Posted: 22.07.21 at 11:38 by Tim Lethaby
A total of 13 former students at Millfield School in Street will be taking part in the upcoming Toyko Olympic Games.
Nine athletes will be part of Team GB, one will be competing for Kenya, Denmark, Brunei and Hong Kong.
In swimming, James Guy, Kieran Bird, Street's Brodie Williams, Suzanna Hext (paralympics), Muis Ahmad, Danilo Rosafio have been selected for their respective countries, which is the largest number of swimmers the school has ever seen at an Olympic Games.
Joining the swimmers will be Helen Glover and Rory Gibbs competing on the water for the GB rowing team.
Oscar Coggins is representing the Hong Kong triathlon team, Jaz Sawyers the GB athletics team in long jump, Tazana Kamanga-Dyrbakand will represent Denmark in the 4x100m and both Alec Coombes and Ollie Lindsay-Hague have been selected for the GB rugby sevens team.
Here are profiles of all 13 to give you a better idea of who you will be cheering for:
Somerset-born Brodie will take part in his first games as a Team GB swimmer. Brodie won gold at the 2018 European Aquatics Championships in the 4x100m medley relay.
He aims to improve on the performances during the trials and enjoy all that competing in the Olympic games has to offer.
Brodie came to Millfield in Year 10 to further his swimming career and left in 2017. He worked closely with director of swimming Euan Dale, who nurtured him when he arrived from Crispin Academy. Brodie’s recent performance at the European Aquatic Championships was a promising competition ahead of his Olympic campaign.
Competing in: 400m individual medley and the 200m backstroke
Alec Coombes will be playing in the GB Rugby Sevens team at his first Olympic Games.
Alec attended Millfield Prep School from Year 8 and continued through the Senior School until Upper Sixth, leaving in 2014.
Since leaving Millfield, Alec made his debut in the U20 Scotland National Rugby Sevens team and has been a core player ever since.
Competing in: Rugby sevens
Recent leaver Danilo is the youngest, at 19, in the cohort of Old Millfieldians representing his home country of Kenya at Tokyo this year.
Danilo joined Millfield for Sixth Form to further his swimming aspirations.
He has trained under director of swimming, Euan Dale.
Competing in: 1500m Freestyle
Double Olympic champion and world champion Helen Glover is always one to watch when she hits the international stage. Throughout her competitive years of rowing, she has gained a reputation as one of the world’s greatest all-round athletes.
Helen represented Great Britain at the Olympics for the first time at London 2012 with Heather Stanning in the coxless pairs event and not only won Team GB’s first gold of the games but also a first-ever gold for a Great Britain’s women’s boat at any Olympic Games.
The rowing star continued to Rio’s Olympic Games in 2016 and won a successive gold medal. Helen was awarded a sports scholarship from Millfield School and attended from 2002-2004.
Competing in: Women's coxless pair
Reigning British Long Jump Champion Jazmin Sawyers will be competing in her second Olympic Games this year.
Jaz attended Millfield from 2010-2012 and was a talented all-round student who excelled in sport, the arts and academics.
In recent years Jaz has achieved a long list of titles including European Junior Champion in 2013, European U23 Champion in 2015, IAAF World Junior Champion in 2014, Commonwealth Silved Medalist in 2016 and eighth place in the Rio Olympic games in 2016. Jaz has also held the British title for long jump for two years running.
Competing in: Long jump
World Champion James Guy is no stranger to the Olympic stage. James represented Great Britain at the 2016 Rio Olympics, bringing home two silver medals in the 4x200m freestyle relay and 4x100m freestyle relay, and finishing fourth in the individual 200m freestyle race.
Later that year he helped defend his men’s 4x200m freestyle relay world title and he swam the butterfly leg at the World Aquatics Championships to gain gold for Great Britain in the 4x100m medley relay.
James relocated to Somerset from Bury, Lancashire in order to pursue his swimming aspirations at Millfield Prep School and Millfield. During his time at school he benefited from expert coaching and was introduced to the national and international stage.
Competing in: Men's 100m butterfly
Kieran attended Millfield from 2016-2018 to realise his Olympic dream. Originally from Oxfordshire, Kieran boarded in Somerset throughout Sixth Form to benefit from the world-class training facilities and programme on offer, seldom seen at any other school in the country.
