NANJING, China--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On 22 August, Cheam June Wei of Malaysia and Ng Tszyau of Hong Kong clinched the gold medal in the Mixed Doubles Badminton event at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games (YOG). Earlier in the day at the Fangshan Training Base, Istvan Peni of Hungary and Hadir Mekhimar of Egypt also worked together to become gold medalists in the 10m Air Rifle Mixed International Team event.
The mixed international team events are one of the highlights of the Nanjing 2014 YOG mixing athletes of different nationality and gender. The events promote cooperation and communication over winning and give the athletes more opportunities to build friendships across international boundaries. Mixed team events, a concept unique to the YOG, were first introduced by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) when Singapore hosted the inaugural Games in 2010.
Asian Youth Games champion Qin Jinjing of China, who was paired with Mek Narongrit of Thailand said of her experience with the Mixed Doubles Badminton event, "It was an experience I would not encounter elsewhere. It gives you another platform to interact with athletes from other parts of the world. It also teaches you how to communicate with your partner on court."
Out of the 28 sports of the Nanjing 2014 YOG, 11 feature international mixed team events including Fencing, Tennis, Athletics, Triathlon and Equestrian. Perhaps the most ambitious is the Mixed International Team event in Judo because it features the largest number of participants, dividing athletes according to their countries and regions randomly. The event saw 95 athletes divided into 13 teams with 7 or 8 members on each team and ended with Team Rouge taking first place. The spectacle of 29 athletes from four teams coming to the podium together during the medal ceremony for the Mixed International Team event was an impressive sight for all involved.
On 21 August, the final day of Judo at the Nanjing 2014 YOG, Marius Vizer, the International Judo Federation President delivered an important message. “Today’s Mixed Team event should help us to deliver an important message, a message of peace, unity and solidarity. That’s what the young generations are looking for.”
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