Hackney in slump to second bottom place
IT was a pretty disastrous London Youth Games for Hackney over the weekend, as the borough slumped from a much improved 23rd place last year – their best for some years – to second from bottom this time around. Hackney finished a miserable 32nd out of the
IT was a pretty disastrous London Youth Games for Hackney over the weekend, as the borough slumped from a much improved 23rd place last year - their best for some years - to second from bottom this time around.
Hackney finished a miserable 32nd out of the capital's 33 boroughs in the huge youth jamboree held on two days at the Crystal Palace Sports Centre, south London, over Saturday and Sunday.
The borough's cause wasn't helped by their infringing of the rules in two events - the girls netball, a sport in which they had reasonable hopes and the mens swimming event, where the borough fielded competitors who weren't on their original entry lists submitted two months ago. As a result, they incurred -50 point penalties - the only borough to suffer in this way in two events.
Hackney finished with a 733 points total and with 630 points taken from their top 26 events out of the 47 total - a system devised by the Youth Games organisers to equal the disparity between borough sizes and number of competitors they are able to field.
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Only the small borough of Westminster, with its limited sporting facilities, finished below Hackney, 81 points behind in last place.
Hackney did have its successes in the Games, though, notably in the girls basketball, the female gymnastics (floor and vault) and weighlifting. There were also good points totals yielded by the competitors in the disabled female athletics, the disabled female football, the male karate and the female volleyball team.
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The girls basketball team did best with a third place, in one of the events played the previous week, as a number of the indoor events had to be, due to the renovation of the Crystal Palace indoor centre.
But coach Fionnuala Keown was disappointed with only a third place for her girls. "We have learned lessons from our defeat, it's a young team and we will be back next year,'' she said.
Hackney sailed through their qualifying pool, beating Kensington & Chelsea, 14-6, the Corporation of London, by a massive 36-2 and Newham, 21-16.
They won their quarter-final against Barking & Dagenham, 28-9, but in the semi-finals played at Brixton, they met their match and were beaten 40 points to 16, despite a captain's performance from Krystal Charles. Haringey beat Wandsworth in the final.
The Games were won by Bromley, with Lewisham in second place and Redbridge placed third.
Hackney's neighbours, Tower Hamlets, were awarded the Fair Play Award.