International Medal Success for GSF athletes in scheme’s 15th year
Confirmation came this week that GSF (GLL Sport Foundation) supported athletes have scored an impressive tally of 39 medals at Summer of Sport Events across the globe.
The 2023 World Aquatics Championships, the 20th edition of the World Aquatics Championships, were held in Fukuoka, Japan, from 14 to 30 July 2023. 17 past and present GSF athletes were in attendance and came home with 6 medals between them (1 Gold, 3 Silver and 2 Bronze).
Opening the competition and gaining valuable experience on the world stage for Team GB was Leah Crisp (Bath and North East Somerset), competing in open water swimming in the women’s 10km event. Artistic swimmers, GSF athlete Beatrice Crass (Reading) and GSF Alumni Isobel Blinkhorn took to the pool to showcase their talents, with Beatrice and her partner finishing in 5th place for the Mixed Duet Technical event.
Making a splash in the pool and adding to the medal count were GSF athletes Andrea Spendolini Siriex (Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park) and Scarlett Mew Jensen (Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park). Both Andrea and Scarlett came home with a Silver medal each, with Andrea and her partner coming second in the women’s 10m synchro and Scarlett with her partner earning the Silver medal in the women’s 3m springboard Synchro event.
Ambassadors Matty Lee, Noah Williams and Kyle Kothari (all Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park) also took to the world stage for the men’s 10m platform competitions. Matty and Noah paired up for the men’s synchro event, narrowly missing out on a podium spot with their 4th place finish. In the individual men’s 10m platform final, Noah just missed out on a medal, finishing in 4th, with Kyle right behind him in 5th.
The competition rounded off with GSF swimmers ready to impress for Team GB, with the exception of GSF athlete Victoria Catterson (Belfast) and Alumni Conor Ferguson, who represented Team Ireland. GSF athletes Cameron Brooker (B&NES) and Brodie Williams (B&NES) were also getting in on the action competing in the men’s 100m and 200m backstroke events. GSF alumni rounded off the medal count, with Anna Hopkins securing Bronze in mixed 100m freestyle relay and Joe Litchfield earning the Gold medal in the men’s 200m freestyle relay. Alumni Tom Dean collected the full set of medals with a Gold in the men’s 200m freestyle relay, Silver in the men’s 200m Freestyle and a Bronze medal in the 200m medley.
The 2023 World Para Swimming Championships was the 12th edition of the World Para Swimming Championships, an international swimming competition for swimmers with disabilities. It was held in Manchester, at the Manchester Aquatics Centre which is operated by GLL, from 31 July to 6 August 2023. 6 past and present GSF athletes were competing and they secured 5 medals between them (2 Gold, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze).
The World Championships serve as a qualifier for the 2024 Summer Paralympics, where two top swimmers in each individual medal event final will be automatically selected to compete at the Paralympics.
GSF Ambassador Suzanna Hext (Swindon) kicked off the competition in real style, becoming World Champion after earning the Gold medal in women's 50m Freestyle S5 final. She hadn’t finished there, Suzanna also added a silver medal to her name after finishing in 2nd in the Women's 100m Freestyle S5 race. Another world champion was named for Team GB when GSF alumni Jessica Applegate secured the Gold medal in the women's 200m Freestyle S14 event.
Finishing off the completion in strong form was GSF ambassadors Grace Harvey (Manchester) and Louise Fiddes (Welwyn & Hatfield), with Grace securing a Silver medal in the women's 100m Breaststroke SB5, and Louise taking home the Bronze medal for her efforts in the Bronze in Women's 200m Freestyle S14 competition. Top 10 finishes were also secured by GSF ambassador Tully Kearney (Manchester) in the women's 100m Freestyle S6, and also by GSF alumni Cameron Vearncombe who competed in the men's 100m Backstroke S14 race.
The 2023 World Athletics Championships, the nineteenth edition of the World Athletics Championships, were held from 19 to 27 August 2023 at the National Athletics Centre, in Budapest, Hungary. 21 past and present GSF athletes were representing Team GB and after a very tough competition they came home with a Silver medal and 3 Bronze medals between them.
