London Youth Games alumni star at Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

28th Jul 2022
Yolanda Martin
Daryll Neita holds GB flag up

Meet the 22 athletes who started their journey at London Youth Games

London Youth Games has a proud history of helping to develop some of the Britain’s greatest sportspeople. Gold medal winners including Mo Farah, Christine Ohuruogu, Bradley Wiggins and Linford Christie who have all gone from representing their borough to representing GB on the Olympic stage.

This year, 22 former London Youth Games participants will be representing England at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. From returning medallists to rising stars, the athletes, who come from 12 London boroughs, will be competing across 10 different sports. Ahead of today’s opening ceremony, we take a look at the Team England medal hopes who will be flying the flag for LYG in Birmingham!

ATHLETICS:

Daryll Neita

Daryll represented Lewisham at the London Youth Games in 2010, where she finished second in the 100m and took home gold in the Long Jump. This June, she claimed a sprint double victory at the Müller UK Athletics Championships in the 100m and 200m. In Birmingham, she will be racing in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.

Asha Philip

Asha, who represented Waltham Forest at the London Youth Games, won bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in the 4x100m relay and scooped a bronze medal in the 4x100m relay in Tokyo 2020. In 2022, she will be racing in the 4x100m relay alongside LYG alumna, Desiree Henry and Daryll Neita.

Laviai Nielsen

Laviai ran Cross Country for Waltham Forest at the London Youth Games in 2011.  Laviai secured bronze for Team GB in the 4x400m women’s relay at 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon and will be going on to compete in the 4x400m relay in Birmingham.

Ama Pipi

Ama represented Enfield at the London Youth Games in 2010. Ama began her career focusing on the 100m and 200m, before switching to the 400m. She will be competing in the 400m and 4x400m relay alongside fellow LYG alumna Laviai Nielsen.

Desiree Henry

Desiree ran the 200m for Enfield at the London Youth Games in 2008. She won an Olympic bronze medal in the 4x100m relay at the 2016 Olympics and a silver medal in the 4×100m relay at the 2017 World Athletics Championships. This year, she’ll be going for gold in the 4x100m relay alongside Daryll Neita and Asha Philip.

Lina Nielsen

Lisa represented Waltham Forest in the 2010 London Youth Games. In 2021, she won the 400m hurdles at the European Athletics Team Championships. She will be competing in the 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay in Birmingham.

Katie Snowden

Katie, who ran Cross Country for Southwark at the London Youth Games in 2011, will be representing Team GB England in the 1500m in Birmingham.

CYCLING:

Ethan Hayter 

Ethan competed for Wandsworth at the London Youth Games in 2014. Four years later, he was winning gold at both the World and European Championships. Ethan, who is a Tokyo silver medallist and world omnium champion, will be going for a medal in both the Track and Road Cycling.

DIVING:

Eden Cheng

Eden represented Lambeth in Diving at the London Youth Games in 2016 and 2017. A year later, aged only 15, she won gold partnering with Louis Toulson in the 10m synchro at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Eden claimed gold in the Women’s 10m Platform and silver in the Women’s 10m Synchro in the 2022 British Diving Championships and will represent Team England in her first Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix

Andrea competed for Lewisham at the London Youth Games in 2016 and 2017. The 17-year old is excited to be a part of the squad, as she will be making her Commonwealth Games debut in Birmingham.

Noah Williams

Having first competed at the London Youth Games in Floor and Vault Gymnastics in 2010, Noah then turned his attention to Diving, representing Hackney from 2012 to 2017. Noah has stepped on to a Commonwealth Games podium before with silver medals in the 10m synchro platform in the Gold Coast Games and will be hoping for further success in Team England colours.

JUDO:

Ashley McKenzie

Having started out representing Westminster at the London Youth Games, Ashley soon went on to become British Champion in 2008, and going on to achieve gold at 2014 Commonwealth Games. He is also known for his appearances on Celebrity Big Brother and Celebrity Ex on the Beach. Ashley will be competing in the 60kg Judo category in Birmingham.

RUGBY SEVENS:

Celia Quansah

Celia represented Richmond in Athletics at the London Youth Games in 2009 and 2010. She went on to represented England in Heptathlon and won Long Jump at the 2011 School Games. Celia was 21 when she made the switch to Rugby and she was part of the England Sevens set-up within six months, scoring nine tries in 12 appearances in 2019/20. This will be Celia’s first Commonwealth Games.

Emma Uren

The first time Emma picked up a rugby ball was to play Tag Rugby for Richmond at the London Youth Games in 2010. It wasn’t just rugby that Emma excelled in, as she also competed in multiple sports including Swimming, Indoor Rowing and Aquathlon in the London Youth Games. She captained England U20s to their first ever victory in 2018 and later that season won the Tyrell Premier 15s with Saracens. This will be her first Commonwealth Games.

TABLE TENNIS:

Tin-Tin Ho

Tin-Tin represented both the City of London and Westminster in Table Tennis at the London Youth Games. She competed for England at the 2014 Commonwealth Games winning silver with partner Liam Pitchford at just 15 years old. She has won multiple national titles, as well as two Commonwealth silver medals, and appeared at the 2020 Summer Olympics. She will be looking to go one better at the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

PARA TABLE TENNIS

Ross Wilson

Ross took part in the London Youth Games for Bromley as a child. Now, he is a three-time Paralympic bronze medallist and he will be defending his Commonwealth Games champion title in Birmingham.

TRIATHLON:

Alex Yee

Alex represented Lewisham in Aquathlon, Cycling and Cross Country at the London Youth Games from 2010 to 2014 and he also represented Southwark in Cross Country in 2012. Alex struck gold at the Tokyo 2022 Olympics, with gold in the Triathlon Mixed Relay and silver in the men’s triathlon. He’ll be looking to add a Commonwealth Games win to his belt in Birmingham.

WEIGHTLIFTING:

Zoe Smith

Zoe’s first experience of competitive sport came at the London Youth Games as a gymnast. She was then asked to try out as a weightlifter for Greenwich and discovered her huge talent. Zoe has competed at three Commonwealth Games winning gold, silver and bronze medals and is top ranked in the UK in the women’s 64kg category. Zoe will be looking for Commonwealth Games medal number four this time around.

Jack Oliver

Jack competed in the London Youth Games for Bexley as a youngster. He went on to compete at the London 2012 Olympics and won silver in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018 in the 77kg category. Jack will be competing in his fourth Commonwealth Games later this month with the aim to take victory.

Deborah Alawode

Deborah competed in London Youth Games’s weightlifting representing Ealing and was a gold medalist in 2015 and 2016. She is going to her first Commonwealth Games to compete in the weightlifting.

PARA-ATHLETICS:

David Weir

David is a six-time Paralympic champion in various wheelchair racing events and has won gold at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games in the 1500m T54. One of David’s first ever athletics competitions was representing Sutton at the London Youth Games. He will be looking to boost his impressive medal collection at the Birmingham Games.

SQUASH

Alison Waters

Alison represented Barnet in the London Youth Games growing up. Alison will be making her fifth Commonwealth Games appearance for Team England this year and hoping to add to her Commonwealth silver and bronze Commonwealth medals.