Seventeen-year-old table tennis player Yolanda King’s selection for the 2012 European Youth Championships in Austria has been a mixed blessing ahead of the Olympic Games.
Chosen to represent England in Schwechat, Austria from the 13th to 22nd July it has meant she will now not be able to carry the Olympic Torch, which she had been designated to do through her hometown of Hastings on the 18th July.
It brings into question the ‘Olympic Games Legacy’ ideals, which are supposed to be the backbone of the 30th Olympiad.
While the Games will bring opportunities to many young and aspring athletes, it’s a sad story for King who will be unable to realise her dream after LOCOG’s Torch Relay team told the youngster she will not be allowed to re-locate.
King said: “I am frustrated, disappointed and upset that I cannot carry the Torch from Hastings, as it would have been a once in a lifetime experience.”
The 2011 School Games Table Tennis Champion is still hopeful of participating in the relay and hopes that owing to the circumstances of her absence, LOCOG will re-consider their position.
She explained: “The Relay organisers have told me that I have no choice where I might run as this was decided by postcode, but I don’t think they understand that I am not trying to choose – I wanted to run in Hastings.
I know that all areas probably have reserves, but if someone somewhere drops out at short notice then I would be very pleased to fill in.”
King is continuing to fight for her place and may create a Facebook group to widen the reach of her appeal.