Olympic24: Scotland lead at Worlds, as rowers fight for Rio spots

Olympic24: Scotland lead at Worlds, as rowers fight for Rio spots

23 March 2016 / 08:25

Eve Muirhead's Scotland continued their impressive run at the Women's World Curling Championships, while Mohamed Sbihi believes he and Alex Gregory have another gear to go at the GB Rowing Team’s Olympic-season trials. For this and more news on British athletes, here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

- Eve Muirhead's Scotland beat Denmark and Finland in Canada
- GB rowers fight it out for places at Rio up for grabs
- Charles Cousins will miss the Olympics as he requires surgery
- Teenager Katie Swan impresses at the Miami Open
- 'Super Saturday' voted greatest sporting moment

Scotland beat Finland with the last stone at World Championships


Eve Muirhead's Scotland made it six wins on the bounce at the Women's World Curling Championships with the final stone in the last end to maintain their position at the top of the leaderboard.

Scotland lost their opening contest against Sweden on Saturday but since then are unbeaten in six and are one of three teams at the top, alongside hosts Canada and Switzerland – who both sat out session 11.

Their latest victory came on Tuesday night as they beat Finland 6-5 in a match-up which went down to the wire.

In Scotland’s second contest of the day, having beaten Denmark 9-3 in the morning, Finland had led 1-0 and 3-1 in the opening three ends before Muirhead’s team levelled in the fifth and took a 4-3 advantage in the next.

Finland twice levelled but after keeping the final end clear, Muirhead was left with an open draw to claim victory with the final stone.

Muirhead said: “We had a good game there  – maybe a few ups and downs compared to earlier on and not quite as solid, but every game is a grind. 

“It’s the same at every World Championship but to come away with another day, another two wins is really good. So far things are going well. We’ve got a really tough day tomorrow, with Russia and then Switzerland.”

She added: “When you come into the World Championship you expect no easy rides. Finland are a great team, they’re European bronze medallists, so we knew it was going to be tough, but last stone, last end – we’re really pleased we came out with a win.”

GB rowers fight it out with places at Rio up for grabs

Mohamed Sbihi

Olympic medallist Mohamed Sbihi believes he and Alex Gregory have another gear to go at the GB Rowing Team’s Olympic-season trials after their semi-final victory yesterday.

The duo are the favourites to win the men’s pair final although they will face stiff competition in the shape of Olympic medallists Pete Reed and Constantine Louloudis after they won the opposing semi in a faster time.

Sbihi said: “We had the objective to go hard out of the blocks and stick to doing our own thing. We got the rewards over the first 500m and then were able to settle into a nice rhythm, relax and kick out.”

Alan Sinclair and Stewart Innes impressed to take second behind Gregory and Sbihi but there was heartache for double Olympic champion Andrew T Hodge and World silver medallist Matt Langridge, who failed to make the top three at the expense of Tom Ransley and Scott Durant, and will now contest the B final instead. 

There are 115 rowers taking part in the trials with and just 48 Olympic places on offer. 

London 2012 bronze medallist Alan Campbell will go in the men’s single scull final, alongside emerging talent Angus Groom.

John Collins, Sam Townsend, Graeme Thomas and Jonny Walton are recent World medallists or finalists and will also be competing in sculling events.

With only two places up for grabs in the lightweight women’s single scull, Charlotte Taylor, Kat Copeland and Imogen Walsh are set to do battle and Will Fletcher stood out in the men’s semi-final.

Helen Glover and Heather Stanning are favourites in their women’s pair semi-final and double Olympic medallist Frances Houghton, going for her fifth Olympics, took the other semi alongside Olivia Carnegie Brown.

And 2012 silver medalist Chris Bartley and Mark Aldred came out on top in the semi-finals of the lightweight men’s pair final ahead of the four-boat final.

Today’s action takes place between 10am and 12pm.

Surgery rules Cousins out of the Olympics

Charles Cousins

Double World Championship medallist Charles Cousins has been forced to withdraw from the race to make the Great Britain rowing team for this summer's Olympic Games after having back surgery.

Cousins has not been in action at the Olympic trials in Caversham after he was warned he risked irreversible damage if he continued without having surgery.

The 27-year-old, who finished fifth in the men's quadruple sculls at London 2012, had been managing the injury for the past year.

"It wasn't an easy decision," said Cousins. "There were tears, sleepless nights contemplating everything. But in the end I did what needed to be done.

"I am devastated that I will not compete at Rio. Although I won't be in the boat, I truly believe the quad will go on to do great things and I take solace in knowing I was part of it."

Teenager impresses at the Miami Open

Katie Swan GB

Sixteen-year-old Katie Swan produced an impressive display before losing 6-2 4-6 6-2 to American Sam Crawford on what was a tough day for the Brits in the first round of the Miami Open.

Former British number one Laura Robson lost 7-6 6-2 to Belgian Kirsten Flipkens and Naomi Broady went down 6-4 6-2 to Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

And in the men’s event, James Ward was unable to join Andy Murray in the main draw after losing 6-3 6-3 to Bjorn Fratangelo of the USA.

'Super Saturday' voted greatest sporting moment


Four years ago, the performances, images and emotions of the now infamous Super Saturday helped ensured London 2012’s place in British Olympic Games history.

And it would appear the events of August 4 2012 were not just confined to Olympic fans either with Super Saturday having been voted as the greatest sporting moment of all time following a poll of 2,000 Brits by Simon Jersey, official supplier to Team GB.

Read more about it here.

Sportsbeat 2016