Sport-in-brief- your weekly update from the high performance sports communitySubscribe
Grace Cullen 20 February 2013
Athletics: The Great Britain and Northern Ireland team enjoyed six victories as the British Athletics Grand Prix returned to Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena.
Mo Farah, Nigel Levine, Holly Bleasdale, Shara Proctor, Michael Rimmer and Helen Clitheroe treated the sell-out crowd to impressive wins, as Britain’s best honed their preparations ahead of the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg next month.
Double Olympic champion Mo Farah returned from a training spell in Kenya to a rapturous reception, as the British hero strode to a comfortable 7:42.00 3,000m victory on his only indoor race of 2013.
The 29-year-old eased ahead of France’s Florian Carvalho (7:45.77), while UK indoor 1500m runner-up Lee Emanuel (Ronnie Warhurst) finished third with a 7:51.46 season’s best outside of the European Championship qualifying time.
In other Athletics news, reigning European 800m Indoor Champion Jenny Meadows (coach: Trevor Painter) has been announced as the captain for the GB & NI team for the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden on 1-3 March.
Meadows, who made her competitive comeback last weekend at the British Athletics Birmingham Grand Prix will lead a 29-strong team, two years after winning gold in Paris.
The 31 year old defending gold medallist said: “It’s a great honour to be named captain of the GB & NI team, and I’m really excited to be given the opportunity to follow Helen Clitheroe (John Nuttall), who did such a brilliant job in Paris two years ago.”
Full GB & NI Squad
MEN, 60m: Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, Dwain Chambers, James Dasaolu, 400m: Michael Bingham, Nigel Levine, Richard Strachan 800m: Mukhtar Mohammed, Michael Rimmer, Joe Thomas 60m hurdles: Andrew Pozzi, 4x400m: Michael Bingham, Richard Buck, Luke Lennon-Ford, Nigel Levine, Richard Strachan, Conrad Williams, High Jump: Robbie Grabarz, Pole Vault: Steve Lewis, Long Jump: Chris Tomlinson, WOMEN: 60m: Asha Philip, 400m: Eilidh Child, Shana Cox, Perri Shakes-Drayton, 800m: Jenny Meadows (Captain), 1500m: Laura Muir, 3000m: Lauren Howarth, 4x400m: Margaret Adeoye, Meghan Beesley, Eilidh Child, Shana Cox, Christine Ohuruogu, Perri Shakes-Drayton, Pole Vault: Holly Bleasdale, Long Jump: Shara Proctor, Triple Jump: Yamilé Aldama
Boxing: The British Lionhearts has named its teams for the final two fixtures of the season in the World Series of Boxing, away to the German Eagles and at home to the Ukraine Otamans.
The Lionhearts are guaranteed a place in the playoff stages of the tournament and are aiming to finish as high-up the table as possible to secure a favourable draw in the next phase of the competition.
The regular season will conclude at York Hall on Friday 1 March 2013 when the Lionhearts aim to finish with an unbeaten home record as they take-on a tough Ukraine Otamans team, which features current Olympic champions, Oleksandr Usyk and the man rated the best pound-for-pound Olympic boxer in the world, Vasyl Lomachenko.
London 2012 silver medallist, Fred Evans and fellow Team GB Olympian, Andrew Selby, will line-up for the Lionhearts alongside Irish sensation and current European Champion, Joe Ward, Liverpool’s Sam Maxwell and the number one ranked heavyweight in the World Series of Boxing, Joe Joyce.
Tickets for the clash with the Ukraine Otamans start at £20 and can be purchased at www.britishlionhearts.com/tickets or from York Hall on the door.
Before that, Sean McGoldrick, Joe Cordina, Kaupo Arro, Lawrence Osueke and Uaine Fa will travel to Hannover to take-on the German Eagles on Saturday 23 February 2013. The match can be watched live from 19:00 GMT at http://www.youtube.com/user/WorldSeriesBoxing.
Cycling: This week (20-24 Feb) the UCI Track Cycling World Championships take place in Minsk.
The 16 riders representing GB will be a mix of Olympic gold medallists and upcoming talent.
