Day ten at the European Games saw Team GB bag six more medals and another quota place for Paris 2024.
Heavyweight boxer Delicious Orie secured Team GBâs latest quota place for Paris 2024 with a semi final win over Bulgariaâs Yordan Hernandez Morejon. He will face Mahammad Abdullayev of Azerbaijan in a bid to add European Games gold to his Commonwealth title in this Sundayâs final.
Orie said: âThis is a dream. Iâve always had this dream (to secure a place at Paris 2024) and now Iâve got it. Every single day I wake up in the morning before I go out on my runs and stuff and I think to myself, âIâm going to be an Olympian!â.
âEvery single day when Iâm in camp and Iâm working hard, every day I wake up in the morning, thatâs what Iâm thinking of. When Iâm at family functions, when Iâm speaking to my Mum and Dad and just talking about normal things, at the back of my mind is, ‘Iâve got to qualify for the Olympics’ – weâre here today and weâve done it. It means everything to me. This is a day I will never ever forget.
âI respect all my opponents. Theyâre great and theyâve put me to the test and thatâs why it means so much to me because these guys are the top. Theyâve been around for a very long time. To be able to mix with them, and not just mix with them, but win, I canât put it into words.â
Meanwhile, Team GBâs canoe slalom athletes won their first medals of the Games with the womenâs C1 team claiming silver and the menâs C1 team taking bronze during the afternoonâs finals.
The womenâs trio of Mallory Franklin, Kimberley Woods and Sophie Ogilvie laid down a strong run to clock a time of 120.34 – good enough to take the top spot with three teams to go.
The Czech team were up next and rocketed straight into the gold medal position, but neither France nor Slovakia could match the Brits.
âRight now Iâm still shaking and I donât know why!â said Woods after exiting the course.
âI think we are a really strong team and itâs probably one of the best runs weâve done together. The Czechs are a strong team so weâre happy to win a silver medal.â
Ogilvie added, âIâm buzzed after that. Itâs been a tough day so to come out and deliver that run, especially with these girlsâŚ itâs a great team to be in so Iâm super happy.â
And Adam Burgess, Ryan Westley and James Kettle all landed their first medal for Team GB when they took bronze in the menâs event. Burgess led the charge down the course with Westley and Kettle in tow, posting a time of 107.84 to secure their place on the podium behind Germany with gold and Slovakia with silver.
In badminton, Ben Lane and Sean Vendy booked their spot in the menâs doubles gold medal match with a straight sets triumph over Franceâs Popov brothers.
The British pair took authority of proceedings from the off and carried that rhythm throughout the match to close out on 21-15, 21-14 and progress to the showpiece final.
Speaking after their match, Vendy said: âThey had a lot of energy today and they brought it on us, we felt it you know. The last time we played them it didnât have as much on it as the semi-final of the European Games but credit to us we played well, they played well â it was a good battle but we came out on top.â
Lane added: âObviously itâs our first time playing the European Games but weâre getting a bit older now and weâve played a lot of big matches in our career – I think weâre ready for the big matches now and I think itâs about time we went and stood on top of a podium.â
Alexander Dunn and Adam Hallâs respective campaign ended with bronze after a 2-1 loss against the Danish duo, Anders Rasmussen and Kim Astrup.
Momentum was briefly in the hands of Dunn and Hall after prevailing in a long rally to make it 9-9 and igniting a run to take the second set, however the Danes rallied in the third and will be Lane and Vendyâs opponents in Saturdayâs final.
âUnfortunately weâre disappointed. We didnât come here for bronze, we came here for gold,â said Dunn. He added: âObviously, it was a very tough match today, they are the favourites to win so itâs not as if we let ourselves down but we wanted more.â
Earlier in the day Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith cruised into the semi final stage of the mixed doubles with a commanding two-set victory over the host nation pair, Pawel Smilowski and Magdalena Swierczynska, while Kirsty Gilmour produced a five-point deficit comeback in the final set of her womenâs singles contest to confirm her place among the last four and guarantee at least a bronze medal.
Boxers Charley Davison and Rosie Eccles claimed bronze in the womenâs 54kg and 66kg categories respectively after already securing quota spots for Paris 2024 through their quarter final victories earlier in the Games. Davison took on Bulgariaâs Stanmira Petrova in her semi final, while Eccles faced Turkeyâs Busenaz Surmeneli, but neither managed to book a spot in Sundayâs final.
Davison said: âItâs all experience isnât it? Win or lose, you gain experience. I just soaked in all the atmosphere to be honest, the atmosphere out there was amazing. Itâs my first European Games so I just tried to enjoy it and I did, I thoroughly enjoyed myself!
âIâm still new to the weight, this is my second tournament, and Iâve got a lot of learning to do so we keep building.â
And Kiaran Macdonald claimed Team GBâs third boxing bronze of the day in the menâs 51kg category. His quarter final victory against Serbiaâs Omer Ametovic took him through to todayâs semis, where reigning European champion Billal Bennama of France came away with the win.
Hear a round-up of all the action from Team GB at the European Games so far here, with featured interviews from gold medallists Abbie Brown and Meg Jones – co-captains of the womenâs rugby sevens side – taekwondo fighters Jade Jones and Caden Cunningham, BMX rider Kieran Reilly and many more.