With anticipation having built across the country as the long seven year wait for London 2012 drew to a close last night, some of Sussex’s fiercest and most talented competitors are chomping at the bit to now take the capital by storm this summer, with the hopes and wishes of a nation resting on their shoulders.
London has become the first city to have hosted the games three times, as the UK looks to round off the summer season’s gripping and contagious enthusiasm, with the Olympic games coming hot on the heels of the Queen’s jubilee celebrations and of course, the European Football Championships.
An estimated 10,500 athletes from 154 countries are scheduled to compete in London this year, with our corner of the UK expected to play a major part in ensuring that Team GB weighs in with a heavy dose of bronze, silver and gold once things wrap-up on 17th August.
Sussex is in line to contribute athletes to Team GB that will be gunning for medals in an open range of disciplines including sailing, judo and badminton. Perhaps those based locally who hold the highest hopes include Charlotte Kerwood, a participants who will be expected to make an impact in her respective field of clay pigeon shooting.
Perhaps the greatest medal hope that comes from our group of Sussex Olympians lies with Charlotte Kerwood, a clay pigeon shooter from Cuckfield that’s already made her mark on the world stage.
Charlotte was introduced to the sport by her father and started shooting aged only 12, but just three years later she managed to shake up the landscape of the competition in Britain by firing her way to glory in the Commonwealth games in 2002, picking up a gold medal aged only 15 years old.
Keen to not be a one hit wonder, she successfully defended her title four years later and even added to her haul, picking up gold in the pairs shooting event too. Following her success at a Commonwealth level, she made the trip to Beijing in 2008 but unfortunately failed to get past the qualifying stage.
Charlotte’s been called the face of her sport and in a poll of the most powerful women in the countryside, she was nestled between Katie Price and Zara Phillips. A successful Olympic campaign could see her stock rise even higher.
Catch Charlotte in action from August 4th on BBC.