Success for Estonia at the European Youth Olympic Festival


Estonian athletes had a wonderful competition day in Azerbaijan, Baku at the European Youth Olympic Festival, winning gold medal and bronze medal in cycling. 

95 athletes from 30 countries competed 10 km individual road races. Laura Lizette Sander completed the course by 15.33,00 and won bronze medal.

It got even better for Estonia in the boys' race as Madis Mikhels clinched the gold medal in 13:10.19. Dario Belletta of Italy took the silver medal, five seconds adrift of the victorious Estonian, and Konstantin Aladashvili of Russia came through to earn bronze.

Both Estonian cyclists overcame the strong crosswinds that dogged the riders on the coastal course.In these conditions, however, Mihkels was able to maintain a high average speed of 45.6 kph.

“When I crossed the finish line I knew I was the leader but there were eight boys still to come. When I realized I had won, I couldn’t believe it! It seemed too good to be true, I am so happy,” said Mihkels.

“I was hoping to get a medal but I was in very good shape already a month ago and it was very difficult to keep it that way. I believed that reaching the top three was possible and I am so truly relieved,” said 15-year-old Sander.

In total, the Estonian team has now brought 11 gold medals, 9 silver medals and 10 bronze medals from fourteen summer European Youth Olympic Festivals; among others, he winners include Aleksei Budõlin (1993, gold), Martin Padar (1995, gold), Margus Hunt (2003, gold), Kaire Leibak (2005, two gold medals), Grigori Minaškin (2007, gold), Liina Laasma (2009, gold), Kregor Zirk (2015, gold), Tanel Kangert (2003, bronze), Rasmus Mägi (2009, bronze).

The festival will be attended by 3,900 athletes from 48 European countries. 52 percent of the participants are males, and 48 ​​percent are females. Athletes will compete for 135 sets of medals. A total of 930 medals are prepared for the winners, including 300 gold, 300 silver and 330 bronze medals.

Athletes will compete in ten kinds of sports - gymnastics, athletics, basketball, cycling, handball, judo, swimming, tennis, volleyball and wrestling.