Monday, January 21, 2013
Cromer golfer Amber Ratcliffe might be heading home from the Australian Youth Olympic Festival empty handed but she insists her trip Down Under was far from wasted.
The 17-year-old was guaranteed her place in history whatever happened in Sydney after becoming one of 10 golfers to represent Britain at an IOC-sanctioned event in more than a century.
Ratcliffe was also one of just five women to be the first ever to do so but she couldn’t celebrate the occasion with a medal as she completed her four rounds five-over par to finish in eighth position.
But Ratcliffe, who is a member of Royal Cromer Golf Club, insists the long trip to Australia was worthwhile as it has opened her eyes to exactly what she needs to do to climb the leaderboard.
“All-in-all my competition was good even though I was a bit up and down in places and didn’t manage to fight for a medal,” said the teenager, who posted rounds of 75 75 70 and 73 in Sydney.
“My last round on Sunday seemed to sum it all up really as I was really up and down again. On the fifth hole I had a disaster and then had a bad stretch of three or four holes after that. I managed to pull it around and had a good fight back but it was a bit late by then. So I am a little bit disappointed but there are lots of positives to take out of it so it was a good week in that respect.
“In some ways it was quite stressful because you are representing Great Britain at an Olympic event but I learnt how to deal with that and that should help me out next time.”
Ratcliffe’s history-making journey to Australia is hopefully just the beginning for her with golf reinstated into the Olympic programme for the Rio 2016 Games.
And, having now made her bow for Team GB, Ratcliffe admits that plane ticket to Brazil in three years time is now more visible than ever.
“I really want to go to a senior Olympics one day and I am sure this Festival will help me towards that,” she added.
“It shows me that I am heading in the right direction and with the things I learnt at this competition I am sure I can continue to improve and Rio in 2016 is my goal now.”
It was sensational Sunday for Team GB golfers with a big haul of medals – and a historic double gold for England’s Georgia Hall, who finished on six under par
She became Team GB’s first gold medallist in an Olympic golf event for over 100 years when she won both the individual women’s competition and team gold with compatriots Chloe Williams of Wales and the Scots pair Ewan Scott and Bradley Neil.
England boy international Ashton Turner won silver in the men’s individual event while Chloe Williams won the bronze in the women’s competition.