Nanjing, China: 16 year old, Ariuntungalag from Mongolia, won bronze in the 2000m steeplechase and she took some time out to share with us her experience at the 2nd Asian Youth Games in Nanjing, China. She admitted to feeling rather “overwhelmed” by the event as she had never competed in such a big competition before and said that the level of competition was much higher than what she was used to.
“Although I am very happy that I got a medal in such a great competition, I still feel like I could have done better” she said, and I could not help but agree as I saw her swollen leg. She hurt her leg halfway through the track and decided to grit her teeth and finish it and came in just 4 seconds short of the silver medalist.
This is the first time for her in Nanjing and she has not had time to go around discovering the beautiful city of Nanjing yet as her event had just finished. “The village itself is quite nice. The food is good, our rooms are decent and we haven’t had any problems with the transportation. Although there isn’t much to do during your freetime around here, I found the Culture and Education programme to be quite nice. I visited every kiosk and liked all of them. I also liked how traditional our Mongolian kiosk was.” She says, before adding “Crossing the finish line at the finals was the best memory I had in Nanjing”
While the athlete hasn’t had the opportunity to make friends from other countries, she did say that she has gotten to know the rest of the Mongolian athletes better and said that the general atmosphere at the AYG has been very friendly.
The Young athlete will be returning to the Nanjing to participate in the Youth Olympic Games next year and will be aiming for the gold. “I will have to be more careful next time” she added with a chuckle.
By Erdene Baigal
OCA Young Reporter, Mongolia