BOA names first golfers in over 100 years for Australian Youth Olympic Festival

Thursday, 06 December 2012
By Tom Degun

Georgia HallDecember 6 - The British Olympic Association (BOA) has named the 10 young golfers who will become the first athletes to represent Team GB in the sport for more than a century at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) in Sydney next month.

Britain was last represented in golf at the Paris 1900 Olympic Games where Walter Rutherford won a silver medal and David Robertson a bronze in the men's individual competition.

The sport also appeared at the St Louis 1904 Olympic Games, but Team GB were not represented at the event.

Golf was then dropped from the Olympic programme and it was only in 2009 that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted to re-introduce it for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

At the AYOF, which takes place on January 16-20, the British golf charge is set to be led by 16-year-old starlet Georgia Hall (pictured top) from Bournemouth.

Hall is already ranked number four in the world and number one in Europe, as well as being shortlisted for the 2012 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year Award following her dramatic rise.

"It is a real honour to be one of the very first golfers to represent Team GB," said Hall.

"When golf got added to the sport programme for the Rio 2016 Games, I was really excited as it has always been my dream to compete at an Olympics.

"I'm looking forward to competing to the best of my ability in Australia, and to making many new friends with my teammates from other Olympic sports."

Hall will be joined in the AYOF golf competition by Jack Brar, Gabriella Cowley, Harry Ellis, Bradley Neil, Amber Ratcliffe, Ewan Scott, Ashton Turner, Lauren Whyte and Chloe Williams.

Golf is one of 17 Olympic sports at the AYOF, with Team GB's 120 selected athletes competing in the 11 sports of badminton, basketball, diving, golf, gymnastics, hockey, rowing, shooting, triathlon, weightlifting and wrestling.

Another leading name in the Team GB line-up is Commonwealth Games bronze medallist weightlifter Zoe Smith, who produced a personal best as a member of Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics.

Zoe SmithZoe Smith will be one of the leading names for Team GB at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney

"The London 2012 Games were an incredible experience and I loved every minute of it," said Smith.

"The Olympic environment is completely different from other competitions, so I am pleased to have the opportunity to compete in another large multi-sport event so soon after London 2012."

The AYOF will see a total of approximately 1,700 athletes aged 12-20 from 30 nations competing across many of the venues used to host the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

The Team GB delegation will be led by Chef de Mission Mark England, who is the BOA director of Games Services.

"Following the inspirational achievements of Team GB's athletes this summer at the London 2012 Games it is an exciting time to lead this group of exceptionally talented young athletes to the Australian Youth Olympic Festival," said England, who will be leading Team GB at a Youth Olympic event for the 12th time in Sydney.

"The statistics show what a crucial springboard the AYOF has been for many of our successful London 2012 Olympians."

Team GB athletes who have competed at the AYOF include gymnast Louis Smith, diver Tom Daley and triathlete Jonathan Brownlee, who all medalled at London 2012.

Contact the writer of this story at tom.degun@insidethegames.biz
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