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A gr-eight Olympics for Beagles

15:48 05 July 2012

Christine Ohuruogu is all smiles as she proudly shows off her gold medal at the Beijing Olympics  now she has the chance to defend the title in her own back yard

Christine Ohuruogu is all smiles as she proudly shows off her gold medal at the Beijing Olympics  now she has the chance to defend the title in her own back yard

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Born and bred Newham girl Christine Ohuruogu will get the chance to defend her Olympic crown after being named in the Team GB squad for London 2012 on Tuesday.

Born and bred Newham girl Christine Ohuruogu will get the chance to defend her Olympic crown after being named in the Team GB squad for London 2012 on Tuesday.

The Newham & Essex Beagles athlete won the 400 metres title in Beijing four years ago and will now compete in the Olympic Stadium, less than a mile from where she was brought up.

The 28-year-old is one of eight club members who have made the GB athletics squad for the Games, which also includes 5,000m European and World champion Mo Farah and high jumper Robbie Grabarz.

Both struck gold at the European Championships in Helsinki last week and Grabarz is counting down the days until he makes his Olympic debut.

“It is absolutely fantastic to be selected as part of Team GB,” said Grabarz.

“I’m incredibly excited, it’s something that I have dreamed about for a long, long time and to make it a reality this year is amazing.

“It will mean so much to me to compete in front of a home crowd with all that support and hear them cheering me on. It’s going to be a fantastic atmosphere and one I am looking forward to experiencing so much.”

On hearing the news of his inclusion Farah added: “It is an incredible feeling to have been selected to be part of Team GB at a home Olympic Games and I’m honoured to be part of it.

“Every ounce of hard work has been leading towards this point and now I can’t wait to get to the start line in the Olympic Stadium.

“It is such a big deal to be able to compete in front of home fans and I know their support will mean so much to me and the rest of my team-mates.

“It’s so close now. I’m in Font Romeau doing my final preparations and I’m feeling in great shape going into London after retaining my European title last week.”

Fellow Beagle James Ellington will compete in both the 200m and the 4x100m relay, while Steve Lewis’ selection in the pole vault was also confirmed.

Nigerian-born Abdul Buhari, who only reached the Olympic A standard in the discus at the weekend with a throw of 65.24m in a British League meeting at Barnet, has also been selected.

And the only surprise inclusion is long jumper Chris Tomlinson, who despite not reaching the Olympic A standard of 8.20m this year has also been included on previous form.

Tomlinson has a personal best of 8.35m, which is the leading jump in the world this season set by fellow GB team member Greg Rutherford.

They all join fellow Newham & Essex Beagle Lee Merrien after he was selected at the end of April for the marathon.

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