UK Sport Talk

Published 26 October 2015

Friday 30 October

SwimmingA team of coaches and staff designed to support athletes at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games has been unveiled by British Swimming National Performance Director Chris Spice.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce the management, coaching, and support staff who have been appointed to our 2016 Olympic team staff,” said Spice.

“Early selection gives us an opportunity to plan more effectively and build relationships ahead of time to ensure we can support athletes and their home coaches to successfully integrate them into the national team programme.”

Four of the coaches selected have been part of a UK Sport coaching programme; Mel Marshall took part in the Elite Coaching Apprenticeship Programme, David McNulty is currently part of the Elite Programme while Jolyon Fink and James Gibson are currently on the Elite Coaching Apprenticeship Programme.

Team Management

  • Team Leader: Chris Spice (Pool and Marathon Swimming)
  • Team Manager: Dawn Peart (Pool and Marathon Swimming)
  • Marathon Lead: Bernie Deitzig
  • Media Manager: Dave Richards (Pool and Marathon Swimming)


  • Head Coach: Bill Furniss
  • Coaches Pool: David McNulty, Jolyon Fink, Melanie Marshall, Ben Higson, James Gibson, Russ Barber.
  • Coaches Marathon: Kevin Renshaw, Laurel Bailey

Sport Science Sport Medicine

  • Head of SSSM: Karl Cooke
  • Doctor: Dr Jon Greenwell (Pool and Marathon Swimming)
  • Physiotherapists: Carl Butler, Rhys Shorney, Jane Carre, Louise Imrie (Marathon Swimming)
  • Performance Scientists: Mike Peyrebrune, Ben Holliss, Clare Lobb
  • Nutritionist: Nigel Mitchell

Find out more: British Swimming

HockeyGreat Britain Men’s Coach Bobby Crutchley has named his squad for the World League Final in Raipur, India. Crutchley has made eight changes to the group that competed in the semi-final of this competition in June of this year, a tournament where Great Britain secured their place at the Olympics in Rio.

There are a number of high profile players who will be rested for the competition with Captain Barry Middleton, a veteran of 360 international appearances and all-time leading scorer Ashley Jackson amongst the most eye-catching of those absentees. In Middleton’s absence, the team will be captained by Holcombe defender Dan Fox. The other players to be rested are George Pinner, Adam Dixon, Mark Gleghorne and Iain Lewers, whilst Chris Griffiths and David Ames are currently recovering from injury. 

See the squad in full on the GB Hockey website >

Gymnastics: Britain’s Ruby Harrold and Amy Tinkler have finished 22nd and 23rd in the 2015 women’s all-around World Gymnastics Championships final at the Hydro Arena in Glasgow. 

The competition saw the top 24 gymnasts in the world battle it out for the top honours. Taking the gold for the third consecutive time was Simon Biles from the USA with 60.399. In silver was her teammate and 2012 Olympic Champion Gabby Douglas with 59.316 and in third the 2014 silver medallist Larisa Iordache from Romania with 59.107.

Find out more: British Gymnastics

Para-Athletics: Three further medals were added to British Athletics’ medal tally on day eight of the IPC Athletics World Championships. Sophie Hahn won silver medal in the T38 200m, recording a career best of 26.82. 

Maria Lyle continued her progression to win the silver medal in the T35 100m in an official lifetime best of 13.92. The 15 year-old was level with Australian rival Isis Holt until the 14 year old opponent pulled away over the final to set a new world record of 13.63.

Lyle, who also won 200m silver earlier in the week, commented afterwards: “I’m happy with the time considering I had a bad start. I would have liked to have won the gold medal but it wasn’t to be, I tried my best. 

17 year old Shaun Burrows earned the bronze medal on his senior debut in the T38 400m. Burrows, who won IWAS Junior Games 200m gold in July, ran the race of his life to win a first world medal in a lifetime best of 53.45.

Find out more: British Athletics

Thursday 29 October

GymnasticsBritain’s gymnasts have once again made history on the National Lottery funded #EveryRoadtoRio series as the men’s team of Max Whitlock, Louis Smith MBE, Kristian Thomas, Nile Wilson, Brinn Bevan and Daniel Purvis won silver at the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships at the Hydro Arena in Glasgow, our greatest ever artistic gymnastics World Championships team result.

The GB men, who have never taken a world team medal, finished with 270.345, just 0.473 behind the newly crowned champions Japan (270.818) and 0.386 ahead of former world champions China (269.959). The silver medal was sealed with the last performances of the championships as the Hydro Arena awaited the placing’s, finally the scoreboard revealing the result and again confirming Great Britain’s standing amongst the best teams in world gymnastics.

