Finlay Tarling is off to the European Youth Olympic Festival.

Wales Provide Magnificent Seven To GB For Youth Olympics . . . The Future Starts In Slovakia

By Rob Cole

A Magnificent Seven Welsh youngsters have been selected in the Team GB squad to take part in the 2022 European Youth Olympic Festival in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia.

Team GB are taking a squad of 40 athletes to compete in the competition between 24-30 July. They will be part of an event that will involve 3,500 athletes and officials from 48 European nations who will compete in 10 Olympic sports.

The athletes are all aged 13-18 at the event and will take part in five sports – badminton, cycling, gymnastics, judo, and swimming. Athletics, basketball, handball, tennis, and volleyball complete the sporting programme.

Ffosyffin cyclist Finlay Tarling made a strong start to the 2022 season winning his first five races, including a win in Belgium.

He has joined elder brother, Joshua, in the Belgian FlandersColor cycling team for this year and became the Welsh U16 cyclocross champion at Pembrey.

He is joined in the cycling team by Sam Fisher, who recently finished fifth in the Scottish Cycling Youth Tour where he won a stage. He started cycling at Maindy Flyers, which is where Geraint Thomas launched his career.

Rising Newport badminton star Harper Leigh has already had experience of playing at the European U15 and U17 championships, while Welsh judo player Holly Deall has already been to one major tournament this year, competing for GB at the European Junior Championships in Athens in March.

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There are two Welsh gymnasts in the squad, 15-year-olds Ruby Evans and Evie Flage-Donovan.

“I’m super excited to have been selected to represent my country. Although I’m nervous, I’m very grateful to be given this opportunity and to experience it with my training partner, Evie,” said Welsh gymnast Evans.

“I recently broke my finger, so my preparation has been very different to normal – I just want to compete at my best, to experience staying in a village, and to meet new people from different countries that I could possibly compete against in a couple of years’ time as a senior gymnast.

“I want to keep progressing and continue competing for my country as it is a great honour. One day I would love to represent Wales at the Commonwealth Games and Team GB at the Olympic Games, so being selected for the EYOF has really inspired me to keep working hard in the gym.”

 

Swimmer Mabli Collyer makes up the seven strong Welsh contingent. A former triathlete, she now swims out of the Swansea Aquatics club and will compete in the breaststroke.

This will be the 16th edition of the EYOF and at the last summer event in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2019, Team GB claimed second place in the medal table with a total of 25 medals, including 11 golds.


Team GB at Banská Bystrica 2022


Badminton

Varsha Kumar (15) from Birmingham

Harper Leigh (15) from Newport 


Cycling

Cat Ferguson (16) from North Yorkshire

Sam Fisher (15) from Glamorgan

Seb Grindley (16) from Cheshire
Carys Lloyd (15) from Kent
Finlay Tarling (15) from Dyfed

Imogen Wolff (16) from South Yorkshire


Gymnastics

Oakley Banks (17) from Kent

Danny Crouch (16) from Essex

Ruby Evans (15) from Cardiff
Evie Flage-Donovan (15) from Newport
Abi Martin (14) from Devon

Reuben Ward (17) from Lancashire


Judo

William Andrews (16) from Sheffield

Luke Austen (18) from Berkshire
Luke Davies (17) from London

Holly Devall (17) from Glamorgan

Lewis Fryer (17) from Hertfordshire
Daniel Givan (18) from East Lothian
Anya Hassan (17) from Tyne and Wear
Charlotte Jenman (17) from Kent
Summer Shaw (18) from Surrey

Niamh Southgate (17) from Norwich


Swimming

Oscar Bilbao(16) from Hereford
Maisie Brown (14) from Hampshire

Skye Carter (14) from Essex

Conor Cherrington (16) from Dorset

Kianna Coertze (14) from Midlothian

Mabli Collyer (13) from Carmarthenshire
Phoebe Cooper (14) from South Yorkshire
Evan Davidson (15) from Perth
Oscar Dodds (16) from Jersey
Henry Gray (16) from London
Ella Homan (14) from the West Midlands
Jakey Hutchinson (15) from Derby
Isla Jones (15) from South Yorkshire
Blythe Kinsman (15) from Devon
Stefan Krawiec (16) from East Lothian
Luke McGee (16) from Tyne & Wear

 

 

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