UK Sport Talk

Published 30 November 2015

Friday 4 December

Hockey: Great Britain’s medal hopes came to an abrupt end at the hands of hosts India as Bobby Crutchley’s side were beaten 2-1 in their World League quarter final match in Raipur. 

Goals for Vokkaliga Raghunath and Talwinder Singh put India 2-0 up and although Simon Mantell pulled one back it was not enough and Great Britain were condemned to playing off for fifth place. 

Great Britain will now play off for fifth place on 4 December 2015 at 15:15 UK time, opponents to be confirmed. 

Great Britain Head Coach Bobby Crutchley said: “We allowed them to dictate the game in the first half and at times we were a little too passive. We still created chances but we weren’t quite able to get the goals we needed. 

We were better in the second half and dominated for long periods of the game but our execution in the final third was a little bit lacking today. 

“We probably did enough to get something from the game so we’re a little frustrated but if you don’t take the chances you create it makes life difficult.

“Despite the disappointment there is a lot to be positive about from this tournament. Some of the less experienced guys have stepped up and played well and at times we’ve played some really good hockey. 

“We’ll be better for the experience and hopefully this will stand us in good stead and allow us to get over the line in the future. I’m positive that this group will bounce back. They have a lot of pride in what they do and will be keen to put things right in the next game,” he added.

For more info: Great Britain Hockey

Swimming: Jazz Carlin won Britain’s first gold medal of the European Short Course Championships in Israel as the British team added three medals on day two to take their tally to five.

Carlin (National Centre, Bath) took the touch and with it the gold medal in a close finish from Boglarka Kapas of Hungary in silver while bronze went to Sharon Rouwendaal of the Netherlands.

Roberto Pavoni (National Centre, Loughborough) swam a new best time in the 400m Individual Medley to secure the silver medal. Pavoni finished a fraction behind Hiungary's David Verraszto with gold while bronze went to Israel’s Gal Nevo.

Andrew Willis (National Centre, Bath) also set a new best time in the 200m Breaststroke to finish with the bronze behind Germany’s Marco Koch with gold, in a new Championships Record, and Daniel Gyurta of Hungary with silver.

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (National Centre, Bath) was in record-breaking form in the 100m Individual Medley semi-finals setting a new British standard of 57.59 to qualify second fastest for tomorrow’s final. And Chris Walker-Hebborn (National Centre, Bath) will also fight for a medal after finishing third fastest in the semi-finals of the 100m Backstroke.

The championships sit in the middle of a hard block of work for the British team of 10 as they lay the foundations on which to build their performances for the 2016 Olympic year. The Europeans enable them to combine this with race preparation and process practice.

For more info: British Swimming

Thursday 3 December

Wheelchair Tennis: Gordon Reid extended his winning sequence against men’s world No. 2 Stephane Houdet to six matches on the opening day of the 2015 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters as Jordanne Whiley got the better of fellow Brit Lucy Shuker in the women’s singles on the first day of three days of round-robin group matches.

“I’m very pleased with the win, the surface here in London is one of the fastest on the circuit and I felt comfortable with my tactics playing Stephane,” said Reid. “Watching the Davis Cup over the weekend on the television and the meeting the team here yesterday was inspirational.”

In the women’s singles world No. 4 Whiley built on a 4-1 lead to get the better of a succession of service breaks towards the end of the first set against Shuker. Whiley then earned a 3-0 second set lead before going on to complete a 6-4, 6-2 victory in Group A.

“I was a bit nervous to start with but it was good to get the first win in the pool. Lucy played a good match and used different tactics from the previous times we’ve played and that threw me for a bit. However, once I settled into the game my power and shots combined with a fast surface gave me the confidence to play my tennis,” said Whiley, who now goes on to play Dutch world No.1 Jiske Griffioen.

For more info: Tennis Foundation

Swimming: Britain’s swimmers won two silver medals on day one of the European Short Course Championships in Israel thanks to triple World Champion Adam Peaty and Commonwealth Champion Hannah Miley.

Miley (Garioch) put the small GBR team of 10 onto the medal table with a hard fought silver in the 400m Individual Medley. Gold went to Katinka Hosszu of Hungary, who earlier in the day had set a new World Record, and bronze went to Lara Grangeon of France.

Peaty (City of Derby), announced this week as a top 12 contender for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year in recognition of his outstanding achievements, qualified fastest for the final of the 50 Breaststroke.

And it was the narrowest of margins that separated the medals in the final with gold going to Slovenia’s Damir Dugonjic by 1/100th of a second from Peaty with silver and Oleg Kostin of Russia took bronze.

The event sits in the middle of a hard block of work for the British team of 10 as they lay the foundations on which to build their performances for the 2016 Olympic year. The Europeans enable them to combine this with race preparation and process practice.

For more info: British Swimming

Para-Sailing: Great Britain claimed gold on the final day of the Para World Sailing Championships in Melbourne on Thursday (3 December), with John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas closing out a hard-fought victory in the Sonar class.

