Team GB have announced the athletes selected to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the 2019 European Games next month with 31 Team England athletes from Gold Coast 2018 included.
Today’s announcement sees 93 athletes confirmed from 10 sports. Out of the 10 sports, those that have been included in previous Commonwealth Games are badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, judo, shooting, table tennis and wrestling.
Minsk 2019 is the second iteration of the European Games and will be held in the Belarussian capital from 21st – 30th June, with the Opening Ceremony on Friday 21st June.
As with the inaugural Games four years ago at Baku 2015, British female athletes will outnumber their male teammates at the Games.
Over 4,000 athletes from 50 countries will compete across 10 days in 200 different medal events with the Opening and Closing Ceremony being held in the Dinamo National Olympic Stadium.
Minsk 2019 represents the last senior multi-sport event prior to next summer’s Olympic Games and will provide invaluable experience for the British athletes hoping to travel to Tokyo. Team GB will compete at Minsk 2019 in archery, badminton, boxing, canoe sprint, cycling, gymnastics, judo, karate, shooting, table tennis and wrestling.
The Games is also an important qualification step on the road to Tokyo 2020 for some sports, with direct qualification of quota places for three sports – archery, shooting and table tennis – and important ranking points for others.
At present, 24 athletes from three sports – equestrian, sailing and shooting – have secured quota places for Team GB at Tokyo 2020. For badminton, boxing – men and judo, the European Games double up as their usual European Championships.
Four years ago, Team GB enjoyed success in the first European Games in Baku, winning 47 medals, including 18 gold medals. Amongst the gold medal winning athletes in Azerbaijan were boxers Nicola Adams and Joe Joyce, swimmer Duncan Scott and Jade Jones in taekwondo.
There will be 18 athletes returning for their second Games, including defending women’s skeet champion Amber Hill and Brinn Bevan in the men’s artistic gymnastics.
Selected in the team are 25 returning Olympians, from the last three summer Olympic Games, including medallists Jason Kenny, Katy Marchant and Sally Conway, as well as athletes from two non-Olympic gymnastics disciplines, aerobic and acrobatic.
The Team GB delegation will be led by Chef de Mission, Paul Ford and supported by Deputy Chef de Mission, Laura Hanna. Ford will act as Deputy Chef de Mission at Tokyo 2020 and Hanna, who has been part of the staff for the last five Games, will also be part of the wider Tokyo 2020 team.
Speaking after the team announcement, Ford said: “Minsk 2019 provides an important pathway towards Tokyo 2020 for sports. With automatic qualification of quota places for some, ranking points for others and three continental championships for sports you can see why Team GB has such a strong delegation going to the Games.
“It is an exciting mix of athletes and I look forward to the second European Games and the performances that I’m sure will impress and excite in equal measure.”
This excitement was matched by athletes following selection as a number commented on being part of Team GB and what the Minsk 2019 European Games hold in store.
Nekoda Davis, judo -57kg, said: “Multi-sport Games are always amazing experiences for athletes, not just in helping us prepare for the Olympic Games, but also special in how they bring numerous sports together to be part of one team at one event. Baku 2015 was really helpful for me as part of my journey to the Rio Olympics the following year and I’m sure Minsk 2019 will have the same impact. The fact that the Games double up as our judo European Championships gives us extra incentive to perform and put a great marker down for the season and our preparations for Tokyo 2020.”
Amber Hill, women’s skeet, said: “I’m really excited to be selected to compete in my second European Games. The last Games in Baku was a special event for me as it was where I secured my place for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was an unforgettable moment. I feel honoured to represent Team GB and can’t wait to come together with athletes from all different sports in a multi-sport event like this.”
Team England Gold Coast 2018 athletes representing Team GB at Minsk 2019:
Galal YAFAI (-52kg)
Peter McGRAIL (-56kg)
Calum FRENCH (-60kg)
Luke McCORMACK (-64kg)
Pat McCORMACK (-69kg)
Ben WHITTAKER (-81kg)
Cheavon CLARKE (-91kg)
Frazer CLARKE (+91kg)
Women’s Track Endurance
Men’s Track Sprint
Women’s Track Sprint
Women’s Road & TT
For the full team head to Team GB here