Max Whitlock led the team competing on all apparatus and summed up the achievements saying: “To be honest there was pressure but the amount of support that goes with that was unbelievable. The crowd were absolutely crazy today and I think that has helped us get these silver medals that are round our necks now. The atmosphere was unbelievable and I think the team pulled together brilliantly and we got exactly what we wanted.”

Find out more: British Gymnastics

Para-AthleticsHannah Cockroft, Aled Davies and Richard Whitehead all won gold medals on a successful evening for the British Athletics team at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha. There were five further medals added to the tally on day seven of the competition.

Cockroft won the T34 800m, leading home a British one-two-three, with Mel Nicholls and 14 year-old Kare Adenegan claiming the silver and bronze medals.

Meanwhile, Whitehead equalled the T42 200m world record of 24.10 he set in the semi-finals to grab Britain’s first gold medal of the evening. The Paralympic and world champion ignited his trademark sprint finish to overhaul the field making it a hat-trick of gold medals in the event. 

The gold rush kept on coming in the F42 discus as Davies added another title to his shot put triumph on day one. The Welshman was in commanding form, leading from start to finish and throwing an official world record of 49.59m in round five to complete the double-double. 

There were also medals in the T33 100m as debutants Dan Bramall and Toby Gold won silver and bronze with Kyron Duke winning F41 javelin bronze. 

Find out more: British Athletics

Wednesday 28 October

GymnasticsGreat Britain’s women’s gymnastics team have made history at the Hydro Arena in Glasgow by winning world bronze at the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships on #EveryRoadtoRio, the first ever team medal won by Great Britain at a World Championships.

The team of Rebecca Downie, Ellie Downie, Claudia Fragapane, Amy Tinkler, Ruby Harrold and Kelly Simm sensationally overtook powerhouses Russia to clinch the bronze medal in style at their home championships scoring 172.380 behind the USA (181.338) and China (176.164).

Rebecca Downie, as the most experienced team member, could not have been prouder of the girls: “I think we all knew that we had a shot coming into it today and I just tried to keep the girls just as relaxed as we could. We went shopping earlier, we’ve just had a chilled out day and tried to keep the mood pretty light. After the first mistake on bars, I was like, it’s never over until the end that’s what GB is about we fight for everything and I am so proud of all of them, it’s just amazing!”

Find out more: British Gymnastics

Para-AthleticsJo Butterfield won her second medal of the IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha on the same day that Richard Whitehead broke his world record in the semi-finals of the T42 200m. 

Butterfield added bronze in the F52 discus to the gold she won earlier in the week in the F51 club throw to take British Athletics’ medal tally to 16. Her throw of 8.96m was enough to see Butterfield clinch another podium spot and add a fourth medal to the room she shares with T37 400m gold and 100m silver medallist Georgie Hermitage. 

Find out more: British Athletics

Tuesday 27 October

Wheelchair FencingPiers Gilliver will end 2015 ranked as the number one epee wheelchair fencer in the world after a fifth-placed finish at the IWAS World Cup in Paris.

Gilliver finished 22 ranking points clear of his nearest rival, Poland’s Dariusz Pender, after a calendar year that saw him win World Cup gold in Eger, Hungary and Pisa, Italy plus the Grand Prix titles in Warsaw and Hong Kong.

He also tops the qualification list for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games with just five more ranking tournaments to go. The top four fencers on May 31 will earn Rio places but, with second-placed Gang Sun of China having already qualified following his World Championship win last month, a top-five place will likely be good enough.

Gilliver, whose lead coach is Baldip Sahota, also competed in the foil event in Paris and finished sixth, putting him 11th in the overall world rankings for that weapon.

Find out more: British Disabled Fencing Association

CanoeingJoe Clarke and Fiona Pennie have both secured Rio 2016 quota places for Team GB.

The provisional Great Britain canoe slalom team for the Rio Games is David Florence (C1M), David Florence & Richard Hounslow (C2M), Joe Clarke (K1M) and Fiona Pennie (K1W).

The team bound for the Rio Games will be confirmed by the British Canoeing International Panel and nominated to the British Olympic Association for ratification and selection to Team GB, which will be announced on Wednesday 4 November.

Find out more: British Canoeing

CyclingBritish Cycling has announced the Great Britain Cycling Team that will compete at the first round of the 2015/16 UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Cali, Colombia.

Fresh from winning a hat-trick of European titles, Laura Trott and Katie Archibald are both included in the squad, while Sir Bradley Wiggins continues his return to the track with selection for the men’s team pursuit.