The three-time Paralympians had had a long wait for their World Championship hat-trick, having last claimed Worlds golds in 2006 and 2005.
But on the final day of the six-day regatta, and in the one final race to be staged on Port Phillip Bay on Thursday, Robertson, Stodel and Thomas did enough to edge victory by a single point over Australia’s erstwhile series leaders Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris and Russell Boaden. 

They add their gold to the silver already secured by SKUD duo Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell on Wednesday.

“It feels just amazing,” said a delighted helm Robertson. “We’ve missed out a few times over the last few years. This year’s been a lot of hard work to try and make big gains. Our goal this year was to win the Worlds so to have it there for real is just superb.” 

“It was a stressful race but we pulled it out the bag and we’re really happy,” Colchester’s Stodel added of the final race. “We’re not mad keen on the light winds but we were steady away, just took it as it was. We had a big discussion pre-start about what we were going to do, we went out and stuck to it and just sailed away.”

For more info: Royal Yachting Association

Wednesday 2 December

Para-SailingGreat Britain secured its first medal on the penultimate day of the Para World Sailing Championships in Melbourne (Wednesday 2 December), with silver assured for the SKUD duo of Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell.

The Paralympic bronze medallists have an unassailable points margin over the third-placed Italian team, with the host’s 2012 gold medallists and defending World Champions Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch wrapping up overall victory in the two-person event with a day to spare.

Find out more: British Sailing Team

HockeyGreat Britain remained unbeaten at the World League Finals with a hard-earned 3-3 draw against Belgium in their final Pool A match.

Bobby Crutchley’s side led three times with goals from Phil Roper, Alastair Brogdon and Alan Forsyth but they were pegged back by a stubborn and attack-minded Belgium. The Red Lions struck through Thomas Briels, Tanguy Cosyns and Tom Boon but despite both sides throwing everything at each other, they could not be separated and left with a point apiece, securing top spot in the pool for Great Britain.

Find out more: GB Hockey

Tuesday 1 December

Swimming: Triple World Champion Adam Peaty has been announced as World and European Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World Magazine.

It is the first time a British swimmer has been given the honour after finishing runner up to Hosake Hagino (Japan) in 2014 and is the first European athlete to win since 2000 when Pieter Van Den Hoogenband (NED) won.

Peaty has enjoyed an incredible year with three world records and three world titles to his name. At the British Championships in April he was the first man to go beneath 58 seconds for the 100m Breaststroke

He also knocked the 50m Breaststroke standard down to 26.42 seconds after Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) lowered Peaty’s record in the heats.

The City of Derby swimmer has won back-to-back European Swimmer of the Year titles.

For more info: British Swimming

Athletics: British Athletics’ today announced the 36-strong team heading to the European Cross Country Championships including reigning champion Gemma Steel who will defend her senior women’s title in Hyères, France on Sunday 13 December.

Steel, a three-time medallist at these championships, will once again be one of the favourites for the title as she joins the British team who have topped the medal table at the last 12 editions of the event.

Spencer Duval, the Team Leader said: “After the successes in Samokov last year (nine medals including four gold), we have selected a team which will look to continue Britain’s fine form at the European Cross Country Championships.

“There have been a number of encouraging performances so far this season and I’m confident that the team will equip themselves well against the best in Europe.”

For more info: British Athletics

Monday 30 November

FencingRichard Kruse won silver at the Turin Men’s Foil Grand Prix on Sunday, boosting his world ranking.

Kruse faced Jianfei Ma of China in the final and, despite keeping it close during the first two periods, the Chinese fencer pulled away in the final three minutes to take the title with a 15-11 victory.

Speaking straight after the medal ceremony Kruse said: “The standard of men’s foil is very high at the moment.  I had lots of close fights and I was close to winning but I’m pleased with my performances to get second place.”

British Fencing’s Performance Director, Alex Newton was happy with the results in Italy and said; “I am delighted with all of the performances from the three athletes today.  It is great news that we had three fencers in the top sixteen and it shows the strength of the individuals making up the current foil team.”

Great Britain are targeting qualifying a men’s foil team for Rio 2016 and are currently in a tight battle which looks like it’s going down to the wire. Should they not succeed, Kruse’s result today puts him contention for individual qualification.

Find out more: British Fencing

SailingA dominant Giles Scott extended his winning streak to 25-months at the Finn Gold Cup in Takapuna, New Zealand, defending his World Championship crown with a day and two races to spare.

Scott now becomes one of only six sailors in the 60-year history of the Finn Worlds to claim a hat-trick of victories, with Ben Ainslie, whose Olympic title Scott is hoping to keep in British hands next year, the only man with more Gold Cup wins.

The 28-year-old Scott went into the penultimate day of racing on the Hauraki Gulf with an imposing 52-point lead, needing only one result within the top 18 from the day’s two races to secure an early victory.

