Ben first won Bronze in the 68-76kg 17 year old Individual event. Ben had bouts against Italy (win) then Austria in the quarer-final (loss); followed by Holland and Italy (both wins) to claim Bronze.
Max also took a Bronze, in the Open weight division. Following the Individual event, Ben and Max combined for the Junior Male Team events; where they won Silver after taking on Russia in the final. Usually, the teams event sees three fighters per team; making the boys’ effort even more impressive.
This trip to Europe incorporates four key stops for Ben and Max. Pre-Austrian Open, the boys enjoyed an army-run training camp at the Olympic Village; with the Austrian Open being the second leg of the trip.
It is now off to Umag for three days training ahead of the Youth World Cup in Croatia.
This trip is the second major event for the year; following the Australian Open in March. There, Ben won Gold in age/weight and Silver in Open category; while Max won Silver in age/weight. After this trip, the Australian National Championships will be the last major event before the Junior World Championships. The Worlds are October 25-29 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in Spain; and feature the world's finest junior stars of the sport in each age/weight category. Australia send their top ranked athlete in each category; with Ben and Max going in the 17y.o. 68-76kg and 76kg+ category respectively.
Both boys are in their third year being supported by WestVic Academy of Sport; WestVic having invested heavily in personal development and sport psychology, and have assisted Ben in the weight room this year. Both boys were introduced to, and first supported by WestVic via, Bacchus Marsh Grammar's "Elite Sport" program, a very successful partnership.
WestVic-supported athletes in Track & Field will also compete Internationally and in National Championships this week; with Hammer Thrower Emma Werner (IAAF Oceania Games) and Multi-Event Athlete Laura Butler (Special Olympics Nationals).
Emma has landed in Fiji ahead of her fourth IAAF Oceania Games. Selected for the fifth straight year in this development competition (missing 2016 through injury), Emma will look to break her personal best of just under 47m. She has been injury-free for a number of months and is training both in the gym and cage at the highest level she ever has. Emma is the very first “Individual Athlete” member of WestVic, an association in its sixth year. In that time, she has accessed the full array of WestVic support. Emma throws on Friday.
Laura is heading to the Gold Coast to compete in the Special Olympics National Games for Athletics. There, she’ll compete in the 100m, 200m, Long Jump and Shot Put. Laura claimed three bronze medals at her last major meet – the 2016 Australian Junior Athletics Championships. These came in the 100m, 200m and Discus. Laura does her gym work with WestVic and is coached by Leanne Hume, while also training with the Western Suburbs Special Olympics club.
WestVic Academy of Sport currently supports 139 athletes across 23 sports; all of whom access services such as: specialist coaching; weekly strength and conditioning; sport science opportunities; sport psychology, nutrition and other personal development; plus athlete mentoring. In 2016, 52 of the 125 athletes supported by WestVic competed at National level or equivalent in their sport. For further information, please contact Academy Executive Officer Rob Ward on 0417 044 419.