Sport-in-brief - your weekly update from the high performance sports communitySubscribe
Grace Cullen 09 May 2012
Archery: Alison Williamson will take part in her sixth successive Olympic Games this summer, after being confirmed as a member of Team GB. Williamson, 40, will line up with Naomi Folkard and Amy Oliver in the Olympic women's archery team tournament at Lord's and the Athens bronze medallist will be among 64 contesting the individual tournament. Alan Wills, Larry Godfrey and Simon Terry, will represent Team GB in the men's tournament at Lords, between 27 July and 3 August.
Sara Symington, Archery GB's Performance Director, said: "No stone has been left unturned in the pursuit of ensuring our archers are fully prepared, and at the top of their game, ahead of the Olympics. We have an extremely experienced squad who have had to work very hard to fight off determined competition for a place at the Games. It's a great achievement by all six archers to maintain such high levels of consistency over a long time, and to fend off their rivals."
Boccia: Great Britain topped the medal table after reaching the podium in all five events held at the London Boccia Invitational, winning three Gold and two Bronze medals. The competition, which was the Paralympic Test Event, was held at the Olympic Basketball Arena.
Disability Athletics: Richard Whitehead, Hannah Cockroft and Paul Blake made history at the London 2012 Paralympic athletics test event, clocking new World Records in the T42 200m, T34 100m and T36 1500m respectively.
UKA Head Coach Peter Eriksson was delighted with the performances of the British athletes across the day, he said: “We had three World Records and a whole host of personal best performances with many of the youngsters really stepping up their game - plus David Weir’s final performance in the 1500m was outstanding - so I’m happy overall.”
Canoe Slalom: The international season gets underway for the GB Canoe Slalom team at the European Championships this weekend (10-13 May) in Augsburg, Germany.
Head Coach Jurg Gotz commented ahead of racing: “In the lead up to our Home Games we identified two major International events that will be used as important performance markers for our athletes and coaches, the European Championships in Augsburg [mid-May] and our home World Cup in Cardiff [early June] these will provide us with relevant information that will feed into final preparations into our London Games end of July.”
Gymnastics: The women’s Artistic Gymnastic Championships take place in Brussels (9-13), with 252 gymnasts from 36 countries competing, including a five-strong GB team. Beth Tweddle will be unable to defend her uneven bars title after undergoing minor knee surgery.
Hockey: Two goals from defender Crista Cullen helped Great Britain to a 2-0 victory over Argentina in the final of the Visa International Invitational Hockey Tournament – the Olympic Test Event in London. A fourth consecutive clean sheet meant that Great Britain have not conceded a goal in 280 minutes of hockey at the Riverbank Arena on Olympic Park. However the victory was overshadowed by injuries sustained by Cullen and forward Alex Danson in the second half.
The GB men’s team claimed the bronze medal after sealing a 2-1 victory over India in the third-fourth place play-off. Both first half goals came from penalty corners; the first scored by VR Raghunath for India and the second by Surbiton’s James Tindall seconds before half time. The second half saw good chances for both sides but Rob Moore was the only one to capitalise, scoring his second goal of the tournament to earn GB a 2-1 victory.
Following Great Britain's victory, Germany beat Australia 5-2 in the men's final to take the Visa International Invitational Hockey Tournament trophy.
Great Britain Hockey
Modern Pentathlon: Great Britain opened their campaign at the 2012 Modern Pentathlon World Championships by taking bronze in the women’s team relay. The trio of Katy Burke, Kate French and Katy Livingston came home in third place behind Germany and China at the championships in Rome. The individual events, and the final qualification event for the London 2012 Olympic Games, will take place at the end of the week, with the Championships concluding on 13 May.
Rowing: All 12 GB Rowing Team crews that started in finals at the World Cup in Belgrade finished on the podium, as Britain won four golds, six silver and two bronze medals in Olympic classes. Britain also took the overall world cup trophy by 79 points to Germany’s 47.
Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter, the Olympic and World Champions, held off a spirited Greek challenge to take gold. Reigning World Champions Anna Watkins and Katherine Grainger were also winners with some quality given to their race by a strong German double. A further gold was added by the men’s four of Alex Gregory, Tom James, Pete Reed and Andrew Triggs Hodge. The final gold came from Helen Glover, who was discovered through UK Sport’s Talent ID campaign, Sporting Giants, and Heather Stanning in the lightweight women’s double scull.
Silvers were won by the lightweight women’s double of Sophie Hosking and Kat Copeland, Alan Campbell in the men’s single, the lightweight men’s four of Chris Bartley, Rob Williams and the Chambers brothers Richard and Peter, the men’s eight, the men’s double sculls and the men’s lightweight four. Bronze medals were won by the women's eight and the women’s quad, which featured Vicky Thornley, who was also discovered through UK Sport’s Sporting Giants campaign.
Sailing: The British sailing line-up for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games has been completed with the announcement of sailor selections in the Laser Radial, 49er and 2.4mR events. The British Olympic Association has confirmed the RYA’s nominations of Alison Young, who will make her Olympic debut in the Laser Radial event, and Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes who gain their second Olympic Games call-up in the 49er class, while Helena Lucas joins the ParalympicsGB ranks in the one-person 2.4mR event. These four sailors complete the full complement of 16 sailors to compete across ten events on the Olympic sailing programme (29 July-11 August), and six sailors across three events at the Paralympic sailing competition (1-6 September), which will be held in Weymouth and Portland.
