Birmingham Making Olympic Strides

Posted on Wednesday 13th August 2008

The Birmingham alumni contingents are doing us proud so far over in Beijing.

Simon Mantell helped the Team GB hockey team to a 4-2 victory in their first match of the Games against Pakistan on Monday.

The men now hope to build on that in their tough match against the world number three team, the Netherlands on Wednesday. The match will be shown on cable, satellite and online at 1400.

In archery, alumna Naomi Folkard has progressed to the quarter finals in the individual event after suffering disappointment in the team event on Sunday.

The GB team came to Beijing ranked second in the world, behind eventual gold medallists Korea, but qualified for the last four with the lowest score of the semi-finalists. They then had to settle for fourth place in the team event after narrowly losing out 203-201 to France in the bronze medal play-off.

A tearful Folkard said: "It's very hard to deal with, we are really gutted. We came into this as second in the world and had done well at other international events this year and last year, so that makes it even worse. I now just have to go into the individual events with a calm, cool head and try my hardest."

And that she did.

The music graduate (2005) progressed through to Thursday’s quarter final after sweeping aside Eyptian Soha Abed Elaal 107 to 95 in the first round and GB team-mate Charlotte Burgess in the second.

Folkard stayed cool in the tense competition to take victory and her place in the next round with 110 to Burgess’s 96.

Reflecting on the victory she conceded it had been a hard effort: “It’s never nice to beat your team mate and friend,” she said. “The killer instinct was perhaps more difficult to come by, but I had to block out who I was competing against.

“We were extremely disappointed after the team competition, but now I’ve got the biggest smile on my face, and I’m ready to take each match as it comes on Thursday.

Birmingham alumnus Paul Manning is yet to compete in the track cycling team pursuit.

Ends

Further information:

Lucy Hood - PR, Media and Promotions Officer, University Sport Birmingham

tel: 0121 414 2262 / email: l.hood@bham.ac.uk