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News feed/All news feedsSailingRowingAthleticsTriathlonTennisModern PentathlonModern Pentathlon DivingGymnastics ArtisticRugbyCanoe SlalomCycling RoadSwimmingBaku 2019Tokyo 2020ArcheryFencingBadmintonJudoBasketballShootingFootballSummer SportsI Am Team GBMinsk 2019 urn: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: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 Zurn:uuid:d59a658d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 ArcheryBettles thirsty for Tokyo success amid archery's Hunger Games riseBlockbuster Hollywood movies like The Hunger Games and Brave have played a crucial role for reshaping the landscape of archery, according to Olympic hopeful Sarah Bettles.<br /> <br /> The 26-year-old was part of the Great Britain team that secured 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games qualification at the World Championships in the Netherlands last month.<br /> <br /> This summer has seen female athletes catapulted into the spotlight at both the FIFA Women&rsquo;s World Cup and the Netball World Cup.<br /> <br /> But Bettles began noticing a change in her sport some time ago &ndash; and it came from the silver screen.<br /> <br /> In 2012 The Hunger Games hit cinemas with bow-wielding heroine Katniss Everdeen, portrayed by Oscar-winning actor Jennifer Lawrence, capturing the imaginations of millions.<br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <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 /> And although Bettles doesn&rsquo;t cite the Gary Ross movie as her own inspiration, she is acutely aware that without it, and Disney&rsquo;s Brave, there would be far fewer females in the talent pool when the Olympics roll around in exactly one year&rsquo;s time.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think that there is a much better gender balance in archery now than there was ten or 15 years ago and that is down to movies like Brave and The Hunger Games,&rdquo; said Bettles.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There&rsquo;s been a large influx in female archers after those movies, there&rsquo;s certainly more females with the confidence to pick up a bow now.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I heard a lot of students come along to the archery society while I was at university and said &lsquo;I just watched The Hunger Games and I wanted to give it a go&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think there is also a slight misconception in the sport that females aren&rsquo;t strong enough, but the sport uses different muscles to what you might expect.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I have seen big, strong rugby players struggle with bows and yet some very small female athletes do it with ease and are very good at it.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Bettles first started shooting for fun as a 13-year-old but after just a few years of participation, other priorities minimised the amount of free time she had and the bow went into storage.<br /> <br /> It wasn&rsquo;t until she arrived at Cardiff University to study medical engineering that she got back into the sport and rapidly discovered that she had the talent to compete at a national level.<br /> <br /> Since graduation and subsequently leaving her job at an artificial joint manufacturer, the recurver from Romford has been drawing on the experience of training partner and four-time Olympian Naomi Folkard ahead of what she hopes will be a landmark achievement next year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I have never experienced an archery atmosphere like the one in the Netherlands when we qualified and I think that just shows how much was riding on it and the direction that our sport is moving in,&rdquo; said Bettles.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Competing at an Olympic Games is something that comes with a lot of prestige &ndash; it is always the one be-all and end-all dream for any athlete.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Three years ago I would never have even thought that it would be a remote possibility that I can become an Olympian.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Now we are just one year away, I have been on this crazy upwards trajectory and now it will just be full-time training and a few trips back home to Essex each month.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <strong>(Only) One Year to Go. Follow the journey to Tokyo 2020 at TeamGB.com and @TeamGB</strong><br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019Wed, 24 Jul 2019 16:25:23 Zurn:uuid:6393658d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 SwimmingPeaty wins seventh world titleAdam Peaty completed the triple double as he retained his title in the 50m breaststroke at the World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju. <p>The 24-year-old clinched his third consecutive title at the sprint event winning in 26.06 seconds, 0.6 second ahead of silver medallist Felipe Lima. </p> <p>It was Peaty&rsquo;s second title of the week, after he secured his third consecutive 100m breaststroke crown earlier in the competition. </p> <p>Including his triumph as part of the 4x100m mixed medley relay in Kazan in 2015, the Olympic champion now has seven world titles to his name. </p> <p>Peaty then joined his teammates Georgia Davies, James Guy and Freya Anderson in the 4x100m mixed medley relay as the quartet claimed the bronze medal finishing just 0.1 seconds ahead of Russia. </p> <p>Earlier in the session, Davies had cruised through to the final of the 50m backstroke in third place after swimming 27.72. </p> <p>Meanwhile Duncan Scott made the final of the 200m individual medley with Alys Thomas and Laura Stephens qualifying for the final of the 200m butterfly in sixth and eighth place. </p> <p>Over at the high diving, Gary Hunt sealed his second world title after triumphing in the men&rsquo;s 27m. </p> <p>The 35-year-old was fourth with two rounds remaining but moved into bronze position when he scored 97.20 with his penultimate dive. </p> <p>For his last dive, the 2015 world champion produced an immaculate back triple somersault with quadruple twists which scored perfect 10s and confirmed him as champion with a total of 442.20 points. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B0SrV5Miz9k/" 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/B0SrV5Miz9k/" 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/B0SrV5Miz9k/" 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/B0SrV5Miz9k/" 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/B0SrV5Miz9k/" 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/B0SrV5Miz9k/" 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/B0SrV5Miz9k/" 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/B0SrV5Miz9k/" 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">Gobsmacked. Learnt my lesson in Budapest and saved the best until last. @divelobue and @jonathanparedes89 thank you for making it a cracking competition. We did it guys! @Gwangju2019 #HighDiving #FINA</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/garydiver/" style="color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px;" target="_blank"> Gary Hunt</a> (@garydiver) on <time style="font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;" datetime="2019-07-24T07:53:48+00:00">Jul 24, 2019 at 12:53am PDT</time></p> </div> </blockquote> <script src="//www.instagram.com/embed.js"></script> <p>Victory proved to be redemption for Hunt who missed out on a medal at the 2017 world championships in Budapest after an error on the same dive saw him drop to fifth place but he has learnt from those mistakes. </p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s hard to explain your feelings after such a final,&rdquo; Hunt said. </p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m still shocked! I was a bit disappointed after the first two rounds, but I decided I should fight until the end. </p> <p>&ldquo;I learnt a big lesson in Budapest &ndash; I messed up with this dive because I couldn&rsquo;t handle the pressure. </p> <p>&ldquo;The execution of the dive was also not so secure then &ndash; I&rsquo;ve improved a lot since 2017. I now know what I have to do.&rdquo; </p> Sportsbeat 2019Wed, 24 Jul 2019 14:14:47 Zurn:uuid:f090658d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 TennisAndy Murray confirms doubles link-up with JamieAndy Murray has confirmed that he will play alongside brother Jamie in the men's doubles at the Citi Open in Washington next week.<br /> <br /> <p>The two-time Wimbledon champion paired up with Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the men's doubles at Wimbledon, as well as playing in the mixed doubles with Serena Williams.</p> <p>However, he will now link up with his older brother, a six-time Grand Slam champion in doubles, for the event in Washington in what he hopes will be a successful summer in the USA.</p> <p>And Murray revealed that he is also still working his way back in the hope that he will be able to return to singles action.</p> <p>He said on Twitter: &ldquo;I&rsquo;m going to be competing in Washington next week in the doubles with my brother Jamie. I&rsquo;m very excited to be on the court with him and to go back to Washington. </p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a city I&rsquo;ve always enjoyed visiting. It should be fun and I&rsquo;m hoping to have a good summer over in the States, to keep progressing physically and hopefully get back on the singles court soon.&rdquo;<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Some news... <a href="https://twitter.com/jamie_murray?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jamie_murray</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CitiOpen?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CitiOpen</a> <a href="https://t.co/x7iMWEbeDd">pic.twitter.com/x7iMWEbeDd</a></p> &mdash; Andy Murray (@andy_murray) <a href="https://twitter.com/andy_murray/status/1154015096089305088?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 24, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Murray last played singles at the Australian Open in January, undergoing hip surgery after the event.<br /> </p> <p>Since then, he has returned to the court in doubles, winning the men&rsquo;s doubles at Queen&rsquo;s alongside Feliciano Lopez.</p> <p>And he will now play alongside his brother Jamie, who is the defending champion at the event, having won the men&rsquo;s doubles with Bruno Soares last year.<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019</p>Wed, 24 Jul 2019 13:29:46 Zurn:uuid:c48d658d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 SailingYoung boosted by world bronze<p>British sailor Alison Young is hoping to build her momentum towards Tokyo 2020 after securing bronze at the 2019 Laser Radial World Championships in Japan. </p> <p>The two-time Olympian was consistent throughout the competition in Sakaiminato City, claiming six top-ten finishes over the 11 races. </p> <p>The 32-year-old never slipped outside of the top ten in the rankings and clinched bronze on the final day behind Denmark&rsquo;s Anne-Marie Rindom and&nbsp;the Netherlands&rsquo; Marit Bouwmeester. </p> <p>With exactly one year to go until Tokyo 2020, the 2016 world champion was pleased to have persisted during tough conditions. </p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s been a pretty savage venue, where we&rsquo;ve had all sorts of weather, including totally differing conditions on the same race course,&rdquo; said Young. </p> <p>&ldquo;Races really haven&rsquo;t been over until you&rsquo;ve crossed the finish line. </p> <p>&ldquo;I feel I&rsquo;ve stuck at it well this week and kept patient. </p> <p>&ldquo;My performance is a good platform to build off a year out from the Games.&rdquo;</p> <p>Teammate Hannah Snellgrove aspired to finish in the top ten at this championships after returning from a knee injury she picked up at the European Championships. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">7th in the Worlds...<br /> <br /> ... and this is how it feels. <br /> <br /> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TeamLymo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TeamLymo</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Koishi?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Koishi</a><a href="https://twitter.com/EVENT360_Sport?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@EVENT360_Sport</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/BritishSailing?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BritishSailing</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> <br /> Beaulieu Beaufort Foundation<a href="https://twitter.com/SailboatsUK?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SailboatsUK</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/HSElite?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@HSElite</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/LaserPerform?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LaserPerform</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/LymingtonTownSC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LymingtonTownSC</a> <br /> <br /> Helen Draper <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TeamMum?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TeamMum</a> <a href="https://t.co/3WYeaohJ5X">pic.twitter.com/3WYeaohJ5X</a></p> &mdash; Hannah Snellgrove (@hannah_gbradial) <a href="https://twitter.com/hannah_gbradial/status/1153940510106537984?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 24, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Snellgrove ended the competition in seventh and was thrilled to have reached her personal goal. </p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m pretty over the moon to have finished seventh in Sakaiminato,&rdquo; Snellgrove said. </p> <p>&ldquo;I set myself the goal of top ten coming into this regatta as it&rsquo;s something I have never quite managed at a world championships, so to achieve what I set out to do is a really great feeling.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was a really high-scoring event, with pretty crazy winds and consistency was key, so to get a black flag in race one of gold fleet put just a little bit of pressure on, and I&rsquo;m really happy with how I dealt with that in the finals series.&rdquo;</p> <p>Meanwhile, the third Brit in the field Georgina Povall finished in 34th place.&nbsp; </p> <p>Next on the agenda for Britain&rsquo;s sailors will be the Tokyo 2020 test event, which is taking place at Enoshima, the Olympic venue, from August 17-22. </p> Sportsbeat 2019Wed, 24 Jul 2019 12:33:15 Zurn:uuid:3f4a658d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Tokyo 2020Team GB spreads Olympic fever with ‘(Only) One Year to Go’ until Tokyo 2020With only 365 days left until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Team GB is spreading Olympic fever across the United Kingdom as the countdown starts in earnest to the next Games.<br /> <br /> Team GB&rsquo;s &lsquo;(Only) One Year to Go&rsquo; campaign launched today as Olympians Greg Rutherford and Beth Tweddle delighted commuters on the tram from Manchester Piccadilly to Media City, handing out Team GB papers filled with inspiring messages of unity and national pride, highlighting recent research confirming Team GB as still being the UK&rsquo;s most loved sports team.<br /> <br /> In a week that Team GB confirmed that it is on the cusp of securing more women than men in the British Olympic team for the first time ever, with a projected team size of 378, there was much to be excited about with preparations for Tokyo 2020 well on track.<br /> <br /> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LJyX8qdLVkc" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe><br /> <br /> The people in the main piazza at Media City were treated to an awe-inspiring Team GB highlights showreel taking people back to those iconic moments at London 2012 and Rio 2016. Fans were even able to stop at a special Team GB caf&eacute; to grab a free coffee and properly soak up those golden British Olympic moments.<br /> <br /> Tokyo 2020 will welcome five new sports to the Games &ndash; baseball (men)/softball (women), karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing &ndash; and British skateboarder Alex Decunha was able to showcase what his sport will bring next summer, whilst Shauna Coxsey revealed the intricacies of sport climbing. In addition, BMX rider Charlotte Worthington took part in this unique showcase and fans even got the chance to try the discipline for themselves.<br /> <br /> Not to be outdone, shoppers at Westfield London received Team GB newspapers with a rallying cry of &lsquo;(Only) One Year to Go&rsquo; until Tokyo 2020 and sites across the country saw messages of unity and pride displayed across prominent locations in major British cities courtesy of Team GB partner, Ocean Outdoor.<br /> <br /> After an incredible summer of sport, Team GB is hoping to continue the excitement by starting the countdown to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and once again highlighting why Team GB is the team that makes the UK most proud and unites and inspires the nation*.<br /> <br /> In an exciting few weeks for Team GB, it was confirmed a women&rsquo;s football team will compete in Tokyo while both men&rsquo;s and women&rsquo;s rugby sevens teams qualified for 2020. In Gwangju, South Korea some impressive performances from Britain&rsquo;s divers, including Jack Laugher and Tom Daley among others, ensured seven spots for Team GB too. Swimming takes centre stage this week, most notably with Adam Peaty already breaking the 57 second barrier on the way to world 100m breaststroke gold, more quota places are likely to be secured. In total, Team GB has achieved 86** quota places across archery, diving, equestrian, football, modern pentathlon, rugby sevens, sailing, shooting and swimming.<br /> <br /> Speaking about his memories of Team GB and what it meant to represent his country, Greg Rutherford remembered with warmth what it meant to have the nation behind him: &ldquo;Having competed at London 2012, feeling the surge of support from the entire nation in the lead-up to the Games is so special and inspiring. I&rsquo;m thrilled to be helping Team GB spread Olympic fever and get the nation behind the athletes once more as we head towards Tokyo 2020.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Team GB Chairman Sir Hugh Robertson, added: &ldquo;At both London 2012 and Rio 2016 I saw first-hand the inspirational impact 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;<br /> <br /> With qualification spots being secured by the day, Team GB&rsquo;s Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Mark England, was in confident mood one year out: &ldquo;One year to go always brings the Games into focus but the hard work from athletes and sports has been going for some time. With over 85 quota places confirmed and a target team size of around 380, it is something that will undoubtedly excite and inspire the nation. Tokyo 2020 will be an incredible Games and Team GB will once again take an extremely talented and diverse group of individuals, which the country should rightly feel proud of.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Team GB&rsquo;s campaign to bring the nation together in excitement, unity and pride ahead of Tokyo 2020 will run through the next year with further activations as teams and athletes get announced and the Games draw ever closer.Wed, 24 Jul 2019 08:00:00 Zurn:uuid:185b658d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Baku 2019Triple gold for Team GB at the European Youth Olympic Festival<p>Double gold in the pool and a win for cyclist Zoe Backstedt headlined a successful day for Team GB at the Baku 2019 European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF).</p> <p>In total, six medals were won on day three, five in the pool, including a second gold for Katie Shanahan, and one on the bike as Team GB took their Baku 2019 medal haul to seven; four gold, two silver and one bronze.</p> <p>Backstedt began the medal action with gold in the girls&rsquo; individual time trial on a 10km coastal course dogged by strong crosswinds throughout.</p> <p>The 14-year-old was one of the last riders out and coped well with the conditions, powering past two other cyclists on her way to finishing in 14:35.25, over 19 seconds clear of second place and almost a minute clear of third.</p> <p>Backstedt, whose sister Elynor won time trial bronze at the same event two years ago in Hungary, had been targeting this event and was delighted to step onto the top of the podium.</p> <p>&ldquo;This is the best medal I&rsquo;ve won in my cycling career so far so I&rsquo;m really happy," said the Welsh rider.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve had the goal since the start of the year to at least podium in the individual time trial.</p> <p>&ldquo;I knew I was strong enough to do that and I&rsquo;m strong in the wind so I knew out here I&rsquo;d have a good chance. I rode the course yesterday and came today hoping for gold and I managed to pull it off.</p> <p>&ldquo;There were a few moments where I thought the bike was going to go from underneath me due to the wind but I managed to push all the way to the finish and catch two girls who were one and two minutes ahead of me."</p> <p>Millie Couzens joined Backstedt in the top 10, coming home 10th in 15:52.30 while Imani Pereira-James (16:35.03), the youngest rider in the field, was 27th out of the 75 athletes.</p> <p>In the boys&rsquo; event, Finlay Pickering was the pick of the British riders in fifth with Josh Charlton only one place behind in sixth as only 19 seconds separated the top six. Team GB&rsquo;s third rider, Tom Lord, came home in 26th.</p> <p>Over at the Baku Aquatics Centre, Shanahan continued to impress, adding 200m backstroke gold to last night&rsquo;s victory in the 400m individual medley.</p> <p>The 15-year-old from Glasgow finished with a time of 1:38.06, 0.83 ahead of second and set her second EYOF record of the week in the process.</p> <p>And she wasn&rsquo;t the only Team GB athlete to enjoy victory as Evelyn Davis, Tamryn van Selm, Ed Mildred and Jacob Whittle set an EYOF record of their own in the final. The quartet edged out Russia into second and took their 2017 record by over a second too with a winning time of 3:32.48.</p> <p>There were also silver medals for Freya Colbert in the 400m freestyle final and Van Selm in the 100m freestyle, while Sophie Freeman collected bronze in the 200m butterfly.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Elsewhere in the pool, Mildred is fastest into tomorrow&rsquo;s 200m butterfly final while Mark Ford was eighth in his 100m backstroke final and Will Ellington seventh in the 200m breaststroke.</p> <p>The boys gymnastics team fell just short of the podium in their final, finishing in 4th behind Ukraine, Russia and Italy who secured the podium places.</p> <p>The team of Raekwon Baptiste, Sam Mostowfi and Luke Whitehouse recorded a combined score of 158.250 from their six apparatus, just short of Italy&rsquo;s 159.183 which was good enough for the bronze.</p> <p>The final also doubled as individual qualifying as Mostowfi and Baptiste both qualified for the all-around and vault finals with Mostowfi also set to compete on floor.</p> <p>Matilda Mutavdzic is into the third round of the girls&rsquo; tennis singles after sealing victory via match tie-break over Denmark&rsquo;s Johanne Svendsen. Mutavdzic came through 10-3 in the breaker having been tied a set apiece at 4-6, 6-1 and will play Matilde Morais of Portugal in the last 16.</p> <p>Yujiro Onuma is out of the boys&rsquo; event though after a 6-3, 6-0 &nbsp;defeat to Belgium&rsquo;s Noah Merre. Onuma also saw disappointment in the doubles, going out at the second round stage alongside Matt Rankin, the pair going down 7-5, 6-2 to Poland.</p> <p>Day three also saw the end of the wrestling competition at Baku 2019, with both British athletes coming up against tough early round opposition.</p> <p>Lucy McGrath was drawn against eventual -65kg silver medallist Nesrin Bas of Turkey for her opening fight before being beaten by home favourite and bronze medallist Nigar Mirzazada in the repechage.</p> <p>Wigan&rsquo;s -55kg freestyle wrestler Harvey Ridings completed his Baku 2019 on Sunday, also losing to the eventual silver medallist in his first round, Azerbaijan&rsquo;s Abulfaz Nasirov, before being defeated by Georgia&rsquo;s Bezhani Barsonidze in the repechage.</p>Tue, 23 Jul 2019 20:10:06 Zurn:uuid:8949658d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 SwimmingScott and Macaulay bag bronze <p>Duncan Scott claimed bronze in the men's 200m freestyle at the World Aquatic Championships in Gwangju, after finishing joint third with Russia&rsquo;s Martin Malyutin. </p> <p>The 22-year-old touched the wall in joint fourth with a time of 1:45.63 but a disqualification from Lithuanian Danas Rapsys, who finished first, for moving at the start meant the Brit was elevated onto the podium.</p> <p>This was Scott&rsquo;s first individual medal at World Championship level, although he admitted he would have preferred to finish in the top three, rather than benefiting from a disqualification.</p> <p>Scott added: "I'm pretty disappointed with the time but when you get to this level time goes out the window and it's about getting in the top three.</p> <p>"I think [Rapsys' disqualification] it was his start, there aren't many other ways in freestyle.</p> <p>"It's hard as I'm gaining off someone else's misfortune and I would have liked to have won it outright, but I'll take it."</p> <p>It was the second bronze medal of the day for Great Britain after Jessica Macaulay secured her place on the podium in the women&rsquo;s high diving. </p> <p>The 26-year-old, who was making her debut at the championships, finished third in the 20m platform on 295.30 points. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MedalSelfie?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MedalSelfie</a><br /> <br /> Great performance by Jessica Macaulay to win High Diving earlier today <a href="https://t.co/xMXup32wXE">pic.twitter.com/xMXup32wXE</a></p> &mdash; British Swimming (@britishswimming) <a href="https://twitter.com/britishswimming/status/1153649400218083330?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 23, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>World champion Adam Peaty, who became the first man to swim sub-57 seconds in the 100m breaststroke earlier this week, cruised through as the top qualifier to the final of the 50m breaststroke. </p> <p>Elsewhere Molly Renshaw finished seventh in the final of the women&rsquo;s 100m breaststroke with a time of 1:06.96. </p> <p>Meanwhile Freya Anderson recorded her second personal best of the day in semi-finals of the women&rsquo;s 200m freestyle of 1:57.51 but it wasn&rsquo;t enough to qualify to the final. </p> Sportsbeat 2019Tue, 23 Jul 2019 14:14:15 Zurn:uuid:82fe648d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Baku 2019Katie Shanahan wins 400m IM gold and Team GB's first medal at Baku 2019Katie Shanahan kick-started Team GB&rsquo;s medal haul at the Baku 2019 European Youth Olympic Festival with 400m individual medley gold on the second day of competition in Azerbaijan today.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> The 15-year-old Glaswegian dominated the final from start to finish, ending with a time of 4:43.92, over six and a half seconds clear of the field, and a new European Youth Olympic record.<br /> <br /> Shanahan&rsquo;s night wasn&rsquo;t over either as she eased into the final of the 200m backstroke in 2:14.03, winning her semi-final and qualifying second fastest for tomorrow&rsquo;s final.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m so happy to have won and to get that first medal for the team,&rdquo; said Shanahan, who also won European Junior bronze in the same event earlier this month.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was really happy with my time and the way I executed the race. That record has stood for 18 years so to break it here is great.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve still got the 200 IM [individual medley] to come and I&rsquo;m seeded for that and it&rsquo;s probably my favourite event.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve raced a couple of these girls before at the European Juniors this year but most are new to me. It&rsquo;s good to get some different competition but I&rsquo;m happy overall with my swimming and being able to win here and get golds is even better.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The whole squad is really enjoying it out here. The experience is amazing. We didn&rsquo;t get to go to the Opening Ceremony last night as we were competing this morning so it&rsquo;s a shame to miss out, but as a squad we&rsquo;re swimming really well and hopefully the week will go well for us.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> With only two finals on the first day of action in the pool, qualification was the aim for the rest of the Team GB swimmers in the Baku Aquatics Centre.<br /> <br /> Tamryn van Selm was fastest into her 100m freestyle final following a European Youth Olympic record of her own, recording a time of 55.77 in her heat, while Sophie Freeman qualified fastest for the 200m fly final.<br /> <br /> Will Ellington was third quickest into the boys&rsquo; 200m breaststroke final and Mark Ford took the eighth and final place in the 100m backstroke final.<br /> <br /> Over at the Baku Tennis Academy, Yujiro Onuma battled the heat and wind to move into the boys&rsquo; singles second round after a 6-3 7-5 victory over Ireland&rsquo;s Arthur O'Sullivan, before teaming up with birthday boy Matt Rankin to win their doubles first round tie 6-1, 7-6 over the Belarussian pair.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I had to battle quite hard today,&rdquo; said Onuma, who celebrated his 15th birthday yesterday.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s really hot out there so it was difficult to get used to early on. I won the key points at the right times and that was the difference today. Winning in straight sets is definitely a bonus given I&rsquo;m playing singles and doubles at the same time.