Sport-in-brief- your weekly update from the high performance sports communitySubscribe
Grace Cullen 05 February 2013
Athletics: Jessica Ennis, Olympic Heptathlon Champion, will not compete indoors in 2013 but will focus on the World Championships in Moscow this summer as her goal.
Ennis who had left the decision very much open after winning gold at the Olympics in August 2012 said: “After the incredible high of the Olympics and the post Games celebrations I went back into tough winter training with an open mind on whether or not I would want to compete indoors this year – training has been going well, but I feel that my focus really has to be attempting to win another world title in Russia this summer and not the short term indoor season.”
Badminton: Tickets are now available for the London Grand Prix event taking place at the Copper Box on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from 1-6 October.
The event will see some of the world's best player's return to London as part of the Badminton World Federation's (BWF) Grand Prix Gold event series, giving spectators a different badminton experience altogether.
Nicola Moloney, Head of Major Events for BADMINTON England said: "This event will really showcase the athleticism, speed and power of badminton, whilst giving the spectator real entertainment value.
"We are presenting the London Grand Prix in a new and exciting way and with it being hosted on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park it deserves the recognition as a key event on the sporting calendar.
"It also extends BADMINTON England's major event portfolio, which is designed not only to attract fans from all over the world but to inspire thousands more people to pick up a racket and play."
Tickets for the London Grand Prix are now on sale. For further information or to purchase tickets to the event please visit: www.LondonGrandPrixGold.com
Bobsleigh: Great Britain’s four-man Bobsleigh team of John Jackson, Stuart Benson, Bruce Tasker and Joel Fearon finished fifth at the FIBT World Championships in St Moritz, Switzerland.
Their accumulative time across four runs, 4:21.33, ranked them just 0.66 seconds behind eventual gold medallist, Germany's Maximilian Arndt, and just 0.07 seconds off a medal, as Russia and the United States completed the podium.
Boxing: The British Lionhearts have a chance to guarantee a place in the knockout stages of the World Series of Boxing when they put their unbeaten home record on the line against the group leaders from Kazakhstan this Thursday (7 February) at York Hall in London.
A win for the Lionhearts, who are in third place in group B with 12 points, will guarantee them a passage into the playoffs and a chance to compete for the one million euros first prize.
Tickets are available at www.britishlionhearts.com or can be purchased on the door at York Hall.
London 2012 silver medalist, Fred Evans, and fellow Olympian, Andrew Selby, will both box for the Lionhearts alongside Londoner, Joe Joyce, who is also a member of the GB Boxing Olympic squad.
All three are unbeaten in the World Series of Boxing and will compete alongside lightweight, Sam Maxwell, from the GB Boxing squad and international selection, Babacar Kamara, who will box at light heavyweight.
They will face a strong Kazakhstan team which features the competition’s leading heavyweight and the individual champion from the 2012 season, Filip Hrgovic. The 6’6” Croation is a well-known sporting figure in his homeland and will be watched by the ex-Arsenal and Real Madrid footballer, Davor Suker, who is a keen supporter of the boxer.
Cycling: British Cycling has today confirmed the 16 riders selected to represent Great Britain at the forthcoming UCI Track Cycling World Championships taking place on 20 - 24 February in Minsk.
The squad includes Olympic gold medalists Jason Kenny, Phil Hindes, Ed Clancy, Steve Burke, Dani King and Laura Trott, while youngsters Kian Emadi, Vicky Williamson, Jon Dibben, Owain Doull, Simon Yates and Elinor Barker all make their World Championship debut. The event also marks Ed Clancy’s return to the endurance squad, having ridden as ‘man three’ in the Team Sprint event at the Glasgow World Cup.
Performance Director Sir Dave Brailsford said: “The first year of an Olympic cycle is always an interesting one as it gives the opportunity for our young riders to compete alongside the world’s best and experience the competitive environment which is crucial for their development. With that in mind, the focus for the team is to perform to the best of their ability as the route to Rio firmly begins.”
Sprint: Matt Crampton, Kian Emadi, Becky James, Jason Kenny, Phil Hindes, Vicky Williamson Men’s Endurance: Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, Jon Dibben, Owain Doull, Sam Harrison, Andy Tennant, Simon Yates, Women’s Endurance: Elinor Barker, Dani King, Laura Trott
Hockey: England Hockey is delighted to announce that Jason Lee has been appointed to the role of Head Coach of the England women’s team. Lee, 42, has led the England and Great Britain men’s hockey teams as Head Coach for three Olympic cycles.
After nearly a decade in the role, England Hockey felt that the men’s programme needed fresh leadership and made the decision not to reappoint Lee for the 2013-2016 cycle. Having applied for the position of women’s Head Coach, and following an extensive recruitment process that drew interest from applicants from across the globe, he was identified as the best candidate.
Sally Munday, England Hockey Chief Executive, explained: “Jason’s wealth of experience is extremely valuable to England Hockey and whilst we feel that the men’s programme needs a change of leadership I was delighted that he applied for the role of women’s Head Coach. There was a strong field of candidates and the appointment panel felt that Jason was uniquely placed with his extensive international experience to take the women to the next level in our quest for higher podium finishes.”
Speaking after being appointed, Lee said: “The new challenge of coaching the women’s team is indeed an exciting one. They have achieved an exceptionally high standard of commitment and performance and I hope to be able to help them to win more medals, with the World Cup qualification and the EuroHockey Nations Championships this year being the first targets.
