News feed/All news feedsCycling TrackWorld Beach GamesTeam GBSailingGymnastics ArtisticBoxingCanoe SlalomTokyo 2020Tokyo 1964AthleticsTennisShootingCycling RoadHockeyEquestrianModern Pentathlon Modern PentathlonRowingEventingTriathlonJudoCanoe SprintSummer SportsSnowboardingDivingRugbySwimmingBaku 2019 urn:uuid:17fc818d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Cycling TrackTeam pursuit quartet storm to European Championship goldThe golden quartet shone once again as Great Britain defended their European women's team pursuit title with a stunning ride in the Netherlands. <br /> <br /> Olympic champions Laura Kenny and Katie Archibald continued their exemplary form in the discipline with Neah Evans and Ellie Dickinson rounding off a four that shows no signs of letting up.<br /> <p>Their gold-medal battle with Germany looked like going to the wire but a powerful turn from Archibald made all the difference, with the Scot riding to her fifth European team pursuit title in seven years.</p> <p>The last of those had come on the home boards of Glasgow in 2018 &ndash; the event in which Kenny, Team GB&rsquo;s most successful female Olympian, had a made a triumphant return to familiar tracks.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">It's GOLD for the <a href="https://twitter.com/BritishCycling?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BritishCycling</a> team pursuit quartet! <a href="https://twitter.com/_katiearchibald?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@_katiearchibald</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/EleanorMay_3?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@EleanorMay_3</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/neahevans?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@neahevans</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/LauraKenny31?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LauraKenny31</a> do the business and become European champions - all thanks to this stunning finale... <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EuroTrack19?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#EuroTrack19</a> ( <a href="https://twitter.com/Eurosport_UK?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Eurosport_UK</a>)<a href="https://t.co/AqFr005V7D">pic.twitter.com/AqFr005V7D</a></p> &mdash; Team GB (@TeamGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB/status/1184917581330862086?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 17, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>The title continued what proved to be a successful night on the bike for the British Cycling team, winning three medals from the four finals contested on the second day in Apeldoorn.</p> <p>Among those on the podium was Emily Nelson, taking elimination silver just a day on from becoming European champion in the scratch race.</p> <p>The 22-year-old was narrowly edged out by home favourite and cycling supremo Kirsten Wild, with the two in touching distance of one another in the last throes of their head-to-head.</p> <p>But a second medal of the Championships was more than a silver lining for Nelson &ndash; with this her first Europeans in three years having suffered with injuries at the start of previous seasons.</p> <p>&ldquo;The race was fast right from the gun &ndash; everyone was fighting for positions and riding into gaps that weren&rsquo;t there, making it very technical, so you couldn&rsquo;t switch off for a second,&rdquo; said Nelson.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">What a <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EuroTrack19?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#EuroTrack19</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/EmilyNelson21?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@EmilyNelson21</a> is having <br /> <br /> She follows up yesterday's Scratch race win with a Silver in the Elimination race <br /> <br /> Amazing performance at these Championships from Emily <a href="https://t.co/xcYqWijpM8">https://t.co/xcYqWijpM8</a></p> &mdash; British Cycling (@BritishCycling) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritishCycling/status/1184914752247603201?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 17, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m super happy with my second medal of the championships &ndash; a bit gutted to have been so close to bringing home two jerseys but to lose to someone as decorated as Kirsten isn&rsquo;t too bad!&rdquo;</p> <p>Finally there was also success for the men&rsquo;s team pursuit quartet, taking bronze after easing to a comfortable victory over Switzerland.</p> <p>The team of Ollie Wood, Charlie Tanfield, Ed Clancy and Ethan Hayter had lost shape coming into the closing stages but pace and performance far from dipped, easing home a couple of seconds ahead of their opponents.</p> <p>Kenny and Archibald, meanwhile, will both boast the opportunity to add to their titles on Friday as they compete in the omnium and individual pursuit respectively.<br /> <br /> Pic: SWpix.com</p> <p>Sportsbeat 2019</p>Thu, 17 Oct 2019 20:53:40 Zurn:uuid:1fb0818d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Beach soccer side settle for silver after 3-2 defeat to SpainIt was heartbreak for the Team GB women's beach soccer team after they suffered a narrow 3-2 defeat to Spain in the gold medal match at the World Beach Games.<br /> <br /> Despite an early goal from Molly Clark (Portsmouth), three goals from their Spanish opposition in the first period made it a tough ask for Team GB to come back.<br /> <br /> With a scoreless second period, all was to play for in the third and final one. A Rebecca Barron (Gosport) strike with nine minutes left on the clock provided the team with a much needed lifeline.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Then with just 60 seconds left on the clock, Team GB narrowly missed out on an equaliser after Gemma Hillier (Gosport) failed to convert from a rebound. Sadly it wasn&rsquo;t to be and the game finished 3-2 to Spain, with the side having to settle for the silver medal. <p><br /> An emotional captain Sarah Kempson (Littlehampton) said; &ldquo;We had two of the best teams in the world competing on the biggest stage tonight and I am super proud of both team&rsquo;s today for putting on a great show.<br /> </p> <p>&ldquo;I am so proud of the girls, the effort they put in and for putting on a great show. We are obviously disappointed not to win the gold medal but credit to Spain, they are a talented team and a great bunch of girls.</p> <p> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xdYFh8zkBZo" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe><br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was a whole squad effort and we have done ourselves proud today and we are going to continue to keep pushing for those top spots.</p> <p>&ldquo;I have been in the sport for seven years and it has grown hugely I that time. I really hope that we can now create a platform for younger girls to have the opportunity that I have had. <br /> <br /> "I have played all around the world and whilst I hope I continue to get those opportunities, I hope that girls watching have been inspired to come and give it a go, and one day take my spot and in ten year's time show me how it is done.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> </p>Wed, 16 Oct 2019 21:19:22 Zurn:uuid:ceac818d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 World Beach GamesGuy Bridge claims Team GB’s first Beach Games medal with kite foil bronzeGuy Bridge's kite foil bronze made history today as Team GB's first ever World Beach Games medal. <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bridge had to finish top of his semi-final heat to progress to the medal race and after finishing behind the Frenchman Theo de Ramecourt in the first race Bridge needed to win the second and final race to progress into the final.</p> <p>It was a close fought semi-final in Doha but, with Bridge in the lead, Ramecourt made an slight error and allowed the Exmouth athlete to pass.</p> <p>With small field in the final, racing was extremely tight and in the end Florian Gruber from Germany proved too strong for the field and won the gold medal in just two races, with Bridge securing the bronze medal.<br /> <br /> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ulzw8tdFkVM" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe></p> <p>Speaking after the race Bridge, whose event comes into the Olympic programme for Paris 2024, said: &ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t realise I had won the first Team GB medal of the World Beach Games, so that is great. It has been a hard couple of days, but it is great to come away with a medal.</p> <p>&ldquo;I always knew today would be quite difficult because I had Theo in my semi-final and I knew it would be tough to beat him to get into the final.</p> <p>&ldquo;After that semi felt like there wasn&rsquo;t much pressure on me going into the final. I was underdog going in because to win the gold medal I would have to win all three races.</p> <p>&ldquo;Paris [2024] is still a long way off, but it would be pretty cool to go. Kite foiling is a great sport for spectators, especially when the racing is all really close like it was today. The foils, the speed, it is just a great sport to watch.&rdquo;</p>Wed, 16 Oct 2019 20:32:19 Zurn:uuid:eb89818d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Team GBBuilding Futures winners announcedCommunity projects supporting under-18s across the country have benefited from money awarded by the Building Futures programme and Team GB&rsquo;s partnership with Persimmon Homes.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> A total of 96 national finalists were put to a national vote with three awarded the top prize of &pound;100,000, one from each of the three categories; sport, health and education and the arts.<br /> <br /> Three second prizes of &pound;50,000 were handed and three more received the third prize of &pound;20,000. The remaining 87 finalists were handed &pound;5,000 each to support their work.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> The &pound;100,000 prize winner in the sport category was Scrappers Gym based in Swindon, Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association secured the award for education &amp; arts and the Young People&rsquo;s Counselling Service Annabelle Davis project in Peterborough was handed the health award.<br /> <br /> The second prize awards of &pound;50,000 went to Leeds Rowing Club for sport, UK Astronomy in Milton Keynes for education &amp; arts and Norwich-based Toy Like Me for health.<br /> <br /> Andover BMX Club scooped &pound;20,000 for sport in third place, while Wargrave House in Newton-le Willows won the education &amp; arts award and Butterwick Hospice Kidz Club in Stockton was handed the health award.<br /> <br /> Earlier this year, from February to May, Building Futures also gave away &pound;128,000 to 128 organisations supporting young people in sport, education &amp; arts and health throughout England, Scotland and Wales.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> The competition culminated in a gala dinner at York Racecourse earlier this month where representatives of all the finalists were on hand to receive their awards.<br /> <br /> The first, second and third prize winners were decided by a public vote and more than 225,000 votes were cast.<br /> <br /> Dave Jenkinson, CEO at Persimmon Homes, said: &ldquo;The Building Futures scheme has been a great success and attracted more than 4,000 applications from such a wide variety of organisations.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Persimmon Charitable Foundation and Olympians Kat Copeland and Callum Skinner met to choose our 96 finalists and were humbled by the quality and breadth of organisations dedicated to supporting and developing under-18s.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It has been an absolute pleasure and an honour to host them all at York Racecourse celebrating their fantastic work and revealing the first, second and third prizewinners in each category.&rdquo;<br />Wed, 16 Oct 2019 11:09:18 Zurn:uuid:aa55818d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 World Beach GamesMartin hat-trick fires Team GB to World Beach Games finalCaptain Sarah Kempson scored a last-minute screamer to send Team GB into tomorrow's women's beach soccer gold medal match against Spain at the inaugural ANOC World Beach Games in Doha, Qatar.<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;<br /> It was a scintillating first period for both teams and for the first time at the World Beach Games, Team GB found themselves two goals down after just three minutes of play.<br /> <br /> Kempson scored her first goal of the game with a blistering free kick to bring Team GB back into the game. But it didn&rsquo;t take Brazil long to cancel it out with a spectacular scissor kick goal. Wendy Martin responded with a characteristic header and then with just 40 seconds left on the clock Brazil took their lead back out to 4-2.<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;<br /> Both teams cancelled each other out in the second period and the score heading into the third period remained 4-2.<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;<br /> Minutes into the third period Brazil extended their lead, but Gemma Hillier brought it back to 5-3 with eight minutes left of play. A fantastic goal line throw from Hannah Haughton found the head of Martin for her second of the game, which she turned into a hat-trick minutes later as she kept her composure to score a penalty and level the scores.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;<br /> With just one-minute left of the clock the magic left foot of Captain Kempson struck a free kick to give Team GB the lead for the first time in the match. With tensions running high, and just two seconds left of the game, Brazil were awarded a free kick close to the GB goal. Keeper Haughton, kept her composure and made a stunning save to take her team through to the gold medal match.<br /> <br /> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ulzw8tdFkVM" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe><br /> <br /> An emotional Haughton said; &ldquo;There were just two seconds left so I just tried to take a moment to focus and work her out. I guessed that as it was a high-pressured shot, and I am not the tallest of keepers, that they would go high. Luckily, I got it right and was able to tip it over the bar.<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;<br /> &ldquo;After the save I just sunk to my knees and cried. I can&rsquo;t believe we are in the World Beach Games final. It felt so good to be able to help my team out in those last few seconds after all they&rsquo;ve helped me through.&rdquo;<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;<br /> &ldquo;I am absolutely buzzing", added Kempson. We have learnt that no matter what happens, if you&rsquo;re one goal down or three goals down you are still in the game. You&rsquo;ve just got to keep your head and believe you can win.&rdquo;<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;<br /> Unfortunately, hat-trick scorer Martin received her second yellow of the game shortly after her third goal and will be unavailable for the final.<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;<br /> Earlier in the day with a very light and fickle wind, the semi-final of the women's kitefoil got underway at Katara Beach. Unfortunately, in the first race Steph Bridge hit a plastic bag which stopped her dead in the water. She had better luck in the second and final race but wasn't able to make up enough to change the final result which saw her finish sixth in her heat. With only the top ranked athlete from each heat progressing through to the afternoon&rsquo;s final that was the end of her competition.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> <div>&nbsp;</div>Tue, 15 Oct 2019 18:47:21 Zurn:uuid:d935818d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 World Beach GamesNear misses for Team GB at the World Beach GamesWakeboarder Luca Kidd and climber Nathan Phillips both finished agonisingly off the podium on a packed day of British action at the ANOC World Beach Games.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Bouldering specialist Phillips, who qualified for the men&rsquo;s final in fifth place missed out on a medal by the narrowest of margins, taking an additional attempt to complete a zone over eventual bronze medallist Philipp Martin of Germany.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was really fun, but tonight&rsquo;s result was the closest you could get to being on the podium", said Phillips. "I missed out on the bronze by an attempt on a zone, so an attempt on an attempt.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The support from the Brits was brilliant tonight. It was great to have my fellow Team GB teammates down here to support me, I haven&rsquo;t experienced anything like that before.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ulzw8tdFkVM" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe> <br /> <br /> Whilst a competitive wakeboard field saw 18-year-old Kidd, who has only been wakeboarding with the Pro Men this year, sat in the bronze medal with just one rider to go but unfortunately it was not to be for the reigning World Junior Champion.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was stoked to have made it into the finals,&rdquo; said Kidd. &ldquo;But once you have made a final you start to expect more of yourself. Unfortunately, I messed up a trick (toe wake 7) at the start of my second pass and that cost me.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I head out to Mexico for the World Championships in a few weeks, so it has been really good to see where I am at this week. I&rsquo;ll go back home, get some different tricks in my system and get ready to go again.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Teammate Robert Hazelwood finished in a credible seventh place in the men&rsquo;s water ski jump final. Hazelwood struggled with the conditions on the canal and his second-round jump of 55.7m was his best of the day.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I would have liked to have recorded the 55.7m on my first jump, so I could of built on that with my two other jumps,&rdquo; said Hazelwood.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But unfortunately, today wasn&rsquo;t my day and I will use this as experience and a take away some good learnings from my time in Doha. It has given me plenty to build on.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Over at Katara Beach three goals in the space on one minute in the first period ensured Team GB&rsquo;s women&rsquo;s beach soccer team progressed through to the semi-final tomorrow as Group B winners after they beat Russia 4-1 in their final group stage match.<br /> <br /> Goals from Captain Sarah Kempson, Nadine Bazan and Gemma Hillier gave the team a fantastic 3-0 advantage going into the second period.<br /> <br /> However, the Russian&rsquo;s struck early in the second period as they tried to get back into the game, but their efforts were quickly cancelled out when Wendy Martin found the back of the net.<br /> <br /> The third period finished 4-1 as Team GB kept their shape and controlled the game superbly, denying Russia the time and space on the ball and the period ended goalless.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We always knew it was going to be a tough match", said goal scorer Martin. "The team have played Russia quite a few times before and it has always been a close game. But we wanted to keep the momentum going and get another win today, which we did.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Team GB face Brazil in tomorrow&rsquo;s semi-final whilst Russia face Group A winners Spain.<br /> &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t know much about the Brazilian team", added Bazan. "But you cannot underestimate a Brazilian team. They are known for being technically brilliant on the sand.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, it was an early start from Team GB&rsquo;s aquathlon athletes and they tackled the 2.5km, 750m swim and 2.5km aquathlon course at Katara beach at sunrise.<br /> <br /> Hannah Kitchin made it through the first transition and into the swim in the leading group, followed closely by Chloe Pollard. However, it was Pollard, the former open water swimmer, that came into her own in the swim and transitioned out of the water in first place. <br /> <br /> Hot on her heels was eventual winner Francisca Tous of Spain, with Pollard placing in sixth. Sadly, teammate Kitchin struggled in today&rsquo;s conditions and did not finish.<br /> <br /> An ecstatic Pollard said: &ldquo;Today was probably my best ever race. I cut my hair for this race because I knew I didn&rsquo;t want to faff about trying to get my hair into my swimming hat. It was a tactic that paid off as my transition was quicker than others going into the swim leg.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Tactically in the swim I tried not to use my legs and instead I focused on using my arms as much as possible to try and catch up the front group. I was surprised when we got out of the water and I was in the lead, I thought I was had just made it to the front of the second group.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The last lap of the run was hot, and the girls who took me over are 16min 5km runners so to not be too far behind them, I was really pleased with that.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Conditions were tough again on the water for the Bridges as they experienced one of the hottest and lightest wind days they have had in kiteboard racing as both the men and women had six races on the final day of qualification.<br /> <br /> It was a consistent day for 20-year-old Guy Bridge who posted four top six finishes. Frustratingly Guy missed out on second place in the standings by just two points, which would have ensured him an automatic spot in the final, and instead he will compete in the semi-finals on Wednesday.<br /> <br /> Brother Olly Bridge, Vice World Champion, struggled for form and speed in today&rsquo;s races and does not join brother Guy in the semi-finals. Steph Bridge also struggled and didn&rsquo;t get the results she wanted.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> However, Steph secured her spot in tomorrow&rsquo;s women&rsquo;s semi-final where she will have a chance to improve her scores.<br /> <div>&nbsp;</div>Tue, 15 Oct 2019 08:42:43 Zurn:uuid:c2ee808d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 World Beach GamesThree finals secured on day one at the World Beach GamesWakeboarder Luca Kidd and water ski jump athlete Robert Hazelwood secured spots in their respective finals on the first official day of competition at the 2019 World Beach Games in Doha yesterday.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> Following a small mistake in his qualification run, Kidd found himself in the last chance qualifications. With only the top rider making it through from each last chance qualification heat, Kidd kept his nerves at bay and executed all of his tricks to qualify for today's final.<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m pretty stoked to make it through to finals tomorrow,&rdquo; said Kidd. &ldquo;It was a tough heat as I was competing against my boy Patricio (Gonzalez) but I was pumped to keep my head and body composed, land my trick mix and make it through to finals."<br /> <br /> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ulzw8tdFkVM" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe><br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> Unfortunately, due to weather conditions at the Leqtaifiya Lagoon the men&rsquo;s water ski jump competition was cancelled for Hazelwood and a decision was made that all nine athletes would compete in a straight final later today.<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> Whilst too much wind was an issue for the water skiers, the Bridge family had the opposite problem down at Katara beach. Lack of wind meant that competition was reduced to one race for both the men and women.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> The men took to the water first in a light six knot fickle wind. Guy Bridge led the race until the final mark where he allowed&nbsp;Frenchman de Ramecourt into the bottom mark, stealing the victory from him. Brother Olly struggled to find clean air in the dropping late afternoon wind and finished 16th.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Conditions in the women&rsquo;s competition were equally as challenging and unfortunately tactics cost Steph Bridge (Exmouth) a higher place in the field and she finished in 7th.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Meanwhile at Katara beach, Team GB&rsquo;s women&rsquo;s beach soccer team made it two wins from two with a 5-2 victory over the USA.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> Early in the first period Captain Sarah Kempson netted the only score of the period with a free kick that sailed past the American keeper and into the bottom corner.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> With confidence building Team GB applied some pressure on their American opponents and it resulted in Wendy Martin adding her first, and shortly after her second goal of the tournament with some headers from long-range throws courtesy of keeper Hannah Haughton.<br /> <br /> Gemma Hillier also added her name to the score sheet putting one away in the top corner, before the USA managed to pull a goal back and the period finished 4-1.<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> In the third and final period both teams added another goal each to the score sheet and the match finished 5-2.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> The win guaranteed Team GB a spot in the semi-final, along with Russia who also beat Paraguay.<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> &ldquo;Everything went to plan today, we didn&rsquo;t get to play the pretty game we like to play but we knew that it was going to be like that. But it is job done, three points and we are guaranteed our spot in the semi-final with a game in hand,&rdquo; said Katie James.<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> Team GB face Russia tomorrow to determine who tops the standings in their group.<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> &ldquo;We have proved we can battle with some of the fittest players on the sand so it is important we take that into tomorrow&rsquo;s match, but we are expecting a more tactical game from Russia,&rdquo; added James.<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> The final action of the day for Team GB saw their youngest team member Emily Phillips in the women&rsquo;s bouldering competition. <br /> <br /> Phillips managed to get to the top of her first bloc but unfortunately, she struggled with the next three blocs, unable to get past the last move on all three walls. Phillips placed 13th and will not progress to tomorrow&rsquo;s final.<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> Speaking after her event Philips said: &ldquo;The blocs today didn&rsquo;t suit me very well but that is how climbing goes. I need to learn to be better at everything, I have some work to do.<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> &ldquo;I have really enjoyed being part of a multi-sport event. It has been great to meet lots of other athletes from different sports and see how they prepare and train differently to us. I also saw the beach soccer the other day which was super fun to watch. It was really nice to be able to get behind the team. I would love to go to Tokyo or Paris, it is a goal of mine.&rdquo;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> In the men&rsquo;s competition, bouldering specialist Nathan Phillips progressed to tomorrow night&rsquo;s final after he finished joint fifth, whilst teammate Billy Ridal placed 9th missing out on joining him in the finals by a few spots.<br /> <br /> Speaking after the event Riddal said; &ldquo;I really enjoyed the competition this evening, the organisers put on a really good show. I&rsquo;m a bit frustrated as it was almost a really good performance for me. One of the climbs got in my head a bit and it went a little bit wrong for me but overall I am pleased with how I performed.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve taken so much from being around other sports and being part of Team GB. Along with being able to show climbing off to a ton of people who haven&rsquo;t seen it before has been really cool.&rdquo;<br /> <div>&nbsp;</div>Mon, 14 Oct 2019 08:56:06 Zurn:uuid:95e8808d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 SailingOld fashioned approach set McIntyre on course for Tokyo 2020Millennials do their dating online, hence the label generation mute, so when Eilidh McIntyre did that old fashioned thing and picked up the phone you could only imagine her nerves.<br /> <br /> Only her call had a different agenda - and a rejection could have ended her Olympic dream.<br /> <br /> Hannah Mills won sailing silver at London 2012, which she upgraded four years later with partner Saskia Clark in Rio, a regatta played out under the outstretched arms of Christ the Redeemer in sparkling waters teeming with sewage.<br /> <br /> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1R6F1thNe-g" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe> <br /> Clark then announced her retirement and Mills was suddenly all at sea, looking for a new challenge and contemplating whether she had the appetite for the unrelenting grind of another Olympic circle.<br /> <br /> "I made the first move but Hannah really made me chase her for a bit," said McIntyre.<br /> <br /> "I just phoned her up and asked if she'd sail with me in Tokyo and she was really non-committal, it was a bit like asking someone out and being told they'd like to be just be friends.<br /> <br /> "I'd stopped sailing with my old partner, we just were struggling to build a team together and, in my heart, I just felt we were not going to achieve what I wanted.<br /> <br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">This time last week the first members of <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TeamGB</a> were announced...and here is a little look behind the scenes that day<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/britishsailingteam?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#britishsailingteam</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TeamGB?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TeamGB</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/tokyo2020?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#tokyo2020</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/haven?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@haven</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Tokyo2020jp?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Tokyo2020jp</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Tokyo2020?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Tokyo2020</a> <a href="https://t.co/vxjHgrYqGG">pic.twitter.com/vxjHgrYqGG</a></p> &mdash; British Sailing Team (@BritishSailing) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritishSailing/status/1181492547555864576?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 8, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <br /> "I'd hoped Hannah was going to come back for Tokyo and it was always there at the back of my mind.<br /> <br /> "She did tell me I was her best chance of winning gold in Tokyo in the same phone call, so I thought 'that's not a no, then'.<br /> <br /> "We went out sailing together and had a bit of a laugh and it all worked out in the end."<br /> <br /> McIntyre and Mills - who recently claimed their first world title together - were among the first 12 British athletes selected for next year's Tokyo Games, joining forces in sailing's 470 class.<br /> <br /> And McIntyre, 25, doesn't need to look far to fuel her 'Olympic obsession' - it's everywhere, on the water and off it, at work and at home.<br /> <br /> In addition to having Mills for inspiration, her father, Michael, won gold at the 1988 Games in Seoul.<br /> <br /> "I've spent my whole life around an Olympic champion so perhaps that made it easier starting to work with Hannah. I'm fortunate to have an Olympic gold medallist at home and another one at work, not many people can say that," she added.<br /> <br /> "She's obviously one of the best sailors this country has ever produced but she's just Hannah too. Of course I feel the pressure and nervousness of working with her but I can't be in awe. I have to take ownership too, I can't leave all things to her, otherwise we won't achieve our goals.<br /> <br /> "She can't do it without me, I can't be a bystander. I can't take a back seat and think 'she's the Olympic champion', she wants me to challenge her because it's a partnership.<br /> <br /> "It's like a marriage without the love, but there's a bit of love too! We always watch a box set together, we've just made a playlist of our favourite songs. We got out for dinner and take turns to choose the restaurant."<br /> <br /> McIntyre claims she's never worn her dad's medal - perhaps because she's always wanted her own.<br /> <br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">A great day over at <a href="https://twitter.com/haven?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@haven</a> Rockley Park for the unveiling of our first athletes for <a href="https://twitter.com/Tokyo2020?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Tokyo2020</a> <br /> <br /> The <a href="https://twitter.com/BritishSailing?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BritishSailing</a> squad are on the plane to Japan with Team GB - who's next to join them? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tokyo2020?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tokyo2020</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZbSys31dQP">pic.twitter.com/ZbSys31dQP</a></p> &mdash; Team GB (@TeamGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB/status/1179070701896122368?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 1, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <br /> And she certainly won't trot out that trite cliche about this being just another regatta.<br /> <br /> "Since I was five I wanted to go to the Olympics and win gold, that feeling is deep inside me and it's driven everything I've ever done," she added.<br /> <br /> "It's an obsession, perhaps it's been too much of an obsession. For so long from the moment I wake up I've been thinking about it. I'm almost simmering all the time, ready for my moment.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> "I used to put so much pressure on myself to perform that I stopped learning. I just wanted things so much, I was just too competitive, I just wanted to win too much. <br /> <br /> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zcLZ1fAkf4s" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe><br /> <br /> "I was a total nightmare, just too competitive. Even now when I go and do something with friends I have to remind myself 'Eilidh, this is just meant to be fun, it's not about winning'.<br /> <br /> "It's brutal trying to make the Games and win a gold, both emotionally and physically. It's hard work on your body, mind and soul, putting your ego on the line every day is harder than you can ever imagine.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But is it worth it? Absolutely."<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019<br /> <div>&nbsp;</div>Mon, 14 Oct 2019 07:01:52 Zurn:uuid:a0c3808d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Gymnastics ArtisticFraser flies to the top of the worldNew men's parallel bars world champion Joe Fraser admitted it was a dream come true to claim top spot on the final day of competition in Germany.<br /> <br /> The 20-year-old had qualified for the final in third place but produced a stunning routine to score 15.000 and finish ahead of Turkey&rsquo;s Ahmet&nbsp;Onder and Japan&rsquo;s Kazuma Kaya&nbsp;in second and third respectively. <p><br /> It was already a historic day for the Birmingham gymnast who was competing in his first individual apparatus final, and Fraser continued to break records by scooping the top gong, becoming his country&rsquo;s first ever parallel bars world champion.</p> <p>After wowing the Stuttgart crowd with a brilliant execution of the most difficult routine of the eight competitors, Fraser went straight to the top of the ranks with four gymnasts to go.</p> <p>And after enduring a nervous wait for his victory to be confirmed, he was overjoyed to have added to GB&rsquo;s gold medal tally a day after Max Whitlock had triumphed on the pommel horse.<br /> <br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Joe Fraser is the WORLD CHAMPION on parallel bars <br /> <br /> WOW! <a href="https://twitter.com/Joefrasergb?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Joefrasergb</a><br /> top of the world!<br /> <br /> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Stuttgart2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Stuttgart2019</a> <a href="https://t.co/h72huvW3uk">pic.twitter.com/h72huvW3uk</a></p> &mdash; British Gymnastics (@BritGymnastics) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritGymnastics/status/1183365694341238784?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 13, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s doesn&rsquo;t get any better than this,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I had hopes of getting a medal, but gold is crazy.</p> <p>&ldquo;The parallel bars is a really close event and it can go any way. I just wanted to go out there and produce the best routine I could.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;During the routine I was just taking it one step at a time, and after the dismount I knew it was going to be a close one.</p> <p>&ldquo;I was really nervous waiting for the other guys to do their thing, but I&rsquo;ve worked really hard in this event and it&rsquo;s paid off in the biggest way. It&rsquo;s unbelievable to be able to call myself a world champion!&rdquo;</p> <p>Earlier in the day, compatriot Dom Cunningham finished fifth in the men&rsquo;s vault final, recording two scores of 14.566 to end within striking distance of the podium.</p> <p>Cunningham was competing in his second apparatus final of the competition after he finished eighth in the floor final, and the 24-year-old believes he can continue to go from strength to strength.</p> <p>He said: &ldquo;I did half a twist less than I wanted in my first vault, but overall I&rsquo;m happy. I&rsquo;m fifth in the world in amongst an incredible field so I&rsquo;ve got to be over the moon with that.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m super motivated now looking ahead and I know I&rsquo;ve got plenty more to give.&rdquo;</p> <p>GB finish a successful championships with two gold medals, one silver and one bronze, while both the men&rsquo;s and women&rsquo;s teams achieved quota places for next summer&rsquo;s Olympic Games.</p> <p>Sportsbeat 2019</p>Sun, 13 Oct 2019 17:46:40 Zurn:uuid:eab5808d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 BoxingPrice turns silver into gold at World Championships <p>Lauren Price capped off a memorable 2019 Women's World Boxing Championships for GB boxers in Russia after being crowned world champion for the first time.</p> <p>The Welsh wonder was awarded gold on the final day of action after the result of her final against Nouchka Fontijn of the Netherlands was overturned on appeal in Ulan-Ude.</p> <p>It initially looked as though the 25-year-old from Newport would have to settle for silver after she was adjudged to have lost the hard-fought final in a split decision (3-2).</p> <p>But after an appeal was lodged, the 2018 Commonwealth champion was upgraded to the gold medal as GB Boxing finished the Championships with three medals overall.</p> <p>Price had already ensured she would better the bronze medal she achieved at the World Championships in New Delhi a year ago with a comprehensive semi-final victory.</p> <p>The 2018 European bronze medallist was a unanimous 5-0 winner over Khadija Mardi of Morocco in the 75kg middleweight category to confirm she would finish with a silver at the very least.</p> <p>And it appeared she would come away from Russia with silver after the three judges gave the fight to Fontijn (30-27, 30-27 and 29-28), with two scoring it 29-28 to Price.</p> <p>But that result was then sensationally overturned on appeal, giving Price the gold medal as Great Britain matched their best-ever medal tally at a World Championships.</p> <p>GB also won three medals at the 2012 edition in Qinhuangdao, where Savannah Marshall won gold, Nicola Adams claimed silver and Natasha Jonas took the bronze medal.</p> <p>The other Brits to finish on the podium were Kariss Artingstall and Demie-Jade Resztan, who took bronze medals in the featherweight and light-flyweight divisions, respectively.</p> <p>Resztan&rsquo;s competition concluded with a split decision semi-final defeat against home favourite Ekaterina Paltceva for her second major medal of the year after a European silver in August.</p> <p>Meanwhile, fellow Brit and European silver medallist Artingstall also finished with a bronze after an unsuccessful appeal against her semi-final defeat to Nesthy Petecio.</p> Sportsbeat 2019Sun, 13 Oct 2019 13:42:02 Zurn:uuid:5a80808d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Gymnastics ArtisticWhitlock clinches third world title<p>Max Whitlock spearheaded an incredible day at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships as he regained his pommel horse world title while the Downie sisters both secured individual apparatus medals.</p> <p>The Olympic champion clinched his third world crown on the pommel, after wins in 2015 and 2017, a score of 15.500 edging him ahead of Chinese Taipei&rsquo;s Lee Chih-kai and Ireland&rsquo;s Rhys McClenaghan, who scored 15.433 and 15.400. </p> <p>After recovering from a small mistake at the start of his routine, the 26-year-old went on to produce an excellent performance to upgrade his silver from last year&rsquo;s edition of the championships. </p> <p>Despite having success on the world and Olympic stage, Whitlock was stunned at this victory and believes the standard on show in Stuttgart will drive him to further triumphs.<br /> <br /> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/l1hsHFapmfg" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe></p> <p>&ldquo;This time for some reason I&rsquo;m speechless, I feel so emotional,&rdquo; Whitlock said. </p> <p>&ldquo;I can&rsquo;t believe it and what I&rsquo;m really pleased about is that I&rsquo;ve done a clean routine apart from the first bit. </p> <p>&ldquo;I made a small mistake at the beginning which cost me a few tenths so hopefully I can work on that in the future and up it even more. </p> <p>&ldquo;At that time a million things are running through your head but one of the things was I need to make the rest of this routine the best one I&rsquo;ve ever done in my life.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was a really tough final and because I was second up, I had the opportunity to watch because I was finished. </p> <p>&ldquo;The margins are tiny and that&rsquo;s what really calls for more training, aiming for perfection and going and doing it again.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Max Whitlock<br /> Becky Downie<br /> Ellie Downie<br /> WHAT A DAY! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/stuttgart2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#stuttgart2019</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/britishgymnastics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#britishgymnastics</a> <a href="https://t.co/uncFlLBTbn">pic.twitter.com/uncFlLBTbn</a></p> &mdash; British Gymnastics (@BritGymnastics) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritGymnastics/status/1183078955764592641?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 12, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Becky Downie claimed her first medal on the world stage with a scintillating silver on the uneven bars, finishing just behind Belgium&rsquo;s Nina Derwael. </p> <p>The elder of the Downie sisters competed second on the apparatus and had a nervous wait to find out if her score of 15.000 was enough to medal. </p> <p>After undergoing ankle surgery last year, the two-time European champion was amazed she had finally achieved a dream in what could be her last World Championships. </p> <p>&ldquo;It means so much, it&rsquo;s taken so many years and I just can&rsquo;t believe I&rsquo;ve done it,&rdquo; the 27-year-old said. </p> <p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s a routine I&rsquo;ve been working on for so long and I did a medium routine in team finals, so at each competition here I&rsquo;ve upped my game and I&rsquo;m super happy. </p> <p>&ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t know if this was going to be my last worlds, so I&rsquo;ve put my heart and soul into it. I always do but it&rsquo;s not always quite gone my way but to finally have done it, it&rsquo;s amazing.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">WE FREAKIN&rsquo; DID IT <a href="https://t.co/1cw26xpcUz">pic.twitter.com/1cw26xpcUz</a></p> &mdash; Ellie Downie (@elliedownie) <a href="https://twitter.com/elliedownie/status/1183083095232262154?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 12, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Meanwhile younger sister Ellie secured bronze with a score of 14.816 from her two vaults and became the first British woman to ever medal on the apparatus. </p> <p>In the team final, earlier in the week, the 20-year-old could only contribute in certain events as she was worried about an injury, so she was thrilled to bounce back with a world medal. </p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m over the moon! I don&rsquo;t even have words right now,&rdquo; said the younger Downie. </p> <p>&ldquo;I was up first and had to wait for everyone to go and I was just hoping they would go below me. </p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been on a rollercoaster this week with so many ups and downs but to finish like this it&rsquo;s unreal.&rdquo; </p> <p>Elsewhere, the other British representative on the first day of apparatus finals was Dominick Cunningham who finished eighth in the floor final.</p> <p>Sportsbeat 2019<br /> <br /> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QPvpm1S7yD0" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe></p>Sat, 12 Oct 2019 20:04:31 Zurn:uuid:d95e808d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 World Beach GamesGemma Hillier to represent Team GB at the World Beach Games Opening CeremonyBeach soccer's Gemma Hillier has been selected as Team GB's athlete representative for tonight's Opening Ceremony at the inaugural ANOC World Beach Games in Doha, Qatar.<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;<br /> Gosport born Hillier played for Portsmouth for 18 years and was the first female player in the UK to be nominated in a men&rsquo;s hall of fame before falling in love with beach soccer. She is also the only player in the women&rsquo;s beach soccer squad who has played in every single women&rsquo;s beach soccer fixture.<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;<br /> Hillier said: &ldquo;From first kicking a ball in the back garden at the age of six, to representing GB in the women&rsquo;s beach soccer team at the first-ever World Beach Games, it has been an amazing 26 year journey. To now be selected to be the athlete representative for&nbsp; Team GB at the Opening Ceremony is the ultimate honour for me and my sport.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ulzw8tdFkVM" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe><br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> Chef de Mission Caitlin McClatchey said: &ldquo;Gemma embodies what it means to be part of Team GB. She has been a part of the Beach Soccer programme since the beginning and has dedicated her life to her sport. Gemma also scored Team GB&rsquo;s first goal of the World Beach Games, which set the team up for fantastic win against Paraguay. I know Gemma will do the team proud at tonight&rsquo;s Opening Ceremony&rdquo;<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;<br /> Beach Soccer team Leader Perry Northeast said: &ldquo;I&rsquo;m really pleased that Gemma was selected to be the Athlete Representative for Team GB at the Opening Ceremony of the World Beach Games. For the past seven years, Gemma has massively dedicated her life to the sport and this is an amazing way to reward such a committed athlete.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The Opening Ceremony will begin at 5.30 BST (7.30pm local time) at the Katara Cultural Village Amphitheatre, officially marking the start of first ever ANOC&nbsp; World Beach Games.