—- The British Olympic Association has today confirmed the 44 athletes selected to represent Team GB at the Baku 2019 European Olympic Festival (EYOF).

 

Baku 2019 will see around 2,500 athletes from 48 European nations come together to compete across 10 Olympic sports from 21st-27th July.

 

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 the development of young British athletes and help 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.

 

The likes of Becky Adlington, Pete Kennaugh, Sally Conway and Nile Wilson all had their first taste of an Olympic-style event at an EYOF before winning an Olympic medal at senior level.

 

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.

 

Speaking on the announcement for Baku 2019, 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.

 

“European Youth Olympic Festivals are fantastic for the next generation of British Olympic sporting stars, providing an opportunity to compete internationally, experience the unique world of multi-sport events and be part of Team GB.

 

“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.”

 

Josh Charlton, cycling, said: “It feels incredible to be selected. I got the email about four weeks ago confirming it and I just started shaking. It’s difficult to describe the feeling knowing you’re going to represent your nation in front of the world.

 

“A podium in Baku would be a dream come true, especially in the time trial event where I’m strongest, but it’s also an incredible opportunity to grow and learn as a person and an athlete.

 

“It’s going to give me the experience of a multi-sport event and what to expect at an Olympics if I’m lucky enough to make it there one day. Our coach said the next big multi-sport event we could be part of might be the Olympics so that’s a pretty exciting and daunting thought.”

 

Tatum Keen, judo, said: “I’m really excited to fight in Baku. Judo is a big sport out there and the crowd and atmosphere in the stadium will be amazing. I’ve trained really hard for this and the experience is going to be great.

 

“I had an injury at the start of this year so it’s more of a relief to be selected after working hard to get fit and back in contention.

 

“People such as Sally Conway and the other senior athletes are a huge inspiration for me. To see what they’ve done at the Olympics having started with Team GB at events like this is really inspiring and hopefully I can follow in their footsteps.”

 

Team GB at Baku 2019

 

Artistic Gymnastics:

Raekwon Baptiste, aged 17, from Sutton Coldfield

Halle Hilton, 15, from Corringham

Sam Mostowfi, 17, from Maidstone

Ondine Achampong, 15, from Kings Langley

Luke Whitehouse, 17, from Halifax

Annie Young, 14, from Wymondham

 

Cycling:

Zoe Backstedt, aged 14, Pontyclun

Joshua Charlton, 16, from Durham

Millie Couzens, 15, from Bicester

Thomas Lord, 15, from Altringham

Imani Pereira-James, 14, from Glasgow

Finlay Pickering, 16, from Hull

 

Judo:

Mae Bostock, aged 15, from Spennymoor

Tatum Keen, 17, from Bath

Isobel Kitchen, 16, from Halifax

Grace Griffiths, 17, from Orpington

Daisy Gilroy, 16, from Cupar

Dougie Fleming, 16, from Linlithgow

Artur Patemian, 16, from Glasgow

Harry Zain-Prosser, 16, from Surbiton

Ethan Nairne, 17, from Weston-super-Mare

Ryan Rijksen-Salman, 17, from Stonehouse

 

Swimming:

Jemimah Berkeley, aged 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

 

Tennis:

Matilda Mutavdzic, aged 15, from Opoeteren, Belgium

Yujiro Onuma, 14, from Cambridge

Andrea Pineda, 15, from London

Matthew Rankin, 14, from Edinburgh

 

Wrestling:

Lucy McGrath, aged 16, from Bolton

Harvey Ridings, 16, from Wigan

 

-ENDS-

 

For any media enquiries or for further information regarding Baku 2019, please contact Ed Langford (Ed.Langford@TeamGB.com).

 

About The BOA:

 

The British Olympic Association (BOA) is the National Olympic Committee for Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  Its mission is to develop, promote and protect the Olympic Movement in our territory in accordance with the Olympic Charter. The BOA achieves this through:

 

  • Working in partnership with our members and key stakeholders to deliver world-leading services and support to enable British athletes to reach their full potential at the Olympic Games, Olympic Winter Games and other IOC-sanctioned events
  • Working in partnership with our members and key stakeholders to provide athletes with relevant support on the journey to, during and following their Olympic careers
  • Engaging people throughout the United Kingdom to pursue their very own goals and dreams through the Olympic Values and the example of Team GB Olympians
  • Being the independent voice of Olympic Sport and collaborating with our members and other sport stakeholders, both domestically and internationally, to support the continued growth and overall health of the Olympic Movement in the UK

 

For further information, please visit TeamGB.com