Meet the Cheshire athletes competing at Rio 2016
PUBLISHED: 00:00 02 August 2016
© Peter SPURRIER/Intersport Images
Cheshire athletes will be flying the flag for Great Britain at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic and Paralympic Games. Get behind them and cheer loudly, writes Andy Greeves
Seren Bundy-Davies has played a major part in Great Britain’s recent successes in the women’s 4x400m competition and was involved in the team that won silver at the European Indoor Championships and bronze at the IAAF World Championships in 2015. The 21-year-old also picked up a European Indoor bronze medal in the individual 400m event last year.
Born in Crewe in 1994 to Welsh parents, Bundy-Davies narrowly missed out on appearances at the Commonwealth Games and the World Junior Championships back in 2014. The former Wilmslow High School pupil is very much in demand now though and is likely to partner Christine Ohuruogu, Anyika Onuora and Eilidh Doyle in the 4x400m event in Rio as well as vying with Ohuruogu and Onuora for medals in the 400m.
Trampolinist Bryony Page burst onto the international gymnastics scene back in 2012 by winning gold at the World Cup in Sofia. Since then, the 25-year-old from Wrenbury near Nantwich has gone on to be British trampolining champion in 2013, 2014 and 2015 as well as being part of the Great Britain squad that won team gold at the World Championships in 2013 and the European Championships in 2014 and 2016.
Born in Crewe in 1990, Bryony started trampolining as a child at The Wingate Centre. These days, she is a regular visitor to the Wrenbury-based gymnastics facility that is designed for people with special needs and disabilities. For more information on Bryony and the GB Gymnastics Team visit www.british-gymnastics.org
Rower Chris Bartley was part of Great Britain’s lightweight four who won silver at the Olympics in London four years ago, alongside Rob Williams and Peter and Richard Chambers.
Chris started rowing as a 14-year-old while studying at King’s School in Chester and continued at university. In his first season competing internationally at under-23 level in 2005, he was part of the quad that claimed a silver medal in the World U23 Championships in Holland. Two years later, he won his first senior medal with a bronze at the World Championships in the lightweight quadruple scull and enjoyed huge success in 2010, winning a gold and a silver in the World Cup Series and gold in the World Championships as part of the lightweight men’s fours. Another major highlight for Bartley came earlier in the year as he was part of the lightweight men’s fours that collected a silver medal at the European Championships in Germany alongside his likely team-mates for Rio – Mark Aldred, Jono Clegg and Peter Chambers.
Table tennis (Paralympics)
Jack Hunter-Spivey’s ambition of representing Great Britain at a Paralympic Games will finally come true this summer. The 21-year-old, who was born with cerebral palsy, got into table tennis back in 2005 and dreamed of taking part in the 2012 Paralympic Games. He started playing at a youth club in Widnes and just a year later, was invited to his first GB Development Camp. Jack went on to join the Halton Table Tennis Club and back in 2011, became the first British player to win Junior, Senior and Open British titles in the same year.
Jack narrowly missed out on selection for London 2012, meaning Rio will be his first Paralympic Games. He travels to Brazil in good form, having won bronze in the men’s singles and silver in the men’s teams events at the Lignano Master Open earlier in the year while he is ranked world number six in the Class 5 category at the time of writing. For more information on Jack and the British Table Tennis Team visit www.tabletennisengland.co.uk
Inspired to get involved in athletics by her brother, Sabrina Fortune first competed at senior level for Great Britain in the F20 Shot Put aged just 18. Last year was a big one for the Chester-born star, who competed in the IPC Athletics World Championships for the first time, finishing fourth while she also took part in the IPC Grand Final in London.
The 21-year-old para-athlete lives in Mold and is a member of Deeside Amateur Athletics Club. For more information on Great Britain’s athletes and para-athletes go online to www.britishathletics.org.uk.
Sailor Chris Grube competed alongside Nick Rogers in the men’s 470 dinghy class for a place at London 2012 but failed to be selected for the Team GB team, losing out to subsequent silver medallists Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell. On the back of that disappointment, Grube switched to the 49er skiff class before going full circle and returning to the 470 class in late-2013.
In March this year, he was paired with Patience in that class and confirmed as his partner for Rio in May. Grube was born in Chester in 1985 and currently lives in Mickle Trafford. For more information on the British Sailing Team visit www.rya.org.uk
John Stubbs MBE
The pinnacle of John Stubbs’ sporting career came at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing where the archer won gold in the men’s individual compound. At the same Games, he broke a Paralympic record for 12 arrows, scoring 117 out of a possible 120 during his round of 16 match against Eric Bennett of the United States.
Though born in Manchester in 1965, Stubbs is a long-time resident of Warrington. He trains at the Royal Richmond Archery Club in London and is also a member of the Knutsford-based North Cheshire Bowmen. Rio will be his third Paralympic Games, having progressed as far as the round of 16 at London in 2012. He was made a Member of the British Empire back in 2006. You can find more information on John and Archery GB at www.archerygb.org
Crewe-born Matt Langridge enjoyed success at the recent European Rowing Championships, picking up a bronze medal for his efforts as part of the men’s eight. The 33-year-old, who was raised in Northwich, attended Hartford High School and St Nicholas Catholic High School and began rowing at Northwich Rowing Club where he was coached by Paul Rafferty. In 2001, he became the first-ever British oarsman to win a gold medal in the single sculls at the Junior World Rowing Championships and he got to compete in his first Olympics three years later in Athens.
His second Olympics in Beijing 2008 saw him return home with a silver medal in the men’s eight and at London 2012, he won bronze in the same event. Langridge’s vast medal collection also includes two gold, two silver and a bronze from the World Championships and gold and bronze in the European Championships. For more information on Chris, Matt and the GB Rowing Team visit www.gbrowingteam.org
The Rio Olympic Games are staged from Friday August 5th-21st. The Paralympics are September 7-18th.