<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;<br />Sat, 12 Oct 2019 09:37:49 Zurn:uuid:a23d808d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 World Beach GamesKeeper Haughton's late winner gives beach soccer side opening day winA late winner from goalkeeper Hannah Haughton clinched an opening game win for Team GB's women's beach soccer team as the inaugural ANOC World Beach Games in Doha, Qatar, got underway today.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Southampton based Haughton struck just two minutes from time in the third and final period to give Team GB a 5-4 victory over Paraguay and an opening group stage win.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> The opening period was scoreless, with both teams struggling to settle into their game. However, Team GB began the second period on front foot, taking an early lead courtesy of an interception and goal from Gemma Hillier.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> Paraguay levelled but the British side took a 3-1 lead into to the first break following goals from captain Sarah Kempson and Molly Clark.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> Clark netted a second to give her side a 4-1 lead before the Paraguayan opponent struck back with three quick strikes, drawing the scores level before Haughton&rsquo;s late heroics fired Team GB to a deserved victory.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <img src="https://d2njx87fm2ttul.cloudfront.net/images/default-source/news-items/team-gb-5-4-paraguay.jpg?sfvrsn=6b81ec92_0" data-displaymode="Original" alt="Team GB 5-4 Paraguay " title="Team GB 5-4 Paraguay" /><br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> Team GB goal scorer Hillier said: &ldquo;Today&rsquo;s match was tough. We knew Paraguay were going to be strong, we knew they were going to work us hard and that it was going to be a physical as well as mental game. We showed that we didn&rsquo;t keep our mental game up for the entire match but in the end we came through to get the win with a great strike from the keeper.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> &ldquo;We can&rsquo;t switch off in our next match, we went three goals up and took our foot off the gas. We need to keep on peppering the goal, keep on scoring and defend as a team.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> &ldquo;It is incredible to score for your country, for Great Britain. It is the best feeling in the world, let alone scoring the first goal of the Championships, I am overwhelmed.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ulzw8tdFkVM" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe><br /> &nbsp;<br /> Captain Kempson added: &ldquo;It was an interesting first game, but that is what beach soccer is all about. Being 4-1 up is where we wanted to be but we took our foot off the gas and that made us grind out today&rsquo;s result.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> &ldquo;Our next match is against the USA and it is a night match, none of the team have experienced a night game before so we are really excited. We know (USA) are going to run us, and we just need to play our game.&rdquo;Fri, 11 Oct 2019 19:29:00 Zurn:uuid:bd33808d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Canoe SlalomTokyo 2020Eat, sleep, canoe, repeat for Franklin<p>Every day she's paddlin' - and Mallory Franklin, it seems, wouldn't have it any other way.</p> <p>The former canoe slalom world champion confesses to being 'a bit shy' but she's certainly ready for the full glare of the Olympics.</p> <p>The 25-year-old admits to being obsessed by her sport, a love affair that started with a day by the River Thomas two decades ago watching her older brother Zak.</p> <p>Team-mate Adam Burgess uses yoga to unwind from the strain of competitive sport while Kimberley Woods previously enjoyed a rough and tumble game of American football, until an injury forced her to find a less dangerous way to decompress.&nbsp;</p> <p>But Franklin thinks 'there's nothing so nice, as messin' about on the river'.</p> <p>"I use canoeing to relax because it's my way of releasing from the pressures of life, it is my off switch from the real world," she said.</p> <p>"I canoe, eat, sleep and probably watch a bit too much TV - but I love what I do, even if that sounds a bit boring.</p> <p>"I love being on the water, the idea of doing something else is a bit scary, I always need to be paddling and I can't imagine ever stopping.</p> <p>"My fianc&eacute; is a canoeist and we've been together since we were 14, canoeing is my life, it's at home and work."<br /> <img src="https://d2njx87fm2ttul.cloudfront.net/images/default-source/news-items/malloryfranklinteamgbnewsstory.jpg?sfvrsn=c48cec92_0" data-displaymode="Original" alt="malloryfranklinteamgbnewsstory" title="malloryfranklinteamgbnewsstory" /></p> <p>The four-time world champion watched the last Games from home despite ending the season ranked world number one in canoe slalom's C1 category.</p> <p>But Tokyo has seen organisers secure gender parity to the programme, with the women's C1 replacing the men's C2, an event in which Britain won gold and silver at London 2012 and silver four years ago in Rio.</p> <p>"As a sport it shows we are pushing at the forefront of gender parity - it's good to see two girls and two boys on the team and that's how it should be," she added.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">The Olympians of 1964 were also joined by the class of 2020 as the five selected canoeists for <a href="https://twitter.com/Tokyo2020?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Tokyo2020</a> were announced. <br /> <br /> The past and the present, united by Tokyo and the Olympic Rings. <a href="https://t.co/f9F30ADhIW">pic.twitter.com/f9F30ADhIW</a></p> &mdash; Team GB (@TeamGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB/status/1182576305147187201?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 11, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Franklin then could be a trailblazer, though don't expect her to embrace the label.</p> <p>She loves the pressure of competition but is certainly more comfortable in the boat than out of it.</p> <p>"I'm confident on the water but probably a bit too shy off it," she admits. "I'm getting more used to the attention but it always seems surreal, sometimes the thought of standing there as Olympic champion terrifies me, being the focus of all the attention.</p> <p>"I didn't used to tell my school a huge amount and I used to consciously not update them, so they didn't embarrass me in assemblies.</p> <p>"I've never been the type of person to walk into a place and say 'look how amazing I am'. It was usually my mum who did all that!<br /> <br /> "I'm a pretty secluded sort of person, I'm not sure I want everyone to know who I am."<br /> <br /> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zcLZ1fAkf4s" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe><br /> <br /> Franklin will be joined in Tokyo by team-mate Woods, who will compete in the K1 class.</p> <p>Both paddlers have been attempting to qualify in both canoe and kayak events, which the former world champion admits has been difficult.</p> <p>"We compete against each other and that's created some friction and it's tough to keep pushing a happy and healthy relationship when there's so much at stake and you are both chasing the same thing," she said.</p> <p>"Now we've both been selected we can compete together rather than against each other and it will be great to have her there for support."</p> <p>Sportsbeat 2019</p>Fri, 11 Oct 2019 15:28:53 Zurn:uuid:bd2a808d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Tokyo 1964Tokyo 1964 Olympians hold reunion on 55th anniversary of the GamesWhile the current crop of Team GB hopefuls prepare for next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo, the last group of British athletes to compete at a Games in the city came together yesterday to mark 55 years on from the Opening Ceremony.<br /> <br /> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PSZZslRDDVY" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe><br /> <br /> Hosted at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in central London, over 30 of the British team which competed 55 years ago reunited to celebrate the landmark and welcome five of the latest members of Team GB in the form of the canoeing team for Tokyo 2020.<br /> <br /> Swimmer&nbsp;Anita Lonsbrough, who won 200m breaststroke gold four years previous at Rome 1960, had the honour of leading the team into the Opening Ceremony in Tokyo.<br /> <br /> Lonsbrough fronted a delegation of 204 athletes, including 160 men and 44 women, who would go on to win 18 medals; four gold, 12 silver and two bronze.<br /> <br /> All four golds came in athletics with&nbsp;Ann Packer (800m), Mary Rand (women's long jump), Lynn Davies (men's long jump) and Ken Matthews (20km walk) all triumphing on the top step of the podium. Britain also won medals across fencing, rowing, weightlifting, swimming, sailing and equestrian.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Fencer Allan Jay, who joined for the reunion event yesterday, carried the flag at the Closing Ceremony as the Games drew to a end, 56 years before British athletes will compete once again for Olympic glory in Tokyo.<br /> <br /> Addressing the group, Sir Hugh Robertson, Chairman of the British Olympic Association said: "I would like to say a huge thank you to all of you &ndash; the team of 1964. You did the country proud then and have done us proud since.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> "As we hope 2020 will be, the 1964 Games was a breakthrough for British women&rsquo;s sport, with Anita Lonsborough the first ever female flag bearer at a Summer Olympics and then gold medal winning role models in Ann Packer and Mary Rand.<br /> <br /> "But what is striking in particular is the togetherness of your team, from organising your own preparation camp at Tinsbury Manor, to extra-ordinary support for each other during the competition, and even being here today.<br /> <br /> "Thank you for all you did then, and have done subsequently, to promote British Olympic sport and the country more generally."<br /> <div>&nbsp;</div> <strong>The full list of Tokyo 1964 athletes in attendance:&nbsp;</strong><br /> Leonard Allen, Wrestling<br /> William Barker, Equestrian<br /> Joy Blanchard, Swimming<br /> John Cadman, Hockey<br /> Rt Hon Menzies Campbell MP, Athletics<br /> Arnold Cooke, Rowing&nbsp;<br /> Michael Corby, Hockey<br /> Stewart Farquharson, Rowing<br /> David Harris, Sailing&nbsp;<br /> Michael Hogan, Athletics&nbsp;<br /> Michael Howard, Fencing<br /> Harry Jackson, Cycling&nbsp;<br /> Peter Jacobs, Fencing<br /> Allan Jay, Fencing<br /> Christopher Langhorne, Hockey<br /> Linda Ludgrove-Lillo, Swimming<br /> Madeleine McGovern, Athletics<br /> Brendon McKeown, Cycling<br /> Neil Nicholson, Swimming<br /> Frances Northcott, Diving<br /> Alan Page, Hockey<br /> Michael Parker, Athletics<br /> Mary Peters CH DBE, Athletics<br /> Peter Radford, Athletics<br /> Michael Ralph, Athletics<br /> Brian Sandy, Cycling<br /> Alan Simpson, Athletics<br /> Alix Stevenson, Athletics<br /> David Stevenson, Athletics<br /> Anthony Sweeney, Judo<br /> Gwenda Ward, Athletics<br /> Peter Warden, Athletics<br /> Mary Anne Watts, Fencing<br /> Terence West, Cycling<br /> John Whetton, Athletics<br /> Jill Whyman, Swimming<br /> <div>&nbsp;</div>Fri, 11 Oct 2019 12:17:43 Zurn:uuid:03847f8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Tokyo 2020Team GB canoeing athletes selected for Tokyo 2020 Olympic GamesRio 2016 gold medallist Liam Heath heads the list of five canoeing athletes named today as officially selected to Team GB for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zcLZ1fAkf4s" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe> <br /> <br /> Heath will compete at his third Olympic Games in Tokyo next year having won sprint bronze in the K2 200m alongside Jon Schofield in London and then silver in Rio before being crowned Olympic champion in the K1 200m three years ago.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> He held the grand slam of canoeing titles in 2017 (Olympic, World and European) and has been unbeaten in the K1 200m since then. The 35-year-old, who hails from Guildford, will be looking to retain his title and cement his place in British history as the most successful canoe sprint athlete of all time.<br /> <br /> Having qualified the maximum Olympic quota places at the World Championships last month, Heath is joined by four canoe slalom athletes, who will all make their Olympic debuts in Japan.<br /> <br /> Mallory Franklin will race in the women&rsquo;s canoe single (C1) class, the first time this event has been included in an Olympic Games, making it a doubly special debut for Franklin. Since taking up this new discipline for women in 2010 she has waited with keen anticipation for an opportunity to compete on the Olympic stage, since getting her first taste of a Games as a spectator at London 2012.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Since then she has made a meteoric rise through the sport, winning a record eight individual international medals in 2018 alone, to become Great Britain&rsquo;s most successful female paddler. World Champion in 2017, this year she won her first senior European crown, followed by World Cup gold on her home course at Lee Valley.<br /> <br /> Kimberley Woods will take the seat in the women&rsquo;s kayak single (K1) to finally realise her Olympic dream, having had her first insight as a member of the Team GB Ambition Programme at Rio 2016. Woods is a World Cup medallist in this event and in 2018, her final year at U23, was a World Championship bronze medallist. She recorded her highest finish at the senior World Championships two weeks ago coming sixth, to claim her 2020 Olympic spot.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> In the men&rsquo;s kayak single (K1), Bradley Forbes-Cryans put down the run of his life at the World Championships last month, to finish just off the podium in fourth place and secure his Tokyo berth, beating some of the world&rsquo;s biggest names in the process.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Forbes-Cryans is a World Cup silver medallist and won silver at the U23 World Championships last year. He started canoeing at CR Cats Canoe Club in Alva, Scotland, and becomes the fourth paddler from the club to represent Team GB, following in the footsteps of double Olympian Fiona Pennie, 2004 Olympic silver medallist Campbell Walsh and, C2 paddler Craig Brown from Atlanta 1996.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Completing the canoe slalom quartet is Adam Burgess in the men&rsquo;s canoe single (C1). Great Britain&rsquo;s first ever C1 U23 World Champion in 2015, Burgess has been growing in stature over the last few years becoming the 2018 European Championships silver medallist and a World Cup silver medallist this year. Introduced to the sport through the Scouts, Burgess also enjoyed his first exposure to Team GB as part of Team GB&rsquo;s Ambition Programme for London 2012.<br /> <br /> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xvNTTVh39Lk" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe><br /> <br /> The five canoeists add to the 12 sailors announced last Tuesday in the first team announcement on the road to Tokyo 2020.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The selected canoeists are:<br /> Liam Heath: Canoe Sprint - Men&rsquo;s Kayak Single (K1) 200m<br /> Mallory Franklin: Canoe Slalom - Women&rsquo;s Canoe Single (C1)<br /> Kimberley Woods: Canoe Slalom - Women&rsquo;s Kayak Single (K1)<br /> Adam Burgess: Canoe Slalom - Men&rsquo;s Canoe Single (C1)<br /> Bradley Forbes-Cryans: Canoe Slalom - Men&rsquo;s Kayak Single (K1)<br /> <br /> For canoe sprint there is a further opportunity to qualify additional Olympic quota places at second round qualification next May.<br /> <br /> Liam Heath, 35, from Guilford, Surrey, said: &ldquo;Being selected to represent Team GB at the Olympics for a third time is such an honour and I feel incredibly lucky to compete once again, against the best of the best and hopefully make everyone proud.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Each Games is so different and special in its own way, I&rsquo;m excited to get to Tokyo to experience what this one will be like - I have no doubt it will be amazing! I just want to thank everyone who has helped me get to this moment, Team GB, British Canoeing, National Lottery players, my coaches, support staff, team mates, volunteers and family. I&rsquo;ve not got here on my own and I hope everyone will share in this incredible moment with me.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Mallory Franklin, 25, from Windsor, Berkshire, now living in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, said: &ldquo;It is amazing to be going to my first Games, although it hasn't fully sunk in yet, but I am sure it will and I will get really excited. I am really looking forward to heading out to Japan soon and getting used to the culture and the course.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Mark England, Team GB&rsquo;s Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, said: &ldquo;The canoeing selections for Team GB bring a mix of Olympic pedigree and exciting new talent. Liam Heath is current World and Olympic Champion and being unbeaten for two years in his canoe sprint event tells you all you need to know about his calibre. The four canoe slalom athletes have shown their capabilities to make it to these Games and with the new C1 discipline, which we will compete in, there is much to look forward to for the sport at Tokyo 2020.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Paul Ratcliffe, Team GB Canoeing Team Leader and British Canoeing Performance Director, said: &ldquo;We are delighted to be announcing the first canoeing members of Team GB today. We have gone through a very tough selection process over the last six months and we have now selected a strong team capable of delivering on the Olympic stage and contributing to the overall success of Team GB.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &ldquo;The vast international experience of Liam Heath in canoe sprint is complemented by our exciting young team of four debutants in canoe slalom, who have all shown the drive and talent under extreme pressure to secure their places on the team. We look forward to their early selection enabling us to accelerate our individual athlete performance plans for the important year ahead and for slalom, to take maximum advantage of training out in Tokyo on the Olympic course, something which has paid dividends at the last two Games.&rdquo;<br /> <div>&nbsp;</div>Thu, 10 Oct 2019 10:00:00 Zurn:uuid:d8fc7e8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Gymnastics ArtisticWhitlock on form as men's team book Tokyo place<p>Team GB have another Olympic place after the men's gymnastics team qualified for Tokyo with an emphatic performance at the World Championships.</p> <p>Max Whitlock, Dom Cunningham, James Hall, Joe Fraser and Giarnni Regini-Moran were fifth overall after two sub-divisions and, with only three more teams to go, were assured of a top-12 finish.</p> <p>The men&rsquo;s team joins the women&rsquo;s team in qualifying a spot at Tokyo 2020, after they delivered on Saturday while also qualifying for the World Championship final.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">That was a brilliant performance by our men&rsquo;s team!<br /> <br /> There&rsquo;s 1 subdivision left, but with only 3 teams competing in it, it&rsquo;s a guaranteed team final as we&rsquo;re currently placed 5th! <br /> <br /> Incredible job by the team <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Stuttgart2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Stuttgart2019</a> <a href="https://t.co/ARyKAUWeIi">pic.twitter.com/ARyKAUWeIi</a></p> &mdash; British Gymnastics (@BritGymnastics) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritGymnastics/status/1181257872119914496?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">7 October 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;There was a lot of pressure, and I think I felt that by the reaction of the boys after,&rdquo; said Whitlock afterwards, </p> <p>&ldquo;I said before coming in that this isn&rsquo;t just a World Championships. This is the Olympic qualification process. </p> <p>&ldquo;Everyone knows that in the back of their mind, but no one really talks about it too much, because that&rsquo;s a lot of pressure to put on a team&rsquo;s shoulders. </p> <p>&ldquo;Going out there, performing, and achieving that goal; we&rsquo;ve got a four-man team going to Tokyo next year!&rdquo;</p> <p>The 26-year-old was unsurprisingly the leader of the pack and his pommel horse of 15.266 was the highest of anyone in the first two groups.<br /> <br /> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/l1hsHFapmfg" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe></p> <p>The double Olympic champion looks set for a place in the pommel horse final, while Fraser was sitting pretty in the all-round and parallel bars standings.</p> <p>The women&rsquo;s team final on Tuesday is the first medal opportunity for Great Britain, with the men&rsquo;s final on Wednesday.</p> <p>Sportsbeat 2019</p>Mon, 07 Oct 2019 19:06:59 Zurn:uuid:4baa7e8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 AthleticsGB miss out on bronze to close World Championships<p>Great Britain came within an appeal of delivering a medal-winning finale to the Athletics World Championships in Doha as the women&rsquo;s 4x400m relay team claimed bronze.</p> <p>The quartet of Zoey Clark, Jodie Williams, Emily Diamond and Laviai Nielsen ran a season&rsquo;s best time of 3:23.02 to finish fourth, with Jamaica at first disqualified before being re-instated by a review.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>But Diamond believes that the team can hold their heads high after a stirring race that saw them exceed even their own expectations.&nbsp;</p> <p>"We ran our socks off, every single one of us. We wanted that medal so, so badly,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p>"That's the fastest we've run in many years, it surpasses the Olympics, and I think we can be proud of ourselves."</p> <p>In the 1500m, a strong showing from Jake Wightman and Josh Kerr saw them unlucky to leave empty-handed as they finished fifth and sixth respectively.</p> <p>Wightman ran a personal best 3:31.87 as he ran Marcin Lewandowski of Poland close in the sprint for bronze in a race that saw Neil Gourley come home in 11<sup>th</sup>.</p> <p>Abigail Irozuru was seventh in the long jump, a best jump of 6.64m leaving her 27cm off a medal, while Shara Proctor finished 11<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;in the competition.</p> <p>Elsewhere, Cindy Ofili was unable to progress through her 100m hurdles heat, while the men&rsquo;s 4x400m relay team saw their baton go down at the first changeover, on a night when thoughts instead turned to a World Championships that yielded Great Britain and Northern Ireland six medals, two of them gold.</p>Sun, 06 Oct 2019 19:40:38 Zurn:uuid:3c627e8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Gymnastics ArtisticWomen's gymnastics squad seal Olympic qualificationBecky Downie admits the pressure was on but was impressed by how the British women's team held their nerve to seal Olympic qualification at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships. <p>Booking a place at Tokyo 2020 was the aim heading into this week in Stuttgart &ndash; with the top nine teams not already qualified earning that right.</p> <p>The British sextet finished seventh in qualifying to make the grade, which meant they qualified for the team final at the Worlds on Tuesday in addition to ensuring Team GB will compete in the women&rsquo;s team event in Japan next summer.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Our women's team are now guaranteed a top 12 finish, which secures us a team place at the Olympic Games.<br /> <br /> Great job team <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tokyo2020?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tokyo2020</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Stuttgart2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Stuttgart2019</a> <a href="https://t.co/XarDu07lyq">pic.twitter.com/XarDu07lyq</a></p> &mdash; British Gymnastics (@BritGymnastics) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritGymnastics/status/1180477633877958656?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 5, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>In addition to the team final in Germany, Downie will also contest the uneven bars final after coming fifth in qualifying, her sister Ellie will go in the vault after coming fourth and Alice Kinsella&rsquo;s 15<sup>th</sup> place in the all-around earns her a spot in that final.</p> <p>But reaching the Olympics was the number one goal and the British team could congratulate themselves on a job well done.<br /> <br /> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1PcbCChlLZ4" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe></p> <p>Becky Downie said: &ldquo;There was definitely a lot of pressure coming in to this Worlds, especially because of the Olympic qualification.</p> <p>&ldquo;With last year just missing team final, we knew we needed to go out there, do what we trained, and we&rsquo;d be fine. </p> <p>&ldquo;My bars in training has been really good and I feel very happy and comfortable with this routine &ndash; probably the most I ever have.<br /> <br /> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QPvpm1S7yD0" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe></p> <p>&ldquo;With that in the back of my mind, I just needed to go out, do a normal routine, and I knew I&rsquo;d be fine.</p> <p>&ldquo;It wasn&rsquo;t easy to come out and do what we&rsquo;ve done, and it wasn&rsquo;t perfect, but everyone can be really proud that we gave it our all.&rdquo;</p>Sat, 05 Oct 2019 21:07:28 Zurn:uuid:c75e7e8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 AthleticsDouble silver for sprint relays in Doha<p>Dina Asher-Smith claimed her third medal at the World Championships, as she took silver in the women's 4x100m on the penultimate day in Doha.</p> <p>Asher-Smith, Asha Philip, Ashleigh Nelson and Daryll Neita produced a season&rsquo;s best time of 41.85s, just 0.08 seconds outside of the British record, to clinch 4x100m silver behind Jamaica, while the USA completed the podium. </p> <p>Imani-Lara Lansiquot was due to run in the final but had to pull out with an injury during the warm up and, despite a last-minute change, Asher-Smith believed it was a demonstration of the understanding between the team. </p> <p>&ldquo;I think we all handled the pressure between us which is testimony to how much experience we have got as a squad,&rdquo; Asher-Smith said. </p> <p>&ldquo;We almost ran a PB without practicing any of the changes in the warm-up area. It's been a good champs but obviously it's a team event.&rdquo;<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"> It's SILVER! <br /> <br /> A great run from the women's 4x100m quartet of <a href="https://twitter.com/MissAshaPhilip?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MissAshaPhilip</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/dinaashersmith?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@dinaashersmith</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/ashleighnelson?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ashleighnelson</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/daryllneita?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@daryllneita</a> sees them finish in second place <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldAthleticsChamps?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldAthleticsChamps</a> <a href="https://t.co/o7G3W7oOOO">pic.twitter.com/o7G3W7oOOO</a></p> &mdash; Team GB (@TeamGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB/status/1180561518355726338?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 5, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Nelson, who was particularly proud of the achievement, added: &ldquo;Yesterday I was laughing and today I'm crying because it&rsquo;s my first time running real in a champs since 2014, it means a lot to me, my coach and my family.&rdquo;</p> <p>Defending champions in the men&rsquo;s 4x100m, Adam Gemili, Zharnel Hughes, Richard Kilty and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake gave a good defence of their title but were beaten to the line by the USA. </p> <p>The quartet produced a British and European record time of 37.36 seconds to claim the silver medal while Japan rounded out the top three. </p> <p>Hughes injured himself during the final while running the second leg but carried on and was delighted to help the squad win a medal. </p> <p>&ldquo;Tonight I came out here and gave it my very best regardless. I think I strained my hamstring maybe,&rdquo; Hughes said. </p> <p>&ldquo;I pulled it just before I handed over the baton but I knew I had to give it to Richard regardless because I wanted the guys to get a medal. </p> <p>&ldquo;I did my best and the guys came away with a medal. I'm happy, we're going back home with something around our neck.&rdquo;<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"> SILVER for our 4 x 100m men<br /> <br /> Our quartet of <a href="https://twitter.com/Adam_Gemili?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Adam_Gemili</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/zharnel_hughes?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@zharnel_hughes</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/rkilty?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RKilty</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/NethaneelMB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NethaneelMB</a> secure the silver medal with a fantastic second in 37.36 in the final of the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldAthleticsChamps?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldAthleticsChamps</a>.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/REPRESENT?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#REPRESENT</a> <a href="https://t.co/3kkOATbd79">pic.twitter.com/3kkOATbd79</a></p> &mdash; British Athletics (@BritAthletics) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritAthletics/status/1180563547551612928?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 5, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Anchor leg runner Mitchell-Blake trusts this silver medal will spur the squad to perform better in Tokyo. </p> <p>"Phenomenal effort by the guys,&rdquo; Mitchell-Blake added. &ldquo;I'm proud of the boys. It gives us fuel for the fire for next year. Let's enjoy the moment right now though."</p> <p>Laura Muir missed out on the podium in the 1500m, fading in the last 100m to fifth &ndash; although she did secure a season&rsquo;s best time of 3:55.76.</p> <p>However, after missing a few months on the season with a calf injury, the European Champion was amazed at her performance, which bodes well for 2020.&nbsp; </p> <p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know what to say, I was fifth in 3:55,&rdquo; Muir said. &ldquo;I just tried to cover the moves the as best I can. I think I lost a gear in the last 100 but to run 3:55 when I have missed so much training, I am just speechless but I am so proud of myself.</p> <p>&ldquo;I clocked it at 800m that it was fast, I expected people to die a bit but they must have kept the pace fast or faster.</p> <p>&ldquo;I could not have asked more of myself to do that. If I can run that sort of time off the minor training I&rsquo;ve done, if I&rsquo;m 100% fit, I can be confident going into next year.&rdquo;</p> Sportsbeat 2019&nbsp;Sat, 05 Oct 2019 20:38:54 Zurn:uuid:e9c07d8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 AthleticsJohnson-Thompson triumphs with heptathlon gold<p>Katarina Johnson-Thompson is hungry for more success after winning gold in the heptathlon at the World Athletics Championships in Doha.</p> <p>After two days of competition, Johnson-Thompson claimed her first global title and alongside Dina Asher-Smith&rsquo;s gold, it is the first time in 36 years that Great Britain have had two female gold medallists at the same championships. </p> <p>The 26-year-old completed a dominant final day where she recorded a new British record points total of 6,981 beating Jessica Ennis-Hill&rsquo;s previous mark of 6,955. </p> <p>Johnson-Thompson started off the day with 6.77m in the long jump, threw a personal best of 43.93m in the javelin and ran 2:07.26 for another lifetime best in the 800m.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">✨ She stormed to heptathlon victory with a new British record of 6981 points <br /> <br /> A stunning second day from <a href="https://twitter.com/JohnsonThompson?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JohnsonThompson</a> sealed her first world title with the biggest margin of victory in 32 years <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldAthleticsChamps?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldAthleticsChamps</a> <a href="https://t.co/bSujB1pkDG">pic.twitter.com/bSujB1pkDG</a></p> &mdash; Team GB (@TeamGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB/status/1179876059950518272?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 3, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>The Brit finished 304 points clear of Belgium&rsquo;s Nafissatou Thiam &ndash; the biggest winning margin in the heptathlon at the world championships in 32 years. </p> <p>At the 2015 edition, Johnson-Thompson fouled three times in the long jump while at London in 2017, it was the high jump where she became unstuck, but the Brit believes those moments have made this victory sweeter. </p> <p>&ldquo;These whole two days have been so fast and because it has been at night, it&rsquo;s actually felt like a dream,&rdquo; Johnson-Thompson said. </p> <p>&ldquo;Doing it under the lights and everything was unbelievable. I can&rsquo;t believe this is the result. I have had so many attempts at this result so to perform on this stage makes me so happy. &nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I couldn&rsquo;t have done without those previous championship experiences; I&rsquo;m sure it would have been sweet in 2015 but here we are. </p> <p>&ldquo;The low moments have helped me come back and make the move [to Montpellier] and try and look inward on myself.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">ICYMI... <br /> <br /> Britain has another new heptathlon world champion! <br /> <br /> Katarina Johnson-Thompson <br /> <br /> More: <a href="https://t.co/E47Telw9cv">https://t.co/E47Telw9cv</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bbcathletics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#bbcathletics</a> <a href="https://t.co/30KWMquQgc">pic.twitter.com/30KWMquQgc</a></p> &mdash; BBC Sport (@BBCSport) <a href="https://twitter.com/BBCSport/status/1179881052749402113?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 3, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;This has been my dream. 7000 points is one of my main career goals. On the score calculator, I&rsquo;ve been working out all sorts of combinations throughout my entire life. </p> <p>&ldquo;But the last couple of years I have chilled with the predictions and I have just tried to compete, perform and beat myself. I&rsquo;ve found a formula that works but I just want more!&rdquo;</p> <p>Elsewhere Laura Muir sailed through to the 1500m final after finishing third in her semi-final, while Sarah McDonald just missed out on a place. </p> <p>Sophie McKinna, who threw a personal best of 18.61m to qualify, ended the shot put final in 11<sup>th</sup> place, while a trio of British men are through to their 1500m semi-finals as Jake Wightman, Josh Kerr and Neil Gourley all booked their places in the next round. </p> <p>Sportsbeat 2019</p>Thu, 03 Oct 2019 22:43:33 Zurn:uuid:29a57d8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Gymnastics ArtisticWhitlock focusing on bigger picture ahead of World ChampionshipsWith great success, comes even greater expectation - just ask Max Whitlock. A five-time Olympic medallist and multiple world champion, the 26-year-old pommel horse star has become accustomed to being the favourite every time he dons his spandex.<br /> <br /> But reaching the pinnacle of his sport has also proven to be a double edged sword at times, bringing with it the burden of heightened expectation and increased media scrutiny.<br /> <br /> World and Commonwealth silver medals last year were written off as failures while he missed out on the podium entirely on the pommel horse at the 2018 European Championships.<br /> <br /> On the eve of his latest bid for World Championship glory, however, Whitlock insists he always remained steadfast in his belief that it was all part of his bigger plan for global domination.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Being completely honest, for me 2018 was good but obviously it&rsquo;s wasn&rsquo;t as good as it could have been. In the media you will see that I failed last year as I got silvers not golds,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s quite tough as an athlete to deal with that as if you told me ten years ago that I would get a silver medal at the worlds then I would have taken it, I would have been happy.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I do see that as a massive compliment as people want you to retain your titles and that&rsquo;s what I want to do at every competition, I can&rsquo;t control any other factors apart from my routine.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think off the back of 2018 it was difficult as I always go into a competition wanting to win, but I was constantly trying to get the message across that I am looking at the bigger picture.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I know I made mistakes last year, I&rsquo;m not saying that I wanted to, but I made mistakes in 2014 - two years after London - and what I was trying to do is mirror what I did from London to Rio.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Whitlock was already a double bronze medallist at London 2012 and the reigning world champion before his heroic exploits at Rio 2016 vaulted him into the gymnastics stratosphere.<br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">First session done out here in Germany <a href="https://t.co/FnFVO4nYOA">pic.twitter.com/FnFVO4nYOA</a></p> &mdash; Max Whitlock MBE (@maxwhitlock1) <a href="https://twitter.com/maxwhitlock1/status/1178718078928146432?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 30, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <br /> Gold medals in the pommel horse and floor in Brazil, along with another bronze in the all-round, saw him become one of the faces of the Games - as well as putting a target on his back.<br /> <br /> But after missing out on the top step in 2018, Whitlock appears to be peaking at just the right time and he regained his European pommel horse title in style earlier this year in Szczecin.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I really felt at the beginning of the year at the Europeans that I had something to prove with what I was saying and that&rsquo;s why coming back with the gold on the pommel was a huge relief,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The expectation has come since Rio and it is really hard. I try and take the pressure off myself as much as I possibly can but there&rsquo;s no doubt the pressure has ramped up.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The pressure was there after 2012 but after getting gold at Rio it went up a huge amount and every championships that I&rsquo;ve done since then there has been increased pressure.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I do feel there is a responsibility to produce every time but as an athlete you&rsquo;ll never be able to do that, you&rsquo;ll never be able to produce every single competition every single time.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;My mission is to do it as much as I can, that&rsquo;s why I prepare the way I do. I work as hard as I possibly can to be the best I can be on that day and there&rsquo;s nothing more I can do.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> And with his European crown back in his possession, Whitlock is now focused on reclaiming the world title he lost in Doha last year as he looks to lay down a marker ahead of Tokyo 2020.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This isn&rsquo;t just about the Worlds, this is an even bigger one as it&rsquo;s also Olympic qualification, so it&rsquo;s an important one, this is where we can qualify a four-man team for Tokyo,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;That is a huge priority and the first competition day, the qualification event, is where we need to do that so we need to be ready for that and that&rsquo;s what it&rsquo;s all geared towards.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I try not to think about medals too much, but it is difficult as I wouldn&rsquo;t be where I am now if I wasn&rsquo;t ambitious and of course any athlete wants to come away with the title.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I do try and put that to the back of my mind as much as I can. It&rsquo;s not easy as I set high standards for myself, and it&rsquo;s a huge motivation for me to retain the titles &ndash; there&rsquo;s no doubt about that.&rdquo;<br /> <div>&nbsp;<br /> Sportsbeat 2019</div>Thu, 03 Oct 2019 14:24:50 Zurn:uuid:de627d8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 AthleticsAsher-Smith makes history with world goldDina Asher-Smith's dream became a reality as she made history by winning the women's 200m at the World Athletics Championship in Doha. <p>Asher-Smith became the first British woman to win an individual world sprint title and just the seventh British female &ndash; after Fatima Whitbread, Liz McColgan, Sally Gunnell, Paula Radcliffe, Christine Ohuruogu and Jessica Ennis-Hill &ndash; to win an individual world gold of any description.</p> <p>The 23-year-old was simply imperious, flying out of the blocks and running away from the field to clock a time of 21.88s &ndash; a personal best, a new British record and a full 0.34s ahead of USA&rsquo;s Brittany Brown in second.</p> <p>Asher-Smith has announced herself as a bona-fide global athletics superstar at these championships, this gold medal adding to her scintillating silver in the 100m which she also earned with a new British record. &nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">⚡ She blew the rest of the field away with a new British record time of 21.88s ❤️<br /> <br /> Simply scintillating from <a href="https://twitter.com/dinaashersmith?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@dinaashersmith</a> and she becomes just the 7th British woman to win an individual world title<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldAthleticsChamps?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldAthleticsChamps</a> <a href="https://t.co/4pjj5lPnjg">pic.twitter.com/4pjj5lPnjg</a></p> &mdash; Team GB (@TeamGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB/status/1179483707557732353?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 2, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>The normally loquacious Brit was visibly emotional as the magnitude of her achievement sunk in but unsurprisingly ecstatic about turning her favourite&rsquo;s tag into gold and laying down an early Olympic marker.</p> <p>"I don't know what to say, I don't think it's properly sunk in,&rdquo; said Asher-Smith after the race. &ldquo;John [coach John Blackie] and I knew I could do it but it&rsquo;s a different thing actually going and doing it &ndash; it means so much.</p> <p>"I woke up today thinking 'this is it. This is the moment you did all your work for'. The tiredness disappeared.</p> <p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s so many British fans here &ndash; all the support means so much. For my mum, my dad and his wife to be here, it means so much.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s one thing everyone saying you&rsquo;re the favourite but it&rsquo;s a different thing going and doing it. I'm lost for words. I dreamt of this and now it's real.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m going to enjoy this one and use it as motivation going into the big one [Olympic Games in Tokyo] next year.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">This is how Dina Asher-Smith made history for Britain... <br /> <br /> 200m GOLD <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bbcathletics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#bbcathletics</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldAthleticsChampionships?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldAthleticsChampionships</a> <a href="https://t.co/9uPprslOge">pic.twitter.com/9uPprslOge</a></p> &mdash; BBC Sport (@BBCSport) <a href="https://twitter.com/BBCSport/status/1179483180321120257?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 2, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Elsewhere, Katarina Johnson-Thompson put herself in pole position to join Asher-Smith as a gold medallist after a brilliant day one in the heptathlon.</p> <p>The Brit set personal bests in both the opening 100m hurdles (13.09s) and one of her weaker disciplines, the shot put (13.86m), while a solid performance in the high jump (1.95m) and season&rsquo;s best time of 23.08s in the 200m left her on 4,138 points.<br /> <img src="https://d2njx87fm2ttul.cloudfront.net/images/default-source/news-items/katarinajohnson-thompsonworldssb630.jpg?sfvrsn=49de1192_0" data-displaymode="Original" alt="Katarina Johnson-Thompson" title="KatarinaJohnson-ThompsonWorldsSB630" /></p> <p>That is 96 points clear of her biggest rival Nafissatou Thiam &ndash; the Belgian currently lying second &ndash; and puts her in a strong position ahead of Thursday&rsquo;s long jump, javelin and 800m.</p> <p>&ldquo;The hurdles performance was a long time coming,&rdquo; said Johnson-Thompson. &ldquo;I've been stuck on 13.3 (seconds) for so many years and I did not expect in a million years to run 13.09, so I was happy with how I started. </p> <p>&ldquo;In the shot put, I was happy to be able to dig deep within myself and get a PB by 70cm, which is insane.</p> <p>"To end the day on top is really important. I've still got three events to negotiate but to be in first place after a not great 200m, I'm happy to be on top."</p> <p>Earlier in the session, Laura Muir and Sarah McDonald safely made it through the women&rsquo;s 1500m heats, while Eilish McColgan and Laura Weightman did likewise over 5000m.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Sophie McKinna produced a brilliant personal best of 18.61m in the women&rsquo;s shot put to qualify automatically for the Thursday&rsquo;s final and was understandably ecstatic.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">PB ✅ <br /> Olympic qualification ✅<br /> World final ✅<br /> Best throw in 20+ years by a Brit ✅<br /> <br /> 18.61m what a night, the best of my life. Bring on the final tomorrow 20:35 GMT <a href="https://t.co/DBjT7pvzRr">pic.twitter.com/DBjT7pvzRr</a></p> &mdash; Sophie Mckinna (@sophiemac10) <a href="https://twitter.com/sophiemac10/status/1179454489574678528?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 2, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;I'm never speechless but I am speechless now,&rdquo; said McKinna. &ldquo;I'm over the moon.</p> <p>&ldquo;As a thrower, you generally know when you let go of it if it's a good throw but I didn't expect that!</p> <p>&ldquo;To get into a final and perform to the best of my ability at a World Championships, it means the world.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019</p>Wed, 02 Oct 2019 20:50:49 Zurn:uuid:db147d8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 AthleticsGemili down but not out after 200m fourth<p>Adam Gemili vowed to come back even stronger after he narrowly missed out on a medal in the 200m at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, with Tokyo already on his mind. </p> <p>The Brit led a stacked field after the bend having leapt out of the blocks, before being agonisingly reeled in at the last by champion Noah Lyles, Andre De Grasse and Alex Quinonez to finish fourth in 20.03s.</p> <p>And, visibly downcast in his post-race interview, the 25-year-old &ndash; who also finished fourth in Rio &ndash; nevertheless composed himself to make a bold statement. </p> <p>&ldquo;I have to take the positives, I guess,&rdquo; he said. &nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;From being written off, labelled a relay runner. It just shows that you need that tight-knit of people around you to believe in you and you can achieve whatever you want to achieve. </p> <p>&ldquo;For me, that hasn&rsquo;t happened today, but it has re-lit something inside me and with Tokyo next year &ndash; it&rsquo;s winnable.