Canberra cyclist Lauren Bates has blitzed the field in the women's time trial to deliver Australia's first gold medal at the 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games in Trinidad and Tobago.
Competing in the shadows of the iconic Brian Lara Stadium, Bates was seventh out on the course and made light work of the field to pass three riders on the 10km course and deliver a winning time of 14:09.31.
She was joined on the "Trinbago 23" podium by NSW teammate Keira Will, who took silver in 14:31.89.
"To win Australia's first gold is awesome," said Bates, who is part of a 75-strong Australian team competing.
"I'm sure there will be plenty more in the days ahead, but to stand on the podium is pretty special.
"I had no idea what to expect from the competition, it's my first big international race and they were tough but I really enjoyed that.
"That course was good - It wasn't my kind of course, I'm more of a hills fan, but I had a strong race and felt good out there."
Bates and Will will now recover from the hot and humid conditions before shifting their focus to the road race and track cycling events in the capital Port of Spain.
In the men's race across 15 kilometres, 16-year-old Queenslander Will Heath earned a bronze medal in a time of 19:35.24.
Tasmanian Sam McKee tumbled at the turn after passing through five kilometres and didn't finish.
Australia's beach volleyballers opened their Games campaign on the island of Tobago, with men's duo Mitchell Croft (Vic) and Jett Rocker-Graham (NSW) downing South Africa in their first pool match.
The pair, who came together in Sydney prior to the Australian team's departure for the Games, were comfortable winners 21-13, 21-15.
"We're feeling confident after today's match and looking to further improve our game as that was our first-ever match together, so it's only up from here," Rocker-Graham said.
In the women's competition, Queensland's Jasmine Rayner and South Australian Cameron Zajer had an early battle against England, taking the first set 21-18.
The green and gold dominated the second 21-8 for the win.
"It was pretty good to get out there and compete," Zajer said.
"It took a while to get our feet and we were a bit nervous at the start, but it was good to get the win today."
Australian Associated Press
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