Women to outnumber men in Great Britain squad for European Games

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Defending champion Amber Hill will return to the European Games in Minsk (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Women will outnumber men in the Great Britain team for the second European Games in Minsk next month.

A total of 101 British athletes will compete across 11 sports in the Belarusian capital, with the exact breakdown to be confirmed after the archery squad is announced next week.

It is only the second time women have outnumbered men in a Great Britain team for a senior multi-sport Games, after the inaugural European Games in Baku in 2015.

Jason Kenny
Jason Kenny will compete in the European Games in Minsk (Martin Rickett/PA)

Archery, shooting and table tennis will offer direct quota qualification for the Tokyo Olympics, while judo, badminton and men’s boxing events will double as each sport’s respective European Championships.

Included in the squad are Olympic medallists Jason Kenny, Katy Marchant and Sally Conway, plus shooter Amber Hill, who will defend the title she won in Azerbaijan four years ago.

Great Britain chef de mission Paul Ford said: “Minsk 2019 provides an important pathway towards Tokyo 2020 for sports.

Sally Conway
Olympic judo medallist Sally Conway is in the team for Minsk (Mike Egerton/PA)

“With automatic qualification of quota places for some, ranking points for others and three continental championships for sports you can see why Team GB has such a strong delegation going to the Games.”

Since its inauguration in 2015, the European Games has endured a short and turbulent history as it has struggled to find a place on the international sporting calendar.

Swimming and rowing are notable by their respective absences while athletics will consist of a low-level team competition, although track cycling is included in the programme for the first time.

Human rights concerns which dogged the build-up to Baku were hardly eased by the awarding of the second Games to Belarus, which ranks 153rd out of 180 in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index.

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