The waiting is over for the athletes at the Tbilisi 2015 European Youth Olympic Festival with last night’s Opening Ceremony officially kicking off the action in Georgia.
The spectacular show at Tbilisi’s Mikheil Meshki Stadium showcased the best of traditional Georgian dance and saw judoka Wesley Greenidge star for Team GB as Flagbearer on the eve of the first day of competition.
In total 17 of Team GB’s 44 athletes begin their Festivals today with both tennis and swimming in action across the city.
Ellinor Southward will be the first British athlete racing in the pool alongside Athena Clayson in the girls’ 100 backstroke heats and the 14-year-old Ellesmere swimmer is targeting a medal in the evening’s final.
“I definitely want to get a medal in the 100m and 200m backstroke but I want to win; I want to be the best,” she said.
“Being selected for this event has proven to me that the hard work is worth it and it has made me happy that everything I am doing is paying off.
“The British Championships and Four Nations competition in Italy are probably the biggest events I have competed in so far so the European Youth Olympic Festival will be the biggest. I am really proud to be representing my country.”
Team GB’s four young tennis stars also get underway as the Tbilisi 2015 singles event begins with the opening rounds.
With temperatures hitting the mid-30s this week, the heat will certainly be a factor but 15-year-old Emile Hudd is hopeful that he can capitalise in the testing conditions.
“It’ll be good fun. It’s a new experience for me so I’m looking forward to it.
“I’ve played in tough conditions before so I think the heat will be fine. The courts are nice and suit my game style of being aggressive and trying to take control of the point so I’m pleased.
“The whole Festival has been amazing so far. Much bigger than I expected and I’ve never been to something like this before. Hopefully that will help my tennis and I’m just looking forward to getting underway now.”
Day One Schedule: Monday 27th July
Heats: 09:30-12:00 local time / 06:30-09:00 BSTGirls’ 100m Backstroke: Ellinor Southward, Athena Clayson
Girls’ 400m IM: Emily Large, Rebecca Sutton
Girls’ 4x100m Freestyle: TBC
Boys’ 100m Butterfly: Kieran Bird
Boys’ 4x100m Freestyle: TBC
Girls’ 200m Butterfly: Emily Large, Caitlin Hubbard
Boys’ 200m Freestyle: Jamie O’Connor, Brodie Williams
Boys’ 100m Backstroke: Elliot Clogg, Brodie Williams
Boys’ 100m Breaststroke: Cameron Muir
Finals: 17:00-20:00 local time / 14:00-17:00 BST
Boys’ 200m Freestyle Final
Girls’ 200m Butterfly Final
Boys’ 100m Backstroke Semi-finals
Girls’ 100m Backstroke Semi-finals
Boys’ 100m Breaststroke Semi-finals
Girls’ 400m Individual Medley Final
Boys’ 100m Butterfly Semi-finals
Girls’ 4x100m Freestyle Final
Boys’ 4x100m Freestyle Final
Singles: Boys’ First Round 09:00-22:00 local time / 06:00-19:00 BST: Emile Hudd, Jacob Fearnley
Singles: Girls’ First Round 09:00-22:00 local time / 06:00-19:00 BST: Victoria Allen, Nell Miller