December 5 2013 Latest news:
By RICHARD WOOD
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Proud grandparents will be nervously watching their granddaughter compete tomorrow as she bids for Olympic glory.
Peter and Barbara Roe, of Beccles, and Ray Neave, of Worlingham, will gather with friends and family as they anxiously watch to see if Lizzie Neave can claim a medal.
The 25-year-old from Stone in Staffordshire will be going into the canoe slalom semi-final and hoping to qualify for the final later in the afternoon, after qualifying second fastest on Monday.
Lizzie is a former world and European medallist in the K1 class, and won bronze in the Canoe Slalom World Cup earlier this year, but those accolades made it no easier for her proud grandparents watching from their home in Beccles.
Mrs Roe, 79, said: “I was a nervous wreck. All the family were here and had flags and cheered her on, shouting at the tele.
“There were times when I thought ‘can I watch this?’ as the water is so horrendous, but she had two clear runs on the water, made no mistakes, no touches on the gates and no penalties.”
The couple said that they were incredibly proud of Lizzie and chuffed with her success so far.
“It is so exhilarating. We are so thrilled and proud of our granddaughter,” said Mrs Roe.
“Of course we are proud of all our four grandchildren but for Lizzie to go for to the Olympics is absolutely fantastic.”
Lizzie was fourth after her first run and then second overall after her second run at the Lee Valley White Water Centre on Monday, falling just 0.17 seconds behind Spain’s Maialen Chourraut.
Mrs Roe said they sent her Lizzie a text message congratulating her, but did not talk in depth as they did not want to interrupt her concentration.
Tomorrow she will go in the semi-final at 2.12pm, hoping to be in the top 10 to qualify for the final at 3.57pm.
Mr Roe, 87, a former veterinary surgeon, said: “We are looking forward to it and hope she comes out with a gold.”
Lizzie, who completed a degree in psychology at Loughborough University, has been a full-time athlete for more than four years, moving to London 18 months ago to concentrate on her training for the games.
Unfortunately she missed out on the Beijing games because of a shoulder injury, but did go to the event with her brother Robert to experience it.
Robert, 27, did try for selection for the games, but is concentrating on a post graduate in medicine rather than canoeing.
Lizzie and Robert’s parents Andy and Sally Neave, 53, met at the Sir John Leman High School in Beccles, but moved to Staffordshire before the children were born.
Andy, 55, coaches children at Stafford and Stone Canoe Club as well as teaching outdoor pursuits at Shugborough Hall, while Sally, 53, runs Douglas Macmillan Hospice.