Sport-in-brief- your weekly update from the high performance sports communitySubscribe
Grace Cullen 14 February 2013
Athletics: British Athletics has announced that the Stadium will host three days of world-class athletics action from 26 to 28 July 2013, on the anniversary of the London 2012 Opening Ceremony, at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The London Anniversary Games will span three days of athletics, with IAAF Diamond League action on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, featuring the return of many Olympic champions, with a third day of action on the Sunday dedicated to showcasing the Paralympic champions of 2012.
Vice-President of the IAAF, Seb Coe said: “I am delighted that the London Anniversary Games has been confirmed as three days of international athletics this July. London 2012 was an amazing year for British sport and what a way to celebrate its success by welcoming the world back to London once more to watch the biggest names in athletics.”
British Athletics Chief Executive, Niels de Vos said: “For British athletics fans, for those keen to experience the stadium atmosphere, for those keen to relive the memories of 2012 this is the opportunity to see the Champions from the London Games line up alongside their challengers with a point to prove.”
In other news, five new National Event Group Leads have been named in joint appointments between UKA and England Athletics. The five coaches will be part of the UKA Coaching and Development team and play a critical role in driving coaching standards across the UK looking ahead to the next four years and beyond.
Tony Hadley, Peter Stanley, Martin Rush, Malcolm Fenton and Alan Richardson have all been appointed in what is the latest move by Performance Director Neil Black and Head of Coaching and Development Richard Wheater to develop the world class coaching and development programme in the UK.
This Saturday (16 Feb) will see the British Athletics Grand Prix take place at the NIA in Birmingham.
Boxing: The British Lionhearts secured qualification for the playoff stages of the World Series of Boxing tonight with a stunning 4-1 victory over the previously unbeaten group leaders, Astana Arlans Kazakhstan.
In a stirring performance at a packed and noisy York Hall, the Lionhearts maintained their unbeaten home record to inflict a first defeat of the season on the previously invincible team from Kazakhstan in a series of close contests between two well-matched teams.
It included an upset at heavyweight as Joe Joyce closed the show in his hometown by defeating the 2012 World Series Boxing champion Filip Hrgovic from Croatia on a split decision after a titanic five-round battle.
Wins earlier in the evening for bantamweight, Andrew Selby, lightweight, Sam Maxwell, and middleweight, Fred Evans, had secured the victory for Lionhearts and guaranteed the team a place in the last-eight of the competition and a chance to win the one million euros first prize.
Rob McCracken, Performance Director of the British Lionhearts said: “That was very good win against an extremely tough Kazakhstan team. The boxers did brilliantly to secure the victory and will have learnt a lot from tonight and facing such stiff opposition.
“We still have a couple of hard fixtures to go against Germany and the Ukraine so we want to do well in those, but the boxers have done superbly to qualify for the playoff stages already and have every right to feel confident as we look towards the phase of the competition.”
Next-up for the Lionhearts is an away fixture against the German Eagles on 21 February before a crunch match against the Ukraine Otamans at York Hall on Friday 1 March 2013.
Tickets are on-sale for the Ukraine match which will definitely feature the double Olympic and world champion and the man regarded as the finest pound-for-pound Olympic boxer in the world, Vasyl Lomachenko.
Tickets can be purchased at British Lion Hearts or from York Hall.
Rowing: Established rowers took victory in all five disciplines of the GB Rowing Team Second Winter Assessment trials at Boston in Lincolnshire but newer names also made their mark.
Olympic medalilst and single scull specialist Alan Campbell won the 5km time trial in the men’s single.
The 2010 World women’s quad gold medallist Beth Rodford won the equivalent women’s event in a time of 18:44.05 with Vicky Thornley taking second in one of her best sculling performances to date.
Andrew Triggs Hodge and Mohamed Sbihi, were victorious in the men’s pair, after Olympic gold medallists Pete Reed and Alex Gregory withdrew from the event.
Jamie Kirkwood, a World U23 lightweight men’s four champion in 2010, crept in amongst the big names in the lightweight men’s single scull with a third place behind winner Richard Chambers and second-placed Adam Freeman-Pask.
The women’s event was dominated by Imogen Walsh, the winner in 19:16.75 and second-placed Kathryn Twyman.
Short Track Speed Skating: Following the Olympic test event in Sochi last week, British speed skaters produced more good performances at the final stage of the ISU World Cup in Dresden.
Elise Christie won her second gold medal of the series, this time over 1500m, and the men’s relay team qualified for the World Championships next month.
Despite not being her main event, Christie beat Min-Jung Kim (KOR) and Eve-Marie Drolet in the final to take victory. She said: “I’m pretty happy with gold in the 1500. I have to work harder in it because it’s not my event, but I raced better in it than I have done before so I’m pleased.”
Christie and her coaches chose not to enter the 1000m in Dresden after she became clear on points to finish the season ranked world number one over that distance.
The men’s relay has successfully qualified for the World Championships. The team of Jon Eley, Richard Shoebridge, Paul Stanley and Josh Cheetham finished have qualified in 6th place for the event which takes place in Debrecen next month. Cheetham took the place of team member Jack Whelbourne in Dresden after Whelbourne suffered a concussion in the heats on Friday.
The Performance Director of GB Short Track Stuart Horsepool said: “Not having Jack did affect the relay slightly this weekend, but they still performed well and I’m pleased that they have qualified for Worlds. The team have made three out of six finals at the world cup this season and the times we didn’t, members of the team were carrying injuries.”
Taekwondo: Former kickboxing world champion and Fighting Chance graduate Damon Sansum claimed his first title of 2013 at the Trelloborg Open in Sweden.
Sansum, a winner of last season's German Open, has since stepped up from -80 to -87kg, and won with a convincing 13-3 final win over Djordje Marcetic of Serbia on Sunday (10 Feb).
In addition to Sansum’s gold, GB’s Bianca Walkden won the +73kg category, extending her unbeaten tournament run to four.
In total GB won seven medals: Damon Sansum (gold, -87kg), Bianca Walkden (gold, +73kg), Asia Bailey (silver, -46kg), Georgia Barnes (bronze, -49kg), Michael Harvey (bronze, -68kg), George Lee (bronze, -68kg), Ruebyn Richards (bronze, -80kg).
Wheelchair Basketball: British Wheelchair Basketball has announced Paul Davies as the new Performance Director for the Standard Life GB wheelchair basketball teams. Davies will join from England Netball where he undertook the same role for their elite programme.
Paul Davies comes to wheelchair basketball on the back of three historic victories for England Netball against Australia. However, he is no stranger to wheelchair basketball having previously worked for both the English Institute of Sport and the British Paralympic Association.
Davies said: “I am looking forward to working with British Wheelchair Basketball, the national teams and the new challenge. I saw both compete in London and really believe that we have the opportunity to medal in Rio. “
British Wheelchair Basketball Chairman, Malcolm Tarkenter said: “Paul comes to us on the back of the most successful period of England Netball’s performance programme, a feat I am sure he will be able to emulate with the British Men’s and Women’s teams as we focus on Rio. The ambition and drive Paul has shown is infectious. With him we believe we can realise the potential of the players and staff to see great things in Brazil.”
Paul will take up his role as Performance Director with British Wheelchair Basketball from the 2 April 2013.