Sutton’s Tom Holden has won gold at the London Youth Games cross-country for the second successive year.

The South London Harrier won the U15s race last year and returned to Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath, to win the U17s event on Saturday.

The first event of the new London Youth Games season saw a record 1,114 young Londoners take part, all following in the footsteps of double Olympic champion Mo Farah who placed ninth in the U13 boys’ race at the 1994 Games.

After his victory, 15-year-old Tom, pictured, said: “It’s really nice to win. The borough of Sutton have been very supportive, they help me through a lot.
“It feels good to be able to pay them back with this medal.

“The London Youth Games is a big race, a nice course, really well set up, lots of people competing so this is quite important to me.

“My Olympic hero Mo Farah has inspired me a lot this summer to put in even more effort and improve my performance. He is a great runner and has the double Olympic gold, so I would love to be in his position one day.”

In a good day for Sutton, the borough also enjoyed success in the U11 development races, with the boys’ team placing second overall and the girls’ team finishing third.

The London Youth Games is Europe’s largest annual youth sports event with 104,463 participants across 80 competitions and 30 sports.
There were 43 former London Youth Games competitors who took part in the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, winning 14 medals, including Mo Farah, cyclist Bradley Wiggins and Paralympian David Weir.