Sport-in-brief - your weekly update from the high performance sports communitySubscribe
Grace Cullen 17 May 2012
Boxing: Savannah Marshall became the third member of Great Britain’s female boxing team to qualify for London 2012 at the Women’s World Amateur Boxing Championships in Quinhuangdao, China, after team mates Natasha Jonas and Nicola Adams qualified earlier in the week. Marshall (75kg, middleweight) needed to reach the final to guarantee a place at 2012 as all four semi-finalists were from Europe and only three European boxers automatically qualify from this tournament. The fourth European place will be decided by a Tri-partite Commission in June.
Liverpool lightweight (60kg), Jonas, was first to secure her place with a comfortable 23-9 victory over Ingrid Egner of Norway. However Jonas had to settle for a bronze medal after losing her semi-final 18-10 to Sofya Ochigava of Russia. Nicola Adams from Leeds secured her place in the flyweight (51kg) final with an 11-6 victory over Elena Savelyeva of Russia.
Canoe Slalom: Fiona Pennie secured a bronze medal for GB in the women’s kayak single (K1) at the European Championships and was only 0.1secs off gold. There were also medals in non-Olympic disciplines for Mallory Franklin (silver, women’s C1), the women’s C1 Team (bronze) and the men’s C2 Team (gold).
Jurg Gotz commented on the Championships: “We have had some great racing over the weekend on a very difficult course, fantastic performance from Fiona taking the bronze and only 0.1 from the gold. The C2 category has been really strong and finishing off the Championships with Team gold is fantastic. Mallory’s medal in the C1W shows her continued development as with the C1W Team. The weekend has been a big stepping stone into London and we have seen we have the speed in the Olympic boats although the results might not show this.”
The squad will now look ahead to the World Cup season, with the first one in Cardiff (8-10 June). This UK Sport supported event will be the last time to see the GB Team in action on home soil before the Olympics.
Canoe Sprint: Members of the GB Canoe Sprint squad are in Poznan, Poland this week (18-20) for a series of competitions which will further influence selection for this summer’s Olympic Games.
The second round European Olympic qualification event takes place 16-17 May, which is the last opportunity to qualify further boats for London 2012, as well as a chance to impress the selectors at an individual level. Amongst the contenders are Lani Belcher and Angela Hannah in the women’s K2 500m, Ed Rutherford and Jon Boyton in the Men’s K2 1000m and Richard Jefferies in the C1 200m.
This will be followed by the first of the World Cup Series, also being held in Poznan (18-20 May). Ed McKeever in the men’s K1 200m and Liam Heath and Jon Schofield in the men’s K2 200m, who are the only GB sprint canoeists to have secured their Olympic berths so far, will compete.
Tim Brabants, the reigning Olympic Champion at K1 1000m will be in action and up against Paul Wycherely, as well as a strong international field, as their battle to secure the one Olympic spot in this event continues. Tim leads the ‘best of three’ contest 1-0, having won the National Regatta in Nottingham in April by the narrowest of margins.
Rachel Cawthorn, Jess Walker and Louisa Sawers will also be determined to demonstrate they are in fine form, as the battle progresses to secure individual places in the women’s boats.
Cycling (BMX): British Cycling has confirmed the seven Olympic Programme riders who have been selected to compete in the elite event at the forthcoming UK Sport supported UCI BMX World Championships taking place at the NIA in Birmingham from 24-27 May.
British Cycling’s Olympic Podium riders Shanaze Reade and Liam Phillips have both made selection, with Shanaze looking to win back her Supercross World Champion title – an accolade she has won three times out of her five years as an Elite rider. She enters the competition as the current TT World Champion. Shanaze and Liam will be joined by five riders from the recently re-established BMX Academy including Abbie Taylor who won the Silver medal in the Junior Women’s category at the World Championships last year. The only Academy rider to miss selection is Dan McBride, who is still recovering from injury.
Men’s Elite: Liam Phillips, Kyle Evans, Grant Hill, Curtis Manaton, Tre Whyte
Women’s Elite: Shanaze Reade, Abbie Taylor
Diving: World Series champion Tom Daley headlines a strong British team bound for the 2012 European Diving Championships Eindhoven this week. The competition, taking place at the Pieter van den Hoogenband stadium from 15 - 20 May, will be the final major championship before this summer's Olympic Games.
Having secured the overall World Series titles for 10m Synchro (with Pete Waterfield, who is resting a neck injury and does not travel) and 10m Platform at the final leg in Tijuana last month, Daley will launch a two-pronged challenge in the individual platform event as well as the team event with Rebecca Gallantree.
Equestrian: Nick Skelton continued his fine start to 2012, claiming the top spot at the Longines Grand Prix of La Baule in France and beating many of the world’s top showjumpers.
