Andy Murray cruises into the Italian Open semi-finals while Chris Mears and Jack Laugher claim synchro diving gold in London. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours:
- Andy Murray is into the final four in Rome
- Mears and Laugher lead the way in London diving
- Federici claims top-ten finish in the synchro swimming
- Brits fall short in Yokohama triathlon
Murray continues serene progress into Rome semis
Britain's Andy Murray reached the semi-finals of the Italian Open with a 6-1 7-5 win over Belgium's David Goffin.
In windy conditions, Murray lost his first service game to love but won six games in a row to take the first set.
Murray, 28, was pushed hard in the next set but the second seed battled through to face France's 'lucky loser' Lucas Pouille in Saturday's last four.
Murray, who has yet to drop a set in Rome this year, is joined in the final four by Novak Djokovic – who beat Rafael Nadal in an epic quarter-final clash – and Kei Nishikori.
"The conditions are extremely difficult," said Murray, who will return to number two in the rankings on Monday.
"The wind is swirling and changing direction in between points. Also there's no clay on the court either.
"Sometimes when they put clay on in between games it's slow, but two points later its all blown off and it's like playing on a hard court.
"It was obviously difficult, challenging and frustrating conditions. It's difficult to play great tennis."
Laugher and Mears dive for gold
Jack Laugher and Chris Mears produced a series of superlative dives to win gold in the three metre springboard final at the European Aquatics Championships in London.
Their win topped off a fantastic night for British divers as Tonia Couch and Georgia Ward earlier won silver and bronze, respectively, in the 10m platform final.
Laugher and Mears scored 456.81 from their six dives, taking the lead in the third round and not letting it go despite pressure from second placed pair, Russia’s Olympic and world silver medallists Ilia Zakharov and Evgenii Kuznetsov, who eventually finished 11.58 points behind the Brits.
Ukrainian duo Illya Kvasha and Oleksandr Gorshkovozov won bronze, a further 5.37 points behind the Russians.
The Brits’ score was a personal best for the pair and Laugher, who also won silver in the individual three metre springboard competition, was delighted with the result.
“This is massive for us and 11-point PB,” added Laugher, who also won silver in the individual 3m Springboard.
“It’s the first time we’ve pulled off our triple out, the fifth dive where we scored over 94, which was sensational.
“This has been a long time coming because our synchro has been on form. It took a little while to get going this year but we’re definitely there now.
“Hopefully that score and that performance sends a message out to the rest of the world that we are on form ahead of Rio.”
Randall impressed as synchro team finish eighth
Hannah Randall admitted the best is still to come as the British synchronised swimming team improved on their score from the last year’s European Championships to finish eighth.
A young GB synchro squad showed off off an exciting James Bond themed routine to the crowd in the European Free Combination event.
The GB squad showed great improvement on day four of the European Aquatics Championships, scoring 77.9667 in the European Free Combination final.
Their ‘Bond’ routine saw them swimming to the music from the opening credits, as well as ‘Skyfall’ by Adele, to exhibit a poignant routine with some great changes in pace. Hannah Randall was very positive about the squad’s performance and insisted they would be looking to improve in time for the World Championships next year. Finished eighth, 79.000
“It was a really good swim for us,” said Randall. “It was a new routine and we were really excited to go first.
“The crowd were amazing for us, especially being a home crowd and it felt really good.”
“The opportunity to compete at these Europeans has been a great one and a great learning experience for all the girls. We can’t wait to get back to training and keep improving and our next big target will be Worlds next summer.”
Elsewhere, Olivia Federici continued to impress, finishing top ten for her Solo Tech routine, increasing her score by three points from her performance at the ASA National Synchronised Swimming Championships in Nottingham last month
Bowden stakes his claim in Yokohama
Adam Bowden grabbed his opportunity to impress as, in the absence of the Brownlee brothers, he finished 12th in the Yokohama Triathlon overnight.
Bowden crossed the line in 1:47:24 as victory was secured by Spain’s Mario Mola.
Bowden is now in the driving seat for selection to Rio 2016 as this was the last event the selectors were looking at and he beat out his compatriots.
Matthew Sharp had to settle for 26th on the day while Thomas Bishop and Gordon Benson were back in 49th and 50th respectively.
There was no British representation in the women’s event that was won by Gwen Jorgensen of the USA with Australia’s Ashleigh Gentle second and home favourite Ai Ueda third
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