Andy Murray and Johanna Konta progress in Italy as Tom Daley and Grace Reid win synchronised diving gold and Eve Muirhead’s curling rink split with world champion coach. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours in Olympic sport:
- Andy Murray and Johanna Konta progress in Rome as Heather Watson loses
- Tom Daley and Grace Reid win synchronised diving gold at European championships
- Eve Muirhead and her rink split from coach David Hay
- Men’s hockey squad named for three-test series against Australia
- Six-strong recurve team named for European Archery Championships
- Nick Thompson prepares to defend laser world title
- Katie Clark and Olivia Federici hail synchronised swimming improvements
Mixed day for Brits in Rome
British number ones Andy Murray and Johanna Konta qualified for the third round in Rome as Heather Watson lost to a higher-ranked opponent.
Murray, in his first match since announcing the split from coach Amelie Mauresmo, eased past Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3 6-3.
The 28-year-old, who dropped to number three in the world in this week’s rankings, will play Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in the next round.
With the French Open and Wimbledon just around the corner, Murray is looking to appoint a new coach soon.
He said: "I'll definitely do that when I'm finished here, just to get an idea and get things moving forward because, if not, we get into the French Open, it's another couple of weeks and four or five weeks go past quick.
"Then you're into the grass-court season and that's obviously a pretty important and fairly stressful time of year too, so I'll try and make some progress with that in the next week or two."
Konta, world number 23, breezed past home favourite Roberta Vinci 6-0 6-4 and will play Japan’s Misaki Doi in today’s third round.
Watson could not maintain her good form though, after felling world number 18 Sara Errani in the first round, on Tuesday, she was ousted 6-4 6-2 by the Czech Republic’s Barbora Strycova.
Daley and Reid grab synchro gold
Tom Daley and Grace Reid may only have trained together for less than a fortnight but that didn’t stop them producing some magnificent diving to win mixed 3m synchro gold at the European Aquatics Championships on Wednesday evening.
The duo conjured up five incredibly impressive dives at the London Aquatics Centre to send a vociferous home crowd into raptures as their total of 321.06 points was more than enough to push Italy’s Tania Cagnotto and Maicol Verzotto into second while Nadezhda Bazhina and Nikita Shleikher of Russia took bronze.
With mixed synchro events not included in the Olympic Games, the British pair were only put together for this competition at the start of May, while Daley is also a 10m platform rather than 3m specialist.
But that didn’t hinder them as their final two dives scored 76.26 and 75.60 respectively – both higher scores than any other pair produced all evening – to seal Great Britain’s first gold medal of the European Championships.
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Muirhead’s rink split from coach
Eve Muirhead admits her curling rink are heading in a new direction after confirming they will part company with coach David Hay at the end of the season.
Former world champion Hay has worked with the squad of Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Sarah Reid for the past four years – helping them to seven World and European Championship medals and Olympic bronze during that time.
However, they failed to makes the semi-finals of the recent World Championships in Canada after losing four of their 11 round-robin games.
The decision comes less than two years out from the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang but is part of a major overhaul of the rink with Reid also set to be replaced.
Reid originally came into the team for Claire Hamilton back in 2014 and although Muirhead and co will consider their options over the next month, the 26-year-old concedes that things will be very different without Hay and Reid.
"We must say a heartfelt thank you to both Sarah and Dave who have given so much of themselves to the team and we take that contribution with us," said Muirhead.
"It's been a total pleasure working with Sarah for the last two seasons and she has brought a lot to the team.
"We consider her a great friend and a great curler and wish her the very best for whatever she decides to do next.
"No longer working with Dave is going to be a real shake-up for us as a team as he has been our coach for the last four years.
"He is a fantastic coach and has been an inspiring and committed member of our team for the last four years."
Crutchley names 22-strong squad for Australia
Great Britain will step up their preparations ahead of this summer's Champions Trophy and Olympic Games with a three-Test series in Australia.
Head coach Bobby Crutchley's 22-strong squad head Down Under today with the first Test getting underway on May 22, followed by games on May 22 and May 24.
There are also warm-up matches against Western Australia on May 16 and 18 with Crutchley looking to cast his eye over his players' development.
A number of players are set to reach landmarks during the series with Simon Mantell one game away from 200 appearance for Great Britain and England combined, while there could also be Great Britain centuries for Scotland's Chris Grassick and England's Mikey Hoare.
Adam Dixon is also one match away from a half century of Great Britain appearances while Phil Roper is poised to win his 50th international cap should he feature in two of the Tests.
Australia are currently top of the world rankings and will also play Great Britain in their opening match of the Champions Trophy in London on June 10.
"This is another important part of our preparation for the Champions Trophy and the Olympic Games," said Crutchley.
"We want to challenge ourselves against the best and Australia in their own back yard is about as tough as it gets.
"It's a great opportunity for the squad to play against a different style of hockey in different conditions and will be a chance for a number of individuals to stake a claim for selection for the tournaments this summer.
"It's not going to be easy but we are really looking forward to a positive trip and continuing our development as a group ahead of a big summer of hockey."
Recurve team named for home European Archery Championships
A six-strong Great Britain recurve archery team has been named for the European championships in Nottingham later this month.
Olympians Amy Oliver and Naomi Folkard, as well as 2014 Youth Olympian Bryony Pitman, make up the female half of the team.
Three-time Olympian Larry Godfrey, gold medallist at the Marrakech World Cup Patrick Houston, and youngster Kieran Slater, complete the team.
The compound team for the competition was announced last month with the best of British archery talent set to pit themselves against hundreds of archers from across the continent at the University of Nottingham’s Highfields playing fields from May 23 to 29.
David Tillotson, performance director at Archery GB, said: “To have a home European Championship as well as the Olympic Games in the same year is a very exciting prospect for the team, and we’re working on using this energy and drive to be really competitive and achieve our best results possible.
“Our men’s recurve team reached the bronze medal match at the World Cup in Shanghai at the beginning of the month and, along with promising medal performances recently in Antalya and Slovenia, we’re hoping to build further on this success.”
The championship will include a separate continental qualifying tournament on Friday, May 27, allowing European countries to secure individual quota places for the Rio Olympic Games.
The British team can qualify one male and one female place during the event.
Thompson prepares for title defence
As he prepares to defend his Laser World Championship title in Mexico next week, Nick Thompson admits he has been getting a little help from a close friend and teammate.
Thompson is in Vallarta for the Championships, which begin today, looking to add to his collection of five World medals.
While that experience will undoubtedly help him, the 30-year-old has also been making the most of gleaming some helpful tips from fellow British Sailing athlete Alison Young.
Laser sailor Young became the first Brit to win World gold in the solo Olympic dinghy class last month – crucially at the same Mexico venue.
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Synchro improvements bode well for future
Synchronised swimming duo Katie Clark and Olivia Federici returned to the London 2012 Olympic Games pool and believe the improvements they demonstrated bode well for the future.
The pair were competing in the final of the Duet Free at the European Aquatics Championships and finished eighth in the final reckoning.
They ended with a score of 81.4333, an improvement of 1.7 points from Tuesday’s prelims.
Clark and Federici have qualified a quota place at the 2016 Olympic Games and, while the final duo for Rio has not been announced, the former is pleased that things are looking up in the pool.
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