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The guy [O'Sullivan] has quite a good serve on him but I returned well today and was able to neutralise that threat. I managed to put pressure on him throughout.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Most of the top guys here I know well and have some good results against a few of them so hopefully I can go well."<br /> <br /> It wasn&rsquo;t to be for the girls doubles pairing of Andrea Pineda and Matilda Mutavdzic however as they went down 6-4, 6-3 to Romania.Mon, 22 Jul 2019 19:56:12 Zurn:uuid:46e6648d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 SwimmingPeaty leads British one-two at Worlds and sets sights on TokyoAdam Peaty led the way in a British one-two at the World Championships and then warned his rivals that he will be even better in an Olympic year in 2020.<br /> <p><br /> Peaty could not quite lower his own world record in the 100m breaststroke, having swum 56.88 seconds on Sunday in the semi-finals in&nbsp;Gwangju, but was still the class of the field on his way to a time of 57.14.</p> <p>And it got even better for Britain as James Wilby finished strongly to claim the silver medal with a time of 58.46.</p> <p>That makes Peaty the first person ever to win three world titles in the 100m breaststroke, and as he looked ahead to the prospect of defending his Olympic title in Tokyo, he insists there is still more to come.</p> <p>He said: &ldquo;My biggest demon today was going faster than yesterday. I had to be a better version of myself. Unfortunately I made a tiny, little mistake on that first length trying to force the speed a bit too much. </p> <p>&ldquo;The important lesson here is that I&rsquo;m still learning. It&rsquo;s not like I&rsquo;ve gone 56 and I never have to learn again. I&rsquo;m always learning, always trying to improve and that&rsquo;s the most important thing we can have going into an Olympics next year.</p> <p>&ldquo;I tried to force myself a little too much on that first 50 and I ran out a little bit of gas towards those last five metres. But it&rsquo;s still a 57.1. I&rsquo;m still over the moon with that. We came here and did exactly what we needed to do and that was 56 and puts me in good stead for next year.&rdquo;<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"> BOOM <br /> <br /> It&rsquo;s a 1-2 in the 100m Breaststroke Final!!!<br /> <br /> for <a href="https://twitter.com/adam_peaty?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@adam_peaty</a> in 57.14<br /> for <a href="https://twitter.com/jameswilby?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jameswilby</a> in 58.46<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FINAGwangju2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FINAGwangju2019</a> <a href="https://t.co/NYNn7bzqD3">pic.twitter.com/NYNn7bzqD3</a></p> &mdash; British Swimming (@britishswimming) <a href="https://twitter.com/britishswimming/status/1153260409480024065?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 22, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>While Peaty has been the standout breaststroke swimmer in the world for half a decade now, Wilby&rsquo;s emergence at the highest level is more recent.<br /> </p> <p>After European and Commonwealth silvers in this event last year, he added a World silver to his collection, and the 25-year-old is hoping to go one better in the 200m later in the week.</p> <p>He added: &ldquo;I focus on the 100 and 200 equally. That makes me really excited for the 200, I was really strong on the back end, that&rsquo;s my strength.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m looking forward to the 200. With that result, I couldn&rsquo;t be happier.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>Elsewhere Ben Proud was unable to defend his 50m butterfly world title, finishing seventh in the final, with Siobhan-Marie O'Connor matching him in the 200m individual medley.</p> <p>Meanwhile in the 200m freestyle, Duncan Scott booked his place in Tuesday's final, with James Guy narrowly missing out.</p> <p>And finally, Molly Renshaw recorded a personal best to secure her place in the final of the 100m breaststroke.</p> Sportsbeat 2019Mon, 22 Jul 2019 11:55:45 Zurn:uuid:76e5648d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 TriathlonSilver lining for Brits in Edmonton <p>Great Britain clinched silver in the Mixed Team Relay at the ITU World Triathlon Series in Edmonton, Canada. </p> <p>The quartet of Sophie Coldwell, Jonathan Brownlee, India Lee and Gordon Benson combined to finish nine seconds behind winners New Zealand. </p> <p>It was a strong lead off leg for Coldwell, who came out of the swim in the top three and moved up to second in the run. </p> <p>Brownlee, buoyed from his first individual win in the series for two years, stayed in the podium positions on the bike before taking control on the run where he tagged Lee with a 14-second lead in hand. </p> <p>After extending her lead in the swim, Lee was caught by New Zealand and America on the bike leg, but she remained in the top three as the race entered the final phase. </p> <p>Benson and New Zealand&rsquo;s Hayden Wilde were inseparable on the bike, but the Kiwi began to stretch out the lead on the run with the Brit securing silver. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">A phenomenal finish to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WTSEdmonton?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WTSEdmonton</a> saw the GB mixed relay team secure<br /> <br /> An absolutely incredible performance from our GB athletes!<br /> <br /> Watch the replays and highlights.<br /> <a href="https://twitter.com/BBCSport?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BBCSport</a> Online<br /> Highlights on <a href="https://twitter.com/BBCTwo?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BBCTwo</a> 1-3pm<br /> <a href="https://t.co/4FHGu4xZO9">https://t.co/4FHGu4xZO9</a><br /> <br /> - <a href="https://twitter.com/worldtriathlon?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@worldtriathlon</a> <a href="https://t.co/ClFJF792hn">pic.twitter.com/ClFJF792hn</a></p> &mdash; British Triathlon (@BritTri) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritTri/status/1153221978687442945?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 22, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Brownlee acknowledged he was feeling the effects of his individual victory but was delighted to have come away from Edmonton with two medals. </p> <p>&ldquo;I was tired earlier today but once I got going, I was fine,&rdquo; Brownlee said. </p> <p>&ldquo;Relays are great fun and now I&rsquo;ve been on the podium twice in a weekend. </p> <p>&ldquo;They&rsquo;re a bit like buses these podiums but it&rsquo;s been a good weekend.&rdquo;&nbsp; </p> <p>Despite finishing second, Benson relished being part of the team environment. </p> <p>&ldquo;It was tough. You are always in a vulnerable position when you are out in the front,&rdquo; Benson added. </p> <p>&ldquo;I wanted to hit the bike hard from the start and two of us got away and started working the gap. </p> <p>&ldquo;I just really enjoyed it to be honest. We are a great team.&rdquo;</p> Sportsbeat 2019Mon, 22 Jul 2019 11:49:14 Zurn:uuid:d5ab648d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 AthleticsAsher-Smith impresses as Sharp and men's 4x100m squad win at Anniversary GamesDina Asher-Smith continued her impressive form in 2019 as she came second in the women's 100m at the Anniversary Games at London Stadium.<br /> <p> Britain&rsquo;s European champion over 100m and 200m clocked 10.92 seconds, a fraction off her season&rsquo;s best having equalled it with 10.91 in the heats, to finish behind Jamaica&rsquo;s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who won in 10.78. </p> <p>The result adds another sub-11 second time to Asher-Smith&rsquo;s season as the Brit continues to gear up for the World Championships in Doha in September. </p> <p>&ldquo;I love running at the Anniversary Games. I made my senior debut back in 2013 and since then I&rsquo;ve made so many great memories here,&rdquo; said Asher-Smith.</p> <p>&ldquo;I did my first sub-11 second 100m here and obviously today I ran two sub-11s against the world and Olympic champion which was amazing.</p> <p>&ldquo;I am in really good shape&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;I wanted to go 10.8, so seeing that time in the final was a bit frustrating. But I really can&rsquo;t be disappointed with two 10.9s and I'll definitely look to push to faster times as the season progresses.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Second for Dina! <a href="https://twitter.com/dinaashersmith?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@dinaashersmith</a> runs 10.92 in the women's 100m to keep her strong form going! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AnniversaryGames?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AnniversaryGames</a> <a href="https://t.co/UEWxOwn6DQ">pic.twitter.com/UEWxOwn6DQ</a></p> &mdash; Team GB (@TeamGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB/status/1152958840658419712?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 21, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;I think there&rsquo;s a few things I need to work on ahead of Doha but really it&rsquo;s just about peaking. We have trials in August, so I&rsquo;m looking forward to getting out of hard training and reaching my peak for then.&rdquo;</p> <p>It was one step better for GB&rsquo;s men&rsquo;s 4x100m relay squad who set a new world-leading time and meeting record, a time which was also the second fastest in British history.</p> <p>The quartet of CJ Ujah, Zharnel Hughes, Richard Kilty and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake won in 37.60 ahead of Japan and the Netherlands.</p> <p>Kilty said: &ldquo;It&rsquo;s an amazing win, so relaxed and with confidence comes trust in one another, that no matter what order we will have great chemistry.</p> <p>&ldquo;We were constantly pressing and making sure we ran down our opponents and we executed this element of our race well. Everyone did a great job.&rdquo;</p> <p>Elsewhere, Lynsey Sharp impressed as she won the women&rsquo;s 800m in a season&rsquo;s best time of one minute 58.61 seconds while compatriot Alexandra Bell joined her on the podium in third.</p> <p>&ldquo;It's nice to get a win because I've had a lot of losses over the last couple of years,&rdquo; Sharp said.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Yes Lynsey! <br /> <br /> Lynsey Sharp breaks away to win the women's 800m in a season's best time of 1:58.61 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AnniversaryGames?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AnniversaryGames</a> <a href="https://t.co/rJ9wEt7lmf">pic.twitter.com/rJ9wEt7lmf</a></p> &mdash; Team GB (@TeamGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB/status/1152938497105375238?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 21, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;I ran fast in Monaco so it's nice to back that up. I had to listen to my head not my heart and make some changes and I did that and am seeing the benefit now.&rdquo;</p> <p>In the day&rsquo;s other action, Briton Miguel Francis was a brilliant second in the men&rsquo;s 200m in 19.97 while Commonwealth bronze medallist Jake Wightman set a new personal best of 3:52.02 in the men&rsquo;s mile to come third.</p> <p>Lorraine Ugen was fifth in the women&rsquo;s long jump while European heptathlon silver medallist Katarina Johnson-Thompson finished two places behind in seventh and team-mate Tom Gale came fifth in the men&rsquo;s high jump.</p> <p>Meanwhile, world indoor 60m hurdles champion Andrew Pozzi was sixth in the men&rsquo;s 110m hurdles.<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019</p>Sun, 21 Jul 2019 16:36:22 Zurn:uuid:2ca8648d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Cycling RoadYates doubles up as Thomas closes gap in Tour de FranceSimon Yates continued his excellent Tour de France as he claimed a second victory on a thrilling stage in the Pyrenees.<br /> <br /> <p>Yates followed up his success in Bagn&egrave;res de Bigorre by claiming the summit finish at Foix Prat d&rsquo;Albis as part of the breakaway.</p> <p>And on a stage where there was action throughout, the 2018 Vuelta champion again showed his class as he held off the chasing general classification riders to take the win.</p> <p>He said: &ldquo;I&rsquo;m very proud of what I did there. It was an extremely hard day, from the start until the finish. I raced the way I like to which is trying to be aggressive, and I managed to pull it off so I&rsquo;m really happy.</p> <p>&ldquo;I was worried that they were catching me. At the bottom of the climb I had Simon (Geschke) with me. He was a really good companion all the way through the valley and on the descent, he did a really good job. I really needed to go at that point because I wasn&rsquo;t confident of staying away.&rdquo;</p> <p>Stage 15 also saw overall leader Julian Alaphilippe show signs of weakness for the first time, losing ground on the rest of his rivals.</p> <p>Geraint Thomas took advantage to pull back 27 seconds, and remains in second place, 1m&nbsp;35s behind the yellow jersey.</p> <p>He could have made more ground, but found himself in a tricky position with teammate Egan Bernal up the road with the stage runner-up Thibaut Pinot, while Thomas was in a group with Alaphilippe himself.</p> <p>Despite that, last year&rsquo;s champion was pleased at the way his legs responded, a day after he had lost ground on the rest of the contenders.</p> <p>He said: &ldquo;I felt better than yesterday but I needed to just try to pace it when it all kicked off. It was kind of a shame because we got stuck behind Alaphilippe and we didn&rsquo;t want to pull with him in the wheel. </p> <p>&ldquo;We let him ride a bit and jumped with 2k to go. I wanted to go and had the legs to go but I wasn&rsquo;t going to chase down Egan (Bernal) with the guys in the wheel. It was a decent day.&rdquo;</p> <p>The riders will enjoy a rest day on Monday before a flat stage in N&icirc;mes, with three big Alpine tests to come at the end of the week.</p> Sportsbeat 2019Sun, 21 Jul 2019 15:34:12 Zurn:uuid:4fa0648d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 TriathlonBrownlee buoyed by first World Triathlon Series win for two years<p>Double Olympic medallist Jonathan Brownlee warned there's plenty left in his tank, after claiming his first ITU World Triathlon Series gold medal for two years in Edmonton, Canada.</p> <p>The 29-year-old &ndash; who was series champion in 2012 &ndash; hadn&rsquo;t won an event in the competition since taking the top prize in Stockholm in 2017 but went on to finish five seconds ahead of Spaniard Mario Mola in second.</p> <p>After a strong swim, Brownlee established his place in the leading pack on the bike which continued into the second transition as Australian Matthew Hauser looked to take charge of the 5km run.</p> <p>But the Yorkshireman stepped up a gear on the last lap, and after holding off a late charge from Mola to seal victory, admitted it was nice to prove his doubters wrong.</p> <p>&ldquo;I knew I could do it,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I knew I was doing well in training, I was just having bad luck after bad luck.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;d be lying if I said it doesn&rsquo;t hurt when people say I&rsquo;m past it, but I know from my training I&rsquo;m fit, and I still believe I can have my best racing in the year to come.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s been tough but I&rsquo;m getting there now, and I&rsquo;ve finally won something &ndash; it&rsquo;s about time!</p> <p>&ldquo;The swim was great, on the bike we were really committed and the on the run I was faster than I thought &ndash; I felt really good.&rdquo;</p> <p>In the women&rsquo;s race, Leeds-based Beth Potter secured a 14<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;place on her ITU World Triathlon Series debut, while Sophie Coldwell finished one place back in 15<sup>th</sup>.</p> Sportsbeat 2019Sun, 21 Jul 2019 13:23:14 Zurn:uuid:af9e648d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 SwimmingPeaty breaks world record on way to finalAdam Peaty laid down a marker as he smashed the world record in the 100m breaststroke becoming the first man to swim under 57 seconds.<br /> <br /> <p>After becoming Olympic champion in Rio in 2016, Peaty set about his Project 56 the next year and he has now achieved it a year out from Tokyo in the semi-finals of the World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju.</p> <p>The 24-year-old touched home in 56.88 seconds, and has a buffer of nearly two seconds over his closest rival heading into the final. He could become the first swimmer ever to win three consecutive world titles over 100m breaststroke, where he is the only person to have broken 58 seconds, let alone 57.</p> <p>Peaty said:&nbsp;&ldquo;It feels incredible! I&rsquo;ve been chasing that for three years now ever since I touched the wall in Rio I knew I could go faster. I said this morning I wasn&rsquo;t going to chase 56, I was going to let it come to me, and that&rsquo;s exactly what we&rsquo;ve done. </p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve used all the team around me and have some great support staff at British Swimming, so a massive, massive thanks to them, especially Mel who&rsquo;s been there for 10 years, so it&rsquo;s a very special journey that we&rsquo;ve had.</p> <p>&ldquo;But there&rsquo;s still a job to do tomorrow. I&rsquo;ve come here to win a World title and that&rsquo;s tomorrow and that&rsquo;s still my main focus, so this was just a bonus and I&rsquo;ll use this energy tomorrow.&rdquo;</p> <div>Peaty will be joined in that final by James Wilby who qualified third fastest in a time of 58.83 and will be looking to secure a first world medal after earning silver behind Peaty in the 100m breaststroke at both the European Championships and Commonwealth Games last year.<br /> </div> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Want to see <a href="https://twitter.com/adam_peaty?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@adam_peaty</a> become the first man in history to break 57 seconds <a href="https://t.co/7k2m60irqt">pic.twitter.com/7k2m60irqt</a></p> &mdash; British Swimming (@britishswimming) <a href="https://twitter.com/britishswimming/status/1152927049159286785?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 21, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Great Britain missed out on a medal in the men&rsquo;s 4x100m relay however, the team of Duncan Scott, James Guy, Ben Proud and Scott McLay coming home in fifth in the event won by the USA.<br /> </p> <p>Earlier in the evening Proud had qualified seventh fastest for the final of the 50m butterfly, the event in which he is the defending world champion.</p> <p>Proud touched home in 23.14, but will have to beat America&rsquo;s Caeleb Dressel, the fastest qualifier, if he is to retain his title.</p> <p>Elsewhere, Siobhan-Marie O&rsquo;Connor got through to the final of the 200m individual medley with the seventh fastest time, going 2:10.49.</p> Sportsbeat 2019Sun, 21 Jul 2019 13:00:21 Zurn:uuid:0594648d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 FencingMepstead delight at world fencing silverMarcus Mepstead beat the world number one on his way to claiming World Championship silver in the in the men's foil in Budapest.<br /> <br /> <p>The 29-year-old stunned Italian defending champion Alessio Foconi in the round of 64 and then progressed all the way to the final where he was beaten by France&rsquo;s Enzo Lefort.</p> <p>It was a remarkable effort from Mepstead, and while there was disappointment and not taking gold, he was thrilled at matching Richard Kruse&rsquo;s performance a year ago in Wuxi, China.</p> <p>Mepstead said: &ldquo;I fenced pretty well but I think I lost my energy by the end. I would have liked to have fenced better in the final to show off the sport a little more but I&rsquo;m proud of what I have achieved. </p> <p>&ldquo;The semi-final was really tough. In fact everyone I fenced today was really good so I think I&rsquo;ve done really well. Since moving to coach Dan Kellner, based in New York, my preparation is a little better and my self-confidence has grown.&nbsp; </p> <p>&ldquo;I would like to thank him, British Fencing, The National Lottery and the Aspiration Fund. I&rsquo;d also like to thank PDFA and Leon Paul for their support.&rdquo;</p> <p>Mepstead had to come through qualifying to reach the knockout rounds and then began the final day by seeing off Foconi 15-9.</p> <p>He followed that up with wins over Alexander Choupenitch of the Czech Republic and the Timur Arslanov of Russia to reach the quarter-final.</p> <p>There he beat Poland&rsquo;s Michal Siess 15-9 before getting the better of Korea&rsquo;s Son Young Ki, 15-12, in a thrilling semi-final.</p> <p>While he could not find an answer for Lefort in the final, it was still a brilliant run, a year after Kruse had ended Great Britain&rsquo;s 53-year wait for a World Championship medal.</p> <p>Mepstead&rsquo;s coach Dan Kellner added: &ldquo;I'm just so proud of Marcus.&nbsp; The lead up to this event wasn't the best.&nbsp; </p> <p>&ldquo;Marcus got sick, cut his hand and needed stitches and then had to miss his final training sessions. After the first round, winning two of his five fights and then winning two tough bouts to make the 64, we knew he would draw world number one, Alessio Foconi.&nbsp; </p> <p>&ldquo;We put together a plan for that bout which Marcus executed perfectly. This result really shows what can happen when you put in a lot of hard work, prepare to the best of your ability and believe in what you're doing and what you can accomplish.&rdquo;</p> Sportsbeat 2019Sun, 21 Jul 2019 10:26:45 Zurn:uuid:355b648d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 AthleticsMuir leads British success at Anniversary GamesLaura Muir stormed to victory in the women's 1500m at the Anniversary Games at London Stadium. <p>Despite an initial slow pace to the race, Muir accelerated away from German Konstanze Klosterhalfen in a blisteringly quick 57-second final lap to win in a time of three minutes 58.25 seconds.</p> <p>Fellow Brits Sarah McDonald and Jemma Reekie finished sixth and seventh in personal best times of 4:00.46 and 4:02.09 respectively.</p> <p>&ldquo;It may have looked easy, but it wasn't,&rdquo; Muir said.</p> <p>&ldquo;I didn't realise I ran a 57-second last lap and I'm so so happy about that. The girls are really strong and I know that my advantage is in that kick, so I just sat in there and tried to take it easy. It was all about winning today and I did that.</p> <p>&ldquo;London is a really fast track and it's always a great atmosphere. The conditions are usually pretty good&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;it was a little bit windy today, but the whole vibe of the place is really special and it makes athletes raise their game.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">What a last lap!&zwj;♀️<a href="https://twitter.com/lauramuiruns?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@lauramuiruns</a> runs a 57-second final lap to win the women's 1500m in 3:58.25 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MullerAnniversaryGames?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MullerAnniversaryGames</a> <a href="https://t.co/ic93k91OaM">pic.twitter.com/ic93k91OaM</a></p> &mdash; Team GB (@TeamGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB/status/1152592839932567552?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 20, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;There's huge strength in depth of the fields here, so you can run a world lead at one event and then someone else will do it at the next. It really helps keep pushing you on. It's great to have so much competition. My goal now is to win a medal in Doha.&rdquo;</p> <p>Elsewhere, Zharnel Hughes was narrowly beaten into second in the men&rsquo;s 100m, finishing behind South African Akani Simbine in a time of 9.95 seconds.</p> <p>He said: &ldquo;I am quite happy minus the stumble but I think I ran a great race and held my composure and it was good to be in front of a London crowd.</p> <p>&ldquo;This crowd always inspires me and I am enjoying the music, shout out to the music promoter for that and the track is pretty fast. I always enjoy racing out here, it's just a shame I could not run a little faster.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Second for Zharnel! <a href="https://twitter.com/zharnel_hughes?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@zharnel_hughes</a> runs a time of 9.95 to come second in the men's 100m <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MullerAnniversaryGames?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MullerAnniversaryGames</a> <a href="https://t.co/fLuc9EPGNG">pic.twitter.com/fLuc9EPGNG</a></p> &mdash; Team GB (@TeamGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB/status/1152595372570755072?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 20, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Compatriot Adam Gemili finished sixth while James Ellington got one of the ovations of the day as he made his comeback to athletics in the 100m heats, competing in his first 100m race since a motorbike accident in 2017.</p> <p>Ellington said: &ldquo;I am so happy to be here and when it actually manifested and I was able to walk out on the line and I am lapping every moment of it up and just enjoying it. I'm going to go back to the drawing board and try to sort these injuries out.</p> <p>&ldquo;I have had a back problem three days ago and I could not walk but there was no way I was going to miss this race. Yesterday I started to feel a bit better but in the warm-up I started to feel pain and I walked out limping but I was not missing this. It's amazing to be here.&rdquo;</p> <p>In the day&rsquo;s other action, Great Britain were pipped by Jamaica in the women&rsquo;s 4x100m relay with the quartet of Ashleigh Nelson, Imani-Lara Lansiquot, Bianca Williams and Daryll Neita running 42.30&nbsp;to finish second&nbsp;by a hundredth of a second.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Laviai Nielsen clocked a personal best time as she came third in the women's 400m.&nbsp;A&nbsp;world silver medallist&nbsp;in the 4x400m relay two years ago, Nielsen&nbsp;broke 51 seconds for the first time as she clocked 50.83 behind Jamaican Olympic bronze medallist Shericka Jackson and compatriot Stephenie Ann McPherson.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">PB and third place! <a href="https://twitter.com/Laviai?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Laviai</a> takes a great third in the women's 400m and smashes her PB in a time of 50.83 &zwj;♀️<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MullerAnniversaryGames?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MullerAnniversaryGames</a> <a href="https://t.co/O0mhKQVxem">pic.twitter.com/O0mhKQVxem</a></p> &mdash; Team GB (@TeamGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB/status/1152567312140197888?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 20, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>There were also third place finishes for Holly Bradshaw in the women's pole vault, jumping 4.65m to come behind winner Anzhelika Sidorova and Greek Katerina Stefanidi, and Beth Dobbin in the women&rsquo;s 200m, running a personal best 22.50 to finish behind Jamaican double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson and Ivory Coast's Marie-Josee Ta Lou.</p> <p>In the men&rsquo;s 5000m Andrew Butchart also managed to register a new personal best, clocking 13:06.21 to come fifth.</p> Sportsbeat 2019Sat, 20 Jul 2019 18:37:21 Zurn:uuid:f055648d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 AthleticsSayers’ emotional medal ceremony a victory for clean sportIt's been far, far too long in coming, but Goldie Sayers finally has her hands on the&nbsp;Beijing 2008 Olympic&nbsp;bronze medal.<br /> <p> Nearly 11 years after a javelin throw of 65.75m initially earned a fourth-place finish in China, the 37-year-old received her deserved bronze in front of a huge crowd at the London Anniversary Games.<br /> </p> <p>The London Stadium audience were vociferous in their appreciation for Sayers, an outspoken critic of drugs cheats who has her place in podium history after Russia&rsquo;s Mariya Abakumova was retrospectively disqualified for doping.</p> <p>The ceremony was a touching moment for all those who strive for clean sport but mostly for Sayers, moved to tears with her Team GB kit on and God Save the Queen ringing out.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s just very, very overwhelming&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;it&rsquo;s really difficult to take it all in,&rdquo; said Sayers, whose first-round throw in the Bird&rsquo;s Nest stadium 11 years ago&nbsp;had set a national record.</p> <p>&ldquo;I said to myself that the one thing I would do is take it all in, and you still don&rsquo;t somehow!</p> <p>&ldquo;I was standing behind the rostrum and I nearly lost it a little bit at that point, I saw 100 of my friends and family in the crowd and it was a lovely, lovely, special moment.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been really nervous all week and it&rsquo;s strange, I don&rsquo;t know why. I&rsquo;ve got to say a few words to my friends and family and I do a lot of public speaking, but this has been the one speech it&rsquo;s been impossible to write.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">The 11 year wait for <a href="https://twitter.com/goldiesayers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@goldiesayers</a> Beijing 2008 javelin bronze medal is over.<br /> <br /> Congratulations Goldie! <a href="https://t.co/aoHoQdCeTf">pic.twitter.com/aoHoQdCeTf</a></p> &mdash; Team GB (@TeamGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB/status/1152573395453788161?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 20, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>On that bittersweet Beijing night 11 years ago, Barbara Spotakova took gold, Abakumova silver and Germany&rsquo;s Christina Obergfoll bronze.</p> <p>In 2016 a re-testing of samples revealed the Russian tested positive for the anabolic steroid turinabol, bumping both Sayers and Obergfoll up to their rightful places on the podium.