Sport-in-brief - your weekly update from the high performance sports communitySubscribe
Gagandeep Bedi 29 June 2012
Adaptive Rowing: The British Paralympic Association (BPA) has announced the eight rowers forming the squad, the squad includes reigning Paralympic and World champion Tom Aggar.
Selected athletes are:
Tom Aggar, Nick Beighton, Sam Scowen, Pamela Relph, Naomi Riches, David Smith, James Roe, Lily van den Broecke (cox)
Archery: Naomi Folkard secured silver at the European Championship in Amsterdam on Saturday (23 June), losing in the final 6-0 to Ksenia Perova, with the Russian beating Folkard in the last six consecutive meetings.
She said: “Winning a medal of any colour at the Europeans is a great boost to the confidence. It's great for the Olympic preparations and I've been really pleased with the way things have gone this week.”
Athletics: Long jumper Shara Proctor qualified for London 2012, confirming her Team GB spot through the Olympic Trials in Birmingham with a record-breaking performance.
Proctor said: “I'm just on top of the world right now. I got the British record, I'm going to the Olympics - how good can it get?, It was not good conditions but I said to myself that London might be like this so I have to prepare and do my best, no matter.”
A great showing from pole vaulter Holly Bleasdale set a new British record, improving her own record by one centimetre to 4.71m, also confirming her slot at the London Games.
Bleasdale commented on her implementation of a new technique: “Today was the first competition I've put a new technique into place, and I felt like I was flying," she revealed. "I feel like I can go much, much higher."
Dwain Chambers raced 10.25 seconds to take first in the 100m, beating Adam Gemili.
The 110m hurdles saw both Andy Pozzi and Lawrence Clarke beat world bronze medallist Andy Turner to secure their Team GB places. Pozzi claimed his first senior title in 13.51 with Clarke four hundredths of a second behind. James Ellington took the 200m to bag his spot for London, Lawrence Okoye followed suit with the discus and Jo Pavey the 3,000m steeplechase.
Three more London 2012 spots were also secured by Martyn Rooney, Conrad Williams and Robbie Grabarz. Rooney beat Williams in the 400m with Grabarz claiming first in the high jump, winning with a clearance of 2.28m that was seven centimetres below his season’s best.
Jessica Ennis won the women’s 100m hurdles and high jump, but was less successful in the long jump event, only recording 1 proper mark of 6.27 far short of her PB of 6.51m.
Other winners: Margaret Adeoye (women’s 200m), Perri Shakes-Drayton (women’s 400m hurdles), Laura Weightman (women’s 1,500m), Goldie Sayers (women’s javelin), Ross Millington (men’s 5,000m)
Basketball: The first women’s team to compete at an Olympic Games has been announced by the British Olympic Association (BOA).
Chris Spice, British Basketball Performance Director, said: “Our programme continues to grow and competition for places gets stronger each season. This year has been our hardest selection to date. I congratulate all those players who have been selected for the Olympic Games in London but equally I would like to thank all of the other squad players that have pushed themselves to the limits but just missed out. It is only by increasing the depth of our squad can we expect to sustain and improve upon our fantastic performances over the past two years.”
The 12 athletes selected are:
Dominique Allen, Rose Anderson, Kim Butler, Stef Collins, Temi Fagbenle, Chantelle Handy, Jo Leedham, Julie Page, Natalie Stafford, Azania Stewart, Rachael Vanderwal, Jenaya Wade-Fray
Canoe (Sprint): Liam Heath and Jon Schofield took gold in the K2 200m at the European Canoe Sprint Championships, becoming three time consecutive winners in the process, beating the former French World champions, German and Polish opposition who finished second, third and fourth respectively by a clear 1m margin.
Heath said: “It feels really good to retain our European title. It has always been part of our preparation each year, and we use it in our training programme so we are peaking higher at each event as the season goes on. Things certainly seem to be on track for the Olympics later this summer.”
Partner Schofield is focused on the task at hand. "There seems to be more pressure every time we do it because we really want to hold on to that title and it is something that means a lot in our sport," he said.
“I really feel like we have done something special. It is testament to our coaching that we have been able to consistently perform at this level. We still have a lot of training to do with no other races before London, so we just need to keep our feet on the ground and try and improve and have an even better race at the Olympic Games.”
Ed McKeever also had success, building upon his two World Cup wins, taking the bronze medal in the Zagreb K1 200m. He was beaten to first by Serbian Marko Novakovic and second by Maxime Beaumont of France.
