Sport-in-brief - your weekly update from the high performance sports communitySubscribe
Grace Cullen 24 May 2012
Archery: Simon Terry, Alison Williamson, Naomi Folkard, Amy Oliver, Larry Godfrey and Alan Wills, the six athletes selected to represent GB at the London Olympics, are this week among the British squad competing at the European Championships in Amsterdam. Other nations will be using the event as a qualifier for the London 2012 Olympics.
Disability Archery: Dani Brown and John Stubbs will be defending their Paralympic compound titles at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich later this year, after being nominated as part of a 13 strong GB archery team for the London Games.
John Cavanagh, who won a silver medal in Beijing four years ago, and Mel Clarke, who won a bronze, will also be part of ParalympicsGB, while Phil Bottomley, Kenny Allen, Murray Elliot, Sharon Vennard, Leigh Walmsley and Richard Hennahane will be taking part in their first Paralympic Games. Paul Browne, Kate Murray, and Pippa Britton have all been selected for their second successive Games.
Canoe (Sprint): Following the international season opener in Poznan, Poland, the GB Canoeing Sprint team travel to Duisburg, Germany for ICF World Cup 2 (25-27 May).
The 2012 season got off to a great start for Ed McKeever at World Cup 1, with a dominating performance in the MK1 200m final taking home his first gold of 2012. Team mates Liam Heath and Jon Schofield secured a podium finish in the K2 200m wining the silver medal to get their 2012 campaign off to strong start. Both boats will be looking to replicate their performances this weekend in Duisburg and cement themselves as top runners in the 200m ahead of the London Olympics.
Representing GB in the K1 1000m is Paul Wycherley and Olympic Champion Tim Brabants. Racing is guaranteed to be highly fuelled as the pair take on the World’s best plus one another in the final of the three race selection process for the one Olympic spot.
Looking to stamp their authority on the women’s K4 500m race is the GB boat of Abigail Edmonds, Jess Walker, Rachel Cawthorn and Louisa Sawers making their first international start of the season. Following an impressive 4th place finish at the 2011 World Championships the foursome have their eyes firmly set on a podium finish.
Taking to the start line twice is Rachel Cawthorn who will also compete in the WK1 500m and Jessica Walker in the K1 200m.
Completing the team for World Cup 2 in the kayaks is Lani Belcher and Angela Hannah in the WK2 500m, Jon Boyton and Ed Rutherford in the MK2 1000m and 500m and Andrew Daniels MK1 500m and 200m. In the Canoes Richard Jefferies will race the C1 200m and Matt Lawrence and James Train the C1 1000m.
Cycling (BMX): 2,000 BMX riders will be in Birmingham this week (24-27 May) to take part in the UCI BMX World Championships at the National Indoor Arena (NIA). Olympic GB hopefuls Shanaze Reade and Liam Phillips will be competing in their last event before the London 2012 Olympics.
Diving: The GB squad achieved their best ever European Championships result, with gold medals for Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow in the women’s 10m platform synchronised event and Tom Daley in the men’s 10m platform, who won with a personal best score of 565.05.
The team will return to action at Ponds Forge in Sheffield from 8-12 June, when they compete for Olympic selection at the London 2012 trials.
Equestrian: British rider Nick Skelton produced a clear round in the jump-off to win the Global Champions Tour event in Hamburg, one of the toughest Grand Prix of the GCT season so far, to continue his successful season.
Equestrian Team GBR
Goalball: The British Paralympic Association has announced the women’s team for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
The team have just returned from Malmo, in Sweden, where they were competing in an international tournament featuring 14 nations. The team finished fifth, including an outstanding opening performance against Sweden, beating them 4-0.
Full GB team: Georgina Bullen, Jessica Luke, Amy Ottaway, Louise Simpson, Anna Sharkey
Gymnastics: A five-strong GB team are currently competing at the European Championships in Montpellier (23-27 May).
Meanwhile the British junior team dominated the first day of proceedings, claiming the team gold with a score of 253.684 points, over two and a half marks ahead of second placed Russia. Led by 16-year old Frank Baines’ brilliant all-around performance, the team of Courtney Tulloch, Brinn Bevan, Jay Thompson and Nile Wilson follow in the footsteps of the 2010 junior team in cementing themselves as Europe’s finest gymnasts.
Hockey: The British Olympic Association has announced the selection of the 100th athlete to Team GB, with the announcement of the 16 athletes who will represent Team GB in women’s hockey at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The team will be looking to improve on their sixth place finish at the last Olympics in Beijing and inspire the nation by challenging for a medal in London this summer. They are currently ranked fourth in the world, having enjoyed a consistent rise up the rankings from 11th over the past six years under the leadership of Head Coach Danny Kerry.
The selected athletes are: Ashleigh Ball, Laura Bartlett, Crista Cullen, Alex Danson, Hannah Macleod, Emily Maguire, Anne Panter, Helen Richardson, Chloe Rogers, Beth Storry, Sarah Thomas, Georgie Twigg, Laura Unsworth, Kate Walsh, Sally Walton, Nicola White. The two reserves are: Natalie Seymour and Abi Walker.
Great Britain Hockey
Rowing: Twice Olympic silver medalist Debbie Flood is back in the GB Rowing Team for the first time this year. She will race in the women’s eight as a replacement for the injured Lindsey Maguire at the season’s second world cup in Lucerne, Switzerland from May 25-27.
