Olympic24: Couch and Powell shine in Kazan

Olympic24: Couch and Powell shine in Kazan

24 April 2016 / 08:53

Tonia Couch claimed World Series diving silver in Kazan, while Natalie Powell picked up bronze at the European Judo Championships. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours:

  • Couch claims World Series silver in 10m platform
  • Powell beats compatriot Gemma Gibbons for European bronze
  • GB men’s ice hockey just miss out to Ukraine
  • Sharp looks ahead as Glasgow named European Indoor Athletics host in 2019

Couch records best-ever World Series result



Tonia Couch claimed a Diving World Series silver medal for the first time in her career in the 10m platform in Kazan.

Couch, 26, finished with a score of 365.90 from her five dives, coming second to China’s Ren Qian.

It was her best-ever performance in a World Series event, having previously picked up six bronze medals.

Couch led for much of the competition, only to be overtaken by Qian on the final dive of the competition.

Her silver medal pushed her up to fourth in the final standings of the Diving World Series this year.

Powell wins battle of Brits to take European bronze


Natalie Powell was all smiles after boosting her Rio hopes with a bronze medal at the European Judo Championships in Kazan, Russia.

Powell had looked in good form as she progressed through the rounds to the semi-finals where she faced world number four Guusje Steenhuis of the Netherlands.

Despite a late surge she was unable to take victory, leaving her to go up against British teammate and London 2012 silver medallist Gemma Gibbons for bronze.

When the two last fought at the Paris Grand Slam, Powell had won a tight contest on shidos.

And this time she pulled off a big throw to take the contest by ippon and secure Britain’s second medal of the Championships following Colin Oates’ -66kg silver on Thursday.

“I’m so happy! I came into these European Championships fitter and stronger than I have ever been,” she said.

“My aim was to win the Europeans but I am happy with bronze. I am really happy!”

Elite performance coach Kate Howey added: “There have been some good performances today with Ben’s (Fletcher's) seventh and Gemma and Natalie fighting for bronze and Natalie winning her first European medal.

“I said before the tournament we wanted the players to perform the best that they could and throughout the whole championships the players have performed and the results have come.

“This is the best set of results since 2006 which is good in Olympic year.”

Russell proud of GB troops despite falling short of gold

Great Britain men’s ice hockey coach Pete Russell struggled to describe the feeling among the camp after a late goal dashed their hopes of both gold and promotion to Division 1A at the World Championships.

After four successive wins in Zagreb, Great Britain needed only a point from their final game against Ukraine in Division 1B to pick up their first gold medal in 23 years – the same scenario they found themselves in 12 months ago in Eindhoven.

And they started strongly, outshooting their opponents in the first period before taking the lead early in the second session via Jonathan Phillips.

Ben Bowns had to be at his best to keep out a couple of chances for Yevgen Tymchenko but there was no stopping Ukraine in the third period as Dmytro Chernyshenko tied the game up with a low finish.

Britian's Russell Cowley was then superbly denied from close range by netminder Eduard Zakharchenko.

But with just four minutes left, British hearts were broken as Olexander Pobyedonostsev finished at the back door to hand Ukraine a 2-1 win and dash any hopes of promotion for GB.

“I don’t know what to say, I am just stunned,” Russell told Ice Hockey UK.

“It is like last year all over again and I just can’t put it into words.

“We gave it everything we had and I really am proud of everyone. We were fantastic all week but we just couldn’t get over the line. This is a horrible feeling.”

Sharp delight as Glasgow hosts European Indoors

Lynsey Sharp

Glasgow will play host to the 2019 European Indoor Athletics Championships after beating off competition from Minsk, Apeldoorn and Torun.

Glasgow's Emirates Arena hosted the Indoor Grand Prix earlier this year and the British Athletics International Match from 2013 to 2015.

And the venue will now be the scene for the European Indoors in three years time after getting the nod ahead of entries from Belarus, the Netherlands and Poland.

More than 600 athletes from the 50 European Athletics Member Federation countries are expected to participate in the three-day event.

Lynsey Sharp, who won 800m silver when Glasgow hosted the Commonwealth Games two years ago, said: "This is great news for Glasgow, for athletics in the UK in general and Scotland in particular.

"I can't wait to compete on home turf again and I'm confident that 2019 will be the best ever European Indoor Championships."

Sportsbeat 2016