</p> <p>Re-testing of samples is becoming increasingly rigorous and due to retrospective bans,&nbsp;Britain&rsquo;s Beijing medal tally&nbsp;in athletics&nbsp;now stands at eight rather than the original five.</p> <p>The battle for clean sport continues but this was a weekend for celebration, with huge swathes of friends and family in Stratford to celebrate alongside Sayers.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Here it is. <a href="https://twitter.com/goldiesayers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@goldiesayers</a> takes her rightful place. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MullerAnniversaryGames?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MullerAnniversaryGames</a> <a href="https://t.co/hVBruC4xzO">pic.twitter.com/hVBruC4xzO</a></p> &mdash; M&uuml;ller Anniversary Games (@London_DL) <a href="https://twitter.com/London_DL/status/1152563298732257280?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 20, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>She continued: &ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s really important to have retrospective medal ceremonies like this. I&rsquo;m an eternal optimist and at least people are being caught, that&rsquo;s the one positive.</p> <p>&ldquo;But I&rsquo;d hope nobody has to go through this retrospective process in future, they no doubt will but it&rsquo;s not worth it for the athletes cheating &ndash; they&rsquo;ll never know how good they were.</p> <p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s the one of the main reasons I did the sport, to see how good I could be at something and at least this is vindication that I was alright at chucking a spear once!&rdquo;</p> <p>Sportsbeat 2019</p>Sat, 20 Jul 2019 17:08:35 Zurn:uuid:1c55648d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Baku 2019Judoka Tatum Keen selected as Baku 2019 Opening Ceremony FlagbearerYoung judo star Tatum Keen will lead Team GB into the Opening Ceremony of the Baku 2019 European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) after being selected as Flagbearer this afternoon.<br /> <br /> Keen, a four-time British champion at cadet (under 18) and pre-cadet (under 15) level, will carry the Union Flag into the Baku Crystal Hall tomorrow as the 15th edition of the EYOF formally gets underway.<br /> <br /> The team of 44 British athletes will begin their competition tomorrow morning however with wrestler Harvey Ridings having the honour of being the first Team GB athlete in action.<br /> <br /> Baku 2019 will see around 2,700 athletes from 48 European nations come together to compete across 10 Olympic sports from 21st-27th July.<br /> <br /> Team GB are set to compete across six of those sports during the seven days of action with Keen&rsquo;s judo squad joined by cycling, gymnastics, swimming, tennis and wrestling to make up the athlete delegation in Azerbaijan.<br /> <br /> Bath-based Keen will have to wait until Thursday to compete in the 8,000 capacity Heydar Aliyev Arena though but the -52kg judoka is looking forward to her first duty at tomorrow&rsquo;s Opening Ceremony.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a massive honour to be selected and I&rsquo;m really proud to be Flagbearer,&rdquo; said the 17-year-old.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a really good way to start the Festival. I wouldn&rsquo;t say I&rsquo;m a natural leader but I Iove teamwork and hopefully I can bring us all together tomorrow as one team.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;So far this has been such a different competition to what I&rsquo;m used to in the past. We saw the judo venue today and it&rsquo;s huge, I was quite taken aback actually.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Being in the village has been good fun and it&rsquo;s nice to mix with the other sports. All the girls are on one floor in a big communal area so it&rsquo;s been nice to chat to them and learn about their sports.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve got a bit of a wait until I compete but that&rsquo;s no bad thing as I&rsquo;ll get to support my teammates and get used to the atmosphere before I go on Thursday. I&rsquo;ll be nervous but looking forward to it&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Elaine Skilton, Team GB&rsquo;s Chef de Mission for Baku 2019, announced Keen as Flagbearer in front of the whole delegation at a team reception hosted by the British Ambassador.<br /> <br /> Skilton said: &ldquo;Getting to lead out your country into an Opening Ceremony at an Olympic event is a once in a lifetime experience and Tatum should rightly feel incredibly proud to have been selected. She follows in the footsteps of some great athletes, not least fellow judoka Sally Conway at the European Games last month.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The team have settled into the Athletes&rsquo; Village really well over the past couple of days and we hope being one of the first countries into the environment gives us an edge ahead of the first day of competition. All sports have now trained and are looking forward to getting their respective events underway.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The venues and set up here is one of the best we&rsquo;ve seen at a Youth Olympic Festival and the whole Games will no doubt give these young athletes an incredible experience.&rdquo;Sat, 20 Jul 2019 16:58:33 Zurn:uuid:28fc638d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 DivingDaley and Williams guarantee two more Tokyo berths<p>Tom Daley and Noah Williams secured another two spots for Team GB at Tokyo 2020 after both reached the men's 10m platform World Championship final.</p> <p>This is the first time Great Britain have ever qualified three male platform places one year out from the Olympic Games. </p> <p>Daley had already helped guarantee Britain a 10m synchro spot, with he and Matty Lee diving to the bronze medal in Gwangju.</p> <p>And the 25-year-old isn&rsquo;t done yet, relieved to clinch qualification and the spot in an event in which he is reigning world champion.</p> <p>&ldquo;I am beyond happy,&rdquo; Daley said. </p> <p>&ldquo;I managed to hold it together and although there&rsquo;s a bit of sharpening up needed I&rsquo;m in a good place going into the final. </p> <p>&ldquo;When you&rsquo;re expected to get the place, it&rsquo;s terrifying and I don&rsquo;t take any moment for granted &ndash; you can only relax when you know you&rsquo;ve qualified, because in diving anything can happen at any moment. </p> <p>&ldquo;Of course, I would love to defend the world title; it&rsquo;ll be tough as those Chinese guys are pretty special and I also have the mixed synchro event before then as well, so it&rsquo;ll be a busy day. </p> <p>&ldquo;For me, this is job done, qualification for the Olympics for GB in the men&rsquo;s platform and men&rsquo;s synchro, so I can enjoy the final.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">DOUBLE DELIGHT!!<a href="https://twitter.com/TomDaley1994?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TomDaley1994</a> &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/Noah_w9?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Noah_w9</a> are on fire in the Men's 10m Platform semi-final, advancing to tomorrow night's final in 3rd &amp; 6th<br /> <br /> In doing so they secure 2 spots in the event at <a href="https://twitter.com/Tokyo2020?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Tokyo2020</a> <a href="https://t.co/LCuxuVN6ir">pic.twitter.com/LCuxuVN6ir</a></p> &mdash; British Swimming (@britishswimming) <a href="https://twitter.com/britishswimming/status/1152132348831420416?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 19, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>For Williams, guaranteeing a British spot for Tokyo was the ultimate goal in South Korea &ndash; a moment that understandably left the 19-year-old thrilled.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m really happy with that. The aim was to get in the final and get the Olympic spot for next year and I&rsquo;ve done that, so I&rsquo;m over the moon,&rdquo; he said. </p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s my first World Championships and last year at the World Cup I didn&rsquo;t even get into the semi-final so I was very nervous and didn&rsquo;t have too much confidence. </p> <p>&ldquo;The aim was to peak for the semi-final and we&rsquo;ve done that, so job done.&rdquo;</p> <p>In the final of the women&rsquo;s 3m springboard, Grace Reid produced a strong finish to her competition as she placed eighth.&nbsp; </p> <p>But the 23-year-old isn&rsquo;t done yet, set to once again team up with Daley for the mixed synchro, two years on from the pair winning world silver in the event.</p> <p>Sportsbeat 2019</p>Fri, 19 Jul 2019 14:16:28 Zurn:uuid:58f1638d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 AthleticsSayers all set to receive Beijing bronze at London StadiumGoldie Sayers couldn't envisage a more fitting plinth upon which to drink in her moment of vindication.<br /> <br /> Nearly 11 years after her British record throw of 65.75m initially earned her a fourth-placed finish at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, the 36-year-old will be presented with her belated bronze medal at this weekend&rsquo;s Muller Anniversary Games.<br /> <br /> Sayers, who was elevated onto third in the podium after Russia&rsquo;s Mariaya Abuakumova was retrospectively disqualified after testing positive for a banned substance, will have bronze strewn around her neck at the London Stadium.<br /> <br /> That long-awaited moment is likely to bring the memories flooding back.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was such an amazing Olympics for me in terms of producing a performance and that&rsquo;s what you train to do your whole career,&rdquo; said Sayers, who competed at three Olympic Games before bringing her career to an end in 2017.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Throwing a personal best, a British record, in the first round of an Olympic final is kid of the dream but it was thoroughly disappointed &ndash; I was gutted to not win a medal.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I had a feeling of: &lsquo;what more did I need to do to get on an Olympic medal rostrum?&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The moment I got a phone call to say I&rsquo;d been awarded the bronze medal from 2008 rightfully, it was fascinating because there&rsquo;s this underlying subconscious level of drive and desire, and determination and motivation &ndash; and then It was like I&rsquo;ve just achieved what I always wanted to.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;To receive an Olympic medal in the London Stadium at the Anniversary Games; this meeting, to me, was always my favourite.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The crowd makes it special. It&rsquo;s always a knowledgeable crowd, an educated crowd, and we always seem to get more support in the UK compared to other meets for home athletes around the world.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I absolutely can&rsquo;t wait.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Sayers still holds the women&rsquo;s British javelin record &ndash; although she bested her Beijing effort at 2012&rsquo;s London Grand Prix, setting a new benchmark of 66.17m.<br /> <br /> But a cherished bronze medal is likely to provide more than enough consolation.<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019Fri, 19 Jul 2019 11:01:58 Zurn:uuid:d4eb638d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 SwimmingPeaty ready and raring to put his titles on the lineAdam Peaty will be channelling the attitude of legendary heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson as he bids to land a knockout punch of his own in the pool at this year&rsquo;s World Championships.<br /> <br /> As the reigning Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth champion in the 100m breaststroke, the 24-year-old from Uttoxeter will be the man to beat in Gwangju, South Korea.<br /> <br /> Such has been his dominance in the breaststroke, he has been unbeaten over two lengths for five years and holds the world records for both the 50m and 100m distances.<br /> <br /> And while Peaty is keen to stress the challenge he faces to retain his titles, he reveals his mindset once he gets into competition mode is much like that of &lsquo;The Baddest Man on the Planet&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a World Championships so it&rsquo;s not going to be a walk through the park, I expect good competition and going into a World Championships that&rsquo;s what you want,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Sometimes if go into a competition and I don&rsquo;t feel like my position is, not threatened but almost there&rsquo;s no competition then I can&rsquo;t get the best version out of myself.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not really a case of me going in there and saying, &lsquo;I&rsquo;m going to do this, I&rsquo;m going to do that&rsquo;, I&rsquo;ll see how my body is during the heat and then react and hopefully produce my best in the final.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;When I&rsquo;m training I like to train like I&rsquo;m in second, when you&rsquo;re in second you doubt yourself and that&rsquo;s almost like a key thing to my motivation &ndash; that&rsquo;s how it&rsquo;s always been.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s been like that for the last five years and that&rsquo;s how I train and get the best version of myself, but I think it was Mike Tyson who said, &lsquo;The closer I get to the ring, I tell myself I&rsquo;m a god&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;That really fits into the thinking behind what I do, so the closer I get to a World Championships, the closer I get to an Olympics, that&rsquo;s when my strength comes mentally.<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Our swimmers swap Yokohama for <a href="https://twitter.com/Gwangju2019_?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Gwangju2019_</a> tomorrow but before they do we caught up with reigning World Champion <a href="https://twitter.com/adam_peaty?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@adam_peaty</a> to see how his preparations have gone <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FINAGwangju2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FINAGwangju2019</a> <a href="https://t.co/swEWSABVRq">pic.twitter.com/swEWSABVRq</a></p> &mdash; British Swimming (@britishswimming) <a href="https://twitter.com/britishswimming/status/1151140757748584448?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 16, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;You almost have to turn it off because otherwise if there&rsquo;s nothing to eat, you starve yourself really and I like to be going into those swimming meets really mentally fresh.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Despite being unstoppable in the 100m, Peaty has tasted defeat in the 50m after finishing behind South African Cameron van der Burgh at the Commonwealth Games last year.<br /> <br /> But rather than being dispirited about missing out on another gold medal, he insists failure does not scare him and only drives him on in training to ensure it doesn&rsquo;t happen again.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I have been undefeated in the last five years in the 100m breaststroke in major championships and that&rsquo;s kind of unheard of in a sport as volatile as swimming,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;A lot of people come and go, a lot of injuries come and go, a lot of people come an do fast times and then go, so to stay number one over that period of time is very hard.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It takes a toll on you mentally, it takes a toll on you physically, but for me motivation is almost passive, I know what I want out of the sport, I know what time I want.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I know what objectives to hit, whether World Championships or Olympics, at the same time it&rsquo;s all about longevity for me and choosing when to attack and when to get the best out of myself.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think a lot of athletes do fear failure but I&rsquo;ve failed before, I got beat in the 50m breaststroke before so I&rsquo;m not immune to losing, no athlete is immune to losing.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> There is also the allure of Project 56 still spurring Peaty on as he continues his push to break his own 100m breaststroke world record and become the first man to break the 57-second barrier.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;World records are the first thing I think of when I&rsquo;m at the pool and the last thing I think of when I&rsquo;m out of it because that&rsquo;s kind of my main motivation now,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;How do I get below that magic 57, how do I get below my world record and almost do a PB. I know it&rsquo;s very, very possible but I need to be in the right frame of mind, I need the right body.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Everything has to go almost perfect but I think I&rsquo;ve got to that point now where even if it doesn&rsquo;t I can almost get near it and I&rsquo;ve had a very good pre-season into a World Championships.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019</p>Fri, 19 Jul 2019 09:00:59 Zurn:uuid:69b6638d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 DivingLaugher bags bronze as Reid secures Tokyo spot<p>There was heartbreak for Jack Laugher in the final of the men's 3m springboard at the World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju but the diver insists he is focused on the positives. </p> <p>The 24-year-old led the competition until the final round when an error saw him relinquish a 30-point lead for third place on the podium in South Korea.</p> <p>The Rio medallist has never won a world title and claimed a silver medal in the men&rsquo;s 3m synchro alongside Daniel Goodfellow earlier in the competition. </p> <p>Despite the anguish surrounding his bronze medal, Laugher was philosophical about fixing these mistakes before Tokyo. </p> <p>&ldquo;As upsetting as the last dive was, the first five were amazing and I'm going to try to focus on that and focus on the good things for now,&rdquo; Laugher said. </p> <p>&ldquo;There's things to work on and next year's a more important one, I'd rather this happen now than in Tokyo next year.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">It's another medal for <a href="https://twitter.com/JackLaugher?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JackLaugher</a> <br /> <br /> This time he takes in the 3m Springboard at the <a href="https://twitter.com/Gwangju2019_?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Gwangju2019_</a> World Aquatics Championships, adding to the he won in the synchro <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FINAGwangju2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FINAGwangju2019</a> <a href="https://t.co/4YgKzxmQDg">pic.twitter.com/4YgKzxmQDg</a></p> &mdash; British Swimming (@britishswimming) <a href="https://twitter.com/britishswimming/status/1151839847637639168?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 18, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;It happened yesterday as well in the semi-final. It was weird because in the prelims it was good. </p> <p>&ldquo;In the final, maybe because it happened yesterday, I was thinking about it maybe too much.</p> <p>&ldquo;I usually finish on that dive because it can score me 90 to 100 points. It's usually one of my strongest dives and that's why I always finish on it. </p> <p>&ldquo;Today it really hasn't been that, and I'm extremely upset.&rdquo;</p> <p>Grace Reid battled hard to secure a fifth spot for Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics as she progressed through to the women&rsquo;s 3m springboard final. </p> <p>The 23-year-old eased through the preliminary competition but had to climb her way up the rankings when she placed 18<sup>th</sup> after her first dive. </p> <p>With two dives left, Reid was in 14<sup>th</sup> place but she upped her game to produce 69.75 points with a forward 3.5 somersaults pike in the fourth round to move her into tenth. </p> <p>An excellent final dive saw her score 67.50 points and qualify for the final in eighth place with 300.75 points, as well as guaranteeing GB another place in Tokyo. </p> <p>Reid acknowledged that she felt the pressure after a bad start to the competition but was relieved to have made it through. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">She's done it!<br /> <br /> Grace Reid has secured <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TeamGB</a> an Olympic spot in the Women's 3m Springboard and is into the World Championship final <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FINAGwangju2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FINAGwangju2019</a> <a href="https://t.co/w8B3VYY3al">pic.twitter.com/w8B3VYY3al</a></p> &mdash; British Swimming (@britishswimming) <a href="https://twitter.com/britishswimming/status/1151760475786379264?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 18, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m so happy! I didn&rsquo;t open up very strongly, but I didn&rsquo;t panic &ndash; you&rsquo;ve got five dives so it&rsquo;s just one dive at a time,&rdquo; Reid said. </p> <p>&ldquo;I fought back really hard and I&rsquo;m really glad it&rsquo;s paid off.</p> <p>&ldquo;I just had to trust what I was doing, listen to Jane&rsquo;s [Figueiredo, her coach] comments and stick to my routine and not be swayed when things maybe went a little bit off. </p> <p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s so much pressure coming into this, as it&rsquo;s so doable for so many people, so it&rsquo;s such a weight off my shoulders. I&rsquo;m in a final now and I want to dive well.&rdquo;</p> <p>Elsewhere 17-year-old world championship debutant Scarlett Mew Jensen missed out on the semi-finals of the women&rsquo;s springboard after finishing 26<sup>th</sup>. </p> <p>Meanwhile, over at the open water swimming in Yeosu, Danielle Huskisson, Alice Dearing, Toby Robinson and Jack Burnell brought their competition to a close with an 11<sup>th</sup> place finish in the mixed 5km relay. </p> Sportsbeat 2019Thu, 18 Jul 2019 15:42:33 Zurn:uuid:d5b4638d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Cycling RoadYates claims first British victory on 2019 Tour de FranceSimon Yates joined a select group of riders as he completed the full set of grand tour victories by claiming stage 12 of the Tour de France in Bagn&egrave;res-de-Bigorre. <p><br /> The 2018 Vuelta a Espa&ntilde;a winner was part of a large breakaway in the stage that started in Toulouse, and then was the fastest of the three-man group that made it to the line in the Pyrenees.</p> <p>The 26-year-old is a former white jersey winner for the best young rider on the Tour, and added this stage win to previous victories on the Vuelta and the Giro.</p> <p>However Yates insists his focus for the remainder of the Tour remains his brother Adam, who is currently seventh on the general classification.</p> <p>He said: &ldquo;It was my first chance to try something. I&rsquo;ve been back in the peloton trying to help Adam but today I had my own chances and I&rsquo;ve grabbed it with both hands.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m very proud (of winning stages on all three grand tours), hopefully there&rsquo;s more to come.</p> <p>&ldquo;My main priority here is to help Adam but this was one of the chances to get up the road. We&rsquo;ll see how we are over the next few days.&rdquo;</p> <p>On a day where the general classification was unchanged, with Geraint Thomas still second behind yellow jersey Julien Alaphilippe, a large group broke away early on.</p> <p>By the time the riders had crossed the second of the category one climbs, Hourquette d&rsquo;Ancizan, the lead group had been whittled down to two, with Yates joined by Gregor M&uuml;hlberger before Pello Bilbao caught them on the descent.</p> <p>And after a cagey run in to the finish, it was Yates who judged the final sprint perfectly, attacking before the final bend and then holding off his breakaway compatriots to take victory.</p> <p>He added: &ldquo;I wasn&rsquo;t very confident of beating either of them, I wasn&rsquo;t sure how fast they were. I just knew from the directors in the car that I needed to be in the front coming around the last corner. I made sure to do that and luckily I held on to win.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019</p>Thu, 18 Jul 2019 15:26:05 Zurn:uuid:62b2638d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 BadmintonOuseph retires to pave way for young stars<p>Rajiv Ouseph is ready to pass the mantle onto the next generation of badminton players.</p> <p>After announcing he will retire after this year&rsquo;s World Championships, the 32-year-old former European champion, who is England&rsquo;s number one singles player, has also ruled himself out of Tokyo 2020 qualification with Team GB. </p> <p>The two-time Olympian was the first British man to reach the last eight of an Olympic badminton men&rsquo;s singles competition when he made the quarter-finals at Rio 2016. </p> <p>As he prepares to bring the curtain down on a glittering career, Ouseph will, of course, miss the thrill of the court but is looking forward to having the opportunity to spend more time with his nearest and dearest. </p> <p>&ldquo;It was a few different reasons &ndash; I just felt like it was the right time for me,&rdquo; said Ouseph. </p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve got a young son who is 10 months-old, so it was getting harder to travel away to tournaments and miss him growing up. </p> <p>&ldquo;My body is starting to feel the effects of playing competitions for over ten years and I just felt like it was the right time. </p> <p>&ldquo;I can see Toby Penty, the next best singles player; he is really progressing and I feel he&rsquo;s got a good chance of doing well and the opportunity for him to go to the Olympics was a good one for him.</p> <p>&ldquo;Everything together combined to make the decision.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">European <br /> Junior European <br /> Nationals <br /> Commonwealth Games <br /> 9️7️caps for England<br /> 1️6️international tour finals<br /> 12 international <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WellPlayedRaj?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WellPlayedRaj</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RajRetirement?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RajRetirement</a> <a href="https://t.co/KVSK8GFpQs">pic.twitter.com/KVSK8GFpQs</a></p> &mdash; Badminton England (@BadmintonEnglnd) <a href="https://twitter.com/BadmintonEnglnd/status/1151459815111233536?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 17, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Ouseph has had a career spanning nearly 14 years since winning gold at the 2005 European Junior Championships in the Netherlands, the first Englishman in 20 years to complete the feat.</p> <p>The English number one established himself on badminton&rsquo;s world tour and has won 12 international titles but competing on the Olympic stage in London was one of his standout memories.&nbsp; </p> <p>&ldquo;Individually, my best moment is probably winning the European Championships in 2017 [in Denmark] but I&rsquo;ve always felt representing Team GB at the Olympic Games; that&rsquo;s something that every person or kid who plays badminton wants,&rdquo; Ouseph explained. </p> <p>&ldquo;When they start, their dream is to go to the Olympic Games. I&rsquo;ve managed to go to two and been very fortunate. </p> <p>&ldquo;Those experiences at those Games, the Commonwealth Games, multi-sport events &ndash; they&rsquo;ve really impacted me and I&rsquo;ve enjoyed them. </p> <p>&ldquo;London was surreal. Badminton crowds are usually very respectful and very quiet in this country but London was totally different. </p> <p>&ldquo;Everyone was clapping and cheering for me and it was something I&rsquo;ll never forget. </p> <p>&ldquo;It was a &lsquo;hairs on the back of your neck&rsquo; moment for me. </p> <p>&ldquo;To have a home Games, which many people don&rsquo;t get to have, and being from London; it was very special.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Congratulations and best wishes to <a href="https://twitter.com/rajivouseph?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@rajivouseph</a> who retires from badminton after the World Champs this summer. An amazing player, captain and person who has been an exemplary ambassador and role model for <a href="https://twitter.com/BadmintonEnglnd?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BadmintonEnglnd</a> and our sport generally. Thank you for everything Raj</p> &mdash; Adrian Christy (@adrianchristy) <a href="https://twitter.com/adrianchristy/status/1151468604719808519?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 17, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>With the 2019 World Championships taking place in Basel at the end of August, Ouseph only has a few weeks left of his longstanding career. </p> <p>He believes that by making the decision to retire before the start of the tournament, he will be able to play with freedom &ndash; but Ouseph would still like to finish on a high. </p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m going to miss the everyday training; being around the rest of the squad and being with the team,&rdquo; he added. </p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ll miss that camaraderie you get on a day-to-day basis and I&rsquo;ve made quite a few friends over the years on the circuit, so I&rsquo;ll miss competing with them. </p> <p>&ldquo;You come through a lot of ups and downs playing professional sport but you don&rsquo;t get those ups without a few downs, so I think the whole journey will be missed. </p> <p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t have any particular aims for the worlds and because I&rsquo;ve decided what I wanted to do, it&rsquo;s taken the pressure off me a little bit. </p> <p>&ldquo;I haven&rsquo;t done as well as I would like to have at World Championships, so as a last finishing point, it&rsquo;ll be good for me to try and do as well as I can without putting too much pressure on myself.