UK Sport Talk

Published 14 March 2016

2016 Getty Images

Friday 18 March

Athletics: Great Britain team captain Asha Philip has stated her intentions to make 2016 her ‘year to finally shine’ ahead of the World Indoor Championships in Portland.

The 60m medal hopeful skippers a youthful squad in the USA and is determined to converted her equal sixth in the world time of 7.10 seconds into a podium performance.

"This seems like this might be my year to finally shine," she said. "Everything has been going really well so far in 2016, so I hope to come here and execute my race and perform to the levels I know I can. 

"It would be the perfect way to head into the outdoor season in an Olympic year."

For more: British Athletics

Rowing: Jess Eddie is fully aware how fierce the competition will be as Olympic dreams will be made and broken at next week’s Olympic trials in Caversham.

Between Monday March 21 and Wednesday March 23, British rowers will go head-to-head for a place on the plane to Rio and two-time Olympian Eddie reveals the standard is sky high.

“It's pretty intense but it's in our own hands,” she told British Rowing. “If we're good enough we'll be in the boat, if we're not we'll miss out.

“The depth is looking really good in the women's team. We are looking very strong and it will be really exciting to see what we can achieve.”

For more: British Rowing

Thursday 17 March

Diving: Tom Daley and Dan Goodfellow upset the odds to clinch 10m platform silver as Great Britain collected three medals at the Diving World Series in Dubai.

“It feels good considering we haven’t had the chance to train this week as I’ve been sick owing to illness,” Daley said.

“I’ve had a bad back, a bad neck and Dan’s had a bad hamstring. The odds have been against us so we’ve somehow managed to pull it off on the day.”

Chris Mears and Jack Laugher landed their first podium of 2016 with bronze in the 3m synchro event, and Tonia Couch and Louis Toulson added another third place in the 10m syncro.

For more: British Swimming

Para-Cycling: British Cycling are off to a flying start at the Para-Cycling Track World Championships in Italy.

Kadeena Cox, already a world champion in Para-Athletics, demonstrated her incredible versatility, charging to gold in a new world record in the C4 500m time trial. Jody Cundy also finished on top of the podium, winning the world title in the C4 1km time trial.

Dame Sarah Storey and Crystal Lane won silver and bronze respectively in the C5 500m time trial, while Jon-Allan Butterworth powered to silver in the C5 1km time trial. 

The event is ongoing, follow @BritishCycling for all the latest action.

Boxing (Amateur): The British Lionhearts World Series of Boxing clash with Morocco has been cancelled.

A GB Boxing statement read: "We are very disappointed to announce that the World Series of Boxing match between the British Lionhearts and the Morocco Atlas Lions this Thursday will not go ahead as the Moroccan team has not been issued with visas to enter the UK following an assessment of their application by the Home Office."

For more: GB Boxing

Wednesday 16 March



Aquatics: Chris Mears believes there is no place like home in terms of putting the finishing touches to his 2016 Rio Olympics preparation.

The 3m synchro World bronze medallist was announced as one of three ambassadors, alongside Jazz Carlin and James Guy, on Tuesday for the European Championships at the London Aquatics Centre, an #EveryRoadToRio event running from May 9-22.

"I am really excited about the European Championships being in London," he said.

"I love competing there and it will be the perfect preparation for the Olympics in Rio."

And fellow ambassador James Guy echoed Mears’ sentiments following a 2015 to remember where he claimed two World Championship gold medals, in 200m freestyle and 4x200 freestyle relay.

“The London Aquatics Centre was home to swimming at London 2012 and so to compete there in Olympic year makes this event even more special,” said Guy.

“Following an incredible 2015, I’m looking forward to competing and racing with the best of Europe in May, in what is a very exciting year.”

For more: British Swimming

Hockey: Tickets are now on sale for the men’s Champions Trophy at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre following last week’s announcement that the prestigious event was relocating from Argentina to London.

Great Britain face off against World champions Australia in the opening match of the final tournament on their Road to Rio. The hosts then go on to play further pool matches against India, Korea Republic, Olympic champions Germany and Belgium.

For tickets: http://www.seetickets.com/tour/hockey-champions-trophy

For more information: England Hockey 

Tuesday 15 March

Weightlifting: British Weight Lifting has confirmed the 14 athletes who have been selected for the upcoming European Weightlifting Championships in Førde, Norway on April 10-16.

It will be the final chance for weightlifting's athletes to qualify for this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio, with a maximum of one male and one female place available if sufficient team points are secured.

2012 Commonwealth Games champion Zoe Smith (pictured above) and Rebekah Tiler head the selection for the women's event, while Jack Oliver and Sonny Webster are among those selected in the men's event.  

Ashley Metcalfe, British Weight Lifting CEO, said: “We are sending our strongest team possible to Norway for the Championships with the ultimate aim of securing Olympic places for both the men’s and women’s teams.

“It is going to be extremely tough, with a number of European nations still fighting for the remaining few places in Rio, but we are confident that our athletes’ preparations provides us with very encouraging signs of achieving top performances and the best chance of qualifying for GB next month.”

For more: British Weightlifting

Triathlon: Double Commonwealth Games champion Jodie Stimpson was delighted to step up to the top of the podium in the familiar surroundings of Moolooaba, Australia.

Stimpson finished 17 seconds ahead of Australia’s Emma Moffat on Saturday to secure her second Triathlon World Cup victory in two weekends.

“It's great to back to back in Mooloolaba," she said. "It's like a home race. I got second last time I was here to Annie Haug, so it's nice to get the win."

British Triathlon coaches, in partnership with UK Sport International Development, the International Triathlon Union (ITU) and African Triathlon Union (ATU) are to travel to Africa to deliver a Coach Development Programme this weekend.