&rdquo;</p> <p>Dina Asher-Smith underlined her status as the favourite for gold in the women&rsquo;s 200m as she blitzed the field to cruise through her semi-final in 22.16s.</p> <p>The fastest time across all three semis, the 23-year-old will enter Wednesday&rsquo;s showpiece looking to go one better than her silver in the 100m. </p> <p>She will be the lone British presence in the final, however, after both Jodie Williams and Beth Dobbin missed out.</p> <p>Elsewhere, neither Laviai Nielsen, nor Emily Diamond &ndash; who ran a season&rsquo;s best time on the night &ndash; could make it through their 400m semi-finals. </p> <p>Earlier, the afternoon session proved to be a profitable one for the competing British contingent, with no less than four athletes making it through their respective heats. </p> <p>There was double delight in the women&rsquo;s 400m hurdles as both Meghan Beesley and Jessica Turner &ndash; who notched a new pb in the process &ndash; marched onto the semi-finals. </p> <p>Rabah Yousif likewise eased his way through to the semis in the men&rsquo;s 400m heats, although there was a painful departure for Matthew Hudson-Smith as he was unable to complete his race, pulling up early with an injury. </p> <p>In the men&rsquo;s hammer, Nick Miller progressed through to Wednesday&rsquo;s final, but Zak Seddon missed out in the 3000m steeplechase after finishing seventh in his heat.</p>Tue, 01 Oct 2019 20:09:53 Zurn:uuid:78f97c8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 SailingMills' thirst for success drives her on towards TokyoWhether she's on the catwalk or the catamaran, best is never enough for Hannah Mills. And you only need to look at her blog to realise why.<br /> <p>When Mills posted to announce she&rsquo;d defend her 470 Olympic title at Tokyo 2020, the sailor broke down her life under five headings.</p> <p>She described her &lsquo;current motivation&rsquo; as &lsquo;sky high.&rsquo; Her &lsquo;current fitness level&rsquo; showed &lsquo;room for improvement.&rsquo;</p> <p>Her &lsquo;current health and nutrition level&rsquo; was described as an &lsquo;ongoing process.&rsquo; The 31-year-old&rsquo;s self-analysis is surgical, wrestling, turning over mind and matter in aching combination.</p> <p>This is Mills in a nutshell. She&rsquo;ll never be satisfied.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s why she&rsquo;s an Olympic gold medallist, a plastic pollution campaigner and a champion of sustainable fashion, and still feels anxious to get started.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve definitely felt like I&rsquo;ve taken too much on recently,&rdquo; said the 31-year-old.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Introducing... our first selected athletes for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games! ⛵️<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tokyo2020?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tokyo2020</a> <a href="https://t.co/3GjY0UzJYt">pic.twitter.com/3GjY0UzJYt</a></p> &mdash; Team GB (@TeamGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB/status/1178957725780365317?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 1, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m at an early stage with campaigning so it&rsquo;s mostly just me, battling through on my own. I&rsquo;m trying to make sure I respond well to people and put in a framework to make it cohesive.<br /> </p> <p>&ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t sleep the night before Big Plastic Pledge launched. My mind was all over the place and I couldn&rsquo;t switch off. I&rsquo;ve taken on so much, I want it do well and make a change.</p> <p>&ldquo;The environment and plastic pollution is an overwhelming problem. It&rsquo;s been a juggling act, but I&rsquo;ve loved it.&rdquo;</p> <p>Mills tweeted &lsquo;#exhausted&rsquo; to sum up a week in which she&rsquo;d modelled at London Fashion Week and appeared as a delegate at the United Nations Youth Climate Summit.</p> <p>All this, remember, a month after winning World Championship gold and then silver at an Olympic Test event in Tokyo alongside Eilidh McIntyre.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve always juggled things,&rdquo; she insisted.</p> <p>&ldquo;School was super important to me, and I was competitive in everything. The aim was to be top of every class to be honest. I&rsquo;d always taken on as much as I could. I&rsquo;m used to it.&rdquo;</p> <p>The Welsh star&rsquo;s first focus was tennis and her fourth birthday present was a lesson. When visiting Buckingham Palace to receive an MBE, her highlight was meeting Sue Barker.</p> <p>Sailing took hold on holiday in St Agnes, Cornwall. Told she couldn&rsquo;t join her elder brothers on the water, an outraged Mills was placated with an hour&rsquo;s session and instantly fell in love. </p> <p>Born in Cardiff, Mills crammed her GCSE mock exams into a week to allow her to compete in the Optimist World Championships as a 15-year-old. She finished fifth and aced the tests.</p> <p>Alan Williams was a guiding light as coach at Plas Menai, where Mills learnt her trade. Few teenagers can be described as an &lsquo;enigma&rsquo;, but that&rsquo;s the only word he could find for her.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Today we start to build the team for the Olympic Games next summer. <br /> <br /> Here's to making more memories like these...<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tokyo2020?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tokyo2020</a> <a href="https://t.co/p9ruWYH4JJ">pic.twitter.com/p9ruWYH4JJ</a></p> &mdash; Team GB (@TeamGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB/status/1178927842966622210?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 1, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Mills doesn&rsquo;t waste much time trying to unpick the various threads that run through her life.<br /> </p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve never thought about life in terms of challenges and obstacles,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p>&ldquo;I see things in black and white, and that came from childhood. When you&rsquo;re young you don&rsquo;t worry &ndash; I was trying to beat everyone from day one and I thought it was possible.</p> <p>&ldquo;I haven&rsquo;t a clue where my single-mindedness comes from. My dad is quite stubborn. Being the youngest sibling with two brothers, you&rsquo;ve got to stick up for yourself.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve always been competitive and believed in myself. But gosh, I can&rsquo;t tell you where that comes from.&rdquo;</p> <p>Mills has recently launched Big Plastic Pledge in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), motivated to act having seen the extent of plastic pollution in the oceans when competing in 2016.</p> <p>She also strutted on the catwalk at a major London Fashion Week show for sustainable fashion house VIN + OMI, who worked with Prince Charles on a recent collection.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">&lsquo;Leave no trace,&rsquo; &mdash; Olympic sailor <a href="https://twitter.com/hannahmills1988?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@hannahmills1988</a> is challenging all athletes and sports orgs to cut out single-use plastics. Stay tuned for more of our climate week coverage <a href="https://t.co/r3EKoGiQe3">pic.twitter.com/r3EKoGiQe3</a></p> &mdash; NowThis (@nowthisnews) <a href="https://twitter.com/nowthisnews/status/1176664363232460802?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 25, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Seniority comes naturally to Mills, but she believes thought leadership is second nature to athletes and that sport has a power to unite that transcends politics.<br /> </p> <p>&ldquo;All athletes are very driven and most of us are leaders anyway,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p>&ldquo;We are leading campaigns and our teams, so it comes naturally to want to be prominent and believe your voice matters.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s just a change of direction in what you&rsquo;re trying to lead and trying to excel in.</p> <p>&ldquo;You can&rsquo;t look anywhere without seeing plastic when you&rsquo;re sailing and it kind of drove me mad. When you think about it, it&rsquo;s ridiculous.</p> <p>&ldquo;Sport reaches literally every corner of the globe. Half of the world&rsquo;s population watched some part of Rio 2016, which is pretty amazing.</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve seen sport unites countries and races and religions, everyone, through sheer emotion to people wanting to get behind teams and individuals.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think that it&rsquo;s such a unique power, and we can push that spirit into solving some of the biggest problems we face in the world.&rdquo;</p> <p>The waters that greet Mills and McIntyre in Enoshima next year will be choppy, with the high winds expected to suit the pair as they challenge Japan and France for top step.</p> <p>A month&rsquo;s sailing in Japan this summer have assuaged fears that unfamiliarity with conditions will hurt their chances of retaining the crown Mills won alongside Saskia Clark.<br /> <br /> <img src="https://d2njx87fm2ttul.cloudfront.net/images/default-source/athletes/hannahmillssbinset.jpg?sfvrsn=b9461092_0" data-displaymode="Original" alt="HannahMillsSBInset" title="HannahMillsSBInset" /></p> <p>It is the sheer openness of a course yawning out into the Pacific Ocean that means when Olympic gold is on the line, Mills will feel like she&rsquo;s back in St Agnes, fundamentally free.</p> <p>&ldquo;I first loved sailing because of the independence, being away from not just your parents but from the world,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s really special to still have that sense of freedom. You don&rsquo;t feel it every day, but there are moments and I felt it in Tokyo.</p> <p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s nothing between you and Hawaii. It&rsquo;s just mad &ndash; a cool feeling.&rdquo;</p> <p>Sportsbeat 2019</p>Tue, 01 Oct 2019 13:02:02 Zurn:uuid:4cbb7c8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 SailingTokyo 2020Team GB announces first athletes selected for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic GamesOlympic champions Hannah Mills and Giles Scott are among 12 sailors named today by the British Olympic Association (BOA) as the first Team GB athletes selected for Tokyo 2020.<br /> <br /> The Rio 2016 gold medallists are joined by a host of elite sailors representing eight of the 10 Olympic sailing classes, as the team is announced at Haven Holiday Park, Rockley Park in Poole.<br /> <br /> A Tokyo 2020 medal for Mills would make her the most successful female Olympic sailor of all time. She will look to defend her crown in the 470 Women&rsquo;s event alongside crew Eilidh McIntyre, who makes her Olympic debut 32 years after her dad Mike won gold for GB in the Star class.<br /> <br /> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/246mltBMIuk" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe><br /> <br /> Mills and McIntyre have rarely been off the podium since teaming up in 2017, with their success culminating in victory at the 2019 World Championships and silver at the Ready Steady Tokyo test event this summer.<br /> <br /> Scott has also enjoyed a run of success in 2019, claiming his third Finn class European title and a bronze at Ready Steady Tokyo.<br /> <br /> Returning for another tilt at Olympic glory are London 2012 silver medallists Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell.<br /> <br /> Patience, sailing in his third Olympics, will compete in the 470 Men class alongside Rio 2016 crew Chris Grube, while Bithell will fly the flag for Britain in the 49er class with Rio Olympian Dylan Fletcher.<br /> <br /> Olympian Charlotte Dobson returns in the 49erFX, joined by Saskia Tidey who represented Ireland at Rio 2016 before joining the British team in 2017.<br /> <br /> Both representatives in the RS:X windsurfer class are newcomers to the Olympics: Tom Squires and Emma Wilson, who at 20 years old is the youngest athlete announced.<br /> <br /> Squires takes up the mantle from veteran Olympian Nick Dempsey, the most successful Olympic windsurfer of all time with four Games and three medals to his name.<br /> <br /> Wilson, the daughter of 1988 and 1992 Olympic windsurfer Penny Way, will look to win Britain&rsquo;s first Olympic medal in women&rsquo;s windsurfing since Bryony Shaw&rsquo;s bronze at Beijing 2008.<br /> <br /> Alison Young, the 2015 Laser Radial World Champion, earns her third Team GB call-up to round off the first wave of sailing selections for Tokyo 2020.<br /> <br /> Britain has a rich history of excellence in Olympic competition, having won 58 medals &ndash; including 28 golds &ndash; since sailing made its debut at Paris 1900.&nbsp; Team GB currently tops the overall Olympic sailing medal table.<br /> <br /> <strong>The selected sailors are:</strong><br /> <br /> Giles Scott: Finn (Men&rsquo;s One Person Dinghy Heavy)<br /> <br /> Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre: 470 Women (Women&rsquo;s Two Person Dinghy)<br /> <br /> Luke Patience and Chris Grube: 470 Men (Men&rsquo;s Two Person Dinghy)<br /> <br /> Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey: 49erFX (Women&rsquo;s Skiff)<br /> <br /> Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell: 49er (Men&rsquo;s Skiff)<br /> <br /> Alison Young: Laser Radial (Women&rsquo;s One Person Dinghy)<br /> <br /> Emma Wilson: RS:X Women (Women&rsquo;s Windsurfer)<br /> <br /> Tom Squires: RS:X Men (Men&rsquo;s Windsurfer)<br /> <br /> <br /> <strong>Mark England, Team GB&rsquo;s Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, said</strong>: &ldquo;We are delighted to announce the first 12 athletes who have been selected to Team GB for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Sailing made its debut at the Paris 1900 Games and British athletes have excelled on the Olympic stage ever since. The sailors we have announced today have a wealth of experience, including reigning Olympic Champions Hannah Mills and Giles Scott and I look forward to seeing what they can do in Enoshima next summer.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <strong>Mark Robinson, Team GB Sailing Team Leader and RYA Olympic Performance Manager, said: </strong>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re thrilled to be announcing the first sailing members of Team GB today. These athletes have all proven themselves in their class and every single one of them is capable of returning from Tokyo 2020 with a medal in their hands. There is great experience within the sailing team, from our Rio 2016 gold medallists back to defend their crowns to experienced Olympians who know what it will take to taste victory in Tokyo.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are also delighted to welcome new talent who have immense potential towards achieving Team GB&rsquo;s objectives in this cycle and beyond. Selection at this point of the cycle will allow these athletes to have maximum preparation time in the run-up to Tokyo 2020, putting Team GB in the best possible position to rule the waves.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <strong>Giles Scott, 32, from Huntingdon, Cambs, now living Portsmouth, Hants said:</strong> &ldquo;Selection for Team GB is a massive deal. It&rsquo;s what we all strive towards as athletes. To be one of the first team members to be named is cool &ndash; it&rsquo;s the start of getting the nation excited about the Games. What I noticed last time around was when you turn up ready to go to the Games, you don&rsquo;t really know each other and other athletes from the other sports but you are part of this big thing and all aiming towards the same goal of getting medals. It&rsquo;s a really special thing.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s certainly been different for me this cycle as there was an added expectation that I would qualify as I&rsquo;m the reigning Olympic champion. The hard thing is trying not to get caught up in that hype and realise things aren&rsquo;t that different. It doesn&rsquo;t matter what has happened in the past, you have to prove now you are the best person to go and do it.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <strong>Hannah Mills, 31, from Cardiff, Wales, now living Poole, Dorset:</strong> &ldquo;Selection is amazing and it&rsquo;s a big part of the Olympic journey. Whether it&rsquo;s been a tight decision or not it&rsquo;s always a big step and to get selected with Eilidh who hasn&rsquo;t been to an Olympic Games before makes it a really exciting part of the journey.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Everything this year has been about qualifying and getting that spot for the Olympic Games. Being in Japan this summer was partly about that but also partly about how we can perform in the venue at the right time of year. We learned so much this summer and did enough to get selected but it also gave us a lot of areas of focus for this winter and going in to the Games next year.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &ldquo;Saskia [Clark, Mills&rsquo; London 2012 and Rio 2016 crew] and I had an amazing time together we achieved so much and had an incredible time doing it. But equally I have loved every minute sailing with Eilidh and it has been a different kind of challenge. We bounce off each other in a different way and I have learned so much more about myself &ndash; my strengths and weaknesses, Eilidh&rsquo;s also. It&rsquo;s just such a special thing to campaign for a gold medal with someone as you create such a bond with that person.&rdquo;Tue, 01 Oct 2019 09:00:00 Zurn:uuid:29807c8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 AthleticsAsher-Smith sparkles for Worlds silverDina Asher-Smith shattered her own British record and stamped her authority on the global stage with 100m silver at the World Athletics Championships. <br /> <br /> The 23-year-old posted 10.83, a lifetime best, to clinch a maiden global medal and Britain&rsquo;s first world gong in the female sprints in 36 years. <br /> <br /> Asher-Smith reacted second quickest and drove well to dip 0.07 secs ahead of Marie-Josee Ta Lou. She was some 0.12 behind Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;A personal best and national record is more than you could ever ask for in a world final,&rdquo; said Asher-Smith, surpassing the 10.85 mark she set at the 2018 European Championships. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I'm a Championship performer, I'm a competitor. I would have loved to have won. <br /> <br /> "Anyone in that race would have loved to have won, but Shelly put in an absolutely fantastic performance. That&rsquo;s why she has so many titles.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve worked so hard for this. It&rsquo;s been a big effort to get myself into a mental state where I get silver in an event I&rsquo;ve never competed in at this level.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The triple European champion gave Fraser-Pryce in the next lane over a wide berth, a contrast to the tactics that saw her stay tight and clinch the Diamond Trophy in Brussels. <br /> <br /> The Jamaican, who now holds eight world golds, established a visible lead in the early stages and continued to gain ground in the drive phase.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Asher-Smith is the only British woman to have ever run sub-11 seconds &ndash; and she has now done it nine times this season. The only time she failed was into a -2 wind in Birmingham. <br /> <br /> Further history is by no means beyond Asher-Smith &ndash; she goes into the 200m with a stone-cold gold chance.<br /> <br /> Fraser-Pryce pulled out of the event on Sunday, reigning world champion Dafne Schippers withdrew from the 100m final late and reigning Olympic champion Elaine Thompson is off colour. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;It's a long season and it&rsquo;s easy to get carried away,&rdquo; said Asher-Smith, whose 200m campaign begins with heats at 17:32 tomorrow. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;When you run well and win the Diamond League, it's easy to get caught up in the hype and forget what you're going for, which is these Championship moments.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;For me and John (Blackie, coach), it's always been about staying focused, tailoring training for the Worlds and keeping my eyes on the prize.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We&rsquo;ve all got to dare to dream. That&rsquo;s why anyone enters any event, because they believe they can be world champion.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> There was a fourth place finish for Holly Bradshaw in the pole vault, who cleared 4.80m outdoors for the fourth time in her career to finish just off the rostrum. <br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019<br />Sun, 29 Sep 2019 21:16:11 Zurn:uuid:123f7b8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Canoe SlalomGB break ten year World Championships duck with women's K1 gold <p>Fiona Pennie lived up to her own expectations as she and the women's K1 team claimed Canoe Slalom World Championships gold for the first time in ten years in Spain.</p> <p>Pennie, alongside Mallory Franklin and Kimberley Woods, went two steps better than their bronze last year to claim gold ahead of the Czech Republic in second and Russia in third.</p> <p>In an immaculate performance, containing only one penalty touch, the British trio worked in perfect harmony to claim victory and Pennie was ecstatic that everything went to plan.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Canoe Slalom World Champs: Great first day in La Seu with a GOLD for our Women's K1 Team <a href="https://twitter.com/Mall_Franklin?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Mall_Franklin</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/kim_woods_95?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@kim_woods_95</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/FionaPennie?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@FionaPennie</a> Catch up with all the day's action ▶️ <a href="https://t.co/zSbr6xLP0K">https://t.co/zSbr6xLP0K</a> <a href="https://t.co/7dso5sP9iJ">pic.twitter.com/7dso5sP9iJ</a></p> &mdash; British Canoeing (@BritishCanoeing) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritishCanoeing/status/1176859565951979520?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 25, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;I am really pleased,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;We had to nail the plan and keep it clean and steady.</p> <p>&ldquo;We knew we were all capable of producing something that was world winning and we managed to do it!&rdquo;</p> <p>Franklin and Woods teamed up again later for the women&rsquo;s C1 team alongside Sophie Ogilvie, aiming to make it a record three wins in a row in the event.</p> <p>Unfortunately, they were unable to repeat the feat, finishing eighth but, speaking earlier, Woods was over the moon at the K1 success.</p> <p>She said: &ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t think we would do it in kayak, it was more the C1 we expected to win, so it is pretty cool to start off with a gold at the championships.</p> <p>&ldquo;I had a bit of a touch on the second to last upstream, but I knew I could sweep hard out of the last one and sprint to the finish.</p> <p>&ldquo;To get that win with a touch was fortunate, but we are a strong team and I am sure it will give us all confidence going into the rest of the week.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>Elsewhere, the men&rsquo;s C1 team of David Florence, Ryan Westley and Adam Burgess finished seventh while in the men&rsquo;s K1 Joe Clarke, Bradley Forbes-Cryans and Chris Bowers claimed ninth position.</p> <p>On Thursday the focus will turn to qualification for Tokyo 2020 which can be earned in the individual events.</p> Sportsbeat 2019Wed, 25 Sep 2019 14:49:32 Zurn:uuid:33097b8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Team GBTeam England name Mark England OBE as Chef de Mission for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth GamesTeam England has appointed Mark England OBE as Chef de Mission to lead the team to the next Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> England is Team GB&rsquo;s Chef de Mission for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and brings a wealth of experience to the role, having led the British team through the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, where they finished second only to Team USA in the medal table, collecting gold medals across a greater range of sports than any other nation.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> England was appointed Chef de Mission of Team GB in 2014 and his first major event leading the team was the inaugural European Games in Baku in 2015. He was previously Deputy Chef de Mission at six Olympic Games, including London 2012, and Chef de Mission at several Olympic Youth Festivals.<br /> <br /> In 2016, England was awarded an OBE for his services to Olympic sport following the success he and the team enjoyed in Rio, where Team GB&rsquo;s 366 athletes made history by becoming the first ever to win more medals at the Games immediately after playing host.<br /> <br /> Team England will be the host team for the Commonwealth Games in 2022, which take place on the 10th anniversary of London 2012, a Games in which England himself was heavily involved in. <br /> <br /> Using his experience, England will be responsible for ensuring everything runs smoothly for Team England athletes before and during the Birmingham 2022 Games, creating the best environment to perform on home soil in front of an enthusiastic crowd.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> At the last Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018, Team England sent 390 athletes to Australia in what was England&rsquo;s largest ever team to represent the nation in an overseas sporting event. The team competed in 18 sports, including 38 para medal events and placed second on the medal table behind the hosts, Australia, with a total of 136 medals, including 45 golds.<br /> <br /> Birmingham 2022 will be the first opportunity for Team England athletes to compete at a Commonwealth Games in front of a home crowd since Manchester 2002.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Mark England OBE said: &ldquo;It is always special to lead a nation into competition, but to be able to do so at a home Games is an absolute privilege. My thanks to both the British Olympic Association and Commonwealth Games England for the opportunity.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The athletes and team will get a wonderful reception in Birmingham and across the Midlands, and I hope we can make England proud through their performances in 2022. In the meantime there is a lot of hard work to do and I&rsquo;m looking forward to working with the team to deliver the optimal performance support to the athletes.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Commonwealth Games England CEO, Paul Blanchard, believes England has the experience to help deliver further success for Team England. <br /> <br /> He said:&nbsp;&ldquo;We&rsquo;re so pleased to announce the appointment of Mark England as Chef de Mission for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Mark has a wealth of experience in multi-sport planning and delivery and his record is exemplary. He will bring an exceptional level of insight, understanding and quality to Team England and we believe that we have made the strongest possible appointment for the role.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m excited and very much look forward to working with him. I&rsquo;d like to thank the British Olympic Association for their full support in this appointment, which shows the positive, collaborative and joined up approach to the high performance sport system in this country.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Accountable to CEO, Paul Blanchard, England will work alongside the existing Commonwealth Games England team and additional Games delivery staff to provide leadership and direction to Team England before, during and after the 2022 Games. The Chef de Mission has overall accountability for all team members during the Games.Wed, 25 Sep 2019 08:00:00 Zurn:uuid:d4fe7a8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 TennisMurray comeback gathers pace with Tour singles winTwo-time Olympic champion Andy Murray made a step forward in his comeback trail as he earned his first singles victory on the ATP Tour since January at the Zhuhai Championships in China. <br /> <br /> Murray, who is stepping up his attempts to return to the sport following hip resurfacing surgery, defeated world number 69 Tennys Sandgren in the first round of the tournament 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 6-1.<br /> <br /> The victory marks Murray&rsquo;s first on the ATP Tour since beating James Duckworth at the Brisbane International on January 1.<br /> <br /> It took a gargantuan effort to prevail in a match which lasted two hours and 40 minutes,&nbsp;and which saw Murray let a match point slip in the second set tie-break,&nbsp;but the three-time Grand Slam champion comfortably prevailed in the final set.<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">The moment of <a href="https://twitter.com/andy_murray?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@andy_murray</a>'s victory <br /> <br /> How good is it to see Andy back winning <a href="https://twitter.com/ATP_Tour?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ATP_Tour</a> singles matches? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BackTheBrits?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BackTheBrits</a> <br /> <br /> <a href="https://twitter.com/TennisTV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TennisTV</a> <a href="https://t.co/DsxC5tp7Vk">pic.twitter.com/DsxC5tp7Vk</a></p> &mdash; LTA (@the_LTA) <a href="https://twitter.com/the_LTA/status/1176504390280196097?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 24, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>The result marks the biggest milestone on the Scot&rsquo;s comeback from surgery earlier in the year after problems with the troublesome hip almost forced him to retire.</p> <p>Murray did though return to competitive action in the doubles arena in June, winning the title at Queen&rsquo;s Club with partner Feliciano Lopez.</p> <p>After playing his first singles games following surgery in August, Murray has endured a smattering of defeats at Tour level before registering wins on the lower-level Challenger Tour last month.</p> Sportsbeat 2019Tue, 24 Sep 2019 16:54:51 Zurn:uuid:9ff07a8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 ShootingMcIntosh adds to brilliant year with European goldSeonaid McIntosh surprised even herself as she claimed gold with a world record-equalling score at the European Championships in Bologna.<br /> <br /> The Scottish rifle shooter scored 599-27x in 300m Prone to equal the world&rsquo;s best score, joining Denmark&rsquo;s Charlotte Jakobsen and Switzerland&rsquo;s Bettina Bucher in the record books.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> The gold makes it two medals for McIntosh at the Championships, adding to the mixed team prone bronze she won with Ken Parr a week ago.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This result was a bit unexpected for me but I'm very happy with the shoot,&rdquo; said McIntosh, who last year secured a shooting quota place for Team GB at next year&rsquo;s Olympic Games.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Shame about my unlucky 13th shot!&rdquo;<br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Seonaid McIntosh keeps the top level performances coming as she secures another gold &ndash; this time at the Bologna Tolmezzo European Champs.<br /> <br /> The Scottish Rifle shooter&rsquo;s score of 599-27x in 300m Prone is also an equal world record. <a href="https://t.co/oAG5S2mj31">https://t.co/oAG5S2mj31</a><br /> <br /> (Pic from <a href="https://twitter.com/MacCoach10?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MacCoach10</a>) <a href="https://t.co/dXvnkJmCki">pic.twitter.com/dXvnkJmCki</a></p> &mdash; British Shooting (@GBShooting) <a href="https://twitter.com/GBShooting/status/1176457474393534464?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 24, 2019</a></blockquote> Germany&rsquo;s Eva Roesken was beaten into second with a score of 598-39x while Linda Olofsson from Sweden took home bronze having scored 596-31x.<br /> <br /> The result continues a phenomenal year in which McIntosh has won gold and silver medals at the World Cup in Rio and been announced as the number one 3P shooter in the world.<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019Tue, 24 Sep 2019 13:07:12 Zurn:uuid:007e7a8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Cycling RoadGB claim stunning Road Cycling World Championships bronze on home soilLauren Dolan revelled in exceeding expectations as Great Britain claimed a surprise bronze medal in the team time trial mixed relay on home soil at the Road Cycling World Championships.<br /> <br /> The British team of John Archibald, Dan Bigham, Harry Tanfield, Anna Henderson, Joscelin Lowden and Dolan set a brilliant time of 39 minutes 18.87 seconds in Harrogate to finish third behind the Netherlands and Germany.<br /> <br /> Britain, who were not tipped for a medal, were one of the first teams to take to the course and they registered a highly competitive time to put them top of the pile but had to wait and see how the more favoured nations would go before having their bronze confirmed.<br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Bronze for Great Britain in the Team Time Trial Mixed Relay <br /> <br /> What a start to the 2019 <a href="https://twitter.com/UCI_cycling?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@UCI_cycling</a> Road World Championships <br /> <br /> Great performances all around from <a href="https://twitter.com/jjzarchibald?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jjzarchibald</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/DanBiggles22?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DanBiggles22</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Harrytanfield94?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Harrytanfield94</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/LaurenDolan_99?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LaurenDolan_99</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/JossyLowden?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JossyLowden</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/annahendersonxo?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@annahendersonxo</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Yorkshire2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Yorkshire2019</a> <a href="https://t.co/b8O8jFsRBE">pic.twitter.com/b8O8jFsRBE</a></p> &mdash; British Cycling (@BritishCycling) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritishCycling/status/1175784525646966786?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 22, 2019</a></blockquote> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s an incredible feeling,&rdquo; Dolan said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Just sitting there is probably the hardest part, waiting for each team to pop in the times.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m so happy. It&rsquo;s really unexpected and I think we&rsquo;ve exceeded expectations so you can&rsquo;t really ask for more.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The event, the first of its kind to be staged at world level, saw two laps of a technical course with the men riding the first lap and the women the second.<br /> <br /> It took until the Italian team narrowly missed out on a top three spot for a guaranteed medal for Britain to be confirmed and Bigham could barely stand the tension.<br /> <br /> He said: &ldquo;It was so close and I knew exactly from every corner how long it would take the men and how long it would take the women.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;When they took that last bend it was within a second so you knew it was going to be real close. When we just about took the medal, it was outrageous!<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a great experience. It&rsquo;s a nice challenge to do something different.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was on the podium last year, although not in a riding capacity, so it was nice to repeat that and be on the podium with a load of mates this time.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019<br /> <br /> <strong>Picture: SWPix</strong>Sun, 22 Sep 2019 18:24:24 Zurn:uuid:6c327a8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 BoxingSilver lining for McCormack after world final defeat<p>A freak clash of heads denied Rio 2016 Olympian Pat McCormack the chance to win gold at the Boxing World Championships in Russia as the Brit was forced to settle for silver.</p> <p>The 24-year-old was the lone survivor of the 13 GB boxers who started the World Championships in Ekaterinburg after reaching the final of the 69kg welterweight category.</p> <p>But his bid to be crowned world champion came up short after the gold medal bout was curtailed by an accidental clash of heads midway through the second round.</p> <p>Instead, home favourite and London 2012 bronze medallist Andrey Zamkovoy was awarded the fight in a split decision by the judges based on the opening round-and-a-half.</p> <p>"It's been a good week for me and the team but I am gutted with how it ended," said McCormack.</p> <p>"I felt like I was starting to get on top and that he was beginning to get tired, but the clash of heads put a stop to it. It's just one of those things that happen sometimes in boxing.</p> <p>"I am proud of my silver medal and how I have boxed this week.</p> <p>"It is all about Tokyo now and, after this last couple of weeks, I feel that me and the rest of the team are in good shape and can be confident as we look forward to the Olympics next year."</p> <p>McCormack got off to a promising start with a good early combination, before fellow Olympian Zamkovoy landed a powerful left hook that dislodged the Brit&rsquo;s gumshield.</p> <p>A brief break in the bout allowed both boxers to take a breath, but the opening round finished in frantic style as the two welterweights traded multiple blows before the bell.</p> <p>The drama continued in the second round as an accidental clash of heads caused a cut above McCormack&rsquo;s left eye &ndash; prompted the fight to come to a premature conclusion.</p> <p>Eighth seed Zamkovoy was ultimately adjudged the winner despite there being little to choose between the fighters, but there was at least a silver lining for McCormack.</p> <p>His medal took GB&rsquo;s tally at the World Championships to three, following bronze medals for Peter McGrail and Ben Whittaker in the bantamweight and light heavyweight categories.</p> <p>GB super-heavyweight Frazer Clarke was also deprived of at least a bronze medal when his points victory over Russian Maxim Babanin in the quarter-finals was reversed on appeal.<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019</p>Sat, 21 Sep 2019 15:27:23 Zurn:uuid:49e5798d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Cycling RoadDeignan going for home glory in YorkshireThe thrill of competing on home roads isn't lost on Lizzie Deignan as she prepares for a trip down memory lane at next week's Road World Championships. <p><br /> Deignan, who hails from Otley, will lead Great Britain&rsquo;s&nbsp;elite women&rsquo;s team in the road race&nbsp;on September 28,&nbsp;hoping to reclaim the world title she won in&nbsp;the United States&nbsp;in 2015.</p> <p>Deignan is no stranger to success at major competitions, having won&nbsp;road race&nbsp;silver at&nbsp;the&nbsp;London 2012&nbsp;Olympic Games&nbsp;and&nbsp;gold&nbsp;at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.</p> <p>Success brings with it pressure for the 30-year-old &ndash; knowing the expectation to deliver another good performance in her home county.</p> <p>But winning isn&rsquo;t the be-all and end-all for the former world champion this time around, Deignan admitting that no matter the result, competing on her native roads will be an experience she will remember fondly forever.</p> <p>&ldquo;The Road World Championships race route passes places that have really had a huge influence on my life,&rdquo; said Deignan.</p> <p>&ldquo;The route passes the school I went to, the church where I got married, my parents&rsquo; garden with the finish-line in the town where my daughter Orla was born and where I&rsquo;ll be living,&nbsp;once I retire from competition.</p> <p>&ldquo;I feel extremely lucky to be experiencing all of this regardless of how the race goes as it will give me very special moments I will always remember.&rdquo;<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Yorkshire - are you ready? <br /> <br /> Just 1️⃣ day to go!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Yorkshire2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Yorkshire2019</a> <a href="https://t.co/0QbrKRAOOr">pic.twitter.com/0QbrKRAOOr</a></p> &mdash; Yorkshire 2019 (@Yorkshire2019) <a href="https://twitter.com/Yorkshire2019/status/1174926182615150592?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 20, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The home pressure isn&rsquo;t the only challenge Deignan will be faced with next weekend,&nbsp;having only returned to cycling in April after giving birth to&nbsp;Orla a&nbsp;little over a year ago.</p> <p>Training for elite competition is gruelling enough already, let alone on the comeback from pregnancy, but Deignan is the latest female cyclist to defy the odds, winning the Women&rsquo;s Tour in June just two months after returning to the sport.</p> <p>When the route organisers announced the World Championships women&rsquo;s course would be passing right by her parents&rsquo; house in Otley, Deignan was determined to make sure she would be able to compete in time.</p> <p>Whether she reclaims her world title next Saturday or not,&nbsp;the home hero&nbsp;knows her comeback has already been a success and hopes her story will continue to be an inspiration for many.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It is still quite unusual for a woman to come back at such a high level after a pregnancy,&rdquo; added Deignan.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I have kept myself moving over all these months even though I don&rsquo;t think you could call it real training as such.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But each and every day, I tried to listen to what my body was telling me and trained on the basis of what I was feeling in the moment.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I feel a sense of responsibility now to prove to everyone that it is possible to reconcile the life of a sports person with motherhood.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Deignan will be competing alongside Lizzy Banks, Alice Barnes, Hannah Barnes, Nikki Juniper and Anna Henderson&nbsp;in the women&rsquo;s elite race.<br /> <br /> The star-studded line-up will continue into the men&rsquo;s elite race with 2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas and Adam Yates taking part,&nbsp;while up-and-coming stars Elynor Backstedt and Fred Wright will compete in the&nbsp;age group events in Yorkshire.<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019</p>Fri, 20 Sep 2019 15:33:03 Zurn:uuid:fc5d798d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 World Beach GamesTeam GB Announces Athletes Selected to first ever World Beach Games ​The British Olympic Association (BOA) is delighted to today announce the 20 athletes selected to represent Team GB in the inaugural World Beach Games in Doha, Qatar.<br /> <br /> Team GB will compete across six disciplines at Doha 2019, as 97 countries, from all five continents, come together for the Association of National Olympic Committees&rsquo; (ANOC) first ever World Beach Games from October 12th &ndash; 16th this year.<br /> <br /> Over 1,200 athletes will compete in Qatar with action split between the Katara and Al Gharafa venues. Fourteen beach and water disciplines are on the programme, including surfing which will take place in San Diego as Qatar does not have suitable conditions. Team GB will be represented in aquathlon, beach soccer, bouldering, kitefoil racing, water ski and wakeboard.<br /> <br /> Doha 2019, for all the Team GB athletes selected, is their first opportunity to compete at a multi-sport Games and a chance to wear the Olympic Rings. It will also provide invaluable experience for some of the sports hoping to travel to Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 as part of Team GB.<br /> <br /> The Team GB delegation will be led by Chef de Mission and Olympic swimmer Caitlin McClatchey.&nbsp;<strong>McClatchey, a three-time Olympian, said:</strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;The inaugural World Beach Games is a fantastic opportunity for athletes to get their first taste of competing for Team GB at a multi-sport Games.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> "We are excited to introduce Team GB fans to six new sports, especially ahead of sport climbing's debut in Tokyo 2020. I look forward to working with the sports, and seeing our athletes in action out in Doha.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <strong>Hannah Kitchen (aquathlon)</strong>&nbsp;<strong>said</strong>: &ldquo;I am delighted to have made the team for the inaugural World Beach Games and to get the opportunity to represent Team GB on the world stage. It&rsquo;s going to be my first Games experience and I can&rsquo;t wait!&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <strong>Gemma Hillier (beach soccer) said</strong>: &ldquo;From as early as I can remember my dream has always been to play at a World Cup or compete in the Olympics. At the age of 32 there are no words to describe the feeling of knowing I am going to be compete for Team GB at the World Beach Games.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;When I got the call to say I had been selected it was the proudest moment of my life so far. The sacrifices that the team and I have made over the years to get this opportunity have all been worth it.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I have been a European national and club beach soccer champion, won championships in four different countries, but competing at the World Beach Games will be the pinnacle of my sporting career so far. Hopefully by being part of the World Beach Games will be a final stepping stone for beach soccer to be in the Olympics.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <strong>Billy Ridal (Bouldering):</strong>&nbsp;'It is a huge honour to represent Team GB at the World Beach Games. Competing in a multi-sport environment for the first time will be an invaluable experience as an aspirant for future Olympic Games. I am extremely excited to see other athletes showcase their sports, to meet people from different sporting worlds, and to demonstrate my favoured discipline of bouldering to a new audience."<br /> <br /> <strong>Olly Bridge (kitesurfing):</strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;It feels amazing to be representing Team GB at the World Beach Games. It's going to be the most prestigious event kiteboarding has had the opportunity to be at, so being chosen to compete is a great achievement and honour.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;My goal is to finish on the podium, but all the competitors there will be the best the sport has to offer, the racing will be very tight and everyone there is capable of winning. It&rsquo;s just going to be very tight between all the other competitors, but I am looking forward to it.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Competing at the World Beach Games will give me insight into what it's like to compete in a major competition similar to the Olympics, and hopefully I will gain experience from it."<br /> <br /> <strong>Rob Hazelwood (water skiing) said:</strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;I&rsquo;m super excited to be selected as part of Team GB for the first ever World Beach Games. It&rsquo;s such an honour to be selected as the sole British water skier to attend the event and I&rsquo;m stoked to be able to go to Doha and ski my heart out!