May 2016

Boxing hopeful Joe Joyce says he is eager to touch down in Brazil and raring to go ahead of this summer’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The super-heavyweight fighter qualified a named spot for Team GB at Rio 2016 in Turkey last month and, with World, European and Commonwealth medals already to his name, is looking to add to his impressive medal collection.

The 30-year-old has plenty on his mind before then however and, along with World Championship gymnast Nile Wilson, is helping to launch the official Team GB suits designed by Simon Jersey.

At 6”5 and 17 stone, London’s Joyce might prove a nightmare in the tailors but he is hoping to be even more of a problem in the ring when Rio 2016 rolls around.

“It feels amazing to have sealed that named quota place for the Olympics. I’m just excited to get on the plane, start acclimatising and put on a good performance.

“Being the biggest in Team GB means that I’m normally the last as it’s always in weight order.

“It means I’ll be the last to box, the last to see the video analysis, but then on the plus side I’m super heavyweight so I don’t have to watch as much of what I eat. I can eat a lot more than other boxers.

“My size has helped me. I have a good reach advantage being tall so hopefully I can use that well in Brazil.”

While Joyce is a towering figure, Wilson sits on the other end of the spectrum and, at 5”4 is more than a foot smaller than his compatriot.

The 20-year-old from Leeds faces a nervy wait to find out if he has made the cut for Team GB with British Gymnastics fortunate to have plenty of strength in depth.

Last year saw Wilson and co claim an historic silver medal in the team all-around competition at the World Championships in Glasgow and he is hoping to keep up the good form and convince selectors he is worthy of a ticket to South America.

“Waiting is quite tough, he said. “But I have to focus on the process. It’s less than three months to go, it’s on the horizon and it’s getting really exciting.

“The Olympics is the biggest competition and the pinnacle for any athlete, and they don’t come around often. To go there and represent my country is probably the thing I’m most excited about.

“My training schedule is gruelling. I do two sessions a day, six days a week, 30 plus hours and it’s been like this for the last five years.

“Size is very specific to the sport though. Joe is going to want to be as big as he can possibly be, but in gymnastics you are going to want to be lighter.

“It’s important I watch nutrition and keep lean. I need strength, that’s a really important element and a shorter height does give you an advantage so it’s good that I’m one of the shortest in Team GB.”

Accrington-based Simon Jersey will provide suits for all of Team GB’s athletes at Rio 2016 in a process that has lasted almost two years.

The suits will ensure that Team GB’s athletes always have backing of the nation with ten messages of support – from schoolchildren who entered a competition – sewn into the lining.

In addition to the suits, Simon Jersey will also provide Team GB with the outfit they will wear in the closing ceremony of Rio 2016. Athletes and officials will receive both uniforms during the ‘kitting out’ process which will take place over three weeks this summer.

A spokesman for Simon Jersey said: “We’re incredibly proud to be working with Team GB. The athletes are amazingly diverse in terms of body shapes, with each sport requiring strength in different areas of the body.

“However, designing uniforms that look great on people of all shapes and sizes is what we do every day, so creating the suits for Team GB has definitely been more of an honour than a challenge. The feedback from athletes who’ve seen the suits has been fantastic and we can’t wait to see them all wearing it at their formal events.”