Sport-in-brief - your weekly update from the high performance sports communitySubscribe
Grace Cullen 11 December 2012
Athletics: Jess Coulson won the women’s under-23 gold as the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team topped the medal table for the fifth successive year at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Budapest, Hungary (9 December).
Coulson won Britain’s only individual gold and successfully defended the title won by Emma Pallant 12 months ago, as the Aviva GB & NI Team won in total two gold (one individual, one team), three silver (one individual and two team) and five bronze (two individual and three team) for its fourth clean sweep in five years.
Watch interviews with the winning GB & NI team here.
Bobsleigh: The fourth round of the FIBT World Cup was held on the Winterberg track in Germany.
For the fourth time this season, the women’s race was won by 2010 Olympic Champion Kaillie Humphreys/Chelsea Veloise. Great Britain's Paula Walker/Gillian Cooke finished in 10th place just 0.56 seconds behind Humphreys. The pair set start times of 5.67 and 5.69 seconds, but with three teams posting a start time of 5.57 seconds, the top ten were incredibly close together.
The four-man bobsleigh race was won by Alexandr Zubkov/Alexey Negodaylo/Dmitry Trunenkov/Maxim Mokrousov of Russia, taking their fourth win of the season. Great Britain's John Jackson/Stuart Benson/Bruce Tasker/Andrew Matthews finished in eighth place, missing the injured Joel Fearon. The team set a competitive start time of 5.18 and 5.13 seconds in their two runs, though driver John Jackson has now slipped to fifth place in the World Ranking.
The two-man bobsleigh race was won by Beat Hefti of Switzerland, with GB’s John Jackson/John Baines in joint 14th place after setting start times of 5.27 and 5.29 seconds.
Boxing: The British Lionhearts saw their undefeated run in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) end as they were beaten 5-0 in their away match with the Astana Arlans Kazakhstan at the Almaty Sports Palace.
The Lionhearts will aim to recover in their next match when they host the German Eagles at Earl's Court in London on December 14.
Gymnastics: Great Britain’s Daniel Purvis rounded off his incredible year by taking bronze at the 2012 Glasgow World Cup. In front of a capacity crowd at the brand new Emirates Arena, Purvis battled for the medals to the very last piece of apparatus.
He said: “I feel great, it was a tough competition but good fun and a really nice way to end what’s been a dream year for me with the Olympics, European success and British title. It was a fantastic atmosphere today and I think it proved how much the Games really has inspired people and they got behind us a lot. I can’t wait to be back in Glasgow for the Commonwealths and World Championships 2015. The aim for next year is to raise my skills on some pieces, high bar and parallel bars in particular and that should keep right amongst the world’s best.”
In the women’s competition, Niamh Rippin and Rebecca Tunney represented Great Britain. Tunney had to count a fall on beam after a fantastic vault and bars which pushed her out of the medals but she finished strongly on floor much to the delight of the crowd to finish in fifth place with 54.431.
Rippin produced some strong routines to prove she is a contender for 2013, with a solid floor routine to finish in sixth with 53.099.
Hockey: It took a golden goal to separate England and New Zealand after the sides had shared a 2-2 draw after 70 minutes in their final match at the Champions Trophy. Both sides had led by the time Nick Wilson scored to make it 3-2 to New Zealand and while defeat consigned England to finish eighth, England Head Coach Jason Lee was encouraged by how his side matched the Black Sticks, who had ten Olympians in their side for the encounter.
Speaking at the end of the trip to Australia Lee said: “I thought we did well to stay in the game today. The tank looked very empty but we can take plenty of positives from the tournament; the fact that we’ve competed in every game is one.”
Australia extended their Champions Trophy winning run to five consecutive titles as they beat the Netherlands 2-1 in the final. Pakistan picked up the bronze medal after beating rivals India 3-2. Belgium, England's conquerors on Saturday, held off another outstanding German comeback to beat the Olympic gold medallists 5-4 on golden goal.
Short Track Speed Skating: Elise Christie has won a bronze medal in the 1000m at the fourth ISU World Cup in Shanghai, 7-9 December. The world number one has medalled at each stage of the event, including gold and silver in Nagoya last week and two silvers in Canada.
GB Short Track’s Performance Director Stuart Horsepool said: “It’s been a great world cup so far for Elise, but she was disappointed to only come away with bronze. She made a small mistake and got caught on the line, but that’s the nature of our sport.
“I think she did well and it’s still a medal on the world stage, but I think the fatigue of travelling across three continents in as many months and the long weekends competing caught up with her in Shanghai.”
Paul Stanley, Jon Eley, Richard Shoebridge and Jack Whelbourne qualified for the A Final of the 5000m relay. The team finished just outside the medals in fourth place, behind Korea, the Netherlands and Canada.
The next round of the ISU World Cup in Sochi (1-3 February) will be a test event for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Snowboarding: Britain’s number one Zoe Gillings finished fifth in the first World Cup of the season in Austria.
The 27-year-old from the Isle of Man narrowly missed out on a place in the final four after what she described as a "silly mistake" in her semi-final.
She then went on to win the fifth to eighth 'small final', beating world number four Alexandra Jekova.
The second round of the World Cup season will be held in Telluride, Colorado on Friday (14 Dec).
Skeleton: Defending champion Shelley Rudman won the fourth round of the World Cup in Winterberg, breaking the track record and winning by almost a second from her nearest rival.
Rudman’s team mates Lizzy Yarnold and Donna Creighton finished fourth and 22nd respectively.
In the men’s race, there was a top five finish for Britain’s former world champion Kristan Bromley, who finished fourth. Team mates Ed Smith and David Swift were 12th and 27th respectively.