<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is such a big opportunity for me and the sport of water skiing, so I hope to put out some good scores and show the world what water ski jumping is all about!&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <strong>Luca Kidd (wakeboarding):</strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;It&rsquo;s an honour to be selected to Team GB and I&rsquo;m very excited to be competing in the World Beach Games. It&rsquo;s awesome that my sport has been included in such a respected event and I cannot wait to showcase wakeboarding on this level and show everyone that it&rsquo;s a sport that should be respected as any other. I am looking forward to competing in Doha and hopefully I can leave with some hardware not only for myself but for queen and country&rdquo; <p><br /> <strong>Team GB at Doha 2019:</strong><br /> </p> <table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" style="width: 0px;"> <colgroup><col /><col /><col /></colgroup> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="bottom" width="139"> <p>Name</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="148"> <p>Sport</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="54"> <p>Hometown</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="bottom" width="139"> <p>Chloe Pollard</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="148"> <p>Aquathlon</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="54"> <p>Eastbourne</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="bottom" width="139"> <p>Hannah Kitchen</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="148"> <p>Aquathlon</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="54"> <p>Farnham</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="bottom" width="139"> <p>Charlotte Haynes</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="148"> <p>Beach Soccer</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="54"> <p>Worcestershire</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="bottom" width="139"> <p>Gemma-Louise Hillier</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="148"> <p>Beach Soccer</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="54"> <p>Gosport</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="bottom" width="139"> <p>Hannah Haughton</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="148"> <p>Beach Soccer</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="54"> <p>Southampton</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="bottom" width="139"> <p>Hannah Short</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="148"> <p>Beach Soccer</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="54"> <p>Bristol</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="bottom" width="139"> <p>Katie James</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="148"> <p>Beach Soccer</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="54"> <p>Poole</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="bottom" width="139"> <p>Molly Clark</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="148"> <p>Beach Soccer</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="54"> <p>Portsmouth</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="bottom" width="139"> <p>Nadine Bazan</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="148"> <p>Beach Soccer</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="54"> <p>Medstead</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="bottom" width="139"> <p>Rebecca Barron</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="148"> <p>Beach Soccer</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="54"> <p>Gosport</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="bottom" width="139"> <p>Sarah Kempson</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="148"> <p>Beach Soccer</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="54"> <p>Littlehampton</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="bottom" width="139"> <p>Wendy Martin</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="148"> <p>Beach Soccer</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="54"> <p>Basildon</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="bottom" width="139"> <p>Emily Phillips</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="148"> <p>Bouldering</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="54"> <p>Cardiff</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="bottom" width="139"> <p>Nathan Phillips</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="148"> <p>Bouldering</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="54"> <p>Huddersfield</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="bottom" width="139"> <p>William Ridal</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="148"> <p>Bouldering</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="54"> <p>Sheffield</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="bottom" width="139"> <p>Guy Bridge</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="148"> <p>Kitefoil racing</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="54"> <p>Exmouth</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="bottom" width="139"> <p>Oliver Bridge</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="148"> <p>Kitefoil racing</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="54"> <p>Exmouth</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="bottom" width="139"> <p>Steph Bridge</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="148"> <p>Kitefoil racing</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="54"> <p>Exmouth</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="bottom" width="139"><br /> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="148">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="bottom" width="54"> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="bottom" width="139"> <p>Luca Kidd</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="148"> <p>Wakeboard</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="54"> <p>London</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="bottom" width="139"> <p>Robert Hazelwood</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="148"> <p>Water Ski</p> </td> <td valign="bottom" width="54"> <p>Lincoln</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br /> <br />Thu, 19 Sep 2019 10:00:00 Zurn:uuid:59f6778d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 The Sky's the limit for bronze medallist Brown<p>Sky Brown keeps on making history as she claimed world skateboarding bronze in Sao Paulo.</p> <p>The 11-year old skateboarder is seeking to become the youngest women summer Olympian in half a century at next year's Games in Tokyo.</p> <p>And she showed her undoubted talent with a storming run in the park event in Brazil. Misugu Okamoto, just 13, and Sakura Yosozumi, 17, took gold and silver for Japan.</p> <p>Tokyo 2020 features four skateboarding events &mdash; men&rsquo;s and women&rsquo;s street and park and world bronze will secure vital points for Brown as the Olympic qualifying season continues.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">An incredible 3rd place Podium finish for <a href="https://twitter.com/GBSkateboard?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@GBSkateboard</a> skateboarder Sky Brown in the <a href="https://twitter.com/WorldSkate_news?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WorldSkate_news</a> Skateboarding World Championships <a href="https://t.co/4ObixxyJ8o">pic.twitter.com/4ObixxyJ8o</a></p> &mdash; James Hope-Gill (@James_HopeGill) <a href="https://twitter.com/James_HopeGill/status/1172962905299529728?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 14, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Brown turns 12 years old just before the Tokyo Olympics begin and, if selected, would be the youngest Olympian since Romania's Carlos Front, who was 11 when he coxed in the rowing men&rsquo;s eight at the 1992 Barcelona Games.<br /> </p> <p>Puerto Rican swimmer Liana Vicens just 11 when she competed in four events at the 1968 Games in Mexico City, while Chinese ice dancer Liu Luyang competed at the 1988 Winter Olympics, also aged 11.</p> Sportsbeat 2019Sat, 14 Sep 2019 21:13:51 Zurn:uuid:4e62778d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Aldi launches Kit for Schools with Team GBAldi has launched a nationwide campaign to give 20 primary schools across the UK the chance to win £20,000 each to build a health legacy.<br /> <br /> 'Kit for Schools' launched on 6th September, and runs until 3rd November, and is part of Aldi&rsquo;s long-standing partnership with Team GB.<br /> <br /> Every UK school that signs up to the initiative will receive a sticker poster, and each school which completes their poster with Team GB stickers, will receive one entry into the final prize draw to win &pound;20,000 to build a health legacy along with a mini school sports day kit.<br /> <br /> Aldi shoppers will receive stickers every time they spend &pound;30 or more in store, which can be taken into schools and added to their sticker poster.<br /> <br /> All UK primary schools are eligible to take part and can sign up by&nbsp;<a href="https://getseteatfresh.co.uk/kitforschools">clicking here</a>.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> The campaign is part of Aldi and Team GB&rsquo;s efforts to get young people active and eating well ahead of Tokyo 2020.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Aldi has worked with schools across the country since 2015 as part of its partnership with Team GB through its &lsquo;Get Set to Eat Fresh&rsquo; initiative, which teaches young people about eating well and gives them the skills and confidence to cook fresh, healthy meals.<br /> <br /> Aldi has already supported more than 1 million young people, aged between 5 - 14, as part of the Get Set to Eat Fresh campaign, and plans to work with 1.2 million children before Tokyo 2020. Aldi has extended the initiative to run until Paris 2025, with the hope to inspire even more children to eat well.<br /> <br /> Sean McGinty, Marketing Director at Aldi UK, said: &ldquo;We are committed to working with Team GB to inspire young people to eat well and move more. Being active at school is incredibly important, and our Kit for Schools competition will give even more young people the chance to take part in additional sports activities.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We will continue to work with schools across the UK in the run-up to Tokyo 2020 in an effort to encourage children to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Tim Ellerton, Commercial Director at Team GB, said: &ldquo;Aldi&rsquo;s Kit for Schools initiative will open up a whole range of new opportunities for local school pupils to get involved in sport with good quality equipment across a range of sports and help drive enjoyment and activity as we look ahead to Tokyo 2020 in just under a year&rsquo;s time.&rdquo;Thu, 12 Sep 2019 13:51:17 Zurn:uuid:c76f768d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 HockeyGB Hockey men and women learn Olympic qualifier fateGreat Britain's men's and women's teams have discovered their route to reach Tokyo 2020 after the draw for the two-legged Olympic qualifiers took place in Lausanne.<br /> <br /> The women, who are the reigning Olympic champions, will take on Chile in back-to-back matches at Lee Valley Hockey Centre for a chance to defend their title.<br /> <br /> Chile are currently ranked 15th in the world and have never qualified for a major championship. The two teams have never faced each other before in their history.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the men must overcome Malaysia, who are ranked 11th in the world, in their double-header if they are to earn a place on the plane to Tokyo next year.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Malaysia have not qualified for the Olympics since 2000 and last faced Great Britain in 2017 when the GB men came out on top with a narrow 1-0 victory.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> The two teams also came face-to-face with each other at Sydney 2000, with Malaysia coming from behind to draw after Craig Parnham and Mark Pearn put Great Britain in front.<br /> <br /> GB&rsquo;s men will feel confident about their chances after reaching the FIH Pro League finals earlier this year, beating New Zealand at the Twickenham Stoop to reach the last four.<br /> <br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">The fixtures for the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifier have been announced!<br /> <br /> Here are the fixtures for the men matches<br /> <br /> Rewatch the draw here: <a href="https://t.co/oZJZIE3hCt">https://t.co/oZJZIE3hCt</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RoadToTokyo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RoadToTokyo</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GiftOfHockey?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GiftOfHockey</a> <a href="https://t.co/8W2bcGAHww">pic.twitter.com/8W2bcGAHww</a></p> &mdash; International Hockey Federation (@FIH_Hockey) <a href="https://twitter.com/FIH_Hockey/status/1171050394799235072?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 9, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <br /> They were then beaten by Australia in their semi-final before losing out to the Netherlands in a play-off for the bronze medal, having finished on the wrong side of an eight-goal thriller.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Upon the draw being made, men's Head Coach Danny Kerry commented: &ldquo;Malaysia are a good side with some great individuals and a number of threats, but having played them recently gives you that understanding of what that threat is.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;They have some good corner routines and some very fast players who are individually skilful.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;They also have some very large aerial passes, play well on the counter-attack and, with a very experienced coach in Roelant Oltmans, will be very well prepared. We will respect them and prepare accordingly.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Playing at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre and having a home crowd is something I personally enjoy and feel the athletes enjoy having the support behind us too.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a great atmosphere there and I think it will be a cracking couple of days that myself and the athletes will really look forward to.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The women will also hope to book their place at next summer&rsquo;s Olympics with a victory against Chile, having ended their first FIH Pro League campaign on a high.<br /> <br /> While they were unable to pick up enough points to make the final four, they signed off the inaugural tournament with a dominant 3-1 victory over New Zealand.<br /> <br /> Both the men's and women's teams need to qualify separately through the two-legged matches; if one gender qualifies it does not mean the other progresses alongside them.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Though Great Britain&rsquo;s women are the reigning Olympic champions, they do not qualify automatically for the Tokyo Games.Mon, 09 Sep 2019 14:12:20 Zurn:uuid:e02a768d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Canoe SlalomStirring silver for Birthday girl Woods<p>Kimberley Woods toasted her 24<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;birthday with silver at the canoe slalom World Cup Final in Prague.</p> <p>Emerging from the semi-finals as fastest qualifier, the two-time World Championship medallist looked good for a medal in the final and delivered when it mattered.</p> <p>Australian Jess Fox had laid down an eye-catching time of 124.83s, and Woods matched her gate-for-gate as she flew down the course.</p> <p>There was just 0.04s in it by the finish-line as she was made to settle for silver, but that certainly did not dampen her mood.</p> <p>&ldquo;This is one of my favourite courses and today it just all came together, and I felt really good,&rdquo; she said.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">What a weekend it&rsquo;s been! 5th in K1 yesterday and silver today behind <a href="https://twitter.com/JessFoxxx?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JessFoxxx</a> by 0.04!! So tight but super happy for a great birthday present! <a href="https://twitter.com/NationwideW?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NationwideW</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/TNLUK?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TNLUK</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/uk_sport?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@uk_sport</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/ggalasport?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ggalasport</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/PlanetCanoe?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PlanetCanoe</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/BritishCanoeing?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BritishCanoeing</a> <a href="https://t.co/9GdQF1PXDZ">https://t.co/9GdQF1PXDZ</a></p> &mdash; Kimberley Woods (@kim_woods_95) <a href="https://twitter.com/kim_woods_95/status/1170711711822823425?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 8, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;I was in the top two through all the rounds so it was good to deliver that final run today and deliver consistent races.</p> <p>&ldquo;I'm quite an instinctive paddler and with such a technical course it really played to my strengths. I've previously struggled during the last part of the race, but I felt really strong, and with the crowd cheering I just went faster.</p> <p>"The World Championships is coming around quickly but I'm feeling good in the boat. I've got a lot of confidence in all the areas I've been working on and I can't wait to get there and race."</p> <p>Elsewhere, Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke was eighth in the final of the men&rsquo;s K1 after penalties put paid to his shot at gold.</p> <p>But Clarke, like Woods, is looking ahead, with World Championships and Olympic Qualifier now just weeks away, he is sure that his experience in the Czech Republic will prepare him well.</p> <p>"I got a couple of early touches but then I just put too much effort in to try and reduce the deficit but then I picked up more which was frustrating,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve made it through to another final so overall I&rsquo;m happy with my levels of consistency and I was pleased to qualify through this morning from 40 boats in the semi-finals, especially with a touch.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s all to play for now at the World Championships in Seu in a couple of weeks and I&rsquo;m looking forward to getting out there and racing clean and hopefully winning a medal.</p> <p>&ldquo;The pressure will be on, but this brings out the best in me.&rdquo;</p> <p>Elsewhere, Mallory Franklin finished 15<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;in her semi-final of the women&rsquo;s C1, with Sophie Ogilvie 23<sup>rd</sup>, while Bradley Forbes-Cryans was 34<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;in his men&rsquo;s K1 semi, with Chris Bowers just a place behind him.</p> <p>Sportsbeat 2019</p>Sun, 08 Sep 2019 18:09:28 Zurn:uuid:1e2a768d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 EquestrianFantastic Funnell storms to Burghley win<p>Pippa Funnell rolled back the years by sensationally winning her first Burghley Horse Trials title in 16 years by the narrowest of margins from Piggy French.</p> <p>Funnell &ndash; a three-time Olympic medallist &ndash; took the title by just 0.1 penalty points on MGH Grafton Street.</p> <p>French was seeking her second major title of the year following success at the Badminton Horse Trials in May but Funnell led from start to finish, signing off with a masterful showjumping display.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m just in a state of shock,&rdquo; she said. </p> <p>&ldquo;I worked out that, from when I started eventing to when I had my first senior title at Europeans it seemed forever, it was 14 years.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Huge congratulations to <a href="https://twitter.com/pippafunnellTPT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@pippafunnellTPT</a> who takes her 2nd <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LRBHT?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LRBHT</a> title. She and MGH Grafton Street have led from beginning to end and are very popular winners❤️ <a href="https://t.co/olm0XLNdxK">pic.twitter.com/olm0XLNdxK</a></p> &mdash; Land Rover Burghley (@LRBHT_Official) <a href="https://twitter.com/LRBHT_Official/status/1170733185040363523?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 8, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s been 14 years now since I won a big one, as long as it was before my first win, it&rsquo;s a long time. I felt like I was out of practice going in with that amount of pressure.<br /> </p> <p>&ldquo;He&rsquo;s not an easy show jumper, he&rsquo;s lost two Blenheim titles. He could have won Tattersalls as well and I just said all the time that I was convinced he had a big one in him.</p> <p>&ldquo;I wasn&rsquo;t going to give up until I got it out of him but I&rsquo;m thrilled with him. It&rsquo;s his first time at this level and who would have dreamt that he would do this.</p> <p>&ldquo;He can often find a fence and you never know where it&rsquo;s going to come, he can just have one anywhere for no reason. I&rsquo;ve still got to go home and work on it.</p> <p>&ldquo;The whole week has just been incredible and it just shows how fortunes can change. You can think you are too long in the tooth but actually I have to thank my horses.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>Oliver Townsend completed an all-British podium by finishing third, while Imogen Murray and Gemma Tattersall landed top-ten finishes.</p> Sportsbeat 2019Sun, 08 Sep 2019 17:58:44 Zurn:uuid:9017768d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 AthleticsSix of the best as Farah continues to rule in the north<p>He might be missing the World Championships this month but Mo Farah has his sights firmly set on Tokyo 2020 after breaking another record at the Great North Run.</p> <p>The four-time Olympic gold medallist &ndash; who won 5,000m gold on Super Saturday at London 2012 &ndash; romped to his sixth straight win, finishing the 13.1-mile race in a personal best 59 minutes and six seconds.</p> <p>The 36-year-old &ndash; who switched from the track to the road following the 2017 World Championships &ndash; is now gearing up to defend his Chicago Marathon title next month, as his bid for a marathon spot in Japan gathers pace.</p> <p>"I've really enjoyed it but the last couple of years has been in the middle of marathon preparation. It was good to test myself. Things are looking good and I'm happy with the win today,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>"Tokyo is definitely on the cards - as an athlete you always want to represent your country. You just have to take it one year at a time. I am enjoying the marathon but I have so much more to learn.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Mo Farah is still going!<br /> <br /> The champion has been meeting his fans after finishing his quickest-ever Great North Run <br /> <br /> Coverage continues on <a href="https://twitter.com/BBCOne?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BBCOne</a> and here <a href="https://t.co/XUjXIq9l1z">https://t.co/XUjXIq9l1z</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bbcathletics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#bbcathletics</a> <a href="https://t.co/fsgwlclYou">pic.twitter.com/fsgwlclYou</a></p> &mdash; BBC Sport (@BBCSport) <a href="https://twitter.com/BBCSport/status/1170651395202007046?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 8, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;I have to keep mixing with the boys and knock my time down. Hopefully come Tokyo time, we will be in the mix."<br /> </p> <p>Farah was pushed hard in the race by Tamirat Tola but sprinted clear down the final straight to win, lowering his previous best time by 15 seconds.</p> <p>"The crowd was so loud I didn't know if he [Tamirat Tola] was closing the gap so I kept looking behind," he added.</p> <p>&ldquo;But I know the course so well so that played a part. He definitely had more energy than me, the way he was going up and down so I had to put the foot down and go for it.&rdquo;</p> Sportsbeat 2019Sun, 08 Sep 2019 12:03:46 Zurn:uuid:c814768d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Modern Pentathlon Choong caps fine year with World Championship silver<p>Joe Choong completed a magical 2019 with World Championship silver, and now has one target in mind as he heads for a winter break &ndash; the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.</p> <p>The 24-year-old has not finished outside the top five in any event this year and secured a modern pentathlon quota place for Team GB by winning the World Cup Final in June.</p> <p>And in Budapest he added another medal to his growing collection with a superb display, finishing just behind France&rsquo;s Valentin Belaud and ahead of South Korea&rsquo;s Woongtae Jun.<br /> <br /> It was one of two medals for Choong, with he and teammates Jamie Cooke and Tom Toolis securing team bronze.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve had an absolutely amazing season. I wouldn&rsquo;t have believed anyone, least of all me, would have had a season like this so getting a world silver is a great way to finish it off,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;I had a few problems at the Europeans, not feeling right, but in the last couple of weeks I&rsquo;ve recharged and refocussed and felt really fit heading into this week so it&rsquo;s great to see that pay off.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">It's World Championships SILVER for <a href="https://twitter.com/JoeChoongy?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JoeChoongy</a> and Team BRONZE for Joe, <a href="https://twitter.com/jamiecooke_5?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jamiecooke_5</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/TomToolis?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TomToolis</a>!!<br /> <br /> Another day, another Pentathlon GB double medal haul and continuation of an incredible 2019 season! <a href="https://t.co/5DwN9xjN1J">pic.twitter.com/5DwN9xjN1J</a></p> &mdash; Pentathlon GB (@PentathlonGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/PentathlonGB/status/1170394703516372994?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 7, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I wanted to make sure I ended my season on a high and after starting off really well in the pool, it all came to fruition today with the silver.&rdquo;</p> <p>Belaud was the class of the field and finished comfortably clear of the pack, while behind there was an almighty scrap.</p> <p>Choong looked set for silver until a poor shooting display saw him drop to fourth. But he battled back to reclaim second and win Great Britain&rsquo;s fourth World Championship medal in the last two years.</p> <p>Defending champion Jamie Cooke finishing strongly to take tenth.</p> Sportsbeat 2019Sun, 08 Sep 2019 11:15:48 Zurn:uuid:80e5758d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 ShootingHeading enjoys moment to savour in Italy<p>It was a proud day for Aaron Heading as he earned a Tokyo Olympics quota place in front of his family at the shooting European Championships. </p> <p>A silver medal in the Olympic Trap was enough to ensure that the Lincolnshire shooter confirmed Team GB another spot in Japan next year. </p> <p>His final score of 44 was enough to see off Italy&rsquo;s Mauro De Filippis who had to settle for bronze. </p> <p>It was Croatia&rsquo;s Jiri Liptak who eventually came out on top of the pack with a score of 46 to secure gold, but that won&rsquo;t matter to Heading, who was absolutely delighted with the result. </p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m absolutely over the moon to win a quota place for my country. I've been so close but to finally do it and give something back for my country,&rdquo; said the 32-year-old.&nbsp; </p> <p>"After everything shooting has given me, I can now give something back. </p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;d just like to thank my entire support team around me, which is all made possible by the funding I receive from UK Sport and the National Lottery.</p> <p>&ldquo;I'd like to first thank my entire family - &ldquo;Natasha and my son are here today. I&rsquo;m just so thankful."</p> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019Sat, 07 Sep 2019 20:21:51 Zurn:uuid:a0e1758d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 EquestrianBrits lead the field at Burghley<p>Three British riders sit top of the leaderboard with the one day remaining at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. </p> <p>Last week Pippa Funnell, Piggy French and Oliver Townend were all part of the British team which secured a silver medal at the European Eventing Championships. </p> <p>Olympic medallist Funnell and MGH Grafton Street retained their lead after the cross country, the pair had four time faults but it was enough to sneak into first place by 0.1 points.&nbsp; </p> <p>French produced the only clear round inside the time which elevated her and Vanir Kamira from equal sixth to second in the standings. </p> <p>While Townend and Ballaghmor Class complete the top three with just the show jumping to come on the final day. </p> <p>Funnell, who claimed a bronze medal in the Individual Eventing in at the 2004 Olympic Games, acknowledged she had to work hard during the cross country but was delighted with the outcome.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">The top 3 after an influential cross country at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials Official Page<br /> <br /> 1. Pippa Funnell and MGH Grafton Street<br /> 2. Piggy French and Vanir Kamira<br /> 3. Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class<br /> <br /> It's all to play for in tomorrow's show jumping! <a href="https://t.co/AkCkjCzhVE">pic.twitter.com/AkCkjCzhVE</a></p> &mdash; British Eventing (@BEventing) <a href="https://twitter.com/BEventing/status/1170376224193089537?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 7, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;I am a bit overwhelmed. It&rsquo;s a bit of a surreal day because I have no idea what to expect from the horse,&rdquo; Funnell said. </p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m absolutely delighted with him and for him to step up to this level but I would say I had to use my experience in a few places. </p> <p>&ldquo;I can&rsquo;t say it was a copybook round, I had to really ride and I will hold my hands up and say it wasn&rsquo;t pretty.&rdquo;</p> <p>After competing together at the European Championships, Funnell was thrilled to see teammate French with her at the top of the leaderboard. </p> <p>&ldquo;I think Piggy is one that is proving it time and time again and I know she&rsquo;s such a fabulous pilot,&rdquo; Funnell added. </p> <p>&ldquo;I know what she is going through at the moment, she is on top of her game and a rider with confidence.&rdquo;</p> <p>Sportsbeat 2019</p>Sat, 07 Sep 2019 19:20:44 Zurn:uuid:cddf758d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 TennisMurray makes history with third straight US Open mixed doubles crownJamie Murray believes his relationship with doubles partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands was pivotal in helping him become the first man in the Open Era to win three successive mixed doubles titles at Flushing Meadows.<br /> <br /> The duo defended their crown after a straight-sets 6-2, 6-3 victory over Chan Hao-Ching and Michael Venus, with the 33-year-old Scot securing a US Open title for the fourth successive year after first winning the men&rsquo;s doubles in 2016.<br /> <br /> The Olympian also won the mixed doubles at Flushing Meadows with Martina Hingis in 2017, switching partners the following year and joining forces with the American Mattek-Sands.<br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Double the trouble <br /> <br /> Bethanie Mattek-Sands &amp; Jamie Murray win back-to-back mixed doubles titles at the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USOpen</a>, defeating Chan &amp; Venus 6-2, 6-3.<a href="https://twitter.com/matteksands?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@matteksands</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/jamie_murray?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jamie_murray</a> <a href="https://t.co/VZwYNYrpEW">pic.twitter.com/VZwYNYrpEW</a></p> &mdash; US Open Tennis (@usopen) <a href="https://twitter.com/usopen/status/1170385148195561472?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 7, 2019</a></blockquote> And he was quick to heap the praise on his partner and emphasise the importance of their relationship in the triumph.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We played amazing, the whole two weeks we&rsquo;ve played a lot of great tennis,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Bethanie was so fired up today &ndash; it&rsquo;s always a pleasure to play with her.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Bethanie is good fun to play with and we have a great chemistry on court.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;She's a smart player, has a lot of skills and is very creative, plus she's feisty, gets stuck in and doesn't hold back.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Murray&rsquo;s title defence was the seventh Grand Slam victory of his career, a glittering record and one that makes him one of Britain&rsquo;s most decorated players.<br /> <br /> Backed by a partisan Flushing Meadows crowd, Murray and Mattek-Sands broke twice in a first set they went on to dominate.<br /> <br /> And that set the tone for the rest of the final, with the duo breaking again at 4-3 in the second and a powerful backhand down the line from the American sealing a remarkable victory.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have the benefit in New York of her being a home player, so we've had fantastic support in all the matches we've played here in the past couple of years,&rdquo; Murray added.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;She's a very popular player, which you can see with the number of people wanting to talk to her and have selfies when she's walking around the site, and she has got a good following.<br /> <br /> "It's easier playing on the big courts, I know Beth loves it, playing in front of lots of people and she played an amazing match.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Bethanie says I&rsquo;m the ying to her yang! I&rsquo;m really, really, really happy to win again.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019Sat, 07 Sep 2019 19:07:38 Zurn:uuid:0f8e758d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Modern Pentathlon Modern PentathlonPentathlon GB's French, Muir and Summers seal World Championship medals<p>Kate French said there&rsquo;s plenty more to come as she added to her European silver with World Championships bronze and another superb modern pentathlon display.</p> <p>The 28-year-old Olympian was in fine form once again in Budapest as she also led Great Britain to team silver alongside Joanna Muir (9th) and Francesca Summers (15th).</p> <p>The double medal haul continued Pentathlon GB&rsquo;s stunning 2019 season, with British athletes winning medals at all eight major championships across U17, U19, junior and senior level.</p> <p>It was a first individual World Championships medal of her career for French as she underlined her status as one of the world&rsquo;s leading modern pentathletes.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m so happy with the bronze medal today,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I had a solid day across all disciplines and the sand wasn&rsquo;t easy in the laser run but I gave it my all.</p> <p>&ldquo;I could have picked up a few more points here and there so it wasn&rsquo;t a perfect day and I know there&rsquo;s still more to come.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s been a long season so on the last lap I was just concentrating on finishing the season on a high and pushing all the way to the line.&rdquo;</p> <p>The women&rsquo;s final started in the fencing hall, Kent&rsquo;s French immediately vaulting herself into contention with an excellent start to the ranking round, eventually finishing with 24 victories and 11 defeats from her 35 bouts.</p> <p>It was Dumfries&rsquo; Muir who led the way in the pool, clocking a 2:12.62 for her 200m swim. Former North Kent duo French and Summers recorded times of 2:14.90 and 2:17.98 respectively. </p> <p>The British trio all rolled two poles in the ride, but on a twisty, technical course, there were many athletes who ran into difficulties meaning all three moved up the overall standings.</p> <p>After losing ground at the first shoot, French closed on the athletes ahead of her and moved into bronze medal position at the third visit to the range.</p> <p>With Belarus&rsquo; Volha Silkina way out in front and a gap to those behind, French&rsquo;s battle was for silver and bronze with Elena Micheli.</p> <p>After trading places back and forth on the final lap it was the Italian who snatched silver in a sprint finish with, French claiming a fantastic bronze to add to her gold from World Cup 4 and European silver in 2019.</p> <p>Behind her, Muir was making significant progress through the field with superb shooting and strong running seeing the Pentathlon GB athlete crossing the line 9th.</p> <p>Summers battled and crossed the line 15th as all three British athletes recorded their best ever World Championships finishes.</p> Sportsbeat 2019Fri, 06 Sep 2019 21:00:19 Zurn:uuid:4c90758d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 AthleticsAsher-Smith stuns Brussels to claim first Diamond League TrophyDina Asher-Smith&rsquo;s superb summer continued in style in Brussels as she seared home in a season&rsquo;s best 100m to claim her first ever Diamond League Trophy. <p><br /> The Londoner has switched between 100m and 200m throughout this season, winning races over both distances and last week claiming a season&rsquo;s best over the longer distance in Zurich.<br /> <br /> But in the Diamond League Final in Belgium, a country she&rsquo;d not previously raced in, the 23-year-old reignited her rivalry with the likes of Marie-Josee Ta Lou and Jamaica&rsquo;s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce &ndash; blowing away the competition in perfect timing ahead of the World Championships.<br /> <br /> Asher-Smith raced home in 10.88s (-0.3), beating her previous season&rsquo;s best of 10.91 and just three hundredths of a second outside her personal best.<br /> <br /> World lead Fraser-Pryce finished second on 10.95 with Ivorian Ta Lou third on 11.09 and the Netherlands&rsquo; Dafne Schippers fourth.<br /> <br /> The triple European champion will attempt the sprint double at the World Championships in Doha later this month (September 27), handing herself the perfect confidence boost.<br /> <br /> "I came in to the race wanting to win and my coach gave me some very specific things to think about," said Asher-Smith, who got out of the blocks quickest on reaction time.<br /> <br /> "I was doing that in the race and I managed to pull it off and when I crossed the line I thought 'yes, fabulous, won the race, tick, happy me', but then I remembered it was the Diamond League so technically I've won the whole Diamond League, so what a great day!"<br /> <br /> There were more Brits in action elsewhere in Brussels, World Championships heptathlon medal hope Katarina Johnson-Thompson jumping 6.73m to claim third in the long jump.<br /> <br /> In a field of specialists Johnson-Thompson showed excellent consistency, with just one foul and follow-up efforts of 6.64m, 6.62m, 6.70m and 6.65m.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I have mixed feelings about my competition,&rdquo; said the Brit. &ldquo;I am sure that I can do better than 6.73m, but it was ok for now. I came here as one of the weakest jumpers and I finish in third position so I can&acute;t complain.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is definitely good for my confidence. I feel like I am ready for the heptathlon. Everything is falling into place.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Germany&rsquo;s Malaika Mihambo took the title while Lorraine Ugen jumped a season&rsquo;s best 6.70 to take fifth.<br /> <br /> Matt Hudson-Smith finished second behind Trinidad&rsquo;s Machel Cedenio in a non-Diamond League 400m, while 110m hurdler Andy Pozzi clocked 13.50 to take sixth, Holly Bradshaw jumped to fifth in the pole vault and Lynsey Sharp sixth in the 800m.<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019</p>Fri, 06 Sep 2019 20:10:50 Zurn:uuid:abad748d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Team GBBuilding Futures: Public vote to decide national winnersThrough Building Futures, Team GB's partnership with Persimmon Homes, this month you have the chance to <a href="https://www.persimmonhomes.com/building-futures/">vote for UK based community projects to win grants of up to &pound;100,000</a>.<br /> <br /> Following a selection process involving Team GB Olympic champions Callum Skinner and Kat Copeland, there are 96 entries who have made it through as finalists as Building Futures looks to support projects by giving away &pound;1m this year.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Each entry supports under 18s across Britain through sport, education &amp; arts and health and were selected from a list of 4,000 who entered during February to May.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Building Futures is being delivered through the Persimmon Charitable Foundation, which last year donated &pound;620,000 to support children&rsquo;s sport.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> One initiative from each category will go on to win &pound;100,000 each through a national award scheme to be decided by this public vote.<br /> <br /> As well as the &pound;100,000 first prize, there will be a &pound;50,000 second prize and a &pound;20,000 third prize in each sector, while a further 87 shortlisted projects will each receive &pound;5,000.<br /> <br /> Online voting will close at midnight on September 27.<br /> <br /> To view the finalists, read their stories and to vote <a href="https://www.persimmonhomes.com/building-futures/">please click here</a>.<br /> <br />Tue, 03 Sep 2019 22:07:34 Zurn:uuid:a398748d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 AthleticsMuir back as GB name World Championships squadLaura Muir has been passed fit and will spearhead Great Britain's charge at this month's World Championships, with more women than men selected for Doha. <br /> <br /> Muir tore her calf during the final lap of her 1500m victory at the Anniversary Games in July and subsequently missed the British Championships and Diamond League finale.<br /> <br /> However, the world number one will be back on track in the 1500m, bidding for a first World Championship medal. <p>Of the 72 athletes selected, 37 are women and 35 are men with British Athletics choosing more women for the second straight major championships.</p> <p>Like Muir, Dina Asher-Smith is a high medal hope and is targeting a 100m/200m double, while Katarina Johnson-Thompson&rsquo;s heptathlon battle with Olympic champion Nafi Thiam is hotly-anticipated.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"> With the support of <a href="https://twitter.com/Battersea_?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Battersea_</a>'s Team Rescue, <a href="https://twitter.com/BritAthletics?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BritAthletics</a> are delighted to announce the 72-strong team that will <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/REPRESENT?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#REPRESENT</a> at <a href="https://twitter.com/IAAFDoha2019?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@iaafdoha2019</a><br /> <br /> <a href="https://t.co/05LO8a31Kf">https://t.co/05LO8a31Kf</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/REPRESENTRESCUE?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#REPRESENTRESCUE</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IAAFDoha2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#IAAFDoha2019</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Battersea?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Battersea</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CharityTuesday?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CharityTuesday</a> <a href="https://t.co/NCVQ0mFEjI">pic.twitter.com/NCVQ0mFEjI</a></p> &mdash; British Athletics (@BritAthletics) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritAthletics/status/1168859094893117441?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 3, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Zharnel Hughes and Adam Gemili are also competing in the 100m and 200m, the first British men to do so since Marlon Devonish 14 years ago in Helsinki, while 400m runner Martyn Rooney is set for his eighth World Championships.</p> <p>In total, 44 athletes return to the world stage having previously earned selection for London 2017 including world indoor champion Andrew Pozzi, Lynsey Sharp and Holly Bradshaw.</p> <p>Great Britain won six medals, including gold in the men&rsquo;s 4x100m relay and with Mo Farah in the men&rsquo;s 10,000m, two years ago.</p> <p>Performance director Neil Black said: &ldquo;In the 72 athletes, I truly believe we have selected the strongest team possible to compete for medals on the global stage.</p> <p>&ldquo;The team is full of world-class athletes who over the past two years since we were hosts in London have proven that they belong on the global stage.</p> <p>&ldquo;It is great to see so many athletes return having competed in London and also see so many make the step up to the world level for the first time.</p> <p>&ldquo;We have selected more women than men once again for a major championships and special mention needs to go to Martyn Rooney, who is competing at his eighth World Championships, a truly remarkable feat for a great athlete.&rdquo;</p> Sportsbeat 2019Tue, 03 Sep 2019 14:43:04 Zurn:uuid:d02a748d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 TennisKonta through to last eight but wants moreJohanna Konta is already eyeing a spot in the US Open final after reaching the last eight for the first time in her career.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> The 28-year-old recovered from a set and a break down to beat former finalist Karolina Pliskova 6-7 (1-7) 6-3 7-5 at Flusing Meadows.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> It looked like the Czech was going to run away with the tie but Konta had won 16 of her 19 three-set matches this year and battled back to improve that record.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> The British number one is now the first British woman to reach the quarter-finals since Jo Durie 36 years ago and will face Ukrainian fifth seed Elina Svitolina or American 10th seed Madison Keys in the last eight.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve reached the fourth round for the first time and to go one step further is a massive achievement for me,&rdquo; she said.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &nbsp;&ldquo;I&rsquo;m hoping to go one or two more steps better than that.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> "The key was to keep going, with Karolina you know there will be massive portions of the match where I don't feel effective.<br /> <br /> "It is about staying out there and trusting the fundamental things. It was a great match and I'm so happy."<br /> <br /> Konta received great encouragement from the New York crowd and has now reached the last eight in all four Grand Slam tournaments.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Pliskova had previously won six of their seven tour-level meetings but some impressive groundstrokes brought along 45 winners - enough to finally see Konta over the line.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019Mon, 02 Sep 2019 06:52:52 Zurn:uuid:03f8738d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 RowingTen boats bound for Tokyo after World Rowing ChampionshipsBritain rounded off the World Rowing Championships with bronze in the men's eight and can reflect on a successful regatta after qualifying ten boats for Tokyo 2020. <br /> <br /> With men&rsquo;s and women&rsquo;s eights doing the necessary in finals on the last day of racing, only Netherlands matched Britain in terms of quota spots sealed for next year&rsquo;s Games. <br /> <br /> The men&rsquo;s eight&rsquo;s storied rivalry with Germany has not lost its lustre and the two nations shared the podium once again in Linz Ottensheim, Austria.