23/Aug/2014 - Last News Update: 18:03

Yorkshire riding high on Olympic medal table

Category: England

Published: 7th Aug 2012 00:15:11

Yorkshire pride is riding high, with the region's athletes striking gold in the Olympics.

Four Yorkshire competitors, including Sheffield's heptathlete Jessica Ennis, have so far won their events in London 2012.

Team GB are currently ranked third in the medal table, with 18 gold medals.

But achievements of the region's competitors have prompted a comparison of where Yorkshire would feature in the table if it was a country.

Yorkshire Radio reporter Jonathan Buchan kick-started the comparison on Twitter on Saturday ahead of Ennis's victory.

There must be something in the water, that and the Yorkshire pride”

In a tweet, which has since been re-tweeted more than 3,000 times, he said: "If #Yorkshire was a country it would currently be 11th in the medal table above the likes of Japan, South Africa and Australia! #teamgb."

As countries on the medal table are ranked by golds won, Ennis's subsequent win would now put an independent Yorkshire 11th on the fictional table - level with North Korea.

Along with 26-year-old Ennis's victory, cyclist Ed Clancy, 27, from Huddersfield, won gold in the men's team pursuit. He also took bronze in the omnium.

Andrew Triggs-Hodge, 33, a rower raised in Hebden, North Yorkshire, was in Great Britain's gold-winning men's coxless fours crew.

The fourth gold medal winner is Katherine Copeland, 21, who won the women's lightweight double sculls and whose family live in Stokesley, North Yorkshire.

The region could see more Olympic success on Tuesday when brothers Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, from Leeds, take part in the men's triathlon.

Former cricket umpire Dickie Bird, from Barnsley, said the realisation that Yorkshire was currently beating Japan and Australia in the medal table was a tribute to the region's "absolutely brilliant" athletes.

He said: "The Yorkshire competitors have done absolutely brilliant.

"Yorkshire folk are wonderful, wonderful people known for their hard work and sheer Yorkshire grit which has pulled them through."

Ennis's javelin coach Mick Hill said he was not surprised by the region's medal success.

"There must be something in the water, that and the Yorkshire pride."

The former GB international said: "We're very competitive up here. We push ourselves really hard and then there's all that fresh air and maybe it's the Yorkshire bitter too."

Mr Hill said Yorkshire's facilities and coaching staff were always going to breed success for its Olympic competitors.

"We have a great base to nurture people.

"We can cater for any sport too and that's one of the reasons why we're doing so well."

Lorenzo Clark, from Sheffield International Venues, responsible for venues where the region's top athletes train, said Yorkshire had a legacy of producing world-class athletes.

"We've got a fantastic history of people who have done amazing at sport, Michael Vaughan, Seb Coe, Adrian Moorhouse to mention a few.

"People involved in sport in this region really want to make a difference and I think that's been a huge factor in the Olympic success."

He added: "Jess is a fantastic ambassador for us. She's a real down to earth girl who has always stayed loyal to Sheffield.

"One of the great things about her is that she trains at our venues and out of the thousands of children we've had down for sports days, 60% of them will have seen her.

"It doesn't surprise me in the least that Yorkshire is doing so well and I think these inspirational characters will drive grass roots sport and our hope of finding our future athletes."

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BBC News, 2012. Yorkshire riding high on Olympic medal table [Online] (Updated 7th Aug 2012)
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