&rdquo;</p> <p>Sportsbeat 2019</p>Thu, 18 Jul 2019 14:40:13 Zurn:uuid:5261638d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 DivingSecond Tokyo berth for Laugher<p>Jack Laugher guaranteed another place for Team GB at the Tokyo Olympic Games as he sailed into the final of the men's 3m springboard. </p> <p>The Rio medallist clinched his second Tokyo place of the week after finishing third in the semi-final with a total of 468.45 points.&nbsp; </p> <p>In the men&rsquo;s 3m synchro earlier in the competition, alongside Daniel Goodfellow, Laugher and his teammate claimed a quota place and Britain&rsquo;s first medal of the World Aquatic Championships when they picked up silver.&nbsp; </p> <p>The individual event saw the 24-year-old put together a great series of dives, including the hardest of the competition, a front 2.5 somersaults with three twists in the pike position, possessing 3.9 degrees of difficulty for which he scored 95.55. </p> <p>However, it was a gruelling day for the European Champion after the preliminary competition lasted over three hours and the divers had to compete again in the semi-finals just hours later. </p> <p>Despite pulling together a great series, the last dive was not up to scratch for Laugher, who is targeting an improvement in the final. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Thumbs up if you&rsquo;ve qualified 2 <a href="https://twitter.com/Tokyo2020?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Tokyo2020</a> spots for <a href="https://twitter.com/JackLaugher?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JackLaugher</a> finished 3rd in the Men&rsquo;s 3m Springboard semi-final to secure that Olympic spot and will go for his second World Champs medal tomorrow night <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FINAGwangju2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FINAGwangju2019</a> <a href="https://t.co/wKo0wdjkhw">pic.twitter.com/wKo0wdjkhw</a></p> &mdash; British Swimming (@britishswimming) <a href="https://twitter.com/britishswimming/status/1151409196165947392?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 17, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;Job done! It&rsquo;s been a really long day of competing &ndash; that&rsquo;s six hours of competing I&rsquo;ve done and it really takes it out of you,&rdquo; said Laugher. </p> <p>&ldquo;My legs are dying and mind is going: &lsquo;I&rsquo;m hungry&rsquo; but I&rsquo;ve done what I needed to do and still qualified in third place, despite a huge mistake on my last dive. </p> <p>&ldquo;Eleven out of 12 dives is good enough, though and I got that Olympic spot, so I&rsquo;m happy overall, but I&rsquo;ve still got some things to improve on.&rdquo;</p> <p>Teammate James Heatly also competed in the same event but didn&rsquo;t make it past the preliminary stages after failing his third-round dive. </p> <p>After securing a Tokyo berth yesterday, Lois Toulson finished in 12th place in the final of the women&rsquo;s 10m platform. </p> <p>Elsewhere, Maisie Macartney made her World Championships debut in the women&rsquo;s 5km open water swimming, where she finished in 43rd. </p> <p>In the artistic swimming, Britain&rsquo;s Kate Shortman rounded off the competition by scoring 84.7667 and finishing 11th in the women&rsquo;s solo freestyle final. </p> <p>Sportsbeat 2019</p>Wed, 17 Jul 2019 14:21:55 Zurn:uuid:561c638d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 DivingToulson claims another GB Tokyo spot<p>Lois Toulson breathed a sigh of relief after recovering from a poor second dive to qualify for the Women's 10m Platform final at the World Aquatics Championships in South Korea.</p> <p>The 19-year-old secured Great&nbsp;Britain&rsquo;s&nbsp;qualification for the event at next year&rsquo;s Olympic Games by finishing seventh in the semi-finals&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;but her place in the top&nbsp;12 had looked under threat early in the contest.</p> <p>Toulson fought back with three high-scoring dives to work her way back up the leaderboard, and the City of Leeds diver explained how pleased she was to get over the line.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a massive relief,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s one of the toughest days of competition I&rsquo;ve ever had.</p> <p>&ldquo;I was so nervous knowing Olympic spots were on the line, so I&rsquo;m just really happy and really relieved that I managed to make the final and secure that spot for GB.</p> <p>&ldquo;It would have been easy to get down but I managed to keep my head up and put my harder dives down.&rdquo;</p> <p>Fellow Briton Robyn Birch couldn&rsquo;t force her way into the qualifying positions after making a mistake of her own, eventually finishing 15th&nbsp;in the same competition.</p> <p>She said: &ldquo;I was really happy to make the semi-final but I&rsquo;m disappointed with my performance.</p> <p>&ldquo;One of my dives that I&rsquo;ve been struggling with seemed to drop it for me, so I&rsquo;m a bit frustrated, but pleased with my other dives.&rdquo;</p> <p>Elsewhere, Eden Cheng and Ross Haslam recorded a sixth-place finish in the&nbsp;mixed&nbsp;team&nbsp;event.</p> <p>Having to perform three dives each &ndash; with at least one from each of the 3m and 10m boards&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;both divers were in unfamiliar territory, but Haslam said he enjoyed the experience.</p> <p>He said: &ldquo;It&rsquo;s very different to any competition we&rsquo;ve done before but it&rsquo;s nice to do something a bit different.</p> <p>&ldquo;If you&rsquo;d have said before the start we&rsquo;d come out with sixth,&nbsp;we&rsquo;d have been pretty happy.&rdquo;</p> <p>Over at Yeomju Gymnasium, Kate Shortman and Izzy Thorpe narrowly fell short of their personal best and a place in the final of the Women&rsquo;s Duet Freestyle, finishing 14th.</p> <p>In the&nbsp;men&rsquo;s 10km swim, Jack Burnell and Toby Robinson both missed out on a top-10 finish that would have seen them secure Olympic qualifying spots, finishing 12th&nbsp;and 18th&nbsp;respectively.</p>Tue, 16 Jul 2019 17:13:25 Zurn:uuid:2d0e638d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 JudoDouble Olympian Craig Fallon passes away aged 36The British Olympic Association is deeply sad the report the passing of two-time Olympian and former judo world champion Craig Fallon at the age of 36.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Fallon retired from judo in 2011 after an illustrious career which saw him hold both the World (2005) and European (2006) Championship titles simultaneously. To this day he remains only one of two British Judoka, alongside Neil Adams, to hold the two titles concurrently.<br /> <br /> Fallon, who competed for Team GB at the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games,&nbsp;remains the last British Judoka to win a World Championship title after beating Ludwig Paischer in the -60kg final in Cairo in 2005 at the age of 23. He remains only the third British male to win a judo world title, following Neil Adams in 1981 and Graeme Randall in 1999.<br /> <br /> In 2007 Fallon won the Men&rsquo;s World Cup at the NIA Arena in Birmingham, where he was the only British medallist in the Olympic qualifying event. .<br /> <br /> Fallon was also crowned European U23 Champion in 2004 a year after winning silver at both the World Championships in Osaka and the European Championships in Dusseldorf.<br /> <br /> Fallon was Commonwealth Games champion at the 2002 Manchester Games and European Junior Championship silver medallist in 2001.<br /> <br /> In 2012, following his retirement, the former Wolverhampton Judo Club athlete was inducted into the Wolverhampton Sporting Hall of Fame.<br /> <br /> In 2017, Fallon started coaching at Judo Landesverband Vorarlberg in Austria where he was coach to a number of promising Cadet and Junior athletes. In March 2019 Fallon returned to the UK to become Head Coach of the Welsh Judo Association.<br /> <br /> British Judo Performance Director Nigel Donohue said: "It is with great shock to hear of the passing of Craig. Firstly, Craig is a son and father, as well as an outstanding Judo fighter of his generation in World Judo. Craig was a fantastic ambassador for British Judo and is our most successful athlete in the modern era of world judo and the most talented judoka that I have ever had the pleasure to watch competing for Great Britain, where he became a European and World Champion. To this date Craig remains the last British Judoka to be crowned World Champion."<br /> <br /> On behalf of the British Olympic Association Athletes&rsquo; Commission Chair Ben Hawes: <p><br /> &ldquo;We are saddened to hear of the passing of two-time judo Olympian Craig Fallon, a number of the British Olympic Association&rsquo;s Athletes&rsquo; Commission competed alongside Craig at the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and hold fond memories of our time spent with him.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Our heartfelt condolences are with Craig&rsquo;s family, friends and the judo community during this very difficult time.&rdquo;</p>Tue, 16 Jul 2019 13:13:23 Zurn:uuid:3ec8628d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Cycling RoadThomas on the charge in Tour de FranceDefending champion Geraint Thomas is up to second in this year's Tour de France general classification after a 12th-place finish on stage 10 that saw a series of riders dropped.<br /> <br /> The Welshman, who was fifth overall before Monday&rsquo;s stage, kept the pace with the leading group as the peloton split into three during the closing kilometres, a move prompted by overall leader Julian Alaphilippe.<br /> <br /> Thomas sits 1m 12s behind the Frenchman, while compatriot Adam Yates also profited, moving up to seventh, 1m 47s back.<br /> <br /> On a day that seemed&nbsp;pegged as a bunch-sprint finish, an early breakaway had led out for the majority of the flat 217.5km stage.<br /> <br /> Troubling the peloton only briefly, the group of six built up a lead of three minutes before they were eventually, inevitably, reeled in.<br /> <br /> All was going as expected, many having predicted that the stage would merely be a relaxed precursor to Tuesday&rsquo;s rest day, points the only thing to be gained as the likes of Peter Sagan eyed green.<br /> <br /> But Alaphilippe&rsquo;s move took the peloton by surprise, splitting it into three and dropping contenders Thibaut Pinot,&nbsp;Jakob Fuglsang,&nbsp;and&nbsp;Rigoberto Uran&nbsp;heading into the finish&nbsp;line in Albi.<br /> <br /> Try as they might to rejoin the leaders, Thomas&rsquo; Team Ineos spotted an opportunity and duly set the pace, knowing that their man could gain valuable time&nbsp;on a stage where no-one had expected GC movements.<br /> <br /> Indeed, the sprinters at the front did duke it out for the line&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;Wout van Aert claiming a maiden win in his first Tour &ndash; while Thomas settled for 12<sup>th</sup>, breathing down the neck of Alaphilippe in front as the race heads to the mountains&nbsp;after Tuesday&rsquo;s rest day.<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019Mon, 15 Jul 2019 16:16:19 Zurn:uuid:44c6628d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 DivingDaley and Lee win GB’s second World Championship medal and secure Tokyo 2020 berthTom Daley and Matty Lee secured their first major honour as a pair as they claimed bronze in the Men's 10m Synchro at the World Aquatics Championships in South Korea.<br /> <p> The duo, who only began working together last autumn, came third with a score of 425.91 behind China and Russia as Daley and Lee guaranteed GB&rsquo;s qualification to the event at next summer&rsquo;s Tokyo Olympics with the podium finish.<br /> </p> <p>GB had been on course for the silver medal position until a poor fifth-round dive scuppered their chances, and almost put their third place in jeopardy, and Daley was relieved to have secured a quota spot for Tokyo.</p> <p>&ldquo;That was the main thing at this point in the Olympic cycle,&rdquo; Daley said.</p> <p>&ldquo;Bronze is as good as gold in my eyes&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;just to be able to get to the Olympic Games in the first place.</p> <p>&ldquo;That is often the hardest thing because in the synchro event,&nbsp;there's only eight teams that get to qualify. To be able to do it this far out in advance, I've never been in this position with any synchro partner in the past.&rdquo;</p> <p>After a strong opening four dives, including a score of 97.20 from their back three-and-a-half somersaults in the tuck position which put them into second place, Daley and Lee&rsquo;s fifth would prove pivotal.</p> <p>Lacking on synchro and execution, their reverse three-and-a-half somersaults in the tuck position scored only 57.12 and saw them drop down to third,&nbsp;with Ukrainian pair Oleksii Sereda and Oleh Serbin now only 1.14 points behind the Brits going into the final dive.</p> <p>Daley and Lee, though, executed the forward four-and-a-half somersaults in tuck position brilliantly to finish 13.29 points ahead of the fourth placed Ukrainians.</p> <p>Daley added: "We knew we could have got a silver medal. To have a bit of a bad day, you could say, and come away with a bronze medal&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;you&rsquo;ve got to see some light in that."</p> <p>The bronze medal adds to Britain&rsquo;s silver earlier in the competition through Jack Laugher and Dan Goodfellow in the Men&rsquo;s 3m Synchro.</p> <p>Elsewhere, Grace Reid and Katherine Torrance finished just a few points off the podium in fifth in the Women&rsquo;s 3m Synchro.</p> <p>Reid said: &ldquo;We&rsquo;re really pleased. Obviously,&nbsp;to be so close to that medal is frustrating but we left everything that we had out there today, so it&rsquo;s bittersweet.</p> <p>&ldquo;The biggest thing I&rsquo;ve noticed is that our step up from training is quite big, which is a real asset &ndash; some of the other teams it has the opposite effect and they maybe buckle under pressure.</p> <p>&ldquo;Five points is all it is &ndash; it&rsquo;s reassuring that we&rsquo;re that close but we&rsquo;ve got stuff to go away and work on.&rdquo;</p> <p>Meanwhile, Kate Shortman secured her spot in a second final of the week as she qualified in 11th&nbsp;in the preliminary round of the Women&rsquo;s Solo Free.</p> Sportsbeat 2019Mon, 15 Jul 2019 15:45:48 Zurn:uuid:1282628d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 RugbyEngland sevens seal Olympic qualification for Great Britain<p>Two teams deployed to two ends of the continent - yet the result was the same as England's men's and women's rugby sevens sides both sent Great Britain to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.</p> <p>At two concurrent Olympic qualifying tournaments, both of England's men's and women's outfits dispatched the host nation in the final to ensure that Great Britain will compete at the next Olympic Games.</p> <p>On Bastille Day, no less, the England men overcome hosts France 31-7 in Colomiers &ndash; GB were Rio 2016 silver-medallists &ndash; while their female counterparts humbled Russia 19-0 in Kazan.</p> <p>As the highest finisher in the 2017-18 World Rugby Sevens Series, England had been selected as the team to carry Great Britain&rsquo;s qualification hopes &ndash; and they duly delivered.</p> <p>In Colomiers, in south-western France, they sailed through the group stage with three wins from three, beating Lithuania 40-0, Georgia 24-7 and Germany 33-7.</p> <p>In the quarter-finals, they breezed past Italy 35-0 before overcoming Portugal 29-12.</p> <p>Dan Norton proved the star of the show as France stood in their way in the final, the 31-year-old scoring a blistering hat-trick of tries inside the first half, including one where he left three blue shirts grasping at air, while the hosts&rsquo; Jonathan Laugel went over to make it 21-7 at the break.</p> <p>Oliver Lindsay-Hague also raced clear to dot down, with a last-gasp penalty kicking off the celebrations in earnest.</p> <p>In Kazan, England&rsquo;s women had rounded off the pool stage with a punishing 26-5 defeat at the hands of Russia &ndash; but when the two teams renewed hostilities in the final, they pooped the party with a punishingly clinical performance.</p> <p>Having beaten Ireland 17-7 in the quarter-finals and then held their nerve to best France 14-12 in the semis, James Bailey&rsquo;s charges were at their best in the finale.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Congratulations <a href="https://twitter.com/EnglandRugby?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@EnglandRugby</a> on securing <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TeamGB</a>&rsquo;s place at the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tokyo2020?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tokyo2020</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Olympics?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Olympics</a> by winning the <a href="https://twitter.com/rugby_europe?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@rugby_europe</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Kazan7s?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Kazan7s</a></p> &mdash; Sir Bill Beaumont (@BillBeaumont) <a href="https://twitter.com/BillBeaumont/status/1150415885062086656?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 14, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>They gave nothing away in a pulsating first period that ended 0-0 and then, early in the second half, veteran Heather Fisher broke clear and sprinted over the try line to get the ball rolling.<br /> </p> <p>A well-constructed England move led to their second try, the women in white creating an avenue for Emma Uren to streak away down the right flank to dot down and with the final action of the match, they won possession right at the Russian try-line, with Alex Matthews dealing the final blow.</p>Sun, 14 Jul 2019 17:13:23 Zurn:uuid:9d7d628d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 JudoHowell's brilliant in Budapest<p>Gemma Howell spectacularly subverted her own expectations as she claimed her first International Judo Tour medal with victory at the Budapest Grand Prix.</p> <p>The 29-year-old led the way for British judokas at the L&aacute;szl&oacute; Papp Budapest Sports Arena by going all the way in the women&rsquo;s -70kg category, her maiden podium finish at that level.</p> <p>Howell, who represented Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics and is striving to do the same at Tokyo 2020, was understandably over the moon and also thrilled to lay to rest the demons of her 2017 World Championships performance at the very same arena, where she crashed out in the third round.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m just still in shock, I think,&rdquo; said Howell, who was one of two British medal-winners in the Hungarian capital.</p> <p>&ldquo;Obviously, you enter every competition to try and win it but I just guess I never had it in my head that I actually could win it.</p> <p> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">1st Grand Prix gold still in shock and I won a teddy for Roxy <a href="https://t.co/zCiDk72YJl">pic.twitter.com/zCiDk72YJl</a></p> &mdash; Gemma Louise Howell (@Gemh7) <a href="https://twitter.com/Gemh7/status/1150167538233434112?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 13, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>&ldquo;It was a lot of deja-vu because the World Championships were here two years ago and that didn&rsquo;t go so well, so it&rsquo;s really nice to come to this really good stadium and make it a good finish.&rdquo;</p> <p>Howell got the better of Maria Bernabeu in the final, knocking her off her feet with a waza-ari before pinning the Spaniard with a sankaku-gatame to hit the gold standard.</p> <p>Elsewhere, in the women&rsquo;s -78kg, world number five Natalie Powell took home bronze.</p> <p>The 28-year-old, a Commonwealth Games gold medallist in 2014, won her pool but lost out to Japan&rsquo;s Ruika Sato in the semi-finals before battling back and vanquishing Portugal&rsquo;s Patricia Sampaio by ippon to make it onto the podium.</p> <p>Amy Livesey made it to the final of her pool in the women&rsquo;s -63kg class but was beaten by China&rsquo;s Junxia Yang before then losing out to eventual bronze medal-winner Maylin Del Toro Carvajal, of Cuba, in the first round of the repechage.</p> <p>Lubjana Piovesana (women&rsquo;s -63kg), Daniel Williams (men&rsquo;s -73kg), Stuart McWatt (men&rsquo;s -81kg), Jemima Yeats-Brown (women&rsquo;s -78kg), Sarah Adlington (women&rsquo;s +78kg), Jamal Petgrave (men&rsquo;s -90kg), Max Stewart (men&rsquo;s -90kg) and Chris Sherrington (men&rsquo;s +100kg) all bowed out in the pool stages of their respective competitions.</p>Sun, 14 Jul 2019 15:58:20 Zurn:uuid:8478628d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Grant leads GB medal rush at World Cup III in RotterdamTwo-time Olympic medallist Moe Sbihi continued his preparations for Tokyo 2020 in style by claiming a gold medal as part of the men's eight at World Cup III in Rotterdam.<br /> <br /> The triumph was Great Britain's second gold of the event after Imogen Grant had led the way by prevailing in the lightweight women&rsquo;s single sculls a day earlier.<br /> <br /> Sbihi was joined by Tom Ford, Josh Bugajski, James Rudkin, Tom George, Jacob Dawson, Oliver Wynne-Griffith, Mat Tarrant and cox Henry Fieldman in the victorious GB boat.<br /> <br /> The 31-year-old is bidding for his third consecutive Games, having previously won gold in the coxless four at Rio 2016 and bronze with the men&rsquo;s eight on his Olympic debut at London 2012.<br /> <br /> GB crossed the line in 5:47.280 to top the podium ahead of Germany, who finished second in 5:50.880, while New Zealand took the bronze medal in a time of 5:53.180.<br /> <br /> Sbihi was not the only former Olympian to enjoy success on the water in Rotterdam, though, with Polly Swann claiming bronze alongside Holly Hill in the women&rsquo;s pair.<br /> <br /> Swann, a silver medallist in the women&rsquo;s eight at Rio 2016, and Hill took the final place of the podium as Australia pair Jessica Morrison and Annabelle McIntyre triumphed.<br /> <br /> The British duo finishing in 7:40.510 to clinch the bronze medal ahead of Romania, while New Zealand&rsquo;s Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler beat them to silver.<br /> <br /> Elsewhere, Rio 2016 Olympian John Collins and teammate Graeme Thomas also added another bronze to GB&rsquo;s tally with a third-place finish in the men&rsquo;s double.<br /> <br /> There was also a silver for the men&rsquo;s four of Oliver Cook, Matt Rossiter, Rory Gibbs and Sholto Carnegie, with only the Australian quartet crossing the line ahead of them.<br /> <br /> GB&rsquo;s four medals on the final day of racing at World Cup III followed Grant&rsquo;s victory in the lightweight women&rsquo;s single sculls on Saturday.<br /> <br /> The 23-year-old led from start to finish in her semi-final to qualify as the fastest sculler, before storming through the field to clinch her first ever World Cup medal.<br /> <br /> Grant had found herself in a three-way battle with Georgia Nesbitt of Australia and Marie-Louise Draeger of Germany but made her move with 500m to go to top the podium.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> A delighted Grant said: &ldquo;It was a long race! I knew that I was in form to win it; I was a bit worried in the middle part when the other rowers started pulling away.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But thankfully, I had the chance to pull something out of the bag in the second half. This is my first-ever World Cup medal, so winning gold is really special."<br /> <div>&nbsp;</div>Sun, 14 Jul 2019 14:21:56 Zurn:uuid:8239628d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 DivingLaugher and Goodfellow secure Tokyo 2020 quota spot with impressive World Championship silverThe partnership flourished at the perfect moment for Jack Laugher and Dan Goodfellow after diving their way to Britain's first medal of the World Aquatics Championships. <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The pair have only worked together for ten months but produced a magnificent performance to win Men&rsquo;s 3m Synchro silver in Gwangju, also securing a place in the event for Team GB at next summer&rsquo;s Olympic Games.</p> <p>Neither Laugher nor Goodfellow are strangers to the big stage after both came home with medals from Rio 2016.</p> <p>But it&rsquo;s taken hard work aplenty for the two to form a medal-winning bond in less than a year, a feat which Laugher &ndash; Olympic champion in the event &ndash; knows has been far from easy.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s job done when you look at it. This year has been a bit ropey for both of us &ndash; we&rsquo;ve had some good highs but real lows as well, so to do that here, qualify that Olympic spot and get a silver medal, it means the world to us,&rdquo; he said.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">When you win world silver and book an Olympic spot <br /> <br /> Sensational performance by <a href="https://twitter.com/JackLaugher?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JackLaugher</a> &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/danngoodfellow?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@danngoodfellow</a> in the World Championship 3m Synchro final <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FINAGwangju2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FINAGwangju2019</a> <a href="https://t.co/eZifeQ17Qx">pic.twitter.com/eZifeQ17Qx</a></p> &mdash; British Swimming (@britishswimming) <a href="https://twitter.com/britishswimming/status/1150039629850169349?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 13, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;This is Dan&rsquo;s first World Championships medal and my first world silver as well, so we&rsquo;re really pleased.&rdquo;</p> <p>Laugher and Goodfellow qualified to the final in fourth place but upped their game from the off, sitting second at the halfway stage after scoring 80.58 from their third dive.</p> <p>Behind only South Korea, the British pair improved as the level of difficulty increased, taking the lead after the fourth dive thanks to consistency in their performances.</p> <p>Mexico and China then pulled out stunning efforts to push the Brits into third but they held their nerve in the final dive, scoring 86.64 to total 415.02 and sit behind only China in the standings.</p> <p>&ldquo;I knew we were capable of doing it but actually putting a performance together is something we&rsquo;re really proud of &ndash; it&rsquo;s unbelievable really,&rdquo; added Goodfellow.</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve had a lot of bad performances throughout the World Series and maybe without them we wouldn&rsquo;t have achieved what we did.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><br /> <br /> We have our first medal of the <a href="https://twitter.com/fina1908?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@fina1908</a> World Aquatics Championships <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FINAGwangju2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FINAGwangju2019</a> <br /> <br /> What a performance from <a href="https://twitter.com/JackLaugher?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JackLaugher</a> &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/danngoodfellow?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@danngoodfellow</a> <a href="https://t.co/bkPJDG8C26">pic.twitter.com/bkPJDG8C26</a></p> &mdash; British Swimming (@britishswimming) <a href="https://twitter.com/britishswimming/status/1150029249119694848?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 13, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;Qualifying a space for the Olympics is amazing.&rdquo;</p> <p>Further medals proved agonisingly out of reach for the British team with Kat Torrance settling for an impressive fourth in the women&rsquo;s 1m springboard.</p> <p>Having qualified tenth, Torrance produced a consistent set of dives &ndash; notably a 54.60 score from her front 2.5 somersault tuck &ndash; to finish on 236.75.</p> <p>An agonising wait ensued to see if she would reach the podium but it wasn&rsquo;t to be, with Kim Su-ji earning bronze by just two points.</p> <p>Not that Torrance &ndash; who will also compete with Grace Reid in the women&rsquo;s 3m synchro &ndash; was too disappointed.</p> <p>She said: &ldquo;It&rsquo;s always a bit agonising when you&rsquo;re only two points off a medal but at the end of the day, it is what it is and I&rsquo;m actually really happy with how I dived.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s always nice to do a competition before your main one, to get the cobwebs off and get used to the environment. It&rsquo;s a really big pool and quite loud, so it&rsquo;s good to get used to the environment.</p> <p>&ldquo;In the 3m synchro, if you finish in a medal position, you get an Olympic spot, so that is the target, but we&rsquo;ll only get there if we get our heads down and dive the way we dive.&rdquo;</p> <p>It was also a case of so close but yet so far for Noah Williams and Robyn Birch as they finished fourth in the Mixed 10m Synchro final, just two points shy of a medal, having occupied the bronze medal position until the final dive.</p> <p>Sportsbeat 2019</p>Sat, 13 Jul 2019 18:26:06 Zurn:uuid:59fc618d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 AthleticsMuir, Weightman and Grice star at Monaco Diamond League Laura Muir and&nbsp;Laura Weightman both clocked new personal bests&nbsp;at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco.<br /> <p> European 1500m champion&nbsp;Muir set a time of one minute 58.42 seconds as she finished third while Weightman was second in the women&rsquo;s mile in 4:17.60, behind a new world record time of 4:12.33 by Sifan Hussan.<br /> </p> <p>&ldquo;Getting out that first 200 is tough against girls that quick,&rdquo; said Muir, after only her third race over two laps this season.