2010 World double scull silver medalist Marcus Bateman will also have a new role, he will not race in the men’s single scull but will race instead in the men’s eight in lieu of Constantine Louloudis who is still recovering from an injury.
2010 World Champion Paul Mattick will enjoy a return to the lightweight men’s four as a replacement for the injured Peter Chambers. The switch means that Adam Freeman Pask will now race in a lightweight single scull and the GB Rowing Team has withdrawn its entry in the lightweight men’s pair which was to have been raced by Freeman-Pask and Mattick.
Sailing: Ben Ainslie won an unprecedented sixth Finn World Championship title in Falmouth (Friday 18 May) but was denied the chance to finish the regatta in style, as light winds put paid to the final 10-boat medal race. With a near-unassailable 20 point lead at the JPMorgan Asset Management Finn Gold Cup, Ainslie already had one foot on the top step of the podium going into the final day, with Skandia Team GBR teammate Ed Wright guaranteed no worse than the silver medal. On the final day of racing, the sailors waited for an upturn in conditions, but the abandonment flags were raised and the fleet returned home with conditions deemed unsailable. Ainslie was confirmed as the Gold Cup winner based on the standings at the end of Thursday’s racing, with Ed Wright adding the silver medal to his 2010 world title and bronzes from 2006 and 2011.
Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark made it two World Championship titles in two days when they were crowned the first ever British World Champions in the 470 women’s class in Barcelona (Saturday 19 May). Mills and Clark, who claimed silver at the 2011 World Championships in Perth in December, went one step further at this 2012 edition, fighting back from a difficult start to the week with a first race disqualification to claim the world title after a nail-biting final medal race, in which they kept their closest Dutch rivals Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout behind them to secure the world title.
Royal Yachting Association
Disability Shooting: 12 athletes have been selected to represent ParalympicsGB at the London 2012 Paralympics. They are: James Bevis, Adrian Bunclark, Ryan Cockbill, Richard Davies, Adam Fontain Ben Jesson, Nathan Milgate, Matt Skelhon, Karen Butler, Georgina Callingham, Di Coates and Mandy Pankhurst.
Di Coates will be the most experienced member of the ParalympicsGB team in London having competed at every Paralympic Games since the 1984 Stoke Mandeville games – a record which means she is likely to be the only member of either ParalympicsGB or Team GB who has experience of a home Games.
Performance Director Pasan Kularatne said: “Disability Target Shooting Great Britain are extremely proud that 12 shooters will be representing ParalympicsGB in London, a threefold increase on the four athletes who competed in 2008. The programme has undergone massive growth in this cycle. While new athletes have been identified and developed into world class competitors, the experienced shooters in the squad have all stepped up their performances in response. We are therefore confident of strong performances in London to underpin our eventual goal of becoming one of the dominant nations in Paralympic shooting.”
Disability Target Shooting Great Britain
Swimming: Britain’s James Goddard delivered a season’s best performance at the European Championships in Hungary to take the silver medal in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley.
Team mate Sophie Allen won her first major international medal taking silver in the 200m Individual Medley.
Robbie Renwick contested the final of the Men’s 200m Freestyle in Debrecen and finished eighth in 1:49.57. Gold went to Paul Biedermann of Germany in 1:46.27.
Michael Jamieson finished 12th in the semi-final of the men's 200m Breaststroke in 2:12.58.
Synchronised Swimming: A 12-strong GB squad will compete at the European Championships in the Netherlands. The squad features featuring newcomers Hannah Green and Sam Wilson for their first senior major championship. Olympians Jenna Randall and Olivia Allison will compete in the duet, having missed the chance to test out their Olympic routines in London Aquatics Centre last month as Randall rested a wrist injury.
The British will also compete in the Team event where they will look to close the gap on rivals France.
Table Tennis: The British Olympic Association has announced three male and three female athletes as selected to represent Team GB in table tennis competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The group is led by Paul Drinkhall, 22, who recently broke into the world top 100 at senior level, having enjoyed success at junior level, including three European junior titles and a silver medal at the World Junior Championships. Drinkhall is joined by 18-year-old Liam Pitchford, who won two medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. Pitchford demonstrated his potential at the European Championships where he beat four players ranked in the world top 100, including world number 9 nine Vladimir Samsonov and number 20 Alexey Smirnov. The men’s squad is completed by the experienced Andrew Baggaley, 29, who has won five Commonwealth Games medals and is a three-time English Men’s Singles National Champion.
The women’s team includes English National Champion Joanna Parker, 25. Joining her is Kelly Sibley, 24. Sibley is also a national champion and won 10 matches in a row at the 2011 European Championships in Poland to help the women’s team to promotion to the top tier. The team is completed by Na Liu, 29, who is a regular competitor on the ITTF Pro Tour.
English Table Tennis
Triathlon: The next round of the ITU World Series takes place in Madrid this weekend (26-27 May). Jonny Brownlee will compete but brother Alistair is still recovering from an achilles injury, and Helen Jenkins, who triumphed in the last round in San Diego, has opted out of the event to rest.
Volleyball: Great Britain beat Albania in a straight three sets (25-17 25-17 25-22) to qualify for the second round of the European Volleyball Championships after beating them in the away leg.
Great Britain’s coach Harry Brokking was pleased with the result. He said: “The team’s focus will now be on the London 2012 Olympic Games. I want to show not only Great Britain but the world that we have a very good team and win two matches to get into the quarter finals.”