With just five weeks to go until the Olympic Games get under way, Team Bath MCTA Tennis player Marcus Daniell today became the 12th University of Bath-based athlete to be officially selected for Rio 2016.
The 26-year-old will be mixing it with the likes of Andy and Jamie Murray after being named alongside Michael Venus in the men’s doubles by his native New Zealand.
It continues a meteoric rise for Daniell, who was 398th in the ATP world doubles rankings when he first joined Team Bath MCTA in 2013 but has now soared up to 59th.
Barry Scollo, Director of Tennis at Team Bath, said: “It is awesome news for Marcus and a real milestone for the programme here. We’ve had squad members compete in the Davis Cup and Federation Cup before but never at the Olympic Games.
“It is just reward for all the tireless work that Marcus has put in over the past few years. He has kept going, been persistent and we wish him all the best in Rio.
“It is also a great credit to the coaches here, particularly Dave Sammel, Ian MacDonald and Bob Smith who work closely with Marcus. They have a really joined-up approach to coaching and it has been a real team effort. It is a very proud day for us.”
The New Zealand team was selected on the basis of the ATP world rankings as of June 6 and saw Daniell edge out fellow Kiwi Artem Sitak for the second doubles berth by just one place.
That came courtesy of Daniell’s performance at the French Open, where he and partner Brian Baker of the United States reached the last 16 while Sitak and Nicholas Monroe went out in the second round.
As well as the Murray brothers, other confirmed entries in the men’s doubles for Rio include Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka for Switzerland, and Novak Djokovic and Nenad Zimonjic for Serbia.
Confirmation of his selection for the Olympics provided a timely lift for Daniell after his Wimbledon campaign came to an end in a hard-fought first-round match on Thursday.
Facing the number 14 seeds, Juan-Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah of Colombia, Daniell and Baker won the first set 6-3 and took the second to a tiebreak. However, they lost it 7-2 and then went down 6-3 in the decisive set.
Daniell is the first overseas athlete from the University of Bath to be selected for the Rio Olympic Games. Team GB has so far selected Joe Choong, Jamie Cooke, Kate French and Samantha Murray (modern pentathlon); Jazz Carlin, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, Chris Walker-Hebborn and Andrew Willis (swimming); Ben Fletcher (judo); and Sonny Webster (weightlifting).
Athlete Paul Blake has also been named in the ParalympicsGB squad for Rio.
Pictured are Marcus Daniell (right) with coach Dave Sammel in Paris during the 2016 French Open, the competition which secured his Rio 2016 place