UK Sport Talk

Published 25 April 2016

2015 Getty Images

HEADLINES

Friday 29 April
Sailing: Clark and Mills set the standard as British boats hit form in Hyères
Cycling - Mountain Bike: Ferguson fronts GB team bound for Euros in Sweden

Thursday 28 April
Para-Swimming: Furber delighted as 25 make the grade for Rio
Cycling: Thomas climbs into Romandie podium contention

Wednesday 27 April
Para-Swimming: Simmonds and Firth rewrite own world records

Tuesday 26 April
Athletics:  Marathon brothers join Team GB line-up

Monday 25 April 
Taekwondo:  Jones makes golden return as Brits reign in Germany
Triathlon: Stanford maintains high British standards in Cape Town
Marathon: Strong showing in London puts Rio in Hawkins' sights
Para-Swimming: Record-breaker Moores ready to ride the wave to Rio
Diving: Daley back on the podium on final night in Kazan
Judo: Powell rallies to win European bronze over compatriot Gibbons
Para-Rowing: Medals flow for Great Britain on Lake Varese
Boxing: Lionhearts advance to last four of World Series of Boxing
Equestrian - Eventing: Three in a row as Great Britain rise to the top in Ireland 

Friday 29 April


Clark and Mills set the standard as British boats hit form in Hyères

Sailing: Saskia Clark and Hannah Mills top the 470 class standings approaching the half way point of the Sailing World Cup event in Hyères, France.

Clark and Mills, who have already been selected to represent Team GB at Rio 2016, opened the competition with a sixth and a second place finish, and followed up on Thursday with another sixth and a race win, to lead the fleet by 11 points.

Windsurfers Nick Dempsey and Bryony Shaw, whose exclusive #EveryRoadtoRio blog you can read here, made strong starts to their respective RS:X events, both holding second place overall.

Two sixth places finishes yesterday leaves Nick Thompson in fourth in the laser event, while John Pink and Stuart Bithell hold fourth place in the 49er class and Alison Youth is fifth in the laser radial. Luke Patience and Chris Grube occupy 13th place in the men’s 470.

In Paralympic disciplines, Hannah Stodel, John Robertson and Steve Thomas lead the way in the Sonar fleet and Helena Lucas lies third in the 2.4m, as all the events head into two more days of racing ahead of Sunday’s medal races.

For more: Royal Yachting Association


Ferguson fronts GB mountain bike team bound for Euros in Sweden

Cycling – Mountain Bike: Grant Ferguson heads the Great Britain team going into the 2016 UEC Mountain Bike European Championships in Sweden.

Six riders will travel to Huskvana with Ferguson contesting the elite men’s category, while Evie Richards and Iain Paton are named for the under-23 events at the championships, which take place from 5-8 May.

Will Gascoyne joins the aforementioned trio in the relay event and also competes in the junior discipline, alongside Sophie Wright and Emily Wadsworth.

"The four riders we're entering into the relay race are individually strong in their respective categories," mountain bike academy coach Simon Watts told British Cycling.

For more: British Cycling

Thursday 28 April


Furber delighted as 25 make the grade for Rio

Para-Swimming: National Performance Director Chris Furber had plenty to be pleased about after 25 of his squad clocked the qualification standard for the Rio Paralympics.

On the final day of action at the British Para-Swimming International Meet 2016 in Glasgow, Hannah Russell and Matt Wylie both broke British records in the 50m Freestyle.

Bethany Firth (SM14) won the 200m Individual Medley with a time of 2:21.93 and grabbed gold ahead of fellow SM14 swimmer and bronze medallist Jessica-Jane Applegate. Paralympic Champion Ellie Simmonds (SM6) won silver after touching the wall in 3:04.13.

Sascha Kindred (SM6) took the gold medal in the 200m Individual Medley after a tough race that saw him finish in a time of 2:42.88.

Speaking at the conclusion of the event, Furber said: “I’m absolutely delighted with our performances. We made this meet deliberately difficult for the guys. We wanted to create a strong platform to move on to Rio and to have 25 swimmers coming here and meeting the qualification standard is a brilliant performance from the team and goes to show we’re moving in the right direction.”

For more: British Swimming

Thomas climbs into Romandie podium contention

Cycling: Geraint Thomas sits poised in third place overall in the Tour de Romandie going into the third day of the six-day event.

Marcel Kittel secured a stage victory on Wednesday with a sprint finish ahead of Italy’s Niccolo Bonifazio, while Thomas finished 22nd to climb one place in the standings to hold a podium position.

