24th June 2009
European Youth Olympics Team
25 June 2009
23 track and field athletes are among the 61-strong team that has been selected by the British Olympic Association to represent Team GB at the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Tampere, Finland from 18-25 July 2009.
The 10th edition of the EYOF will see nearly 2500 athletes from 49 European nations competing in a total of nine sports: athletics, cycling, gymnastics, judo, swimming, tennis, basketball, handball and volleyball. Participating athletes will be between 13 and 16 years old, depending on their sport.
At the 2007 EYOF, Great Britain finished third in the medal table with a superb haul of nine gold, seven silver and seven bronze medals. Team GB has been represented at every edition since it began.
A total of 28 British athletes have represented Team GB at an EYOF and also gone on to compete at an Olympic Games. Most recently Hannah Whelan, who participated in the 2007 EYOF in gymnastics, went on to represent Team GB at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Team GB Chef de Mission Mark England said:“It’s fantastic and a huge privilege to be taking a young and talented Team GB to the 2009 European Youth Olympic Festival. I’m confident that we will see some outstanding performances by the 61 athletes competing across the sports of athletics, cycling, gymnastics, judo, swimming and tennis.
“The Olympic Festival gives us the chance to discover future Olympic Champions and offers a fantastic opportunity for the athletes to experience a multi-sport environment reminiscent of an Olympic Games.
"The Festival strives to provide a true Olympic experience to young competitors, and the Opening Ceremony incorporates the traditions of an Olympic Games with an athletes’ parade, athletes’ and officials’ oath, lighting of the Festival flame, and the raising of the Olympic Flag.”
Sprinter Liam Clowes, who has been selected for the men’s 100m and 200m said: “If someone had told me a year ago that I would be in the position to represent Great Britain, I wouldn’t have believed them.
"I only took up the sport two years ago through school and they said I was really fast, so I was taken to the Cheshire Championships where I won both the 100m and 200m. I didn’t know much about the sport. I even thought 200m was a long-distance event!
“But earlier this year, I heard that I had a chance of making the team for the European Youth Olympics and ever since then I’ve really stepped up a gear. It means the world to me to represent Great Britain. It really is like Christmas come early. I’ve dreamed of it and didn’t think I would achieve it. I’d really like to get to the finals and maybe get a medal. I’m just going out there to do my very best.”
Team GB (athletics only)
100m: Liam Clowes (Crewe & Nantwich); 200m: Clowes; 400m: Ainsley Campbell (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow); 800m: Thomas Atkinson (Wakefield & District); 1500m: Richard Goodman (Shaftesbury Barnet); 3000m: Callum Hawkins (Kilbarchan AAC); 110m hurdles: Themba Luhana (Rugby & Northampton); High Jump: Joseph Kent (Horsham Blue); Pole Vault: Cameron Walker-Shepherd (Team Bath); Long Jump: James Lelliot (Bournemouth AC); Discus: Liam Biddlecome (Shaftesbury Barnet); Hammer: Andrew Elkins (Shaftesbury Barnet) Javelin: Samuel Taylor-Outridge (Marshall Milton Keynes)
100m: Jennifer Batten (Stroud & District); 200m: Batten; 400m: Lucy James (Bedford & County); 800m: Adelle Tracey (Guildford & Godalming); 1500m: Lauren Proctor (Wakefield District); 100m hurdles: Georgia Atkins (Chelmsford AC); 400m hurdles: Laura Burke (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow); High Jump: Isobel Pooley (Aldershot, Farnham & District); Pole Vault: Katie Byers (Sale Harriers); Shot: Yasmin Spencer (Chesterfield & District); Hammer: Abbi Carter (Hull Achilles AC); Javelin: Danielle Anderson (Oxford City AC)