Proud Brit Reid: I'm honoured to represent Team GB in Tokyo

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Derby ace Reid, 33, is the world No.36 and is relishing a crack at glory in Tokyo this summer
Derby ace Reid, 33, is the world No.36 and is relishing a crack at glory in Tokyo this summer

Mel Reid never considered following Charley Hull and Georgia Hall’s lead and turning down a spot at this summer’s Olympic Games, writes Will Jennings.

Derby golf star Reid, the world No.36, was officially selected in Team GB’s four-strong squad heading to Tokyo alongside Tommy Fleetwood, Paul Casey and Jodi Ewart Shadoff.

Reid booked her place on the plane through the original world rankings but the personnel of the two females heading to Japan remained uncertain after Hull, the world No.44, and Hall, No.53, decided not to travel because of scheduling concerns.

Shadoff, ranked 49 places behind Reid, was the next cab off the female golfing rank and the pair will now bid to emulate Justin Rose’s historic gold medal at Rio 2016.

Hull and Hall hit the headlines for their high-profile absence but Games-obsessed Reid insists she couldn’t be prouder to fly the British flag.

The 33-year-old, who tied for third at the 2019 PGA Championship, said: “As someone who grew up a multi-athlete playing lots of sports, the Olympics was always something that caught my eye.

TOKYO 2020 - 'I KNOW WHAT I NEED TO ACHIEVE' - ADAM PEATY TARGETING MORE GOLD FOR TEAM GB
TOKYO 2020 - 'I KNOW WHAT I NEED TO ACHIEVE' - ADAM PEATY TARGETING MORE GOLD FOR TEAM GB

“But I never thought that would be an opportunity for me as a golfer. It’s a great opportunity to grow the game – there’ll be a bunch of eyes watching golf at the Olympics that have never seen a golf tournament or even heard of golf before.

“I’m hugely excited and it’s a huge, huge honour to represent Great Britain at an Olympics.

“Just being surrounded by all the top athletes in the world will be a pretty amazing experience. I won’t mind who I meet – every person there is an Olympian and hugely respected.

“Just to be around that energy and that environment will be such a unique and cool experience.”

Reid’s best finish at a major came at the PGA two years ago but she’s endured a turbulent time on this season’s globetrotting circuit.

She only just crept into the top 50 at last month’s US Open – she tied for 46th– and has failed to penetrate the top ten since last year’s ANA Inspiration in California.

But Reid still stands tall as the British No.1 and will now lead Team GB’s golf stars into battle at Kasumigaseki Country Club this month.

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The format of golf at the Olympics is truly unique and proud Reid, whose Team GB exploits will be broadcast live on Eurosport and discovery+, added: “It’s an individual tournament, so it’s very different to the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup.

“But having Jodi there during the week, having the boys there, we’re still going to be cheering for them.

“If I’m not in the medal race, which I hope I am, I’m obviously going to be pulling for Jodi. I’d rather a GB medal than no medal at all.

“Jodi and I have known each other for many years – we’ve grown up playing together, so it’s nice to have her as the second female for GB.

“She’s trying to beat me, I’m trying to beat her, but if I don’t pick up a medal I absolutely want her to pick one up. It will be a unique experience and it’ll be really cool.”

Stream every unmissable moment of Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 live on discovery+, The Streaming Home of the Olympics.

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