</p> <p>&ldquo;I'm very happy with the PB. It's been a while since I have run one and it's always going to be hard, going up against these girls! I feel like I'm in a PB shape for the 1500m."</p> <p>Weightman expressed delight with race too, as she looks towards the World Championships later this year, where she'll seek to improve on her sixth place at London 2017.</p> <p>She said:&nbsp;&ldquo;I'm absolutely delighted - to run 4:17 is a big PB and I'm over the moon for Sifan to break the world record - she's an amazing athlete - it's a special moment to share this with her!&rdquo;</p> <div>Fellow Brit Charlie Grice also made a huge statement ahead of next week's Anniversary Games&nbsp;as he set a new personal best and became the fourth fastest British man of all-time in the 1500m, finishing fourth in&nbsp;3:30.62.<br /> </div> <p>Grice finished behind Kenya&rsquo;s Timothy Cheruiyot, Norway&rsquo;s Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Ugandan Ronald Musagala as the Brit beat fellow Brighton Phoenix athlete Steve Ovett&rsquo;s personal best to now sit behind only Mo Farah, Steve Cram and Seb Coe on Britain&rsquo;s all-time list.</p> <p>Elsewhere, Lynsey Sharp finished one place behind Muir in fourth with a season&rsquo;s best 1:58.76 in the women&rsquo;s 800m while Jake Wightman set a season&rsquo;s best 1:45.08 to finish eighth in the men&rsquo;s 800m and Melissa Courtney was also 12<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;in the women&rsquo;s mile with a season&rsquo;s best 4:27.76.<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019</p>Fri, 12 Jul 2019 20:21:44 Zurn:uuid:2966618d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Baku 2019Team GB announces selected athletes for the Baku 2019 European Youth Olympic FestivalTeam GB will take 44 young stars of Olympic sport to the&nbsp;Baku 2019 European Olympic Festival (EYOF) later this month after the full squad was announced today.<br /> <br /> Baku 2019 will see around 2,500 athletes from 48 European nations come together to compete across 10 Olympic sports from 21st-27th July.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Team GB&rsquo;s athletes, who will all be aged 14-17 at the event, will compete in six of those sports; cycling (six athletes), gymnastics (six), judo (10), swimming (16), tennis (four) and wrestling (two). Athletics, basketball, handball and volleyball complete the sporting programme in Azerbaijan.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> With many athletes already working on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as well as Paris 2024, EYOFs play an important role in the development of young British athletes and help them along the route to achieving their own Olympic dreams.<br /> <br /> The Festivals provide crucial multi-sport event experience for young athletes, with over 40 athletes graduating from a summer EYOF with Team GB going on to compete at the Beijing 2008, London 2012 or Rio 2016 Olympic Games.<br /> <br /> The likes of Becky Adlington, Pete Kennaugh, Sally Conway and Nile Wilson all had their first taste of an Olympic-style event at an EYOF before winning an Olympic medal at senior level.<br /> <br /> Baku is the 15th edition of the summer EYOF and Team GB have enjoyed a successful Games at each, with 10 medals won two years ago in Gyor, Hungary and at least 20 medals in each of the previous 13 Festivals.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Leading the Team GB delegation as Chef de Mission at Baku 2019 will be Elaine Skilton, who acted as Deputy Chef de Mission for Team GB at last year&rsquo;s Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.<br /> <br /> Speaking on the announcement for Baku 2019, Skilton said: &ldquo;Wearing the Olympic rings for the first time and competing for your country is always a huge honour and I&rsquo;m sure today is a proud moment for each of the 44 selected athletes and their families. Baku 2019 is set to be a great event and we have a very talented group of British athletes coming together to form Team GB for this Festival.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;European Youth Olympic Festivals are fantastic for the next generation of British Olympic sporting stars, providing an opportunity to compete internationally, experience the unique world of multi-sport events and be part of Team GB.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The British Olympic Association is already underway with planning for Paris 2024 and no doubt a number of these athletes will already have their eyes set on those Games. Hopefully Baku 2019 can act as a great springboard for them as they develop and move through their sporting career towards the senior ranks of Olympic sport, and I wish every athlete the very best for the Festival ahead.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Josh Charlton, cycling, said: &ldquo;It feels incredible to be selected. I got the email about four weeks ago confirming it and I just started shaking. It&rsquo;s difficult to describe the feeling knowing you&rsquo;re going to represent your nation in front of the world.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;A podium in Baku would be a dream come true, especially in the time trial event where I&rsquo;m strongest, but it&rsquo;s also an incredible opportunity to grow and learn as a person and an athlete.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s going to give me the experience of a multi-sport event and what to expect at an Olympics if I&rsquo;m lucky enough to make it there one day. Our coach said the next big multi-sport event we could be part of might be the Olympics so that&rsquo;s a pretty exciting and daunting thought.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Tatum Keen, judo, said: &ldquo;I&rsquo;m really excited to fight in Baku. Judo is a big sport out there and the crowd and atmosphere in the stadium will be amazing. I&rsquo;ve trained really hard for this and the experience is going to be great.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I had an injury at the start of this year so it&rsquo;s more of a relief to be selected after working hard to get fit and back in contention.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;People such as Sally Conway and the other senior athletes are a huge inspiration for me. To see what they&rsquo;ve done at the Olympics having started with Team GB at events like this is really inspiring and hopefully I can follow in their footsteps.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <h3><strong>Team GB at Baku 2019</strong></h3> <strong>Artistic Gymnastics:&nbsp;</strong><br /> Raekwon Baptiste, aged 17, from Sutton Coldfield<br /> Halle Hilton, 15, from Corringham<br /> Sam Mostowfi, 17, from Maidstone<br /> Ondine Achampong, 15, from Kings Langley<br /> Luke Whitehouse, 17, from Halifax<br /> Annie Young, 14, from Wymondham<br /> <br /> <strong>Cycling:&nbsp;<br /> </strong>Zoe Backstedt, aged 14, Pontyclun<br /> Joshua Charlton, 16, from Durham<br /> Millie Couzens, 15, from Bicester<br /> Thomas Lord, 15, from Altringham<br /> Imani Pereira-James, 14, from Glasgow<br /> Finlay Pickering, 16, from Hull<br /> <br /> <strong>Judo</strong>:&nbsp;<br /> Mae Bostock, aged 15, from Spennymoor<br /> Tatum Keen, 17, from Bath<br /> Isobel Kitchen, 16, from Halifax<br /> Grace Griffith, 17, from Orpington<br /> Daisy Gilroy, 16, from Cupar<br /> Dougie Fleming, 16, from Linlithgow<br /> Artur Patemian, 16, from Glasgow<br /> Harry Zain-Prosser, 16, from Surbiton<br /> Ethan Nairne, 17, from Weston-super-Mare<br /> Ryan Rijksen-Salman, 17, from Stonehouse<br /> <br /> <strong>Swimming:&nbsp;<br /> </strong>Jemimah Berkeley, aged 15, from Robertsbridge<br /> Freya Colbert, 15, from Grantham<br /> Evelyn Davis, 15, from Bromley<br /> Joseph Deighan, 15, from Cheshire<br /> Caitlin Ebbage, 14, from Tonbridge<br /> William Ellington, 16, from Beech<br /> Mark Ford, 16, from Carluke<br /> Sophie Freeman, 15, from Colchester<br /> Pierce Greening, 15, from Cockermouth<br /> Edward Mildred, 16, from Northampton<br /> Katie Shanahan, 15, from Glasgow<br /> Ellie Sibbald-Perkins, 15, from Birmingham&nbsp;<br /> Nicholas Skelton, 16, from Abingdon<br /> Tamryn van Selm, 15, from Orpington&nbsp;<br /> Jacob Whittle, 14, from Derbyshire<br /> Cameron Williams, 15, from Plymouth&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <strong>Tennis:&nbsp;</strong><br /> Matilda Mutavdzic, aged 15, from Opoeteren, Belgium<br /> Yujiro Onuma, 14, from Cambridge&nbsp;<br /> Andrea Pineda, 15, from London<br /> Matthew Rankin, 14, from Edinburgh<br /> <br /> <strong>Wrestling:</strong><br /> Lucy McGrath, aged 16, from Bolton<br /> Harvey Ridings, 16, from Wigan<br />Thu, 11 Jul 2019 08:50:00 Zurn:uuid:7758618d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Murray exits after lighting up Wimbledon with WilliamsAndy Murray's Wimbledon might be over after he and Serena Williams were knocked out of the mixed doubles but the former champion still&nbsp;sees progress in his performances.&nbsp;<br /> <p>Paired with 39-time Grand Slam winner Williams, many thought the partnership would be the dream team but their Wimbledon crusade was cut short before the quarter-finals.&nbsp;</p> <p>Top seeds Bruno Soares and Nicole Melichar proved too hot to handle for the two-time Wimbledon champion and the American great as they went down 6-3 4-6 6-2.&nbsp;</p> <p>Murray is still cautiously recovering from hip surgery and while the US Open in September may yet come too soon for a return to singles, he is pleased with the progress at the All England Club this year.</p> <p>&ldquo;I have achieved a lot considering the lack of matches and I think I did OK,&rdquo; said the 32-year-old.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;The most positive thing is that my body and my hip was feeling good.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It's a lot of physical work now trying to get stronger and get a good balance with all of the muscles around my hip.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;But I have still got, like I said, quite a long way to go.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Seriously, how? <br /> <br /> The MurRena journey was fun while it lasted, but they left us something special to remember them by&hellip;<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/andy_murray?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@andy_murray</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/serenawilliams?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@serenawilliams</a> <a href="https://t.co/4XuPnXl5T7">pic.twitter.com/4XuPnXl5T7</a></p> &mdash; Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) <a href="https://twitter.com/Wimbledon/status/1148977427659612161?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">10 July 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>In the absence of two-time Olympic gold medallist Murray, Johanna Konta represented Britain&rsquo;s best hope in the singles but she was unable to make it through her quarter-final with Barbora Strycova.&nbsp;</p> <p>And for Murray the British representation at Grand Slam events is a hallmark of success.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;You want to see more British players at the big events, getting in on their own right without using wildcards,&rdquo; he added.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Ultimately I think that's how you should judge success.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It's so difficult to produce players to win major titles, but I think it's a bit easier to have a system in place that allows players to compete on the main tours.</p> <p>&ldquo;It's not easy to produce a player like Serena, for example.&rdquo;</p> <p>For 37-year-old Williams, defeat does not yet spell the end as she continues her quest for a 24th Grand Slam singles title with a semi-final against Strycova and was full of positivity about the memorable partnership.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I think to play on this stage with Andy, who has done so well here for so many years, is literally just a lifetime experience. I'm so happy that I got to experience it,&rdquo; said Williams.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It's fun to get to know him as well because, like he said, we don't really know each other that well.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It's cool to see people you see on TV and you watch and study, to actually be on the same side as them, to pick their brain a little bit, to help them out, it's a really cool feeling.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019</p>Wed, 10 Jul 2019 17:20:40 Zurn:uuid:111d618d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 TennisKonta denied by determined StrycovaJohanna Konta says she has plenty of positives to take from a battling fortnight at Wimbledon despite being denied in the quarter-finals by Barbora Strycova.<br /> <br /> The British number one has enjoyed a compelling run at the 2019 Championships but came up against a supremely determined Strycova on Centre Court &ndash; the experienced Czech player progressing to the semi-finals after her 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 win.<br /> <br /> With Strycova edging the tie-break in the first set there were hopes of a third comeback in a row for Konta, after three-set wins over Sloane Stephens and Petra Kvitova, but her opponent held firm.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think I've played a great tournament,&rdquo; said Konta. &ldquo;Obviously I would have liked to have played three more matches, won three more matches.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But I really feel that even including this match, I can take a lot away from these ten days.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The players that I've played and beaten, also lost to, I think overall there's a lot I can be proud of and take from it.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think the best I can do is to keep putting myself in these positions to give myself the opportunity to keep going further and further.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The 28-year-old British player came into the quarter-final looking to emulate her run to the semi-finals in 2017, and in excellent form after reaching the French Open final four and continuing her resurgence at the All England Club.<br /> <br /> Strycova, ranked 54 in the world, was also in fine form but fell to a break on her very first serve, only to claw it back and take the first set.<br /> <br /> Where Konta&rsquo;s serves had often proved unreturnable to her previous opponents, Strycova dealt with them expertly, also moving in well with seven of 11 serve and volley points won.<br /> <br /> Konta continued: &ldquo;I think she was playing very well and I couldn't quite find the level that I needed to make it difficult and challenging for the kind of player she is.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;She's a very difficult player to play on this surface and in general.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I went out there and I did my best - my best just wasn't good enough.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But every decision that I made, every thought process, every opportunity that I gave myself - I have no regrets in doing, I did the best that I could.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019Tue, 09 Jul 2019 20:59:51 Zurn:uuid:691a618d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 TennisThe relationship grows stronger as Murray and Williams power onFirst the whispers queried whether Andy Murray and Serena Williams would ever happen, now, those questions consider just how far they can go.<br /> <br /> On the evidence of their second-round victory on Centre Court the answer looks increasingly to be positive.<br /> <br /> The dream team of Murray and Williams, six Olympic golds and nine Wimbledon singles titles between them, looked unflustered as they powered past Raquel Atawo and Fabrice Martin 7-5 6-3.<br /> <br /> This their second straight-sets win and coming once again after superstar Williams had played a match earlier in the day.<br /> <br /> Worryingly for future opponents, Murray, returning from hip surgery, feels he&rsquo;s getting stronger with every game.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think playing matches is always good,&rdquo; said the 32-year-old Scot. &ldquo;One of the things that probably showed a bit in the first two matches is, on break-points, maybe I haven't played them as well as I would have liked so far.<br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">"She returned brilliantly, she was making my job a lot easier but I was missing my ones! If she keeps returning like that we'll have a good chance."<br /> <br /> - <a href="https://twitter.com/andy_murray?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@andy_murray</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon</a> <a href="https://t.co/BtMee4Scq7">pic.twitter.com/BtMee4Scq7</a></p> &mdash; Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) <a href="https://twitter.com/Wimbledon/status/1148663714993844226?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 9, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <br /> &ldquo;That's something you get better with playing more matches, playing more of those points - I'll continue to improve on that.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Once you start playing matches again things tend to hurt a little bit at the beginning. You build up that robustness by competing, playing matches week after week, day after day.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> At times, the Centre Court battle against the 14th seeds was an all-out assault from the all-star team.<br /> <br /> Not only did Atawo and Martin have two greats staring, sometimes grinning, back at them from across court but also 15,000 supporters roaring on the dream team.<br /> <br /> They held back the tide well, Frenchman Martin like a wall at the net for the duration, but Atawo&rsquo;s serve wobbled in game eight and broke in game 12.<br /> <br /> In the second set the British-American partnership soared, increasingly in sync as Williams fizzed back several huge returns of Martin&rsquo;s serve.<br /> <br /> Williams commented: &ldquo;I mean, do not expect that to ever happen again. I'm convinced that was once in a lifetime. I just never hit returns like that in my life!&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Murray also spoke of the increasing cohesiveness: &ldquo;Serena was the one making me laugh out there. I think it felt a bit more relaxed than the first match because we don't know each other extremely well &ndash; I think we chatted a bit more.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Tougher tests will come, quite promptly with top seeds Bruno Soares and Nicole Melichar in the next round, while Williams continues on in the singles draw.<br /> <br /> With the action on court looking good, the inevitable questions came about Murray&rsquo;s potential return to singles.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I don't know,&rdquo; he added. &ldquo;I want to prepare to try and get ready for singles. If I'm able to train the way that I need to off the court and still maintain my performance in doubles, I would consider that.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But I don't know if I want to go over to the States to play doubles for four or five weeks, I'm not sure yet.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But having felt how I felt these last few weeks I'm positive about the future, so therefore I'm going to train properly to try and give singles a go - but that will take time.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019Tue, 09 Jul 2019 20:06:01 Zurn:uuid:11cd608d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 TennisKonta surges into quarter-finals with compelling displayComeback queen Johanna Konta is into the quarter-finals at Wimbledon and fired up for the challenge of Barbora Strycova in the next round.<br /> <br /> Konta repeated her gutsy come-from-behind performance against ninth seed Sloane Stephens by beating sixth seed Petra Kvitova&nbsp;4-6 6-2 6-4 in round four.<br /> <br /> Big-hitting two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova edged the first set but Konta confidently upped the ante in the next two, and looks in fine form ahead of her Tuesday quarter-final against Strycova.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It will be tough, Barbora is a very crafty player and knows how to mix up the game,&rdquo; Konta said after her compelling win.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I haven't played her in a little while and I think the only time I played her was in Tokyo a few years ago.<br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Taking Centre stage: <a href="https://twitter.com/Petra_Kvitova?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Petra_Kvitova</a> vs <a href="https://twitter.com/JohannaKonta?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JohannaKonta</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon</a> <a href="https://t.co/QWw7FJU0ye">pic.twitter.com/QWw7FJU0ye</a></p> &mdash; Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) <a href="https://twitter.com/Wimbledon/status/1148232770428137472?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 8, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <br /> &ldquo;She knows how to play on this surface and like me, she's won four matches to get here.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m just looking forward to playing another great player and it&rsquo;s really nice to be in the quarter-finals of a Slam again.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The match itself was a thumping Centre Court battle between two players with a heavyweight game.<br /> <br /> Konta, 5&rsquo;11, and Kvitova, 6&rsquo;0&rdquo;, had met four times previously with Czech player Kvitova having the power-game edge at three matches to one.<br /> <br /> But the British number one looks steelier than ever and after reaching the final four at Roland Garros is competing in the second week of successive Slams for the first time, throwing that momentum into the battle with Kvitova.<br /> <br /> The power from both players was there for all to see in the first set and Kvitova edged it, but Konta is a fighter and so she fought, breaking at the start of the second set and then holding in a crucial 12-minute second game.<br /> <br /> Konta&rsquo;s quality only rose in the third set and her second comeback win on the trot fuels confidence for the clash with Strycova, who beat Elise Mertens 4-6 7-5 6-2.<br /> <br /> The British player continued: &ldquo;I actually thought I did quite well in that first set to stay with her and then it went down to a couple points when I lost the set.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I felt I kept my performance going, tried to stay there with her and then I definitely felt like I gained a bit more momentum and I went with that.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I'm really pleased with the level I'm playing, how I'm competing, how I'm really just trying to find a way to win in each match that I play.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Overall I'm enjoying this tournament for what it is and I feel like I'm still building on each match that I'm playing.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019Mon, 08 Jul 2019 19:09:15 Zurn:uuid:bfc4608d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 JudoLivesey wins judo silver in Montreal<p>Great Britain's Amy Livesey claimed silver at the inaugural Montreal Grand Prix to strengthen her bid for Olympic qualification.</p> <p>The world number 21 secured her best result since the Cancun Grand Prix in June 2017 by beating Canadian world number nine Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard to finish second in the -63kg category.</p> <p>South Korea's Mokhee Cho took the gold medal with a golden score victory over Livesey, with Brazil&rsquo;s Alexia Casthilos and Beauchemin-Pinard taking joint bronze.</p> <p>Elsewhere, Ashley McKenzie battled his way to fifth in the -60kg category, beating Australian Joshua Katz and Belgian Jorre Verstraeten before losing in two golden scores to Russian world number one Robert Msvidobadze in the semi-final and South Korea&rsquo;s Harim Lee in the bronze medal match.</p> <p>Eric Ham came seventh in the -73kg category, beating a man 61 places higher than him in the world rankings in German Igor Wandtke to reach the quarter-finals where he was defeated by a single score by Victor Scvortov before losing in the repechage to Eduardo Barbosa in an impressive tournament showing, which&nbsp;saw Ham climb 19 places in the world rankings.</p> <p>Three Brits reached the second round of their respective competitions where Lubjana Piovesana was defeated by eventual gold medallist Mokhee Cho in the -63kg, Frazer Chamberlain lost to Mohab Elnahas in the -90kg and Daniel Williams was beaten by eventual bronze medallist Antoine Bouchard in the -73kg.</p> <p>Kimberley Renicks and Christopher Sherrington were both knocked out in the opening round of their -48kg and +100kg categories respectively.</p> Sportsbeat 2019Mon, 08 Jul 2019 14:41:39 Zurn:uuid:5984608d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Basketball'The future's bright for British basketball,' says BucetaChema Buceta believes that his side's groundbreaking efforts at the 2019 women's EuroBasket could herald the beginning of a new era for British basketball. <p>Great Britain finished fourth after they were beaten 81-55 by hosts Serbia in the third-place play-off in Belgrade.</p> <p>But the almighty silver lining is that no British basketball side, male or female, has ever gone further in Europe&rsquo;s showpiece than Buceta&rsquo;s charges, who had also already secured a place at next February&rsquo;s World Olympic Qualifying Tournament.</p> <p>Hailing his squad as &lsquo;role models&rsquo;, a proud Buceta believes that British players &ndash; both present and future &ndash; shouldn&rsquo;t be scared to shoot for the stars.</p> <p>&ldquo;We have to see the big picture and the big picture is that we are talking about qualifying tournaments &ndash; and that is amazing,&rdquo; said the GB head coach.</p> <p>&ldquo;Of course, we would have liked to have won this game, and also against France [in the semi-finals] but we have to be very happy, really.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think there is no reason why Great Britain cannot have a better level of basketball because the potential is there.</p> <p>&ldquo;And especially, the players have shown in this tournament when they have the confidence, the trust, the empowerment, they can do great things.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think they are role models for the people. I think we have raised the level, the standard, and that it is very interesting.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">GB&rsquo;s <a href="https://twitter.com/EuroBasketWomen?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@EuroBasketWomen</a> campaign comes to an end after seven games in eleven days.<br /> <br /> During that time we&rsquo;ve secured our highest-ever <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EuroBasketWomen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#EuroBasketWomen</a> finish and our place in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.<br /> <br /> An incredible journey and an incredible team ❤️ <a href="https://t.co/dTTwr1MMPV">pic.twitter.com/dTTwr1MMPV</a></p> &mdash; GB Basketball (@gbbasketball) <a href="https://twitter.com/gbbasketball/status/1147928550047211520?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 7, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;Even now, school teams are putting things on Twitter. I was sent a message from a school the other day saying they are really motivated.&rdquo;</p> <p>Temi Fagbenle led the way for GB with 23 points while Johannah Leedham totted up 10 rebounds &ndash; but Serbia proved too strong as they got their hands on the bronze medal in front of a home crowd.</p> <p>They led 25-16 at the end of the first period and but Buceta&rsquo;s side did shave the deficit to seven points by the halfway point.</p> <p>But Serbia turned on the afterburners from there on out, scoring 21 points to GB&rsquo;s three in the third period before eventually carving out a winning margin of 26, with Sonja Petrovic (14) and Nevena Jovanovic (11) leading the scoring.</p>Sun, 07 Jul 2019 18:50:44 Zurn:uuid:f67f608d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 ShootingBird revels in Olympic skeet bronze <p>Jeremy Bird felt the burn but basked in Olympic skeet bronze at the ISSF World Championships in Italy.</p> <p>The Crimdon shooter shot 46 in the final and was just two clays off proceeding into the gold medal match.</p> <p>Bird's podium finish added to Matt Coward-Holley's Trap gold and Britain's team bronze earlier in the tournament.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It feels absolutely amazing," he said.</p> <p>"It&rsquo;s been so long to get anywhere near this moment and now it feels incredible.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;We were feeling the burn of the sun throughout the final but I just had to keep going no matter how hot and sweaty you got, and keep hitting the targets. It was really hard work.&rdquo;</p> <p>Fellow Brit Ben Llewellin finished fifth having qualified for the final in third place.</p> <p>Czech Tomas Nydrle shot a European record score of 60 straight to win gold at the event in Lonato with Italy&rsquo;s Tommaro Cassandro claiming silver after a score of 57.<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019</p>Sun, 07 Jul 2019 17:28:07 Zurn:uuid:8a76608d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 ArcheryWorld Cup gold and silver for GB archery <p>Ella Gibson and James Mason took gold in the compound mixed team competition in Berlin to end their seven-year gold medal drought on the Archery World Cup circuit.</p> <p>Gibson and Mason beat Croatia, top seeds Colombia and Italy in the run-up to facing Slovenia&rsquo;s Toja Ellison and Stas Modic in the gold medal showdown on Saturday,&nbsp;where the Brits held on to win 156-155.</p> <p>It is the 10th&nbsp;gold medal Great Britain has won&nbsp;in the Archery World Cup &ndash; the first medal since 2012 and the first compound victory since 2010.