Jon Izagiurre of Spain is in possession of the yellow jersey and holds a six second advantage over the Netherland’s Tom Dumoulin, and a seven second advantage over Thomas. Chris Froome is 26 seconds off the pace in 55th.

For more: British Cycling

Wednesday 27 April


Simmonds and Firth rewrite own world records

Para-Swimming: Records continue to fall at the British Para-Swimming Trials as Ellie Simmonds and Bethany Firth reset their own world records on Tuesday night.

Four-time Paralympics champion Simmonds flew through her S6 400m trial in 5:18.69 beat her personal and world best, while London 2012 backstroke champion Firth recorded 2:03.70 in the S14 200m to do the same.

The competition concludes today, with Matt Wylie and Hannah Russell breaking British records in the 50m freestyle heats, as athletes seek to join the 21 athletes who have already achieved the Rio 2016 qualifying standard.

For more: British Swimming

Tuesday 26 April


Marathon brothers join Team GB line-up

Athletics: Five marathon runners and one race walker have become the first from the sport of athletics to join the Team GB line-up for the Rio Olympic Games.

Brothers Callum and Derek Hawkins, 23 and 26 respectively, both ran under the qualifying time at the London Marathon. Callum was the first Brit home, running 2.10.52 in what was only his second marathon. They will be joined in the men's race by 26-year-old Tsegai Twelde.

Alyson Dixon and Sonia Samuels were 13th and 14th in London and will both make their Olympic debuts in Rio.

Speaking after the London Marathon Dixon said: “It feels like a dream come true and hasn’t really sunk in. Going to the Olympics is something I have dreamed of for 20 years. I’ve dreamed of Rio but today was the focus and I wanted to make sure I nailed selection and got myself on the plane.”

Race walker Dominic King has also been named in the squad.

Find out more: Team GB  

Monday 25 April


Jones makes golden return as Brits reign in Germany

Taekwondo: Jade Jones struck gold on her return from injury as Great Britain took three titles at the German Open.

Having been sidelined for the Dutch Open and Presidents Cup, the London 2012 gold medallist raced through four victories to reach the -57kg final, before opponent Ivett Gonda of Canada withdrew and Jones won the final by default in Hamburg.

"I was a bit nervous before my first fight,” said 23-year-old Jones. "But I loved being back and was buzzing.”

Charlie Maddock landed a golden point victory over Turkey’s Zeliha Agris to take the -49kg event, while Bianca Walkden downed Dominican Republic’s Katherine Rodriguez in the -73kg final to get gold.

Feyi Pearce slipped to an 8-7 semi-final defeat against Amir Mohammad Hosseini of Germany but bounced back to clinch bronze in the -58kg category.

For more: British Taekwondo

Stanford maintains high British standards in Cape Town

Triathlon: Non Stanford led a Great Britain one-two to victory as British triathletes continue to dominate the Discovery World Triathlon in Cape Town.

Stanford, who makes making her first appearance of 2016, was followed over the line of the sprint distance course by Jodie Stimpson. Flora Duffy of Bermuda took bronze.

“I came here to see where I was, and I think everything is on track,” said Stanford. “I’m definitely not in my ideal race shape, so it means there is more to come, which is exciting.”

It was the third year in a row where a British athlete topped the podium, following Vicky Holland's triumph in 2015 and Stimpson's win in 2014.

Jonathan Brownlee continued his recovery after collapsing with heat stroke at the Gold Coast event two weeks ago and came in second behind Spain's Fernando Alarza in the men's event.

For more: British Triathlon

Strong showing in London puts Rio in Hawkins' sights

Marathon: Callum Hawkins was the first British athlete over the line at the Virgin Money London Marathon and one of four Brits inside the Rio 2016 qualifying standard.

The 23-year-old placed eighth overall with a personal best of 2:10.52 and Tsegai Tewelde clocked 2:12.23 to fall inside the Olympic qualifying time. Hawkins' older brother Derek was the third British male over the line. His time of 2:12.57 was outside the qualifying standard but he could be considered for Tuesday's Olympic team selection.

In the women’s event, Alyson Dixon finished in 13th in 2:31.53 and was followed in by Sonia Samuels, one place behind in 2:32.00, who both put themselves in the picture for Rio 2016.

David Weir finished third in the men's wheelchair race, behind Marcel Hug of Switzerland and Australian Kurt Fearnley in a sprint finish, narrowly missing out on a seventh London Marathon victory.

For more: British Athletics

Record-breaker Moores ready to ride the wave to Rio

Para-Swimming: Aaron Moores smashed the world record twice en route to winning the SB15 100m breaststroke as a host of swimmers met the considered times for Rio 2016 on the opening two days of action at the British Para-Swimming International.

