Olympic24: European success for Walkden and medley relay swimmers

Olympic24: European success for Walkden and medley relay swimmers

23 May 2016 / 06:43
Bianca Walkden is eyeing Olympic glory following her European Taekwondo Championship success while double relay medley gold ensures Great Britain end the European Aquatics Championships on a high. Here's our review of the last 24 hours.
  • Bianca Walkden retains her +73kg European crown in Montreux, Switzerland
  • The women's and men's medley relay teams find success at the London Aquatics Centre of the final day of European Championship action
  • Scotland seal a remarkable World Sevens Series triumph at Twickenham
  • Liam Heath is looking for improvement despite Canoe Sprint World Cup bronze
  • Jessica Ennis-Hill successfully makes her return from injury at the Loughborough International
  • Great Britain men's hockey team fall to a late defeat in the second of three Tests against Australia

Walkden looking to add missing medal after Euro success

Bianca Walkden is now targeting the only major taekwondo title missing from her collection – Olympic gold – after retaining her European crown in Montreux, Switzerland.

Walkden beat Turkey’s Nafia Kus 5-4 in a hard-fought +73kg final to become a two-time champion of Europe.

Also the reigning world champion, the Brit has qualified a place for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games this summer and acknowledges that her success at the Salle Omnisports Perrier bodes well for her preparations.

“It’s really nice to be reigning World and European champion and hopefully I can go to the Olympics and become Olympic champion now,” said Walkden.

“The plan is to get gold in Rio and hopefully I can go out there and deliver that gold medal.”

To read more from Walkden, click here.

GB end European Aquatics Championships on a high

GB girls

Great Britain signed off from the European Aquatics Championships in style by winning both the women’s and men’s medley relays on Sunday’s final night of action.

The men’s team - Adam Peaty, James Guy, Chris Walker-Hebborn and Duncan Scott - won the final race of this year’s competition to take Britain’s total medal tally to 22, the highest number of any nation, despite being in heavy training ahead of the Olympic Games.

The penultimate swim saw the women’s quartet of Fran Halsall, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, Chloe Tutton and Kathleen Dawson win gold in the 4x100m medley relay

Britain also added another silver medal to the collection earlier in the night when Jazz Carlin won a hard-fought battle to secure second in the 400m freestyle after Halsall had won her third individual medal of the week with silver in the 50m freestyle.

And Ben Proud posted a time of 21.85 seconds in the men’s 50m freestyle to earn a bronze medal, touching the wall just 0.12 seconds after French winner Florent Manaudou.

Catch up on all the final session’s action with our full wrap by clicking here.

Historic triumph for Scotland Sevens at Twickenham

Scotland Sevens captain Scott Wight believes contributions from the entire squad were the key to their remarkable triumph in the London leg of the World Sevens Series at Twickenham Stadium.

The Scots had never even reached the Cup final at a World Seven Series event, let alone lifted the trophy, but after beating England in the quarter-finals and USA in the semis, South Africa were downed 27-26 in a thrilling final.

Scotland trailed the Blitzbokke 26-15 with barely a minute to play but two moments of magic from Dougie Fife saw them complete the most unlikely of comebacks in the final event of the World Seven Series season.

“I feel ecstatic. It probably hasn’t sunk in properly at the moment,” said Wight. “We were a long way behind in the final but the boys stuck on task and got the ball over the line at the end.”

Click here for full reaction to the incredible triumph in London.

Heath believes improvement needed despite World Cup bronze

Liam Heath

Liam Heath admits there is still work to be done in his bid for Rio despite culminating his Canoe Sprint World Cup campaign with a bronze medal.

Heath, who picked up the same colour alongside Jon Schofield in the K2 200m at London 2012, finished joint third in a world-class line-up that saw only 0.23 seconds separate the top four paddlers in Duisburg.

The 31-year-old finished in 34.582 seconds to end level with Latvia’s Aleksejs Rumjancevs, falling just short of the time needed to knock eventual winner Manfredi Rizza of Italy and French runner-up Maxime Beaumont off the top two perches on the podium.

“It wasn’t quite the race I was hoping for, but it is definitely something to improve on over the next few months,” said Heath.

“I had a really good semi-final on Saturday where I executed the perfect race plan, but Sunday was a bit different.”

Read more from Heath here

Ennis-Hill feeling good after comeback event


Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill claims she is feeling healthy once again after making her competitive return from injury in Loughborough on Sunday.

Ennis-Hill came eighth in the javelin at the Loughborough International, her first competition since last year’s World Championships after an Achilles injury ruled her out of the indoor season.

Her furthest throw of 41.69 metres was some way short of her 48.33m personal best but with the Rio 2016 Olympic Games less than three months away, the 30-year-old is adamant she is now headed in the right direction.

She said: "My Achilles actually feels really good and the work that I've done with the medical team and the rehab and just making sure we get it right has really worked."

Great Britain slip to hockey defeat in Australia


Great Britain defender Dan Fox has promised a reaction on Tuesday after a Blake Govers hat-trick handed Australia a 4-3 win in the second match of their three-game series in Western Australia.

Following Saturday's 2-2 draw at Narrogin Hockey stadium, Australia fought back from a 2-0 deficit at the same venue on Sunday before Govers completed his treble at the death to break Great Britain hearts despite Ashley Jackson’s double and a goal for Sam Ward.

The final game will be played on Tuesday at Perth Hockey Stadium and Fox admits GB will need to show improvement if they are to level the series.

"They played pretty well today and we're a bit disappointed in our performance," said Fox.

"We need to be a bit better on the ball. We need to receive the ball under pressure better and not turn it over so cheaply that'll put them under pressure.

"We'll go back to Perth tonight to rest up. We'll be desperate to get the win and level the series." 

Sportsbeat 2016

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