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> The British crew of Tom George, James Rudkin, Josh Bugajski, Moe Sbihi, Jacob Dawson, Ollie Wynne-Griffith, Mat Tarrant, Tom Ford and cox Henry Fieldman came home in 05:22.35, fewer than three seconds shy of the Germans and the Dutch in the silver medal position. <br /> <br /> Double Olympic medallist Sbihi feels his crew are making great strides and their first big collective triumph is on the horizon. <br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">It's bronze for the men's eight! In an absolute battle of a race, the boys safely secure <a href="https://twitter.com/Tokyo2020?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Tokyo2020</a> qualification and row themselves onto the World Championships podium <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WRChamps?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WRChamps</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LinzOttensheim2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LinzOttensheim2019</a> <a href="https://t.co/w1vDQ9jzMU">pic.twitter.com/w1vDQ9jzMU</a></p> &mdash; British Rowing (@BritishRowing) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritishRowing/status/1168136983979417600?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 1, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> &ldquo;We should be really happy with the fact we held the medal position,&rdquo; said the 31-year-old, part of the victorious coxless four crew in Rio. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I always enjoy racing Germany and respect them so much. They&rsquo;re an outstanding crew. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have some variances in our performance but they are getting smaller. When you look at this year compared to last year, you can see we've medalled in every single race. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The performances are getting better and that's only putting us in good stead. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I've been saying it all along to these boys, the moment they win, they're going to understand, and flourish, and fly.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It didn't happen on this occasion but what better chance to do it for the first time next year.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The women&rsquo;s eight of Fiona Gammond, Zoe Lee, Jo Wratten, Hattie Taylor, Rowan McKellar, Rebecca Shorten, Karen Bennett, Holly Norton and cox Matilda Horn dug in to claim their place on the start line in Tokyo. <br /> <br /> They came home for fifth in a relatively comfortable 06:06.96 but had to show resilience to hold off Romania in the final 500 metres and claim the final qualification spot. <br /> <br /> Olympic silver medallist Vicky Thornley impressed in the single sculls with fourth place on the world stage, a slither off the podium with an Olympic berth safely secured. <br /> <br /> And with Graeme Thomas and John Collins in the same position of security, they finished fourth to end a stellar season that has yielded two medals on the World Cup circuit. <br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">And that's a wrap! We've had 8 days of phenomenal racing at the <a href="https://twitter.com/WorldRowing?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WorldRowing</a> Championships 2019 out in Linz - here's how it's all shaped up for the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GBRowingTeam?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GBRowingTeam</a> <br /> <br /> 2 Golds<br /> 4 Bronzes<br /> Olympic boats qualified<br /> 3⃣ Paralympic boats qualified<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WRChamps?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WRChamps</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LinzOttensheim2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LinzOttensheim2019</a> <a href="https://t.co/Oh5Z9IiVFF">pic.twitter.com/Oh5Z9IiVFF</a></p> &mdash; British Rowing (@BritishRowing) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritishRowing/status/1168157574811836417?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 1, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> Other boats assured of an Olympic quota spot are the women&rsquo;s pair, the lightweight women&rsquo;s double, the men&rsquo;s and women&rsquo;s four and men&rsquo;s and women&rsquo;s quads. <br /> <br /> Director of Performance Brendan Purcell said: &ldquo;Our goal coming out to this World Championships was always Olympic qualification and the team has delivered.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have now qualified ten of our Olympic boats and to have both our eights heading to the Games is an important marker for a big rowing nation. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I would like to thank Jurgen (Grobler) for his passion, commitment to the role and the challenge he provides to ensure we continue to look for ways to be the best.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We now need to go away and prioritise our boats, focus on converting the opportunities into medals and look to seek additional qualifications. We have a lot of momentum to build on going into next season.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019<br />Sun, 01 Sep 2019 17:46:20 Zurn:uuid:0f4b748d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 ShootingMcIntosh on top of the world after gold <p>Seonaid McIntosh was delighted to make history by becoming the first British female rifle shooter to win World Cup gold.</p> <p>The 2018 world champion claimed her second medal of the ISSF World Cup in Rio with gold in the Three Positions Rifle event.</p> <p>The Edinburgh-born shooter beat South Korea&rsquo;s Jehee Kim and Ruijiao Pei of China to add to her 10m women&rsquo;s air rifle silver won earlier in the week.<br /> <br /> And her exploits means she is now world number one in&nbsp;the Three Positions Rifle event and eighth in rifle shooting.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">!!!GOLD!!! for Seonaid McIntosh in 3P Rifle at the @issf_official World Cup in Rio! The first ever World Cup gold for a GB female rifle shooter. Huge congrats to the Scottish shooter and her coach <a href="https://twitter.com/MacCoach10?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MacCoach10</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/ScotTargetShoot?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ScotTargetShoot</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@teamgb</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IGoBeyond?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#IGoBeyond</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TeamEley?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TeamEley</a> <a href="https://t.co/voxDoXVe09">pic.twitter.com/voxDoXVe09</a></p> &mdash; British Shooting (@GBShooting) <a href="https://twitter.com/GBShooting/status/1167848978454667264?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 31, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;Two medals is just amazing and I&rsquo;m really proud,&rdquo; said McIntosh, a triple European champion in 2017.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> </p> <p>McIntosh&rsquo;s success is the first Rifle World Cup Gold for Britain &ndash; male or female &ndash; since Olympian Mike Babb in 2002.<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019</p>Sun, 01 Sep 2019 17:00:00 Zurn:uuid:18f0738d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 EventingTeam silver for GB in Germany<p>Great Britain secured a brilliant team silver medal in a tense and tightly fought battle at the European Eventing Championships in Luhmuhlen, Germany.</p> <p>Going into the final day of competition, the show jumping phase, GB held the narrowest of margins over rivals France and Italy in second place and it was to be a battle that raged on throughout the day.</p> <p>First up for GB, Kristina Cook on Billy The Red produced a brilliant round to boost the Brits confidence before Pippa Funnell was next up, but faltered with a pole down on Majas Hope increasing the pressure on the final two team riders.</p> <p>While Italy began to encounter problems, France crept ever closer to GB&rsquo;s silver medal position and Piggy French on Quarrycrest Echo also put an early fence down to leave the team with no margin for error with only Oliver Townend left to jump.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">That was an exciting finish to the 2019 European Championships! GB take the and <a href="https://twitter.com/kittyeventing?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@kittyeventing</a> finished best of the Brits in 7th! <a href="https://t.co/LNhmnanYHd">https://t.co/LNhmnanYHd</a> <a href="https://t.co/bqjwCfSxBQ">pic.twitter.com/bqjwCfSxBQ</a></p> &mdash; British Eventing (@BEventing) <a href="https://twitter.com/BEventing/status/1168176608701767680?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 1, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Townend also encountered difficulty with a fault at the planks, dropping GB down to third, but French rider Lt Col Thibaut Vallette also put a fence down to put Great Britain back into silver medal position in the tightest of margins.</p> <p>Reflecting on the silver Townend said: &ldquo;It [the fault] matters for me, but it doesn&rsquo;t matter for the team and that&rsquo;s the main bit here.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m obviously disappointed for the owner, to have a fence down. It matters more and more [the show jumping], gone are the days that a bad jumper is a good event horse!&rdquo;</p> <p>Kitty King finished the highest in the individual placings for the Brits in seventh on Vendredi Biats while Townend came ninth, French 15<sup>th</sup>, Funnell 22<sup>nd</sup>&nbsp;and Cook 42<sup>nd</sup>.</p> <p>King said: &ldquo;I made a bit of a mess up at the first line, but it sharpened me up a bit! He really helped me out &ndash; he couldn&rsquo;t have jumped better.</p> <p>&ldquo;It means everything; you always want to do the best for your country, even if you&rsquo;re an individual, you&rsquo;re still representing Team GBR and you want to do your best job and not let anyone down.&rdquo;</p> Sportsbeat 2019Sun, 01 Sep 2019 16:13:31 Zurn:uuid:50df738d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 SailingBronze for Young completes trio of GB medals in Japan<p>Ali Young picked up a Laser Radial bronze medal to add to Britain's sailing success at the Hempel World Cup Series in Enoshima.</p> <p>After the men&rsquo;s and women&rsquo;s 470 events, all racing was cancelled due to a lack of wind in Japan meaning the leaderboard remained unaltered from the end of fleet racing.</p> <div> <p>The double Olympian&rsquo;s success came a day after British gold and silver in the 49er and Nacra 17 events respectively, leaving GB fourth in the medal table at the end of the first round of the 2020 World Cup series.</p> </div> <p>Adding her latest accolade to a bronze at the Laser Radial World Championships in Sakaiminato in July, Young was pleased to be back on the podium.</p> <p>But the 32-year-old admitted she was disappointed to miss out on the chance to compete in the medal race on next year&rsquo;s Olympic stage.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s nice to finish off the regatta with a medal but I was looking forward to doing the medal race to gain that experience,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a bit of an anti-climax to the week in a way, but I will take the third. There have been lots of highlights to my time in Japan and I&rsquo;m looking forward to seeing where I can go from here.&rdquo;<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Ali Young picks up her bronze medal at the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/hwcsenoshima?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#hwcsenoshima</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TeamGB</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/TNLUK?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TNLUK</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/uk_sport?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@uk_sport</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/VolvoCarUK?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@VolvoCarUK</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/mustoclothing?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@mustoclothing</a> <a href="https://t.co/vTSxMXEngo">pic.twitter.com/vTSxMXEngo</a></p> &mdash; British Sailing Team (@BritishSailing) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritishSailing/status/1168055818777845763?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 1, 2019</a></blockquote> Hannah Snellgrove had also qualified for the medal race in the same event&nbsp;and&nbsp;finished seventh overall.<br /> <p>The Laser event was also interrupted meaning Rio 2016 Olympian Nick Thompson had to settle for ninth, and the 33-year-old was frustrated he didn&rsquo;t get the opportunity to climb up the ranks on the final day.</p> <p>He said: &ldquo;I&rsquo;m a little bit disappointed we didn&rsquo;t get the chance to race today. It was a bit light and tricky for racing, but it would have been nice to do some light wind racing.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m semi-pleased with my regatta. I had good pace and once we got to the windward mark, I was solid, but I&rsquo;m a little bit annoyed with some of my starting and first upwinds.</p> <p>&ldquo;All in all, it was a solid result and it was good to make the medal race.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019</p>Sun, 01 Sep 2019 11:54:40 Zurn:uuid:3f9e738d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 TriathlonLearmonth and Taylor-Brown take silver and bronze in Lausanne <p>Jess Learmonth and Georgia Taylor-Brown finished second and third in the World Triathlon Series Grand Final in Lausanne to secure overall silver and bronze medals in the final standings.</p> <div> <p>Learmonth started well and led after the swim, starting the bike leg with a ten-second lead on the chase group which featured Taylor-Brown and fellow Brit Sophie Coldwell.</p> <p>The race soon became a three-way fight between Learmonth, Taylor-Brown and American World Series leader Katie Zaferes.</p> <p>With just one lap to go on the run, Taylor-Brown had fallen behind and it was a straight shoot-out between the top two in the standings, a fitting end to the Grand Final.</p> <p>Zaferes, though, was too strong in the end and took the race victory and the overall World Series title ahead of Learmonth with Taylor-Brown coming home in third place.</p> <p>Learmonth said: &ldquo;It was a tough race out there. We were preparing for Tokyo but the course was hard.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m delighted with the performance and the overall result. I&rsquo;m delighted for Georgia too. There were some really strong performances out there.&rdquo;<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">WHAT.A.RACE.<br /> <br /> Sensational performance by all the women today in Lausanne! Congratulations to <a href="https://twitter.com/Jess_Learmonth?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Jess_Learmonth</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/georgiatb?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@georgiatb</a> bringing home <a href="https://t.co/ZUj4caKUEJ">https://t.co/ZUj4caKUEJ</a></p> &mdash; British Triathlon (@BritTri) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritTri/status/1167851565744627712?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 31, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the other British involvement in the race, Coldwell finished in 13th place while Vicky Holland finished in 18th place and Beth Potter came home in 28th place.</p> <p>&ldquo;I found it quite warm and I didn&rsquo;t feel great on the bike to be honest,&rdquo; Taylor-Brown said.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m so happy with the overall result though. I couldn&rsquo;t have asked for anything more this year. This whole year was all about Olympic selection and the Tokyo test event so to get on the podium again is amazing and to share it with Jess is even better.&rdquo;</p> <p>In the men&rsquo;s race Jonny Brownlee finished eighth while Alex Yee came 13<sup>th</sup>.</p> </div>Sat, 31 Aug 2019 20:34:16 Zurn:uuid:418d738d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 SailingGold for Peters and Sterritt in Japan<p>James Peters and Fynn Sterritt defended their 49er title at the Hemel World Cup Series in Enoshima, Japan. </p> <p>The duo started the day in fifth overall but staged a remarkable comeback which saw them finish second in the medal race. </p> <p>Fortune was with the Brits as the German team of Tim Fischer and Fabian Graf capsized when they were in control of the race leaving the door open. </p> <p>Retaining their title was one of the best moments of his life according to Sterritt, 30, who still had belief heading into the medal race.&nbsp; </p> <p>&ldquo;We really wanted to defend our title from last year,&rdquo; Sterritt said. </p> <p>&ldquo;Going into the medal race it didn&rsquo;t look like we were going to do it, even though it was mathematically possible. </p> <p>&ldquo;It takes a lot to pull these kind of things off when there are so many boats involved to stand a chance. </p> <p>&ldquo;The stars aligned and we&rsquo;ll take it. Unbelievably happy and this is probably one of the best moments of my sailing career so far.&rdquo;<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Second <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/britishsailingteam?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#britishsailingteam</a> medal of the day <a href="https://twitter.com/jamespeters5?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jamespeters5</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/fynnsterritt?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@fynnsterritt</a> collect their GOLD medals <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TeamGB</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/uk_sport?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@uk_sport</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/TNLUK?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TNLUK</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/mustoclothing?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@mustoclothing</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/VolvoCarUK?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@VolvoCarUK</a> <a href="https://t.co/IaE2D5ajwC">pic.twitter.com/IaE2D5ajwC</a></p> &mdash; British Sailing Team (@BritishSailing) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritishSailing/status/1167690544903966720?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 31, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Britain had more medal success at the home of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic sailing regatta, as Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface claimed Nacra 17 silver.</p> <p>The pair led heading into the final day but could only finish fifth in the medal race leaving the French duo Quentin Delapierre and Manon Audinet to win the race and secure gold. </p> <p>Saxton, 29, acknowledged the team made a tactical error which ended their hopes of gold but they were happy to still be on the podium. </p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m really happy with the way we sailed in the fleet racing,&rdquo; Saxton said.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think we obliterated that, especially if you take it without a discard we were a league clear of everyone else.</p> <p>&ldquo;We actually sailed quite well today but on a short course like we had you live or die by your first decision and we left ourselves with a bit to do. </p> <p>&ldquo;We had to comeback, we did that well to save the second, but overall I am happy with how we sailed.&rdquo;</p> <p>John Gimson and Anna Burnet finished fifth in the Nacra 17 while windsurfers Emma Wilson and Tom Squires both also ended up fifth overall in their regattas.<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019</p>Sat, 31 Aug 2019 16:03:20 Zurn:uuid:518c738d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 RowingTwo more bronzes for Brits at World Rowing Champs<p>Great Britain enjoyed another successful day at the World Rowing Championships, winning two bronze medals and confirming three more boats for next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo.</p> <p>After Madeline Arlett won Great Britain&rsquo;s first medal of the Championships with bronze on Friday, Emily Craig and Imogen Grant added a second medal by edging a third-place finish in a thrilling women&rsquo;s lightweight double sculls final.</p> <p>The duo, who finished behind New Zealand and the Netherlands in first and second respectively, admitted they had no idea whether they were in medal contention or not.</p> <p>&ldquo;I knew that there would be at least one race this season where we wouldn&rsquo;t know our position,&rdquo; said Craig.</p> <p>&ldquo;At 250 metres to go, I said we should just go for it. We pushed as hard as possible, but I looked up and there were boats in front and behind us, so I didn&rsquo;t know where we were. It&rsquo;s a big thanks to all the team.&rdquo;<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Bronze medal alert! <a href="https://twitter.com/imogendaisyg?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@imogendaisyg</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/Emsypemsywemsy?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Emsypemsywemsy</a> turn on the power to finish in third in the women's lightweight double final at the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WRChamps?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WRChamps</a> in Linz! <br /> <br /> Two more medal races for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GBRowingTeam?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GBRowingTeam</a> this afternoon, catch all the action on <a href="https://twitter.com/BBCOne?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BBCOne</a> <a href="https://t.co/91ziVHPpke">pic.twitter.com/91ziVHPpke</a></p> &mdash; Team GB (@TeamGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB/status/1167777526657310720?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 31, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The bronze theme was to continue in GB&rsquo;s next race, with the men&rsquo;s four of Ollie Cook, Sholto Carnegie, Rory Gibbs and Matt Rossiter putting in a huge performance to take third spot in the men&rsquo;s four final &ndash; Britain&rsquo;s third medal, and third bronze of the Championships.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m happy with that. You&rsquo;ve got to be happy with the medals that are given to you,&rdquo; said Gibbs.</p> <p>&ldquo;The bigger ones are nicer though, but looking ahead, we&rsquo;ve got so much depth in our squad. It&rsquo;s really promising.&rdquo;<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">It's bronze for the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GBRowingTeam?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GBRowingTeam</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/olscook?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@olscook</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/Carnegie95?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Carnegie95</a>, Rory Gibbs and <a href="https://twitter.com/RossiBoy2?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RossiBoy2</a> put in a huge performance in a ferocious race to take third spot - what a summer for the four!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WRChamps?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WRChamps</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LinzOttensheim2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LinzOttensheim2019</a> <a href="https://t.co/QaEcgRsuUc">pic.twitter.com/QaEcgRsuUc</a></p> &mdash; British Rowing (@BritishRowing) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritishRowing/status/1167782062008545281?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 31, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The success did&nbsp;not end at medals for Great Britain on day six in Linz as three teams confirmed their boats for Tokyo 2020.</p> <p>First up, it was Annie Withers and Sam Courty who finished fourth in the Women&rsquo;s Pair B final to qualify the boat for next year&rsquo;s Games, before the women&rsquo;s four of Holly Hill, Polly Swann, Emily Ford and Sara Parfett won their final to confirm a second boat of the day for Tokyo.</p> <p>In the space of two hours, Great Britain had qualified a third boat of the day for Tokyo with Peter Lambert, Jack Beaumont, Angus Groom and Jonny Walton securing a spot for the men&rsquo;s quadruple sculls.</p> <p>The Great Britain squad have now qualified eight boats for the Tokyo Olympics, with the final day of medal races taking place on Sunday.</p>Sat, 31 Aug 2019 15:54:00 Zurn:uuid:5536738d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 RowingArlett wins first medal as GB enjoy more success at rowing worlds<p>Madeleine Arlett enjoyed a successful end to her World Rowing Championships campaign by winning bronze in the lightweight women's single scull in Linz.</p> <p>Arlett, who finished second in her semi-final on Thursday, crossed the line in 7m49.820s to claim the bronze medal, with Marie-Louise Draeger of Germany and Chiaki Tomita of Japan finishing in first and second respectively.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s an unbelievable feeling,&rdquo; said Arlett.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been waiting for this opportunity for a long time and to do it myself is even more special. I&rsquo;ll take some time off now to recover.&rdquo;<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Bronze for <a href="https://twitter.com/MaddieArlett?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MaddieArlett</a>! <br /> <br /> Maddie puts in a sublime performance to bring a great end to her <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WRChamps?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WRChamps</a> campaign in the lightweight women's single scull - what a week she's had!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GBRowingTeam?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GBRowingTeam</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LinzOttensheim2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LinzOttensheim2019</a> <a href="https://t.co/PpbhGOKJAu">pic.twitter.com/PpbhGOKJAu</a></p> &mdash; British Rowing (@BritishRowing) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritishRowing/status/1167403973873197056?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 30, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Arlett was the only GB rower to claim a medal on Friday, but that was not to be the end of the day&rsquo;s success as two more British boats confirmed places at next summer&rsquo;s Olympic Games.</p> <p>First up it was Graeme Thomas and John Collins in the men&rsquo;s double semi-final, who crossed the line in third place to book a spot both in the A final and for their boat at next summer&rsquo;s Games.</p> <p>And when Vicky Thornley took to the Linz waters just under an hour later, she ensured the success continued for GB as she stormed to a second-place finish to qualify for Sunday&rsquo;s A final and put the women&rsquo;s single scull on the trailer out to Tokyo 2020.</p> <p>The Great Britain squad have now qualified five boats for the Tokyo Games, with medal races continuing over the weekend.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>Fri, 30 Aug 2019 13:27:31 Zurn:uuid:d0f3728d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 AthleticsAsher-Smith claims second place at Diamond League finalsDina Asher-Smith continued her preparations for the World Championships with a season's best time as she finished second in the women's 200m at the Diamond League finals in Zurich.<br /> <br /> <p> After last week breaking her own British Championship record in the women's 100m, the triple European sprint champion finished second behind Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo in a time of 22.08 seconds.</p> <p> As at the Birmingham Grand Prix where she also finished second to Miller-Uibo, Asher-Smith led at the halfway mark in Zurich only for the 400m specialist to move away with a burst of speed and win in a world leading time of 21.74.<br /> </p> <p>It means the 23-year-old Brit just misses out on adding a Diamond League title to her ever-increasing resume for the second consecutive year.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Season's best for Dina! <a href="https://twitter.com/dinaashersmith?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@dinaashersmith</a> delivers an outstanding performance in the women's 200m to finish second in 22.08 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ZurichDL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ZurichDL</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DLFinal?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DLFinal</a> <a href="https://t.co/7rytOJaTym">pic.twitter.com/7rytOJaTym</a></p> &mdash; Team GB (@TeamGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB/status/1167147573452390400?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 29, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>However, if there is any consolation to be had it is in the fact that Miller-Uibo will not be competing in the 200m in Doha and Asher-Smith beat a strong field including Olympic champion Elaine Thompson into second here. </p> <p>In another star-studded race, British duo Zharnel Hughes and Adam Gemili both registered times of 10.15 seconds in the men&rsquo;s 100m to finish in sixth and seventh respectively as America's Noah Lyles won in 9.98. </p> <p>Elsewhere Laviai Nielsen, who won the women&rsquo;s British 400m title in Birmingham, ran a strong race in the women&rsquo;s 400m to finish fifth in a time of 51.70 seconds.</p> <p>Holly Bradshaw, who won the women's pole vault with a new Championship record of 4.73m at the British Championships, finished fifth in the event with 4.72m while Jemma Reekie and Eilish McColgan came 11<sup>th</sup> and 12<sup>th</sup> in the women&rsquo;s 1500m.</p> Sportsbeat 2019Thu, 29 Aug 2019 20:35:48 Zurn:uuid:a4e7728d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 RowingThree boats confirmed for Tokyo as GB eye medals at rowing worlds<p>Not one, not two, but three British boats confirmed places at next summer's Olympic Games after a thrilling day for Great Britain at the World Rowing Championships.</p> <p>With no medals on the line during Thursday&rsquo;s racing, it was all about sealing the quota places for Tokyo, and the women&rsquo;s four, men&rsquo;s four and lightweight women&rsquo;s pair duly delivered.</p> <p>First up it was Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the women&rsquo;s double, where a storming row saw them through safely in second, booking a spot both in the A final and for their boat at next summer&rsquo;s&nbsp;Games.</p> <p>And the theme was to continue in GB&rsquo;s very next race, Matt Rossiter, Ollie Cook, Sholto Carnegie and Rory Gibbs sealing yet another second-place finish and a Tokyo place for the boat.</p> <p>Rounding things off were the women&rsquo;s quad, Jess Leyden, Melissa Wilson, Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne and Charlotte Hodgkins-Byrne completed a trio of second-places for the newly Olympic-qualified boats.</p> <p>But that was not to be the end of the day&rsquo;s action; there was emphatic victory for the women&rsquo;s eight in their semi-final, while Sam Mottram was second in the lightweight men&rsquo;s single sculls&nbsp;and&nbsp;Maddie Arlett in the women&rsquo;s.</p>Thu, 29 Aug 2019 17:57:40 Zurn:uuid:ece1728d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 JudoConway's collection builds as she seals world bronze<p>Sally Conway has capped an enviable set of medals, completing the trio of world, European and Olympic after sealing bronze at the World Judo Championships.</p> <p>The Rio bronze medallist took third on a stellar day in Tokyo, downing world number three Anna Bernholm to top her pool and reach the semi-finals in the -70kg category.</p> <p>There she faced former world silver medallist and world number two-ranked French judoka Marie-Eve Gahie, but an unfortunate mistake led to a premature defeat.</p> <p>The Scot certainly did not let her head drop, however, dominating her bronze-medal match against Michaela Polleres to win by waza-ari for a place on the podium.</p> <p>&ldquo;I just wanted to turn up today and give my best fight and performance. I&rsquo;m happy I was able to do this and produce a medal at my 8th World Championships,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p>"Sally put in a hard and gritty performance today, winning all her fights with throws which shows after all the experience she has, she is still making improvements and she didn&rsquo;t win any fight in ne-waza,&rdquo; added Senior Performance Head Coach, Kate Howey.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m really pleased for her to get a medal and complete the set of World, Olympic and European medals.&rdquo;</p> <p>Elsewhere on the fifth day of the championships, Frazer Chamberlain was defeated in the second round of the -90kg, while Max Stewart fell in the fourth against reigning world silver-medallist Ivan Felipe Silva Morales and Gemma Howell lost to Margaux Pinot.</p>Thu, 29 Aug 2019 16:41:47 Zurn:uuid:2085718d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 RowingRossiter dreams of going from selling Olympic t-shirts to Tokyo gloryWhen his former contemporaries were winning medals at London 2012, Matt Rossiter was taking a break from his job at a marketing start-up firm to work behind an Olympic merchandise stall.<br /> <br /> While those same ex-teammates were claiming gold at Rio 2016, Rossiter was making a comeback from a seemingly career-ending back injury by rowing recreationally at the Leander Club in Henley.<br /> <br /> So when the 29-year-old says the battle to reach Tokyo 2020 has helped him regain a sense of purpose &ndash; a target he can move a step closer to at this week&rsquo;s Rowing World Championships &ndash; that&rsquo;s not just a professional sportsman spouting a generic platitude.<br /> <br /> After all, this is the same man who, as a seven-year-old boy, fell in love with the Olympics and began plotting a path to appear on the biggest stage of all.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Since I was a kid I&rsquo;ve been obsessed with the Olympics &ndash; I remember vividly watching Atlanta 1996 and I had a notebook, where I wrote down all the sports and rated how suitable I would be for each one,&rdquo; explains Rossiter.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;At the time, cable TV had just been installed at my parents and the men who installed it had left a layer of new tarmac on the pavement, which I likened to the velodrome!<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;d ride up and down the street on my bike and thought I&rsquo;d make a good cyclist, while decathlon was quite high up as well.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I can&rsquo;t remember if rowing was on the list but it might have been &ndash; my brother [George] is on the GB team with me now and my dad rowed at Cambridge University, so he made us watch it.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Ever since then I&rsquo;ve been desperate to be an Olympian. When I wasn&rsquo;t rowing because of injury it was incredibly hard &ndash; I lost the sense of purpose that chasing the Olympic dream provided.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Now I&rsquo;m doing it again, I&rsquo;m really appreciative &ndash; it makes any success all the sweeter.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;At times, I was bitter towards those who I thought had more of a clear path to success but everyone has their individual struggle. I no longer feel hard done by but I&rsquo;d be over the moon to fulfil the Olympic dream.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Part of the men&rsquo;s coxless four, Rossiter and co need to finish inside the top eight at the World Championships in Austria this week to secure a quota place at Tokyo for Team GB, qualifying straight through their heat to Thursday's semi-finals.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;If we weren&rsquo;t to do that, then it would be nothing short of a disaster!&rdquo; adds Rossiter. &ldquo;After that, we&rsquo;d hope to be in the medal zone and I don&rsquo;t see any reason why we can&rsquo;t be challenging for gold.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Rossiter may no longer feel hard done by regarding his winding road to reach this point but the Newbury native has undoubtedly endured more tests than most prospective Olympians.<br /> <br /> He was something of a rowing wunderkind &ndash; winning gold at the 2007 World Rowing Junior Championships, then becoming one of the youngest-ever competitors at an Under-23 World Championship a year later while still at school.<br /> <br /> A trio of golds at the Sydney Youth Olympic Festival <em>(pictured below aged 18) </em>and then a brilliant silver in the men&rsquo;s coxless four at the 2010 U23 Worlds &ndash; in a boat with George Nash and Constantine Louloudis &ndash; meant an Olympic debut looked only a matter of time.<br /> <br /> But in 2011, disaster struck &ndash; a serious back injury meant he couldn&rsquo;t row for almost three years and had to watch Nash and Louloudis win bronze medals at London 2012 before turning that to gold in Rio four years later.<br /> <br /> <img src="https://d2njx87fm2ttul.cloudfront.net/images/default-source/news/gettyimages-84332426-594x594.jpg?sfvrsn=dc371d92_0" data-displaymode="Original" alt="gettyimages-84332426-594x594" title="gettyimages-84332426-594x594" /><br /> <br /> &ldquo;I found it hard to see those guys doing that when I wasn&rsquo;t rowing,&rdquo; admits Rossiter. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not saying I definitely would have made Olympic selection but it was tough not to even be able to give it a go.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I actually worked at the London Olympics on one of merchandise stalls as I thought it would help to be part of it. Actually, it made it worse watching it all happen but being on other side.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It made me tougher as a person and made me evaluate how much I love being a professional sportsman.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;After graduation I worked a normal job in London for a company called The Eleven, who were a small marketing start-up created by a friend of a friend.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Even though I worked for a fun lively company in east London and really enjoyed myself, all I wanted to do was be rowing.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Even once I started my recovery, I remember cycling back to the rowing club in London, being the only person in the gym and I just broke down saying &lsquo;god, how has it gone so wrong? It was all looking so promising.&rsquo;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The back injury had stopped the path I wanted to go on &ndash; that door had been shut. It puts everything into context now. I only see things as a success if I make it to the Olympics.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Rossiter began the slow rehabilitation process, working hard initially just to make sure he could have a normal quality of life, before taking up rowing recreationally once more.<br /> <br /> His back held up, he found success with the Leander Club in Henley and then earned a call-up to the GB team after the Rio Olympics.<br /> <br /> After earning selection, his boat was briefly de-selected before a training camp in May determined the current make-up of the coxless four &ndash; Rossiter, Oliver Cook, Rory Gibbs and Sholto Carnegie &ndash; and they won European gold less than a month after being selected.<br /> <br /> And if Rossiter&rsquo;s story needed another twist, Cook provided it as something of a familiar face.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Olly and I actually went to Abingdon School together. We started playing rugby together when we were 13 and then we&rsquo;ve rowed together since we were 14 or 15,&rdquo; says Rossiter.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We went to different universities and didn&rsquo;t row together for a while but we went to our school ten-year reunion last year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Everyone put us in the bracket of &lsquo;the rowers&rsquo; and was asking us how it was going. Literally that week we&rsquo;d been announced as the pair to row at the World Champs but before that we hadn&rsquo;t really rowed together for years.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was funny how we were put together by chance the same week as our school reunion.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Fate might finally be dealing Rossiter a good hand and he fully intends to take it all the way to the Olympics.<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019Mon, 26 Aug 2019 09:53:59 Zurn:uuid:eb22718d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 JudoSmythe-Davis targeting World Championship gold<p>Her season may have been blighted by injury but Nekoda&nbsp;Smythe-Davis has her eyes set on gold at the World Judo Championships in Tokyo.</p> <p>The 26-year-old judoka spent five months out after having minor surgery on her shoulder in February but made a rousing return with bronze at the Zagreb Grand Prix in July.</p> <p>Smythe-Davis is not short of medals to her name, having won bronze and silver at the 2017 and 2018 Judo World Championships respectively but now, with Olympic qualification in sight, she&rsquo;s determined to go one better in Japan.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s been a tough year, but I was thrilled to make a strong return from injury and I think I am in a strong position going into the World Championships,&rdquo; said Smythe-Davis.</p> <p>&ldquo;After medalling at the previous two world tournaments, I would love to beat my own achievements and win gold at this year&rsquo;s Worlds.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think I am more than capable, so I am setting my sights on the top podium spot.</p> <p>&ldquo;Winning the semi-final last year was one of the best moments of my career so far. The feeling of knowing you can become world champion is so exciting.</p> <p>&ldquo;If I get to the same position this year, I will be even more focused to win gold.</p> <p>&ldquo;My main target is to go out and perform as well as I know I can. I know if I do that, the medal will come.&rdquo;<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">It's great to see <a href="https://twitter.com/nekodadavis_57?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nekodadavis_57</a> back and in medal winning form<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WeAreGBJudo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WeAreGBJudo</a> <a href="https://t.co/CwNnH2uQyO">pic.twitter.com/CwNnH2uQyO</a></p> &mdash; #WeAreGBJudo (@BritishJudo) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritishJudo/status/1154820293535436800?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 26, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Smythe-Davis, who competes in the women&rsquo;s -57kg category, was in no hurry to return to action after her shoulder injury.&nbsp;<br /> </p> <p>She withdrew from the European Games in June as a precaution &ndash; a decision she deemed vital to safeguard her hopes of competing at the 2020 Games.</p> <p>&ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t feel close enough to being 100% ready,&rdquo; she explained.</p> <p>&ldquo;You have to be 100% sure you are fit, especially at this time in the cycle &ndash; one year out from the Olympic Games.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s too dangerous to take a risk. I wanted to be fully confident that I could go out and compete to the best of my potential.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve had a difficult year, but I&rsquo;ve had a brilliant team around me, and everything is heading in the right direction.</p> <p>&ldquo;You have to make those small steps every day towards the bigger picture.&rdquo;</p> <p>As a current World Championship silver medallist, Smythe-Davis is no stranger to the expectation that comes with a place on the global stage.</p> <p>But with this year&rsquo;s Championships taking place in Tokyo &ndash; the home of judo and the host city of next year&rsquo;s Olympic Games &ndash; she knows it is going to be bigger and better than any tournament yet.</p> <p>&ldquo;The excitement of competing in the World Championships never wears off but this year is particularly special because we get to do a dry-run of next year&rsquo;s Olympics,&rdquo; Smythe-Davis added.</p> <p>&ldquo;We will find out how to deal with the atmosphere, the jet lag and the humidity of the country, making it an important learning lesson ahead of next year.</p> <p>&ldquo;Japan is the home of Judo and nothing will ever beat competing there. The crowds will be huge and to look around and see a full stadium is just the best feeling.</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re going to feel like footballers do in England! It can be nerve-wracking, but if you use the atmosphere to your advantage it can really get you up for the fight and take your performance to the next level.</p> <p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s no better time to get out to Japan and compete at the highest level of judo than now.&rdquo;</p>Sun, 25 Aug 2019 12:34:14 Zurn:uuid:d8c9708d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Canoe SprintSummer SportsHeath delighted to secure Tokyo spot for GB<p>Winning World Championship gold was a special moment for Liam Heath &ndash; not only was he delighted to reclaim his world title, but he was relieved to secure a place at Tokyo 2020 for Team GB.</p> <p>The Olympic kayak champion powered to a 34.86 second finish in Hungary to reclaim the world title he won in 2017, edging out Strahinja Stefanovic of Serbia and Carlos Garrote of Spain in second and third.</p> <p>He may be Great Britain&rsquo;s most successful Olympic canoeist, but Heath, who took a year away from the sport after becoming a father, never imagined he would secure a repeat of his World Championship success.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve put in so much work this year and there&rsquo;s no better feeling than having that justified,&rdquo; said the 35-year-old.</p> <p>&ldquo;You have doubts and wonder if you&rsquo;re past it, so this is really special.</p> <p>&ldquo;I hadn&rsquo;t been massively thinking about next year because I think it would have been a distraction from the World Championships, but now I&rsquo;ve achieved what I set out to do, I can think about it a little bit more.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was incredibly special to have my wife and family here to watch me win &ndash; hearing them shouting &lsquo;Go Daddy!&rsquo; gave me so much motivation.</p> <p>&ldquo;My job may be done, but I will be staying here to support the team as best I can.&rdquo;<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/Liam_heath?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Liam_heath</a> K1 200M WORLD CHAMPION! <a href="https://t.co/WJFlg4AvG3">pic.twitter.com/WJFlg4AvG3</a></p> &mdash; British Canoeing (@BritishCanoeing) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritishCanoeing/status/1165213028167688192?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">24 August 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&nbsp;</p>Sat, 24 Aug 2019 17:12:13 Zurn:uuid:65c2708d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Cycling TrackComplacency not an option for Kenny<p>As the 2020 Tokyo Olympics creep ever closer so does this discussion of Great Britain's biggest medal hopefuls; and any conversation not including Laura Kenny is, for many, a conversation not worth having.</p> <p>Few will doubt that Kenny, Team GB&rsquo;s most successful female Olympian, will be on the plane to Tokyo in 2020, but testament to the 27-year-old&rsquo;s nature, she refuses to make any assumptions.</p> <p>Kenny has her eyes firmly set on October's European Championships in Holland, but before then, she took some time out to focus on a different strand of her sporting responsibilities &ndash; the I Am Team GB campaign.