Equestrian Dressage: The BOA has confirmed both the four riders and horses to represent Team GB at London 2012.
Team GB Equestrian Team Leader, Will Connell, said: “It’s great to have it confirmed that we head to London with three of the 2011 European team Gold medallists and with Richard Davison as our individual rider.”
He continued: “This is as exciting a squad as we have ever taken to an Olympic Games. I’m sure the riders will be knuckling down over the next few weeks to ensure they deliver our best performances as there will be other nations with their eyes on the dressage medals.”
The athletes selected to Team GB today to contest the team and individual competitions are:
Laura Bechtolsheimer riding Mistral Hojris, Charlotte Dujardin riding Valegro and Carl Hester riding Uthopia.
The athlete selected to Team GB to contest the individual competition is:
Richard Davison riding Artemis
Football: The BOA has confirmed the 18 players that will represent women’s football at London 2012, including all-time leading goalscorer Kelly Smith who has scored 45 goals from 111 caps.
Team GB Women’s Football Head Coach, Hope Powell, said: “Narrowing my squad down to 18 was very, very tough because of the calibre of player we’ve got coming through now. But we were very extensive in our scouting and our research and I believe we have got an excellent squad in terms of quality, balance and strength in depth. They are all current internationals with plenty of experience.”
The final squad are;
Eniola Aluko, Anita Asante, Karen Bardsley, Sophie Bradley, Rachel Brown, Karen Carney, Ifeoma Dieke, Stephanie Houghton, Kim Little, Claire Rafferty, Alex Scott, Jill Scott, Kelly Smith, Casey Stoney, Fara Williams, Rachel Williams, Ellen White and Rachel Yankey.
Gymnastics: Daniel Purvis recorded a score of 91.550 to retain his title for the third year running at the British Artistic Gymnastics Championships, beating second placed Sam Oldham with a score of 90.050.
Purvis said: “It's brilliant to win the title again. With it being the final Olympic trial it's even more special. My routines were all clean so it's really encouraging looking ahead to the team selection.
"For me now it's all about waiting for that phone call and just hoping I'm confirmed for the team."
Rebecca Tunney, 15, won the women’s award in her first year as a senior competitor.
She commented: “The main focus with it being the Olympic trial was to stay clean and I thought if I did that I could get maybe in the top five but to win is incredible. It's totally unexpected.
“The trials have all gone really well for me so it's now just up to the selectors to decide what works best for the Olympics. The first year as a senior couldn't have gone better really.”
Hockey: The BOA has confirmed the 16-man men’s hockey squad for London 2012, with many experienced members retaining their places from the squad that won silver at the 2010 Champions Trophy.
Barry Middleton, captain of the team, said: “It is a great honour to have been selected in Team GB for my third Olympic Games. I am very proud that I will have the chance to experience a home Olympics with the amazing support of the British crowd. We have an amazing group of guys who have put themselves through so much pain in search of a dream we all share. We will be giving our all to achieve this dream while providing a lot of excitement at the same time. I look forward to stepping on the pitch in London and hearing that Great British crowd getting behind us.”
The confirmed squad is;
Nicholas Catlin, Jonathan Clarke, Matthew Daly, James Fair, Daniel Fox, Ben Hawes, Ashley Jackson, Glenn Kirkham, Iain Lewers, Iain Mackay, Harry Martin, Barry Middleton, Robert Moore, Richard Smith, James Tindall, Alastair Wilson
Great Britain Hockey
Judo: The BOA has announced the 14 athletes to represent Team GB in both the men’s and women’s events across all weight divisions.
Daniel Lascau, British Judo Performance Director, said: “We will have 14 athletes – they will represent their clubs, country, British Judo and our membership. We start on the 28th and will approach it as our job making sure we’ve done everything possible to perform to our best and then respect the other sports as part of the fantastic Team GB.
“The crowd will be behind us, every time a GB judoka steps onto the mat you will hear it, every judoka will have an amazing experience, we must be proud of them and give them all the support we can.”
The announced squad:
Kelly Edwards, Sophie Cox, Sarah Clark, Gemma Howell, Sally Conway, Gemma Gibbons, Karina Bryant, Ashley McKenzie, Colin Oates, Daniel Williams, Euan Burton, Winston Gordon, James Austin and Christopher Sherrington
British Judo Association
Para-Cycling: The BPA have announced the 18-strong Para-Cycling team that will compete at London 2012, including multi gold medallists Sarah Storey, Darren Kenny, Aileen McGlynn and Jody Cundy.
