Young Kiwi McCullough claims gold at the Buenos Aires Youth Olympics


With a dominant performance from beginning to end, young Kiwi Dylan McCullough claimed the victory in the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games, continuing the success of his country in the Youth Olympics, after the gold medal of Aaron Barclay in Singapore 2010 and the silver of Daniel Hoy in Nanjing 2014. Second in the finish line today in the Green Park in Buenos Aires was Portugal’s Alexandre Montez, while the bronze medal was for Alessio Crociani (ITA).

McCollough, who had an impressive performance as well in the 2018 Junior World Championships a month ago in the Gold Coast, was one of the favourites for the race, and he delivered, leading the race since the first strokes in the water. With the water a bit warmer than yesterday for the Women’s race, and with athletes not wearing a wetsuit, it was him who led right from the start, followed only by Alessio Crociani and American Andrew Shellenberger, who past the first bouys a few meters ahead of the rest of the field.

By the end of the 750 meter swim, the gap had closed and there was a large pack entering the venue all together, but with McCullough always leading.

He dragged the Italian with him to be the first ones out of T1, and the two of them pushed hard during the 20km bike ride to establish a difference safe for them to confront the last segment of the race knowing that it will be up to the rest of the field to catch them. With the Kiwi always leading and the Italian close behind, the difference increased by 20 seconds on each lap.

Behind the two leaders, a group of really strong bikers, lead by Shellenberger, Igor Bellido (ESP), Alexandre Montez (POR), Baptiste Passemard (FRA) and Andreas Carlsson (SWE) tried desperately to close the gap, but with a narrow course, and the two leaders pushing hard, the time difference kept increasing until the end of the bike course.

When it all came to the run, McCullough and Crociani had almost one minute over the chasers, and the Kiwi made it clear that he was going to be the one to beat today. He pushed one gear up to drop the Italian in the first kilometers of the run, never looking back until the finish line was on sight. All smiles, McCullough stopped the clock in 53 minutes 27 seconds to claim the gold medal at the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympics, the first major title of his career.

With an impressive run, Portuguese Montez made its way to pass rivals one by one in the first lap to then force a final push that allowed him to pass the Italian and cross the finish line in second place, with an impressive run split of 15 minutes and 33 seconds. The third place was for an exhausted Crociani, who managed to keep the bronze medal finishing only 8 seconds ahead of Andreas Carlsson.

Baptiste Passemard, Igor Bellido and Shellenberger completed the top 8 finishers, an outstanding race for the Europeans, claiming six out of the top 8 places.

Results: Youth Men
1.Dylan McculloughNZLNZL Flag00:53:27
2.Alexandre MontezPORPOR Flag00:53:39
3.Alessio CrocianiITAITA Flag00:53:45
4.Andreas CarlssonSWESWE Flag00:53:53
5.Baptiste PassemardFRAFRA Flag00:54:26