Moores stopped the clock at 1:06.33 to win gold with 1016 points and revealed he could not be going into the Paralympics in more buoyant mood.

“It’s just an amazing feeling to come here and getting a two second PB,” he said.

“The plan was to get a PB and make the qualifying time but getting the world record has boosted my confidence so much.”

Hannah Russell took the S12 100m freestyle title in 59.40 ahead of Ellie Simmons in silver and Susie Rodgers in bronze, who all achieved qualifying times. Josef Craig clinched gold in the S8 men’s 100m freestyle.

On day two, Paralympic S7 champion Jonathan Fox stormed through to win the 100m backstroke and clock a qualifying time for Rio 2016 on his return to the water after a two-year absence. Suzanne Warren won the women’s 50m backstroke. The event concludes on Wednesday.

For more: British Swimming

Daley back on the podium on final night in Kazan

Diving: Tom Daley’s World Series medal collection continues to grow after he added 10m platform silver on the final night in Kazan, Russia.

The 21-year-old held second place for four out of the five rounds and secured second place with the second best dive of the competition in the final round, a back 3 1/2 somersault pike worth 104.40.

Aisen Chen won gold and Qui Bo took bronze, and Daley relished splitting the Chinese divers on the podium.

"This is the last chance to compete against them before Rio,” he told fina.org. That's exciting and nice to know that going into Olympic Games I can be very close to the Chinese."

Attention now switches to the European Aquatics Championships in London next month, a key part of Daley's preparations for Rio.

"It will be a very special competition," said Daley. "I live in London, train in London. But it's going to be tough.

Tonia Couch claimed her first career Diving World Series silver medal in the women's 10m platform. The 26-year-old scored 365.90 from her five dives and led China's Ren Qian until the final round. Couch adds to her six World Series bronze medals. 

For more: British Swimming

Powell rallies to win European bronze over compatriot Gibbons

Judo: Natalie Powell clinched a European Judo Championship bronze medal by downing fellow Great Britain judoka Gemma Gibbons in the -78kg event in Kazan, Russia.

Powell had already defeated Croatia Ivana Maranic and Anamari Velensek of Slovenia, before a semi-final setback against world number four Guusje Steenhuis of the Netherlands.

Gibbons advanced through the repechage with a win over the Netherlands’ Marhinde Verkerk but came up short in the bronze medal match, with Powell scoring an ippon and adding a second British medal to Colin Oates’ silver on Friday. Ben Fletcher finished seventh in the -100kg category.

For more: British Judo

Medals flow for Great Britain on Lake Varese

Para-Rowing: The medals were flowing for Great Britain’s para-rowers at the Gavirate International Regatta on Lake Varese, Italy.

Rachel Morris captured two silvers across her two arms-shoulders single scull finals, behind Brigit Skarstein of Norway on both occasions, while 2008 Paralympic champion Tom Aggar secured silver and bronze in the men’s event.

Lauren Rowles and Laurence Whiteley were individual winners in their respective trunk-arms single scull finals before teaming up to climb the podium twice in the trunk-arms double scull. They secured a bronze in one final and silver in the other, two hundredths of a second behind French pair Perle Bouge and Stephanie Tardieu.

For more: British Rowing

Lionhearts advance to last four of World Series of Boxing 

Boxing – Amateur: The British Lionhearts advanced to the final four of the World Series of Boxing by finishing off Ukraine Otamans in style on Friday night.

Already holding a 4-1 advantage from Thursday’s night’s action at York Hall, the Lionhearts repeated the score-line on day two. Luke McCormack and Frazer Clarke of the GB Boxing squad gave the Lionhearts an unassailable 6-1 advantage.

Ekow Essuman dropped a bout on a split decision against Serhi Bokachuk, but Ronny Beblik of Germany and Bulgaria’s Radoslav Pantaleev added wins for the Lionhearts to set up a semi-final tie with either Astana Arlans Kazakhstan or Venezuela Caciques back at York Hall.

For more: GB Boxing

Three in a row as Great Britain rise to the top in Ireland 

Equestrian – Eventing: Great Britain claimed their third victory in a row at the Irish leg of the FEI Nations Cup Eventing in Ballindenisk, County Cork.

The quartet of Oliver Townend, Franky Reid-Warrilow, Wills Oakden and Izzy Taylor completed the course on a total of 162.8, ahead of Ireland in second place on 182.5 and France on 184.4.

For more: British Equestrian Federation

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