Olympic24: England shock Germany and table tennis World Champs

Olympic24: England shock Germany and table tennis World Champs

02 March 2016 / 07:53

England stun Germany at the World Team table tennis Championships while Greg Rutherford is named in the British team for the World Indoors. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours:

  • England beat Germany in the Championship division of the World Team Champs in Malaysia
  • Rutherford named in World Indoors athletics teams
  • Froome prepared to support Thomas in Rio gold medal bid
  • Fragapane ready for Glasgow return

England upset Germany in World Team Championships


Paul Drinkhall, Sam Walker and Liam Pitchford led the way as England stunned Germany 3-1 in a Championship division clash at the World Team Championships in Kuala Lumpur.

England took the lead thanks to Paul Drinkhall’s opening win over world number 39 Bastian Seger, 3-2, before the Germans levelled thanks to a Ruwen Flis win over Pitchford.

Sam Walker then saw off Patrick Franziska before Pitchford sealed the win with victory over Seger, and the 22-year-old admitted the pressure had told in the end.

“I knew Bastian was under pressure, Germany was down two-one and in the first match, he had lost to Paul,” Pitchford told the ITTF website. “I’ve played him in the German Bundesliga but I’ve lost more times than I have won against him.”

Rutherford included in GB World Indoor Champs team


Reigning Olympic and World long jump Champion Greg Rutherford headlines a 23-strong British team for this month’s World Indoor Championships in Portland, America.

Rutherford has been struggling with a chest infection in recent weeks and was forced to pull out of last weekend’s Indoor British Championships, with Dan Bramble instead taking the title.

But the duo have both been named in the team for the World Championships from March 17-20.

London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz, World Championship silver medallist Shara Proctor and double World Indoor Championships medallist Tiffany Porter are also included.

Chris Baker is set for his global championship debut alongside Grabarz in the high jump while the team also contains a number of newly crowned British Indoor champions in 800m title winner Adelle Tracey, 1500m runner Charlie Grice and 3000m athlete Steph Twell.

At 18 years old age, Morgan Lake is the youngest member of the team, and will compete in the pentathlon.

At the last World Indoor Championships in Sopot two years ago, Great Britain came away with six medals including gold for Richard Kilty in the men’s 60m.

The sprinter has opted to withdraw himself from selection for performance reasons, choosing instead to focus on the outdoor season, as have 400m British champion Nigel Levine, 60m hurdles champion Andy Pozzi and 1500m champion Hannah England.

Performance Director for British Athletics, Neil Black said: “This is a team that has been selected on the basis that every athlete can realistically make their final, but also with an eye on their individual development looking towards the Olympics this year and the London 2017 World Championships.

“There have been some excellent performances during the indoor season and we are confident that many of those selected will be challenging for medals.”

Froome ready to support Thomas in Rio bid

Chris Froome

Great Britain's Chris Froome admits he would consider playing a supporting role at this summer's Olympic Games if Team Sky colleague Geraint Thomas was better placed for glory.

Froome is all set for a busy year as he looks to defend his Tour de France title and compete in both the Olympic time trial and road race in Rio in August.

Four years ago the 30-year-old picked up time trial bronze behind British champion Sir Bradley Wiggins as well as trying to help Mark Cavendish to gold in the road race.

The road race course in Rio is set to be one suited to climbers, leaving the likes of Froome, Thomas and Simon and Adam Yates in contention for a place on the five-man Great Britain team.

And while his current status as a two-time Tour de France winner might put him as favourite for a lead role in the team, Froome is not ruling out playing a supporting role to Thomas if the situation arose.

Although a double Olympic track champion, Welshman Thomas has shown his prowess on the road in recent seasons, including staying in contention at last year's Tour de France before a crash on stage 16 derailed his chances in the general classification.

And Froome knows he is one to watch on the road this year.

"I'd be happy playing a role if it meant we could have an Olympic champion," said Froome.

"Anyone who watched the Tour last year could see what 'G' is capable of.

"At the Olympics it will be a very honest, open discussion between us, out on the road. Who's feeling good? Can we get the job done today? Will you pull? Will you not pull?

"It's that team dynamic. As long as communication is good I think you'll have that buy-in from everyone.

"If G is flying and I'm struggling, then definitely... [I'd support him]."

Fragapane relishing Glasgow return


Claudia Fragapane made her name in Glasgow two years ago at the Commonwealth Games and admits she can’t wait to return for the 2016 Glasgow World Cup.

The 18-year-old, who won four gold medals at the Commonwealths two years ago, will be part of the British team in the event on March 12.

She also enjoyed success at last year’s World Championships, also in Glasgow, helping Britain to team medal at the worlds, and having tasted so much success in the city, Fragapane is excited to go back.

She told British Gymnastics: “Glasgow is an amazing place - every time I go there I seem to do well! I’m really excited to compete there again and hopefully I can continue the success I’ve been lucky to achieve so far! I feel like everything is going really well.

“My routines are coming together and I’ve been working on my stamina to execute them consistently in a clean way. I feel like I’m on the right path and really looking forward to the exciting year ahead. All of the British girls are trying their hardest to be the best that we can and, although it’s been hard, it’s coming along nicely!” 

Sportsbeat 2016