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Rosie Eccles Leads Trio Of Welsh Boxers Among A Dozen Welsh Athletes In GB Squad For European Games

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By David Williams

Commonwealth champion Rosie Eccles is among three Welsh boxers – and a dozen Welsh athletes in total – who have been named in the Great Britain squad for the European Games this summer.

Eccles – who won gold at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham – is joined by Taylor Bevan and Harris Akbar in the GB squad for Krakow in Poland.

The multi-discipline sports event will take place in Krakow, Poland, from 21 June to 2 July.

Also among the team of 178 at the multi-sport event from June 21 to July 2 are double Olympic taekwondo gold medallist Jade Jones,Tokyo 2020 taekwondo silver medallist Lauren Williams, double Olympian rugby player Jasmine Joyce, plus fellow rugby players Morgan and Tom Williams.

Making up the dozen are shooters Ben Llewellin and Georgina Roberts, table tennis player Charlotte Carey and triathlete Olivia Matthias.

A number of the sports will use the European Games to offer at least some qualification spots for next year’s Olympic Games in Paris.

In boxing, a total of 44 places to box at Paris 2024 will be on offer.

Eccles, from Newport, will be competing at her second European Games after representing Team GB in Minsk in 2019.

She is in good form, having also won gold in her most recent outing at the Czech Grand Prix in May.

Eccles said: “It feels really good to be selected for the European Games and a proud moment to represent Team GB again as it is not an opportunity that comes around too often.

“To be able to go out there and have a chance to qualify for the Olympics, which is only a year away, is really exciting.

“It’s what I’ve been aiming for since the age of eight years old so to qualify at the Games in Krakow would be amazing and a dream come true.”

GB Boxing’s performance director, Rob McCracken said: “The Paris Olympic cycle is shorter than the usual four years (owing to Covid) and means this qualifying event has come around very early, so this will be a test for the boxers.

“The European Games is always a top-quality competition and I expect this one to be especially challenging.

“It will be competitive in every weight class and our boxers will need to be at their best to secure qualification as they are competing for a relatively small number of Olympic places.

“Changes to the weight categories for Paris 2024 mean the men’s selection was particularly competitive and has resulted in a lot of talented boxers in the GB Boxing squad missing out on this occasion which is disappointing because many of them have the ability to go to the Olympic Games and do well.

“It is unfortunate but this is the harsh reality of elite sport and means that the boxers we have selected need to look forward to the challenge and make the most of this opportunity.”

Jones, Nicola Adams and Duncan Scott and were among Team GB’s medallists at the inaugural European Games in Baku in 2015, while Sir Jason Kenny, Chelsie Giles and Wales’ Lauren Price were successful at Minsk 2019.

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