This will be Kieran’s first appearance at a games. Now training at the University of Bath, Kieran has worked to fulfil a lifetime dream.
Kieran’s recent performance at the European Aquatic Championships showed great potential for Olympic success.
Competing in: Men's 400m and 800m freestyle
Tokyo will be Muis’ very first Olympic Games and he will be competing for Brunei in swimming.
Muis attended Millfield from 2014-2016 where he excelled in swimming and achieved excellence at the highest level. Muis holds a record in 50m breaststroke and will be competing in the event at Tokyo.
Director of swimming, Euan Dale said: “Muis is a talented swimmer and individual. He immersed himself in life at Millfield, especially the swimming programme and trained hard to reach the highest level. He was a great student to teach and I am looking forward to watching him in Tokyo. Good luck Muis.”
Competing in: Men's 100m breaststroke
Ollie Lindsay-Hague will be attending his second Olympic Games as part of the GB Rugby Sevens team this year.
Ollie attended Millfield from 2004-2009 as a keen schoolboy rugby player and captain of the school’s rugby sevens team.
After Millfield, Ollie began to play for Harlequins and the England Sevens teams.
Competing in: Rugby sevens
Tokyo will be Oscar’s very first Olympic Games and he will be competing for Hong Kong in the triathlon.
Oscar attended Millfield from 2016-2018 and took advantage of the ever-growing triathlon progamme at the school with hopes to make it to the highest level.
As a young athlete, Oscar won the Junior Elite Asian Championships twice. In recent years he won the Elite Men ITU Asian Cups and in 2018 Oscar ompeted for Hong Kong in the Asian Games and National Games of China.
Competing in: Triathlon
OM Rory Gibbs is part of the pair of former students rowing for Team GB in Tokyo this year. Twenty seven-year-old Rory joined Millfield in Year 9 through to Upper Sixth where he fell in love with the sport after being introduced to rowing in Sixth Form. After Millfield, he attended Oxford Brookes University where he continued to pursue his rowing career.
He made his first debut for the GB Rowing Team at the U23 World Championships, finishing fifth as part of the men’s eight in 2015 and 2016. He won a gold medal in the coxless four at the 2019 European Rowing Championships and the team then went on to win a bronze medal at the 2019 World Rowing Championships. In the recent European Rowing Championships, Rory came home with a gold medal as part of the four who took the centre spot on the podium in Varese, Italy this April.
Competing in: Men's four
Suzanna joined Millfield on a Sixth Form Riding Scholarship from 2005-2007. An accomplished and committed rider, Suzanna started riding at just six years old and eventing seriously from age 13 before joining Millfield.
She was competing at two-star level (now CCI***) eventing before a life changing riding accident saw Suzanna undergo numerous operations and two years in and out of hospital. After doctors and nurses stated that she’d never ride again, Suzanna’s grit and determination saw her back in the saddle just two years after her accident, which left her paralysed from the waist down.
In 2019, Suzanna swapped the saddle for the swimming pool, claiming a pair of medals (freestyle silver and bronze) at her debut World Para Swimming Championships in London. Suzanna decided to focus her attention to qualify for the Team GB Paralympic swimming team. Tokyo will be Suzanna's first Olympic campaign.
Competing in: Paralympics
Nineteen-year-old Tazana Kamanga-Dyrbak is a Danish sprinter who will be competing in his first Olympic games.
Tazana attended Millfield from 2018-2019 for his Lower Sixth year. He has represented his country at the 2021 World Athletics Relays, establishing the national record on 4 x 100m and qualifying for Denmark at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. He is currently Europe’s fastest Under 20 athlete in the 200m.
Director of athletics, Alan Richardson, said: “Tazana is a talented and focused young man who was always confident and focused on becoming an Olympian. It has been wonderful to see him progress and achieve his dream in Tokyo. I am sure that, while it is his first games, it won’t be his last and that he will perform well. We will be watching and supporting him on his venture in Tokyo."
His houseparent, Richard Owlett, saidL “Tazana is a phenomenal individual who made a lasting impact on the house and school. His motivation, leadership and inspiration also made a significant contribution to the success of the junior team in 2019. He was involved in all aspects of school life, was a natural leader and displayed gravitas and presence. Tazana will always acknowledge his roots at Millfield as a significant a positive step on his journey.”
Competing in: Men's 4x100m relay
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