Great Britain Cycling Team for UCI Track Cycling World Cup:

  • Laura Trott
  • Katie Archibald
  • Joanna Rowsell Shand
  • Elinor Barker
  • Ciara Horne
  • Katy Marchant
  • Vicky Williamson
  • Jess Varnish
  • Philip Hindes
  • Matt Crampton
  • Jason Kenny
  • Lewis Oliva
  • Sir Bradley Wiggins
  • Owain Doull
  • Steven Burke
  • Andy Tennant
  • Jon Dibben

Find out more: British Cycling

Para-AthleticsPaul Blake retained his T36 800m title in devastating fashion leading from start to finish to claim British Athletics’ seventh gold medal of the IPC Athletics World Championships and 15th overall. 

However, there were some nervy moments in the closing stages as Russia’s Artem Arefyev nearly pipped the reigning world champion on the line. Blake, who beat his rival in Lyon two years ago, took the plaudits once against clocking a season’s best of 2:06.89 to claim the third world championship gold of his career. 

Blake said: “It’s an absolute sigh of relief more than anything – it’s an absolute honour to regain my title. I’ve worked really hard for it this season, so to retain my title is amazing.”

Find out more: British Athletics

GymnasticsGreat Britain will send a full men’s gymnastics team to the 2016 Olympic Games after placing an impressive third in qualification at the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow. The British men’s team of Max Whitlock, Louis Smith MBE, Kristian Thomas, Nile Wilson, Brinn Bevan  scored 354.417 points to trail Japan and China and will go into Wednesday’s team finals with strong ambitions to win our first ever World Championship team medal.

Team captain, Kristian Thomas: "Getting the GB team to Rio was absolutely the number one priority coming in to these World Championships and we're all delighted to have got the job done. Every member of the team contributed and we go into the team final knowing we have even more to offer to push for a medal. We're all loving being here in Glasgow, the arena is brilliant and the crowd went crazy for us, hoping for more of the same in the finals!"

Find out more: British Gymnastics

Monday 26 October

Para-Athletics: Great Britain & Northern Ireland have won six gold medals at the IPC Athletics World Championships so far, with four silver and three bronze medals. 

Georgie Hermitage won Britain's sixth gold of the competition, breaking her own world record on her way to winning gold in the T37 400m.

There have also been gold medals for Aled Davies, Hannah Cockroft, Kadeena Cox, Sophie Hahn and Joanna Butterfield.

Follow the action live @C4Paralympics

Badminton: Chris and Gabby Adcock’s bid for a first French Open title was ended at the semi-final stage on Saturday night.

The world number seven pair lost out 21-14, 21-11 to Ko Sung Hyun and Kim Ha Na, of Korea, as the Adcocks couldn’t replicate the brilliant form which took them to last year’s final in Paris.

Find out more: Badminton England

Sailing: Britain’s Bryony Shaw won silver at the RS:X Windsurfing World Championships in Mussanah, Oman.

The European Champion added a second RS:X World Championship silver to her medal collection, with Shaw sailing a strong final race to finish second in the medal finale and claim the second step of the women’s podium.

Meanwhile, in the men’s fleet, Nick Dempsey was disappointed that a solid first half of his regatta didn’t continue into the second half of the week and into the gold fleet series.  

Finishing 13th overall, the two-time World Champion rued "too many mistakes", but also drew positives from improvements to his light wind racing.

Find out more: British Sailing Team

Gymnastics: Great Britain will send a full women’s gymnastics team to the 2016 Olympic Games after a sensational qualification performance at the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships on #EveryRoadtoRio. The British women’s team of Becky Downie, Ellie Downie, Ruby Harrold, Claudia Fragapane, Amy Tinkler and Kelly Simm placed third; our best ever result in qualifying for an Olympic Games.

Needing a top eight finish after the two day qualification competition the girls scored a total of 227.162 points to not only seal Olympic qualification but also power though to Tuesday’s team final. The result means Team GB will send a full complement of five female gymnasts to Rio next summer.

Meanwhile, the British men's team of Max Whitlock, Daniel Purvis, Louis Smith, Kristian Thomas, Nile Wilson and Brinn Bevan finished with a team total of 354.517. After two of eight subdivisions they currently sit top of the leader board.

The boys now wait for qualifying to conclude at around 10.30pm Monday 26 October, not only to see the team standing but also for individual final places with the top 24 all-around gymnasts making Friday's final and the top eight gymnasts on individual apparatus making next weekend’s finals.

Find out more: British Gymnastics

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