Grace Crompton is the youngest member of Team GB's women's side for the Paris 2024 Games this summer

Rising star Grace Crompton never set out to become an Olympian in rugby sevens, writes Megan Armitage of Sportsbeat.

The 22-year-old is the youngest member of Team GB’s 12-strong sevens squad for this summer’s Games, one of eight debutants set to run out at Stade de France.

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The 80,000-seater cathedral is hosting both sevens and athletics and Crompton grew up dreaming of competing in the latter.

Aged 13, she clocked 27.57 seconds for 200m and holds a triple jump personal best of 10.53m from 2017, before the challenges of competing in an individual sport forced Crompton to find a new passion.

Grace Crompton on her Olympic selection

“My athletics is quite transferable in the speed aspect,” said Crompton.

“But when I reached the national level I found that I was struggling with the solo sport aspect quite a bit.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself and there was no one to put an arm round you and help you out so I found rugby at the right time for me.

“It was a straight swap of one in and one out. I instead saw that becoming an Olympian was mine for the taking in rugby and here I am.”

The winger scored six tries in her debut tournament for GB Sevens as they won gold at the 2021 Women’s Fast Four in Vancouver before featuring at the Sevens World Cup in 2022 and for Team England at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Crompton is still shocked by her rapid rise on the pitch but wouldn’t have it any other way, with a maiden Olympics on the horizon.

Grace Compton

Grace Crompton poses in her Team GB Olympic kit after being announced in the squad (Getty Images)

“It was a very quick transition,” she said.

“I went from picking up a ball to playing the under-18 European Championships in four months which isn’t normal.

“The imposter syndrome is huge and watching it back it’s so funny as I had no clue what I was doing. I’ve hopefully learnt a bit more since then.

“But I saw that it was mine for the taking in rugby and here I am.”

Rugby sevens will see just its third Olympic outing at Paris after making its debut at Rio 2016.

Team GB have been part of all three showings, with the women’s team set to begin their campaign in Paris on 28 July.

The pools are yet to be determined, with preliminaries to be played over the first two days before the competition heats up to a golden battle on the 30 July.

And after Team GB finished a heart-breaking fourth place at Tokyo 2020, losing out 21-12 to Fiji in the bronze medal match, Crompton is ready to go the distance to give her teammates one more chance at some Olympic silverware.

“For me, Paris is about finding the balance between embracing that this is my first major event and then delivering my job,” she said.

“I know that a lot of the girls had that fourth-place finish at Rio and Tokyo and so I want to help the whole team.

“I don’t want to just experience my first Games; I also want to get a medal at my first Games for the girls before me who didn’t get one.”

To secure Paris 2024 qualification the GB men’s rugby sevens team need to win this weekend’s Olympic repechage tournament in Monaco.

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