In the field events, GSF athlete Scott Lincoln (York) kicked things off in Budapest in the Men’s shot put event, where he threw 20.22 to secure 9th place in group A, but was just short of qualifying for the final. In the Women’s Hammer throw event, GSF athlete Charlotte Payne (Reading) finished 10th in group A with a throw of 69.57.
Out on the track, in the men’s 100m race we had GSF athlete Eugene Amo-Dadzie (Waltham Forest) and GSF alumni Reece Prescod battling it out in the heats and making it to the semi-finals. Eugene narrowly missed out on a final spot after finishing in 4th, with Reece coming 8th. In the Women’s 100m race, GSF ambassadors Daryll Neita (Greenwich) and Imani-Lara Lansiquot (Croydon) were also facing GSF alumni Dina Asha-Smith in a very close competition. Both Dina and Daryll made it through the heats, with Dina finishing in 3rd to secure a spot in the final, Daryll narrowly missed out after finishing 4th.
GSF ambassadors Bianca Williams (Lee Valley Regional Authority) and Daryll Neita (Greenwich), would face up against GSF alumni Dina Asha-Smith in the women’s 200m race. All three safely made it through to the semi-final where Daryll finished 2nd and Dina in 3rd, Bianca just missed out on a spot in the final after finishing 4th. The final was fiercely contested, Daryll secured 5th place with a PB time of 22.16, Dina finished 8th.
GSF ambassador Victoria Ohuruogu (Lee Valley Regional Authority) and GSF alumni Ama Pipi took to the track to compete in the women’s 400m race. Both ran brilliant races, finished 2nd in their respective heats but after 4th place finishes they both just missed out on a spot in the final. In the women’s 400m Hurdles, GSF athlete Jessie Knight (Epsom & Ewell) won her heat and also just missed out on a spot in the final after finishing 4th in the semi-final.
GSF athlete Daniel Rowden (Lee Valley Regional Authority) represented Team GB in the men’s 80m race, he qualified 3rd in his heat for a place in the semi-final, where he finished 7th. GSF alumni Aimee Pratt took part in the women’s 3000m steeplechase, finishing 7th in her heat, and alumni Melissa Courtney represented team GB in a strong Women’s 1500m event. After qualifying 5th in both the heats and the semi-final, Melissa finished the final in 12th.
In the relay events, Team GB finished strong with GSF athlete Lewis Davey (Better Gym- East Village) and GSF alumni Laviai Nielsen securing the Silver medal for their parts in the mixed 4x400m relay. Making up the women’s 4x400m relay team we had GSF alumni athletes Ama Pipi, Amber Anning and Laviai Nielsen, who secured the Bronze medal. In the men’s 4x400m relay, Lewis Davey (Better Gym- East Village) played his part in taking home another Bronze medal for Team GB. Eugene Amo-Dadzie (Waltham Forest), Ambassador Jona Efoloko (Lee Valley Regional Authority) and GSF alumni Jeremiah Azu all played their part in the men’s 4x100m relay. They finished 3rd in their heats, but just missed out on a medal after finishing 4th in the final. GSF Ambassadors Daryll Neita (Greenwich), Bianca Williams (Lee Valley Regional Authority) and Imani-Lara Lansiquot (Croydon), and GSF alumni Asha Phillip made up the women’s 4x100m relay team who secured the Bronze medal.
GSF track and field athletes also made a strong showing at youth events this summer. The 2023 European Youth Summer Olympic Festival or EYOF 2023, also known as Maribor 2023, was held from 23 to 29 July 2023 in Maribor, Slovenia. 7 past and present young talented GSF athletes represented Team GB and secured an impressive 5 medals between them across 4 disciplines! (2 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze).
GSF athlete Martyna Karabacz (Greenwich) and alumni athlete Joshua Inglis kicked off the competition in the pool. GSF alumni Joshua had an incredible time in Maribor, taking home the Gold medal in the boys 100m breaststroke event, Silver in the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay and a Bronze medal for his part in the mixed 4x100m medley relay. Martyna just missed out on a medal, finishing in 4th place for the Girls 200m backstroke event.
