Cannock’s Charlotte Craddock is to become the youngest hockey player to represent Great Britain at the Olympic Games, six months after suffering two stress fractures in her back.
The Wolverhampton-born 17-year-old defender was forced home from the GB tour of Australia in February and underwent surgery. It appeared as if her Beijing hopes were ended but on Tuesday she was named in a 16-strong squad which also includes Olton’s Lucilla Wright and Rachel Walker.
Craddock will break the record of Russell Garcia who was 18 when he played in the 1988 gold medal side at the Seoul Olympics.
“I’m still in shock, especially with the setback in February with my back but I owe a lot to all the English Institute of Sport staff at Bisham Abbey who have helped me with my rehab and I’m very excited to be involved,”she said.
The men face defending champions Australia, Holland, Pakistan, South Africa and Canada while Olympic champions Germany, Argentina, Japan, New Zealand and the United States take on the women.
Men: A McGregor (GK), J Bleby, (Loughborough Students); R
Alexander, M Daly, B Hawes, B Marsden, R Moore, J Tindall (Surbiton);
J Clarke (Reading); S Dick (Inverleith); A Jackson, G
Kirkham (East Grinstead); R Mantell, S Mantell (Reading); B Middleton
(HGC); A Wilson (Beeston).
Women: B Storry (GK, SCHC); J Bimson, C Cullen, A Panter, H Richardson
(Leicester); M Clewlow (Canterbury); C Craddock
(Cannock); K Walsh (capt), A Danson (Slough); J Ellis (Ipswich); J
Ellis (Bowdon Hightown); C Rogers, L Wooding (Chelmsford); S
Thomas (Rotterdam); R Walker, L Wright (Olton).