Ruan Lange and his 11 teammates won a gold medal for their team – Team Simone Biles – in the multi-discipline mixed event at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires.
Gymnasts from different disciplines and nations were drawn into 13 teams, each with 12 gymnasts for the new multi-discipline mixed team event. The teams were named after legendary gymnasts.
Lange participated in the artistic discipline while his counterparts took part in the rhythmic and trampoline disciplines.
Trampoline gymnast Xinyi Fan from China, a key member of Team Simone Biles, topped the standings in her event.
Lange couldn’t contain his happiness. ‘This experience was amazing and out of this world. I didn’t expect to win but I’m happy we did. I met new friends and new people and it was great.
‘Going forward we hope to keep competing stronger and doing our best,’ Lange added.
Team SA coach for men’s artistic gymnastics, Kevin Basson, commented: ‘Ruan’s performance was a big achievement, just being selected to be part of the Youth Olympic Games team is a huge accomplishment.
‘There was pressure for Ruan to do well on the first day and he showed how he could withstand and perform under pressure. Throughout the rest of his performance he got better and improved. He got some good personal results and the team also placed first overall. It has been a long year for him but he has done well. After the Youth Olympics he will be training for African Champs and the Youth Worlds,’ Basson said.
Unfortunately, the mixed continental or mixed discipline event medals don’t count on South Africa’s official tally but the athletes get the medals.
Photo: Lange poses after Team Simone Biles won gold in a multi-discipline mixed team event. Image supplied.