Meet Team World Part 1

Africa and Europe

Julius Yego Beijing 2015Equestrian sports at the 2012 Summer Olympics 8167

Kenya – Julius Yego (Javelin)

Away from Kenyan distance running, and the surrounding controversy, Yego is creating a new niche. With his Finnish coach, he combines the sporting traditions of two nations.

Zimbabwe – Women’s Football Team

Zimbabwe’s football association could not afford to send its team to the Ivory Coast for a qualifier. The Mighty Warriors received a lifeline when the Ivory Coast withdrew, then upset Cameroon over two legs. They will be the most romantic outsiders of the Games.

Germany – Michael Jung (Eventing)

Germany is the leading country across all of the equestrian disciplines. Jung completed a double of individual and team gold at London 2012 and may well repeat the feat in Rio.

Italy – Elisa Di Francisca (Fencing)

The defending foil champion is following in the footsteps of the six-time gold medallist, Valentina Vezzali. Both come from the town of Jesi, a production line for Italian fencers.

Majlinda KelmendiMichael Conlan Web Summit

Kosovo – Majlinda Kelmendi (Judo)

Kosovo will be making its Olympic debut and has high hopes of winning a medal, thanks to its European and former World Judo Champion, who competes in the 52kg category.

Ireland – Michael Conlan (Boxing)

Last year, bantamweight Conlan became the first Irish boxer to collect a men’s amateur world title. He has a chance to follow Michael Carruth, who won Olympic gold in 1992.

Conlan replaces the rhythmic gymnast Yana Kudryavtseva, who has been removed from Team World in solidarity with WADA’s recommendation to ban Russia from the Games.

Michal MartikánSergio Garcia-La Tempête 02

Slovakia – Michal Martikan (Canoe Slalom)

Martikan aims to be the first Summer Olympian to win a medal in the same individual event for six Games in a row. The 37 year old also wants his third gold in the C1 slalom.

Spain – Sergio Garcia (Golf)

With memories of Barcelona in 1992, Garcia is excited about golf being in the Olympics. Many of his potential opponents will be absent. With four second place finishes, he has never won a major but, whatever the others think, if he wins gold it will definitely count.

Next week: Six more Team World members across Asia and Oceania – from India to Fiji


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