Sport-in-brief- your weekly update from the high performance sports communitySubscribe
Grace Cullen 30 January 2013
Badminton: Team England have gone for a blend of youth and experience in their squad for the European Mixed Team Badminton Championships in Russia next month.
Commonwealth silver medallist Rajiv Ouseph is the most capped player in the 13-strong squad with 46 appearances while doubles star Jenny Wallwork is looking to add to her 38 caps as she finally returns from a lengthy injury lay-off.
Team England, who are supported by Center Parcs, also have 2011 world mixed doubles silver medallist Chris Adcock (26 caps) in their ranks as they look to improve on their bronze medal in Amsterdam two years ago when they compete in Ramenskoye, just outside Moscow, from February 12-17.
The squad also includes promising Leeds all-rounder Sarah Milne, who is set to make her senior England debut at the Championships. Milne has already made her mark at junior level, having notably finished fourth in the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010.
Lauren Smith and Toby Penty, who at 20 is the youngest player in the 13, are the other rookies in the squad, having just one cap and two caps respectively but they both had the experience of playing at the 2011 World Championships at Wembley Arena and also represented England at the 2012 European Championships in Karlskrona, Sweden.
Performance Director Jens Grill said: "We have a young and exciting squad and I look forward to seeing how they perform in Moscow next month and what they will go on to achieve in the future.”
Team England squad: Men: Chris Adcock (Notts, Age 23), Andrew Ellis (Yorks, 26), Marcus Ellis (Yorks, 23), Chris Langridge (Surrey, 27), Peter Mills (Notts, 24), Rajiv Ouseph (Middx, 26), Toby Penty (Surrey, 20), Women: Sarah Milne (Yorks, 21), Heather Olver (Sussex, 26), Lauren Smith, (Cumbria, 21), Sarah Walker (Essex, 23), Jenny Wallwork (Yorks, 26), Gabrielle White (Yorks, 22)
Boxing: The British Lionhearts face a strong Italy team in the next round of the World Series of Boxing when they take-on the reigning champions Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder in a top-of-the-table contest at Palmaggio in Caserta on Saturday 2 February 2013.
The contest will pit the Lionhearts, who lie third in Group B of the World Series with 12 points, against a second-placed Italian team that has a point more.
A victory for either side will virtually guarantee qualification for the knockout stages of the World Series of Boxing and a chance to win the one million Euros first prize.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sean McGoldrick, European Champion Joe Ward and London 2012 Olympian Josh Taylor will all box for the Lionhearts as they look to complete a prestigious double over the reigning World Series champions following a 4-1 victory over Italia Thunder in the home fixture last November.
The trio will be joined in the Lionhearts line-up by international selections Kaupo Arro of Estonia at middleweight and Tongan heavyweight, Uaine Fa.
They will face a strong Italian team which includes two medallists from London 2012, Clemente Russo and Vincenzo Mangiacapre along with 2009 world champion Domenico Valentino.
The Lionhearts return to London a week later to put its 100% home record on the line against the unbeaten Group B leaders Astana Arlans Kazakhstan on Thursday 7 February 2013 at York Hall in London. Tickets prices start at £20 and can be purchased at www.britishlionhearts.com or from York Hall on the door.
Powerlifting: The best of British powerlifters competed alongside challenging international athletes at the UK IPC Bench Press Championships at Folkestone in Kent.
A great mix of experienced elite athletes and talented novices competed in the event, which attracted more lifters and spectators to the venue, and also featured the new system of bodyweight categories.
London 2012 bronze medallist Zoe Newson was in fine form, lifting a personal best of 91kg which would’ve been a new junior European record for the 44kg class.
There were also PBs for Adam Alderman (141kg) and Micky Yule, whose lift of 176kg was a competition PB and helped earn him the title of best lifter of the day.
Scotland’s Hanna Toremar performed well and gained good experience ahead of travelling out to Dubai for the fifth Fazaa Competition next month, where she will compete alongside the GB team.
And there were also good lifts from other novices including Aaron Simmonds and Jade Farrington.
Newson was best Brit in the women’s 41-86kg+ category, but in the open competition the Netherlands’ Melacia Tuinfort lifted the most - 107kg.
In the men’s 49-65kg class, Alderman came out on top, with Aaron Simmonds second and John Tyrell third.
The men’s 72-80kg class saw Yule take the honours, with Nathan Macqueen second Brit and Daniel Steward third. Ireland’s Roy Guerin lifted 125kg to take second in the open event.
Reginald Byrne lifted 90kg and was top British athlete in the men’s 82.5-90kg category, while top lift of the day went to the Netherlands’ Patrique Dankers with an impressive 178kg.
And in the men’s 97-105kg+ class, Paul Efayena put in a strong performance, lifting 190kg. Chris Rattenbury was also in great form, taking second with 170kg.
Rowing: Beijing Olympic silver medallist Acer Nethercott has passed away following a recent illness, aged 35.
He coxed the men’s eight to an Olympic silver medal in Beijing and was an integral part of the squad for many years, also winning World Championships bronze in 2007.
Sir David Tanner CBE, GB Rowing Team Performance Director, said: “It is very sad news. Acer was the top British cox of his time. He coxed our excellent silver medal winning eight at Beijing 2008. He had an exceptional period with the GB Rowing Team until illness in the past Olympiad.”
Di Ellis CBE, Chairman of British Rowing said: “I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Acer, a young man who always appeared as an independent spirit with a sense fun but once in the boat was a determined competitive cox for his crew whether club, university or country. The thoughts of all in British Rowing are with his family and friends at this difficult time.'
Skiing: After leading the World Cup standings following his two consecutive World Cup wins so far this season, James Woods has now also come out of his first Aspen Winter X Games with a bronze medal.
Woods qualified for the finals after gaining the highest score in the eliminations round, with a fantastic 92.66, fending off strong competition from the likes of defending slopestyle champion Tom Wallisch. James managed to advance in to the finals alongside Henrik Harlaut and Nick Goepper.
The finals were a close match, and James was second behind the winner Nick Goepper after the first two out of three runs, but Harlaut came back to steal the silver medal on his final run.
Wheelchair Tennis: After 12 years of international competition, Peter Norfolk OBE has today announced he will no longer be competing full-time on the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour.
The double Paralympic quad singles champion will concentrate on growing his business, Equipment for the Physically Challenged (EPC), as well as spending more time with his wife Linda and two young children.
Peter has enjoyed an extremely successful career to date and may still compete at some international tournaments, including the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships in Nottingham in July.
He said: "I haven't had a break from the Tour for 12 years and I feel it is time to dedicate some of my time to other areas of my life.
"I have enjoyed some incredible moments in my career and I want to thank everyone who has been a part of that, especially those who have given up their time and efforts to help me get to the top.
"I look forward to staying involved with the Tennis Foundation and I hope I can inspire more disabled people in this country to take up tennis, as it's such a brilliant and fun sport to play."
Although leaving the Tennis Foundation’s Performance Programme, Peter will remain closely involved with the Foundation offering support to players on the programme as well as inspiring new players to take up the sport at camps and open days.
He is helping to run new wheelchair tennis sessions at Kingsley Tennis Centre in Hampshire which are for anyone to try out the sport on Wednesday and Friday afternoons between 1pm and 4pm.