Australians competing in athletics at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, have won medals in all the finals for which they qualified.

Sydneysider Jessica Thornton said she panicked a little before she won Australia’s first athletics medal at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing with gold in the 400m.

The 16-year-old ran a personal best of 52.50 seconds on Sunday but at one stage it looked as though Salwa Naser from Bahrain was going to overtake her.

“I had a little sneaky look up at the screen and I saw her,” she said.

“I made a little noise, I was like ‘no!’

“But then I kept turning my legs and kept going, and that got me in front again.”

Naser trailed the Aussie by 0.24s, while Grenada’s Meleni Rodney took bronze.

It was a fast race for the finalists with the first five all recording personal bests.

“I just trained my hardest preparing for these Games and all the hard work and training has paid off,” said Thornton.

In the men’s 100m, Queenslander Trae Williams took bronze after he suffered a setback and crossed the line unsure of his placing.

On review he was awarded bronze with a time of 10.57s, 0.03s behind silver medallist Kenta Oshima, who trailed Zambian Sydney Siame’s winning time of 10.56s by one-hundredth of a second.

“I’m pretty happy with the start … but then I kind of tripped a little bit,” said the 17-year-old.

“But that’s alright, I still got a bronze.”

In the women’s 100m, year 12 student Samantha Geddes took bronze with 11.76s while China’s Liang Xiaojing won gold by clocking 11.65, as silver went to Paraskevi Andreou from Cyprus.

High jumper Shemaiah James added to Australia’s athletics success with bronze in the men’s high jump and a personal best of 2.14m.

Gold went to Russian Danil Lysenko who cleared 2.20m as Japan’s Yuji Hiramatsu took silver.

After seven days of competition, Australian athletes have won 16 medals at these Games, three of them gold.