The British Olympic Association has today confirmed the 44 athletes selected to represent Team GB at the Baku 2019 European Olympic Festival (EYOF), which includes 16 swimmers.
Amongst the sixteen are no fewer than six swimmers who won medals at last week’s European Junior Swimming Championships in Kazan, Russia. Leading the way is Katie Shanahan who won bronze in the Women’s 400m Individual Medley last week, edging out Freya Colbert, who went on to win silver as part of the Women’s 4x200m Relay. Colbert is also named as well as another member of that quartet, Tamryn van Selm.
Evelyn Davis also returned from Russia with a medal round her neck, a bronze from the Women's 4x100m Medley Relay, whilst Ed Mildred and 14 year old Jacob Whittle also enjoyed relay success; all six will hope for more of the same in Azerbaijan between 21st-27th July. Baku 2019 will see around 2,500 athletes from 48 European nations come together to compete across 10 Olympic sports.
Team GB’s athletes, who will all be aged 14-17 at the event, will
compete in six of those sports; cycling (six athletes), gymnastics (six), judo
(10), swimming (16), tennis (four) and wrestling (two). Athletics, basketball,
handball and volleyball complete the sporting programme in Azerbaijan.
With many athletes already working on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as well as Paris 2024, EYOFs play an important role in their development, helping them along the route to achieving their own Olympic dreams.
The Festivals provide crucial multi-sport event experience for young athletes, with over 40 athletes graduating from a summer EYOF with Team GB going on to compete at the Beijing 2008, London 2012 or Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Becky Adlington OBE had her first taste of an Olympic-style event at an EYOF before being crowned double Olympic champion in Beijing.
Baku is the 15th edition of the summer EYOF and Team GB have enjoyed a successful Games at each, with 10 medals won two years ago in Gyor, Hungary and at least 20 medals in each of the previous 13 Festivals.
Leading the Team GB delegation as Chef de Mission at Baku 2019 will be Elaine Skilton, who acted as Deputy Chef de Mission for Team GB at last year’s Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. Of the team selected, Skilton said:
“Wearing the Olympic rings for the first time and competing for your country is always a huge honour and I’m sure today is a proud moment for each of the 44 selected athletes and their families. Baku 2019 is set to be a great event and we have a very talented group of British athletes coming together to form Team GB for this Festival.
“The British Olympic Association is already underway with planning for Paris 2024 and no doubt a number of these athletes will already have their eyes set on those Games. Hopefully Baku 2019 can act as a great springboard for them as they develop and move through their sporting career towards the senior ranks of Olympic sport, and I wish every athlete the very best for the Festival ahead.”
Swimmers selected for EYOF:Jemimah Berkeley, 15, from Robertsbridge
Freya Colbert, 15, from Grantham
Evelyn Davis, 15, from Bromley
Joseph Deighan, 15, from Cheshire
Caitlin Ebbage, 14, from Tonbridge
William Ellington, 16, from Beech
Mark Ford, 16, from Carluke
Sophie Freeman, 15, from Colchester
Pierce Greening, 15, from Cockermouth
Edward Mildred, 16, from Northampton
Katie Shanahan, 15, from Glasgow
Ellie Sibbald-Perkins, 15, from Birmingham
Nicholas Skelton, 16, from Abingdon
Tamryn van Selm, 15, from Orpington
Jacob Whittle, 14, from Derbyshire
Cameron Williams, 15, from Plymouth