UK Sport Talk

Published 7 December 2015

Wednesday 9 December

Badminton: England’s Chris and Gabby Adcock fought back brilliantly to win their opening group game at the World Superseries Finals in Dubai after a thrilling duel with Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir, of Indonesia, on Wednesday afternoon.

The Indonesians saved five match points before the English number one mixed doubles pair prevailed 17-21, 21-11, 24-22 after a titanic 63-minute tussle at the Hamdan Arena Complex.

Chris said: "It was a good battle on court today. We didn't have a great start but got our rhythm in the second half of the first set.

"We used that momentum well in the second set and played a near perfect game. Both pairs stepped up in the third but we found ourselves down and fought back excellently to finally take the match after losing a few match points. 

"We are really happy with the result however know that in a group style competition there is not room for complacency and are preparing for more tough battles as the week goes on!" 

The Commonwealth champion's second group game sees them tackle Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei, China's world and defending Superseries champions, on Thursday.

For more info: Badminton England

Para-Swimming: This weekend Paralympic and World medallists will be in Manchester for the National Para-Swimming Championships 2015. 

Over 300 para-swimmers will take part at the Aquatics Centre on 12 and 13 December. They include World and Paralympic champions Sascha Kindred, Jessica-Jane Applegate, Oliver Hynd and Eleanor Simmonds.

With less than a year to go to the Rio Paralympics, swimmers are in preparation for the tough year ahead. Amongst them is established swimmer, Sascha Kindred (Leominster Kingfisher). He is aiming to qualify for his sixth Paralympic Games as one of the most decorated swimmers in the Paralympic movement, having won 12 medals from the past five Paralympic Games. He said:

“In the build-up to the Rio trials in April, I want to hit some solid swims to see how my training is going. So this weekend I am focused on the 200m Individual Medley.”

This event is organised by the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) in partnership with British Swimming. The national charity is proud of the Disability Sport Events (DSE) programme, which is delivering the Championships amongst the annual calendar of participation opportunities. 

Barry Horne, Chief Executive for EFDS, said:

“With a year to go to the Rio Paralympics, you will not be disappointed with the huge display of talent in the pool this weekend. This is testament to the amount of work delivered at grassroots level to introduce new swimmers and grow participation.

For more info: British Swimming

EIS: The English Institute of Sport (EIS) has announced three new Board members to help provide strategic direction to the organisation in the lead up to the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond.

Sir David Tanner CBE, Sally Munday and Vic Luck will join the EIS Board at the start of 2016 and bring a huge wealth of knowledge and experience of the high performance sport and corporate sectors.

EIS Chairman John Steele said: “The EIS is delighted to welcome Sir David Tanner CBE, Sally Munday and Vic Luck to our Board. Collectively they bring a wealth of knowledge based on outstanding achievement and experience in the sports and corporate world, and they will be hugely valuable to the EIS Board as we move into an Olympic and Paralympic year and beyond into the Tokyo cycle.”

For more info: The English Institute of Sport

HockeyA 26th minute strike from Helen Richardson-Walsh earned Great Britain their first win of the World League Final over World number two seeds, Australia.

After defeat to Argentina and a draw with China in the previous games Danny Kerry’s side needed a positive result and they produced that with a fine display against the Hockeyroos. 

Danny Kerry, Great Britain Head Coach said: "I felt we controlled the game, but Australia defended their corners really well which kept the score line close. Australia always carry a threat but we controlled large periods of the game. I think we were trying to use Australia's pressing to create chances and we had eight corners today to their two. That’s a threat but we turned it into an opportunity."

Find out more: GB Hockey

Tuesday 8 December

Badminton: England’s top badminton stars will head to Derby in February for a full weekend of top class sport at the English National Badminton Championships 2016. 

Tickets are now on sale for the prestigious championships, which are being held at the new £10m University of Derby Sports Centre and will see the nation’s best badminton players compete for the coveted national titles. 

Based at the University of Derby campus, the sports centre opened in September 2015 and was designed with badminton at its heart. 

Adrian Christy, Badminton England’s Chief Executive, said: “The English National Badminton Championships are all about celebrating what is great about English badminton and will showcase the nation’s top talent before some head to the Rio Olympics. 

“Two years ago we committed to taking the Nationals around the country to get major competition close to the players, coaches, volunteers and fans who take part in our sport. 

"I am therefore delighted to be partnering with the University of Derby Sports Centre, which is home to Team Derby, the inaugural winners of the AJ Bell National Badminton League.

“The venue will provide a great facility for the Nationals and I very much look forward to welcoming everybody to watch some great badminton.”

For more info: Badminton England

Monday 7 December

Swimming: Jazz Carlin won her second gold and Chris Walker-Hebborn secured silver as Britain’s swimmers won 11 medals at the European Short Course Championships in Israel.

Carlin had to swim a new best time in the 400m Freestyle to take her second gold medal of the championships. Carlin dug deep at the finish to take the touch from Hungarian swimmers Katinka Hosszu with silver Boglarka Kapas with bronze.

And in the final individual event of the championships Walker-Hebborn set a new British Record 23.09 in the 50m Backstroke to take joint silver with Italy’s Simone Sabbioni. Gold went to Tomasz Polewka of Poland.

Also among the medals across the weekend were Adam Peaty, Siobhan-Marie O'Connor and Liam Tancock. 

Britain ended the five-day championships with two gold medals, seven silver and two bronze.

For more info: British Swimming

JudoGemma Gibbons ended her year with a superb bronze medal at the Tokyo Grand Slam on Sunday as she became the first British woman to medal at the Tokyo Grand Slam.

Her opponent in the bronze medal match was another Japanese judoka in Ruika Sato who had won Grand Slam medals in Paris and Tyumen earlier this year. The home fighter took the lead just over two minutes into the contest scoring for waza-ari before Gibbons responded shortly after with a yuko.

Gibbons was delighted with the result: “I am really pleased with today’s result. I have always dreamt of getting a Tokyo Grand Slam medal and today I achieved that. It’s great to have medalled at all three tournaments on the Asia tour, a nice end to the year.”

Find out more: British Judo

Taekwondo: Lutalo Muhammad defeated former Great Britain team mate Aaron Cook to win the WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix final series in Mexico City and secure a quota place for Britain at the Ro 2016 Olympic Games.

“I couldn’t ask for more,” enthused the 24-year-old Manchester based athlete. “It was an amazing day and being able to qualify the Olympic spot was a double bonus

“Before the final I was very excited because I had been in a similar situation in Manchester and lost. So, I was determined to make sure I got it right this time. I worked on a game plan with my coach Steve Jennings which I followed and executed perfectly.”

Dorchester born Cook struck first in a keenly anticipated final but Muhammad hit back quickly with a three-pointer. He edged 5-1 in front after two rounds and was able to control the last three minutes to compensate for his loss to Tunisia’s Oussama Oueslati at the World Grand Prix final in Manchester back in October.

Elsewhere, Jade Jones took bronze after she was automatically entered into a bronze medal play off against Nikita Glasnovic of Sweden. Neither were able to score points during the match and 22-year-old Jones entered the golden point round for the second time in that day. 

In spite of attempting a number of kicks, she was unable to make that all-important point. The winner was therefore adjudged by impact and Jones’ kicks had made more of an impression.

The #1 ranked fighter has already qualified a quota spot for next year’s Olympic Games in the -57kg weight division and the medal comes after having won gold in both the Manchester and Samsun Grand Prix’s.

Find out more: GB Taekwondo

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