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Dorset trio in Team GB for Australian Olympic Youth Festival
THREE Dorset girls will be looking to emulate Team GB’s London Olympic heroes in Australia next week.
Georgia Hall, Izzy Songhurst and Lynnlette Aung are among 120 athletes selected for the Australian Youth Olympic Festi-val in Sydney between January 16-20.
The trio are following in the footsteps of London medallists Tom Daley (diving bronze), Katherine Copeland (rowing gold), Louis Smith (gymnastics bronze) and Jonathan Brownlee (triathlon bronze).
The famous four were all part of Team GB in previous festivals Down Under in 2007 and 2009.
Number one European amateur golfer Georgia is part of the first Team GB representatives of the sport since 1900 when British players won silver and bronze medals.
The 16-year-old Remedy Oak star, who was shortlisted for the 2012 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award, is one of 10 British players to compete in the games.
Golf will be re-introduced in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
“If I have another good year this year, I may turn professional, but regardless of that I will definitely be trying to qualify for Rio,” Georgia told the Daily Echo.
“I’m really excited, golf is usually such a solitary sport, so I am looking forward to being a part of a team. I know the other four girls well so it should be fun.”
Georgia and her Team GB team-mates will play in a 72-hole strokeplay competition.
Izzy and Lynnlette, meanwhile, will represent Team GB in trampoline and badminton respectively.
Talbot Heath school girl Lynnlette, 16, won two silver medals at the national championships in April and is one of just six badminton players.
“It’s unbelievable and I am really looking forward to the experience,” said Lynnlette.
“It would be fantastic to go to Rio as well, but that’s a long way off and I will be concentrating on my studies for the next year.
“I may take a gap year after that and try playing full-time, but we will have to wait and see.”
The youngest member of the trio is 13-year-old Isabelle, who managed to secure one of the two trampolining places available for under-18 females.
In fact, the Broadstone teenager qualified with a higher score than 16-year-old Megan Petit, from Reading, who came second.
Izzy, who turns 14 on the day of the opening ceremony, said: “To be in Australia on my birthday is a bonus. It’s a dream come true.
“My main aim for the future is to be the first British female to medal at the Olympic Games.”
Approximately 1,700 athletes, aged 13-19, from 30 nations will compete across 17 sports in many of the venues used to host the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
Team GB will compete in 11 Olympic sports – badminton, basketball, diving, golf, gymnastics, hockey, rowing, shooting, triathlon, weightlifting and wrestling.
Diver Daley believes his inclusion in the 2007 youth games was the springboard for his future success.
“It gave me a real sense of competing in a multi-sport environment,” said Daley.
“It is a great opportunity to get a taste of the Olympics, from living in an Olympic village, to competing in front of big crowds.
“A year later, I competed in my first Olympic Games in Beijing. Winning my youth medal in 2007 inspired me to one day want to win an Olympic medal and in London my dream came true when I won bronze.”