164 Woman and 202 Men to Compete for TeamGB at Rio 2016
The British Olympic Association (BOA) has entered its largest delegation for 22 years for an Olympic Games on foreign soil with 366 athletes set to compete across 23 sports at Rio 2016 in just 17 days time.
After taking the largest delegation for over a century to London 2012, when 542 athletes were selected to represent the host nation, 366 athletes will travel to Rio to mark the biggest team for an away Olympic Games since Barcelona 1992.
At Rio 2016, Team GB will include more female athletes than ever before for an away Olympic Games with 164 women (44.8%) and 202 men (55.2%) selected to compete in Brazil. In total 262 women were selected for London 2012 but Rio 2016 surpasses the previous record of 143 from Beijing 2008 for an away Games.
The Team GB delegation submitted includes its most experienced athlete ever at the Olympic Games with Nick Skelton (Equestrian – Jumping) set to compete at his seventh Games. Skelton surpasses Alison Williamson (1992-2012), Mary King (1992-2012), Tessa Sanderson (1976-1996), Bill Hoskyns (1956-1976) and Mike Dixon (Winter Olympics 1984-2002) in reaching his seventh Games while teammate John Whitaker joins that exclusive list after being named to compete at his sixth.
Other athletes making their fifth Olympic appearance at Rio 2016 include London 2012 gold medallists Sir Bradley Wiggins (Cycling – Track) and Katherine Grainger (Rowing) as well as Jo Pavey, who becomes Team GB’s first track and field athlete to compete at five separate Games.
Having claimed seven medals from his four Olympic appearances to date, one more podium finish will see Wiggins become Team GB’s most decorated athlete in Olympic history.
Wiggins and Grainger are two of 27 British Olympic Champions from London 2012 selected for Rio 2016 with double gold medallists Jason Kenny (Cycling), Laura Trott (Cycling), Mo Farah (Athletics) and Charlotte Dujardin (Equestrian – Dressage) leading the team.
Other returning champions include Jessica Ennis-Hill (Athletics) and Greg Rutherford (Athletics) as well as two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray (Tennis).
In total 151 athletes and 65 medallists from London 2012 will compete at Rio 2016 with 13 silver medallists and 25 bronze medallists, including eight from the women’s hockey team, returning. Rio 2016 will also be a first away Games for 303 athletes.
The Rio 2016 Olympic Games will once again be a family affair with siblings Callum and Derek Hawkins (Athletics), John and Michael Whitaker (Equestrian – Jumping), Ellie and Rebecca Downie (Gymnastics – Artistic), Peter and Richard Chambers (Rowing), Andy and Jamie Murray (Tennis) and Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee (Triathlon) all set to compete. Married couples Chris and Gabby Adcock (Badminton) and Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh (Hockey) have also been selected.
The youngest athlete selected to Team GB is 16-year-old Amy Tinkler (Gymnastics – Artistic) while the oldest is John Whitaker (Equestrian – Jumping) who will turn 61 on the day of the Opening Ceremony on August 5.
Late additions to the squad come from canoe sprinters Lani Belcher and Angela Hannah, who will race in the women’s K2 500m in Rio following a decision by the International Canoe Federation to suspend teams from Romania and Belarus for doping offences and reallocate the Olympic quota places.
Belcher will make her Olympic debut in Rio following silver medal success with Team GB at last year’s European Games while Hannah returns from London 2012 where she finished fifth in the K4 500m.
There is also a change in the men’s cycling road team with Steve Cummings replacing Peter Kennaugh after the latter volunteered to step down after struggling for form since breaking his collarbone in the Tour of California two months ago.
Cummings, who won team pursuit silver at Athens 2004, joins the squad fresh from winning Stage 7 of this year’s Tour de France.
Team GB’s Chef de Mission Mark England said: “After four years of hard work our team for Rio 2016 is now complete. We have a strong squad of athletes ready to do their country proud and it’s great to welcome our largest British Olympic team for almost a quarter of a century.
“I also genuinely believe this is our most talented ever team and to qualify in 23 out of the 28 sports is a fantastic achievement. For the athletes the Olympic Games represent a lifetime of dedication in the pursuit of excellence and I wish them all the best over the comings weeks. Let’s bring home a new generation of heroes to inspire the nation.”
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