Not a flying start! BA loses Team GB athlete’s luggage at maiden Olympic Games

St Mary’s University alumnus Elliot Giles’ maiden Olympics didn’t start how he expected it to when British Airways lost his luggage en route to Rio last week.

The 22-year-old was forced to borrow kit, setting him back in his final preparations in the lead up to his first ever Olympic race today.

Giles will be counting his lucky stars he even made it to Rio after suffering a nearly career ending motorcycle accident in 2014 with resultant reoccurring injuries.

The 800m athlete found himself in with a fighting chance of making the Games after his exceptional comeback and victory at the British Championships in June 2016 where he raced a personal best of 1:47:21 — just short of the 1:46.00 Rio 2016 800m qualifying standard.

After a discretionary selection Giles received his first GB vest and senior international call-up.

Shortly after, he was also selected to represent GB in the European Championships in Amsterdam in July.

An impressive performance in the European rounds saw Giles run a personal best and an Olympic qualifying time of 1:45.54 in the final — while picking up his first international bronze medal.

The young rising star told the Daily Mail he is reluctant to make any predictions of his own.

He said: “After everything I’ve been through I’m just delighted to be going to the Olympics.”

Giles forms part of an 80-strong track and field team for the Rio Olympic Games which also includes reigning champions Jess Ennis-Hill, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford.

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