</p> <p>The gold is Mason&rsquo;s first-ever medal&nbsp;in the&nbsp;Archery World Cup and the 29-year-old could not be happier with&nbsp;his team&rsquo;s&nbsp;achievement.</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve had a lot of bad luck in the mixed team in the last few years,&nbsp;so it&rsquo;s great to get&nbsp;it&nbsp;here, especially in the mixed team event. Hopefully,&nbsp;we can continue to win more going forward,&rdquo; said Mason.</p> <p>Gibson, who&nbsp;also&nbsp;took a silver with the British women&rsquo;s compound team&nbsp;event,&nbsp;gave credit to her teammate&nbsp;Mason&nbsp;for only missing the middle once in the 16-arrow final.</p> <p>&ldquo;He helped me through shots and it was just really good,&rdquo; said Gibson.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was very nerve-wracking but I really enjoyed getting on the stage.&rdquo;</p> <p>Gibson, along with Susan Corless and Sarah Moon, defeated New Zealand and Germany to book a title showdown with Turkey, but they were edged 232-221 in the final battle in Berlin.</p> <p>Mason added: &ldquo;Two medals, which is something the compounds haven&rsquo;t achieved in some time, is fantastic.&rdquo;</p> Sportsbeat 2019Sun, 07 Jul 2019 14:09:36 Zurn:uuid:8e71608d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 AthleticsTwell enjoys the night of her life in LondonSteph Twell shocked even herself in producing one of the best runs of her senior career to snatch European 10,000m Cup glory.<br /> <br /> The 29-year-old overhauled European Champion Lonah Chemtai Salpeter with a lap to go claim a popular win in from of a noisy Parliament Hill crowd in London on Saturday night.<br /> <br /> The two-time Olympian broke the line in a time of 31 minutes and 8.13 seconds, the sixth fastest-ever time by a Briton.<br /> <br /> She said: &ldquo;I can&rsquo;t believe how easy I felt and I&rsquo;m delighted. The crowd were amazing. I&rsquo;ve never heard a roar like that and it really lifted me.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I still really can&rsquo;t quite believe it. The atmosphere was electric.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;A few months ago, in my head, I would probably have let her go. On the back straight, I just thought I could still see her heels, &lsquo;I&rsquo;m not letting her go&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t even think about her as European champion. She was just another girl in the race and that was important to me to think she wasn&rsquo;t out of reach.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Twell&rsquo;s victory capped a fantastic Night of 10,000 PBs for Great Britain who also brought home the Euroepan Team Cup competition.<br /> <br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Superb running by <a href="https://twitter.com/StefApril?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@StefApril</a> who wins the <a href="https://twitter.com/NightOf10kPBs?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NightOf10kPBs</a> in 31:08.13 with <a href="https://twitter.com/EilishMccolgan?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@EilishMccolgan</a> 3rd in 31:16.76 <br /> <br /> Both inside the IAAF World Championships standard <a href="https://t.co/KhQWSFpWq0">pic.twitter.com/KhQWSFpWq0</a></p> &mdash; British Athletics (@BritAthletics) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritAthletics/status/1147603569182486528?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 6, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <br /> Eilish McColgan came home third in the women&rsquo;s race, also with a world standard time of 31:16.76.<br /> <br /> While in the men&rsquo;s race Ben Connor won his first European Cup medal, sealing bronze and clocking sub-28 minutes for the first time.<br /> <br /> Although his time of 27:57.60 was outside the Doha qualifying standard for the World Champions later this year, the prospect of gunning for the time is still a possibility for the Derby athlete.<br /> <br /> Connor said afterwards: &ldquo;I&rsquo;m delighted &ndash; British champ, third overall, sub 28, it couldn&rsquo;t have gone much better, to be honest.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I felt really good up to 5000m, went through in 14:05ish. I was wary that I&rsquo;ve blown up before &ndash; it&rsquo;s so easy to mess up a 10,000m track race.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve made mistakes before and didn&rsquo;t want to make them again.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019&nbsp;Sun, 07 Jul 2019 12:30:21 Zurn:uuid:af42608d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 TennisMurray and Williams irresistible in entertaining Wimbledon openerIt was a star-studded Super Saturday at Wimbledon with sporting greats aplenty in the Royal Box - but nothing was ever going to outshine the dream team of Andy Murray and Serena Williams.<br /> <br /> With two-time singles champion Murray opting to play doubles this year whispers had circulated for weeks on a possible link up with megastar Williams and now we know, it&rsquo;s a winning combination.<br /> <br /> The world had to wait another day with Murray and Williams&rsquo; opener postponed but finally it came, last on Centre Court as Sir Mo Farah, Sir Chris Hoy and 15,000 others tried to contain their excitement.<br /> <br /> What they witnessed was pure box office entertainment as two great champions laughed, smiled and displayed their long-held class in a 6-4 6-1 win over Andreas Mies and Alexa Guarachi.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was fun towards the end of the match,&rdquo; Murray said. &ldquo;When you're in control on the scoreboard it's easier to relax and enjoy it, whereas the first set, we were obviously taking it seriously to win.<br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Well that was fun... <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SerAndy?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SerAndy</a> <a href="https://t.co/OOJvo6WUms">pic.twitter.com/OOJvo6WUms</a></p> &mdash; Andy Murray (@andy_murray) <a href="https://twitter.com/andy_murray/status/1147595496074207233?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 6, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <br /> &ldquo;We had a bunch of chances but didn't get them and thankfully got the 5-4 game.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;For me it was a great experience being back on Centre Court with Serena after the last year or so being tough.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> So the special relationship is under way, the GB great with two Olympic golds and Williams four, the American superstar also bringing seven Wimbledon singles titles to a very experienced table.<br /> <br /> That they won comfortably is a sign of class, especially coming after both had been on court earlier in the day &ndash; Murray and Pierre-Hugues Herbert exiting the men&rsquo;s doubles but Williams overcoming Julia Goerges.<br /> <br /> It was a party atmosphere on Centre Court and Murray and Williams fuelled it, beaming smiles for much of the contest as they took the new partnership for a spin.<br /> <br /> There were stumbling blocks, Williams sprawled on the turf clutching the net at one stage but remaining full of laughs.<br /> <br /> The two greats exuded champion presence throughout and as they started to complement each other as the match wore on, they had too much for their opponents.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;At some point I started feeling a lot of pressure,&rdquo; said Williams. &ldquo;I thought I had to do well because this match is so hyped that even I wanted to see it!<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I didn't even want to be in it, I kind of just wanted to watch it!&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The blockbuster pairing will meet 14th seeds Fabrice Martin and Raquel Atawo in the second round, while Murray paid tribute to Williams post-match.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The thing that's impressive is after the amount of success that someone like Serena has had for such a long period, to still be out there at eight o&rsquo;clock at night having already won a singles, and just wanting to win and being competitive,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I don't think people always appreciate how difficult that is to do.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think because of what Serena and Roger Federer have done for such a long period it's kind of taken for granted a little bit &ndash; but it's impressive!&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Elsewhere at the All England Club, Great Britain&rsquo;s Dan Evans fell to an agonising five-set defeat to Portugal&rsquo;s Joao Sousa and Heather Watson lost out alongside Henri Kontinen in the mixed doubles.<br /> <br /> Evans, seeking to make it past the third round for the first time, battled with Sousa for almost four hours but went down 4-6 6-4 7-5 4-6 6-4 in the last match of the weekend.<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019Sat, 06 Jul 2019 21:02:30 Zurn:uuid:bd3e608d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 TriathlonStanford sprints clear to Hamburg victory<p>Non Stanford&nbsp;surprised even herself after securing her&nbsp;first World Triathlon Series title for more than three years&nbsp;with victory in&nbsp;Hamburg.</p> <p>The 30-year-old raced away from the pack in treacherous conditions on the 5km run to finish in a time of 59 minutes and 24 seconds ahead of France&rsquo;s Cassandre Beaugrand and America&rsquo;s Summer Rappaport.</p> <p>In the men&rsquo;s race, Olympic silver medallist Jonny Brownlee pulled out with a mechanical problem after suffering a big crash on the bike in extremely wet conditions.</p> <p>&ldquo;I really didn&rsquo;t expect to do that,&rdquo; said Stanford, now fifth in the overall standings.</p> <p>&ldquo;Everything has been going well and training has been really consistent, but I&rsquo;ve been off the podium quite a bit in recent years and I was trying to edge my way back.</p> <p>&ldquo;To come away with a win today is fantastic and credit to all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes, and not just from myself.</p> <p>&ldquo;The conditions were&nbsp;really nasty. My saddle went down at one point, so I felt as if I was riding a clown bike and my wheels kept sliding everywhere. We were trying to be cautious and I think most of the girls were being sensible, but my aim was just to get off the bike in one piece.&rdquo;</p> <p>Georgia Taylor-Brown remains third in the overall standings after she finished fifth while fellow Brits Vicky Holland and Sophie Coldwell finished eighth and 13th respectively.</p> <p>Tom Bishop and Alex Yee were also involved in crashes&nbsp;in the men&rsquo;s race&nbsp;and eventually finished in 38th and 43rd place respectively.<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019</p>Sat, 06 Jul 2019 19:43:13 Zurn:uuid:bb3d608d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 BasketballGB toppled in historic semi-final but eye bronze medal matchGreat Britain head coach Chema Buceta believes it was less about the result, more about the occasion as his side lost 63-56 to France in their maiden Women's EuroBasket semi-final.<br /> <br /> Despite a strong start that yielded an 11-point lead&nbsp;early on against&nbsp;the favourites, they were slowly reeled in.<br /> <br /> But never out of the picture, the deficit was as little as three points late in the fourth quarter as GB battled valiantly to the end.<br /> <br /> And Buchta was left to reflect&nbsp;on&nbsp;the performance&nbsp;beyond the outcome&nbsp;as he prepares his side for a tilt at what would be a historic bronze medal on Sunday.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We played the semi-final, and this is the big news,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We came here to this tournament to do something and we are doing something. It was difficult to play against them as they are a tall team.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was difficult for us to attack, but France is France and GB is GB. Congratulations to France and we will be ready for the bronze medal game."<br /> <br /> GB started the contest with hot hands, having beaten Hungary 62-59 in the quarter-finals to seal a place at next February&rsquo;s World Olympic Qualifying Tournament.<br /> <br /> Chantelle Handy&rsquo;s smooth three put them 13-2&nbsp;ahead of&nbsp;the London 2012 silver medallists and they led 16-12 at the end of the first quarter.<br /> <br /> France showed their quality to fight back to within touching distance, going score-for-score with GB as&nbsp;the sides went in level at 34-34 come half-time.<br /> <br /> The two-time champions turned the screw after the break, leading by as many as eight early in the fourth quarter, but GB refused to lie down, Jo Leedham dragging them back to within three.<br /> <br /> Time was against them, however, as an experienced French outfit showed composure to see the game out and seal their fourth final on the spin.<br /> <br /> Katie Samuelson, who had six assists and four rebounds in the game, added: "I am proud of our first-half and the whole game.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;They got a lot of offensive boards in the second-half and that takes its toll when you have to play defence, but I really love playing for this team."<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019Sat, 06 Jul 2019 19:33:32 Zurn:uuid:dd35608d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 TennisKonta stages amazing comeback to power into fourth roundJohanna Konta is looking forward to a fourth-round match with Petra Kvitova after battling back against ninth seed Sloane Stephens in a captivating&nbsp;Wimbledon comeback. <p><br /> Konta, who reached the All England Club semi-finals two years ago, delivered one of her best performances of recent years as she fought back from a set down to progress &ndash; 3-6 6-4 6-1.<br /> <br /> American Stephens edged the first set and had the British number one under pressure, but Konta rallied to break serve in the tenth game of the second and now takes on two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova for a place in the quarter-finals on Monday.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I haven't played Petra Kvitova in a little while and I think I've only beaten her once,&rdquo; said Konta.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Her favourite surface and her best surface is grass so I'm going to be coming up against a very, very inspired and very tough Petra.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;She's also been playing incredibly well in the last couple years and made the finals of Australia this year &ndash; I'm looking forward to playing a great champion.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Konta is back among the seeds at Wimbledon this year after a brilliant clay court season that saw her reach the Italian Open final and the last four at Roland Garros, beating Stephens along the way at the French Open.<br /> <br /> The 28-year-old displayed improved defence both in round one against Ana Bogdan and round two against Katerina Siniakova, but Stephens provided a steeper challenge and surged into a one-set lead.<br /> <br /> Konta, who also beat the American at the Rome Masters earlier this year, regrouped in the second set and got stronger as the match went on, winning five games in a row at one stage to seal the win.<br /> <br /> The British number one continued: &ldquo;It was a really tough match, Sloane is not a Grand Slam champion for no reason so I'm just really pleased to have competed and to have found a way to get myself into the match.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The more opportunities I get to be in the latter stages of Grand Slams, the more experience I gain and that can only bring good things.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I'm really pleased that I've been able to make it to the second week in two successive Grand Slams, I've never been able to do that before.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Harriet Dart was unable to join Konta in progressing as her fairy tale week ended with defeat to world number one Ashleigh Barty.<br /> <br /> Dart has enjoyed an excellent run at Wimbledon, grabbing the biggest win of her career in the first round and then surpassing it with victory over Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia in the second.<br /> <br /> But Barty proved a bridge too far on Centre Court and prevailed 6-1 6-1 in a dominant win.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I'm super happy with my performances this week and I think this defeat is such a good learning curve for me,&rdquo; said British number four Dart.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Not many people can say they&rsquo;ve played the third round of Wimbledon against the world number one on Centre Court and it was pretty special to be out there.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019</p>Sat, 06 Jul 2019 19:09:03 Zurn:uuid:1339608d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 FootballNeville backs England to showcase champion spirit after World Cup exitPhil Neville knows England will come back firing at the next scent of glory despite ending their World Cup campaign on a losing note.&nbsp; <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Defeat to Sweden in the third-place play-off saw England miss out on matching the bronze medal from four years ago in France, losing back-to-back World Cup matches for the first time.</p> <p>But in a tournament that has gripped the country, made countless memories and inspired a generation, those involved won&rsquo;t be forgetting the past month in a hurry.</p> <p>And with women&rsquo;s football coming back to Team GB at Tokyo 2020 thanks to finishing as one of the three best European sides, the future is most certainly bright for Neville and his talented team.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">We'll take this in. We'll process it and we'll learn from it. We've got an amazing few years ahead of us. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BeReady?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BeReady</a> // <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Lionesses?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Lionesses</a> <a href="https://t.co/MvuWYUyoxu">pic.twitter.com/MvuWYUyoxu</a></p> &mdash; Lionesses (@Lionesses) <a href="https://twitter.com/Lionesses/status/1147554969475801088?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 6, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>"The players came here and delivered everything I wanted &ndash; the style of play,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We have to come back in four years&rsquo; time and be better - that's sport.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;There are many champions that have had to suffer before coming back. We go home, we dissect and we breathe and then we get back on that horse again.</p> <p>"I think maybe there was carry on from the semi-final with the emotion. The two Sweden goals sparked us into life and I don't think I have seen us play better than we did after those first 20 minutes.</p> <p>&ldquo;We gave it our best shot, we fell short and we just have to make sure next time we are better.&rdquo;</p> <p>Defeat to USA on Tuesday ended the Lionesses&rsquo; chance of winning the World Cup but there was still the matter of bronze to play for against an equally-deflated Sweden side in Nice.</p> <p>It was they who started on the front foot, Kosovare Asllani slotting home early on before Sofia Jakobsson made it 2-0 midway through the first half.</p> <p>To their credit England responded, a superb Fran Kirby finish bringing them back into the game with 15 minutes of the half remaining.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Not to be for the <a href="https://twitter.com/Lionesses?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Lionesses</a> as defeat to Sweden condemns them to fourth place ⚽<br /> <br /> But with a country transfixed, memories made and a place for Team GB at Tokyo 2020 secured, what an inspirational <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FIFAWWC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FIFAWWC</a> they've enjoyed in France <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Lionesses?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Lionesses</a> <a href="https://t.co/Lle6tcO462">pic.twitter.com/Lle6tcO462</a></p> &mdash; Team GB (@TeamGB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB/status/1147550085800169472?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 6, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>And it looked set to be 2-2 when top scorer Ellen White turned and finished, only for the goal to be retrospectively ruled out due to a handball.</p> <p>Belief was still evident as England entered the second half, with White among those thwarted by stoic defending from a Sweden side bidding for their third World Cup bronze.</p> <p>The retiring Karen Carney, part of the Team GB squad to feature at her home London 2012 Olympic Games, came on for her final international appearance in a bid to force extra time.</p> <p>But one more heroic act proved a step too far as the curtain fell on England&rsquo;s memorable World Cup.&nbsp;</p> <p>Sportsbeat 2019</p>Sat, 06 Jul 2019 18:13:15 Zurn:uuid:53ff5f8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Watson and Murray come through early Wimbledon roundsFormer Wimbledon champions Heather Watson and Jamie Murray both came through their respective first round mixed doubles matches on the lush green London courts.&nbsp; <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Watson, who claimed the mixed doubles crown back in 2016, was paired with fellow champion Henri Kontinen, as they saw off Marcelo Demoliner and Abigail Spears 6-3, 6-2.</p> <p>Meanwhile the elder&nbsp;Murray sibling made up for an earlier men&rsquo;s doubles exit with Neal Skupski by teaming up with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the mixed doubles to beat British pair Joe Salisbury and Katy Dunne 7-5 7-6 (10-8).&nbsp;</p> <p>Watson, who competed at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016, was full of pride when she saw her name etched into the famous All England Club walls and sang the praises of her Finnish partner ahead of their second round match.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It is really nice to be able to say that I am Wimbledon champion and it didn&rsquo;t really hit home until I saw my name up on that wall because that is not going anywhere," said the 27-year-old.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I feel super confident playing at the moment because there is no one I would rather play mixed doubles with than Henri. &nbsp;</p> <p>"He&nbsp;is such good player that I just feel like once we get into points, we are very imposing.&rdquo;</p> <p>Fans had been pouring through the Wimbledon gates in hot anticipation of seeing two-time singles champion Andy Murray paired with 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams but the game was called off late on in the day.&nbsp;</p> <p>And Watson praised Murray, who defended the Olympic gold medal he won at London 2012 in Brazil three years ago.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;They are both such brilliant individual players so when you bring them both together it is going to be such a fun and interesting match to watch," she added.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Obviously Serena is still in the singles and it is just great to have Andy back out on the court and healthy.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;If we had to play those two it would be a fun one to watch but we are just thinking about our next match at the moment.&rdquo;</p> <p>Elsewhere&nbsp;Salisbury and Rajeev Ram beat Vasek Pospisil and Matthew Ebden in the men&rsquo;s doubles 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) while Luke Bambridge and Asia Muhammad rallied to Americans Ram and Alison Riske 6-4, 6-3.&nbsp;</p> <p>And in the first game of the day Evan Hoyt and partner Eden Silva beat Leander Paes and Samantha Stosur 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 to secure a spot in the second round.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019</p> <br />Fri, 05 Jul 2019 21:12:19 Zurn:uuid:eafd5f8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 AthleticsAsher-Smith and Williams shine in LausanneDina Asher-Smith claimed silver at the Lausanne Diamond League as a host of British athletes&nbsp;registered season's bests among a star-studded field in Switzerland. <p>The triple European champion delivered a season&rsquo;s best time of 10.91&nbsp;seconds, despite a slow start, to come second behind a blistering performance from&nbsp;Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.</p> <p>The Jamaican won comfortably in 10.74s&nbsp;&ndash; just a thousandth of a second off the world lead time and two thousandths behind the meeting record time.</p> <p>Asher-Smith&rsquo;s silver adds to her second place at the Rome Diamond League last month which followed consecutive 200m triumphs&nbsp;&ndash; but the European champion knows there is still more in the tank as she prepares for her home meet.</p> <p>&ldquo;My coach will be frustrated about my start. I was annoyed when I crossed the finish line,&rdquo; Asher-Smith said.</p> <p>&ldquo;I'm obviously not in the best shape I can be. At the Diamond League in London I want to run as fast as I can and win. I have a season's best though so I can't complain.&rdquo;</p> <p>Jodie Williams also finished second as she was pipped to the victory in the women&rsquo;s 200m by&nbsp;America&rsquo;s&nbsp;Gabrielle Thomas.</p> <p>Williams had led on the bend but Thomas fought back strongly down the straight to win in 22.69s&nbsp;with Williams finishing closely behind in a season&rsquo;s best 22.75s.</p> <p>Elsewhere, Laviai Nielsen finished a strong fourth in the women&rsquo;s 400m with a season&rsquo;s best time of 51.31s.</p> <p>Andrew Pozzi also ended up one place off the podium but registered a season&rsquo;s best 13.28s&nbsp;as he came fourth in the men&rsquo;s 100m hurdles, pipped by three thousandths of a second to third by Jamaica&rsquo;s Ronald Levy.</p> <p>The trend of season&rsquo;s bests continued with Guy Learmonth as he finished&nbsp;tenth&nbsp;in the men&rsquo;s 800m with a time of 1:45.86 while Commonwealth and European bronze medallist Jake Wightman similarly earned his best time of 2019 as he came ninth in the men&rsquo;s 1500m in 3:34.40.</p> Sportsbeat 2019Fri, 05 Jul 2019 20:30:01 Zurn:uuid:3bf35f8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Tokyo 2020Summer SportsGB women’s basketball eager to cause semi-final upset<p>Great Britain women's basketball team is making history at EuroBasket and Jo Leedham-Warner just doesn't want the fun to ever end. </p> <p>Great Britain made history by becoming the first home nation to reach the Women&rsquo;s EuroBasket semi-finals with a 62-59 success over Hungary, </p> <p>The team, who have claimed a spot at a World Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Tokyo 2020 in February next year as a result, are riding high in the world of basketball and forward Leedham-Warner, one of the key driving forces behind GB&rsquo;s success, is loving every minute. </p> <p>&ldquo;Just, wow. I&rsquo;m just so proud of this team,&rdquo; said Leedham-Warner.</p> <p>&ldquo;We came here expecting to do something, but I don&rsquo;t know if I can honestly say I expected us to be in the semi-finals. </p> <p>&ldquo;From the start we were trying to get to the quarter-finals, but this team is just so special. </p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re just enjoying the ride, man. We&rsquo;re trying to get a medal now &ndash; we&rsquo;ve actually got a chance.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">THIS. TEAM. RIGHT. HERE <a href="https://t.co/DXDid8nEAM">pic.twitter.com/DXDid8nEAM</a></p> &mdash; GB Basketball (@gbbasketball) <a href="https://twitter.com/gbbasketball/status/1146756458727579648?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">4 July 2019</a><br /> </blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> GB, who have also beaten Latvia, Ukraine and Montenegro at the tournament, are ranked 25<sup>th</sup> in the world at the tournament. <br /> <br /> Saturday&rsquo;s opponents France are ranked fourth, but head coach Chema Buceta is confident the history-breaking momentum will carry his team to victory.<br /> <p>&ldquo;We came here to do something,&rdquo; said Buceta. </p> <p>&ldquo;This is why we came. Now we have something big.&rdquo; </p> <p>The winners of Saturday&rsquo;s game will play either Serbia or Spain in Sunday&rsquo;s final. </p> Sportsbeat 2019Fri, 05 Jul 2019 15:15:38 Zurn:uuid:8ac65f8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 TennisMurray makes perfect start back to life at WimbledonAndy Murray took another step towards facing his brother as he toasted a remarkable comeback with a first Wimbledon win since 2017.<br /> <br /> The 32-year-old, who won two singles titles at the All England Club and Olympic gold at London 2012, and partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert emerged 4-6 6-1 6-4 6-0 winners over Marius Copil and Ugo Humbert, with the prospect of facing Jamie the third round now looming large.<br /> <br /> But the former world number one was keen to take a minute to revel in the delight of his return before thinking about any sibling rivalry.<br /> <br /> "It was obviously brilliant to be back, it was a really nice atmosphere," he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Every time I'm on the court now, it's great. I'm just playing tennis again, pain-free, healthy.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It's nice, It's what I have enjoyed doing since I was a kid. At times over the last few years, I was not getting any enjoyment out of it.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The fun is back and hopefully my hip will feel good for a while.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> A hesitant start left Murray and Herbert trailing early, playing catch-up as they lost the first set 6-4.