Olympic24: Carlin hitting top gear in time for Rio; Murray and Watson keep Hopman Cup hopes alive

Olympic24: Carlin hitting top gear in time for Rio; Murray and Watson keep Hopman Cup hopes alive

08 January 2016 / 07:55

British swimmer Jazz Carlin insists her health and fitness will be her number one priority heading into this summer’s Olympics, while Andy Murray and Heather Watson guide Britain to a resounding Hopman Cup victory over Germany. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Jazz Carlin firmly focused on making her Olympic debut for Team GB this summer
  • Andy Murray and Heather Watson thrash Germany 3-0 to give Britain a chance of a Hopman Cup final berth
  • Naomi Broady and Jamie Murray suffer defeats in New Zealand and Qatar
  • Double Olympian Euan Burton looking to create a judo legacy as Scotland coach
  • The Team GB Club has now officially launched – are you a member? 

Carlin adamant she will hit her peak for Olympics


Missing out on the London 2012 Olympics was the most disappointing moment of Jazz Carlin’s career, Olympics but with potential redemption only a few months away, the swimmer is convinced she will peak at just the right time.

Carlin failed to secure a place in the Great Britain team for London 2012 after struggling with illness ahead of the Olympic trials but has proved herself on the world stage on numerous occasions since.

She won 800m freestyle gold and 400m freestyle silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and double European gold in the same year while also picking up a bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships.

And with April’s Olympic trials in Glasgow now on the horizon, the 25-year-old insists she is full of confidence heading into a crucial season.

“I love racing more than ever now,” Carlin told BBC Wales Sport. “2015 was a good year and I was happy with how it went but obviously it's all about 2016 and hopefully qualifying for the Olympics.

“Four years ago I was in a completely different position and I wasn't ready for the Olympic trials with illness. It really was a tough time.

“Four years on I can appreciate everything that I've been through and it's about making sure I stay fit and healthy.”

Murray and Watson whitewash Germany in Perth 


Andy Murray and Heather Watson kept Great Britain’s hopes of reaching the Hopman Cup final alive in Perth after recording three straight sets victories to beat Germany 3-0.

Needing a clean sweep to have any chance of reaching the final showpiece on Saturday, Murray beat Alexander Zverev following Watson’s win over Sabine Lisicki, and the pair then teamed up for another thumping win in the doubles – all three results sharing the 6-3 6-4 scoreline.

Great Britain’s fate now lies with the fortunes of France, whom they defeated on their way to Davis Cup glory in 2015.

France must beat home favourites Australia for Britain to progress, but either way Murray insists getting used to the weather has been a useful experience ahead of the Australian Open, which starts in Melbourne on January 18.

“It's great to get matches in,” he said. “It is nice to play during the day to get used to the hot weather. Hopefully it's not that bad in Melbourne.”

Meanwhile Watson, whose win over Lisicki was the third of her career against her former training partner, insists she is in the shape of her life heading into 2016.

She said: “It was a really good match. She's a tough opponent and a great server, so I knew that holding serve would be very important.

“I did a shorter off-season, but more intense, this year. I feel like this is the fittest and strongest I've ever been.”

Tough defeats for Broady and Murray


Naomi Broady’s impressive run at the ASB Classic in Auckland was ended as she lost in straight sets to Sloane Stephens.

Broady beat Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Ostapenko to secure her spot in the last eight, but Stephens took the first set on a tie-break, and despite breaking the American in the second, Broady could do little to combat her dominance.

But despite the 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 scoreline, Broady insisted she was happy with her performances, describing the tournament as an unforgettable experience.

“Don’t think I've ever walked off court after losing with a smile on my face,” she said on social media. “Auckland I love you!

“Thanks for such an amazing tournament and the best support I've ever experienced outside of my home country. Totally unforgettable.”

Meanwhile Jamie Murray and his new partner, Brazil’s Bruno Soares, also came unstuck as they lost out 3-6 6-3 10-5 to Feliciano and Marc Lopez in the semi-finals of the ATP 250 in Doha.

It was the pairing’s first tournament of the year, and despite taking the first set convincingly their Spanish opponents hit a different gear in the second set and match tiebreak.

Double Olympian Burton appointed high-performance judo coach for Scotland


Euan Burton insists he is ready for the challenges ahead after being appointed as Scotland's high-performance judo coach.

During his career, Burton competed at two Olympic Games – Beijing 2008 and London 2012 – while also winning gold in the 100kg category at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

He retired shortly afterwards but has been coaching ever since and takes over the Scotland set-up from David Somerville, who is moving to a similar role with Sportscotland.

And the 36-year-old is confident he can thrive in his new job as he looks to create a positive judo legacy.

“I truly believe in the power of judo to make a positive impact on Scotland's people and its communities,” said Burton.

“I am, however, fully aware of the size and responsibility of the job at hand and do not underestimate the numerous challenges that we will meet on our journey.”

The Team GB Club has now officially launched! Be rewarded for your support and join Team GB on the road to Rio 2016 with our Club – check it out here