THE GOLDEN GIRLS
Monday, 30 November -0001

THE GOLDEN GIRLS

Team GB is made up of more female athletes than at any other Olympic Games. Katy Pearson picks her top 10…

Written by Katy Pearson

The 542-strong Team GB includes a record number of female athletes. A total of 262 have secured their place in the London Games, 143 more than travelled to Beijing four years ago.

 Here are just some of the hopefuls worth keeping an eye on...

1 ZARA PHILLIPS

Eventing

The 31-year-old missed out on the Games in Athens and Beijing, following fi tness concerns over her horse, Toytown. Now, like her mother Princess Anne and father Captain Mark Phillips before her, she is competing for Britain. Zara, who is part of the fi vestrong eventing team, will be based at the Olympic village and has confessed to feeling nervous, but excited.

2 REBECCA ADLINGTON

400m and 800m Freestyle

Rebecca, 23, became a double Olympic champion in Beijing four years ago. Great Britain’s most successful Olympic swimmer in 100 years, she’ll be defending her titles in London. Rebecca wears a ring with the Olympic symbol and also has a tattoo of the Olympic rings on her lower back.

3 YAMILÉ ALDAMA

Triple Jump

In March, Yamilé, 39, became the second oldest athlete ever to take the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) World Indoor Champion in Triple Jump title in Istanbul. Cuban born, the London 2012 Games will be Yamilé’s fi fth Olympic appearance – she has previously competed for Cuba and Sudan.

4 HOLLY BLEASDALE

Pole Vault

A newcomer to the sport, Holly, 20, has been pole vaulting a mere three years. However, she is currently ranked No5 in the world, thanks to her indoor jump of 4.87 metres in January of this year. She won the UK trials with a new personal best but has never won a major title. Indeed, her fi rst senior medal was Bronze in March at the World Indoor Championships.

5 JESSICA ENNIS (pictured top)

Heptathlon

Jessica, 26, is the current British national record holder for both the heptathlon and the indoor pentathlon events. She has had a year of highs and lows in the build-up to the London Olympics. A poor performance in the javelin left her unable to defend her world title in the heptathlon last year, and she struggled again at the World Indoor Championships in March, settling for Silver. But in May she beat the best combined eventers in the world in Götzis in Austria.

6 SHARA PROCTOR

Long Jump

Anguillan-born Shara, 30, has only been competing for Great Britain since 2011, and London will be her Olympics debut. She won her fi rst major medal, a Bronze, at the World Indoor Championships earlier this year, and at the Olympic trials last month in Birmingham, she set a new personal best – and also broke Bev Kinch’s 22-year-old national record.

7 TIFFANY PORTER

100m Hurdles

Tiffany, 24, switched allegiance to Team GB from the US in 2010 and has since rocketed up the world rankings from 24th to fi fth in 2011. This year has started well for the world indoor Silver medallist – she has finished in the top three in all except one of her races so far.

8 REBECCA TUNNEY

Gymnast

Rebecca is the youngest Briton to be included in an Olympic squad for more than 100 years. Rules state that competitors must turn 16 in the Olympic year to be eligible: Rebecca’s birthday is on 26 October. Just 4ft 9in tall, she was recently crowned 2012 senior women’s artistic British champion in her first year of senior competition. Her friends call her ‘Twiglet’, apparently because of her short stature and knobbly knees.

9 ALISON WILLIAMSON

Archery

London will be 40-year-old Alison’s sixth Olympics. She narrowly missed out on an automatic spot at the fi nal selection shoot at Lilleshall, Shropshire, in April, but was handed the final discretionary place.

10 CASEY STONEY

Football

Lincoln defender Casey, 30, is the Great Britain women’s team captain for London 2012. She’s been capped more than 100 times for the England women’s national football team since making her debut in 2000.



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