<br /> <br /> But the pair hit their stride in the second, wrapping up a couple of breaks and clicking on serve to level 6-1.<br /> <br /> And it was a theme that carried over into the third as Murray and Herbert grabbed the initiative, taking a 2-1 lead with a 6-4 set.<br /> <br /> Light fading, the new roof on No.1 Court swing into action and Murray - used to playing under the lights - only got better when play resumed, his tennis blistering as the pair wrapped things up with an emphatic flawless fourth set.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think once you get on the court, I'm still very competitive,&rdquo; he continued.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;When I go on the match court to compete, I want to win. I prepare properly. I try and do my best.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It just feels different than what it did before. I don't know if that will change over time or if it will stay the same, but I don't have huge expectations.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I just want to go out, enjoy the match, give the best effort of what I've got. If I do that, then that's fine.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Winning is nice, but it's not the most important thing, which maybe it used to be. Now it's not, which so far feels nice and just a little bit different, a little bit more relaxing, a little bit more sort of stress-free.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I still get the nerves, and still want to go out there and do well, obviously.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Elsewhere, Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski&rsquo;s first round match was postponed due to bad light, with the pair 2-1 up, while Dan Evans and Lloyd Glasspool fell in their opening doubles match.<br /> <br /> Heather Watson and her partner Mandy Minella, and Wimbledon debutants Evan Hoyt and Luke Johnson were also defeated as doubles competitions got under way.<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019Thu, 04 Jul 2019 21:17:19 Zurn:uuid:e0bd5f8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 TennisKonta eases into third round at WimbledonJohanna Konta believes that form is out of the window despite her impressive record against upcoming competitor Sloane Stephens after she set up a third round clash against the American at Wimbledon.&nbsp; <p>Konta, who came through her second round match against Katerina Siniakova 6-3 6-4 in expedient style, has faced up against Stephens on three occasions and emerged victorious each time, most recently in the quarter-finals of last month&rsquo;s French Open.&nbsp;</p> <p>But the British number one stressed the importance of coming into the last-32 contest fresh, rather than fretting over previous records.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I think records don't necessarily mean a lot when you step out onto the court at the beginning of the match,&rdquo; she said.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I think Sloane is one of the best players in the world. She's a Grand Slam champion, another Grand Slam finalist.</p> <p>&ldquo;She's an incredibly good player. I think for me to have won our three encounters so far, there's very little in that, because every time we step out onto the court, it's 50/50.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think more than anything, I'm looking forward to playing her again. I like playing really great players. I like playing, yeah, just big matches like that. Just looking forward to sharing the court with her again.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It is a nice change playing her on the grass this time. We're kind of going through all the surfaces, which is fun.&rdquo;</p> <p>Looking to become the first British woman to lift the Wimbledon title since Virginia Wade in 1977, Konta cruised through her second round match, barely breaking a sweat as she wrapped things up in just 71 minutes.</p> <p>Konta wasted no time in taking the first set, breaking in the fourth game of the match and proceeding to hold out to go ahead in business-like fashion.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Czech player grew into the contest early in the second, asking questions of Konta, but the Brit&rsquo;s serve was rock-solid.&nbsp;</p> <p>Instead, it was Konta who notched the crucial break, taking several attempts but eventually converting to go 4-3 up.&nbsp;</p> <p>And from there, it was routine for the former semi-finalist as she held out for the match, taking her time to let the adulation from the crowd sink in after all was said and done so quickly.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I definitely felt like I served well,&rdquo; she added.</p> <p>&ldquo;I felt like I actually served quite well in my first match, as well. I think on a surface like grass, that definitely can always help.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think overall I was just pleased with, again, how I handled my opponent today. She's very tricky to play. She's a very good player, tough player to play.</p> <p>&ldquo;I was just pleased I was able to ask her enough questions and keep things moving for her not to be able to get a real grip on the match. Just was pleased I was able to come through.&rdquo;</p> <p>Dan Evans was left to celebrate a similar achievement to that of Konta&rsquo;s as he reached the third round for the second time in his career with an emphatic three-set win over Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili.&nbsp;</p> <p>In good form on grass this year, having already won titles in Nottingham and Eastbourne, Evans ran out 6-3 6-2 7-6 (7-2) victor over the 18th seed.&nbsp;</p> <p>And, yet to drop a set at this year&rsquo;s Championship, the 29-year-old is delighted to have rediscovered the faith.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I believe I can do better now than before,&rdquo; he said.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I was just playing tennis, I probably didn't know the magnitude of winning matches in Grand Slams.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It's a big deal to be winning matches in the best tournaments in the world, especially here at Wimbledon, at your home slam, with so much tradition at the tournament.</p> <p>&ldquo;I want to go as far as I can here. For me it's the best Grand Slam, so I can't wait to play again.&rdquo;</p> <p>Harriet Dart claimed the biggest win of her young career just days after her previous best as she toppled Beatriz Haddad Maia to set up a meeting with No.1 seed Ashleigh Barty.&nbsp;</p> <p>And the 22-year-old believes that the pressure lies solely on the shoulders of the French Open champion ahead of the match-up.</p> <p>&ldquo;I have nothing to lose,&rdquo; she said.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s super exciting, a great opportunity for me. I actually met her a few weeks ago at an LTA schools visit. Lovely girl, great champion.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It's an exciting match for me. Just another great opportunity to get out there and do the best that I can.&rdquo;</p> <p>Elsewhere, Jay Clarke and Cam Norrie saw their singles journeys ended by Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori respectively, while Evan Hoyt and Luke Johnson lost out in the men&rsquo;s doubles.&nbsp;</p> <p>Sportsbeat 2019</p>Thu, 04 Jul 2019 18:11:35 Zurn:uuid:4fb25f8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 BasketballGB make women's basketball history as they move one step closer to TokyoVeteran guard Stef Collins hailed the transformation of Great Britain's women's basketball team after they made history by becoming the first home nation to reach the Women's EuroBasket semi-finals with a 62-59 success over Hungary. <br /> <br /> That eye-catching&nbsp;result in Belgrade carried even more significance as it confirmed&nbsp;GB&rsquo;s&nbsp;place at&nbsp;a World&nbsp;Olympic&nbsp;Qualifying&nbsp;Tournament for Tokyo 2020 in February next year. <p><br /> Temi Fagbenle starred once again with 29 points in a tense game, with the Brits&nbsp;just about managing&nbsp;to hold on to after they saw a seven-point lead evaporate in the closing minutes.<br /> </p> <p>They will now meet France or Belgium in Saturday&rsquo;s&nbsp;semi-finals.</p> <p>Collins said: &ldquo;It's crazy the journey we have been on since the start of the modern era of GB back in 2006;&nbsp;the Olympics and all the Final Rounds we have been to.</p> <p>&ldquo;The fact that two years ago, we exited in the first round and now,&nbsp;to be in a position to play for a medal and be in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament next year,&nbsp;speaks leaps and bounds about this group of players.&rdquo;</p> <p>Jose Maria Buceta&rsquo;s side beat Montenegro 92-71 to qualify for the quarter-finals&nbsp;earlier this week&nbsp;after finishing second in Group A behind Spain with five points.<br /> <br /> Buceta said: "This is fantastic but is an outcome of a great group of players. Teamwork and not looking at all the other things happening around us. Just focus and trust. We have to be very proud."<br /> <br /> Johannah Leedham-Warner also played a leading role in the victory with 12 rebounds and eight assists.</p> <p>She added: &ldquo;I don't know if I can say that I expected this team to make the semi-finals but this team is just so special.</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re just enjoying the ride, man. We&rsquo;re trying to get a medal now&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;we&rsquo;ve actually got a chance.<br /> <br /> "Chema is such a motivator. He is such a positive person that he just makes everyone feel good. It is so easy to play for him all the time and it is hard to find a coach that is like that. He has lifted the programme back up and is a breath of fresh air.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> "This is all a bit surreal but everybody has bought into the concept of what we are about. We are enjoying the moment. We know we don't play beautiful basketball. We do whatever it takes to get the win, although sometimes, we do make beautiful plays."<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019</p>Thu, 04 Jul 2019 13:49:12 Zurn:uuid:7a895f8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 I Am Team GBThe nation's biggest sports day 'I Am Team GB' returnsI Am Team GB, The Nation's Biggest Sports Day and supported by Toyota, returns this August and will once again provide thousands of people across the country with opportunities to get active this summer as the countdown continues to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.<br /> <br /> With the support of Toyota and four-time Olympic champion Laura Kenny, I Am Team GB will look to develop from its success three years ago which saw almost one million people taking part in the event which celebrated the success of Team GB Olympians returning from Rio 2016.<br /> <br /> I Am Team GB will culminate with a day of sport and physical activity, known as The Nation&rsquo;s Biggest Sports Day, on Saturday 24th August 2019 during the Bank Holiday weekend. It will provide a variety of opportunities for people with a range of experiences and abilities to get involved and to try new activities.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> To discover and sign up to events, members of the public can visit <a href="https://www.iamteamgb.com/">IAmTeamGB.com</a>&nbsp;where they can also get involved as Games Makers and create and host their own activities for their communities.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Hundreds of activities have already been set up by the volunteer Games Makers, including &lsquo;have a go&rsquo; opportunities with a variety of sports, walks in the local area, family tag rugby games plus many more. Team GB Olympic athletes are also set to make appearances at events up and down the United Kingdom.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> For those who would rather put on an activity than take part in one already organised, there are terrific opportunities in the form of I Am Team GB Games Makers. Building on the unprecedented success of the volunteers at London in 2012, the Games Makers will receive full support and help with organising activities as part of the programme.<br /> <br /> I Am Team GB aims is to inspire people to take part in sport and physical activity for at least one day. The event will connect people with community-led opportunities to be active on an ongoing basis and continue to celebrate people making a difference in their communities.<br /> <br /> Toyota ambassador and Olympic legend, Laura Kenny, said: &ldquo;We have seen just what an impact the Olympics has in terms of generating interest, enthusiasm and participation in sport.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s vital that sport takes advantage of this excitement and interest, and with just over a year to go until the Tokyo Games, this is the perfect time to be launching I Am Team GB and I am looking forward to seeing the fantastic range of events that people throughout the country get involved in.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> You can learn more about the campaign and get involved at <a href="https://www.iamteamgb.com/">www.IAmTeamGB.com</a>.<br /> <div>&nbsp;</div>Thu, 04 Jul 2019 06:16:00 Zurn:uuid:d3815f8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 ShootingCoward-Holley on top of the world after Olympic Trap goldMatt Coward-Holley admitted he had to dig deep after the British shooter showed nerves of steel to win Olympic Trap gold with a stunning performance at the ISSF Lonato World Championships.<br /> <br /> The 24-year-old from Chelmsford had already secured a Tokyo 2020 quota place for Team GB earlier this year after clinching a silver medal at the ISSF Changwon World Cup.<br /> <br /> But he went one better in Italy, overcoming a shaky start to be crowned world champion ahead of home favourite Mauro De Filippis and Kuwait&rsquo;s Khaled Al-Mudhaf.<br /> <br /> And Coward-Holley, who also won team bronze with teammates Nathan Hales and Aaron Heading, could not hide his delight at finishing on top of the podium.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m absolutely over the moon,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t have the greatest of starts, I missed four out of my first seven and then dug in and came out with the gold with a score of 45.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In these conditions I&rsquo;m delighted. I wanted to make sure I&rsquo;d hit all my targets at the end regardless of whether I&rsquo;d already won it or not.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve shot very consistently throughout the whole time I&rsquo;ve been here. The conditions in the final were not easy, but it was about digging in and making the best out of it that you could.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I want to thank UK Sport and the National Lottery funding for giving me the help and support I need to shoot and travel the amount I do.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The staff and coaches at British Shooting are amazing, and I&rsquo;d also like to thank my personal coach Diego for his hard work over the years.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Coward-Holley was full of confidence after qualifying for the final in fourth following an eight-bird shoot-off, but he missed three of his first eight clays as he made a slow start.<br /> <br /> But he quickly regrouped and finished with a score of 45, with Italian rival De Filippis finishing six clays behind Coward-Holley with 39 to take the silver medal.<br /> <br /> Al-Mudhaf completed the podium as he claimed bronze with a score of 33 to finish ahead of GB&rsquo;s Hales, who just missed out on an individual medal with a score of 29.<br /> <br /> Hales did not walk away from Lonato empty handed, though, with his performance in the GB Men&rsquo;s Trap trio along with Coward-Holley and Heading securing a team bronze.<br /> <div>&nbsp;</div>Wed, 03 Jul 2019 19:21:59 Zurn:uuid:d67f5f8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 TennisEdmund out of Wimbledon after second round defeatKyle Edmund is out of Wimbledon after suffering injury issues in a grinder of a five-setter against southpaw Fernando Verdasco.<br /> <br /> The Rio Olympian and British No.1 gave it his all on a packed-out Centre Court, playing excellent tennis to take the first two sets only to see the experienced Verdasco fight his way back, 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 6-4.<br /> <br /> The Centre Court battle was one that captivated the crowd, the up and coming young home favourite against 35-year-old Verdasco, with a spill&nbsp;in the third set tie-break seeing momentum shift.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I just slipped over,&rdquo; said Edmund. "When you slip, it's just a bit of a shock. You obviously don't plan to slip so when stuff like that happens you&rsquo;ve just got to regroup and keep going.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;When I slipped I think my leg just straightened and in that moment I felt something but I was able to play on from that.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was a long match and quite a physical one, the sort of physical intensity that I showed in the first part of the match gradually just declined, I wasn&rsquo;t able to keep that level up.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I should have probably finished the match, having obviously a two sets to love lead and a break. After I lost the break, lost the third set, I physically just tapered off a bit.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Verdasco, now ranked 37 in the world after being a career high of seven&nbsp;ten years ago, produced a wonderful performance to come back from two sets down against a man 11 years his junior.<br /> <br /> In a quirk of the record books, six years ago to the day the then British No.1 &ndash; Andy Murray &ndash; took on Verdasco on Centre Court and went to five sets, that time with the home player prevailing.<br /> <br /> Edmund, who reached a first Tour-level grass-court semi-final at Eastbourne last week, looked to be in control until the slip and having received treatment to his right leg.<br /> <br /> In the third set the 24-year-old earned an early break but was eventually taken to a tie-break and after the slip never recovered against his experienced opponent.<br /> <br /> Edmund continued: &ldquo;I tried my best. I don't know how long the match was, but I did my best and I'm disappointed I didn't get through.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I can look back and definitely look at some opportunities that I missed in the match, especially with the position I was in.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;When you look at seeds that have lost, that shows, a number on a piece of paper just does not mean anything. Everyone is a good player in this draw. You have to play every match 100 percent.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Edmund&rsquo;s fellow Olympian Heather Watson also failed to advance after going down to Estonian 20th seed Anett Kontaveit 7-5 6-1.<br /> <br /> However, there is plenty more for the home crowd to get behind on Thursday, with five British players seeking to reach the third round.<br /> <br /> British No.1 Johanna Konta faces Katerina Siniakova and Harriet Dart joins her in the women&rsquo;s singles, while Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans and Jay Clarke are in the men&rsquo;s draw.<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019Wed, 03 Jul 2019 18:50:27 Zurn:uuid:51275f8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 FootballEngland bow out of World Cup with Olympic qualification confirmed Phil Neville praised his battling Lionesses after their 2-1 Women's World Cup semi-final defeat to the USA in Lyon.<br /> <br /> England, who had already sealed Team GB&rsquo;s qualification for next summer&rsquo;s Tokyo Olympics after their quarter-final victory over Norway, had the chance to force extra time but skipper Steph Houghton saw a late penalty saved.<br /> <br /> The USA went into half-time with a lead that they would not surrender, Ellen White levelling after Christen Press&rsquo;s opener only for Alex Morgan to strike back for the States.<br /> <br /> And White thought that she had equalised once again after the break, only for her strike to be ruled out for a marginal offside on video review.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;My players gave me everything,&rdquo; said Neville.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We said before the game that we wanted to leave our hearts and souls on the pitch.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We&rsquo;ve gone toe-to-toe with the best team in the world, they showed great experience at the end with taking the ball into the corner.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We&rsquo;ve come to this tournament, done our very best, not left anything in that dressing room and I&rsquo;ve told them that there should be no tears tonight, we should be proud.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;They&rsquo;ve left their hearts on that football field, so I&rsquo;m happy.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I can&rsquo;t ask for anything more &ndash; we&rsquo;ve had the time of our lives &ndash; and they really played their hearts out.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The Lionesses were on the back foot early on; when Kelly O&rsquo;Hara&rsquo;s teasing cross to the back post was met perfectly by Press, Carly Telford was left grasping at thin&nbsp;air in the England goal. <br /> <br /> But, far from being rattled by the set-back, England came forward, playing the only way they know how.<br /> <br /> They were rewarded for their optimism on the 20-minute mark, the clinical White guiding home from Beth Mead&rsquo;s low cross, becoming the first English player to score in five consecutive World Cup games.<br /> <br /> But from one clinical forward to another, the USA&rsquo;s chief threat Morgan had her say, nodding past the advancing Telford from Lindsey Horan&rsquo;s cute ball into the heart of the box.<br /> <br /> White thought she had equalised for a second time when she calmly slotted past Alyssa Naeher, only for the goal to be disallowed after a VAR check deemed her offside by finest of margins. <br /> <br /> But the video assistant came to England&rsquo;s favour as the match ticked towards 90 minutes, as White was adjudged to have been clipped when stretching for Nikita Parris&rsquo; pass. <br /> <br /> Up stepped London 2012&nbsp; star Houghton but the England captain watched as her spot-kick was saved low to Naeher&rsquo;s right.<br /> <br /> Their disappointment was compounded when Millie Bright picked up her second yellow for a rash tackle, and the USA were able to hold out for the final. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Obviously I&rsquo;m devastated not to get to the final, but all I feel is pride for my teammates,&rdquo; said White.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The USA had an amazing match, but we couldn&rsquo;t quite match them. I&rsquo;m disappointed with that one offside, but I&rsquo;m just proud, and wish the USA the best of luck in the final. I&rsquo;m just devastated. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;We gave everything. First half we were a little bit sloppy, but we got ourselves back into the game with that goal.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I thought second half we tried to play, created some chances and it&rsquo;s just bitterly disappointing not to reach that final.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We had so much belief going into this game that we&rsquo;d reach that final, but we couldn&rsquo;t quite do it on the night.&rdquo;Tue, 02 Jul 2019 21:54:24 Zurn:uuid:791a5f8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 TennisKonta flies into second round with comprehensive displayJohanna Konta is looking forward to a 'feisty' second round match-up at Wimbledon after delivering a comfortable victory over Ana Bogdan.<br /> <br /> Progressive improvement was the story of the match&nbsp;with an even first set being edged by Konta before the British number one&nbsp;turned up the pressure on her opponent in the second, prevailing 7-5 6-2.<br /> <br /> Many observers talked of pressure on Konta prior to the match but the recent French Open semi-finalist&nbsp;showed little signs of such as she hit 27 winners to set up a second round tie with Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In that second set, until the last game of the match, it was only one break up until then,&rdquo; commented Konta, who was cheered on by the Duchess of Cambridge.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There was very little in the match. I think first rounds are always tricky in any tournament, but especially slams.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;So I think it was just finding my feet, and also for her a little bit as well, I think we were just both trying to find the best level that we could.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was really pleased with how I served, how I just competed in general. I thought I just accepted whatever was coming my way.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;She was playing actually really well and tough. Overall, I&rsquo;m just pleased to have come through.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Romanian qualifier Bogdan, ranked 134 in the world, was always up against it on her third appearance at Wimbledon but put up stubborn resistance in the first set on No.1 Court.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Konta came into the match with a spring in her step after a brilliant clay court season that saw her reach the Italian Open final and the Roland Garros last four. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p lang="und" dir="ltr"> <a href="https://t.co/LnT1vWezXm">pic.twitter.com/LnT1vWezXm</a></p> &mdash; Johanna Konta (@JohannaKonta) <a href="https://twitter.com/JohannaKonta/status/1146096725498781696?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 2, 2019</a></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <br /> &ldquo;She was playing actually really well and tough. Overall, I&rsquo;m just pleased to have come through.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Konta and Bogdan couldn&rsquo;t be split in the first set until the British player broke in the final game to take it 7-5, before turning up the heat in the second set to go 4-2 up.<br /> <br /> Bogdan fought off two match points before eventually succumbing, Konta dominating with impressive aggression and resolute defence.<br /> <br /> The 28-year-old memorably reached the semi-finals at the All England Club two years ago but fell to a second round exit last year, and now gets the chance to improve on that against Siniakova.<br /> <br /> The Czech player, ranked 38 in the world, took down Naomi Osaka at the French Open last month and will provide a stiff challenge.<br /> <br /> Konta added: "She's a tough player. She had a great win in Paris. She's able to beat some of the best players. She has a big game. She's feisty and she competes very well.<br /> <br /> "Obviously she's a very, very good doubles player as well. It will be a tough match for me."<br /> <br /> Elsewhere, there was plenty more British success as Cam Norrie and Dan Evans claimed straight sets victories and youngster Jay Clarke surged through, while Harriet Dart beat Christina McHale 4-6 6-4 6-4, in perhaps the best win of her young career.<br /> <br /> British men's number two Norrie will now face Japan's Kei Nishikori, the number eight seed, in the second round.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think it's going to be a battle against Nishikori,&rdquo; he&nbsp;said, after a&nbsp;6-2 6-4 6-4 win over&nbsp;Denis Istomin.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It would be nice to kind of get a lot of rhythm against him. I'm just going to go out there, make it as physical as I can. I have nothing to lose really.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I just want to go into it with the underdog mentality. I know I'm good enough to beat him. I know if I put my best level out there I'm going to be trouble for anyone.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Hopefully I'm on a bigger court, I think I play well in the bigger kind of stadiums. It will be a good experience for me to be on Centre Court or No.1 Court."<br /> <br /> With Paul Jubb still to play there are now seven Brits in the second round at the All England Club,&nbsp;the best return by home players since 2006.<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019Tue, 02 Jul 2019 17:49:19 Zurn:uuid:9bdc5e8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 TennisEdmund and Watson both off the mark at WimbledonKyle Edmund was Mr consistent on Centre Court at Wimbledon as he stormed into the second round with a 6-4 6-4 6-4 win over Spaniard Jaume Munar.<br /> <br /> Having survived an early scare after being broken in his first service game of the match Edmund turned on the class, taking the game to his opponent with clinical groundstrokes as he made the perfect start to the famous Championships.<br /> <br /> And while he is eyeing improvement in Wednesday&rsquo;s second round match against Fernando Verdasco, he acknowledged that victory is always the most important thing.&nbsp; <p>&ldquo;First it was nice to win,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;On Centre Court, always a great experience. You always remember every match you play there.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was great for me. Coming through in straight sets, had to work hard for it, for sure.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;He's a guy that puts lots of balls in, asking a lot of questions, making you win the points, not giving you a lot of pace on the ball.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was having to really not force the issue, but create a lot of my own pace and shots basically coming forward as well.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;You're going out there expecting to do well, and you have to go and do the business. So I'm happy with that.