Sport-in-brief - your weekly update from the high performance sports communitySubscribe
Grace Cullen 21 November 2012
Athletics: UK Athletics has named Paula Dunn as the newly appointed Paralympic Head Coach.
Dunn was an integral part of the Paralympic coaching team who dramatically turned around the performance of GB athletes since the 2008 Paralympic Games, with the team finishing second in the medal table in the 2011 World Championships and third at the London Paralympic Games this summer.
As a former 100m European bronze and Commonwealth silver medallist, Dunn is no stranger to the pressures of being a leading international athlete and her extensive experience in both competing and coaching on the world stage are a unique and valuable asset to the Paralympic team.
Dunn, who takes up the post with immediate effect said: “London 2012 had an amazing impact on Paralympic sport in this country and we have a real opportunity to build on that over the next four years. I believe that there is more talent out there and I am looking forward to unearthing that talent and building on the success of 2012.
“Working closely with Peter over the past four years has been superb, but I am looking forward to taking the reins and continuing what is in effect a long term plan to see further medal success in Rio in 2016.
”As a former European and Commonwealth Games medallist, I know the commitment, passion and sheer determination it takes to achieve the very best. I have used this experience to develop some of the best Paralympic athletes in the world and I can’t wait to take the team to the next level.”
UKA Performance Director Neil Black said: “Paula played a significant role in the Paralympic team’s success at London 2012 and she is an outstanding appointment who will ensure continuity as well as further improvements in fulfilling this role.
“Whilst the Paralympic team was excellent in London, finishing third in the world with 29 medals, 11 of which were golds, there is a great platform on which to build and I believe that we can still improve for Rio 2016.”
Bobsleigh: Britain’s John James Jackson, Stuart Benson, Bruce Tasker and Joel Fearon achieved their best ever result at the Viessmann FIBT World Cup, finishing sixth in the second round in Lake Placid, New York.
There were also top ten finishes for GB’s two-man and two-woman bobsleigh teams, with John Jackson and John Baines, and Paula Walker and Gillian Cooke both finishing in ninth place.
Coaching: Jessica Ennis’ coach Toni Minichiello was named both High-Performance Coach of the Year and UK Coach of the Year 2012 at the UK Coaching Awards 2012.
Minichiello graduated from UK Sport’s three year Elite Coach programme in 2009.
Other winners on the night who have benefitted from UK Sport’s development opportunities included British Cycling’s Paul Manning and GB Rowing’s Paul Stannard. Manning, who graduated from the Elite Coaching Apprenticeship Programme (ECAP) in 2011, won 2012 High Performance Team Coach of the Year.
Paul Stannard is a current ECAP participant, set to graduate from the programme in 2013. Stannard was named 2012 Performance Development Coach of the Year in recognition of his role in the early rowing careers of athletes like Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, who won GB Rowing’s first ever female gold medal and Team GB’s first gold medal at the London 2012 Games this summer.
There was also recognition for the coaches of London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games gold medal winners who were inducted into the Coaching Hall of Fame. Those recognised included treble London 2012 Paralympic Champion Sophie Christiansen’s Para-Dressage coach Clive Milkins, who will graduate from UK Sport’s ECAP at next week’s World Class Performance Conference in Leeds, and another ECAP Alumni Nick Smith, coach to Canoe Slalom Olympic Champions Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie.
Cycling: Great Britain collected two gold medals on the opening day of the Glasgow Track World Cup in front of a sell-out crowd in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.
Women’s team sprint duo Jess Varnish and Becky James continued their burgeoning partnership with their second win in the world cup series this season, recording a personal best as they beat Spain for gold.
There was also victory in the women’s team pursuit, which contained junior world time trial champion Elinor Barker who impressed alongside Olympic champions Dani King and Laura Trott as they overcame Australia, who had been quicker in qualifying.
Two-time Olympic team pursuit champion Ed Clancy, making his team sprint debut alongside Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny, picked up silver as the three were edged out by Germany in the final.
