A total of 26 athletes – 13 female and 13 male – have been selected to represent Team GB in the water polo competitions at the London 2012 Olympics.
Women’s captain Fran Leighton, who won a Commonwealth Games bronze medal in 2006 with England, will lead Team GB’s women in to their first Olympic Games. In January this year they progressed to the European Championships for the first time in 15 years, achieving their best result since 1987 when they played in the B final.
The women’s squad includes a mix of youth and experience, with Leighton, aged 30, the oldest member of the team, and Ciara Gibson-Byrne the youngest member at 19-years-old.
The women’s team will take on Italy, Russia and Australia, bronze medallists from Beijing, in the group stage with the water polo event held from July 29 to August 12 at the Water Polo Arena in the Olympic Park. The women’s gold-medal match will be contested on August 9. So far the women’s event has been won by Australia, Italy and the Netherlands.
Speaking of the selection, Team GB women’s water polo captain Fran Leighton said: “I can’t believe this day has finally arrived and I’m actually going to compete at the London Olympics. I don’t think it has sunk in yet.
“The squad has worked hard over the last eight years and it has been a real team effort to get this far. This is just the start for us though; we have lots of work still to do before our first game. It is exciting and an honour for us to finally be joining Our Greatest Team. Bring it on.”
Selected female athletes:
The women’s event has only been held at the last three Olympic Games, with Team GB women making their Olympic debut in London this summer.
The Women’s Sports Magazine