Shropshire Star

No-one remembers fourth place – Jasmine Joyce determined to win medal in Paris

Joyce will become the first British rugby player to appear at three Olympic Games.

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Wales winger Jasmine Joyce is determined to make it third time lucky in her bid for an Olympic medal after being named in Team GB’s sevens squad for Paris 2024.

Joyce, who will become the first British rugby player to appear at three Olympic Games, helped Team GB finish fourth at both Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 and says that is all the motivation she needs.

The 28-year-old told the PA news agency: “To go to two Olympics and both times finish fourth is pretty heart-sinking.

“Fourth place is… Well no-one remembers fourth place do they? You may as well have come last, that’s how I feel.

“But we were expected to medal at both Rio and Tokyo, so the pressure was on as individuals, team and coaches.

“Then it was hard to embrace the moment or enjoy it because you’re expected to medal. I think going to Paris, we are not expected to medal.”

Team GB are currently eighth in the world sevens rankings and lost out to Canada and Fiji respectively in the bronze-medal matches in Rio and Tokyo.

They qualified for Paris in June last year by winning gold at the European Games in Krakow, beating hosts Poland 33-0 in the final.

Team GB announced their women's sevens squad for Paris 2024 in Leeds on Wednesday
Team GB announced their women’s sevens squad for Paris 2024 in Leeds on Wednesday (Ian Hodgson/PA)

Joyce said: “We are coming in as the underdogs, we are under the radar. We’re sitting eighth now so no-one expects us to medal, so going to the Olympics now as underdogs is kind of exciting.

“The pressure is off, so we can enjoy and embrace the moment a bit more. The more you enjoy it, the more success comes with that.”

Joyce and Scotland centre Lisa Thomson are the only non-English players selected in a 12-strong squad.

Thomson, plus England pair Meg Jones and Emma Uren, will compete at their second Olympics, while 2024 Six Nations leading try-scorer Ellie Kildunne has also been included.

The GB men’s team must win gold at the Olympic repechage tournament in Monaco this weekend to secure their place in Paris after losing to Ireland in the European Games final last summer.

Joyce added: “The boys have been brilliant all season. They’ve been hard done by in a few games that just haven’t gone their way.

“So yeah, everything crossed for the boys. They’ve got some really tough games – South Africa, Kenya, Chile, who they’re going to have to beat to qualify.

“But I have every faith and every hope that they get to qualify and we can both do it together again.”

Women’s squad: Amy Wilson Hardy, Ellie Boatman, Ellie Kildunne, Emma Uren, Grace Crompton, Heather Cowell, Isla Norman-Bell, Jade Shekells, Jasmine Joyce, Lauren Torley, Lisa Thomson, Meg Jones. Reserves: Abi Burton, Kayleigh Powell.

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