Great Britain at the 2015 European Games

Great Britain participated at the 2015 European Games, in Baku, Azerbaijan from 12 to 28 June 2015.[1] As this was the inaugural Games, this was Great Britain's first appearance.

Great Britain at the
2015 European Games
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
NOCBritish Olympic Association
in Baku, Azerbaijan
13 – 28 June 2015
Competitors160 in 13 sports
Flag bearersNicola Adams (opening)
Joe Joyce (closing)
OfficialsLord Coe
Ranked 3rd
European Games appearances (overview)

Before the GamesEdit

On 17 October 2014, the British Olympic Association announced that 14 sports and 20 disciplines were seeking qualification for the games.[2]

On 23 April 2015, the British Olympic Association announced the selection of a team of 153 athletes to compete at the Games with a further 10 male boxers to be chosen shortly. Although Great Britain had won several quota places in both badminton and cycling they have chosen not to participate in these sports in Baku.[3][4] On 6 May 2015, the British Olympic Association named an additional ten athletes – 9 boxing, 1 shooting – to complete the British team to compete in Baku.[5][6]

On 2 June 2015, it was announced that five athletes had withdrawn from the British team: Lisa Whiteside (boxing), Tyesha Mattis and Rebecca Tunney (both artistic gymnastics), and Helen Jenkins and Jess Learmonth (both triathlon). Mattis and Tunney were replaced by Charlie Fellows and Georgina Hockenhull.[7]

Games SummaryEdit

Great Britain left the inaugural Games with a total of 47 medals (18 gold, 10 silver, and 19 bronze), finishing third in the medal table rankings, and fourth in the total number of medal rankings.[8] At least one medal was awarded to Team GB in nine sports, seven of them contained at least one gold. Great Britain topped the medal table in triathlon, and diving, although the most successful sport for Great Britain was swimming, with 23 medals, seven gold.

Seventeen British athletes won more than a single European Games medal in Baku, with the most successful being swimmers Duncan Scott, with three golds and three silvers, both the most successful (three golds) and most decorated (six medals) athlete[9] and Luke Greenback with two golds and two silvers, as well as a world junior record in 200 metres backstroke,[10] the only other multiple gold medalist. Abbie Wood, with one gold, one silver and two bronze medals was the most successful female competitor for Great Britain,[11] and one of three athletes, with diver James Heatly and fellow swimmer Martyn Walton, to win at least one medal of every colour. Georgia Coates, with five medals, was the most decorated female competitor for Great Britain at the Games.

The first medal, and gold medal, won at the Games, and by extension the first ever European Games medal and gold medal ever won by Great Britain was achieved by Gordon Benson in men's triathlon; in doing so, he guaranteed a place in the men's triathlon for Great Britain, though not necessarily for himself, at the 2016 Summer Olympics.[12] His win also continued Great Britain's dominance of the event, holding titles at European,[13] European Games, Commonwealth Games,[14] Youth Olympic[15] and Olympic Games levels.

In the fencing hall, Richard Kruse, Marcus Mepstead, Ben Peggs and won the gold in team foil, defeating Olympic champions Italy, and winning Great Britain's first team fencing medal at European or Global level in fifty years, and the first gold ever at that level.[16]

Seventeen-year-old Amber Hill overcame a marathon shoot off in the final to claim Britain's only shooting Gold in women's skeet,[17] while the pool proved a happy hunting ground, with eleven golds across swimming and diving.

In the boxing hall, Nicola Adams continued her domination of her weight category, to add European Games gold to her Commonwealth and Olympic Games titles.[18] Joe Joyce maintained Great Britain's grip on the super-heavyweight division, taking gold to echo the achievements of Anthony Joshua in the 2012 Summer Olympics. On the taekwondo mat, Jade Jones added the European Games gold to her Olympic title, only months after a controversial loss at the World Championships. Newcomer, and converted kickboxer Charlie Maddock also won gold, but Bianca Walkden was unable to repeat her World title success. Meanwhile, the publicised rivalry between former Great Britain athlete Aaron Cook, now fighting for Moldova, and Olympic bronze medalist Lutalo Mohommad failed to materialise as both lost early in their competition. However, as in 2012, Mohommad recovered to take bronze through the repechage.

After the GamesEdit

At the closing ceremony, the flag of Great Britain was born by Joe Joyce. Although the Games received limited coverage in Great Britain, shown domestically only on BT Sport, a subscription channel, the success of the team, particularly of Olympic champions Adams and Jones helped drive interest. By the conclusion of the Games it was reported that Manchester was considering bidding for the 2023 edition of the Games; following the award of the 2018 European Championships to Glasgow, Scotland and the 2022 Commonwealth Games to Birmingham, England, no further interest in hosting the Games was registered.

Medal summaryEdit

The following British competitors won medals at the Games.[19]