH golfer Georgia Hall admits Rio 2016 looks much closer and much more realistic after rewriting the history books at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival.

Georgia was guaranteed to make history whatever Down Under as she become one of 10 to represent Britain at an IOC sanctioned event for the first time in more than a century.

The 16-year-old was also one of five women to be the first to do so ever but she also knew that all eyes would be on her at Twin Creeks Club given her European number one ranking.

However Georgia took it all in her stride as she lived up to her billing, claiming individual gold as well as helping Britain top the leaderboard in the team event.

It meant that Georgia became the first-ever woman to win an IOC-sanctioned gold event, and a double winner at that.

And, having etched her name into the history books, Georgia admitted her Australian adventure was one to savour and is now targeting the Olympics for real in Rio in 2016.

“It feels amazing to have made history,” she said. “I enjoyed it a lot and it was a great experience for me.

“I cried after the last hole because I was just happy it was over to be honest. It was a long week and I just wanted to make sure I won so the pressure was there.

“My aim all week was to not shoot over par and I did that so I am pleased with my performance on a whole and to get gold in the individual and the team is fantastic. I think Rio is definitely closer for me having come to Australia. It gives me a hint of the style of competition and what to expect from everything that comes with it and hopefully I can make it in four years time.”

And if Georgia’s performance Down Under wasn’t scary enough for her rivals then the teenager has even more bad news for them as she reveals she improved in her short time in Sydney as well.

“Although it was an Olympic golf event it didn’t feel any different,” she added.

“The only thing that was different was the weather because I had never actually played in weather that hot before.

“I had never actually played against the countries I was up against because I normally play against European opposition so I had never really played against the likes of New Zealand or China before so that was a good experience to get a taste of how they are playing.”

One of the first people to congratulate Georgia on social networking site Twitter was fellow Remedy Oak member Matt Le Tissier.

The former Southampton and England football legend tweeted: “Massive congratulations to double gold medallist Georgia Hall at Youth Olympics in Oz.

“Well done Georgia more shots for me in rematch then!”

  •  The British Olympic Association prepares and leads British athletes at the summer, winter and youth Olympic Games. It works in partnership with sport National Governing Bodies to enhance Olympic success and is responsible for championing the Olympic values. www.olympics.org.uk

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