Tuesday 19th July marked the last Team GB selection announcement for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, with Britain’s best rugby seven’s players being the last to learn their fates.
Amongst the 12 strong men’s and women’s squads are three Loughborough alumni, with current student Meg Jones also named as a travelling reserve. The number of Paralympian’s is still to be finalised, with selections continuing over the coming weeks, however it is now confirmed that 38 current or former Loughborough students are going to the Olympic Games. Add in Loughborough University based athletes and the total number is 53.
In Team GB men’s Rugby 7’s news, Alex Davis and Phil Burgess have both been rewarded with places in the squad for Rio, whilst on the women’s side fellow alumna Claire Allan (pictured above evading a tackle) gets the nod.
The trio will make history as the first ever Loughborough Rugby Olympians, as Rugby 7s is making its Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro.
Of the announcement Loughborough’s Director of Rugby Dave Morris commented: “The inclusion of Alex and Phil in the final Team GB men’s sevens squad is a very special moment for the club. They are two excellent young men who gave everything in a Loughborough shirt and left a lasting impression.
“I know everyone in the Loughborough family who had the pleasure of playing with, working with, or supporting them during their time at Loughborough would want to say: ‘AJ and Burg, we are incredibly proud of you both and we are all behind you in your journey to win gold in Rio.
“With alumna Claire Allan making the women’s squad and current student Meg Jones named as a traveling reserve, it is fantastic for the rugby family at Loughborough and I firmly believe that they, along with Alex and Phil, will inspire many more Loughborough students to be future rugby sevens Olympians.”
Additionally, alumna Angela Hannah has been rewarded with a last minute spot on Team GB in the K2 Kayak Sprint. Competing alongside Lani Belcher, the duo finished third at the European qualifying event in Germany in May, which wasn’t enough to fulfil their Rio dream. However after a number of positive drugs tests, Romania have been disqualified, meaning the duo have rightfully earned their spot.
Of the news Hannah said: “We’re amazed really. It all came about at the last minute, and we only learned it could be happening on Saturday. It’s cutting it fine but I am super excited. I really hope they ensure it is clean in Rio but we just need to keep building in our boat and make sure we go fast ourselves.
“I think we’ll be more relaxed just because we are there. We really want to make the final and then we’ll just have to see what happens on the day.”
Report courtesy of Loughborough University