Olympic24: Ennis-Hill suffers injury set-back as Brits claim Grand Slam medals

Olympic24: Ennis-Hill suffers injury set-back as Brits claim Grand Slam medals

07 May 2016 / 09:13

Jessica Ennis-Hill has been forced to withdraw from the Hypo-Meeting in Gotzis ahead of Rio, while Nekoda Davis and Ashley McKenzie both won medals at the Baku Grand Slam. Catch up on all the latest news from the last 24 hours here.

  • Injury has denied Jessica Ennis-Hill the chance to face her Olympic rivals at the Hypo-Meeting in Gotzis in June.
  • Nekoda Davis boosted her hopes of making Rio with silver at the Baku Grand Slam as Ashley McKenzie also took bronze.
  • Eilidh Doyle produced a world-lead time on the opening day of the Diamond League season.
  • There were impressive performances at the European Rowing Championships.
  • Andy Murray will face Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of the Madrid Open.
  • Tom Bosworth will lead the British challenge at the World Race Walking Team Championships.
  • Team GB secured two table tennis places at this summer's Olympic Games
  • England Sevens have agreed new contracts with some of their stars ahead of Rio.

Ennis-Hill forced to withdraw from Hypo-Meeting in Gotzis

Jessica Ennis-Hill

Olympic and world heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill has been forced to pull out of June's Hypo-Meeting in Gotzis, Austria.

The 30-year-old had to miss the World Indoor Championships in March due to an Achilles tendon problem and she has yet to fully recover.

Missing the Gotzis meeting will deny Ennis-Hill the chance to assess her form and that of her rivals before the Olympic Games but the 30-year-old has already accrued enough points to qualify for Rio.

On Twitter the IAAF said: “Organisers of the #HypoMeeting in Gotzis have confirmed that Jessica Ennis-Hill has been forced to withdraw from this year’s competition.”
There will still be British interest in the women’s  heptathlon though as Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Morgan Lake will be looking to achieve the Olympic qualifying standard.

Silver for Davis as McKenzie claims bronze

Nekoda Davis2

British judoka Nekoda Davis boosted her Rio qualification hopes with silver at the Baku Grand Slam as team-mate Ashley McKenzie also claimed bronze.

Davis bagged her third medal of the year and another 300 qualifying points for Rio in the Azerbaijan capital with just under a month of qualifying for this summer’s Olympics remaining.

The 23-year-old booked her place in the final by throwing China’s Tongjuan Lu for ippon after just ten seconds in the semis.

But in the final Japan’s Tsukasa Yoshida scored three times with a waza-ari and two Yukos to take gold.

Davis said: “I am happy with my performance and with this medal; I am edging towards being seeded at Rio. This sets me up nicely for the Masters in a few weeks and the end of a long qualification cycle.”

McKenzie produced his best performance since the Tyumen Grand Slam last year to win bronze and in the process added 200 points to his qualifying total.

World-lead time for Doyle in Diamond League opener

European Champion Eilidh Doyle started her 2016 campaign in style with a world-leading 54.53 in the 400m hurdles at the Diamond League meeting in Doha.

The 29-year-old beat a strong field that included World Indoor Champion Kemi Adekoya and Jamaica’s Commonwealth Games gold medallist Kaliese Spencer to produce her fastest ever season-opening time.

Fellow Brit Meghan Beesley came sixth in lane seven with a time of 55.72.

Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz, who claimed silver at the World Indoor Championships, enjoyed a solid start to his outdoor season with a fourth place finish, jumping 2.29m but was unable to reach the 2.33m of USA’s winner Erik Kynard.

Eilish McColgan recorded a second personal best in a week when she came tenth in the women's 3000m, having run an Olympic 5000m qualifying standard last weekend.  

Women’s 800m world finalist Shelayna Oskan-Clarke and Adelle Tracey finished fifth and eighth respectively as South Africa’s Caster Semenya was victorious in a world-leading time of 1:58.26.

And triple jumper Nathan Douglas exited the competition with a best of 16.43m, having needed a top four place to qualify for the final three jumps.

Brits impress on opening day of the European Rowing Championships

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Great Britain’s newly-formed four-man boat produced an impressive performance to book their place in the final of the European Rowing Championships.

The quartet of Alex Gregory, George Nash, Mohamed Sbihi and Constantine Louloudis is likely to be the boat which competes in the event in the Rio Olympics later this summer baring injuries or dramatic change in form.

And they won their opening heat in Brandenburg with a time of 06:08.05 to finish more than six seconds ahead of second-place France and Spain in third to cement their place in Sunday’s final.

Seven of the GB crews in action booked places in Sunday’s finals whilst a further five reached the semi-finals and four still have the chance to progress through repechages.

Murray reaches semi-final of the Madrid Open

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Andy Murray admitted hard work on his serve is starting to pay dividends after he eased past Tomas Berdych to reach the semi-finals of the Madrid Open.

Reigning champion Murray was in impressive form on Friday, winning 6-3 6-2 to record his first victory over the Czech player on clay.

He won 92 per cent of his first-serve points and managed to deny eighth-seed Berdych any break points during a victory that took one hour and 16 minutes.

Home favourite Rafael Nadal now lies in wait in the semi-finals after his 6-0 4-6 6-3 win over Joao Sousa later on Friday afternoon, with world no.1 Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori taking part in the other semi.

Murray insisted his confidence was high after backing up his win over 16th-seed Gilles Simon with victory over Berdych.

"I served great again, my second serve was fantastic, there were no break points again against someone who plays well in these conditions," he said.

"It is easy to say ‘hit the second serve harder’ but sometimes you need to make technical adjustments and have coaching on that.

"I had to make some changes to my serve and I did a lot of research on it myself.

"I feel much more comfortable going bigger on the second serve, as there is a lot more spin on it."

Bosworth one of seven Brits taking part in World Team Championships

Tom Bosworth leads the British challenge at the World Race Walking Team Championships this weekend in Rome - the venue for one of the UK’s greatest moments in the sport.

Bosworth is one of seven Brits who will be taking part in the same city where Don Thompson won the 1960 Olympic 50km race.

Bosworth will be looking to beat his 24th place at the World Championships last summer after impressing since.

Two more Olympic spots confirmed

Team GB have bagged two table tennis quota places for the Olympic Games.

The athletes have not been selected yet but the two spots were confirmed when the latest ITTF rankings were released.

Table Tennis England stated the selection and nomination process will now be followed and the British Olympic Association will announce those selected on May 19.

Stars agree new England Sevens contracts ahead of Rio

England Sevens coach Simon Amor believes he has an exciting core of players for years to come after several players agreed new contracts with the RFU.

James Rodwell, who set a world record of 69 consecutive tournaments on the World Series earlier this year, has extended his England Sevens contract, along with vice-captain Phil Burgess and influential players Tom Bowen, Alex Davis, Warwick Lahmert and Ruaridh McConnochie.

Amor, who will also be the Team GB Sevens coach when the sport is introduced to the Olympics later this year, said: “This group, together with the likes of Dan Bibby, Richard de Carpentier, Charlie Hayter, Dan Norton and Tom Mitchell, gives us an exciting and talented core squad for the World Series next season and for years to come.” 

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Sportsbeat 2016