UK Sport Talk

Published 7 March 2016

(photo by Badminton Photo)

Friday 11 March

Athletics: Olympic and World champion Greg Rutherford will no longer compete at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland, USA on 17-20 March, as he continues to recover from a recent chest infection and slight hamstring issue.

British Athletics Performance Director, Neil Black said “Greg is really disappointed not to be able to compete in Portland, but his body reacted harder than expected to this week's training.

“Defending the Olympic title is obviously Greg’s main focus for 2016, so he has sensibly decided not to take any risks and to end his indoor season here.

“This will allow him the opportunity to concentrate on being in the best shape possible going into the outdoor season and ultimately Rio."

For more info: British Athletics

Modern Pentathlon: Kate French, Samantha Murray, Freyja Prentice and Francesca Summers are all through to the final of the second Word Cup of the season after qualifying in today’s semi-final in Rio.

Murray, who was competing at her first international competition of the season, qualified automatically after finishing her qualification group in 8th place. A strong fence, in which she won 14 of her bouts, left her in 9th place ahead of the swim where she clocked a time of 2:13.69. Her combined scores put her in 4th place ahead of the combined event, 46 seconds behind group leader Janine Kohlmann of Germany.

The quartet will be back in action on Saturday when they compete in the fencing ranking round of the women’s final. The GB trio will then continue their final on Saturday with the swim, fencing bonus round, ride and combined event.

Saturday will also see the British men’s team testing out the brand new Olympic facilities in Deodoro, with Sam Curry, Jamie Cooke, Joe Choong and Tom Toolis all competing for a spot in Sunday’s final.  

For more visit: Pentathlon GB

Thursday 10 March

Badminton: Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge set the YONEX All England Championships alight on Thursday evening to put two English pairs in the quarter-finals for the first time in six years. 

Ellis and Langridge beat Republic of Korea's seventh seeds, Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang, in a superb comeback 14-21, 21-15, 21-16 win.

The English national champions will now face top seeded pair Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yoo Seong, also from Republic of Korea on Friday.

“They are sixth in the world but we played some of the best badminton of our careers,” said Langridge.

Chris and Gabby Adcock secured their third successive YONEX All England quarter-final after a clinical and highly convincing mixed doubles' performance at the Barclaycard Arena on Thursday afternoon.

 The world number seven came out to noisy home support and attacked from the start against Kim Gi Jung and Shin Seung Chan before overcoming the Korean pair 21-12, 21-17.

“We can beat anybody on the day and we will be very confident when we go on,” Gabby said.

For more info: Badminton England

Wednesday 9 March

Athletics: Mo Farah’s next stop on his road to Rio will be at the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff on Saturday 26 March.

The double Olympic gold medallist is preparing to defend his 5,000m and 10,000m titles and competes in the event for the first time as part of a ten-strong Great Britain team.

Farah, who holds the European half marathon record of 59 minutes 32 seconds, told British Athletics: “I have been training hard and hope to perform well.

“I always enjoy racing in front of a home crowd and I’m sure they will give myself and the rest of the British team, fantastic support as they line the streets of the city.”

For more info: British Athletics

Sailing: Windsurfer Nick Dempsey is among five sailors who have been added to the Team GB Olympic roster.

London 2012 silver medallist Dempsey is joined by 2015 European Champions Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves in the Nacra 17 mixed multihull event and first-time Olympians Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth in the 49FX class.

They join Saskia Clark and Hannah Mills (470 Women) and Bryony Shaw (Windsurfing) in the Rio 2016.

In addition, the difficult decision was made to deselect 470 Men's representatives Luke Patience and Elliot Willis, due to Elliot’s ongoing bowel cancer treatment.

“The thoughts of all the team continue to be with Elliot in his ongoing recovery,” said Patience.

“For me, it’s absolutely the right thing to do to see through the work Elliot and I started out together. I’m aiming to requalify for Rio with Chris [Grube] and do the best job we can to bring home a medal.”

For more: Royal Yachting Association

Freestyle Skiing: 2016 Winter Youth Olympic gold medallist Madi Rowlands continued her outstanding form by placing tenth in the FIS Ski Halfpipe World Cup event in Tignes, France. Teammate Rowan Chehire finished 12th.

In the men’s competition, Murray Buchan produced a season’s best for a 13th place finish, with James Machon and Pete Speight following him in 16th and 17th respectively.

Ski Cross: At the St Francois Longchamp Europa Cup, Emily Sarsfield finished seventh in the first race, and ninth in the second. The finals for Race 1 take place on Thursday. 

For more info: British Ski and Snowboarding

(Credit: Badminton Photo)

Badminton: Chris and Gabby Adcock, England’s number one pair, went through the gears to advance to the last 16 of the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships in Birmingham.

The world number seven duo were 14-5 up before being forced to save a game point in their first Superseries outing of the year. But they eventually came through 24-22, 21-12 against Indonesia’s world number 18’s, Ronald Alexander and Melati Oktaviani.

“We are 100 per cent capable of winning it and we have shown that with the success that we have had,” said Chris after their 35-minute win.

The Adcocks now face Korean pair Kim Jung and Shin Chan as they bid for successive berths in the YONEX All England quarter-finals.

