Dorset athletes to look out for at the Rio 2016 Olympics
PUBLISHED: 15:12 18 July 2016 | UPDATED: 16:09 18 July 2016
Copyright reserved.Alan Edwards
Andy Greeves profiles some athletes flying the flag for both Great Britain and Dorset at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio this August
Brianna Stubbs, Rowing
With her father having taken part in the first ever Atlantic Rowing Race back in 1997, rowing is very much in Poole-born Brianna Stubbs’ blood. Seven years later, 12-year-old Brianna became the youngest person ever to row across the English Channel, she has since represented Great Britain at every age level and won silver at the 2015 World Championships.
It all started with her first international call-up just before her 16th birthday. At the time Brianna was at Canford School on a scholarship which enabled her to fit her training in around her studies. Hard work and dedication paid off and the rower, who also attended Parkstone Grammar School, became part of the women’s four that won gold at the World Rowing Junior Championships in 2009.
Brianna gained at place at Oxford University in 2011, where she is currently halfway through studying for a DPhil in Biochemical Physiology. She has twice rowed in the Women’s Boat Race in 2010 and 2011, when Oxford beat Cambridge. Her biggest success to date though came last year when, alongside Ellie Piggott, Emily Craig and Ruth Walczak, she won silver in the lightweight women’s quadruple scull at the 2015 World Championships in Aiguebelette, France.
Having missed out on inclusion in Team GB’s rowing team for London 2012 Stubbs was awaiting news of a potential call up for Rio at the time of writing. For more information on Brianna and the GB Rowing Team visit www.britishrowing.org.
Cheer Brianna on via Twitter @BriannaStubbs
William Fox-Pitt, Equestrian
Rio 2016 is equestrian legend William Fox-Pitt’s fifth Olympic Games. The 47-year-old, who trains at the Wood Lane Stables near Sturminster Newton, started eventing at 15 winning individual silver at the Junior Europeans in 1987 as well as Young Rider Team gold medals in successive European Championships in 1988 and 1989.
Fox-Pitt’s Olympic debut was in Atlanta 1996. He was then selected for the 2004 Games where he won silver riding Tamarillo in the team eventing competition alongside Jeanette Brakewell, Mary King, Leslie Law and Pippa Funnell. Fox-Pitt and King won bronze in the same event at Beijing 2008, alongside Sharon Hunt, Daisy Dick and Kristina Cook. He won team silver at London 2012, riding with King and Cook, Zara Phillips and Nicola Wilson.
Fox-Pitt holds the record for the most wins at the Burghley Horse Trials, with six victories between 1994 and 2011. He has had two successes to date at the Badminton Horse Trails and four at Gatcombe Park, while he is a six-time team eventing European Champion.
With additional medals include team bronze at the 2011 Europeans, individual bronze at the 2013 European Championships, and team silver and individual bronze at the 2014 World Equestrian Games, he is hoping to do Dorset proud at the Rio. Visit bef.co.uk and foxpitteventing.co.uk for more information.
Cheer William on via Twitter @foxpitteventing
Nathan Bailey, Gymnastics
So far 2016 has been a good year for Nathan Bailey. The 22-year-old trampolinist from Bournemouth won the first major medal of his career at the European Championships and also secured his place at this summer’s Olympic Games at a test event in Rio de Janeiro.
Bailey announced himself to the world of gymnastics in 2010 by winning the World Age Group and National Championships aged 16 when he also competed at the Youth Olympic Games. A year later, he reached the synchronized final at the World Championships alongside Luke Strong, with the pair achieving fifth in the World Ranking List in 2011.
Nathan trains at OLGA Gymnastics and Trampoline Club at the Everyone Active Leisure Centre at Rossmore in Poole. Sapphire Dallard and Kirsty Way, who won silver in the double-mini trampoline at the 2015 World Championships in Denmark, are also based there along with fellow Team GB gymnasts Kavyon Arasteh and Michael Barnes. For more information on British Gymnastic team visit british-gymnastics.org, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Cheer Nathan on via Twitter @NathanBailey93