Gaining valuable international competition experience, GSF athlete Abigail Miller (Cambridge) competed in the Girls time trial cycling competition, finishing 17th overall. Ellie Lewis (supported through HALO Bridgend) secured another medal in Gymnastics, after finishing 3rd with Team GB for the Girls team final competition. Also showcasing their talents on the Judo mat were GSF athletes, Irakli Goginashvili (Tower Hamlets), Derek Marczak (Croydon) and Julia Marczak (Croydon). Julia rounded off the medal count after taking home the Gold medal in the girl’s u70kg Judo competition.
The 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games, informally known as Trinbago 2023, was a youth sporting event for members of the Commonwealth held in Trinidad and Tobago. The games were held from 4 to 11 August 2023, the games were the first to be held in the Caribbean and the first to include para-sports. 17 past and present young talented GSF athletes secured an incredible 19 medals between them! (6 Gold, 11 Silver and 2 Bronze).
GSF Swimmers Nick Finch (Camden), Reuben Rowbotham-Keating (Manchester) and Edward Marcal Whittles (Kensington & Chelsea) were competing for Team England. Nick impressed all by finishing 1st in his heat and setting a new Junior Commonwealth Games Record with time of 24.32, and then coming home with the Silver medal in the final for the men’s 50m butterfly race. Nick also secured a Silver medal in the men's 100m butterfly and the Gold medal for the mixed 4 x 100m medley relay. Alongside Reuben, they took home the Gold medal with Team England in the mixed 4 x 100m freestyle relay. Reuben also added to the medal count, securing Silver medals for his efforts in the mixed 4 x 200m freestyle relay and in the men's 200m butterfly.
Representing Team Ireland, GSF athletes Grace Davison (Belfast), Brandon Biss (Barnet) and Matthew Hand (Belfast), also took to the pool to showcase their talents. Grace was 1st in her heat for the women's 400m individual medley and took the Gold medal home for this event, she also secured a Silver medal for the women's 200m individual medley. Brandon was also on the podium after winning the Silver medal in the men's 100m backstroke and a Bronze medal for the men's 200m backstroke event. Rounding up the action in the pool and gaining valuable international competition experience was Zach Moyo (Belfast), who was representing Zambia, and for Team Wales were GSF athletes Joshua O'Brien (Cardiff), Maxwell Anderson (Cardiff) and Sophie Brassington (Cardiff). Securing a Silver medal for Team Wales, Maxwell finished second in the men’s 200m breaststroke event.
Outside of the pool, Peter Soczewka (Barnet) and his partner represented Team England in the men’s beach volleyball competition, where they battled their way to through to the final match - just missing out to Canada to take home the Silver Medal. GSF alumni Calum Moir had a very successful games for Team Scotland in the cycling events. Calum took home the Gold medal in the men's 3000m individual pursuit, Gold in the men's points race, Silver in the men's 1000m time trial and a Bronze medal in the men's 10km scratch race.
On the athletics track and representing Team Ireland, Toby Thompson (Belfast) had a strong competition, finishing 1st in heat for the men's 200m race, but narrowly missed out on a place in the final after finishing 3rd in the semi-final. For Team Wales, Tomi Roberts-Jones (Cardiff) ran an impressive race in the final to take home the Gold medal in the men's 100m - T38 race. Representing Team England on the track were GSF athletes Thea Brown (Manchester), Noah Hanson (Lee Valley) and Jess Bailey (South Lakeland). Thea added to the medal count after securing the Silver medal for the women's 100m hurdles, the Silver medal in the women's high jump, and the Silver medal with Noah and team England for 4 x 100m relay mixed. Noah also secured an individual Silver medal, after coming second in the men’s 110m hurdles.
Peter Bundey, CEO of GLL said: “What a great summer of medal success for our GSF supported athletes. Coming as we celebrate the 15th year of the UK’s largest independent athlete award scheme, it’s a fitting tribute to the transformative power of sport.
“Many of our young athletes have no other source of support to help them realise their sporting dreams."
The GLL Sport Foundation recognises the significant contribution of our sponsors and supporters; it is their shared commitment that has enabled the Foundation to be the largest independent supporter of sporting talent across the UK, and in doing so support thousands of athletes to achieve sporting success.