English National Champions Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge got the morning crowd in the mood in a 21-19, 21-14 win against Chen Hung Ling and Chi-Lin Wang, of Chinese Taipei.

Heather Olver and Lauren Smith came up against a tough Japanese outfit in Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito as the Asian duo advanced 21-10, 21-12.

For more info: Badminton England

Tuesday 8 March

Para Table Tennis: The British Paralympic Association announced that ParalympicsGB will field twelve table tennis players at the Rio 2016 Games.

The line-up of athletes includes London 2012 silver medallist Will Bayley and fellow world number one Rob Davies (pictured below), with the team brimming with experience gained from the London Games.

“Being selected for another Paralympic Games means everything to me - it's my life,” said Bailey, who became World Champion in 2014.  “I love table tennis and to be selected to compete for your country at a Paralympic Games is the pinnacle of any player’s career.”

Current Paralympic bronze medallists Paul Davies, Sara Head, Jane Campbell, Aaron McKibbin and Ross Wilson return for their second Games, while Sue Gilroy MBE, Paul Karabardak, David Wetherill and Kim Daybell proved their case in a competitive selection process and earn their place on the team.

Liverpool’s Jack Hunter-Spivey also impressed during selection and is now set to make his Paralympic debut in Rio.

Performance Director Gorazd Vecko said: “Four years ago we had nine players qualified for London and we now have 12 players qualified for Rio so we are in a better position than we were in 2012 when we won four medals.”

For more info: Para Table Tennis

Snowboard Slopestyle: James Woods landed in fourth place in the Slopestyle World Cup in Silvaplana to finish fourth overall in the Slopestyle World Cup standings. Izzy Atkin finished in eighth and Katie Summerhayes was tenth in the ladies competition.

Alpine Skiing: Dave Ryding finished in 24th position, 3.05 seconds off the winner Marcel Hirscher, at the Slalom World Cup in Kransjka Gora, Slovenia to qualify for the World Cup Finals in later this month.

Snowboard Cross: In the Moena, Italy, SBX FIS races, Maisie Potter finished an impressive third place after winning four intense heats including a semi-final rerun.

For more info: British Ski and Snowboarding

Monday 7 March

Hockey: The FIH and England Hockey have announced that the men's Hockey Champions Trophy in June this year will be hosted in London on 10-17 June 2016 at the home of hockey – Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The event will precede the women's Hockey Champions Trophy, 18-26 June, where the Great Britain team also feature. 

The tournament was originally scheduled to take place in Argentina but, after the cancellation of the contract between FIH and the Confederacion Argentina de Hockey (CAH), England Hockey has stepped in as hosts. The decision gives British sports fans the opportunity to see hockey’s Olympic hopefuls against world class opposition, just weeks before the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The Great Britain men’s team will be taking on World Champions Australia in a mouth-watering curtain-raiser, Olympic Champions Germany, India, Korea and World League runners-up Belgium.   

England Hockey Chief Executive Sally Munday commented, "the opportunity to host this prestigious event was one not to be missed, particularly given the excitement building around the Olympics in Rio. Hosting major events is crucial in raising the profile of hockey in the UK and inspiring people to take up our game. It's a great opportunity for the public to support our national team, watch world-class hockey and have a great day out on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park."

Speaking about the announcement, FIH CEO Kelly Fairweather said: “Following the hugely successful 2012 Olympic Games and more recently the Unibet EuroHockey Championships held in this venue, we know that England Hockey and all of their partners will truly embrace the FIH Hockey Revolution’s vision of creating innovative and exciting event for our fans. This is key to our aim of making hockey a global game that inspires the next generation.”

For more info: England Hockey

Cycling: Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins took the world madison title to cap a golden weekend for Great Britain at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships.

“Eight years on and we’ve come back full circle and conquered the world,” said Wiggins. “To send all those people away happy is such a nice feeling, it really is.”

Earlier on Sunday, Laura Trott (pictured above) produced a superb display of consistency to outwit rival Sarah Hammer and reclaim the omnium world title that had eluded her since 2012.

“It’s taken me four years to get this jersey back in the omnium," said a delighted Trott. “Last year I was so disappointed to get silver again and to have such a bad scratch race - it just spurred us on.”

Jason Kenny won the sprint world title in a thrilling battle with Australia’s Matthew Glaetzer on Saturday evening.

“To win the sprint is special. It's the blue riband event,” said Kenny (pictured above). “Twelve months ago I remember sitting in the stands, watching the semi-final and the final and it just seemed like a world away.”

Great Britain topped the medal table with five golds, as Trott also claimed the scratch on Thursday and Jonathan Dibben won his maiden world title in the points race on Friday.

For more info: British Cycling

Athletics: World indoor champion Richard Kilty set the second fastest time of the year in the 60m at the Jablonec Indoor Gala in the Czech Republic.

The 26-year-old, who will not defend his title in Portland, USA this month, won the race in 6.50 seconds ahead of fellow Briton Theo Etienne, who clocked a personal best of 6.56. Only Jamaica's Asafa Powell (6.49secs) has run faster than Kilty in 2016.

Tiffany Porter won the 60m hurdles with a season’s best time of 7.89, while Serita Solomon finished fourth. Max Eves took fourth in the pole vault with a career best of 5.64m and Dan Bramble came second in the long jump with 7.76m.

For more info: British Athletics 

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