An abundance of athletes from the West Midlands are keeping Birmingham Mail writers busy ahead of next month’s Olympic Games in Beijing.
Around 20 sportsmen and women from the Mail’s patch are currently reaching the final stages of their preparations with some having already boarded a plane to the Far East for the August 8 kick-off.
Among the athletes are some high hopes for medals including heptathlete Kelly Sotherton and boxer Frankie Gavin, who became England’s first world amateur champion last year.
Other stars featured in the Mail include judo exponent Craig Fallon, hockey player Lucille Wright and archer Alison Williamson.
Mail sports editor Ken Montgomery told HoldtheFrontPage: “It’s full steam ahead in terms of coverage and we’ve been doing it for the last seven or eight weeks.
“Building up to the Games, we’ve been doing profiles of the West Midlands stars followed by updates on their training.
“We’ve done a big double-page spread on boxer Frankie Gavin and Khalid Yafai.
“We’re also trying to get high jumper Tom Parsons to write us a blog from China and boxing coach Frankie O’Sullivan is going to keep in regular contact with us.
“We’re looking at having a five-page spread with all our local people from the West Midlands and then a 24-page pullout, probably the day before the Games start.”
Ken added: “The athletes have been brilliant to work with.”