Tag Archive: Team GB

Britain’s future boxing star is a knockout

Teenage flyweight boxer Jack Bateson has another achievement under his belt – after being appointed as an England ambassador for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Fighting fit | Jack Bateson is in training for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. (Image | Sky Sports)

Fighting fit | Jack Bateson is in training for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. (Image | Sky Sports)

The Leeds-born youngster is currently training hard to reach the Great Britain team for the event, which will be held in Glasgow next summer.

Bateson says he has “very fond memories” of the Commonwealth Youth Games, in which he won a gold medal, and credits much of his current success to this triumph.

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The World Championships in Athletics that follow an Olympic Games can often have the feeling of “going into the office the morning after the work Christmas party”. A bit of a let down following the thrill of the main event.

Expectation | As at the 2012 London Olympic Games, all eyes will be on Mo Farah, the main hope for British glory. (Image | Daily Express)

Expectation | As at the 2012 London Olympic Games, all eyes will be on Mo Farah, the main hope for British glory. (Image | Daily Express)

All the effort that went into the preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games can drain an athlete, both physically and psychologically. Where do you go once you have climbed Mount Everest?

For the world’s premier track and field athletes, they head to Moscow for the 2013 World Championships. From a British perspective, this is not a meet to be anticipated with a great deal of confidence.

Of the trio that brought us that magic hour last summer, Jessica Ennis-Hill is absent with injury, while Greg Rutherford has suffered injury problems, and struggled for form all year. Only Mo Farah heads to Moscow looking like a potential world champion in waiting.

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A golden occasion | While Team GB set the nation’s sporting passions aflame, the effect of the London 2012 Olympic Games went far beyond the Olympic Park. (Image | Radio Times)

After the wondrous Olympic Games in London, I expect to already be preaching to the congregation with this piece. However, what has happened in Britain over the past few weeks ought to be repeated. This is despite the fact that for so long, the prospect of the greatest show on Earth reaching these shores was met with indifference.

The pessimism and apathy had begun to dissipate as the opening ceremony drew closer. Then a political gaffe from Mitt Romney only expedited this, failing to realise that like one’s family members, you can listen to the complaints, but under no circumstances join in. It almost makes me want to see him become America’s next president simply in order to observe the manner in which any future visit to Downing Street would pan out. The country still approached the beginning of the Games with a tangible sense of trepidation. Everyone had witnessed China host a stunning, albeit somewhat clinical, opening in 2008. So how would Britain compare?

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Best of enemies | Anna Meares versus Victoria Pendleton was a highlight of London 2012’s great sporting rivalries. (Image | Daily Mail)

We have witnessed a number of extraordinary accomplishments at the London 2012 Olympic Games. In the lead up to the Games, however, there were few events I wished to see more than the culmination of one of the most enthralling sporting rivalries for a generation: Victoria Pendleton facing Anna Meares.

While Pendleton could claim first blood, after taking gold in the keirin, the focus would rightly be on the women’s sprint, which took place on the final day of action in the Velodrome.

Pendleton’s gold in the keirin was an unexpected success. Meares led going into the final lap, but Pendleton timed her move perfectly, taking the lead and maintaining it as she crossed the finish line.

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Team GB’s “apology” culture

“I’m sorry I didn’t win” – Team GB is, by its very nature, carrying the sporting hopes and dreams of the nation on the shoulders of its 500 plus athletes, but Rebecca Adlington’s apology for her bronze in the first week was wholly unnecessary. (Image | Huffington Post)

Sorry seems to be the hardest word“. Not for Team GB, it seems. Along with the raucous sound of the crowds across the Olympic venues, London has been treated to a succession of apologies from its competitors at the Games, all of whom, under extreme pressure and the weight of expectation that they have never experienced before, feel they almost “owe” the nation a gold medal.

It has reached the stage where few would have been surprised to hear Tom Daley, Olympic poster boy and marketers’ dream, apologise for bringing home the bronze medal last night. As it was, the 18-year-old frolicked around in the pool with his coaches and trainers after narrowly surrendering first place to America’s David Boudia and China’s Qiu Bo courtesy of a lower tariff dive than the respective gold and silver medal winners.

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Relief | Team GB striker Daniel Sturridge celebrates after netting his side’s winning goal against Uruguay, which saw the hosts top their group. (Image | The Sun)

Team GB’s men beat Uruguay 1-0 in the London 2012 Olympic Games final group match to qualify for the knock-out stages. Daniel Sturridge netted his second goal of the Games to take Stuart Pearce‘s side through to the quarter final, matching the achievement of Hope Powell‘s ladies on Tuesday. Despite a shaky start, which saw the British side draw 1-1 with Senegal, and a narrow 3-1 win over the United Arab Emirates, Team GB have managed to win their group to set up a meeting with South Korea.

With Team GB having just moved ahead of the Republic of Korea in the medal table – courtesy of Victoria Pendleton – the game will feature the third and fourth placed nations. It is an intriguing clash.

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Oar blimey | Team GB‘s female rowers became the first ever British women to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games. (Image | Standard)

Before Team GB men’s gymnastics’ outstanding success yesterday, it appeared as though the hopes of Great British sporting fans were going to be dashed at the 2012 London Olympics. Boasting only two silver and two bronze medals, Team GB had failed to secure a podium spot in the cycling on day one, while Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield were unable to hold onto their first place in the diving after their inaugural three dives. While the atmosphere at the Olympic Park remained buoyant, and indeed expectant, supporters were perhaps, behind the souvenir merchandise, becoming a little consumed by angst at the length of time it was taking Team GB to finally secure a gold medal.

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The world is watching | Danny Boyle’s impeccably choreographed opening ceremony was the perfect way to open the London 2012 Olympics, and captured the imagination of tens of millions of viewers. (Image | BBC)

The 2012 London Olympic Games are hopelessly commercial. From the towering, monolithic structure of Westfield that looms over the Olympic Park rather like an evil capitalist sceptre, to the sponsors’ names splashed everywhere from portacabin “walls” to cash machines, this is the true nature of modern sport. Advertising is king and there is money to be made everywhere.

One word pervades the air. “Official”. Why not pay £4.30 for an “official” beer? Which is Heineken, in case you were wondering. Perhaps you would like some “official” merchandise from the outlet located close to the Olympic Stadium itself? Or maybe some lunch and a refreshing soft drink from the “official” providers, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola?

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Ambassador | The decision to omit David Beckham from the Team GB side has prompted a debate about the wider purpose of football at the Olympics. (Image | The Telegraph)

On Thursday it was announced that David Beckham would not be included in the Team GB football squad. Instead, coach Stuart Pearce selected Welshmen Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy and, controversially, English defender Micah Richards as his designated players over the age of 23-years-old.

For many, the former England captain was a certainty for Pearce’s 18-man squad, given his efforts for England as a player and work in securing the Olympic games for Great Britain as an ambassador.

Thus his exclusion came as something of a shock. Alas Stuart Pearce was not to be tempted by a selection based on sentimentality, and for that he has faced understandable criticism.

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