Olympic24: Canoeists show strong form and Dibben undergoes elbow surgery

Olympic24: Canoeists show strong form and Dibben undergoes elbow surgery

20 April 2016 / 06:31

London 2012 bronze medallists Jon Schofield and Liam Heath set a new course record at the GB selection regatta while Jon Dibben’s Rio ambitions won’t be affected by elbow surgery say British Cycling. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours:

  • Schofield and Heath take a huge step towards Rio qualification with impressive performances at the selection trials in Nottingham.
  • British Cycling are confident world points race champion Jon Dibben can make Rio despite undergoing surgery on a fractured elbow
  • Cavendish sits second in the Tour of Croatia after first stage

Schofield and Heath set new course record in Nottingham

Jon Schofield and Liam Heath

British canoeist Jon Schofield admits he would relish the opportunity of competing at his first foreign Olympic Games after he and partner Liam Heath guaranteed their nomination for a spot on Team GB at the selection trials in Nottingham.

The pair, who won bronze at London 2012, set a new course record of 32.31 seconds in the K2 200m to put them firmly in the hotseat ahead of the Rio team being announced in June.

Heath had earlier taken the win in the single kayak event, pushing Olympic champion Ed McKeever into second place with Schofield in third.

Heath's Olympic berth is already secured in the K2 after finishing fifth in the 200m at last year's World Championships in Milan, but he remains confident he can push himself up in the rankings ahead of competing in Rio.

"This is one of the first races I have done this year, so it is just nice to get out and enjoy some good conditions following a bit of taper in and see what you can do," he said.

"It was a great race, I tied up towards the end, so there is a little bit more work to do but I am quite focused on the K2 which is my priority, but I am enjoying the K1 and seeing what I am capable of."

The duo of Angela Hannah and Lani Belcher also set a new course record in the women's K2 500m, but will have to wait until May to book their place on the Olympic squad at the second round European continental qualification event in Duisburg, Germany.

Elsewhere, Chris Calvert took the win in the canoe discipline and hopes to be rewarded with a place to contest second round Olympic qualification.

Following the two days of selection trials the British Canoeing International Panel will confirm the team later this week to compete at the second round European Continental Olympic Qualification event in Duisburg 18-19 May.

British Cycling: Dibben can make Rio after elbow surgery

Jon Dibben

British Cycling remain confident that World points race champion Jon Dibben can still live his Olympic dream, despite undergoing surgery on a fractured elbow.

Dibben is set to challenge Mark Cavendish for a spot in the six-discipline omnium event in Rio in what would be his maiden Olympic Games.

The 22-year-old is also in contention for a spot in the team pursuit squad, having been part of the team that won silver at the World Track Championships in London last month.

However, he broke his left elbow during the ZLM Roompot tour at the weekend although British Cycling are hopeful he will return to full training in the not so distant future.

A British Cycling statement read: "Jon Dibben is undergoing surgery on his left elbow after fracturing it during the ZLM Roompot tour at the weekend.

"Our performance support team are confident Jon will return to training imminently after his surgery and his Rio ambitions remain unaffected."

In addition to team pursuit silver, Dibben was also crowned World champion in the points race in March, winning rainbow stripes for the first time in his career.

Cavendish second after Tour of Croatia opener


Mark Cavendish finished second on the opening stage of the Tour of Croatia as he was pipped by Giacomo Nizzolo on Tuesday.

Cavendish is heading up the Dimension Data team at the race as he looks to get another overall win under his belt following success at the Tour of Qatar in February.

But he had to settle for second on day one as Trek Segafredo rider Nizzolo pipped him Cavendish, who successfully balanced a road and track timetable at the start of the season, has recently featured at Paris-Roubaix and Scheldeprijs.

He is in Croatia with Dimension Data alongside the likes Mark Renshaw and Bernhard Eisel, and will look to pick up victory in stage two on Wednesday.

The team will be looking to bag several stage wins across the six-day race, and sports director Alex Sans Vega is confident his squad can deliver the goods.

"Tour of Croatia is a good race to put some good kilometres in the legs for the riders as there are many long stages, and also there are stages that suit all rider types," said Sans Vega.

"We are confident we can achieve good results and it is the perfect opportunity to build up team spirit and become even stronger as a unit."

Sportsbeat 2016