Yamaguchi makes ‘Mini Mascot’s dreams come true

Team GB Mini Mascot Alice 1200

A young badminton fanatic from Leeds saw a dream come true at the 2024 YONEX All England Open by meeting one of her heroes.

Alice Wu, 8, is among the first-ever Team GB ‘mini mascots’ for the Paris 2024 Olympics and was invited to March’s Birmingham showpiece for a behind the scenes meet and greet with Japanese star Akane Yamaguchi.

Yamaguchi, YONEX All England Open women’s singles champion in 2022, finished as runner-up on this occasion as Carolina Marin came out on top.

Alice said: “I am over the moon, it was the best day ever! I was so excited to meet my idol Yamaguchi and I got her signature and photo!”

Wu, a pupil at Talbot Primary School, is one of six children selected to be a Team GB Mini Mascot for the Games.

She was inspired by her brother Oliver to forge her path as a shuttler and will join her fellow Mini Mascots in supporting Team GB athletes all the way to Paris, from kitting out – where athletes will head to Birmingham to collect their Olympic kit – to local team announcements and participating in Team GB Fanzones to watch the action.

Team GB Mini Masots 1200

Carly Hodgson, Team GB Head of Marketing said: “The passion from the six finalists came through in their entry videos and it was brilliant to see this come to life when meeting them in person.

“They will be an asset in rallying their communities and the nation to support Team GB in the run up to Paris, in a role that we know will be hugely exciting and inspiring for both them and our athletes.”

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