Great Britain female gymnasts qualify in top spot for Saturday’s European team final, while Olympic champion Greg Rutherford is one of a number of Brits to impress at the Diamond League meeting in Rome. Here’s our round up of the latest news.
- Becky Downie, Ellie Downie, Claudia Fragapane, Ruby Harrold and Gabby Jupp edge ahead of Russia to top team qualifying – and earn seven individual final sports in the process
- Greg Rutherford leaps a season’s best 8.31m to maintain his unbeaten start to 2016 while high jumper Robbie Grabarz is second in Rome
- GB hockey women secure series win over World Champions the Netherlands after a 1-1 draw in Amsterdam.
- Andy Murray sets his sights on French Open title ahead of semi-final
- Sam Walker named as third team GB table tennis representative for Rio 2016 Olympic Games
- Synchronised swimmers Katie Clark and Olivia Federici aim to inspire after being named in Team GB squad for Rio
- Team GB rugby sevens set for first outing at Rugby Europe Grand Prix Sevens Series in Moscow
- Three Rio-bound boxers named in British Lionhearts team for World Series of Boxing final
- Emma Pooley to headline Great Britain Cycling Team’s roster at 2016 Aviva Women’s Tour.
GB women on top form in European qualification
Great Britain’s women topped the standings in qualifying after an outstanding session at the European Championships in Bern.
Ruby Harrold, Ellie Downie, Becky Downie, Gabby Jupp and Claudia Fragapane were on top form to secure a team total of 173.636 points in Switzerland, to edge out Russia (173.261) into second place and book their place in Saturday’s team final.
The competition also acted as qualification for Sunday’s apparatus finals with Becky Downie making the bars and beam finals, Ellie Downie and Fragapane the floor and vault, and Jupp the bars final.
“Qualification is often the hardest competition and to have placed in top position with improvements still to make is a great start to these championships,” said Becky Downie.
“We’ve never won gold before so this gives us a lot of belief but we know it won’t be easy – we can’t wait to get out and compete again.”
Rutherford jumps season's best in Rome
Greg Rutherford continued his recent strong form by clinching victory at the Diamond League meeting in Rome.
The Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth Champion jumped 8.31m – the same distance he managed for gold at London 2012 – to take the win and remain unbeaten in 2016.
London 2012 bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz jumped 2.30m to come second in the high jump while Andrew Pozzi was third in the 110m hurdles, the same place managed by Eilidh Doyle in the 400m hurdles
Lynsey Sharp recorded a season’s best 1:59.03 in the 800m while Steph Twell and Chris O’Hare dipped under the Olympic qualifying in the 5000m and 1500m respectively.
GB women seal series win over Netherlands
Alex Danson’s 90th international goal secured Great Britain women a series win over the Netherlands in Amsterdam.
Danson equalised in the fourth quarter for the visitors cancelling out Eva de Goede’s earlier strike.
The 1-1 draw means Great Britain take the series 1-0 following victory earlier this week.
“I’m very pleased with today’s performance,” said head coach Danny Kerry.
“I felt we had the balance of play, particularly in the second half. I’m very proud of how the girls have been on the front foot in both matches despite it being an anxious time around selection for the Champions Trophy and Olympics.
“I feel we can come away from the two matches feeling very positive and we know that we still have good growth to come."
Murray eyes French Open title
Andy Murray will take another step towards making history when he prepares to face Stan Wawrinka in the semi-finals of the French Open today.
Great Britain have not had a winner in Paris since Fred Perry in 1935.
But British number one Murray, who is due on court after 2pm on Friday to face Switzerland’s Wawrinka, is aiming to change all that this week.
"I believe I can win the event. It's possible and only a couple of matches away now. I'll just give everything I've got the next few days," he said.
Walker added to table tennis squad for Rio
Team GB will send three table tennis players to Rio 2016 after Sam Walker was today named as the third athlete heading to the Olympic Games this summer.
The 21-year-old will compete in the team event alongside Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford, who were both selected for the singles competition last month.
The trio won bronze at the Team World Championships in Kuala Lumpur earlier this year in a breakthrough for British table tennis at a global level.
"It’s been one of my dreams since I started playing to represent Team GB at the Olympic Games and to get it so early in my career is incredible. I’m looking forward to it," he said.
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Federici and Clark discuss Rio selection in the latest Team GB Exclusive
For most athletes, retirement is a definitive full stop to a sporting career, but three years after saying goodbye to the pool, synchronised swimmers Olivia Federici and Katie Clark have returned stronger than ever as they prepare to make a splash in Rio.
After diving back into the sport last year, Federici and Clark – who qualified Team GB a quota place in March – were announced on Wednesday as the two British synchronised swimmers heading to this summer’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games, marking a remarkable comeback to the sport they both so clearly adore.
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Team GB rugby sevens set for first outing
Great Britain Sevens will take to the rugby field together for the first time this weekend when they play in the opening round of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Sevens Series in Moscow.
Two British teams are entered in the event, playing as the GB Lions and GB Royals, with the wider training squad having gathered on Monday.
Team GB Sevens head coach Simon Amor said: "It's been a very exciting first few days, the talent is exceptional and the way the guys have trained in the sessions shows real intent. They are bringing out the best in each other.”
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British Lionhearts team named for WSB final
Three boxers in line to compete for Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games this summer have been named in the British Lionhearts team to face the Cuba Domodores this Saturday in the final of the World Series of Boxing.
Galal Yafai (light flyweight), Muhammad Ali (flyweight) and Lawrence Okolie (heavyweight), who are all unbeaten in WSB, will compete for the Lionhearts team making its first appearance in the final of WSB, after knocking out the defending champions Astana Arlans last week.
Joining the trio in Uzbekistan will be Peter McGrail (bantamweight), Luke McCormack, Dalton Grant, Ekow Essuman, Troy Williamson, Thomas Whittaker-Hart and Frazer Clarke.
Rob McCracken, GB Boxing's performance director and head coach of the British Lionhearts said: "A final against Cuba will be the biggest challenge yet, however the boxers should be confident in their ability and as long as they give their best they can be proud of what they have achieved this year."
Pooley headlines Great Britain Cycling Team at Aviva Women's Tour
Olympic silver medallist and former time trial world champion Emma Pooley will headline the Great Britain Cycling Team’s roster at the 2016 Aviva Women’s Tour.
Pooley, 33, retired from the sport in 2014 but is hoping to earn selection for the Rio Olympic Games in what is expected to be a support role for world champion Lizzie Armitstead.
Jessie Walker and Grace Garner, as well as Team Breeze riders Mel Lowther, Abbie Dentus and Annasley Park, will join Pooley at the Women’s Tour, alongside 15 other six-woman squads.