On day two Jess Varnish and Becky James added to their team sprint gold medals with silver and bronze respectively in the individual sprint on day two of the Glasgow Track World Cup.
The final day saw a second gold for double Olympic champion Laura Trott. The 20-year-old Olympic and world champion added to her team pursuit success with Dani King and Elinor Barker in the six-discipline Omnium which brought her gold in London. Wins on the final day in the individual pursuit and crucially, an epic effort in the last event, the 500m time trial, saw Trott overturn a two-point deficit from then-leader Australian Ashlee Ankudinoff, bringing the capacity crowd to its feet.
Judo: British Judo dominated the Samoa World Cup as every athlete won a medal to clinch a table-topping 12-medal haul in Apia. The team clinched five gold, four silver and three bronze medals to surge to the top of the medal table ahead of Russia.
Olympian Ashley McKenzie took gold in the -60kg category as he won all three fights by ippon including a 25 second triumph in the final against Russian Robert Mshvidobadze
In the same category Graham Trinder won bronze with victory by ippon against Australian Tom Pappas.
Olympian Colin Oates, who finished seventh in London, took -66kg silver after losing out to Russian Kamal Khan-Magomedov in the final.
Patrick Dawson clinched -73kg bronze with a win by ippon against Hong Kong’s Chi Hang Wu.
Tom Davis captured -81kg silver after losing out to Russian Murat Khabachirov in the final.
Matt Purssey won -90kg gold with three wins by ippon en route to a victory in the final against Russian Grigorii Sulemin.
In the same category Andrew Burns clinched bronze with a win against Australian Sebastian Temesi.
Olympian Chris Sherrington took silver after losing out in the -100kg final of Russian Renat Saidov.
Sisters Kimberley and Louise Renicks both won gold as they triumphed in the -48kg and -52kg categories respectively.
Connie Ramsey took -57kg silver after being bested by South Korean Kyung-Ok Kim.
Olympian Gemma Howell eased to -63kg gold with three victories by ippon including in the final against American Hannah Martin.
The British Judo delegation of Ashley McKenzie, Colin Oates, Tom Davis and Gemma Howell move on to China for the Qingdao Grand Prix this weekend as part of a round the world tour.
Skeleton: World Junior champion and World Championship bronze medallist Lizzy Yarnold was just one hundredth of a second away from winning the World Cup race in Park City. Yarnold led after the first run but was squeezed from the top spot by new World Cup leader Katie Uhlaender of the United States.
Reigning World Cup champion Shelley Rudman came fifth, after a mistake in the second run saw her slip from third. British team-mate Donna Creighton was 11th.
In the men’s race Kristan Bromley was 11th, David Swift was 15th and Ed Smith was 16th. The team has now moved on to Whistler, Canada for the third World Cup of the season.
Triathlon: Alistair Brownlee and Helen Jenkins have been recognised for their outstanding achievements during 2012 at British Triathlon’s Annual Awards Ceremony at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham.
Olympic Champion, Brownlee, was awarded the Olympic Athlete of the Year Award and GE British Triathlon Male Elite Triathlete of the Year for the fifth successive year. Meanwhile, Jenkins was recognised for the best ever Olympic finish by a British woman following her fifth place finish at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Brownlee said: “Until the Olympics I never understood it when someone would say it takes a while to sink in, but it’s definitely taken a while to sink in. I didn’t know how I would feel when I crossed the finishing line because it’s a dream I’ve had since I was eight years old, but it’s finally sunk in now and I’m ready to move on and achieve some more targets.”
“I’ve never had the chance to race in the Commonwealth Games, so I’m looking forward to that and lots of other new things.”
Jenkins said: “It’s been strange to see all the footage tonight from the Olympics; I’d not watched it until now. When I reflect back on it I can’t help but feel so happy that I was there and got to enjoy the brilliant support we had there. It’s a once in a lifetime experience, it’s amazing.”