He said: “I was lucky to have a late draw so that I could watch some of the other riders go first and it goes without saying that I’m delighted to have won the Grand Prix. My sights are naturally on the Olympics but I don’t want to put myself under that sort of pressure at the moment, we are just taking it week by week and it’s definitely fair to say that I’m in the extremely fortunate position of having two exceptional horses in both Carlo and Big Star.”
Equestrian Team GBR
Gymnastics: Britain’s Hannah Whelan won both the beam and floor bronze medals in an outstanding performance to end the 2012 women’s artistic gymnastics European Championships.
Having led the team all week it was her turn to shine as an individual, as she performed a superb beam routine to score 14.333 and follow it up on the very next piece of apparatus with 14.533 on floor.
The beam medal is Britain’s first ever at a major championships on that piece and testament to Hannah’s great experience and composure under pressure.
The Beijing Olympian and reigning British champion claims her first major medals to complete a very encouraging week for the British team in which Gabrielle Jupp also took floor bronze in the junior event, and 15-year-old new seniors Rebecca Tunney and Ruby Harrold both made event finals with outstanding championship performances. GB finished just out of the medals in fourth in the senior team event.
Judo: The British team won eight gold medals at the British Open European Cup, which featured 27 nations and over 400 judoka at K2 Crawley.
There were victories for European silver medallist Sophie Cox (-52kg) and Ashley McKenzie (-60kg), while European bronze medallist Karina Bryant fought her way through the repechage to claim +78kg bronze.
Modern Pentathlon: Britain’s Mhairi Spence achieved the London 2012 Olympic qualifying standard in style by winning gold at the Modern Pentathlon World Championships in Rome. And there was further success for the British team with Samantha Murray producing a terrific finish to take bronze and also achieve the Olympic qualifying standard.
It means three British women have achieved the 2012 Olympic standard to date – Freyja Prentice achieved the feat at last year’s European Championships. Further GB athletes could achieve the standard through the Olympic ranking list – but only two athletes per gender per nation can compete in the pentathlon at the Games.
Spence, who went to the World Championships ranked fifth in the world, became the first British woman to win the individual gold at a Modern Pentathlon World Championships since Steph Cook in 2001.
And there was further success for Spence and Murray, who joined forces with Heather Fell to win team gold to take the team’s medal tally at the championships so far to four following the team relay bronze won by Katy Burke, Kate French and Katy Livingston on the opening day of the championships.
In the men’s competition, Britain’s Nick Woodbridge achieved the best Modern Pentathlon World Championships finish of his career to date, coming tenth. However, the 2004 world youth champion and Beijing 2008 Olympian is yet to achieve the London 2012 Olympic qualifying standard. Fellow Brit Jamie Cooke finished 33rd, while Sam Weale failed to reach the final.
Rowing: British Rowing has announced their squad for the second World Cup of the season in Lucerne, Switzerland (25-27 May).
There are four additions to the squad that competed at the Belgrade World Cup, with Louisa Reeve, Annabel Vernon and Natasha Page all coming in to the women’s eight. The new-look eight means that Jo Cook and Olivia Carnegie-Brown will now race a pair for GB in Lucerne. World U23 men’s pair champion Constantine Louloudis could, subject to continuing recovery from a slight back injury , return to the men’s eight, after being withdrawn as a precaution from the 2012 opener in Belgrade where the GB eight were second to Germany. Experimentation continues in the men’s quad in the lead up to the Olympic announcement on June 6 as Charles Cousins moves to the stroke seat of a combination that features Tom Solesbury with Marcus Bateman moving to a single.
“We are still working on fine-tuning the team as the London Games approaches”, said GB Rowing Team Performance Director David Tanner. “The benefit of consistent and significant investment by the National Lottery in our team over the past four years has given us a tremendous strength across the disciplines and gives us several options to consider.”