Triathlon South Africa president, Dr Debbie Alexander, said: "The British Triathlon/ ITU coaching programme looks amazing, it’s such a fantastic opportunity for all African Triathlon Union National Federation coaches. It is rare for coaches on the continent to have exposure to such expertise and to be coached by such an experienced coaching team.”

For more: British Triathlon

Monday 14 March


Cycling: Geraint Thomas became only the third British rider to win the Paris-Nice stage race on Sunday and declared it "the biggest win of his career."

The double Olympic gold medallist on track dig deep to replicate what only Tommy Simpson (1967) and Sir Bradley Wiggins (2012) had previously achieved, winning by an overall margin of four seconds.

Thomas had to wind in Alberto Contador and Richie Porte on the final descent to take the crown, and he said: "It's incredible to have won Paris-Nice and hard to believe, to be honest.

"Contador is one of the best stage racers ever and Richie won nearly every race he did last year, so to beat those two - I can't really believe it.”

For more: British Cycling

Gymnastics: Max Whitlock continued his fine form on the Road to Rio by securing pommel horse gold at the 2016 World Cup in front of a packed Emirates Arena in Glasgow on Saturday.

The World Champion, Whitlock, said: “My target was to do clean routines across all six pieces in my first Glasgow World Cup so I’m really happy.

“We all know what’s at stake with Rio the final aim, so to start off this way with World Cup gold is a great feeling.”

Dan Purvis ensured there were two Brits on the podium by taking bronze, while Claudia Fragapane sealed a bronze medal in the women’s competition.

Fragapane said: “There’s still more I can add in and work on with a big year ahead so I’ll talk with my coach and continue to train hard. The crowd were brilliant and make it so much fun to compete.”

For more: British Gymnastics

Taekwando: World champion Bianca Walkden made the perfect start to her season with victory in her first appearance of 2016 at the Dutch Open in Eindhoven.

There were also silver medals for Damon Sansum and Rachelle Booth at the two-day meeting for the 10-strong GB Academy squad.

Walkden, who defeated the reigning Dutch Open heavyweight champion Nafia Kus in -73kg final 3-1, said: “It was good to get back on the mats but I was really nervous before my first fight.” 

“The big goal for me is Rio but it’s always good to get gold. This is the first time I have won the Dutch Open as a senior so I am really happy.”

For more: GB Taekwando

Short Track Speed Skating: Elise Christie proved her credentials on the world stage once more, winning a silver and a bronze medal at the ISU World Short Track Championships in Seoul.

European champion Christie made up for the disappointment of missing out in the 500m by skating to silver in the 1500m and bronze in the 1000m, as well as finishing third in the 3000m Super Final to secure an overall ranking of third in the world.

Jack Whelbourne, returning from a season disrupted by injury, finished fifth and sixth in the 500m and 1500m respectively, while team mate Charlotte Gilmartin was sixth in the 500m and fourth in the 1500m. Both Whelbourne and Gilmartin finished ranked inside the world's top ten overall.

For more: GB Short Track

Snowboard Slopesyle: James Woods was on the podium after landing his best result of the season with a third place finish at the European Freeski Open in Laax, Switzerland.  In the women’s competition, Izzy Atkin finished fourth ahead of Katie Summerhayes in ninth.

Ski Cross: Emily Sarsfield sealed a bronze medal at the FIS Europa Cup in Longchamp, France. After winning the small final to qualify in fifth,  Sarsfield rallied to ensure she finishes her season on the podium.

For more: British Ski and Snowboard

Badminton: Chris and Gabby Adcock fell to an agonising defeat in the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships mixed doubles semi-final against Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen of Denmark on Saturday.

In front of a sell-out Barclaycard Arena, the married couple and world number seven pair looked set to take the match into a decider but the Danish fifth seeds saved five game points in the second before winning 21-13, 22-20.

“It is hard to take right now,” said Chris. “We found our game and dominated the second but we are gutted that we couldn’t push on."

Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge put up a brave performance but couldn’t find a way past stubborn Korean resistance in their last eight men’s doubles clash on Friday.

The English national champions threw everything at top seeded and world number one pair Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yoo Seong, but fell short 21-17, 21 after an intensely physical encounter.

For more: Badminton England

Fencing: Richard Kruse took a big step towards Rio with victory at the Havana Grand Prix in Cuba.

After an impressive narrow victory over world number one Alex Massialas (USA) in the quarter-finals, Kruse beat Frenchman Jean-Paul Tony Helissey in the semi-final, before claiming a win over London 2012 silver medallist Alaaeldin Abouelkassem of Egypt for the title.

Speaking after the event Kruse said: “I’m so pleased to win my second Grand Prix.  My first one was back in 2009 in Venice so this will really boost my ranking points.”

For more: British Fencing

Diving: Great Britain took two trips to the podium at the FINA Diving World Series in Beijing.

Tom Daley and Dan Goodfellow clinched bronze in the men's 10m synchro, while, on their first international appearance as a duo, Tonia Couch and Lois Toulson took an impressive silver in the women's 10m synchro.

For more: British Aquatics

Modern Pentathlon: Great Britain's athletes were getting in the Olympic spirit at the Modern Pentathlon World Cup event in Rio.

At the dress rehearsal for the 2016 Games, Joseph Choong was the top placed British athlete with a 13th place finish in the men’s final. Freyja Prentice finished best out of Team GB's women on her return from injury in 17th spot.

For more: Modern Pentathlon

Sprinter Asha Philip revealed her delight at being selected to captain the Great Britain team at this week’s World Indoor Championships in Portland.

She said: “I love representing my country and it’s something that never gets old, so to have been selected to be captain of the British Athletics team at the World Indoor Championships is unreal and a massive honour.”

For more: British Athletics

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