Source: Team GB

Delicious Orie secures Paris 2024 quota place

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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 GB’s latest quota place for Paris 2024 with a semi final win over Bulgaria’s Yordan Hernandez Morejon. He will face Mahammad Abdullayev of Azerbaijan in a bid to add European Games gold to his Commonwealth title in this Sunday’s final.

Orie said: “This is a dream. I’ve always had this dream (to secure a place at Paris 2024) and now I’ve 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, ‘I’m going to be an Olympian!’.

“Every single day when I’m in camp and I’m working hard, every day I wake up in the morning, that’s what I’m thinking of. When I’m at family functions, when I’m speaking to my Mum and Dad and just talking about normal things, at the back of my mind is, ‘I’ve got to qualify for the Olympics’ – we’re here today and we’ve done it. It means everything to me. This is a day I will never ever forget.

“I respect all my opponents. They’re great and they’ve put me to the test and that’s why it means so much to me because these guys are the top. They’ve been around for a very long time. To be able to mix with them, and not just mix with them, but win, I can’t put it into words.”

Meanwhile, Team GB’s canoe slalom athletes won their first medals of the Games with the women’s C1 team claiming silver and the men’s C1 team taking bronze during the afternoon’s finals.

The women’s 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.

“Right now I’m still shaking and I don’t know why!” said Woods after exiting the course.

“I think we are a really strong team and it’s probably one of the best runs we’ve done together. The Czechs are a strong team so we’re happy to win a silver medal.”

Ogilvie added, “I’m buzzed after that. It’s been a tough day so to come out and deliver that run, especially with these girls… it’s a great team to be in so I’m super happy.”

And Adam Burgess, Ryan Westley and James Kettle all landed their first medal for Team GB when they took bronze in the men’s 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 men’s doubles gold medal match with a straight sets triumph over France’s 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: “They had a lot of energy today and they brought it on us, we felt it you know. The last time we played them it didn’t have as much on it as the semi-final of the European Games but credit to us we played well, they played well – it was a good battle but we came out on top.”

Lane added: “Obviously it’s our first time playing the European Games but we’re getting a bit older now and we’ve played a lot of big matches in our career – I think we’re ready for the big matches now and I think it’s about time we went and stood on top of a podium.”

Alexander Dunn and Adam Hall’s 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 Vendy’s opponents in Saturday’s final.

“Unfortunately we’re disappointed. We didn’t come here for bronze, we came here for gold,” said Dunn. He added: “Obviously, it was a very tough match today, they are the favourites to win so it’s not as if we let ourselves down but we wanted more.”

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 women’s 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 women’s 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 Bulgaria’s Stanmira Petrova in her semi final, while Eccles faced Turkey’s Busenaz Surmeneli, but neither managed to book a spot in Sunday’s final.

Davison said: “It’s all experience isn’t it? Win or lose, you gain experience. I just soaked in all the atmosphere to be honest, the atmosphere out there was amazing. It’s my first European Games so I just tried to enjoy it and I did, I thoroughly enjoyed myself!
“I’m still new to the weight, this is my second tournament, and I’ve got a lot of learning to do so we keep building.”

And Kiaran Macdonald claimed Team GB’s third boxing bronze of the day in the men’s 51kg category. His quarter final victory against Serbia’s Omer Ametovic took him through to today’s 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 women’s rugby sevens side – taekwondo fighters Jade Jones and Caden Cunningham, BMX rider Kieran Reilly and many more.

Fans can sign up to follow Team GB here, and watch all the European Games action live here.