</p> <p>Amidst her hectic schedule in cycling and motherhood, Kenny, Toyota ambassador for the campaign, spent some time at London&rsquo;s Westfield on Saturday to take part in the Nation&rsquo;s Biggest Sports Day: a day of sport and physical activity including over 400 events across the UK.</p> <p>The I Am Team GB campaign aims to inspire people to take part in sport and physical activity for at least one day and Kenny, who was inspired into sport herself by her own mother, was proud to be present to help others discover the positive impact sport can have on their daily lives.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">I want to get as many people out and active as possible!<br /> <br /> Join me and thousands of others as part of the Nation&rsquo;s Biggest Sports Day on the 24th August.<br /> <br /> Find a local activity at <a href="https://t.co/3QRl9mD0Nh">https://t.co/3QRl9mD0Nh</a><br /> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IAmTeamGB?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#IAmTeamGB</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AD?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AD</a> <a href="https://t.co/0edvytm927">pic.twitter.com/0edvytm927</a></p> &mdash; Laura Kenny (@LauraKenny31) <a href="https://twitter.com/LauraKenny31/status/1162304952355696640?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 16, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;I teamed up with Toyota and Team GB to help put on the nation&rsquo;s biggest sport&rsquo;s day &ndash; and it&rsquo;s exactly what it says on the tin,&rdquo; said Kenny.<br /> </p> <p>&ldquo;We wanted to get as many people as possible active on one day. We had loads of activities going on at Westfield, table tennis, swingball, dance &ndash; everything you could think of.</p> <p>&ldquo;I took part in the sessions and spent a lot of time in the kids&rsquo; zone. It was fantastic to see so many people taking part. We had a 10-year-old boy who was football mad helping a two-year-old trying to get a hoop over a pole.</p> <p>&ldquo;There really is something for everyone to get involved with. It&rsquo;s important to get children active too. I&rsquo;ve thought a lot more about that ever since I became a mother to Albie.</p> <p>&ldquo;I know the benefits exercise gives me &ndash; I feel more relaxed and happier, like I&rsquo;ve achieved something. Whether I&rsquo;m cycling or just walking the dog, I just feel better in myself and I want everybody to experience that same feeling.&rdquo;</p> <p>The track cycling season is on the horizon and although seven-time world and 11-time European champion Kenny may be no stranger to major international events, she knows that this time, with the likes of Katie Archibald and Elinor Barker in the ranks, her starting line spot for Tokyo is far from safe.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;First things first, I&rsquo;ve got to try and get selected for the Europeans&rdquo; said Kenny.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s funny because my biggest rivals at the Europeans come from within my own team, but that competition motivates my training.</p> <p>&ldquo;There is such a high standard of talent in the British cycling team and I think that&rsquo;s the reason why the women&rsquo;s pursuit team has always been so strong.</p> <p>&ldquo;You&rsquo;re never guaranteed to be in that team, you have to fight for that space &ndash; every time, no matter who you are.</p> <p>&ldquo;The team has so much talent in it, so when you do make it to the start line, you know you&rsquo;re racing with the very best.</p> <p>&ldquo;There is no other team in the world like British cycling when there&rsquo;s year to go until the Olympics.</p> <p>&ldquo;The whole team comes together and buys into the same programme &ndash; the same goal.</p> <p>&ldquo;I feel like we&rsquo;re going in that direction now and will build on that momentum that we always have.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s funny because cycling is in the summer Olympics, but really, it&rsquo;s a winter sport so I&rsquo;ve been training really hard all summer to get selected for the start of the season.</p> <p>&ldquo;I feel relaxed at the minute because I think I&rsquo;ve had a good balance this summer, but we&rsquo;ll have to wait and see what October has in store.&rdquo;</p> <p>It has been far from a simple ride for Kenny since she won team pursuit and omnium golds at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.</p> <p>Returning to peak fitness and being able to even consider Tokyo two years on from giving birth to her son Albie in August 2017 is an unthinkable feat for most athletes, but Kenny is confident her journey has changed her perspective on elite sport for the better.</p> <p>&ldquo;I see everything completely different now,&rdquo; added Kenny.</p> <p>&ldquo;As an athlete, you can get too worked up by every result and every training session. I&rsquo;m not saying they&rsquo;re not important, of course they are, but sometimes you have to take a step back and see it for what it is.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think that&rsquo;s what Albie has brought to me, and to Jason as well.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s forced us to adapt and we&rsquo;re a lot more relaxed about the process now.</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve had a great family balance with training and looking after him. We have to be really organised and decide the exact times we are going to train so someone can look after him.</p> <p>&ldquo;If I&rsquo;m not training, I&rsquo;m looking after him &ndash; it&rsquo;s straight into mum and dad mode! That&rsquo;s how I always saw it and I think it&rsquo;s had a real positive effect in teaching us what is most important in life.&rdquo;</p> <p>Sportsbeat 2019</p>Sat, 24 Aug 2019 15:33:47 Zurn:uuid:f5b1708d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 SnowboardingSilver lining for Ormerod on comeback<p>Katie Ormerod couldn't have wished for a better return from injury as she won silver in her first World Cup appearance in almost two years.</p> <p>The snowboarder, who broke her heel before the 2018 Winter Olympics, finished second in the big air event in New Zealand after Saturday&rsquo;s final was cancelled because of high winds.</p> <p>In her first World Cup appearance in 629 days, 21-year-old Ormerod scored 83.75 in qualifying to finish second &ndash; her seventh overall World Cup podium &ndash; while Finland&rsquo;s Enni Rukajvari took gold with 86.00.</p> <p>She was third after the first run at Cardrona, then improved to second place with her backside 720 mute &ndash; a feat she never expected to achieve so soon.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m so excited to come second in my first World Cup back since injury,&rdquo; said Ormerod.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was great to ride in such a high-level contest and I&rsquo;m really happy with my riding.</p> <p>&ldquo;It couldn&rsquo;t be a better way for me to start the season.&rdquo;<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">2nd place!! I&rsquo;m so excited to come 2nd in my first World Cup back since injury! Finals got cancelled today due to windy conditions but it was great to ride in such a high level contest yesterday and I&rsquo;m really happy with my riding! Great start to season!! <a href="https://t.co/kbOo62J5mq">pic.twitter.com/kbOo62J5mq</a></p> &mdash; Katie Ormerod (@OrmerodKatie) <a href="https://twitter.com/OrmerodKatie/status/1165167402440646656?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 24, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <br /> The result is an early birthday present for Ormerod, who turns 22 on Sunday.<br /> <p>Her podium finish means she has drawn level with Zoe Gillings-Brier and James Woods with seven top-three World Cup finishes, equal fifth on Britain&rsquo;s all-time list.</p> <p>Sportsbeat 2019&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <strong>Picture Credit: GB Snowsport</strong></p>Sat, 24 Aug 2019 11:45:16 Zurn:uuid:a9a7708d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 EquestrianShowjumpers book Tokyo spot with European bronze<p>Great Britain's team showjumpers booked a quota place at the Tokyo Olympics after claiming European Championship bronze in Rotterdam.</p> <p>Ben Maher, Scott Brash, Holly Smith and Amanda Derbyshire&nbsp;combined for third place on the podium, marking Great Britain&rsquo;s first European medal in six years.</p> <p>Gold medallists Belgium and runners-up France also booked their spots next summer.</p> <p>Maher also leads the individual competition heading into Sunday&rsquo;s final day following a third straight clear round, and could become Great Britain&rsquo;s first European individual champion in 30 years.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Bronze medals and a ticket to Tokyo &ndash; it's been a good day for British showjumping! Huge congratulations to <a href="https://twitter.com/BenMaher1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BenMaher1</a>, Holly Smith, <a href="https://twitter.com/scott_brash?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@scott_brash</a> and Amanda Derbyshire.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BritishEquestrian?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BritishEquestrian</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OneTeamGBR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OneTeamGBR</a> <a href="https://t.co/jWSip1K5ol">pic.twitter.com/jWSip1K5ol</a></p> &mdash; Equestrian Team GBR (@TeamGBR) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGBR/status/1164983945546665984?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 23, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>"My priority today was the team and gaining Tokyo qualification," Maher said.<br /> </p> <p>"I like to go first, and I really believe in Explosion W. I'm just so lucky to have him.</p> <p>"It's one day at a time. He will enjoy his rest day tomorrow [Saturday] I am sure, and then it's all down to the last day on Sunday."</p> <p>Maher will start 1.06 points clear of Belgium&rsquo;s Jos Verlooy, while Switzerland's Martin Fuchs is in third.</p> Sportsbeat 2019Sat, 24 Aug 2019 09:39:31 Zurn:uuid:04f16f8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 SailingGreat Britain finish Tokyo test event with six medals<p>Great Britain topped the medal table at the Tokyo test regatta, with Hannah Mills and Giles Scott moving the tally to six on the final day.</p> <p>Mills and Eilidh McIntyre took silver in the women&rsquo;s 470 class, finishing behind French duo Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz.</p> <p>The pair were just a point back going into the medal race but a mistake at the start proved costly, although they were able to recover and secure second spot.</p> <p>&ldquo;I have mixed emotions. We thought we were over the start line for the medal race so we had to go back, and to be honest from that point we knew the gold medal was lost just because of how light the wind was,&rdquo; said Mills &ndash; who won Olympic gold in Rio alongside Saskia Clark.</p> <p>Mills&rsquo; fellow gold medallist Giles Scott was also on the medal podium, with bronze in the Finn class.</p> <p>A lack of wind in Tokyo meant only the 470 went ahead, leaving Scott stuck in third and unable to improve.</p> <p>&ldquo;I finished third overall and it&rsquo;s a little bittersweet,&rdquo; the 32-year-old said.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s good to win a medal but the back-end of the week didn&rsquo;t go well for me which meant I slipped down to third</p> <p>&ldquo;Postponement is something we have to get used to in sailing. If there&rsquo;s no wind we can&rsquo;t go racing, and that was the case. It&rsquo;s disappointing not to be able to go out and attack but I&rsquo;ll have to settle for the bronze.&rdquo;</p> Sportsbeat 2019Thu, 22 Aug 2019 13:16:37 Zurn:uuid:fbf46f8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 RowingThornley hopes new double act can inspire her to greater heights<p>Rowing, as much as any sport, is about teamwork.</p> <p>Regardless of individual talent, without the timing and cohesion of the team, the rest becomes worthless.</p> <p>For Vicky Thornley, even as she races in the single sculls in her bid to reach a third Olympics, teamwork remains as important as ever.</p> <p>The 31-year-old came fifth in the eight in London 2012 as she made her Olympic bow, before winning silver in Rio in the double sculls alongside Dame Katherine Grainger.</p> <p>And while she will now be on her own on the water, it is her partnership with coach Paul Reedy that will be crucial as she prepares to head to Austria for the World Rowing Championships, which double up as the Olympic qualifiers and get underway on Sunday.</p> <p>She explained: &ldquo;I raced the single in 2013 and 2014 but it wasn&rsquo;t really my first choice. This Olympiad, I very much came back from Rio to do the single. </p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a very personal project and a very personal journey. It&rsquo;s different. We spend a lot of time in singles training in the winter anyway. But going from the eight to the double was a change because it&rsquo;s more of an intense partnership with just two of you in the boat.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">The miles and preparation have been done out here in Varese Next stop Linz, Austria for the World Rowing Championships<br /> <a href="https://twitter.com/nickmiddleton88?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nickmiddleton88</a> <a href="https://t.co/awKnHlawrK">pic.twitter.com/awKnHlawrK</a></p> &mdash; Victoria Thornley (@VickyThornleyGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/VickyThornleyGB/status/1163881239721500673?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 20, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;Even though I&rsquo;m in the boat on my own now, there is still the teamwork with my coach and that relationship is really key. He&rsquo;s the only other person involved in the nitty gritty of it.<br /> </p> <p>&ldquo;When I came back from Rio, I wanted Paul Reedy to be my coach. He&rsquo;s coached me a little bit on and off over the years and I&rsquo;ve got huge respect for him. </p> <p>&ldquo;He&rsquo;s got massive experience, he&rsquo;s got an Olympic medal himself and coached the light women&rsquo;s double to gold in London and he&rsquo;s pretty relaxed and laid back which I think is good for me because sometimes I can be a little bit high strung. </p> <p>&ldquo;So he kind of balances me out. He&rsquo;s really easy to work with and every day is less stressful when you have a good relationship with your coach. It&rsquo;s been a really good working relationship with him over the last three years.&rdquo;</p> <p>Like his prot&eacute;g&eacute;, Reedy won Olympic silver, doing so in the quad sculls for Australia at the Los Angeles Games in 1984.</p> <p>As Thornley explains, he then coached Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hosking to lightweight double sculls gold in London.</p> <p>However, even a duo as experienced as Thornley and Reedy are always learning, particularly after a year in 2018 where the former had to cut short her season due to over-training.</p> <p>She said: &ldquo;All Olympiads have had very different stories for me. That&rsquo;s the great thing in sport and life in general is that nothing goes the way you expect it to, or the way you think or hope it will go.<br /> <br /> <img src="https://d2njx87fm2ttul.cloudfront.net/images/default-source/athletes/thorngraininset.jpg?sfvrsn=374b0392_0" data-displaymode="Original" alt="ThornGrainInset" title="ThornGrainInset" /> </p> <p>&ldquo;2017 was great for me with the early season races and then finishing with a silver medal at the World Championships. It was a really enjoyable year and just what I needed after the intensity and the pressures of the previous year with the Olympics.</p> <p>&ldquo;Then I overcooked it and over-trained in 2018. That had a lot of knock-on effects and more knock-on effects to this year than I probably appreciated.</p> <p>&ldquo;You are always learning, no matter how much experience you have. You can always do things better. Last year was a prime example of that. I&rsquo;m an experienced athlete and I still managed to over-train. I&rsquo;ve learned massively from it and you are never done learning in this sport.&rdquo;</p> <p>The knock-on effects were evident earlier this season as Thornley struggled to produce her best form at the European Championships, coming seventh in Lucerne.</p> <p>However, those struggles will be forgotten provided everything goes right in Ottensheim where the top nine will secure a quota place for Tokyo.</p> <p>That brings huge pressure, even for a rower as experienced as Thornley, but she has found ways of dealing with that in this third Olympiad.</p> <p>She said: &ldquo;The good thing with experience is I know the level of racing I&rsquo;ll be faced with come the World Championships.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Cruising☀️ <a href="https://t.co/rHQq4Py9vJ">pic.twitter.com/rHQq4Py9vJ</a></p> &mdash; Victoria Thornley (@VickyThornleyGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/VickyThornleyGB/status/1156273671989866496?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 30, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s always the fastest racing during the Olympiad because people&rsquo;s Olympic dreams are on the line. Going with the knowledge of that is good.<br /> </p> <p>&ldquo;Nerves always come into it, at every World Championships and every international race. This year there is obviously more pressure and with experience I&rsquo;ve learned the best way to deal with it, but it doesn&rsquo;t mean it goes away. </p> <p>&ldquo;But it&rsquo;s just how to manage it and not let it override the process of racing. Pressure is a privilege to have as well because it means that I&rsquo;m racing in the World Championships, representing my country.</p> <p>&ldquo;So I have to use it in the right way and make sure it doesn&rsquo;t affect my performance negatively.&rdquo;</p> <p>As well as her experience, the other advantage Thornley has is her trust in the British Rowing programme.</p> <p>Having topped the medal table in the rowing at each of the last three Olympics Games, there is an added confidence for the British rowers.</p> <p>If all goes to plan, Thornley will be hitting her peak at just the right time in Austria.</p> <p>She added: &ldquo;The momentum is going in the right direction which is a good thing. I trust that if I follow the programme the way it&rsquo;s written I will be at my fastest come the World Championships.</p> <p>&ldquo;You always want to build, you don&rsquo;t want to be at your fastest speed in the first regatta, you want to be at your best at the World Championships.&rdquo;</p> Sportsbeat 2019Thu, 22 Aug 2019 12:04:00 Zurn:uuid:eb906f8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 SailingGB enjoy sailing success on Olympic watersBritish sailors laid down a marker less than a year out from Tokyo 2020 as they picked up an impressive four medals on the first day of medal racing at the Olympic Games test event. <p>At the regatta dubbed Ready Steady Tokyo, the Brits certainly proved they are ready for the final phase of Olympic preparation with two silvers and two bronzes.</p> <p>In the Nacra 17 class, John Gimson and Anna Burnet won silver, with compatriots Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface joining them on the podium in third.</p> <p>Rio 2016 Olympian Dylan Fletcher and London 2012 silver medallist Stuart Bithell then came second in the 49er class, while Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey claimed bronze in the 49erFX.</p> <p>Fletcher and Bithell sat third heading into the 49er medal race but their biggest threat for silver &ndash; Poland&rsquo;s Lukasz Przybytek and Pawel Kolodzinski &ndash; made an early mistake to drop to the back of the fleet and leave the Brits with a clear run to second.</p> <p>&ldquo;We are stoked to win a medal at the test event,&rdquo; said Fletcher, after they finished behind New Zealand&rsquo;s Peter Burling and Blair Tuke. </p> <p>&ldquo;Overall we were a little disappointed with how we sailed and on day three we knew it&rsquo;s not how we usually sail and there is plenty more left. </p> <p>&ldquo;But we were happy to finish off the week strong and when the pressure was on, we performed and moved up to silver.&rdquo;</p> <img src="https://d2njx87fm2ttul.cloudfront.net/images/default-source/news-items/stuartbithelldylanfletcherwavetesteventsb630.jpg?sfvrsn=c72f0392_0" data-displaymode="Original" alt="Stuart Bithell Dylan Fletcher" title="StuartBithellDylanFletcherWaveTestEventSB630" /> <p>Dobson and Tidey led the 49erFX by a point heading into the medal race but were ultimately overhauled by Olympic champion Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze of Brazil, as well as Norway&rsquo;s Helene Naess and Marie Ronningen, and had to settle for third.</p> <p>Ahead of the final race of the Nacra 17, Gimson and Burnet sat second with Saxton and Boniface fifth overall &ndash; with the latter duo jumping up to bronze after a sixth-place finish.</p> <p>Gimson and Burnet&rsquo;s ninth place also proved just enough to hang on to second &ndash; much to Burnet&rsquo;s relief.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m just trying to get over the stress of it all,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;It was such a stressful medal race. We had a penalty which didn&rsquo;t help. </p> <p>&ldquo;But when I think about it and it all sinks in I&rsquo;m sure I&rsquo;ll be very happy to take a silver medal from the Tokyo 2020 test event.&rdquo;</p> <p>Friday&rsquo;s medal races will see more Brits gunning for the podium as Olympic champions Giles Scott and Hannah Mills are among the sailors currently in contention.</p>Wed, 21 Aug 2019 12:47:34 Zurn:uuid:47e66e8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 RowingBrilliant Bennett sets sights on Tokyo<p>Winning an Olympic medal after one senior international season is an unthinkable feat for most athletes.</p> <p>Karen Bennett is one of the few who have managed it, but the 30-year-old rower refuses to stop there.</p> <p>Bennett&rsquo;s career-crowning moment came at the end of her first full season with the GB rowing team in 2016 when she helped her nation win a first-ever women&rsquo;s eight medal with silver at the Rio Olympics.</p> <p>And she has managed to pack more accolades into her relatively short rowing career ever since, winning bronze at the World Rowing Cup II in June before missing out on European gold by 0.06 seconds to Romania.</p> <p>But that&rsquo;s not enough for 30-year-old Bennett, who has more glory in her sights as she prepares to compete as part of the British eight boat at the World Championships in Linz, Austria.</p> <p>That Rio feeling is a sensation she will never forget &ndash; and with Tokyo 2020 qualification on the line, there is only one thing on her mind.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Officially selected in the Women's Eight for the World Championships. Not only will we be racing for medals, we will be racing for Olympic Qualification! It's going to be a very spicy one.<br /> <a href="https://twitter.com/nickmiddleton88?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nickmiddleton88</a> <a href="https://t.co/JGDbJnA7a3">pic.twitter.com/JGDbJnA7a3</a></p> &mdash; Karen Bennett (@KarenBennett89) <a href="https://twitter.com/KarenBennett89/status/1162379125727870976?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 16, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;We need to get the World Championships right,&rdquo; said Bennett.</p> <p>&ldquo;If we can qualify the boat for Tokyo this month, we will all have far less to worry about.</p> <p>&ldquo;We do have another opportunity to qualify next year but we want to secure our spot before then. If we don&rsquo;t, everything becomes much more difficult.</p> <p>&ldquo;We want to be going into the last year of the Olympic cycle only having to qualify ourselves for the seats, not having to worry about the boat itself.</p> <p>&ldquo;Finishing in the top five at the World Championships will take a huge weight off all our shoulders.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a huge race for the whole squad, but I am 100% confident in every member of the eight to be able to qualify the boat. We just need to go out and do the job.&rdquo;</p> <p>She only broke into the GB team in 2015, but Bennett has already become one of the more experienced members of the squad, with her and Zoe Lee the only Olympic silver medallists who are still part of the women&rsquo;s eight.</p> <p>The pair will compete alongside Fiona Gammond, Jo Wratten, Hattie Taylor, Rowan McKellar, Rebecca Shorten, Holly Norton and cox Matilda Horn when the World Championships get underway on August 25.</p> <p>And while Bennett says it is the fond memories of Rio which continue to spur her and Lee on, she is well aware their past heroics will not guarantee the team lasting success.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">So incredibly proud.....thank you for all the support, it means so much to me. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/sassy?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#sassy</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/silver?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#silver</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/rio2016?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#rio2016</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/olympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#olympics</a> <a href="https://t.co/jotPuRWDtB">pic.twitter.com/jotPuRWDtB</a></p> &mdash; Karen Bennett (@KarenBennett89) <a href="https://twitter.com/KarenBennett89/status/764575740981567492?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 13, 2016</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;It was our three-year Olympic silver anniversary last week, so I was thinking about it a lot when we were out on the water, but the key thing is we&rsquo;re not trying to mimic everything the eight did in 2016,&rdquo; added Bennett.</p> <p>&ldquo;The whole world has moved on since we won silver in Rio in 2016, so we need to follow that trend too and make our own story.</p> <p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a lot of different personalities and less experienced players, but that can bring positives.</p> <p>&ldquo;Although we can take mine and Zoe Lee&rsquo;s experience from Rio, we need to be able to bring the new girls up to move forward and go one better.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m part of a different squad now, but I think having won a silver medal at the last Olympics makes me even more determined to want to go again.&rdquo;</p> <p>Sportsbeat 2019<br /> <br /> Pic: Nick Middleton</p>Tue, 20 Aug 2019 13:28:00 Zurn:uuid:40366f8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Coxsey climbs to brilliant bronze in Japan<p>Shauna Coxsey underlined her pedigree with a second medal of the Climbing World Championships, battling to bronze in the combined final.</p> <p>The 26-year-old, who secured her first medal last week with bronze in bouldering, was in the hunt for gold in Japan but slipped in the lead round - the last of three disciplines that make up the combined event.</p> <p>She dropped down the pecking order, behind Slovenia's Janja Garnbret and Japan's Akiyo Noguchi, but her excellence in both the speed and bouldering rounds ensured she left with a bronze medal.</p> <p>On Monday, Coxsey earned a quota place for Team GB at the 2020 Olympic Games, leaving her in prime position for a spot in Tokyo next summer.</p> <p>Climbing will make its Olympic debut in Japan and is one of five new sports at Tokyo, along with karate, skateboarding, surfing and baseball.<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019</p>Tue, 20 Aug 2019 12:31:00 Zurn:uuid:12826e8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 AthleticsAsher-Smith leads silver rush for Great Britain<p>Dina Asher-Smith underlined her world-class pedigree with a fine second place in the women's 200m, in a race packed with quality at the Birmingham Grand Prix.</p> <p>With Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Dafne Schippers and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce bringing five Olympic golds to the party, the 200m was the blue riband event of the Diamond League meet and it did not disappoint.</p> <p>Asher-Smith made a fiery start from lane five and led at the half-way point, just ahead of Nigeria&rsquo;s Blessing Okagbare and Fraser-Pryce.</p> <p>But down the main straight it was Miller-Uibo, a 400m specialist, who powered through to win in 22.24s, just 0.09s down on her meeting record from a year ago.</p> <p>Asher-Smith came second, on a day full of silver for Great Britain, and Fraser-Pryce third to cap off a thrilling afternoon.</p> <p>&ldquo;I was really happy with how I ran,&rdquo; Asher-Smith said.</p> <p>&ldquo;The competitor in me always wants to win but at the same time when you take a step back, that could have been an Olympic final &ndash; and I would have won silver!<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">An exceptional bend for Dina Asher-Smith but it was meeting record holder Shaunae Miller-Uibo who takes the win in the final event of todays <a href="https://twitter.com/MullerUKandI?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MullerUKandI</a> Grand Prix Birmingham<br /> <br /> 1st - <a href="https://twitter.com/Hey_ItsShaunae?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Hey_ItsShaunae</a> 22.24<br /> 2nd - <a href="https://twitter.com/dinaashersmith?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@dinaashersmith</a> 22.36<br /> 3rd - <a href="https://twitter.com/realshellyannfp?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@realshellyannfp</a> 22.50<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BirminghamDL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BirminghamDL</a> <a href="https://t.co/WwFFR5XANm">pic.twitter.com/WwFFR5XANm</a></p> &mdash; M&uuml;ller Grand Prix Birmingham (@BirminghamDL) <a href="https://twitter.com/BirminghamDL/status/1163103405952438273?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 18, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;I like to mix up my events, I have the 100m next week and then 200m the week after. I hope to do both again before I get to the World Champs.<br /> </p> <p>&ldquo;I like to do both distances so that when it comes to the big Championships I am well practised at both distances.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was good to do this at home. I joke why they give me such a hard race but to race with so many phenomenal athletes on home turf is great.&rdquo;</p> <p>While four or five athletes captured the attention on the track, in the sand pit it was all about two &ndash; as heptathletes Nafi Thiam and Katarina Johnson-Thompson went head to head in the long jump.</p> <p>Thiam, the Olympic and World heptathlon champion, made an intimidating start by landing a monstrous 6.86m, a new Belgian national record.</p> <p>Johnson-Thompson struggled on the board, fouling three of her first four attempts, but she roared back to land a big jump of her own &ndash; just one centimetre off Thiam.</p> <p>She finished level with Ivana Spanovic but the Czech athlete&rsquo;s second-best effort was further than Johnson-Thompson&rsquo;s, consigning the two-time Olympian to third.<br /> <br /> Johnson-Thompson and Abigail Irozuru both secured the World Championship qualifying standard, but Irozuru must wait an extra week to see if she will make the Great Britain team.</p> <p>Elsewhere, Adam Gemili finished second in the men&rsquo;s 100m, nudged out at the line by Jamaica&rsquo;s Yohan Blake.</p> <p>Lynsey Sharp also bagged a silver medal in the women&rsquo;s 800m, crossing just 0.35s back from USA&rsquo;s Ajee Wilson, while Matt Hudson-Smith was third in the men&rsquo;s 400m.</p> Sportsbeat 2019Sun, 18 Aug 2019 16:18:56 Zurn:uuid:25736e8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 TriathlonYee's glee as Great Britain scoop silver<p>Alex Yee steered Great Britain to a superb triathlon silver in the mixed team relay to cap an exciting Tokyo test event, less than one year out from the 2020 Olympic Games.</p> <p>Yee completed the final leg, following up Jess Learmonth, Gordon Benson and Georgia Taylor-Brown&rsquo;s earlier strong work, and only narrowly missed out on gold.</p> <p>It completes a promising week for Great Britain, with Vicky Holland earlier taking bronze in the women&rsquo;s event.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was a great race and a great fight,&rdquo; Yee said. &ldquo;I gave it everything I had and it wasn&rsquo;t quite enough but I am proud of myself for giving it all I had. </p> <p>&ldquo;These guys put me in a fantastic position and I can&rsquo;t thank them enough.&rdquo;</p> <p>Learmonth got Great Britain off to a strong start, leading the field after the a strong swim, and she handed over to Benson 20 seconds clear of the field.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Look at that finish!!!! Great job by GB for silver!!!!! <a href="https://t.co/xrxE2t8GcI">pic.twitter.com/xrxE2t8GcI</a></p> &mdash; British Triathlon (@BritTri) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritTri/status/1162884056373235714?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 18, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Benson maintained the position out front and handed over to Taylor-Brown 16s clear of the pack but with the race nearing its conclusion, France and USA put on a charge behind.<br /> </p> <p>And when Taylor-Brown handed over to Yee, she was level with France&rsquo;s Leonie Periault to set up a thrilling finish.</p> <p>In a topsy-turvy final leg, Yee and Dorian Coninx were neck and neck throughout and it was the French athlete who crossed the line marginally ahead to take gold.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve not done many relays and I have to be honest that they haven&rsquo;t been great experiences for me so to do that on the Olympic course and to be a part of the team is really nice,&rdquo; Learmonth said.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think everyone individually did amazing. I tried to get away in the swim because I didn&rsquo;t want to leave it to the run and that seemed to work well. I am so glad it worked and I could give the team a lead.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019</p>Sun, 18 Aug 2019 12:42:40 Zurn:uuid:0ab46d8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 TennisAndy Murray reveals singles plan ahead of showdown with brotherAndy Murray admitted he would much rather be on the same side of the net as brother Jamie as the siblings prepare to face off in the doubles at the Cincinnati Masters.<br /> <br /> The two-time Olympic champion and his partner Feliciano Lopez beat Ryan Harrison and Jack Sock 2-6 6-3 10-7 to set up a quarter-final clash against Jamie and Neal Skupski.<br /> <br /> It will only be the second time they have ever played each other in their professional careers after Jamie and fellow Brit Skupski saw off Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-3 6-3.<br /> <br /> And with Andy set to put his doubles career on the backburner to focus on singles once again, the double Wimbledon champion conceded it is never easy going up against his brother.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I'd obviously rather be on the same side of the net as him,&rdquo; Andy told BBC Sport. &ldquo;It sucks, it's not ideal, but we'll still be brothers at the end of the match - providing nothing untoward happens.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The last and only other meeting between the two brothers was in Montreal in 2015, where Jamie got the better of Andy, and the elder brother described the experience as &lsquo;weird&rsquo;.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I don't think you're ever really ready to go compete against your brother,&rdquo; Jamie said. &ldquo;But it's just something that we'll both have to deal with.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It's not an easy thing to have to go through, but it's only an hour and a half of our lives, so we can get through it I think.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is weird to look across the net and see your brother because you want each other to win every time they step on the court.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;And obviously you're getting out there and affecting what he's doing, and whether he's going to win or lose.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Former world number one Andy has also revealed he will play no part in the US Open, with the 2012 champion deciding against playing doubles in New York.<br /> <br /> Instead, he intends to play singles at next week&rsquo;s ATP event in Winston-Salem before potentially entering a tournament on the Challenger Tour during the final major of the year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I'm not going to play doubles at the US Open,&rdquo; the 32-year-old told BBC Sport. &ldquo;My goal is to get back playing at the level that I want to on the singles court.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I've decided that I need to focus all my energies on that right now. The US Open, doubles and mixed, can be another couple of weeks that you are slowing things down.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It doesn't feel like I need to play the main draw of every single tour event. I've hardly played the last couple of years and, having discussed with my team, after this week I think doubles is done for me for the time being.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I need to focus my mind on getting matches on the singles court. There aren't many tournaments between now and the end of the year.&rdquo;<br /> <div>&nbsp;</div>Fri, 16 Aug 2019 12:22:11 Zurn:uuid:6e676d8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 TriathlonHolland aces Tokyo triathlon testVicky Holland conquered punishing heat and a demanding course to bag bronze at the ITU World Triathlon Olympic Qualification Event. <br /> <br /> The 33-year-old, who claimed individual Olympic bronze in Rio, laid down a marker at the test event and reminded of her class as she aims to return to the rostrum at next year&rsquo;s Games. <br /> <br /> Despite the disqualification of Jess Learmonth and Georgia Taylor-Brown, Holland was delighted to play her part in a towering team performance that saw Non Stanford and Sophie Coldwell also finish in the top ten.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I felt really good on the run,&rdquo; said Holland, from Gloucester. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I would have liked to have run the full 10km as I think that would have played to my strengths and I just felt better and better as the run went on.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I feel like we were probably the best prepared team coming to Tokyo and the heat prep seemed to make us all fitter which was shown in the results. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think we all finished in the top 11 which is great.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Holland touched at 19:58 on the swim leg, some 30 seconds shy of the lead with compatriot Stanford close at hand. <br /> <br /> The British pair fought hard alongside Japan&rsquo;s Yuko Takahashi and Dutch star Rachel Klamer on the eight-lap bike leg. <br /> <br /> Momentum shifted in the lead pack on the track with USA&rsquo;s Katie Zaferes, a long-standing rival of Holland&rsquo;s, bowing out and two-time world champion Flora Duffy beginning to force the issue.<br /> <br /> Firmly in the picture when bikes were racked, Holland blistered the 5km run with a race-best time of 16:30 to finish fifth. <br /> <br /> After Jessica Learmonth and Georgia Taylor-Brown were disqualified for crossing the finish line hand-in-hand, Holland was upgraded to third, Stanford to seventh and Sophie Coldwell to ninth. <br /> <br /> Bermuda&rsquo;s Duffy took victory in a time of 01:40:19, 52 seconds ahead of Holland. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think we can take a lot of positives out of the performance of our athletes,&rdquo; said Mike Cavendish, British Triathlon National Performance Director. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;They all coped with the conditions well and I think each one raced to the best of their ability and I want to thank the support staff for their hard work in ensuring the athletes were as prepared as possible.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a testament to the depth of our female squad that we still have another athlete on the podium.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;What the athletes delivered has told us a lot ahead of next year and to have five athletes in the top 11 is great.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019<br />Thu, 15 Aug 2019 13:36:11 Zurn:uuid:7efa6b8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Modern PentathlonModern Pentathlon French claims another Tokyo spot on final day<p><strong>Kate French claimed silver for the second year running at the Modern Pentathlon European Championships as she clinched another Olympic quota spot for Team GB.</strong></p> <p>French adds a Tokyo qualification spot to the one secured by Jamie Cooke in the men&rsquo;s final 24 hours earlier and another acquired by Joe Choong after winning the Modern Pentathlon Union World Cup final in Japan earlier in the summer. </p> <p>She went into the laser-run in second at the University of Bath and took the lead after the second visit to the shooting range before eventually being hunted down by London 2012 Olympic champion Laura Asadauskaite midway round the third lap. </p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m over the moon with second place,&rdquo; said French. </p> <p>&ldquo;I had to really fight, nothing came easy. I had a really good ride, which I was so pleased with and that put me in a good position for the final event.</p> <p>&ldquo;I just had to hold on &ndash; I had Laura chasing me down. I did try and stay with her but she&rsquo;s so fast.&rdquo;</p> <p>Meanwhile, Jo Muir finished just outside the medals after producing a storming run-shoot to climb from 14th to fourth with Francesca Summers&rsquo; sealing a seventh-place finish, helping secure team gold for the host nation as well. &nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I knew the laser-run was my strongest and I was really trying to catch the podium position,&rdquo; said Muir. </p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m a bit disappointed with my shoot but the last round made up for it.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was amazing and Kate was amazing all day, she&rsquo;s such an inspiration, it&rsquo;s really cool to be trying to follow in her footsteps and have her as a team-mate to push each other on.&rdquo;</p> <p>The women&rsquo;s final brought to a close a brilliant week of competition at the University of Bath with Britain winning five gold medals in addition to French&rsquo;s silver. </p>Sun, 11 Aug 2019 19:21:17 Zurn:uuid:3da26b8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Cooke clinches Tokyo quota spot with European titleReigning world champion Jamie Cooke hailed a &lsquo;perfect day&rsquo; as he sealed an Olympic quota spot for Team GB with European Championships gold in Bath. <p>Cooke stormed into an early lead at the University of Bath Sports Village, finishing second and first in the fencing and swimming respectively.</p> <p>The 28-year-old from Salisbury held off the rest of the field in the riding and laser-run stages, revelling in a dominant performance that books another place in Tokyo.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s been pretty much a perfect day for me. The world is slightly upside down with my scoresheet today but I&rsquo;m really, really pleased with it,&rdquo; said Cooke. </p> <p>&ldquo;The fencing for me was a bit of highlight &ndash; everything came together on the day and I kind of couldn&rsquo;t lose a hit, it was almost comical at one point.</p> <p>&ldquo;I made it slightly difficult for myself on the second shoot but I ran well so I&rsquo;m really pleased.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s amazing to win at home in Bath, the volunteers and everyone have been incredible.&rdquo;</p> <p>The 2018 world champion sealed a second modern pentathlon men's quota place for Team GB after Joe Choong did likewise by winning the International Modern Pentathlon Union World Cup final in Japan.</p> <p>Cooke and Choong set the two fastest times in the London 2012 Legacy Pool, clocking 1:58.27 and 2:00.51 respectively but the latter could only muster a fourth-placed finish. </p> <p>An overall total of 1477 was enough to see off the challenge of Frenchman and defending champion Valentin Prades (1464) and third-placed Czech Martin Vlach (1460). </p> <p>And there was double cause for celebration for Cooke as he also won team gold alongside fellow Brits Choong and Tom Toolis, who came 15th. </p> <p>The women&rsquo;s final takes place on Sunday with last year&rsquo;s silver medallist Kate French vying to bag another qualification berth for Team GB.</p>Sat, 10 Aug 2019 20:09:16 Zurn:uuid:1b0e6b8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 SailingMills and McIntyre clinch World Championship title<p>Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre were relieved to be crowned 470 class world champions as their Olympic preparations hit new heights.</p> <p>The duo clinched top spot on the podium, defeating home favourites and 2018 champions Ai Kondo Yoshida and Miho Yoshioka by three points in the Tokyo 2020 sailing venue in Japan.</p> <p>Mills is the reigning Olympic champion in the 470 class, having won gold alongside Saskia Clark, but joined forces with McIntyre in 2017 after Clark retired. </p> <p>It is the first time the duo have won a World Championship title together, after claiming silver in 2017 and bronze in 2018. </p> <p>The British pair went into the double-points medal race with a one-point buffer over the Japanese team and despite being at the rear of the fleet at one stage, Mills and McIntyre battled to finish seventh and secure the world title. </p> <p>Mills was delighted to be able to rectify previous mistakes and execute their plan to perfection to triumph in Enoshima. </p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s amazing and such a relief to come out on top,&rdquo; said the 31-year-old.</p> <p>&ldquo;I couldn&rsquo;t be happier or prouder to do it alongside Eilidh. What a week it&rsquo;s been.</p> <p>&ldquo;We have had a lot of medal races where we have messed up through things we have done, but today we wanted to go out and sail our own race.</p> <p>&ldquo;If we lose because someone sails better than us then ok, but we didn&rsquo;t want to lose because of something we have done. </p> <p>&ldquo;We managed to execute our plan, but it was totally nail-biting for us in the boat.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">BREAKING NEWS from Japan <a href="https://twitter.com/hannahmills1988?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@hannahmills1988</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/McintyreEilidh?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@McintyreEilidh</a> are <a href="https://twitter.com/470Sailing?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@470Sailing</a> World Champions <a href="https://twitter.com/TNLUK?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TNLUK</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TeamGB</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/uk_sport?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@uk_sport</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/VolvoCarUK?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@VolvoCarUK</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/mustoclothing?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@mustoclothing</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/BBCSport?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BBCSport</a> <a href="https://t.co/7TWnLnwJyj">pic.twitter.com/7TWnLnwJyj</a></p> &mdash; British Sailing Team (@BritishSailing) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritishSailing/status/1159687098636623877?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 9, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>McIntyre, meanwhile believed the duo merited their gold medal &ndash; a feat they have pursued since first teaming up.</p> <p>&ldquo;We have been chasing a World Championship gold for so long,&rdquo; McIntyre added. </p> <p>&ldquo;We have taken a silver, then a bronze last year and every time we feel like we just didn&rsquo;t execute well enough and have thrown it away. </p> <p>&ldquo;It feels so good to now have a gold and to feel like I deserve that gold 470 sticker on our sail.