Team GB’s female gymnasts will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of their male counterparts tomorrow as Tyesha Mattis (Tottenham), Amy Tinkler (Bishop Auckland) and Ellie Downie (Nottingham) go in search of gold in the women’s artistic gymnastics (WAG) team competition at the Galgenwaard Sports Centre.
Downie said: “Seeing what the boys did today has really motivated us. We’ve been here for a few days now and are just itching to get out there and compete for the first time.
“My long-term goal is to win a medal at the Olympics one day and this is the perfect place to start.
“Ty and Amy have both competed for Team GB before at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival so it’s nice to have that experience in the team and they were really successful in Sydney so hopefully we can carry that on here in Utrecht.”
Over in the Jaarbeurs arena Team GB’s judokas will be inspired by Peter Miles’ silver medal in the -55kg category as four more fighters compete for medals. Abbie Blackie (Melrose), Jodie Caller (Northampton), Neil McDonald (Glasgow) and Stuart McWatt (Aberdeen) compete in the -52kg, -57kg, -60kg and -66kg categories respectively. They will each take to the mat for the preliminary rounds in the morning with repechages and potential medal bouts contested in the afternoon.
McDonald won bronze in the recent European Championships for Cadets and thinks that experience will help in Utrecht.
He said: “I’ve won British titles before and competed in the European Cadet Championships but a Youth Olympic Festival is another step up altogether. Since getting our Team GB kit last week it hit home what an honour and a privilege it is to compete for Team GB and to do it in an Olympic event feels really special.
“But we went over to the European Cadets and won three bronze medals as a team so that shows we can compete against the best in Europe and we have nothing to fear. Pete’s silver medal just emphasises that and makes the rest of the team hungry for a bit of success as well.”
Team GB’s swimmers had medal success on the first day of competition today and will hope to maintain that momentum at Swimming Pool De Krommerijn with another busy day of competition. Suleman Butt (Aberdeen) missed out on a medal in the 200m freestyle by an agonising 0.1s but has two more medal chances tomorrow in the 50m and 400m freestyle events.
Abbie Wood (Buxton), Martyn Walton (Stevenage), Luke Gunning (Orpington), Bethany Newton (Bridgwater), Charlie Attwood (Bridgwater) and Holly Hibbott (Southport) are also in action. The EYOF includes an extra event to the regular Olympic swimming schedule as 4x100m medley mixed relay which will act as a true test of Team GB’s swimming squad.
On the courts of Tennis Park Den Hommel Thomas Wright (Beckenham) and Harry Simpson (Hull) will hope to continue their progression through the boy’s doubles draw taking on the fifth seed pair from Serbia.
“We didn’t do all that much against the Icelandic pair, we were always in control and our serve was never broken,” said Simpson.
“We will keep improving as a pair the more we play and we are looking forward to the next round.
“The Serbian pair will be strong but we are up for the match and I think we can go far in this competition."