Yorkshire shows its mettle in Olympics

Christopher Bartle pictured at the Yorkshire Riding Centre near Harrogate with Ballyengland Rebel, known to his friends as Matey.'picture mike cowling feb 16 2012
Christopher Bartle pictured at the Yorkshire Riding Centre near Harrogate with Ballyengland Rebel, known to his friends as Matey.'picture mike cowling feb 16 2012

IT IS becoming a much-quoted fact among Olympics fans in Yorkshire: the medal tally from the county’s athletes would now rank them ahead of countries such as Japan and Australia.

With the likes of Sheffield heptathlete Jessica Ennis, Barnsley cyclist Ed Clancy, and rowers Andrew Triggs Hodge from Grassington and Katherine Copeland from Ingleby Barwick all winning gold, not to mention the heroic effort in the triathlon on Tuesday by Leeds’s Brownlee brothers - when Alistair won gold and Jonathan bronze - Yorkshire’s medal haul now stands at five golds, two silvers and three bronzes. The county represents almost a quarter of Team GB’s total gold medal tally which stands at 22 and is the biggest haul since 1908.

Other Yorkshire medallists are Lizzie Armitstead, from Otley, who won Team GB’s first medal, a silver in the women’s cycling road race, and rower Tom Ransley, who lives in York and was part of the British men’s eight crew which won bronze. Closer to home, athletes from our district have also given outstanding performances at the Olympics. Nicola Wilson, from Northallerton, won silver in the team eventing competition, while water polo player Francesca Clayton competes today in the seventh-eight place pay-off.

Diver Jack Laugher from Ripon did himself proud as the youngest competitor in the 3m springboard, but failed to qualify for the semi-final. And Northallerton-born swimmer Jo Jackson came fifth as part of the 4x200m freestyle squad.

Guiseley’s Debbie Flood, who was born in Harrogate, was part of Team GB’s rowing squad, competing in the women’s quadruple sculls. She had previously won silver in the competition at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. Meanwhile, a proud grandmother from Wetherby has been cheering on her granddaughter in the volleyball competition.

Pamela Leaf, 76, said watching 18-year-old Savanah Leaf’s performance had been ‘amazing’. London-born Savanah was part of Team GB’s debut volleyball squad which lost to Japan at the weekend.

Pamela, who was unable to travel to see Savanah in action in the Olympics because of back problems, watched avidly on her television at home.

And others from our district who have been part of the Team GB squad, working with the atheletes, are Boroughbridge physio Dave Jackson, German eventing coach Chris Bartle, from Markington, and pentathlete osteopath David Annett, from Harrogate.