At the weekend 39-year-old Yamile Aldama by being the second oldest winner of a World Athletics Championship medal when she claimed victory in the Triple Jump at the World Indoors.
Having been born in Cuba Yamile started her international career representing them. Winning Silver at the World Indoor Championships in 1999 she then represented her country of birth at the 2000 Olympics where she finished fourth.
In 2001 Yamile married a Scottish man and re-located to the UK where she applied for citizenship. However , shortly after, her husband was sentenced to 15 years for his part in drug trafficking heroin valued at £40million. Yamile, unconnected with the offence, chose to remain in the UK but her application for citizenship started to hit rocks. This caused her to be unable to represent Team GB at the major sporting events.
Because of these problems Yamile looked at other options and with offers from a number of countries she chose to represent Sudan. After acquiring the Sudanese citizenship on January 23, 2004, she went to represent Sudan at the 2004 Summer Olympics where she finished in fifth place. In 2004 she also broke the Sudanese triple jump record achieving 15.28 metres.
On February 5, 2010, nearly ten years after her initial application, she finally gained British citizenship. And on the 13th of March 2012 she finally got the news that the IOC had finalised her application to change the nation of representation. Meaning that after over 10 years of trying Yamile will compete for Team GB at this years Olympics in London.
An International Olympic Committee statement said: “In both cases the Executive Board agreed to the request to reduce the three-year waiting period outlined in the Olympic Charter as the requirements for such reduction or cancellation had been met.”
The aquatics center that will host the Olympic Swimming and Diving events will be receiving a good workout over the next few days as competitors from over 44 countries will turn up and compete at the World Cup event.
The event will also allow team GB the opportunity to qualify an athlete in to the 4 remaining events that no one has yet qualified for. These include the men’s and women’s 3m springboard and women’s 10m platform. 8 Olympic events already have athletes from GB qualified in them. This weeks events will allow athletes to look towards the olympics and begin to familiarise themselves with the arena. However even though some positions have been secured for Great Britain at the London Olympics, divers will have to wait until their national trials in June before learning which athletes will be selected for Team GB.
Team GB s led by 17 year-old Tom Daley. Daley has been a star on the rise over the last few years and will look to add to his trophy cabinet as he partners experienced Pete Waterfield in the 10m synchronised event. Other names looking to draw support from the partisan crowd will include 3m springboard rising star Jack Laugher, who claimed to National titles last month and 3m synchro pair Nick Robinson-Baker and Chris Mears. For the women events look no further than the 10m platform divers Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow came closest to the podium than any other GB divers at last year’s World Championships, finishing just outside the medals in the synchronised event.
To follow the latest throughout the London World Cup check: http://www.swimming.org/britishswimming/diving
Following some very impressive performances by the GB team in Israel which saw promotion for the Judy Murray led squad the draw for April’s Fed Cup World Group II play-offs as been made.
Great Britain will travel to Sweden in April’s World Group II play-offs after missing out on a home draw. The winners will earn promotion into World Group II – the second tier of the Fed Cup.
Swedens top players rank well compared to GBs top player with Sweden having two top 100 players in Johanna Larsson (62) and Sofia Arvidsson (74), but no-one else inside the world’s top 500, while Elena Baltacha (61) and Anne Keothavong (89) also feature in the worlds top 100 players. With Heather Watson (109) and Laura Robson (120) as back up to these players the GB squad looks to have the strength depth to cause Sweden some serious problems when they meet from the 21st-22nd of April.
France (s)(c)(*) v Slovenia
Switzerland (s)(c)(*) v Belarus
Sweden (s)(c)(*) v Great Britain
Argentina (s)(c)(*) v China, P.R.
Also drawn at the same time were the Play-offs for the World Group:
USA (s) v Ukraine (c)(*)
Belgium (s) v Japan (c)(*)
Spain (s)(c)(*) v Slovak Republic
Australia (s) v Germany (c)(*)
(s) = Seed
(c) = Choice of ground
(*) = Choice of ground decided by lot