Parents’ pride as sporting stars given Olympics nod

POLO MINT -- Hucknall water-polo player Sean Ryder
POLO MINT -- Hucknall water-polo player Sean Ryder

HUCKNALL hurdler Andy Turner and water polo player Sean Ryder are both ‘over the moon’ after being selected for Team GB at the London Olympics.

Turner had a nervous wait ahead of the athletics squad being announced after missing out on an automatic qualifying spot by finishing only third in the 110m hurdles at the Olympic trial in Birmingham.

But Turner, the bronze medallist at the last World Championships, had already ran the A qualifying standard and was selected by GB head coach Charles van Commenee on Tuesday.

His mum Yvonne Turner, of Nottingham Road, Hucknall, said that the whole family is ‘delighted’ after a ‘really nerve-wracking time’.

“It kept us on edge until the last moment because none of them knew if they were going to be picked,” she told the Dispatch.

“Even if you were the fastest person, you might not have been chosen.

“Andy is absolutely over the moon - is overjoyed - and cannot wait to get on with it.”

Turner has had a difficult year so far because of niggly injuries and a disappointing training period in America, where he tried out different techniques but found they did not suit him.

Mrs Turner said that, despite these setbacks, he is ‘really positive’ about his chances at London 2012.

“The thing with the hurdles is that on the day, even the world champion can fall flat on his face - anyone can win on the day,” she said.

“Now Andy has got the nod, he will carry on working as hard as he can to get into a medal position.”

Ryder (25) has been named in the first GB men’s water polo squad to appear at the Olympic Games since 1956.

He has been playing water polo since he was 14 and, like the entire GB squad, has been playing abroad in an effort to improve his game ahead of the Olympics, first for Rapid Bucharest in Romania and this year in Germany with SV Weiden.

Parents Corinne and Steven, of Church Lane, Hucknall, recalled that Sean said the day he heard he had been selected was ‘the best day of his life so far’.

They said: “We are really pleased for him - we are more pleased than proud even, because we know what he has gone through to get there.”

Ryder, who started playing at Hucknall Water Polo Club, was unsure if he would make the Olympic squad right up until it was announced.

Mrs Ryder said that it had consequently been an up and down year for her son, wondering if he had done enough to be selected.

“Sean has been literally fighting in the last year to get one of the last places on the team,” she said.

“He loves to play anyway and no matter what game it is, he wants to be picked, but obviously they have been working towards the Olympics for so long.”

Ryder picked up his GB kit from Loughborough University this week and is now in Dublin with the water polo squad for a pre-Games tournament.