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is good to win the first round, but you want to win more. It's no good just winning one round each time you come here.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There's always that eagerness to try and keep winning obviously and do your best."<br /> <br /> He faces another Spaniard in veteran Fernando Verdasco in his second round match-up on Wednesday.<br /> <br /> Earlier, fellow Olympian Heather Watson had become the first Brit through after she downed American qualifier Caty McNally first up on Court 12, running out 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 winner in the midday sun.<br /> <br /> After a nervy start that saw her serve broken four times in the first set, the Rio quarter-finalist settled in to take the tie-break in the first before wrapping up the second in comfortable style.<br /> <br /> And with the pressure of opening up her home Grand Slam in front of a packed crowd now behind her, Watson believes that she will only grow into the tournament from here on in.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was definitely a shaky start,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was a bit nervous today and I think it showed, but I thought I got better as the match went on. It wasn't my best tennis, but really pleased to get through.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;First rounds in Grand Slams are always tough. There's a lot to gain, a lot to lose out there. Everybody wants to do well. It's normal to be nervous.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I had three double-faults in the first game. I actually said to my coach, &lsquo;I'm going to serve first, I'm serving so well at the moment&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Then that happened. It's not how you start, it's how you finish. I thought the last game was probably the best quality game of the match from both of us.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Watson will face No.20 seed Anett Kontaveit on Wednesday for a place in the third round - her best at the All England Club - while tomorrow sees a busy day for the Brits on court.<br /> <br /> In the women&rsquo;s singles, previous semi-finalist Johanna Konta gets her challenge underway against Ana Bogdan, while in the men&rsquo;s Dan Evans, Jay Clarke, Cam Norrie and exciting youngster Paul Jubb are all in action.<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019</p>Mon, 01 Jul 2019 20:21:22 Zurn:uuid:2fb05e8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Minsk 2019Minsk 2019: Day Ten ReviewOn the final day of competition at the European Games in Minsk, Team GB added seven medals, including three golds, to place them ninth in the table with 23 medals in total. <p>Badminton was undoubtedly one of the success stories of the Games with five medals from a possible seven events. Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith triumphed over Chris and Gabby Adcock in the all-British European Games mixed doubles final.<br /> </p> <p>Ellis and Smith, who were seeded number two in the competition, secured a convincing victory over their teammates, winning the gold medal match in straight sets (21-14, 21-9) with the Adcocks taking silver.<br /> </p> <p>The win meant that Ellis, who carried the Union Flag at tonight&rsquo;s closing ceremony, picked up his second gold medal of the Games, following men&rsquo;s doubles victory with Chris Langridge last night, while Smith will walk away from the Games with two medals also, having previously secured silver with Chloe Birch in the women&rsquo;s doubles.<br /> </p> <p>Speaking after the victory, Smith said, &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a dream come true to be European champion. Coming into this week, we knew winning was possible, but it was always going to be hard. We&rsquo;ve played a lot of games and it&rsquo;s been a real battle at times, but we&rsquo;ve dominated in most of the rounds throughout the week and put out some of our best performances to date.&rdquo;<br /> </p> <p>&ldquo;Yesterday (men&rsquo;s doubles victory) felt amazing, but today feels even more special. To share this moment with Lauren is extra special and something we&rsquo;ll remember forever,&rdquo; added Ellis.<br /> </p> <p>Adding to the medal tally, Kirsty Gilmour won Team GB&rsquo;s fifth badminton medal of Minsk 2019, collecting the silver in the women&rsquo;s singles competition, after the Scot lost 21-16, 21-17 to Mia Blichfeldt of Denmark.</p> <p>Jess Roberts and Megan Barker secured their second medal of the Games with a gold in the madison. The pair, who won silver in the team pursuit on Friday secured an early lead by lapping the group and managed to maintain their advantage with the Netherlands finishing two points behind.</p> <p>Barker said:&nbsp;&ldquo;We got in quite early trying to get the lap and we picked up two sprints on the way to getting the lap so that gave us quite a big lead. We put a lot in early on so in the last half we were hanging on there and it got a bit close towards the end but we hung on so it was good.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Josie Knight raced in the bronze medal final of the&nbsp;individual pursuit and finished fourth behind Tamara Dronova of Russia.&nbsp;Jason Kenny and Joe Truman failed to reach a medal race in the men&rsquo;s keirin and raced in the 7-12 place final where they finished 7th and 10th respectively.</p> <p>Lauren Price put in a classy performance in her -75kg final against Dutch fighter, Nouchka Fontijn, never once seeming flustered or in trouble. Price&rsquo;s superior speed and agility made up for the size she forfeited to her opponent and it was no surprise when the verdict went to the Welsh fighter.<br /> </p> <p>&ldquo;I said it would be a good fight and I would need a good performance and that&rsquo;s what I delivered,&rdquo; said Price. &ldquo;She&rsquo;s a world class fighter and an Olympic silver medallist and I knew I had nothing to lose and just to let it flow.<br /> </p> <p>&ldquo;I felt calm. I used my speed and my foot work. I stuck to my gameplan, had a big second round and here I am as European Games champion. I can&rsquo;t believe it really.&rdquo; In addition, three bronze medals, those of Peter McGrail, Luke McCormack and Cheavon Clarke were all collected at the Sports Palace Uruchie, completing an impressive week for boxing with seven medals.<br /> </p> <p>Becky Downie and Giarnni Regini-Moran starred for Team GB in the gymnastics finals claiming silver medals on uneven bars and floor respectively.<br /> </p> <p>Regini-Moran&rsquo;s floor routine was spectacular. He hardly moved landing any of his difficult tumbling passes and the judges rewarded him with a score of 14.233 for the first Team GB gymnastics medal of the Games.<br /> </p> <p>He said afterwards: &ldquo;This means a lot to me. It&rsquo;s almost three years to the day that I was injured and since then it&rsquo;s taken a lot of patience and hard work to get back, at points I wasn&rsquo;t even sure I&rsquo;d be able to. Winning this medal feels very special, I feel like I&rsquo;m back.&rdquo;<br /> </p> <p>Downie produced a masterclass on the uneven bars scoring an impressive 14.400 points to take silver with the final gymnast Melnikova pipping her to the title by just .066. Like Regini-Moran, Downie has battled through injury but has demonstrated at these Games that she&rsquo;s returned to top form.<br /> </p> <p>She said after her contest: &ldquo;This was about delivering two clean routines and proving to myself that I can still do it and I'm still good enough, because those thoughts are always in the back of your mind. It feels great to have a medal around my neck again and know I&rsquo;m moving in the right direction.&rdquo;<br /> </p> <p>Elsewhere in the gymnastics, Regini-Moran also placed sixth on vault, with Georgia-Mae Fenton fifth on beam and Brinn Bevan sixth on parallel bars.<br /> </p> <p>In the karate, a highly competitive field where outside the host nation only seven could qualify in each weight, Joe Kellaway competed in the men&rsquo;s -75kg and Amy Connell in the women&rsquo;s -55kg. Both fighters had done exceptionally well just to qualify but didn&rsquo;t progress further in the competition after losing their three round fights.</p>Mon, 01 Jul 2019 05:13:19 Zurn:uuid:6e945e8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Alice Barnes and Ben Swift earn maiden national titles in Norwich<p>It was a momentous day for Alice Barnes and Ben Swift at the National Road Championships as both struck gold to earn their first national road race titles</p> <p>Barnes became the first woman since Emma Pooley in 2010 to do the National Road Championships double by adding the road race to the time trials she had already won in Norwich. </p> <p>The 23-year-old broke away with a group of four with 40km left of the race but it was Barnes who had the legs to hold off the chasing pack with 200m to go. </p> <p>&ldquo;I knew I was coming into this with quite good form. My time trial kind of shocked me but to get both (titles) &ndash; I can&rsquo;t really believe it yet,&rdquo; she said. </p> <p>&ldquo;I rode the last two days and I&rsquo;ve done a couple of stage races already this year so I think I recover quite well from those. I just fuelled well and went into today thinking &lsquo;just go for it&rsquo;.</p> <p>&ldquo;All the other three girls there are good at sprinting and all really strong, so we worked together really well. I knew exactly where I wanted to go and just dug in to the line.&rdquo;</p> <p>Earlier in the day Swift had timed his race to perfection to overtake teammate Ian Stannard as the race entered the closing stages in Norwich city centre and crossing the line comfortably clear to claim the national jersey.</p> <p>Stannard claimed silver and John Archibald bronze, which represented a second medal of the championships for the Scot, who also claimed silver in the time trial.</p> <p>"It feels good as I've been chasing the win for a number of years," said the 2008 Olympian.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>"I finished in all the other top five places so to eventually get this jersey, I'm really happy."</p> <p>&nbsp;"It's been a difficult season with the crashes but I've got my rhythm and motivation back after the crash - it's nice to keep the jersey in the family.</p> <p>"I massively owe this win to Ian [Stannard] but we all went in there equally and he played his card early but it enabled me to sit and wait and it worked out perfectly."</p>Sun, 30 Jun 2019 19:21:19 Zurn:uuid:f37e5e8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 TriathlonSilver success for Taylor-Brown in Montreal<p>After sealing her maiden World Triathlon Series title earlier this month, Georgia Taylor-Brown secured her second medal of the series with an impressive silver in Montreal.</p> <p>The Brit, who won her first title in Leeds, was joined on the podium by team-mate Jess Learmonth, who picked up bronze in the sprint distance race.<br /> </p> <p>Learmonth led out the swim and was part of a lead pack of four athletes which included Series leader Katie Zaferes after the first transition.<br /> </p> <p>Taylor-Brown was at the front of the chase pack and closed the gap during the bike leg to join the leaders, sitting in third as they came out of the second transition with Learmonth just behind.<br /> </p> <p>Zaferes and Taylor-Brown took the run out and led heading into the closing stages when the American moved clear with 500m to claim victory with the Brit securing silver, while Learmonth battled with Italian Alice Betto to clinch the final podium place.<br /> </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BzUZh9FBwaU/" data-instgrm-version="12" style="background:#FFF; 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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/BzUZh9FBwaU/" 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/BzUZh9FBwaU/" 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/BzUZh9FBwaU/" 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">1 up from last year ✌ super happy to be back in Montreal and feel incredibly lucky to be surrounded by pretty awesome ladies thanks for always making it fun ❤️ . . Now for sleep and to get ready for #WTSHamburg . . @wags.photo &amp; @tzaferes #Montr&eacute;al #Canada #Triathlon</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/georgiatb/" style="color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px;" target="_blank"> Georgia Taylor-Brown</a> (@georgiatb) on <time style="font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;" datetime="2019-06-30T03:25:15+00:00">Jun 29, 2019 at 8:25pm PDT</time></p> </div> </blockquote> <script src="//www.instagram.com/embed.js"></script> <p>Taylor-Brown, who won bronze in the overall standings in 2018, acknowledged the race was tough but she is seeing improvements as her season progresses.<br /> </p> <p>&ldquo;I guess we just kept yo-yoing to the front,&rdquo; she said.<br /> </p> <p>&ldquo;Every time she got to the front she kept pushing it on and I just couldn&rsquo;t go with her. I just didn&rsquo;t have the legs today and Katie was incredible.<br /> </p> <p>&ldquo;It was quite warm, it was pretty tough. Each race is getting better and better for me. I take every race as it comes and I&rsquo;m just happy to be here.&rdquo;<br /> </p> <p>Commonwealth silver medallist Learmonth picked up her fourth medal of the 2019 series and was delighted with her performance in Montreal after being worried about competing at the shorter distance.&nbsp;<br /> </p> <p>&ldquo;It was pretty hot and fast,&rdquo; Learmonth said.<br /> </p> <p>&ldquo;I wasn&rsquo;t really looking forward to a sprint race. We&rsquo;ve done quite a few standard races and I thought I&rsquo;d have to up my game and it hurt a lot.<br /> </p> <p>&ldquo;It was good fun though and it&rsquo;s a nice new course and something different. To be honest, I&rsquo;m over the moon with that today."<br /> </p> <p>Sportsbeat 2019<br /> </p>Sun, 30 Jun 2019 13:33:25 Zurn:uuid:6d7c5e8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Ellis selected to carry flag at Closing CeremonyDouble European Games gold medallist Marcus Ellis has been given the honour of being Team GB's flagbearer at tonight's Closing Ceremony. <p><br /> The badminton athlete will lead the British delegation after a fine seven days of competition at Minsk 2019, which saw him secure gold in the men's doubles yesterday with Chris Langridge, before following up today with&nbsp;gold&nbsp;in the mixed doubles alongside playing partner Lauren Smith.</p> <p>In a Games which have seen a number of standout performances, it was always going to be a difficult decision to make. From the women's team recurve gold medal on day two to Pat McCormack's blistering displays in the -69kg boxing, which culminated in gold yesterday,&nbsp;as well as -75kg gold for Lauren Price today<strong>,</strong>&nbsp;badminton gold for Lauren Smith (mixed doubles)&nbsp;and&nbsp;Megan Barker and Jess Roberts in the Madison,&nbsp;the options have been numerous.</p> <p>On the badminton court, Team GB will go home with an incredibly impressive five medals from a possible seven on offer at the Games, two&nbsp;of them gold, all of which will prove hugely beneficial in terms of ranking points on the road to Tokyo 2020.</p> <p><strong>Made aware of the decision yesterday, Marcus Ellis commented on the accolade moments after winning his second&nbsp;</strong><strong>gold</strong><strong>&nbsp;of the Games:</strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;What an unbelievable honour being chosen to be flagbearer &ndash; I never thought I&rsquo;d be the one to be chosen to do something like this. It&rsquo;s something that&rsquo;s incredibly special and I didn&rsquo;t even have to hesitate when I was asked. I&rsquo;m very excited, but have no idea what to expect &ndash; I&rsquo;m really looking forward to it.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Speaking after the selection was made Team GB's Chef de Mission, Paul Ford, said:</strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;We have been treated to some incredible performances during these last 10 days of competition and as such, choosing a Closing Ceremony flagbearer was never going to be an easy choice. Laura Hanna (Deputy Chef de Mission) and myself felt that over his seven days of competition Marcus has not only put in first rate performances but lived the Team GB values, representing himself, his sport and the nation in an exemplary manner.&rdquo;</p>Sun, 30 Jun 2019 13:25:57 Zurn:uuid:9b755e8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 TennisKonta ready to lead British charge at WimbledonBack on the green, green grass of home, Johanna Konta insists she is ready for the challenge of flying the flag at Wimbledon.<br /> <br /> Two years ago Konta arrived at the All England Club brimming with confidence, after claiming the biggest title of her career at the Miami Open.<br /> <br /> In the days that followed, that self-belief soared as she became the first British woman to reach the semi-finals, where she was eventually beaten by Venus Williams, since Virginia Wade in 1978.<br /> <br /> She left these manicured lawns with a world ranking of four but then struggled for form, winning two matches on green last year, with a second round defeat at SW19.<br /> <br /> Fast forward another 12 months and the confidence is back after a clay court season that saw her reach the Italian Open final and the last four at Roland Garros, sending Konta soaring back up the rankings.<br /> <br /> Her performances in Paris, the best by a British woman since Jo Durie in 1983, meant she withdrew from Nottingham, a tournament she has won twice, and she didn&rsquo;t reach the latter stages in Birmingham or Eastbourne.<br /> <br /> But she insists there are no worries about her preparation.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It's always a very short turnaround between clay and grass, especially if you have a good clay-court season, it becomes shorter, which is a great problem, I guess,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> "I played five really great matches on the surface. I think I'm as prepared as I'm going to be here. I feel pretty good."<br /> <br /> <img src="https://d2njx87fm2ttul.cloudfront.net/images/default-source/news-items/johannakontafrenchopen19news630.jpg?sfvrsn=733c3b92_0" data-displaymode="Original" alt="Johanna Konta" title="JohannaKontaFrenchOpen19News630" /><br /> <br /> Konta insists she feels no pressure about being the focus on the home support, with Andy Murray sitting out a second Wimbledon to focus on doubles as he continues his return from injury.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m neither Tim Henman nor Andy Murray,&rdquo; she added. &ldquo;I play to do the best I can, so what I will achieve will be what I will achieve. If I were to retire tomorrow then I've got a tremendous amount to be proud of that I've achieved in my career.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I'm still playing and I'm looking to keep getting better and to keep putting myself in positions to achieve something great results-wise.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Konta plays Romanian qualifier Ana Bogdan, ranked 134, in her first round match, an opponent she beat in their only previous encounter.&nbsp; But the British women&rsquo;s number one could face ninth seed Sloane Stephens in the third round.<br /> <br /> "I think what we've seen so many times is players can play very inspired tennis. Especially a slam, Wimbledon lends itself for inspired tennis,&rdquo; added Konta. "She moves well. She retrieves the ball well. She's able to play great tennis. It will be a tough match."<br /> <br /> British men&rsquo;s number one Kyle Edmund beat fellow Brits Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans on his way to the final four at Eastbourne this week, only to lose to big-serving American Taylor Fritz in the final four.<br /> <br /> Last year he reached the third round at Wimbledon for the first time, losing to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in four sets, and he faces Spain&rsquo;s Jaume Munar on Tuesday.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I know I have the game for Wimbledon,&rdquo; said the number 30 seed. &ldquo;There's a point where you really have to start believing it if you want to do it and I've really started to believe it over the last few years."<br /> <br /> <strong>When are the Brits in action at Wimbledon 2019?<br /> <br /> </strong>Monday July 1st - Men&rsquo;s Singles: Kyle Edmund v Jaume Munar (Spain), Women&rsquo;s Singles: Heather Watson v Caty McNally (USA)<br /> <br /> Tuesday July 2nd -&nbsp; Men&rsquo;s Singles: Paul Jubb v Joao Sousa (Portugal), Daniel Evans v Federico Delbonis (Argentina), James Ward v Nikoloz Basilashvili (Georgia), Cameron Norrie v Denis Istomin (Uzebekistan), Jay Clarke v Noah Rubin (USA), Women&rsquo;s Singles: Harriet Dart v Christina McHale (USA),&nbsp; Katie Swan v Laura Siegemund (Ger),&nbsp; Jo Konta v Ana Bogdan (Rom)<br /> <br /> Sportsbeat 2019Sun, 30 Jun 2019 10:40:47 Zurn:uuid:d36d5e8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Minsk 2019: Day Nine ReviewTeam GB won their second and third gold medals of the European Games on day nine thanks to Pat McCormack in the -69kg and Marcus Ellis and Christopher Langridge in the men's badminton doubles. <p>With silver medals also going to Ben Whittaker in &ndash;81kg boxing, the badminton women's duo of Lauren Smith and Chloe Birch and bronze for -52kg fighter Galal Yafai, Team GB celebrated a fantastic penultimate day of the Games.</p> <p>An action packed day of badminton was crowned with men&rsquo;s doubles gold in the final match. Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis won Team GB&rsquo;s third gold medal of the Minsk 2019 European Games, following a 21-17, 21-10 straight sets victory over Anders Skaarup Rasmussen and Kim Astrup of Denmark. Despite facing the number one seeds, the Olympic bronze medallists from Rio 2016 were comfortable throughout.</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re really, really pleased, we&rsquo;ve had a great tournament,&rdquo; said Langridge. &ldquo;Today I think we performed really well &ndash; in the end, it was quite comfortable against two of the best players in the world. The level we can perform at can be very high &ndash; we are the second seeds playing against the top seeds and we&rsquo;ve ended up frustrating and defeating them.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s something the whole team can be proud of, not just our gold, but the amount of medals that we&rsquo;ve won over the course of the Games,&rdquo; added Ellis. &ldquo;We didn&rsquo;t think too much about who the opponents were, just to go out there and do our best &ndash; we&rsquo;ve ended up with the gold which we&rsquo;re thrilled about.&rdquo;</p> <p>Lauren Smith and Chloe Birch secured silver in the women&rsquo;s doubles, following a three-set defeat to Dutch pair Cheryl Seinen and Selena Piek. The British duo had raced into a one set lead (21-14), but the Dutch number three seeds fought back, eventually completing the turnaround to take the gold medal.<br /> <br /> Talking after the tie, Smith said, &ldquo;It&rsquo;s been a really good week for us &ndash; we&rsquo;re really proud to get a medal on the board for Team GB. We would have liked it to be gold, but overall this week, to be unseeded and standing here with a silver medal, we should be really proud.&rdquo;<br /> </p> <p>Elsewhere, Team GB are guaranteed both gold and silver medals in the mixed double&rsquo;s badminton, after Chris and Gabby Adcock and Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith secured their respective pathways through to the final. Ellis and Smith defeated the French pair of Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue in straight sets, to set up an all-British affair with the Adcock&rsquo;s, who also won in straight sets against Samuel and Chloe Magee of Ireland.</p> <p>Kirsty Gilmour will also contest a gold medal match, this time in the women&rsquo;s singles, after she beat reigning European Games champion and number one seed, Line Kj&aelig;rsfeldt, in three sets. The Scot will meet Denmark&rsquo;s Mia Blichfeldt in the final.</p> <p>A comprehensive and confident display from Pat McCormack once again saw him win a unanimous decision over Russian fighter, Khariton Agrba, making McCormack European Games -69kg champion.<br /> <br /> After the fight, an obviously delighted McCormack said: &ldquo;I&rsquo;m over the moon. I came here for the gold and I&rsquo;ve got it so I&rsquo;m a happy man. It was a good fight against a strong Russian but I kept my composure and picked the better shots. Commonwealth gold was a good one but European Games gold is even better, it&rsquo;s my biggest achievement so far.&rdquo;</p> <p>Bitter disappointment for Ben Whittaker followed in the next bout with a split decision victory for the boxer from Azerbaijan, Loren Dominguez Alfonso. However, in his first European Games a silver medal was undoubtedly a strong showing for Whittaker and he admitted that in time he would see it as a positive but not right now: &ldquo;I thought I had done enough to nick it but you can&rsquo;t just do enough to nick it you have to win convincingly. I enjoyed it and thought I got the cleaner shots but I&rsquo;m not going to complain and the next time I have to make it more convincing.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Every time I put a Great Britain vest on it&rsquo;s a dream come true. I remember watching the first European Games and thinking even making it to the next one would be an achievement and I&rsquo;ve made it on to the podium but me being a bit greedy I wanted it to be a gold medal. Looking back in a few months I&rsquo;m sure I&rsquo;ll be happy with the achievement but right now I am very disappointed.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The third boxing&nbsp;medal of the day went to Team GB&rsquo;s -52kg fighter Galal Yafai as he collected his bronze medal.</p> <p>At track cycling Jack Carlin was knocked out of the men&rsquo;s sprint at the quarter-final stage after losing in the first two heats to Denis Dmitriev of Russia who went on to win the bronze.&nbsp;</p> <p>In another GB sprint-off, Katy Marchant and Sophie Capewell faced each other in the women&rsquo;s sprint&nbsp;<a href="https://mail-teamgb.com/39CA-WJZK-3ZRYJS-JHFL2-1/c.aspx">1/16</a>&nbsp;repechage. A close race was taken to photo finish with Marchant inching through to the 1/8 finals where she exited the competition in the repechage.</p> <p>Twenty-year-old Jess Roberts put in a spectacular effort in the omnium heading into the final race, the points race, in third place. Near the end of the race she slipped down to fourth in her first senior omnium but an impressive finish all the same.&nbsp;</p> <p>The first of the artistic gymnastics finals took place at the Minsk Arena with Georgia-Mae Fenton and Giarnni Regini-Moran competing in the all-around finals. Both gymnasts couldn&rsquo;t quite find their top form and replicate their qualifying performances with Fenton finishing in eighth place and Regini-Moran in 13th. They both have further finals to look forward to with beam finals for Fenton and vault and floor finals for Regini-Moran.</p> <p>Elsewhere in the wrestling it was confirmed Georgina Nelthorpe placed seventh in the women&rsquo;s -76kg category, Team GB&rsquo;s best ever performance in the event. Reflecting on her performance, Nelthorpe said: &ldquo;It went really well, it was a very tough competition, so I&rsquo;m really proud of myself. It was a bit of a slow start, I think that was just down to nerves, we went into the second round quite close and she went for a leg attack and scored, I was able to counter, get control and pin her.&nbsp;The first match is always the hardest, so it meant a lot to win.&nbsp;</p> <p>"The second match I thought I was a bit unlucky, she was quite technical and you could tell she was experienced, but I was happy with where I was mentally and I feel like I&rsquo;m catching these guys up and in some cases overtaking them. It was just a shame that having lost, she (Aliyeva) couldn&rsquo;t then beat her next opponent as I would have had a shot at bronze, but when the result came in I was ecstatic to finish in the top eight. You couldn&rsquo;t get the smile off my face. Representing Team GB was a dream come true, I couldn&rsquo;t ask to be part of a better team.&rdquo;</p>Sun, 30 Jun 2019 07:43:33 Zurn:uuid:c4375e8d-09bf-6c96-8c24-ff0000c7d089 Modern PentathlonChampion Choong bags Tokyo berth<p>After hitting the heights in the Modern Pentathlon World Cup Final, it's safe to say Joe Choong will feel like tackling Tokyo all over again after his heroics secured an Olympic berth for Great Britain.</p> <p>The 24-year-old topped the podium in Musashino Forest, pipping Germany&rsquo;s Marvin Dogue by a single point and sealing an Olympic Games qualifying spot for his country.</p> <p>A haul of 625 points in the laser run saw Choong seal his first senior gold medal and he undoubtedly looked the part as he shone in what was also a Tokyo 2020 dress rehearsal.</p> <p>&ldquo;In the early phase, I was just trying to stay in contention until the last lap, where I&rsquo;ve backed myself all season and did it again here,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;My first shoot was good but the second and last put a bit of pressure on me. </p> <p>&ldquo;Thankfully, a few others didn&rsquo;t manage to hold their nerve either, so it evened itself out and meant I was still up there going into the last 800m.</p> <p>&ldquo;From there, I knew what I had to do and to get over the line in first and claim my first senior gold medal, as well as an Olympic qualification spot &ndash; it is an absolutely amazing feeling.&rdquo;</p> <p>Choong opened up with 22 victories and 13 defeats from his 35 fencing bouts whilst he was second behind GB teammate Jamie Cooke in the swimming section, coming home in 1:58.14.</p> <p>He felled two poles in the show jumping and then exited the shooting phase of the laser run in second behind Dogue.</p> <p>But Choong successfully chased down his opponent over the final 800m loop to clinch his champagne moment, with Cooke and Tom Toolis 11th and 14th respectively.</p> <p>Choong was the highest-placed British athlete at Rio 2016, finishing 13th.</p>Sat, 29 Jun 2019 12:30:42 Z