&rdquo;</p> <p>In the men&rsquo;s 470, Olympians Luke Patience and Chris Grube finished their Championships in seventh place. </p> <p>Sportsbeat 2019</p>Fri, 09 Aug 2019 10:48:34 Zurn:uuid:0b5c6a8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 DivingRio hero Mears retiresOlympic champion Chris Mears has retired from diving. <br /> <br /> Mears, 26, etched his name into Team GB history at Rio 2016 when he claimed 3m synchro gold alongside Jack Laugher, Britain's first gold medal in the sport. <br /> <br /> The duo enjoyed prodigious success together, winning back-to-back springboard titles at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and on the Gold Coast.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;What a journey,&rdquo; wrote Mears, who is to pursue a music career, on Instagram.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;My road was certainly bumpy. But in order to get to something from nothing, you need to work hard, keep improving, and never give up.<br /> <blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B01LEyxHWdB/" data-instgrm-version="12" style="background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:540px; min-width:326px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:16px;"> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B01LEyxHWdB/" style="background:#FFFFFF; line-height:0; padding:0 0; text-align:center; text-decoration:none; width:100%;" target="_blank"> </a> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B01LEyxHWdB/" style="background:#FFFFFF; line-height:0; padding:0 0; text-align:center; text-decoration:none; width:100%;" target="_blank">&nbsp;</a></div> <div style="display:block; height:50px; margin:0 auto 12px; width:50px;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B01LEyxHWdB/" style="background:#FFFFFF; line-height:0; padding:0 0; text-align:center; text-decoration:none; width:100%;" target="_blank"><svg width="50px" height="50px" viewbox="0 0 60 60" version="1.1" xmlns="https://www.w3.org/2000/svg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"><g stroke="none" stroke-width="1" fill="none" fill-rule="evenodd"><g transform="translate(-511.000000, -20.000000)" fill="#000000"><g> <path d="M556.869,30.41 C554.814,30.41 553.148,32.076 553.148,34.131 C553.148,36.186 554.814,37.852 556.869,37.852 C558.924,37.852 560.59,36.186 560.59,34.131 C560.59,32.076 558.924,30.41 556.869,30.41 M541,60.657 C535.114,60.657 530.342,55.887 530.342,50 C530.342,44.114 535.114,39.342 541,39.342 C546.887,39.342 551.658,44.114 551.658,50 C551.658,55.887 546.887,60.657 541,60.657 M541,33.886 C532.1,33.886 524.886,41.1 524.886,50 C524.886,58.899 532.1,66.113 541,66.113 C549.9,66.113 557.115,58.899 557.115,50 C557.115,41.1 549.9,33.886 541,33.886 M565.378,62.101 C565.244,65.022 564.756,66.606 564.346,67.663 C563.803,69.06 563.154,70.057 562.106,71.106 C561.058,72.155 560.06,72.803 558.662,73.347 C557.607,73.757 556.021,74.244 553.102,74.378 C549.944,74.521 548.997,74.552 541,74.552 C533.003,74.552 532.056,74.521 528.898,74.378 C525.979,74.244 524.393,73.757 523.338,73.347 C521.94,72.803 520.942,72.155 519.894,71.106 C518.846,70.057 518.197,69.06 517.654,67.663 C517.244,66.606 516.755,65.022 516.623,62.101 C516.479,58.943 516.448,57.996 516.448,50 C516.448,42.003 516.479,41.056 516.623,37.899 C516.755,34.978 517.244,33.391 517.654,32.338 C518.197,30.938 518.846,29.942 519.894,28.894 C520.942,27.846 521.94,27.196 523.338,26.654 C524.393,26.244 525.979,25.756 528.898,25.623 C532.057,25.479 533.004,25.448 541,25.448 C548.997,25.448 549.943,25.479 553.102,25.623 C556.021,25.756 557.607,26.244 558.662,26.654 C560.06,27.196 561.058,27.846 562.106,28.894 C563.154,29.942 563.803,30.938 564.346,32.338 C564.756,33.391 565.244,34.978 565.378,37.899 C565.522,41.056 565.552,42.003 565.552,50 C565.552,57.996 565.522,58.943 565.378,62.101 M570.82,37.631 C570.674,34.438 570.167,32.258 569.425,30.349 C568.659,28.377 567.633,26.702 565.965,25.035 C564.297,23.368 562.623,22.342 560.652,21.575 C558.743,20.834 556.562,20.326 553.369,20.18 C550.169,20.033 549.148,20 541,20 C532.853,20 531.831,20.033 528.631,20.18 C525.438,20.326 523.257,20.834 521.349,21.575 C519.376,22.342 517.703,23.368 516.035,25.035 C514.368,26.702 513.342,28.377 512.574,30.349 C511.834,32.258 511.326,34.438 511.181,37.631 C511.035,40.831 511,41.851 511,50 C511,58.147 511.035,59.17 511.181,62.369 C511.326,65.562 511.834,67.743 512.574,69.651 C513.342,71.625 514.368,73.296 516.035,74.965 C517.703,76.634 519.376,77.658 521.349,78.425 C523.257,79.167 525.438,79.673 528.631,79.82 C531.831,79.965 532.853,80.001 541,80.001 C549.148,80.001 550.169,79.965 553.369,79.82 C556.562,79.673 558.743,79.167 560.652,78.425 C562.623,77.658 564.297,76.634 565.965,74.965 C567.633,73.296 568.659,71.625 569.425,69.651 C570.167,67.743 570.674,65.562 570.82,62.369 C570.966,59.17 571,58.147 571,50 C571,41.851 570.966,40.831 570.82,37.631"></path> </g></g></g></svg></a></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B01LEyxHWdB/" style="background:#FFFFFF; line-height:0; padding:0 0; text-align:center; text-decoration:none; width:100%;" target="_blank"> </a> <div style="color:#3897f0; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:550; line-height:18px;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B01LEyxHWdB/" style="background:#FFFFFF; line-height:0; padding:0 0; text-align:center; text-decoration:none; width:100%;" target="_blank"> View this post on Instagram</a></div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B01LEyxHWdB/" style="background:#FFFFFF; line-height:0; padding:0 0; text-align:center; text-decoration:none; width:100%;" target="_blank">&nbsp;</a></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B01LEyxHWdB/" style="background:#FFFFFF; line-height:0; padding:0 0; text-align:center; text-decoration:none; width:100%;" target="_blank"></a></div> <p style="color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B01LEyxHWdB/" style="color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none;" target="_blank">A post shared by Chris Mears (@mearschris93)</a> on <time style="font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;" datetime="2019-08-06T17:25:16+00:00">Aug 6, 2019 at 10:25am PDT</time></p> </div> </blockquote> <script src="//www.instagram.com/embed.js"></script> <br /> "I've had a career full of amazing memories, friendships and experiences I'll always look back on and smiled. I've learned lessons that I will take with me for the rest of my life."<br /> <br /> The Berkshire-born star started out at the Reading Albatross Diving Club and went on to learn his trade at Southampton Diving Club.<br /> <br /> Aged 15, Mears suffered a ruptured spleen in training for the Youth Olympic Festival having contracted glandular fever.<br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Retirement announcement info over on my Instagram page ! ❤️ <a href="https://t.co/F37M0mFtOL">pic.twitter.com/F37M0mFtOL</a></p> &mdash; Chris Mears (@ChrisMears93) <a href="https://twitter.com/ChrisMears93/status/1158793125382500352?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 6, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> From enduring a seven-hour seizure that led to a three-day coma, told he had a 5% chance of survival and no chance of diving again, Mears competed 18 months later.<br /> <br /> He defied the odds to compete at the London 2012 Olympics, finishing fifth in the 3m synchro and ninth in the 3m springboard.<br /> <br /> Mears and Laugher tasted success on the global and continental stage, winning gold at the 2016 European Championships and bronze at the 2015 World Championships.<br /> <br /> The duo also claimed silver from their final event as a pair, the European Championships in Scotland last year.<br /> <br /> Laugher, 24, now competes with Dan Goodfellow as the pair look to defend Britain&rsquo;s three-metre title in Tokyo.Wed, 07 Aug 2019 07:32:42 Zurn:uuid:1cb8688d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Gymnastics ArtisticBryony's keen to turn the Page ahead of Tokyo chargeThree years ago in Rio, Bryony Page and her lucky dinosaur lunchbox shocked the world.<br /> <br /> The British trampolinist came from nowhere to claim an emotional Olympic silver medal &ndash; and gave all the credit to her lucky charm.<br /> <br /> But that luck appeared to have deserted her in the aftermath, double surgery on her ankle keeping her off the trampoline for the best part of two years.<br /> <br /> She only returned to competitive action late last year, but was soon back to her best in re-claiming the British title and is now dreaming of Tokyo 2020.<br /> <br /> With exactly a year to go, the 28-year-old has had to overcome a lot just to be in contention for a place on the plane to Japan.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I can&rsquo;t believe it is only a year to go now. It has just gone so quick since Rio because of my injury,&rdquo; she said. <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B0S8z4-FhaK/" data-instgrm-version="12" style="background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:540px; min-width:326px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:16px;"> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B0S8z4-FhaK/" style="background:#FFFFFF; line-height:0; padding:0 0; text-align:center; text-decoration:none; width:100%;" target="_blank"> </a> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B0S8z4-FhaK/" style="background:#FFFFFF; line-height:0; padding:0 0; text-align:center; text-decoration:none; width:100%;" target="_blank">&nbsp;</a></div> <div style="display:block; height:50px; margin:0 auto 12px; width:50px;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B0S8z4-FhaK/" style="background:#FFFFFF; line-height:0; padding:0 0; text-align:center; text-decoration:none; width:100%;" target="_blank"><svg width="50px" height="50px" viewbox="0 0 60 60" version="1.1" xmlns="https://www.w3.org/2000/svg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"><g stroke="none" stroke-width="1" fill="none" fill-rule="evenodd"><g transform="translate(-511.000000, -20.000000)" fill="#000000"><g> <path d="M556.869,30.41 C554.814,30.41 553.148,32.076 553.148,34.131 C553.148,36.186 554.814,37.852 556.869,37.852 C558.924,37.852 560.59,36.186 560.59,34.131 C560.59,32.076 558.924,30.41 556.869,30.41 M541,60.657 C535.114,60.657 530.342,55.887 530.342,50 C530.342,44.114 535.114,39.342 541,39.342 C546.887,39.342 551.658,44.114 551.658,50 C551.658,55.887 546.887,60.657 541,60.657 M541,33.886 C532.1,33.886 524.886,41.1 524.886,50 C524.886,58.899 532.1,66.113 541,66.113 C549.9,66.113 557.115,58.899 557.115,50 C557.115,41.1 549.9,33.886 541,33.886 M565.378,62.101 C565.244,65.022 564.756,66.606 564.346,67.663 C563.803,69.06 563.154,70.057 562.106,71.106 C561.058,72.155 560.06,72.803 558.662,73.347 C557.607,73.757 556.021,74.244 553.102,74.378 C549.944,74.521 548.997,74.552 541,74.552 C533.003,74.552 532.056,74.521 528.898,74.378 C525.979,74.244 524.393,73.757 523.338,73.347 C521.94,72.803 520.942,72.155 519.894,71.106 C518.846,70.057 518.197,69.06 517.654,67.663 C517.244,66.606 516.755,65.022 516.623,62.101 C516.479,58.943 516.448,57.996 516.448,50 C516.448,42.003 516.479,41.056 516.623,37.899 C516.755,34.978 517.244,33.391 517.654,32.338 C518.197,30.938 518.846,29.942 519.894,28.894 C520.942,27.846 521.94,27.196 523.338,26.654 C524.393,26.244 525.979,25.756 528.898,25.623 C532.057,25.479 533.004,25.448 541,25.448 C548.997,25.448 549.943,25.479 553.102,25.623 C556.021,25.756 557.607,26.244 558.662,26.654 C560.06,27.196 561.058,27.846 562.106,28.894 C563.154,29.942 563.803,30.938 564.346,32.338 C564.756,33.391 565.244,34.978 565.378,37.899 C565.522,41.056 565.552,42.003 565.552,50 C565.552,57.996 565.522,58.943 565.378,62.101 M570.82,37.631 C570.674,34.438 570.167,32.258 569.425,30.349 C568.659,28.377 567.633,26.702 565.965,25.035 C564.297,23.368 562.623,22.342 560.652,21.575 C558.743,20.834 556.562,20.326 553.369,20.18 C550.169,20.033 549.148,20 541,20 C532.853,20 531.831,20.033 528.631,20.18 C525.438,20.326 523.257,20.834 521.349,21.575 C519.376,22.342 517.703,23.368 516.035,25.035 C514.368,26.702 513.342,28.377 512.574,30.349 C511.834,32.258 511.326,34.438 511.181,37.631 C511.035,40.831 511,41.851 511,50 C511,58.147 511.035,59.17 511.181,62.369 C511.326,65.562 511.834,67.743 512.574,69.651 C513.342,71.625 514.368,73.296 516.035,74.965 C517.703,76.634 519.376,77.658 521.349,78.425 C523.257,79.167 525.438,79.673 528.631,79.82 C531.831,79.965 532.853,80.001 541,80.001 C549.148,80.001 550.169,79.965 553.369,79.82 C556.562,79.673 558.743,79.167 560.652,78.425 C562.623,77.658 564.297,76.634 565.965,74.965 C567.633,73.296 568.659,71.625 569.425,69.651 C570.167,67.743 570.674,65.562 570.82,62.369 C570.966,59.17 571,58.147 571,50 C571,41.851 570.966,40.831 570.82,37.631"></path> </g></g></g></svg></a></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B0S8z4-FhaK/" style="background:#FFFFFF; line-height:0; padding:0 0; text-align:center; text-decoration:none; width:100%;" target="_blank"> </a> <div style="color:#3897f0; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:550; line-height:18px;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B0S8z4-FhaK/" style="background:#FFFFFF; line-height:0; padding:0 0; text-align:center; text-decoration:none; width:100%;" target="_blank"> View this post on Instagram</a></div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B0S8z4-FhaK/" style="background:#FFFFFF; line-height:0; padding:0 0; text-align:center; text-decoration:none; width:100%;" target="_blank">&nbsp;</a></div> <p style="margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B0S8z4-FhaK/" style="color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_blank">Tokyo 2020 Olympics is only ONE YEAR AWAY!!! Where has the time gone!? Seriously. When I was in Japan last week I had the lovely opportunity to chat with @britishgymnasticsofficial about Japan and the Olympics, here it is to share with you </a></p> <p style="color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;">A post shared by <a href="https://www.instagram.com/bryony_page/" style="color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px;" target="_blank"> Bryony Page</a> (@bryony_page) on <time style="font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;" datetime="2019-07-24T10:26:27+00:00">Jul 24, 2019 at 3:26am PDT</time></p> </div> </blockquote> <script src="//www.instagram.com/embed.js"></script> <p><br /> <br /> &ldquo;At the time it felt slow, the rehab work is repetitive and tedious, less exciting than jumping on a trampoline.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But because you haven&rsquo;t been competing you haven&rsquo;t got that timeframe, the accomplishments, it is all just one block of rehab, it has overall gone quickly.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;So to get back on the competition floor last year, that felt like I was home again. I wasn&rsquo;t anxious or worried about competing I was just excited.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I feel really grateful for the fact I can jump again, I am taking every opportunity that comes and trying to enjoy it, to learn from it and I am really looking forward to another journey and going through the Olympic process again.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The battle at the moment is for Team GB to try and qualify two spots for Tokyo, with Page, Kat Driscoll and Laura Gallagher all in action in the World Cup and with one eye on peaking for the World Championships.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have a qualification process that has changed from the last cycle. But even before Rio we really focused on working together and trying to get those two spaces,&rdquo; she added.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are all teammates and want them to do well anyway. It goes hand in hand, but we have that competition and keep overtaking each other at various points.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Everyone is after that space, everyone upping their game all the time.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> And after her double surgery, Page herself insists she has never felt better. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was quite quick to get back after the operations, I didn&rsquo;t have too much time before I needed to compete,&rdquo; she added.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But now I have had a really good training block. I decided I wanted to up the difficulty of my routine, and I haven&rsquo;t done that for so long.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s so exciting to upgrade my routines, with new linking skills and a bit of exploration, that has been so exciting and I&rsquo;m happy to try and do that.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The year before Rio I was in a boot! I had some bone stress problems in my leg and that injury was closer to the games so I am in a better position this time around and I feel more consistent than I have ever felt before.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But it is about peaking at the right time. I just want to keep helping to qualify a place.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> And if she does make it back to the Olympics in Tokyo next year, will her lucky lunchbox be going too? <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I have had a few additions since then! I&rsquo;ve got a Unicorn and a cat in addition to my dinosaur and then I got a giraffe as well!<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The primary school that my Mum worked in also got me a ladybird lunchbox when I went in to do their assembly because they knew I liked them so much! That was really sweet.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I have got so many now, probably too many! I will have to choose my favourite for Tokyo &ndash; the auditions begin now.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <strong>(Only) One Year to Go. Follow the journey to Tokyo 2020 at TeamGB.com and @TeamGB<br /> <br /> </strong>Sportsbeat 2019</p>Fri, 02 Aug 2019 11:14:22 Zurn:uuid:e312688d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 RugbySevens heaven for Team GB hopefulsDreams will come true and memories will be made in rugby sevens once again with Team GB already qualifying men's and women's teams for Tokyo 2020. <br /> <br /> Four years ago in Rio, sevens made its Olympic bow as Team GB&rsquo;s men&rsquo;s team took silver and the women&rsquo;s side agonisingly missed out on a medal. <br /> <br /> And for Olympics-obsessed Ellie Kildunne, in her first year on the sevens circuit, securing qualification in Kazan earlier this month saw her realise a lifelong ambition.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is my first year in the 7s, I spent Rio watching it on the TV in my living room as a 16-year-old,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I can still remember it, and seeing the girls go out there and put our sport on such a massive stage as the Olympics.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;That was very cool to watch and lit a spark in me, that has burned throughout the last few years and now it becoming more likely that I have an opportunity, touch wood, likely next year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Jess Ennis will always be my Olympic hero, I can remember doing an English assignment at school all about her. I think I wrote about 6000 words on her! <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I have had a lot of conversations with girls throughout the year about Rio, and I must have watched their kit launch home video about 30 times. Each of them have said how amazing it is.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The girls were in the lift with Usain Bolt and other amazing big names, they have said it is an amazing experience they will never forget.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;A tournament that will stick with them for the rest of their lives, making history and we want to continue to do that.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Japan already holds special memories for Tom Mitchell &ndash; ones the sevens star hopes he can replicate next year on the biggest stage of all. <br /> <br /> It was back in 2015 &ndash; when Tokyo was still on the World Sevens Series tour &ndash; that England&rsquo;s men claimed victory there, downing South Africa in the final for Mitchell&rsquo;s first-ever tournament win.<br /> <br /> There has been plenty more success for Mitchell since then, including an Olympic silver medal at Rio 2016 and Commonwealth bronze on the Gold Coast two years later.<br /> <br /> But next year attention returns to Tokyo and the 2020 Olympics, after Mitchell and England qualified England&rsquo;s place earlier this month at the European repechage event in Colomiers.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Japan used to be on the world series, the last time it was there we won it back in 2015,&rdquo; he said. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;That was the first tournament I ever won in my sevens career which is a nice memory for me!<br /> <br /> &ldquo;One year to go is kind of the first point that we can realise that this is really happening next year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The first part of the realisation was after we gained that qualification on behalf of Team GB, and now we have got one year to go, it starts to feel that little bit more real.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Of course there is a lot going on between now and then, but it is nice to have that moment of looking ahead and thinking &lsquo;what if?&rsquo; and just enjoying the excitement of an amazing competition.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <strong>(Only) One Year to Go. Follow the journey to Tokyo 2020 at TeamGB.com and @TeamGB</strong><br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019<br /> <br />Wed, 31 Jul 2019 13:57:26 Zurn:uuid:c4b7678d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Canoe SlalomIn-form Franklin insists there is more to come ahead of TokyoRiding waves is Mallory Franklin's day job but the slalom canoeist feels she's clambering on the crest of form at just the right time ahead of next year&rsquo;s Olympics in Tokyo.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> The 25-year-old paddler claimed her maiden European individual title and roared to double World Cup gold on home water all in the space of last month.<br /> <br /> And with the year-to-go barrier crossed and the 2020 Games in sight Franklin, who hails from Windsor, feels she&rsquo;s peaking at the right time with the World Championships in September. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I have had a really good year so far and I hope that can continue into the Worlds,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am the best I have ever been, although possibly not the best I am ever going to be.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;At the moment I am reaching the pinnacle where I am strong enough to paddle how I want to and those two factors combined are allowing me to get the results that I want.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am a paddler that tries to enjoy what I do and I have never been only focused on the Olympics.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But having that opportunity is part of me wanting to be the best paddler that I can be, I want to be the best in the world and the Olympics is a huge part of that.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Rio was a big outside shot for me after some injuries, but just to be part of that selection and be involved was pretty cool.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But this will be the first where the outcome matters to me. It was such an outside chance you never really believed it was possible but now, it actually could happen, it could be me.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> It&rsquo;s a testament to the strength of British canoeing that Franklin will have a fight on her hands to get a spot on the single boat bound for Japan.<br /> <br /> Olympian Fiona Pennie, who finished sixth in the Rio final, will challenge for the kayak spot and nine-time World Cup medallist Kim Woods will also contend in both canoe and kayak.<br /> <br /> But Franklin has been a force of nature in recent times, becoming Great Britain&rsquo;s most successful female canoeist with eight individual and three team medals in the 2018 season.<br /> <br /> And the Berkshire star is hot property whether in canoe or kayak, securing silvers in both disciplines at last year&rsquo;s World Championships in Rio.<br /> <br /> Competition for places doesn&rsquo;t frighten her in the slightest and Franklin is coming prepared for the expectation she&rsquo;ll reach the Olympic podium in a year&rsquo;s time.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The standard in the team is really high, we are now at a point where pretty much every member of our senior team is capable of making a World final,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;That&rsquo;s crazy and unheard of for us. No matter who ends up getting that one spot, that will stand them in very good stead<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is an odd dynamic, but there is so much respect within our sport. Just because you aren&rsquo;t the one going to the games doesn&rsquo;t mean you are not one of the best in the world.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Everyone is fighting to get to that level, only one boat goes and you would love to be that person."<br /> <br /> <strong>(Only) One Year to Go. Follow the journey to Tokyo 2020 at TeamGB.com and @TeamGB</strong> <p><br /> Sportsbeat 2019<br /> </p>Tue, 30 Jul 2019 12:50:34 Zurn:uuid:5452678d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Gymnastics ArtisticDownie's comeback trail leads to TokyoInjury turned Ellie Downie's world upside down but the gymnast is now tumbling towards next summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> Six months after becoming the first Brit to be crowned all-around European champion, the 19-year-old was struck down by an ankle injury and underwent surgery in the summer of 2017.<br /> <br /> Ellie revealed just how vital the support of older sister Becky, a double continental champion herself, was in a recovery she thought impossible.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I remember the middle of last year sitting down with Becky and my ankle was really sore to tumble on. That was the worst thing,&rdquo; said the Nottingham-born star.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;And I just said to her: &lsquo;I don&rsquo;t think I will ever be able to tumble again like I could.&rsquo; That was obviously disheartening, and I never thought I would.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Becky got injured at the same time as me pretty much, she hurt her elbow at the Europeans where my ankle got sore.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We could kind of help each other and push each other through our rehab and it was great to see our progressions. When we both finally made it back it was a really nice moment.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is nice to be in training and not take things for granted. Days when I am tired I think back to when I was injured and wanted to do this work. That motivates me.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It would mean the world to be at Tokyo, I can&rsquo;t really put it into words.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think if I get there I will just be really really excited, more than nerves or anything else. The year and a half in this cycle was so rough that I am going to appreciate every moment I get like that.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Downie broke out at the 2014 Youth Olympics, bringing back a competition-high four medals from the mats in Nanjing, China and was named Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2015.<br /> <br /> The Olympics hold mixed memories for the Midlands product who reached the all-around final in Rio and finished 13th, while coming fifth under the British banner in the team competition.<br /> <br /> After spending nearly three years of the Tokyo cycle in rehabilitation, Downie returned to action in inimitable style at this year&rsquo;s British Championships.<br /> <br /> Despite claiming triple gold at the nationals and bringing back silver and bronze from the European Championships in April, simply competing is salve enough with the Olympics less than a year away.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Through my injury, it was a very hard and quite a sad time. No one likes to be injured and it just kept coming and coming," she said. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I never felt like I was going to get back to what I was, but the start of this year I feel like I am back where I want to be and can progress from that.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is great to be back in the mix, going to competitions with the girls again and being part of the team again.<br /> <br /> "This year just before the British champs was the first time I did my whole old floor routine with all the hard tumbles in, it was just such a relief.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I wasn&rsquo;t even competing it, just doing it in the gym was amazing.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Then being able to go out there and compete it successfully so many times this year already makes me feel really grateful for everything I have already done.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t put pressure on myself anymore because I know where I was and to get back here is just unreal.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <strong>(Only) One Year to Go. Follow the journey to Tokyo 2020 at TeamGB.com and @TeamGB</strong><br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019<br /> <br />Mon, 29 Jul 2019 09:50:58 Zurn:uuid:2f9e668d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Cycling RoadThomas takes second at Tour de France<p> Geraint Thomas' love affair with the Tour de France continued as he secured second place in Sunday's final stage in Paris.<br /> <br /> A winner in 2018, the Welshman held his position in what was merely a processional conclusion on the Champs-Elysees to complete a Team Ineos one-two alongside new champion Egan Bernal.<br /> <br /> Thomas had all-but confirmed his podium position a day earlier, crossing the line in fifth place in Saturday's penultimate stage.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> In doing so, the 33-year-old elevated himself from third to second in the overall rankings, standing firm on the weather-shortened 59.5km climb to Val Thorens.<br /> <br /> That just left the formalities of the coronation on Sunday, with Team Ineos toasting Colombian Bernal's victory with champagne early in the race in a wonderful display of camaraderie.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Beginning at Rambouillet and finishing 128km away in the French capital, the 21st stage of cycling's most famous road race culminated with Bernal finishing one minute and 11 seconds ahead of his Ineos colleague.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;To get first and second doesn&rsquo;t get any better,&rdquo; said two-time Olympic champion Thomas.</p> <p>&ldquo;The fact that Egan is one step above me, he&rsquo;s the best person to have in front of me.</p> <p>&ldquo;Obviously it&rsquo;s been a crazy year for me, and I can be happy and proud that I&rsquo;ve given everything to be in my best shape here and I think we rode really well as a team from day one.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s been amazing. I think that we&rsquo;ve proved time and time again that we&rsquo;re a strong unit and we know how to ride hard and perform in this race. It&rsquo;s a pleasure to be a part of.&rdquo;</p> <p> Sportsbeat 2019</p>Sun, 28 Jul 2019 19:31:00 Zurn:uuid:91fa668d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 SwimmingScott makes history as GB men power to goldDuncan Scott shocked both himself and the world to produce the second-fastest freestyle split ever to anchor Great Britain's 4x100m medley relay team to gold.<br /> <br /> The British team of Adam Peaty, James Guy, Luke Greenbank and Scott set a European record to edge ahead of second-placed USA and Russia, who claimed bronze at the World Aquatics Championships in South Korea.<br /> <br /> An incredible race saw 22-year-old Scott pick up the mantle on the last leg behind Russia, and almost a full second behind leaders USA.<br /> <br /> But Scott wasn&rsquo;t deterred and delivered a blistering anchor to haul in Russia, and subsequently USA&rsquo;s Nathan Adrian, with a new European record of 3:28.10.<br /> <br /> The Rio Olympian&rsquo;s split of 46.14 is the second-fastest freestyle in history, with only USA&rsquo;s Jason Lezak going faster with 46.06 at the 2008 Olympics.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;When you get to this level times well, they&rsquo;re not irrelevant, but it just comes down to racing,&rdquo; said Scott after picking up the gold medal.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The boys put me in an incredible position and I just had to try and execute a good race plan. I can&rsquo;t say I thought I had that split in me and I&rsquo;m sort of speechless!&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">WOW WHAT A NIGHT! The first time we&rsquo;ve ever won the 4x100 medley on world level and I&rsquo;m super proud to call these boys my brothers! European record too <a href="https://t.co/HkYepcHVh9">pic.twitter.com/HkYepcHVh9</a></p> &mdash; Adam Peaty MBE (@adam_peaty) <a href="https://twitter.com/adam_peaty/status/1155497754405163008?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 28, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> The gold medal is Peaty&rsquo;s third of the Championships and fourth overall after he defended his 50m and 100m breaststroke titles as well as taking bronze in the mixed 4x100m medley relay &ndash; while it takes the GB total to seven in Gwangju, with three golds.<br /> <br /> Peaty commented: &ldquo;This is incredible! I thought Jimmy (Guy) could hold his ground and as soon as Duncan dived in I thought &lsquo;we&rsquo;re going to get bronze&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;With 25m to go I was jumping up and down like never before and the last 10 metres he just got his head down and took him out.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;For me, that&rsquo;s better than Olympic gold and anything else, as when you do it as a team, and the fact the Americans have never been beaten in this event I don&rsquo;t think, it&rsquo;s just amazing.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The men&rsquo;s team had already secured a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games by virtue of finishing fourth to qualify for the final.<br /> <br /> The women&rsquo;s 4x100m medley team also successfully secured a place at Tokyo 2020 with the quartet of Georgia Davies, Molly Renshaw, Alys Thomas and Anna Hopkin finishing eighth in their final.<br /> <br /> Hopkin closed out her Championships with seventh in the women&rsquo;s 50m freestyle final while Max Litchfield also came seventh in the men&rsquo;s 400m medley.<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019Sun, 28 Jul 2019 16:00:25 Zurn:uuid:75f8668d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Laugher & Goodfellow in sync as Tokyo approachesWith one of the best 3m springboard divers at his side, Dan Goodfellow believes the puzzle pieces of his partnership with Jack Laugher are falling into place ahead of Tokyo 2020.<br /> <br /> Goodfellow only teamed up with Laugher, who won Rio 2016 synchronised gold with his previous partner Chris Mears to become Britain&rsquo;s first diving Olympic champions, last year.<br /> <br /> But despite their union being in its early stages, the duo secured their first major honour as a pair with 3m synchronised silver at the recent World Championships in South Korea.<br /> <br /> And having secured Team GB&rsquo;s quota place in the event for next year&rsquo;s Games, which are only a year away, 22-year-old Goodfellow is confident the pairing will only go from strength to strength.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was actually not in the position I&rsquo;m in now in the last Olympic cycle, I was just coming off the back of injury, I was still out of the picture when it came to the Olympics,&rdquo; said the Cambridge diver.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t have this preparation of thinking it&rsquo;s a year to go so it&rsquo;s nice to qualify a spot and to be in that preparation phase where I can just focus on the Olympic Games.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We struggled to begin with because it&rsquo;s hard not just being with a new partner but I transitioned from the platform to the springboard as well and they are completely different events.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The partnership is going really well and we&rsquo;ve done a lot in eight months as well, so with another year hopefully we can do some serious damage and bring back a good medal.<br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m getting to grips with the springboard it&rsquo;s just that training is different, competing is different but I have a good mentor in Jack, who is one of the best springboard divers in the world.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;He has done two Olympic Games already on the springboard and it&rsquo;s a massive help to me, so hopefully within this next year he can keep teaching me and our partnership can flourish more.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Goodfellow was previously partnered with Tom Daley before joining forces with Laugher, winning 10m platform synchronised bronze with the diving superstar on his Olympic debut in Rio.<br /> <br /> In 2016 Laugher, from Harrogate, partnered Chris Mears to become Britain&rsquo;s first diving Olympic champions by topping the podium in the men&rsquo;s 3m springboard event at his second Games.<br /> <br /> As he bids for a third consecutive Olympics, Laugher was keen to stress the important role the Games plays in bringing the country together in one big sporting celebration.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;When I was younger, I loved watching the Olympics and loved seeing how it brought everyone together, but when you&rsquo;re away you don&rsquo;t really feel how the nation perceives it,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;With everything going on at the moment the country is a bit split and divided so it would be nice to have something in a year that brings us all together for one cause to support Team GB.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <strong> (Only) One Year to Go. Follow the journey to Tokyo 2020 at TeamGB.com and @TeamGB<br /> <br /> </strong>Sportsbeat 2019<br /> <br />Sun, 28 Jul 2019 14:07:59 Zurn:uuid:3094668d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Baku 2019Three final day golds give Team GB second place finish at Baku 2019Gold medals from young tennis star Matilda Mutavdzic and gymnasts Ondine Achampong and Raekwon Baptiste ensured Team GB end&nbsp;Baku 2019 second in the medal table after a successful final day at&nbsp;the European Youth Olympic Festival.<br /> <br /> <p>Mutavdzic was guaranteed at least silver having won her girls&rsquo; singles semi-final yesterday and made light work of her big-hitting Russian opponent today, out-thinking and out-manoeuvring Maria Sholokhova to win 6-1 6-1 in just over an hour.</p> <p>It was then the turn of the gymnasts as all-around silver medallist Achampong sealed gold on beam with a flawless routine to score 13.666 before Baptiste watched five gymnasts try and fail to topple his vault score of 13.983. Achampong was later named Team GB's Closing Ceremony Flagbearer after a vote by her fellow athletes.</p> <p>Halle Hilton just missed out on joining Achampong on the podium, finishing the beam final in fourth with 12.900, just 0.1 of bronze, while Sam Mostowfi was fifth in the vault alongside Baptiste scoring 13.433.</p> <p>The triple gold today means Team GB end Baku 2019 with 25 medals; 11 gold, 12 silver and two bronze, and leapfrog Turkey and hosts Azerbaijan into second place on the medal table behind Russia despite only competing in six of the 10 sports.</p> <p>Four of the six sports return to the UK with medals, with swimming the most successful with 18 (six gold, 11 silver and one bronze), gymnastics finishing with four (two gold, one silver and a bronze), a double gold for cyclist Zoe Backstedt&nbsp;and Mutavdzic&rsquo;s tennis gold.</p> <p><strong>Mutavdzic said:</strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;It was exhilarating at the end there and I was so happy. It all came together at the right time.</p> <p>&ldquo;I was trying not to be nervous out there. I know it&rsquo;s difficult but I focused on my own game and hoped for the best.</p> <p>&ldquo;I believed in myself from the first point but I think the turning point was when I broke for 4-1 in the first. She called for a medical and I knew then that she was looking for a way to break the rhythm and I was then able to stay calm and not let it affect my performance.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Baptiste said:</strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;This is the biggest competition that I&rsquo;ve done so it&rsquo;s been a hard week. I&rsquo;ve never competed at this international level before so I&rsquo;m so happy I&rsquo;ve got this medal and I&rsquo;m not going home empty handed.&nbsp; I really put in the hard work and effort in the lead up to this event this year so I&rsquo;m really happy it&rsquo;s all paid off.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Achampong said:</strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;It feels amazing to win gold.&nbsp; I knew that I had a chance of doing well after qualifying in first so I was quite nervous."</p> <p><strong>Mutavdzic said:</strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;It was exhilarating at the end there and I was so happy. It all came together at the right time.</p> <p>&ldquo;I was trying not to be nervous out there. I know it&rsquo;s difficult but I focused on my own game and hoped for the best.</p> <p>&ldquo;I believed in myself from the first point but I think the turning point was when I broke for 4-1 in the first. She called for a medical and I knew then that she was looking for a way to break the rhythm and I was then able to stay calm and not let it affect my performance.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Baptiste said:</strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;This is the biggest competition that I&rsquo;ve done so it&rsquo;s been a hard week. I&rsquo;ve never competed at this international level before so I&rsquo;m so happy I&rsquo;ve got this medal and I&rsquo;m not going home empty handed.&nbsp; I really put in the hard work and effort in the lead up to this event this year so I&rsquo;m really happy it&rsquo;s all paid off.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Achampong said:</strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;It feels amazing to win gold.&nbsp; I knew that I had a chance of doing well after qualifying in first so I was quite nervous.</p> <p><strong>Team GB Medallists at Baku 2019</strong></p> <p><strong>Gold: 11</strong></p> <ul> <li>Cycling: Zoe Backstedt Girls&rsquo; Time Trial</li> <li>Cycling: Zoe Backstedt Girls&rsquo; Road Race</li> <li>Gymnastics: Ondine Achampong Girls&rsquo; Balance Beam</li> <li>Gymnastics: Raekwon Baptiste Boys&rsquo; Vault</li> <li>Swimming: Katie Shanahan Girls&rsquo; 400m Individual Medley</li> <li>Swimming: Katie Shanahan Girls&rsquo; 200m Backstroke</li> <li>Swimming: Jacob Whittle, Ed Mildred, Tamryn van Selm Evelyn Davis 4x100m Mixed Freestyle</li> <li>Swimming: Ed Mildred, Nick Skelton, Mark Ford, Jacob Whittle Boys&rsquo; 4x100m Freestyle</li> <li>Swimming: Ed Mildred Boys&rsquo; 200m Freestyle</li> <li>Swimming: Katie Shanahan Girls&rsquo; 200m Individual Medley</li> <li>Tennis: Matilda Mutavdzic Girls&rsquo; Singles</li> </ul> <p><strong>Silver: 12</strong></p> <ul> <li>Gymnastics: Ondine Achampong Girls&rsquo; All-Around</li> <li>Swimming: Freya Colbert Girls&rsquo; 400m Freestyle</li> <li>Swimming: Tamryn van Selm Girls&rsquo; 100m Freestyle</li> <li>Swimming: Ed Mildred 200m Boys&rsquo; Butterfly</li> <li>Swimming: Jacob Whittle Boys&rsquo; 100m Freestyle</li> <li>Swimming: Evelyn Davis, Katie Shanahan, Freya Colbert, Tamryn van Selm Girls&rsquo; 4x100m Freestyle</li> <li>Swimming: Freya Colbert Girls&rsquo; 800m Freestyle</li> <li>Swimming: Katie Shanahan, Cameron Williams, Sophie Freeman, Jacob Whittle 4x100 Mixed Medley Relay</li> <li>Swimming: Freya Colbert Girls&rsquo; 800m Freestyle</li> <li>Swimming: Cameron Williams Boys&rsquo; 100m Breaststroke</li> <li>Swimming: Mark Ford, Cameron Williams, Ed Mildred, Jacob Whittle Boys&rsquo; 4x100m Medley</li> <li>Swimming: Katie Shanahan, Jemimah Berkeley, Sophie Freeman, Tamryn van Selm Girls&rsquo; 4x100m Medley</li> </ul> <p><strong>Bronze: 2</strong></p> <ul> <li>Gymnastics: Ondine Achampong, Halle Hilton, Annie Young Girls&rsquo; Team</li> <li>Swimming: Sophie Freeman Girls&rsquo; 400m Butterfly&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</li> </ul>Sat, 27 Jul 2019 14:59:20 Zurn:uuid:bb8d668d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 New sports will bring Britain together: WorthingtonFreestyle BMX sensation Charlotte Worthington expects the addition of new sports to only heighten the unifying force of the Olympic Games. <br /> <br /> Freestyle BMX is one of several new sports, along with sport climbing and skateboarding, added to the Tokyo 2020 slate as the Olympic movement looks to embrace a new &lsquo;urban&rsquo; era.<br /> <br /> Every four years Great Britain comes together in a collective celebration of sport and Worthington thinks an injection of fresh energy will only help the nation get behind Team GB again. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m really excited to see how the Olympics unifies the country, especially with the addition of new sports and especially with the addition BMX freestyle and skateboarding,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;They are so inclusive to everyone, they are so inclusive to a lot of young people because they are an outlet to a lot of young people so I&rsquo;m hoping it&rsquo;s going to connect to the youth.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s very inspiring to watch athletes at the top of their game and see it go right on the day, it&rsquo;s amazing to watch and it will definitely be inspiring to the next generation.&rdquo;<br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"> "I'm really excited to see how the Olympics is going to unify the country."<br /> <br /> Freestyle BMX is bracing for a debut at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tokyo2020?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tokyo2020</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/chazworther?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@chazworther</a> can't wait to see us come together <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/1YearToGO?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#1YearToGO</a> <a href="https://t.co/5KqR9yWxCY">pic.twitter.com/5KqR9yWxCY</a></p> &mdash; Team GB (@TeamGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB/status/1155098147590459393?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 27, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> With only a year to go until the world&rsquo;s biggest sporting event, the 23-year-old from Manchester has the chance to be part of a new dawn for her sport at next year&rsquo;s Games.<br /> <br /> Qualification for Tokyo would complete a remarkable rise for Worthington who has quickly worked her way up the ranks despite only jumping on a BMX three years ago.<br /> <br /> But she insists she is not taking her seat on the plane to Tokyo for granted.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m definitely excited that&rsquo;s there is only a year to go, but I&rsquo;m also a tiny bit nervous as I just want to make sure I get there to be honest as the build-up has been crazy,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s been a huge learning experience from changing my lifestyle, becoming a true athlete and learning all about the competitions, it&rsquo;s been a really big learning curve for me.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I do wish I could sit back and relax and think we&rsquo;ve made it, get really excited, but we&rsquo;ve still got hard work to do and that&rsquo;s part of the journey doing that graft.