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An 80-member athlete contingent makes England the 2nd largest team competing in the Commonwealth Youth Games starting in Pune in just under a weeks time. The England athletes will compete in all nine of the sporting disciplines on the Pune programme - athletics, badminton, boxing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, tennis, weightlifting and wrestling.
The Commonwealth Youth Games have already proved a valuable first experience of an international multi-sports event for many young athletes.Boxer James DeGale struck gold for Team England at the last Commonwealth Youth Games in Bendigo in Australia four years ago before winning bronze at the senior Commonwealths in Melbourne in 2006 and then Olympic gold in Beijing in August.
Gymnast Louis Smith also won gold on the pommel horse in Bendigo and then gold in Melbourne two years ago. This summer he became the first Briton to win an Olympic gymnasts medal for 80 years when he won bronze, again on the pommel horse, in Beijing.
The crop of young Team England athletes preparing for Pune are aiming to follow in their footsteps.
Among the Team England track and field team for Pune are 18-year-old Jordan McGrath from Birmingham, who was fourth in the 400m at last year's World Youth Championships and seventh at this year's World Junior Championships; 18-year-old pole vaulter Nick Cruchley from Stourbridge, who came fourth at last year's World Youth Championships; and 17-year-old Northamptonshire sprinter Deji Tobais, 100m winner at the 2008 UK School Games in Bath.
Meanwhile Hull hammer thrower Pete Smith is aiming to follow in the footsteps of his father, Dave, who won gold for England at the senior Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh in 1986, and brother Alex, who took gold at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Bendigo four years ago.
The 15-strong England swimming team features Jess Dickons, bronze medallist in the 200m butterfly at the 2008 World Short Course Championships, and Natalie Durant, a gold medallist in the 4x100m freestyle relay team at the 2006 European Junior Championships.
Ann Hogbin, Team England's Chef de Mission in Pune, said: "The 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games will enable young athletes to gain vital experience of competing on the international stage. We hope it will provide a valuable springboard for our young athletes, and particularly for those who are striving to compete at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010 or the London 2012 Olympics."
The young athletes competing in Pune will also have the opportunity to benefit from the experience of the Team England team officials. They include former swimmer Karen Pickering, a four-times Olympian, is Team England ambassador at the Games, while former hammer thrower Lorraine Shaw, a Commonwealth Games gold medallist in 2002, is a member of the athletics coaching team and Rebecca Pantaney, a member of the England gold medal winning badminton team at the 1998 Games, is badminton team manager.
Team England finished first in the overall medals table at the first Commonwealth Youth Games, held in Edinburgh in 2000 with 36 golds, 41 silvers and 18 bronzes; and second to the host nation at the 2004 Games in Bendigo, Australia, with 41 golds, 31 silvers and 29 bronzes.
Representing Team England at the Commonwealth Youth Games,Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â PuneÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â are:
|Scott JohnsonÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â (High Jump)||Abigail IrozuruÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â (Long Jump)|
|Benjamin WilliamsÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â (Triple Jump)||Jade IveÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â (Pole Vault)|
|Chris BakerÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â (High Jump)||Abigail HaywoodÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â (Pole Vault)|
|Nick CruchleyÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â (Pole Vault)||Sophie HitchonÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â (Hammer)|
|Andrew Sutcliffe (Pole Vault)||Kelly PagdinÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â (Javelin)|
|Curtis Griffith-ParkerÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â (Shot Put, Discus)||Shaunagh BrownÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â (Shot Put, Discus)|
|Pete SmithÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â (Hammer Throw)||Shaunna ThompsonÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â (100m, 200m)|
|MatthewÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â Smith (Javelin)||Rachael GiwaÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â (200m)|
|Lawrence ClarkeÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â & Emmanuel Okpokiri (110m Hurdles)||Shelayna OskanÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â (400m)|
|Deji TobiasÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â (100m)||Rachel StringerÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â (800m)|
|Antonio InfantinoÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â (200m)||Katie KnowlesÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â (3000m)|
|Jordan McGrath (400m Hurdles)|
|Niall BrooksÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â (800m)|
|Simon HorsfieldÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â & Richard Peters (1500m)|
|Abdi AhmedÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â & James Wilkinson (5000m)|
Men: Benjamin Tier, Gary Fox, Richard Morris
Women: Panuga Riou, Alyssa Lim, Kate Robertshaw
Thomas Stubbs - light flyweight
James Dickens - flyweight
Iain Weaver - featherweight
Daniel Phillips - lightweight
Kirk Garvery - middleweight
John Quigley - bantamweight
Kristian Callaghan - 10m standard pistol
Chester Cobb - double trap
Sheree Cox - 10m sport pistol, 50m rifle three positions, 50m rifle prone
James Huckle - 10m rifle
Victoria Mullin - 10m sport pistol
Thomas Ward - clay pigeon trap
Rory Warlow - skeet
Men: Thomas Booth, Robert Cave, James Gibson, David Gregory, Rikki Morris, Daniel Vickers, Daniel Waddingham, Joshua Walsh
Women: Jessica Dickons, Natalie Durant, Louisa Farrer-Fisher, Eleanor Faulkner, Rachael George, Katherine Venters, Helena Thornton
Table Tennis (4)
Men: Gavin Evans, Liam Pitchford
Women: Karina Lefevre, Natalie Slater
Men: Lewis Barnes, Christopher Harrison
Women: Lisa Whybourn, Jade Windley
Joshua Farghaly - 85kg, Jack Oliver - 69kg, Benjamin Watson - 77kg, Hannah Powell - 48kg, Zoe Smith - 53kg
Jack Longthorne - 42kg, Ben Bellamy - 58kg, Lawrence Carson - 63kg, Christ Tshikeva - 69kg
Our special thanks to Francesca Bullock from Team EnglandÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â for helping us put this together.