After a nervous wait during the Australian Open, Andy Murray announced wife Kim Sears has safely given birth to a baby girl, while Mark Cavendish retained the overall lead at the Tour of Qatar despite losing out in a sprint finish on day two. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours:
- Great Britain’s Andy Murray has become a father for the first time after announcing wife Kim Sears has given birth to a baby girl
- Second place for Mark Cavendish was enough to keep him in the leader’s jersey after the second day of the Tour of Qatar
- Lloyd Wallace will be looking to continue his historic form when the ski aerials World Cup resumes in Moscow this weekend
- Simon Middleton admits the Sao Paulo leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series will be vital for England’s women in their build-up to Rio
Olympic champion Andy Murray becomes a father
Andy Murray’s rollercoaster few months continued on Monday, as he announced that he and wife Kim Sears had safely welcomed their daughter into the world.
The 28-year-old flew back immediately after last month’s Australian Open, where he lost out in the final to Novak Djokovic, to be by his wife’s side.
The baby girl, whose name is yet to be announced, weighed 8lb 10oz and residents of his home town Dunblane marked the occasion by adorning Murray’s post box - painted gold after his Olympic success for Great Britain at London 2012 - with pink ribbons.
Confirming the news, the tennis star's agent said: “Andy and Kim had a daughter in the early hours of Sunday morning and the family are doing well.”
Cavendish pipped in Qatar but retains overall lead
Mark Cavendish retained his leader's jersey at the Tour of Qatar, despite being pipped in a photo finish on stage two.
Cavendish won stage one on Monday but could only finish second at Qatar University 24 hours later, as Team Katusha's Alexander Kristoff edged him in the sprint.
However, the six-second time bonus for finishing in second place ensured that the Brit kept hold of the gold jersey by five seconds from the Norwegian ahead of Wednesday's third stage – an 11km individual time-trial in Lusail.
Tuesday's stage essentially served as a test event for October's World Championships in Doha, and Cavendish believes there was little more he could have done to win the day.
“That was a really close one. Unfortunately, the wind was coming from the front right so you wanted the barrier side [during the sprint],” he said.
“I had to let Kristoff in so I knew I had to go on his outside which kind of made it harder for me.
“At the end of the day I was happy with how it went. On that finish I can't be too disappointed losing to Kristoff – he is strong on that type of finish. I am happy to keep to jersey.”
Wallace gunning for birthday World Cup glory
Lloyd Wallace produced the jumps of his life to come seventh in the Deer Valley aerial skiing World Cup and is now looking to go one better this weekend and mark his 21st birthday in style.
It had been almost 21 years to the day since a Brit had finished in the top ten of an aerial World Cup when Wallace notched two personal bests to come seventh with a score of 113.97 points in Deer Valley, USA, last Thursday.
It is Wallace’s first full season on the World Cup circuit and he insists there is still room for improvement heading into Saturday’s next World Cup in Moscow – which coincides with his 21st birthday.
“I couldn’t believe it,” admitted Wallace. “I had a difficult week of training and then managed to put it all together. To be honest I was baffled.
“In the training week in Canada I had been having issues but I knew I had it in me to compete with the best but to do it on the day was amazing.
“In the first round of the World Cup season in China I didn’t put down the jumps that I wanted to [coming 26th and 27th], so to come to Deer Valley and produce two amazing jumps is a dream come true.” Read more here.
Middleton and England Sevens gearing up for Sao Paulo test
England Women Sevens head coach Simon Middleton is convinced the Sao Paulo leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series will be a crucial test for his side in their Olympic preparations, after naming his squad for the event later this month.
Middleton has named a 12-strong squad, captained by Emily Scarratt, to compete in the second leg of the series in Brazil from February 20-21 with the Olympic Games now less than six months away.
And he is keen for his troops to build upon their performance from the opening leg in Dubai, where they finished third back in November, as they head to South America.
“The girls made a good start in Dubai and since then they have been training and working hard to improve their performance,” said Middleton.
“The depth of our squad means that we have 12 players all capable of making an impact, which puts us in a strong position heading into the competition.
“This tournament will really help our preparations as we build with the ultimate aim of being in the best possible shape come August.”
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