“I’ve had a long and emotional time in charge of the men’s team and I leave it with many great memories. I will miss not being in the men’s programme but am confident that they will be successful and wish the team the very best of luck.”
Short Track Speed Skating: Competing in the World Cup in Sochi, an event which doubled up as the Olympic test event, Elise Christie won two medals, including bronze in the 1500m and silver behind Korean Hi-Seung Park in the 1000m.
Christie’s 1000m silver, in addition to the bronze medal in the 1500m, takes her World Cup medal tally to seven. Her silver medal performance in the 1000m means that she cannot be caught on points on the world rankings over this distance, and will therefore finish this season ranked world number one over 1000m.
Skeleton: Shelley Rudman became the first British woman to win World Championship gold when she claimed victory at the FIBT World Championships in St Moritz, Switzerland.
Rudman, an Olympic silver medallist at Turin 2006, beat her nearest rival, American Noelle Pikus-Pace, by over half a second across four runs. Canada's Sarah Reid secured bronze, finishing 0.13 seconds ahead of Britain's Lizzy Yarnold, who came through UK Sport’s Girls4Gold Talent ID programme in 2008.
Making his World Championship debut, Brit Dominic Parsons finished ninth, with team mate Kristan Bromley just behind in 10th and Ed Smith 15th.
Swimming: Britain’s most successful swimmer of all time Rebecca Adlington has announced her retirement from swimming.
Adlington, who has won four Olympic medals in two Games including two gold in Beijing in 2008 became the most successful British swimmer when she added another two bronzes in London in 2012.
She said: "It was a gradual decision. I wanted to leave on top. I hate the word retire. I love swimming but as a competitive element and elite athlete I won't compete any more. I'll always be swimming even when I am 90 years old.
"I have achieved everything I wanted to. Some people want to milk it all they can. I've always said I wanted to finish on a high, despite my love of the sport.
"It's such a hard decision and all the harder when you're not fully ready. So many make comebacks because they have regrets over things that they left unfinished or because they quit too soon.
"I had to be ready in my heart, mind and body and I had to make sure it was coming from me. I've thought about it long and hard because I didn't want to be one of those with regrets. I'm 100% certain: I'm definitely ready to go and will move on with no regrets and no reason to make a comeback."
David Sparkes, CEO of British Swimming said: "Rebecca has without doubt been Britain's greatest ever female swimmer of all time. She has left a great legacy for our young athletes demonstrating that with hard work talent and commitment anything is possible.
"She is without doubt a world superstar in aquatics. We hope to continue to work closely with Rebecca now encouraging every young child to swim, get more people swimming and mentoring young athletes to follow in her footsteps."
Taekwondo: Jade Jones will return to competition this weekend (9-10 Feb) for the first time since becoming Britain's first ever Olympic taekwondo gold medallist
The 19-year-old will be part of a 12-strong squad in action at the Trelleborg Open in Sweden.
She said: "I don't really know what to expect this weekend but I am looking forward to it. I have heard there should be a few good girls in my weight so it will be a good test to see where I am up to.
"We recently came back from a hard training camp in Korea which was a shock to the system. It felt weird sparring again but it was a useful exercise as I don't have many sparring partners at my weight in Britain.
"I have said before I struggled for motivation after what happened at the Olympics. But it's coming back now and I'll definitely be on point for the World Championships later in the year.
"I still love taekwondo and I have never thought about doing anything else."
Wheelchair Basketball: The draw for the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships 2013 has been made. The Championships will see the top 12 men’s and eight women’s wheelchair basketball teams in Europe compete, between the 28 June to the 7 July, for the title and also qualification to the World Championships next year.
Standard Life GB Women have been drawn in an exciting Group B and will face old rivals The Netherlands (London 2012 Bronze medallists), Turkey and Italy, who are welcomed back to the European Championships after missing the competition in 2011. In Pool A, reigning London 2012 Paralympic Champions Germany take on France, Spain and Israel.
Current European Champions, the Standard Life GB Men’s team have been drawn in Group A and will be up against, current European Silver Medallists Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland. Group B in the men’s competition will see Spain, Turkey, Poland, Israel, Sweden and France fight it out.
Wheelchair Rugby: Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby has announced the appointment of Lorraine Brown, who is to join them as Performance Director. Her role will be to build a sustainable performance system and lead GB to medal in Rio.
Brown has spent 25 years in elite sport, including time as a Performance Manager with Paralympics GB. For the past five and a half years she worked as Performance Director for British Handball.
She said: “I am absolutely delighted to be returning to Paralympic sport and the opportunity to be Performance Director for GBWR. It is a very exciting time for wheelchair rugby as it capitalises on the performance foundations and interest from the London Paralympics. UK Sport has shown faith in the foundations with the funding award, and I am really looking forward to working with everyone in the sport - players, coaches, officials, volunteers and the board to continue the work of building a sustainable performance pathway to achieve the ultimate aim of podium success.”
Chief Executive of GBWR, David Pond, welcomed her appointment, saying: “This is an exciting and important appointment and I am absolutely delighted that Lorraine is joining our team’ he said. ‘She has an incredibly impressive background in high performance sport and her leadership and experience will be invaluable as we build a sustainable performance system and get GB into the medal range at Rio.”