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
Equestrian: The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) and British Eventing have announced that Mr Philip Surl will be joining the UK Sport, Lottery funded BEF World Class Programme as Assistant to the Eventing Performance Manager, Yogi Breisner. The role will see Philip eventually taking on the running of the World Class Programme’s Eventing Equine Pathway and the Eventing Nations Cup Squad that will campaign the FEI’s new CICO3* series. Philip will also take on certain administrative, logistical and liaison roles. The appointment of Philip will allow Yogi to focus more time on the Performance Programme riders but the next few months is very much a transitional period and the role is a consultant’s role and not ‘full time’.
Mike Etherington-Smith, Chief Executive British Eventing commented; “Philip has been a very successful Regional Co-ordinator and I am thrilled that he has secured this new role and challenge. We have looked very carefully at how the next few months will unfold and are comfortable that Philip will be able to continue to fulfil his role as RC and support the Organisers and Field Staff in the meticulous way that he has to date. We shall of course review Philip’s workload as he becomes more engrained in his new role.”
Hockey: Five members of the England and Great Britain hockey squads have today announced their retirements from international hockey. From the women’s squad, goalkeeper Beth Storry and penalty corner specialist Crista Cullen, both of whom won Olympic bronze at London 2012, have ended their international careers. And from the men’s squad, triple Olympian Ben Hawes, double Olympian Mark Pearn and Ken Forbes have announced their retirements from the very top level of the sport.
Thanking all five athletes for their contributions to the national team, England Hockey Performance Director Danny Kerry said: “Each of these athletes has in their own ways contributed massively to the national teams. The commitment they have each shown is testimony to their characters. We are very grateful for all they have given to the national teams and hockey in this country. I would personally like to wish them well with their future directions in life and I hope they will retain their links with us and the sport.”
Rowing: Following the World Rowing Association (FISA) Extraordinary Congress in Copenhagen, it has been proposed Adaptive Rowing is to have its name changed to Para-rowing.
Another proosal, to standardise the Paralympic rowing distance to 2,000 metres, from its current 1,000m, was narrowly rejected.
But the Congress did approve a proposal to add a new boat, the Legs, Trunk and Arms Mixed Double Scull (LTAMix2x), to the World Championship programme.
Skiing: The 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships were opened in the Sports Centre of Alp, a small village near La Molina, Spain, on Tuesday February 19.
From 20-27 February, 118 skiers from 29 countries will battle it out for gold in six events. With just over a year to go before the next Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, the competition will be a key indicator of form.
Among the first British athletes to take to the slopes is Kelly Gallagher, who also represented ParalympicsGB at the Vancouver Games in 2010, where she placed 6th in the women's Downhill and 4th in the Giant Slalom.
IPC President Sir Philip Craven said: "Since the 2011 World Championships in Sestriere a number of great rivalries have developed on the Alpine Skiing circuit and I expect these to take centre stage here this week."
"Such competition for medals and rankings is great news for the sport and I expect the performance levels of athletes to reach new heights at these Championships.
"The World Championships is the last major event before the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.”
Water Polo: British Swimming has appointed Graeme Thompson as the National Performance Director for Women’s Water Polo.
Thompson brings with him vast experience in elite sport and managing programmes from grass roots to elite sport level as the former Performance Director for the Rugby Football League (RFL) and most recently as Performance Advisor with UK Sport for a variety of Olympic and Paralympic Sports, including Water Polo.
He will join the team based at the High Performance Centre in Manchester with a focus on the further improvements to the women’s national squad, which is benefitting from an increased investment of £4.5m from UK Sport for the Rio Olympic cycle. This is up from £2.9m which was shared between the men’s and women’s in the run up to London.
Thompson said: “This is a great opportunity for both me and the sport. I’m really looking forward to getting started.
“The team has made very good progress in recent years and has significant potential for Rio. I’m looking to drive British Water Polo to be competing with the best in 2016.
“I will be looking at developing aspects of the talent pathways leading to the elite team, towards making us, Great Britain, one of the most competitive Water Polo nations in 2016 and beyond”
British Swimming CEO David Sparkes welcomed the appointment. He said: “Graeme's appointment further strengthens the British Swimming Women’s Water Polo team who have made significant gains in the past few years and were rewarded with additional funding through to Rio 2016, our focus being to achieve qualification.
“Graeme brings with him a wealth of experience from UK Sport and from the RFL, where he played a strong role in driving up performance from grassroots to elite levels and we look forward to using his experience and leadership in the Water Polo programme.”