Gareth Sheppard, Performance Manager for the British Para-Cycling team, said: “We're taking our largest ever team to the London Games and are looking forward to defending the many titles won in Beijing. It'll be tough trying to equal 17 gold medals and our athletes realise the expectation on their shoulders. Having the whole of the country behind them will really help us and we are confident of delivering some world class performances.”
The team announced:
Jon Allan Butterworth, Mark Colbourne, Jody Cundy, Neil Fachie with Barney Storey, Anthony Kappes with Craig Maclean, Dareen Kenny, Shaun McKeown, David Stone, Rik Waddon, Karen Darke, Aileen McGlynn with Helen Scott, Rachel Morris, Sarah Storey and Lora Turnham with Fiona Duncan.
Swimming: In finalising the 44 members of the London 2012 swimming team, the BOA has confirmed the place of Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, the youngest swimmer in British history at 16 after she won 100m breaststroke at the ASA National Championships in Sheffield.
O’Connor stated: “At one point I never saw myself going to London but I’ve given everything in training, I’ve focused so much since then and now I’m going to the Olympic Games. It is just unbelievable.”
The final six to be confirmed for the 44-strong Team GB swimming team are David Carry, Anthony James, Steph Proud, Grant Turner, Marco Loughran, Chris Walker-Hebborn.
Upon finalising the team Michael Scott, British Swimming National Performance Director, said: “This GB swimming team is a real mix of tried and tested experienced former Olympians together with an exciting crop of talented youngsters who will sample their first Olympics in London. This week has seen some impressive performances at the national championships but our job is far from done.”
Scott continued: “Collectively we now have the time and opportunity to improve upon the performances this week to make sure we are as competitive as possible for when the rest of the world arrives in London in July.”
Freestyler Rebecca Adlington, a double Olympic gold medallist, also won the 800m freestyle event at the Sheffield ASA National Championships, she said on her result: “I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life and I've had the best preparation, now I'm looking forward to London.”
Tennis: The BOA has added seven more players to Team GB’s tennis squad, bringing the total to eight following last week’s confirmation of Andy Murray.
Paul Hutchins, Team GB Team Leader, said: “I'm delighted to welcome the additional members to our Olympic tennis team. We are very grateful to the ITF for supporting our home players at our home Games in what will no doubt be a wonderful experience for all our team. In this group of athletes we have a real mix of talent, from athletes who have been playing professional tennis for years, to those players really just at the beginning of their fledgling careers, but one thing's for sure, and that is the fact that we'll be ready to give it our absolute all."
The athletes confirmed are as follows:
Elena Baltacha – Women’s singles, Colin Fleming – Men’s doubles, Ross Hutchins – Men’s doubles, Anne Keothavong – Women’s singles, Jamie Murray – Men’s doubles, Laura Robson – Women’s doubles and Heather Watson – Women’s doubles.
Lawn Tennis Association
Triathlon: Completing a comeback from his Achilles tendon tear in February, Alistair Brownlee finished ahead of his competitive rivals, including his brother Jonny who finished second, in the World Series in Kitzbuehel.
Alistair finished the event in first with a time of 1:50:13, with brother Jonny close behind with a time of 1:51:02 followed closely by third placed Javier Gomez of Spain who clocked 1:51:18.
He said: “This was very important. It couldn't get any better, could it, really? “It was a long gap since last September to now. An Achilles tendon tear is a pretty bad injury and the Olympics are in six weeks, so it couldn't get more important. I knew I'd done a lot of training, this was more to go through the motions and I felt all right, really."
Water Polo: The BOA has announced the 26 athletes to participate in the Water Polo event for Team GB at London 2012, with the women captained by Fran Leighton and the men by Craig Figes.
The confirmed squad is as follows;
Rosemary Morris, Robyn Nicholls, Frances Leighton, Angela Winstanley-Smith, Lisa Gibson, Rebecca Kershaw, Ciara Gibson-Byrne, Fiona McCann, Chloe Wilcox, Francesca Clayton, Francesca Painter-Snell, Alexandra Rutlidge and Hazel Musgrove.
Edward Scott, Matthew Holland, Joseph O’Regan, Jake Vincent, Robert Parker, Craig Figes, Ciaran James, Glen Robinson, Sean Ryder, Adam Scholefield, Jack Waller, Sean King and Alexander Parsonage.
Events taking place over the weekend:
Athletics: European Championships, Helsinki (27 June-1 July)
Disability Athletics: IPC European Championships, Netherlands (24 – 28 June)