The International Sailing Federation has confirmed the Event and Equipment selections which will feature at the 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition in Rio de Janeiro, with the ISAF Council voting to replace the current men’s and women’s windsurfing events with kiteboarding events for men and women, which will feature at the Olympic Games for the first time.
John Derbyshire, RYA Racing Manager and Performance Director, said: “The introduction of Kiteboarding, while an exciting prospect for a new discipline, the decision to replace windsurfing with Kiteboarding will of course be a huge blow to the windsurfing community, and we’re disappointed for all those who are working at the coalface of the RYA’s windsurfing programmes to deliver activity and British success on the world stage who will be affected most by this decision.
“Kiteboarding made a solid case for its Olympic inclusion at the March trials and although a surprise that ISAF has voted it into the Olympic programme at this stage, it appears that the Council of ISAF wished to seize the opportunity, rather than wait until 2020.
“This decision will force the pace of change and the RYA is looking forward to the opportunity of working with Kiteboarders and the British Kitesurfing Association in order to develop the talent pathway for this new event, and to using the strengths of our UK Sport lottery funded high performance system that has become the envy of the world so that GBR is well-placed to deliver the first Olympic kiteboarding medals in Rio in four years’ time.”
Royal Yachting Association
Synchronised Swimming: Team GB will feature a full synchronised swimming team for the first time after the British Olympic Association confirmed nine British synchronised swimmers had been selected for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Jenna Randall and Olivia Federici (nee Allison) will compete in the duet event for the second consecutive Games, having finished 14th in Beijing four years ago. The other seven athletes selected, including Jenna’s younger sister Asha, will all be making their Olympic debuts in the team event.
Full GB squad: Yvette Baker, Katie Clark, Katie Dawkins, Olivia Federici, Jennifer Knobbs, Vicki Lucass, Asha Randall, Jenna Randall, Katie Skelton
Taekwondo: GB secured their best ever medal haul at a European Championships, with seven medals, including a gold and two bronze in Olympic nominated weight categories.
Gold medals were won by Aaron Cook, whose final opponent Ramin Azizov of Azerbaijan, was disqualified, in the Olympic -80kg category, Lutalo Muhammed (-87kg), who beat France’s Augustin Bata, and Michael Harvey (-63kg), who beat Vasileios Gaitanis of Greece.
World silver medallist Jade Jones won bronze in the Olympic -57kg category, after she lost to Hungary’s Edina Kotsis in her semi-final. World bronze medallist Martin Stamper also claimed bronze in the Olympic -68kg category, losing out to Filip Grgic of Greece. Amin Badr (-54kg) and Caroline Fisher (-53kg) also won bronze medals.
GB finished top of the male medal standings and second overall. Performance Director, Gary Hall, said: "It was a great championship for us and there were some phenomenal performances, especially Lutalo [Muhammad], Aaron [Cook] and Michael [Harvey] all putting golds on the table.
“Martin Stamper's performance was very good and Bianca Walkden was desperately unlucky not to get in to the medal zone. But there were exceptional performances by the team. The selectors have to do their jobs now but we know when we get to London we will have a strong team. However, we have got hard work to do before them.”
Triathlon: British Triathlon was announced as Sport Governing Body of the Year at the annual Sport Industry Awards ceremony in London. The event was attended by 1,750 key figures from the world of sport, including high-profile media, entertainment and sporting celebrities, alongside the most influential figures in British and European sport.
The judging panel, which came from a broad spectrum of sport and business, analysed the six shortlisted governing bodies’ (British Triathlon, ECB, British Cycling, UKA, England Netball and the Rugby Football League) delivery across four key pillars of governance – Performance, Leadership, Community and Ethics.
Dr Sarah Springman CBE, British Triathlon President said: “We are delighted that British Triathlon has been awarded the 2012 Sport Governing Body of the Year. We have been fired up by the 2012 Olympics and our four year plan reflects this, with challenging targets that we have exceeded every year in delivering outstanding performance on the world class stages that we create, and raising the profile and inspiring people to take part in this fast growing, dynamic sport.”
Water Polo: The British Gas GBR Women’s Water Polo team lost out in the bronze medal match, losing 11-4 to Hungary at the Visa International at the Olympic Water Polo Arena. The Brits had lost their group match against the Hungarians 17-10 but bounced back with a rousing performance in a 7-6 defeat to World Cup champions USA.
British head coach Szilveszter Fekete insisted he couldn’t have asked for much more from his players at the tournament: “Over the tournament this has been a good week for us though. This is the top level and we didn’t have any competitive games to prepare since the Europeans in January. It’s been a good beginning to our last phase of preparation through to the Olympics.”
Wheelchair Tennis: GB finished the official Paralympic test event, the Eton Manor International, with four gold medals. Titles were won by double Paralympic champion Peter Norfolk, who beat Anders Hard in the quad singles final, before teaming up with Andy Lapthorne to win the quad doubles 6-1, 6-4 against Hard and Marcus Jonsson. Lucy Shuker and Jordanne Whiley claimed the women’s doubles title, defeating Kay Forshaw and Val Fisher 6-1, 6-1 in the final. The final gold was added by Gordon Reid and Marc McCarroll who won the men's doubles title 6-4, 7-6 against Robin Ammerlaan and Kevin Simpson.
British No.3 David Phillipson added a silver medal in the men’s singles, while Gordon Reid claimed bronze. Andy Lapthorne also won bronze in the men’s quad singles.