Olympic24: Eight boxers book their Rio places and Amber Hill is aiming to make history this summer

Olympic24: Eight boxers book their Rio places and Amber Hill is aiming to make history this summer

16 April 2016 / 08:52

London 2012 gold medallist Nicola Adams was one of eight boxers to secure their place on the plane to Rio while shooter Amber Hill wants to inspire young people, particularly girls, to take up her sport. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours:

  • Eight Team GB boxers booked their place at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
  • Exclusive: Amber Hill wants to inspire the next generation of shooters
  • Willis on top of the world after British Championships success
  • Sir Bradley Wiggins to ride Tour de Yorkshire
  • Murray crushes Raonic at Monte-Carlo Masters
  • Cavendish happy to wait for Olympic selection

Historic day for GB boxing as eight book their places for Rio


AndyMurrayDavisCup3200Eight Team GB boxers booked their place at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Friday by winning their semi-final at the European Qualifiers in Samsun, Turkey.

With the top two women and top three men from each weight class qualifying for the Games later this summer, the nine Brits knew that one victory would see them fulfil their Olympic dream.

London 2012 gold medallist Nicola Adams got the ball rolling with a convincing victory over Marielle Hansen of Norway before Galal Yafai, Qais Ashfaq, Muhammad Ali, Joe Cordina, Joshua Buatsi, Lawrence Okolie and Joe Joyce joined her in finding success.

Adams will now attempt to become the first British boxer since Harry Mallin in 1924 to defend an Olympic title, and couldn’t hide her delight at the success she found.

“I’m absolutely overwhelmed. I’m no longer on the road to Rio – I’m going to Rio and it’s an amazing feeling,” said Adams.

“It’s the first step to defending my title – I can’t wait. The job isn’t done yet, I want to get the gold and I want to become European champion again this week. But it’s nice to know I have qualified for the Olympic Games.”

“I’m nervous for every fight. Like I’ve said before, everybody wants to be where I am and wants to be the next Nicola Adams.”

Read the full story here.

Team GB Exclusive: Hill aiming to inspire and make history

Amber Hill2

Amber Hill is hoping to inspire the future generation of talented shooters by winning gold at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio.

At the London Olympics in 2012, Peter Wilson was the lone shooting medallist coming away with gold in the men’s double trap – Britain’s first shooting medal since 2000.

Wilson has since retired and Hill is hoping to pick up the baton, encouraging young girls into a sport which wouldn't necessarily naturally appeal to them.

“The amount of girls in the sport is starting to pick up and is something I feel very strongly about,” said Hill.  

“Currently, it is a male dominated sport but there is no reason why girls can’t get into the sport.

“It’s great that the sport is starting to get more recognised and publicity generally. It’s always been an aim of mine to inspire young people into shooting or any sport in general.

“Shooting has given me so much focus and dedication while allowing me to travel all over the world.”

Despite going into her first Olympics as an 18-year-old, Hill has racked up a list of achievements that would happily befit someone twice her age.

While most at her age will be completing their A-Levels, Hill will be representing Team GB and is not fazed by the prospect.

Despite becoming the youngest Skeet World Cup gold medallist in history aged 15, she has never competed in Brazil but is currently out in Rio for a Test event and believes that will give her valuable experience ahead of the summer.

Read the full story here.

Willis on top of the world after British Championships success

Andrew Willis

Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Andrew Willis admits he is on top of the world after moving one step closer to his second Olympic Games with a gold-medal winning performance at the British Swimming Championships in Glasgow.

Willis, who finished eighth in the 200m breaststroke at London 2012, touched the wall in a personal best of 2:08.08 in the same event to dip under the Olympic qualifying standard on his way to being crowned British Champion.

The 25-year-old came from behind to fight off stiff competition from Stirling duo Craig Benson and Ross Murdoch in the final length, and knew it was going to take his all to make that all-important cut.

“I knew it was going to take a lifetime best to win that,” he said. “And what a race it was.

“It was so easy to tense up because of the nature of the final and what was at stake for a lot of us, so I just had to stick to what I needed to do.

“I knew I could get it but I had to keep my nerve, so I just kept my head down and went for it.

“It’s such a great feeling and that is only going to help us, especially as a nation to progress at the big meets as well.”

Willis’ victory came ahead of long-time rival Michael Jamieson – a silver-medallist in this event four years ago in London.

Jamieson could only manage fifth in the final, finishing off the pace in 2:10.55, and he admitted afterwards he didn’t know what the future holds.

Read the full story here.

Wiggins takes break from Olympic prep for Tour


Sir Bradley Wiggins is to ride in the Tour de Yorkshire meaning he will miss out on some preparation time for the Rio Olympics.

The 2012 Tour de France winner with Team Sky has been focusing on attempts to win his eighth Olympic medal in Brazil this summer.

But he’ll take three days, starting on April 29, to join his own Team Wiggins for the three day race in Yorkshire.

The men’s race contains three stages; 186km race from Beverley to Settle and 136km from Otley to Donacaster before finishes in Scarborough after a 198km race from Middlesborough.

Norwegian Lars Petter Nordhaug won the 2015 event and is returning to defend his title.

Wiggins’ old Team Sky team-mate and British road race champion Pete Kennaugh is likely to be a major contender for Nordhaug’s title.

In the women’s one-day race, world champion Lizzie Armistead will ride the 136km after leaving Otley on Saturday.

Danielle King and Paralympic champion Dame Sarah Storey will also be competing in the day race which ends in Doncaster.

Murray to face Nadal in Monte-Carlo semi-finals

Andy Murray

Simon AmorAndy Murray insists he is slowly but surely finding his feet on clay once again after cruising into the Monte Carlo Masters semi-finals with victory over Milos Raonic.

Murray took just 66 minutes to wrap up an impressive 6-2, 6-0 win and set up a last-four clash with Rafael Nadal.

The world No.2 broke the Canadian's normally impenetrable serve on five occasions as he produced a much-improved display from the almost three-hour victory over Benoit Paire 24 hours earlier.

Murray had struggled since reaching the Australian Open final in January but as he approaches his best once again, the 28-year-old acknowledges it often takes him time to get used to the clay courts.

"It's the most challenging surface for me every year," said Murray. "It normally takes me a few weeks to remember what I need to do, how to move, the way to build up the points and making sure you don't rush.

"The two most important shots in tennis I did really well. I was getting a good read on the serve and, when he missed the first serve, I was being very offensive on the second serve return and putting him under pressure.

"The serve and the return for me were the best they've been for a while and I'm glad, because they weren't so strong the last couple of matches." 

Cavendish happy to wait for Olympic selection

Mark CavendishPaulDrinkhall

Mark Cavendish claims he is happy to play the waiting game when it comes to his chances of competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games this summer.

Cavendish won the madison alongside Bradley Wiggins at the World Track Championships in February but only finished sixth in the omnium – the event in which he would be competing in Rio – thus failing to achieve the stated pre-Championship goal of a podium place.

With the likes of Ed Clancy and Jon Dibben providing stiff competition for Team GB's omnium place, the 30-year-old must now wait until June to find out if he has been selected.

In the meantime he will focus on his road racing season with Dimension Data, with next week's Tour of Croatia his next potential outing.

And Cavendish has indicated that he isn't wasting his time worrying about something out of his control.

"There's nothing I can do to get ready at the moment. The selection will be made in June," Cavendish told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I don't know if I'll go and there aren't any events I can use as preparation, so there's nothing new.

"I'm working for my season on the road and we'll see what happens. Because it's nothing I can control, I'm not thinking about it at the moment."

Sportsbeat 2016