Meanwhile, Ed Wright secured a top eight finish on the closing day of action. Bournemouth’s Wright, who won the World Championship title in 2010, finished second in the medal race to elevate his overnight position one place to eighth overall, while Scott finished the final ten-boat race in eighth, already safe in the knowledge that he’d be taking the esteemed Gold Cup home with him again after a dominant display on the Hauraki Gulf this week.

Find out more: British Sailing Team

GymnasticsBritish Gymnastics secured two places in the women's trampoline event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after Bryony Page and Kat Driscoll reached the world final in Denmark.

Page and Driscoll qualified sixth and seventh for the women’s trampoline world final while Pamela Clark took 19th place. In the men’s event, Nathan Bailey completed a clean routine to finish 17th and secure the British men a place at the Rio test event next year.  It is the first time in history GB has qualified two female trampoline gymnasts to an Olympic Games. 

Bryony said after the final: “I think I hit a personal best today so yes just really happy and I went out there and I enjoyed it and showed what I could do and I am just really happy that my best routine was saved for the final.” And on Rio qualification 

“I just got off the trampoline and it was just relief that I had done it and to think that I might have done enough and then the scores came up and we knew it would be close and as soon as we found out we couldn’t hold it in anymore!”

Find out more: British Gymnastics

VI Judo: Britain won three bronze medals at the 2015 IBSA European Judo Championships over the weekend, in what is the final Rio 2016 Paralympic Games qualifying event. 

London 2012 silver medallist Sam Ingram, Chris Skelley and Jack Hodgson all secured medals 

Find out more: British Judo

Hockey: Great Britain & Northern Ireland enjoyed a successful weekend, winning their opening two matches at the World League. 

Bobby Crutchley's side saw off Canada in their first game on Saturday thanks to goals from Simon Mantell and Alastair Brogdon before putting five past Australia in a 5-2 win. 

Sitting at the top of Pool A, Crutchley was delighted with his team's performances. He said: "This was a step in the right direction but we aren’t getting carried away. We’ll gain confidence from this of course, but Belgium next is a tough game and a completely different style and different test to today. We’ll enjoy today but it won’t mean anything if we don’t back it up with more quality performances in the upcoming games.”

Find out more: GB Hockey

BoxingSavannah Marshall defeated her GB Boxing squad mate, Natasha Gale, to win the GB Boxing Championship and steal a march on her middleweight rival in the battle to be selected for next year’s Olympic qualification events.

The 2012 World Champion and 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist showed her experience as she overcame an explosive start from Gale to secure a unanimous points victory on all of the judges’ scorecards.

Marshall said: “Having a rival in the GB Boxing squad has definitely spurred me on to train and work harder.  I did feel quite nervous before the bout as Natasha is a tough opponent, so it was a relief to secure the win.”

Elsewhere the action showcased the strength in depth in the GB Boxing squad as boxers in the GB vest recorded victories in eight of the 10 bouts with wins for Luke McCormack, Peter McGrail, Jack Bateson, Troy Williamson, Tom Whitaker Hart and Sandy Ryan and Lisa Whiteside in the women’s competition.

GB Boxing’s Performance Director, Rob McCracken said: “It was a very good evening of boxing with some superb contests, particularly the bout between Loftus and Pattinson.  It was a sign of the depth of talent we have in this country and augurs well for the on-going success of boxing in Great Britain.”

Find out more: GB Boxing

BadmintonMatthew Nottingham and Emily Westwood ousted top seeds Ronan Labar and Emilie Lefel, of France, on Saturday evening to secure their first senior international mixed doubles title together.

Nottingham and Westwood won 21-13, 25-23 against the world number 23 pair as they finished their week without dropping a game at the Sport Wales National Centre in Sophia Gardens.

Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge then ended a successful campaign for English players as the top seeds lifted the men’s doubles title following a thrilling final. The English national champions had been beaten in five first rounds since their stunning quarter-final run at the World Championships.

But they came out firing in Cardiff, beating Poland’s second seeds Adam Cwalina and Przemyslaw Wacha, 21-16, 16-21, 21-16. It was their first title win since last December’s Italian International.

Fine out more: Badminton England

Skeleton: Laura Deas started the season in style by winning her first ever BMW IBSF World Cup race in Altenberg on Friday afternoon.

Deas, who came through UK Sport's Girls4Gold talent ID recruitment campaign, finished seventh at last season’s World Championships and fifth in the overall World Cup standings.

Deas produced a sensational performance to pip home slider Tina Hermann to gold on German soil. The 27-year-old from Wrexham finished 0.04 seconds ahead of the field in the first of eight World Cup races, with fellow Brit Donna Creighton marking her return to the top circuit with an 11th place effort.

Meanwhile, Dom Parsons finished ninth in the as the men’s competition with Ed Smith in 17th.

Find out more: British Bobsleigh & Skeleton

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