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I would definitely love to get a medal, I would always love to look at gold, but sometimes you have to not think about the result to get the best result you can. You just have to focus on yourself<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s definitely come around very quickly, especially the last year as it&rsquo;s absolutely flown by and I expect the time is only going to go quicker in the nearer months running up to the Olympics.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Competitors are allowed two one-minute runs each to perform a series of tricks and techniques which are judged - and Worthington believes the sport will be an instant hit for audiences.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s incredibly exciting for freestyle BMX to be part of the Olympic Games, I never thought it would go to the Olympics, we&rsquo;re all amazed and we&rsquo;re so happy,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We all started this as a hobby because we absolute love it and it&rsquo;s a really exciting sport to watch so I think it will be a great addition to the Olympics.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;My initial reaction when I found out was a bit like my mind was blown, is this really going to happen? &lsquo;Wow, we&rsquo;re actually going to be going to Tokyo 2020&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;To see the reality now that&rsquo;s it&rsquo;s only a year to go and know that it is now within our grasp is really exciting and so far I&rsquo;m really happy with how my preparations have gone.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I feel like I have made a lot of progression since the winter and I want to maintain that momentum as I&rsquo;ve still got room to improve. My goals are really high so I&rsquo;m always looking to get better.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <strong>(Only) One Year to Go. Follow the journey to Tokyo 2020 at TeamGB.com and @TeamGB</strong><br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019<br /> <br />Sat, 27 Jul 2019 12:26:13 Zurn:uuid:5650668d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Baku 2019Swimmers end Baku 2019 on a high after double gold for Team GBKatie Shanahan and Ed Mildred ensured Team GB's swimmers ended their Baku 2019 European Olympic Festival (EYOF) on a high after a gold medal each in the pool on day six.<br /> <br /> Both swimmers then added silvers as part of their respective 4x100m medley relay teams, which made it six for the day in the pool after Cameron Williams in the 100m breaststroke and Freya Colbert in the 800m freestyle both won silver.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;<br /> <p>Shanahan ends Baku 2019 with six medals, three gold and three silver, Team GB&rsquo;s most decorated athlete of the Games.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> With swimming wrapping up their competition schedule on the penultimate day of action in Bakiu, tonight&rsquo;s results mean the swimmers finish the week with 18 medals; six gold, eleven silver and one bronze.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve really surprised myself this week with how I&rsquo;ve performed,&rdquo; said the 15-year-old Scot, who broke an EYOF record with her 2:14.10 in the 200m individual medley final.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m over to the moon to have won that many medals and in my performances, especially after coming fresh out of the European Juniors two weeks ago. It&rsquo;s been such a good experience this week.</p> <p>&ldquo;Next year is obviously a big one because it&rsquo;s the Olympics. If I can get close to making those times would be really good. Tokyo is an outside goal of mine, I&rsquo;m not too far off the best girls in Britain.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>Mildred ends the Games with two golds and two silvers, but his 200m freestyle win was the first time this week the Northampton based athlete had won an individual title.</p> <p>&ldquo;Feels great to win gold and means it&rsquo;s a been a good end to the week,&rdquo; said Mildred.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s been a really enjoyable and I&rsquo;ve learnt a lot as part of the experience. Mainly about racing internationally and being in contention in races as this is my first time doing that.</p> <p>&ldquo;When you&rsquo;re in lane four everyone is looking at you and expecting you to win. You have to learn to deal with that pressure and I&rsquo;ve enjoyed that.&rdquo;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>Mildred then teamed up with Jacob Whittle, Cameron Williams and Mark Ford to win silver in the 4x100m medley relay before Shanahan, Sophie Freeman, Jemimah Berkeley and Tamryn van Selm followed suit in their medley relay.</p> <p>Over at the tennis, Matilda Mutavdzic is guaranteed a medal after booking her place in the girls&rsquo; tennis singles final after a convincing 6-2 6-2 victory over France&rsquo;s Oceane Babel.</p> <p>Mutavdzic, who admitted she felt so unwell before the semi-final that she was asleep until about half an hour before the start, took control midway through the first set thanks to her aggressive returning and consistent ground strokes from the baseline</p> <p>At 2-2 in the first, the 15-year-old then rattled off seven straight games before closing out the second set. Mutavdzic will play Russia&rsquo;s Maria Sholokhova in tomorrow&rsquo;s gold medal match.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I certainly wasn&rsquo;t feeling my best before the match,&rdquo; said Mutavdzic.</p> <p>&ldquo;I was feeling about a three out of 10 before the match but now I&rsquo;m on a 12.</p> <p>&ldquo;I got loads of support from the team and they helped give me a lot of energy. Then I felt I had as much a chance of winning as the other girl so I just tried my best and it happened to be my day.</p> <p>&ldquo;I try to be aggressive on the returns and sometimes it doesn&rsquo;t work as it&rsquo;s high risk but I have a lot of confidence on my strokes and I like to think on the big points it&rsquo;s worth going for these things because I know I won&rsquo;t have any regrets.&rdquo;</p> <p>Elsewhere, gymnast Sam Mostowfi finished fifth in his floor final, scoring 13.766, 0.2 off the bronze medal as Ukraine and Russia took the podium places while Daisy Gilroy was knocked out of her -70kg judo event in the opening round.</p> <p>With one day of competition remaining at Baku 2019, Team GB have won 22 medals; eight gold, 12 silver and two bronze.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p>Fri, 26 Jul 2019 19:28:51 Zurn:uuid:4949668d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 SwimmingGreenbank savours first major medal in Gwangju<p>Luke Greenbank described winning World Championship bronze as a dream come true after he produced the best performance of his career in the men's 200m backstroke final.</p> <p>The 21-year-old set a blistering lifetime best time of 1m55.85s to claim his first senior international medal in Gwangju, adding to the personal best he recorded in the 100m event earlier in the week.</p> <p>Greenbank&rsquo;s breakthrough will not come as a surprise. The Crewe-born ace won a handful of junior international medals and broke the World Junior 200m backstroke record in 2015.</p> <p>He said: &ldquo;It&rsquo;s difficult to put into words. I went in there relaxed, but confident, and I just stuck to my race plan and it seems to have paid off - I knew if I had a good last 50m I&rsquo;d be in for a good swim and that&rsquo;s what happened.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve had a couple of disappointing years, so we tried something new with training and it seems to have worked.</p> <p>&ldquo;If I keep that going, hopefully I can improve on what I&rsquo;ve done this year.&rdquo;</p> <p>Elsewhere, a quartet of Duncan Scott, Calum Jarvis, Tom Dean and James Guy secured a fifth-place finish in an entertaining men&rsquo;s 4x200m freestyle relay final.</p> <p>After the winners Australia, the next four places were separated by just 0.23 seconds and the British team missed out on a medal by only six hundredths of a second with a time of 7m02.04s &ndash; just outside the national record.</p> <p>&ldquo;We swam very fast, it was just a very quick race,&rdquo; Scott said. &ldquo;It was a really solid effort and we&rsquo;ve got to walk away proud.&rdquo;</p> <p>In the women&rsquo;s 200m breaststroke final, Molly Renshaw capped off a successful week by finishing fifth in a time of 2m23.78s &ndash; less than a second shy of a podium place.</p> <p>Meanwhile, in her first individual final at world level, Freya Anderson set the second-fastest time of her career to finish eighth in the women&rsquo;s 100m freestyle final.</p> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019Fri, 26 Jul 2019 17:37:12 Zurn:uuid:0238668d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Skateboarder Decunha driven by Olympic destinyStreet skateboarder Alex Decunha says the chance to revolutionise his sport is driving him on as he set his sights on Olympic history.<br /> <br /> Skateboarding will make its debut alongside surfing and climbing at Tokyo 2020 as the world&rsquo;s biggest sporting event looks to broaden its appeal to the next generation.<br /> <br /> And as one of the UK&rsquo;s leading skateboarders, Decunha will become a beneficiary of the decision if he can secure qualification for next year&rsquo;s Games, which are less than a year away. <br /> <br /> While the chance to etch his name into Olympic folklore with Team GB clearly appeals the 22-year-old also knows he can change the landscape of his sport forever.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I would absolutely love to be out there representing Great Britain," said Decunha, from Milton Keynes. <br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"> Skateboarder Alex Decunha is chasing his <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tokyo2020?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tokyo2020</a> dream <br /> <br /> The sport's introduction into the Olympic programme could be life-changing for the trickster <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/1YearToGO?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#1YearToGO</a> <a href="https://t.co/rhsC0mVys7">pic.twitter.com/rhsC0mVys7</a></p> &mdash; Team GB (@TeamGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB/status/1154801151403057153?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 26, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> &ldquo;I never imagined I would get the chance to compete at an Olympics.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Obviously I still do just skate for fun because I enjoy it but back then you don&rsquo;t think<br /> you&rsquo;re going to make anything out of skateboarding, especially in England.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But the fact that it has changed so much since then, I&rsquo;ve been able to grow with it and I love it, so to represent my country in it means everything. It feels so surreal, I don&rsquo;t think it&rsquo;s kicked in yet.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I suppose I&rsquo;m the face of Olympic skateboarding in this country which means more kids will look up to me and get into skateboarding, which will produce generations and generations of skateboarders.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;They will hopefully want to follow the same path and they&rsquo;ll have their goal of trying to make an Olympics as soon as they start so that will be a great thing.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Everyone loves the Olympics, it&rsquo;s going to bring a whole new audience. Families who think they don&rsquo;t want their kids skateboarding, they can see it&rsquo;s just like any other sport.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;You can make a living out of it, you can travel the world with it, you can have a good life.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The upcoming Olympics have prompted huge developments in skateboarding, with the introduction of a worldwide 18-event qualification system for skaters, who can earn ranking points to secure their Tokyo 2020 spot.<br /> <br /> And while Decunha has embraced the chance to compete at the world&rsquo;s biggest sporting showcase, not everyone in skateboarding has been quite so receptive to the idea.<br /> <br /> But with only a year to go until the entire nation gets behind Team GB again for a collective celebration of sport, Decunha is putting in overtime to ensure he earns his Olympic bow.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There was word that skateboarding was going to be in the Olympics for a while and everyone was like, &lsquo;Nah, that&rsquo;s not going to happen&rsquo;, but then it happened,&rdquo; he continued.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;For people like me, who do a lot of contests and try and just make a living out of doing things like this then it&rsquo;s going to be really good for us, I&rsquo;m super excited to be a part of it.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I have the chance to be a part of history and make a bit of history too.&rdquo;<strong><br /> <br /> (Only) One Year to Go. Follow the journey to Tokyo 2020 at&nbsp;</strong><a href="https://linkprotect.cudasvc.com/url?a=http%3a%2f%2fTeamGB.com&amp;c=E,1,-LtLhfmBbS5Pa3HipEvGRQv__wWNXp0zXPF84nDXZye6UmDImGq6C0PCCmM7EfZl6mXUV25h-Ea5OE-wAQDEggL40eMASxoh-ZFXUR67907gyWcHmQ,,&amp;typo=1"><strong>TeamGB.com</strong></a><strong>&nbsp;and&nbsp;</strong><strong><a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB">@TeamGB</a></strong><br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019Fri, 26 Jul 2019 15:51:48 Zurn:uuid:ae1e668d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Climber Coxsey ready to ascend to the Olympic summit<p>Shauna Coxsey is relishing the challenge of scaling new heights &ndash; despite being initially unconvinced by the decision to add climbing to the Olympic programme.</p> <p>Sport climbing will make its Olympic debut next year at Tokyo 2020 and will feature a combination of three different disciplines: speed climbing, bouldering and lead climbing.</p> <p>Having made her name in bouldering, the introduction of climbing to the world&rsquo;s biggest sporting event forced Coxsey to quickly adapt to and master two more variations of her sport.</p> <p> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"> "I never thought I would say that I love speed climbing but I really do."<br /> <br /> Sport climber <a href="https://twitter.com/shaunacoxsey?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@shaunacoxsey</a> is revelling in navigating uncharted territory as she bids to make it to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tokyo2020?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tokyo2020</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/1YearToGo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#1YearToGo</a> <a href="https://t.co/uhHrmcncx3">pic.twitter.com/uhHrmcncx3</a></p> &mdash; Team GB (@TeamGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB/status/1154715900899221506?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 26, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>And while the 26-year-old from Runcorn admits she was not on board with the concept at first, she has since embraced the opportunity to push herself to the limits like never before.<br /> </p> <p>&ldquo;My initial reaction to climbing being included was actually negative because our sport was combined from three disciplines into sport climbing,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s very new and that didn&rsquo;t exist before the Game. No-one competed across all three disciplines, so that seemed like a shame, initially. The reality is we had one medal to showcase our sport.</p> <p>&ldquo;The combined format really will do that and I think the best decision was made. I had achieved all the goals I set myself in bouldering, so to now be taking on the two new disciplines is really cool.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a really different demand on the body and on the mind, so it&rsquo;s been a challenge but I&rsquo;m loving it &ndash; and I never thought I would say that I love speed climbing but I really do.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s definitely not easy but it is a lot of fun and I&rsquo;m someone who thrives of having a challenge, I like having goals and I like setting goals. I&rsquo;ve achieved every one I&rsquo;ve set myself so far.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m not looking to stop ticking them off any time soon so it&rsquo;s not easy but it&rsquo;s been a lot of fun and the challenge element is what pushes me and what motivates me.&rdquo;</p> <p>A two-time Bouldering World Cup winner in 2016 and 2017, Coxsey concedes it has been tough to learn to new disciplines while remaining at the elite table in her signature event.</p> <p>But with just one year to go until Tokyo 2020 kicks off, she is counting down the days until climbing makes its grand Olympic entrance as she bids to secure her place on the Team GB plane.</p> <p>&ldquo;I can&rsquo;t believe it&rsquo;s a year to go. It&rsquo;s come around really quickly and we&rsquo;re in the middle of selections now, so I&rsquo;ve had my head down and working really hard training and competing,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p>&ldquo;Our sport was already growing in popularity and there was a lot of hype around it but now it&rsquo;s part of the Olympics that has snowballed and grown even faster and faster.</p> <p>&ldquo;The more attention our sport gets the better in my opinion and it&rsquo;s going to be an incredibly exciting time for our sport, so hopefully more people try the sport and find their passion.</p> <p>&ldquo;As well as the chance to showcase her sport on a global stage, Coxsey is also excited about being part of the Olympics due to its ability to bring the nation together in a collective celebration.</p> <p>&ldquo;It is going to be an historic occasion in Tokyo. Growing up, I watched the Olympics but I never dreamed of being there because I didn&rsquo;t think it would be part of it in my professional career.</p> <p>&ldquo;It is unifying for our country and I think the Olympics transcends boundaries, it transcends countries &ndash; it&rsquo;s such a global community and I really do love that about the Games.</p> <p>&ldquo;My family is a huge sport family and they really love watching sport. They are incredibly supportive and to think they could support me at the Games is almost more exciting than me being there.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>(Only) One Year to Go. Follow the journey to Tokyo 2020 at </strong><a href="https://linkprotect.cudasvc.com/url?a=http%3a%2f%2fTeamGB.com&amp;c=E,1,-LtLhfmBbS5Pa3HipEvGRQv__wWNXp0zXPF84nDXZye6UmDImGq6C0PCCmM7EfZl6mXUV25h-Ea5OE-wAQDEggL40eMASxoh-ZFXUR67907gyWcHmQ,,&amp;typo=1" previewremoved="true"><strong>TeamGB.com</strong></a><strong> and </strong><strong><a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB" previewremoved="true">@TeamGB</a><br /> <br /> </strong>Sportsbeat 2019</p>Fri, 26 Jul 2019 07:57:28 Zurn:uuid:fef3658d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Baku 2019Zoe Backstedt becomes double European Youth Olympic championZoe Backstedt is a double European Youth Olympic champion after following up her gold medal in the time trial with victory in today&rsquo;s road race at Baku 2019.<br /> <br /> The 14-year-old was helped into a three rider break by teammate Millie Couzens early on in the 50km race before pulling away on her own in the final few kilometres to seal a convincing win.<br /> <br /> Not far behind Backstedt, Couzens then led out Imani Pereira-James for a sprint finish for fourth, with the Glasgow rider finishing in sixth.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> In winning both events, Backstedt becomes the first female to win both the time trial and road race at an Olympic event and only the third cyclist after Bernhard Eisel and Elia Viviani to win two road cycling events at the same Games.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s been tough to win these medals but hearing that stat is pretty special. Hopefully one day I can achieve what they&rsquo;ve been able to,&rdquo; said Backstedt.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Our team goal was to get one of us on the podium. The winds were tough today, they were incredibly strong, so I&rsquo;m really pleased I managed to get the win.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It wasn&rsquo;t the fastest of starts today so I tried to stay in the wheels until a gap opened up after the first climb on the descent. Millie [Couzens] left a little bit of a gap which allowed us to get away.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We worked together for about 15km and then I felt I was still really strong so pulled away and managed to solo until the finish.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> In the boys&rsquo; race, Finlay Pickering was the top ranked Team GB rider in sixth after the Hull cyclist managed to get himself across to the break group but was unable to ride away before the sprint finish conclusion to the 75km race.<br /> <br /> Teammate Josh Charlton secured a second top ten finish of the week for himself while Tom Lord came home in 45th, 2:40 behind the leaders.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> In the gymnastics, Ondine Achampong followed up team bronze yesterday with individual all-around silver.<br /> <br /> The Hertfordshire gymnast, who qualified for the final in third, produced four nerveless routines and capitalised on mistakes on the uneven bars from Russia&rsquo;s Iana Vorona to clinch silver with a final score of 52.950.<br /> <br /> World champion Viktoriia Listunova took gold with 56.000 with Vorona in bronze with 52.550.<br /> <br /> In the men&rsquo;s all-round final, Team GB&rsquo;s Raekwon Baptiste and Sam Mostowfi finished 20th and 22nd with scores of 75.450 and 75.100 respectively.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Over at the Baku Aquatics Centre, two medals headlined Team GB&rsquo;s penultimate finals sessions in the pool as Freya Colbert picked up silver in the 200m freestyle and there were also silver medals for the 4x100m mixed medley quartet.<br /> <br /> Colbert, who won 400m freestyle silver earlier in the week, pushed gold medallist Beril Bocekler of Turkey throughout and just missed out the title by 0.28 seconds.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> In the relay, Katie Shanahan, Cameron Williams, Sophie Freeman and Jacob Whittle chased down France in the final 100m to clinch the silver medal in 3:57.06, 2.79 seconds shy of Russia who took gold.<br /> <br /> The two medals mean Team GB have won 12 medals in the pool, one short of Russia who top the swimming medal table going into the final day of racing.<br /> <br /> Elsewhere, Shanahan and Ed Mildred were quickest into their respective 200m individual medley and 200m freestyle finals while Williams was second fastest into the boys&rsquo; 100m breaststroke final and Jemimah Berkeley fifth quickest into her 100m breaststroke final.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Freeman finished seventh in the 100m butterfly, as did Nick Skelton in his 200m backstroke final.<br /> <br /> At the tennis, Matilda Mutavdzic will definitely play for a medal after cruising into the girls&rsquo; singles semi-finals.<br /> <br /> The 15-year-old dispatched Switzerland&rsquo;s Chelsea 6-3, 6-1 in just 77 minutes and will face Oceane Babel of France in tomorrow&rsquo;s semi the with gold and bronze medal matches set for Saturday.<br /> <br /> Across at the judo, Team GB&rsquo;s Opening Ceremony Flagbearer Tatum Keen just missed out on bronze, losing on golden score to Romania&rsquo;s Alexandra-Maria Pasca after coming through the repechage to fight for a medal.<br /> <br /> Isobel Kitchen made it through to the last 16 before eventually losing out in the second round of the repechage while there were opening round defeats for Grace Griffith, Ethan Nairne and Ryan Rijksen-Salman.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Team GB have now won 16 medals at the Baku 2019 European Youth Olympic Festival: six gold, eight silver and two bronze.<br /> <div>&nbsp;</div>Thu, 25 Jul 2019 20:16:31 Zurn:uuid:13e5658d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Tokyo 2020 ‘Sport is GREAT’ campaign launched to mark one year countdown to Tokyo 2020<ul> <li>&lsquo;Sport is GREAT&rsquo; campaign launched to mark one year countdown to Tokyo 2020</li> <li>&pound;265 million invested into elite Olympic performance</li> <li>World Championship performances to date offer rich potential</li> <li>Country encouraged to get behind Team GB and to #BelieveInExtraordinary</li> </ul> <p>With one year to go until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, this week British athletes gathered to launch a new campaign to inspire the nation to get behind Team GB and showcase the best of British sport around the world.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The Government is using its most successful ever international campaign, the GREAT Britain &amp; Northern Ireland Campaign, to promote British sport internationally. New posters and promotional materials featuring the Team GB athletes will be seen by millions of potential visitors, business people and decision-makers overseas.</p> <p>The &lsquo;Sport is GREAT&rsquo; campaign will be a powerful demonstration of the UK&rsquo;s capacity to inspire millions of people around the globe through sport. And as we look ahead to Tokyo 2020, the signs are that Team GB could be in for another exceptional Games with more World Championships medals won in more sports so far in the Tokyo cycle than at the equivalent point four years ago.</p> <p>More than &pound;265 million of National Lottery and UK Government funding is being invested in British Olympic hopefuls, 21% of whom come from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, a testament to the extraordinary unifying power of Team GB.</p> <p><strong>Sir Hugh Robertson, Chairman of the British Olympic Association, commented:&nbsp;</strong>&ldquo;At both London 2012 and Rio 2016 I saw first-hand the inspirational impact that Britain&rsquo;s athletes had on the country. Olympic sport is something at which we are genuinely world class and Team GB want to use Tokyo 2020 to bring the country together and make it proud of its athletes once again.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Dame Katherine Grainger, Britain's most decorated female Olympian and Chair of UK Sport, said:</strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;With just one year to go to Tokyo 2020, I am excited by the potential of Team GB to inspire and unite the nation through their incredible performances. The GREAT Campaign celebrates the best of the UK, and British athletes will proudly represent us and fly the flag at Tokyo 2020.&rdquo;</p>Thu, 25 Jul 2019 15:59:28 Zurn:uuid:0ae1658d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 GB women slug it out for Tokyo softball spotGreat Britain's softball team are slugging it out with the best and showcasing their phenomenal progress at the Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier in the Netherlands. <br /> <br /> The International Olympic Committee announced in August 2016 that softball would return to the programme for next summer&rsquo;s Games in Tokyo. <br /> <br /> Having finished bottom of the pile at the 2014 World Championships, Rachael Watkeys&rsquo; side now sit a record 12th in the world rankings and are in the hunt for an Olympic place. <br /> <br /> Britain have opened with clinical back-to-back victories in this week&rsquo;s Olympic qualifier in Utrecht, where a single spot in Japan is up for grabs. <br /> <br /> Successive wins over lower-ranked opponents were in the script but a nervy start against the Spain was only overcome by starring roles from Amie Hutchinson and Nerissa Myers. <br /> <br /> And South Africa were dispatched 15-0 inside three innings, sealing Britain&rsquo;s progress into the four-team Super Round where Olympic destiny will be decided. <br /> <br /> Watkeys&rsquo; outfit face a defining contest against hosts Netherlands on Thursday evening, the result of which carries over into the Super Round where only the top-ranked team prevails. <br /> <br /> Netherlands and Italy have dominated European softball since the 1980s, winning every European Championship and Olympic Qualifier ever played. <br /> <br /> The fact Britain are viewed as the closest nation to snapping this streak is a testament to the progress they&rsquo;ve made in recent years. <br /> <br /> European bronze medals in 2017 and 2019, alongside improved World Championship returns in 2016 and 2018, have all been markers of exponential improvement.Thu, 25 Jul 2019 14:33:14 Zurn:uuid:50d4658d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 AthleticsThompson explains how KJT can close gap on Thiam by Tokyo<p>In terms of endorsements for heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson, few carry more weight than double Olympic decathlon champion Daley Thompson.</p> <p>So when Thompson says that his near namesake has a genuine shot of an Olympic gold medal in just under a year&rsquo;s time in Tokyo, it is worth listening.</p> <p>It might seem a big ask, with Belgium&rsquo;s Nafi Thiam the standout heptathlete in the world, having won gold in Rio ahead of Jessica Ennis-Hill before adding world and European titles to her collection.</p> <p>The latter came at the expense of Johnson-Thompson in Glasgow last summer &ndash; but while the 26-year-old from Liverpool lags behind her rival in the throwing events, Thompson believes there is a way for her to close the gap.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think that Katarina Johnson-Thompson is definitely going to be in the mix,&rdquo; said Thompson, who won Olympic gold in Moscow in 1980 before retaining his title four years later in Los Angeles.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s whether or not on her worst couple of events, whether she can do a small personal best to get a bit more confidence and do really well in the things she&rsquo;s good at.</p> <p>&ldquo;From my point of view, it&rsquo;s just about practice and how you practise. Sometimes, people are let down because they are not used to competing under the stress and pressure of it. </p> <p>&ldquo;When you are training, you need to invent routines that give you little bits of pressure which allow you to practise it. It&rsquo;s not the same but you should do a little bit. </p> <p>&ldquo;If she can just throw a little further, 50 or 60cm in the shot, and a couple of metres in the javelin, I think she would have a really good chance of getting a gold medal. </p> <p>&ldquo;Thiam, while the best heptathlete in the world, hasn&rsquo;t really been pushed and put under pressure. You never know what is going to happen when people do that to you.</p> <p>&ldquo;When you tend to be a lot better than everybody else around you when you are coming up through the sport, you never tend to be put under pressure. You never know what it&rsquo;s like. </p> <p>&ldquo;Sometimes people, when they are put under pressure, react badly. Admittedly, they might react really well and perform even better but you never know until you get the chance to perform under pressure. </p> <p>&ldquo;What KJT has to do is go to all the major championships in the best shape she can and perform at the level she can perform at. If the other girl is too good for her, that&rsquo;s the way it is.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <img src="https://d2njx87fm2ttul.cloudfront.net/images/default-source/news-items/daleythompson84sb630.jpg?sfvrsn=2f6c0992_0" data-displaymode="Original" alt="DaleyThompson84SB630" title="DaleyThompson84SB630" /></p> <p>It is notable that Thompson talks about the ability to perform under pressure, having spent his entire career seeming impervious to stress.</p> <p>As well as his legendary work ethic, Thompson also had little techniques in training which helped him to perform on the biggest stage.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was practising under pressure,&rdquo; explained Thompson who is launching Bridgestone UK&rsquo;s &ldquo;Everyday Battlers&rdquo; campaign which will help ten Brits across the country to overcome their personal obstacles in life by training for a 10k run.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s only silly things but one of my coaches, for six or seven years, made sure that every day, we attempted to do something as well as we can. </p> <p>&ldquo;We only had one throw to throw 15 metres or one jump to jump 2m05 in the high jump. It&rsquo;s how you react to those things that help you build up that resilience when you get to the big show.&rdquo;</p> <p>The next major challenge for Johnson-Thompson will be the World Championships in Doha at the end of September.</p> <p>However, with almost exactly a year to go, the countdown has begun for Tokyo. </p> <p>And with a two-time Olympic decathlon gold medallist backing her, who is to say that Johnson-Thompson will not follow in the footsteps of Denise Lewis and Ennis-Hill in becoming a British Olympic heptathlon champion.<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019</p>Thu, 25 Jul 2019 10:37:41 Zurn:uuid:b89f658d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 RowingThomas desperate to make up for Rio last-gasp heartacheNot until he watches the light turn green in his boat on the water at Tokyo 2020 will Graeme Thomas feel safe to acknowledge that his Olympic dream has finally become a reality.<br /> <br /> The Preston rower was selected in the quadruple scull boat for Rio 2016 but was struck down by illness shortly after landing in Brazil and was pulled out of the team at the 11th hour.<br /> <br /> If that was not heartbreaking enough, Thomas suffered another blow ahead of the 2017 season when he was told he required a hip operation that would keep him sidelined for six months.<br /> <br /> But with a year to go until Tokyo 2020, the 30-year-old revealed he has a whole new outlook on the sport he took up after his quest to become a professional rugby player stalled.<br /> <br /> And while the former Sale Sharks trialist believes he mentally stronger for his experience three years ago, Thomas insists he will not be taking his place in Team GB squad for granted.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I won&rsquo;t be counting any chickens until that green light is gone to be honest, until we have actually started the race, I will definitely be keeping my mouth shut about a lot of things,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">One year today we&rsquo;ll be less worried about what makes us different, and more interested in what makes us the same <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tokyo2020?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tokyo2020</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OnlyOneYearToGo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OnlyOneYearToGo</a> <a href="https://t.co/QGHfrFd2oO">pic.twitter.com/QGHfrFd2oO</a></p> &mdash; Team GB (@TeamGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB/status/1153937879787327488?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 24, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <br /> &ldquo;Rio was a difficult time for me and it did take me a good while to really bounce back from that. I got a lot of supportive messages from successful rowers and other successful sports people.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;They were all saying you have demonstrated you can win medals on the world stage, if you&rsquo;re going to carry on, we know you can do it and a lot of heartfelt stuff like that.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;A lot of people said to me you&rsquo;re going to be able to use that fire from missing out in Rio and it&rsquo;s going to help you and I wondered for a long time how that would manifest itself.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Would I be sat on the start line and go, &lsquo;This one is for Rio&rsquo;? but it definitely hasn&rsquo;t come about like that. It&rsquo;s been more about know what&rsquo;s at stake and trying to enjoy the journey as well.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I feel in the run up to Rio it was very much about the Olympics but now I really enjoy what I&rsquo;m doing every single day and that makes me more motivated to do a better job.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Rather than it being about this outcome in a years&rsquo; time, it&rsquo;s about getting the best out of myself day-to-day and not worrying about Tokyo &ndash; but obviously that is the carrot, that&rsquo;s what I&rsquo;m chasing.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> It is not just Thomas&rsquo; mindset that has changed since he was last in the midst of an Olympic cycle as he has also swapped the quadruple scull for the double with John Collins.<br /> <br /> And although the partnership is still in its early stages, Thomas believes the World Cup medals they won in Poznan and Rotterdam showed they are heading in the right direction.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The testing came out very favourably that John and I were a very quick combination and I wasn&rsquo;t in the same boat as him in the last Olympiad but I&rsquo;ve definitely admired his consistency,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The way he delivers in training every single day and he&rsquo;s probably missed the least training sessions of anybody in the team in the last eight years which is phenomenal.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Maybe that&rsquo;s something I&rsquo;ve been lacking through my career is a little bit of consistency so it&rsquo;s great to partner up with someone who has that robustness, you know what you&rsquo;re going to get.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> But before Thomas can turn his attention Tokyo, he and Collins first must overcome the hurdle of the World Championships in Linz-Ottensheim as they attempt to secure an Olympic quota place.<br /> <br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">So happy to back up last weekends <a href="https://twitter.com/HenleyRegatta?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@HenleyRegatta</a> win with a Bronze <a href="https://twitter.com/WorldRowing?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WorldRowing</a> Cup here in Rotterdam, Great job by <a href="https://twitter.com/john_collins89?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@john_collins89</a> Gives us plenty to work on in our up coming camps. Big shout to everyone who sent lovely messages definitely helped us get stuck in today. Thanks <a href="https://t.co/1tITbGoNxI">pic.twitter.com/1tITbGoNxI</a></p> &mdash; Graeme Thomas (@Graeme_Thomas) <a href="https://twitter.com/Graeme_Thomas/status/1150403545939750912?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 14, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <br /> &ldquo;The mood and the focus is very much on the World Championships which double up as our Olympic qualification regatta, but obviously Tokyo 2020 is in the back of the mind,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have to qualify boats if we want to go to the Olympics and no one in the team is getting ahead of themselves as there is a big job that needs doing at the World Championships first.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I know for me rowing is a job, and it is my dream job, but I don&rsquo;t think that takes away anything from just how much I want it or how much it means to me or how special it is.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Olympic legacy speaks for itself and everyone&rsquo;s journey to try and reach it is different but for me it&rsquo;s always been a very exciting prospect to try and compete at a Games.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <strong>(Only) One Year to Go. Follow the journey to Tokyo 2020 at <a href="/">TeamGB.com</a>&nbsp;and <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">@TeamGB</a></strong><br /> <div>&nbsp;</div> Sportsbeat 2019Thu, 25 Jul 2019 07:12:40 Zurn:uuid:15c6658d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Baku 2019Gymnasts and swimmers boost Team GB medal haul at Baku 2019With only one year to go until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Team GB's young stars continue to show their future promise at the Baku 2019 European Youth Olympic Festival. <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Five medals were won on day four in Azerbaijan, with more success in the pool with the team collecting a gold and three silvers while there was a superb gymnastics team bronze.&nbsp;</p> <p>Team GB's medal haul now sits at 12; five gold, five silver and two bronze.</p> <p>The gymnastics trio of Annie Young, Halle Hilton and Ondine Achampong finished with a score of 103.850 from their four apparatus to claim third spot, a point clear of Italy in fourth while Russia and Romania took gold and silver respectively.</p> <p>The team also secured a number of individual finals as a result, with Achampong and Hilton finishing in the top two spots of the beam qualification and both will also compete in tomorrow&rsquo;s all-around finals.</p> <p>In the pool, an incredible final leg from Jacob Whittle helped Team GB&rsquo;s 4x100m boys&rsquo; relay quartet win gold as the 14-year-old from Derbyshire came from sixth to first to take gold alongside Ed Mildred, Nick Skelton and Mark Ford.</p> <p>Whittle, who earlier in the evening won 100m freestyle silver, recorded the only split time to duck below 50 seconds in the relay final as he touched home in 49.91 for a team time of 3:26.71.</p> <p>After the race Whittle admitted he surprised himself with the split having only just raced the 100m freestyle: &ldquo;When I dived in I didn&rsquo;t really know what was going to happen,&rdquo; he said.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I was breathing the other way but when I saw the Russian on the turn I just went for it. I don&rsquo;t know how I did it but I managed to find some energy from somewhere.</p> <p>&ldquo;I would have liked gold in the freestyle but I&rsquo;ve done a lot of racing this week so I&rsquo;m pleased with that too.&rdquo;</p> <p>The boys&rsquo; success came shortly after the girls, who won silver in their 4x100m freestyle relay final with Evelyn Davis, Katie Shanahan, Freya Colbert and Tamryn van Selm only finishing behind Russia in a time of 3:48.67.</p> <p>Mildred had earlier collected the team&rsquo;s first swimming medal of the day with silver in the boys&rsquo; 200m butterfly final, recording a new British age group record in the process.</p> <p>The Northampton swimmer came home in 1:58.64, 0.58 behind Russia&rsquo;s Vadim Klimenishchev who won gold.</p> <p>This evening&rsquo;s haul means Team GB have won 10 medals in the pool&nbsp; already in Baku and still with two sessions of finals to go.</p> <p>Both Skelton and Sophie Freeman secured places for tomorrow&rsquo;s finals, with Skelton eight quickest into the 200m backstroke and Freeman fourth fastest into the 100m butterfly final.</p> <p>Matilda Mutavdzic cruised into the quarter-finals of the girls&rsquo; tennis singles draw after a 6-3, 6-0 win over Portugal&rsquo;s Matilde Morais. The 15-year-old took control midway through the first set before wrapping up the match inside an hour and a half. Mutavdzic faces Switzerland&rsquo;s Chelsea Fontenel in tomorrow&rsquo;s last eight match-up.</p> <p>Elsewhere, it was a tough first day for Team GB&rsquo;s judoka in the Heydar Aliyev Arena. Dougie Fleming (-50kg) and Harry Zain-Prosser (-60kg) both suffered opening round defeats while Artur Patemian (-55kg) was unfortunate not to progress beyond the second round, losing to Italy&rsquo;s Vincenzo Skenderi on golden point.</p> Mae Bostock won consecutive fights to make the quarter-finals of the girls&rsquo; -48kg but was eventually beaten by eventual gold medallist Ana Viktorija Puljiz from Croatia. The 15-year-old from Spennymoor was then unable to progress to the bronze medal fight via the repechage after defeat to Georgia&rsquo;s Dian Gagoshidze-Filkina.Thu, 25 Jul 2019 06:21:12 Zurn:uuid:c09a658d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Modern PentathlonBreakout star Choong sets sights on Tokyo This year has been the breakthrough for modern pentathlete Joe Choong - but he believes 2020 will be even better. <br /> <br /> Two World Cup silver medals preceded perhaps his best-ever performance in June when Choong won gold at the World Cup final in Tokyo, his first senior championship title.<br /> <br /> This result secured a 2020 Olympics qualification spot, an early statement of intent for the 24-year-old.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;My first emotion was relief,&rdquo; Choong said.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a high pressure situation trying to qualify for the Olympics as early as possible.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> "To manage to do it at the first possible opportunity was a massive relief as it takes the pressure off the rest of the year now.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Once it sunk in, I felt a lot of pride. All the years you&rsquo;ve worked really hard and now it&rsquo;s finally paid off.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> "It was my first senior championship gold as well. The overall performance was good and I was ecstatic.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been knocking on the door of a performance like that for a couple of years.&rdquo;<br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">One year today we&rsquo;ll be less worried about what makes us different, and more interested in what makes us the same <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tokyo2020?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tokyo2020</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OnlyOneYearToGo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OnlyOneYearToGo</a> <a href="https://t.co/QGHfrFd2oO">pic.twitter.com/QGHfrFd2oO</a></p> &mdash; Team GB (@TeamGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB/status/1153937879787327488?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 24, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <br /> With only a year to go until Tokyo, the current world number two has suddenly hit form at just the right time.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think it has been a breakthrough year,&rdquo; he added.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think its necessarily the best year I could have had, I think I can achieve more, but it&rsquo;s definitely been a stepping stone towards what I want to achieve. I&rsquo;m delighted with it.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;One or two things have let me down before, whether that&rsquo;s inconsistent horse riding or shooting. This year those events have been very consistent for me so that&rsquo;s helped.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Consistent training, each year I feel like I&rsquo;ve progressed a bit in the running and the fencing and I&rsquo;ve reached a level there when I can compete with the rest of the world. With the other events I&rsquo;ve been consistent enough to keep me in contention.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This year&rsquo;s been nice but the thing everyone aims for is an Olympic medal.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;If I could have chosen between qualifying early and winning a medal at the Games, it&rsquo;s always going to be a medal.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The hard work is not going to stop, I need to keep pushing myself to repeat what I&rsquo;ve been doing when it really counts.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> As he prepares for the Olympics with the European Championships in Bath in August and the World Championships in Hungary in September, Choong will be spurred on by the memory of Rio.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Hopefully it&rsquo;s a twice in a lifetime thing now,&rdquo; he said.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In Rio I feel like I had a good opportunity to get a medal. I was second before the last event but it was my shooting that let me down. I was close but not quite good enough.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve spent the last three years thinking, &lsquo;oh what if I&rsquo;d shot better there&rsquo;, so it&rsquo;ll be really nice to put that behind me and get a medal this time.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <strong>(Only) One Year to Go. Follow the journey to Tokyo 2020 at TeamGB.com and @TeamGB</strong><br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019 <p>&nbsp;</p>Wed, 24 Jul 2019 16:32:21 Z