By Josh Richards

DARYLL Neita was Lewisham’s star of the show at the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games as she climbed the podium twice on a hectic day at Crystal Palace.

The 13-year-old Prendergast School pupil expertly juggled the long-jump and 100m timetables to take silver in the sprint before going one better in the sand pit.

Neita was representing Lewisham at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre-hosted event which saw all 33 London boroughs go head-to-head across 17 different sports.

Lewisham ended up finishing 26th overall as Bromley were crowned champions but the Cambridge Harriers AC youngster didn’t let this dampen her spirits after a medal-laden weekend.

“I knew I was in for a tough race when I looked along the line and saw Dina Asher-Smith representing Bromley,” said Neita.

“She’s a great runner and has become my rival. I thought at this point that I might have to settle for the silver medal.

“I had done my first two jumps in the long jump when I stopped and ran the 100m. I was third after two jumps and thought I might miss my final jump, but they waited for me and my last jump was actually my best, so I won.

“It was a hard day doing two events at the same time but I really enjoyed it.”

Neita wasn’t the only Lewisham representative on the podium with the girls’ tag rugby squad conquering all to take the gold medal, while the girls’ football team claimed silver.

And tag rugby team boss Darren Reeves couldn’t hide his delight after seeing his side top the podium in the Crystal Palace competition at the largest youth sports event in Europe.

He said: “It was absolutely great to win the tournament and the girls were all over the moon.

“The highlight was the way the girls played, they were phenomenal throughout.”

Balfour Beatty is committed to helping raise the aspirations, motivation and attainment levels of young people in the communities in which it operates and has committed at least £1.7 million to help develop the London Youth Games until 2013.