The British Olympic Association today confirmed its selection for the Minsk 2019 European Games, with eight badminton stars set to represent Team GB in Belarus as part of the 101 deep multi-sport squad.
The badminton line-up features six of Team GB’s Rio 2016 Olympians; Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour – GB’s leading women’s singles player – once again teams up with her England counterparts Chris Adcock, Gabby Adcock, Marcus Ellis, Chris Langridge and Lauren Smith.
The ‘Rio six’ are joined by England’s three time national champion Chloe Birch and 2017 English national champion, Toby Penty, who will both be making their Team GB debuts in Minsk.
Minsk 2019 is the second iteration of the European Games and will be held in the Belarussian capital from 21st – 30th June, with the Opening Ceremony on Friday 21st June.
Over 4,000 athletes from 50 countries will compete across 10 days in 200 different medal events with the Opening and Closing Ceremony being held in the Dinamo National Olympic Stadium.
Alongside badminton, Team GB will compete at Minsk 2019 in nine further sports; archery, boxing, canoe sprint, cycling, gymnastics, judo, karate, shooting, table tennis and wrestling.
Minsk 2019 also represents the last senior multi-sport event prior to next summer’s Olympic Games and will provide invaluable experience for the British athletes hoping to travel to Tokyo. In the case of badminton, the European Games double up as the sport’s usual individual European Championships but will also provide crucial ranking points on the qualification road to Tokyo 2020.
Four years ago, whilst there was no representation in badminton, Team GB enjoyed success in the first European Games in Baku, winning 47 medals, including 18
Speaking after the team announcement, Team GB Chef de Mission, Paul Ford said: “Minsk 2019 provides an important pathway towards Tokyo 2020 for sports. With automatic qualification of quota places for some, ranking points for others and three continental championships for sports you can see why Team GB has such a strong delegation going to the Games.
“It is an exciting mix of athletes and I look forward to the second European Games and the performances that I’m sure will impress and excite in equal measure.”
The 2019 European Games will be broadcast on BT Sport. Details on how, where and when to watch this summer will be announced once the sports television schedule is confirmed.