Hunt pays tribute to Williamson

10 May 2012 / 08:45

Team GB chef de mission Andy Hunt has hailed Alison Williamson's dedication and longevity after she was selected for a record-equalling sixth Olympic Games.

Tessa Sanderson (javelin) and Bill Hoskyns (fencing) are the only other Britons to have managed that feat before, making Williamson's appearance at Wednesday's team announcement at Lord's all the more special.

She had to wait on a discretionary place - decided on by performance director Sara Symington and head coach Lloyd Brown - after being edged out by Amy Oliver and Naomi Folkard for the automatic berths, with Alan Wills picked for the men's team alongside top-ranked pair Larry Godfrey and Simon Terry.

Williamson made her Olympic debut in Barcelona in 1992, before going on to compete in Atlanta, Sydney, Athens (where she won a bronze medal) and Beijing.

Hunt said: "What Alison has achieved is very special. Attaining the incredibly high standard required to become an Olympian once is something to be admired.

"To achieve it six times is something to be truly cherished and is a tribute to her consistent passion, determination and talent for the sport over two decades."

Williamson admitted that the twin goals of appearing at a home Games and joining the ranks of the Olympic six-timers helped drive her on through a tough selection process.

"A while ago I wrote myself a sheet of paper, a list of goals and a list of commitments I'd make," she said. "On it I wrote 'If I make it I will be the third Briton to have done this'. That motivated me. I had it pinned to the kitchen wall.

"I'm so thrilled and proud to make it to my sixth Olympics. It makes all the sacrifices and all of the hard work over the years worthwhile. This is the ultimate event that every athlete aspires to and be there six times is just amazing.

"Obviously it's a home Games so it's that much more special than the others and my mum and dad are here volunteering too. It just doesn't get any better."