Full GB Squad
Open Women: Pair: Helen Glover/Heather Stanning, Jo Cook/Olivia Carnegie Brown, Eight: Olivia Whitlam/Emily Taylor/Natasha Page/Annabel Vernon/Jess Eddie/Louisa Reeve/Katie Greves/Lindsey Maguire/Caroline O’Connor (cox), Single scull: Rachel Gamble Flint, Double scull: Anna Watkins/Katherine Grainger, Quadruple scull: Beth Rodford/Melanie Wilson/Frances Houghton/Victoria Thornley
Open Men: Pair: George Nash/Will Satch, Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell/Cameron Nichol, Four: Alex Gregory/Pete Reed//Tom James/Andrew Triggs Hodge, Eight: James Foad/Alex Partridge/Ric Egington/Tom Ransley/Moe Sbihi/Greg Searle/Matt Langridge/Constantine Louloudis/Phelan Hill (cox), Single scull: Alan Campbell, Marcus Bateman, Double scull: Bill Lucas/Sam Townsend, Quadruple scull: Stephen Rowbotham /Tom Solesbury/Matt Wells/Charles Cousins
Lightweight Women: Single scull: Kathryn Twyman, Double scull: Sophie Hosking/Kat Copeland
Lightweight Men: Pair: Paul Mattick/Adam Freeman-Pask, Four: Peter Chambers/Rob Williams/Richard Chambers/Chris Bartley, Single: Mike Mottram, Double scull: Zac Purchase/Mark Hunter
Sailing: Olympic champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson missed out on their second world title together, claiming the silver medal at the Star World Championship, just two points behind rivals Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada of Brazil, after heading into the final day’s racing as series leaders.
Olympic champion Ben Ainslie is competing at the Finn Gold Cup at Falmouth Bay this week, aiming for a record-breaking sixth world title.
Royal Yachting Association
Disability Shooting: GB’s Disability Shooting team won four medals at the IPC Shooting World Cup in Turkey. Britain took team gold in the R4 10m Air Rifle and won an individual bronze in the same event through Richard Davies. They added team silver in the R5 10m Air Rifle Prone and a team bronze in the R3 10m Air Rifle Prone.
Disability Target Shooting Great Britain
Triathlon: Helen Jenkins and Jonny Brownlee made it a British golden double at the ITU World Triathlon Series in San Diego as they won the men’s and women’s races.
Reigning world champion Jenkins broke away on the run to win by an emphatic margin over Australia’s Erin Densham. Speaking after the race, Jenkins said: “We really had to work hard for that, the plan was always to try and get away. I really enjoyed the run course. There were lots of people out there supporting. The British coaches were out there, the support staff and my husband and they all really helped.”
Making his season debut, Brownlee was part of a lead group of nine athletes on the bike, but that group was eventually caught and Britain’s Todd Leckie powered to the front. Aaron Harris and Adam Bowden also briefly took up the lead during the 40km bike ride. On the run Brownlee looked in a class of his own, striding away from the rest of the field and easing down towards the finish. The win was his first Olympic distance gold in the ITU World Triathlon Series, although he has previously won sprint events.
He said: “It was my first race of the season, I didn’t really know what to expect. I went into it really relaxed. I just had to race my own race. I felt tired towards the end, I think I lacked a bit of racing there. It was a good race, I’m pleased to win.”
Wheelchair Fencing: The British Paralympic Association has announced that seven fencers will compete for ParalympicsGB at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Six of the seven fencers selected will be making their Paralympic debuts. Gemma Collis, Gabby Down and Justine Moore will make up the young female Epee Team with an average age of 18 years old. In fact, Gabby Down who will be 14 years old at the end of May is likely to be one of the youngest British athletes to compete at the 2012 Paralympic Games.
Tom Hall-Butcher will make his Paralympic debut in the Men’s Sabre Class A event.
Bringing experience to the Men’s Foil team is David Heaton, who has already competed at four Paralympic Games and had retired after Athens 2004 but has returned to the sport in 2011 rejuvenated and motivated by the developing programme structure. He will be joined by Paralympic debutants Craig McCann and Simon Wilson.
British Paralympic Association
British Disabled Fencing Association
Wheelchair Rugby: The British Paralympic Association has announced the 11 players who have been selected to compete for ParalympicsGB in Wheelchair Rugby, a Paralympic-specific sport known originally as ‘Murderball’ because it is an aggressive, full-contact sport.
Out to avenge two successive fourth-place finishes at the last two Paralympic Games will be Andy Barrow, Ross Morrison and Jonny Coggan, all of whom competed at both the Athens and the Beijing Games. The team also includes a further two players, Mandip Sehmi and Bulbul Hussain, who featured in the team that missed out on a medal in Beijing.
As part of the plan to ensure the team are in the mix for medals this time around, GB Wheelchair Rugby have recruited and developed new talent, which has resulted in six athletes making their Paralympic debut for London: team captain Steve Brown, Myles Pearson, David Anthony, Mike Kerr, Aaron Phipps and Kylie Grimes. The development process has included sending five players on a 10-week intensive training camp in the USA where the players were put through their paces, training with some of the best international athletes in the world. Four of those players have been selected: Anthony; Brown; Pearson and Phipps.
British Paralympic Association
Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby
Wheelchair Tennis: Great Britain’s Marc McCarroll, Lucy Shuker and Jordanne Whiley have won the men’s and women’s doubles titles between them at the Atlanta Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships in the USA, while Shuker finished runner-up in the women’s singles.