Road to Rio: 39 days to go
Road to Rio

Road to Rio: 39 days to go

27 June 2016 / 13:49

Just 39 days remain until this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio, but there is still plenty keeping our Team GB athletes busy.
Whether that is attempting to qualify or fine-tuning preparations for those already selected, no-one is resting on their laurels.
Each Monday we will look back at what our athletes have been getting up to during the last week and who to keep an eye on over the coming seven days.

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The week that was

Hockey

It was a week of mixed fortunes for Great Britain’s women at the Champions Trophy but they did manage to sign off on a high as they beat New Zealand 4-3 in their final match to finish fifth on Sunday.

After pool stage defeats to Australia, Netherlands, the Black Sticks and the USA, Alex Danson was the standout performer in their last match on Sunday with a hat-trick to give the home fans plenty to cheer, while Lily Owsley also contributed a goal.

The team will now enter their final block of training before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games hockey competition gets underway on August 6.

Read more here.

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Athletics

The Rio picture became clearer for a number of individuals as British champions were crowned at the British Athletics Championships in Birmingham over the weekend.

The likes of sprinters Adam Gemili and Dina Asher-Smith and hurdler Andrew Pozzi all shone to climb onto the top spot on the podium and move a step closer to the Olympic Games.

Read more here.

Elsewhere over the weekend, Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill completed her first heptathlon since winning gold at last year’s World Championships to win the IAAF Combined Challenge in Germany.

The 30-year-old clocked 6,733 points – 64 more than she managed in winning the world title – and the second best score in the world this year.

Jessica Ennis-Hill

Canoe sprint

This weekend saw the last competitive outing for Britain’s sprint canoeists ahead of Rio and they certainly delivered the goods.

Liam Heath powered his way to gold in the men’s K1 200m while Jess Walker also picked up a medal with silver in the women’s equivalent.

Read more here.

Fencing

There was also a podium finish for Rio-bound fencers Richard Kruse, Laurence Halsted and Marcus Mepstead as they teamed up with James-Andrew Davis to pick up bronze at the European Championships in Poland.

Defeated by Italy in the semi-finals, the Brits rallied and with Mepstead coming in for Davis, ran out 45-28 winners over France.

Read more here.

Boxing

Team GB will take their biggest ever boxing squad to Rio after Pat McCormack and Josh Kelly added another two named qualifying spots last week.

Light-welterweight McCormack secured his place with a unanimous victory over Hassan Amsile of France at the quarter-final stage of the Olympic qualifying event in Baku.

He was joined later in the day by Kelly who easily outpointed Aaron Prince of Trinidad and Tobago in the welterweight quarter-final.

Rio 2016 team announcements

The Team GB Olympic squad announcements continued at pace last week with no fewer than three sports taking centre stage.

First up, in Manchester, it was the turn of taekwondo with Olympic champion Jade Jones headlining a four-strong team. Read more here.

Meanwhile, on Friday, 26 cyclists were announced as on the plane to Rio, including Sir Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Laura Trott. Read more here.

A total of 46 rowers have now been announced too with Alan Sinclair and Stewart Innes confirmed as the men’s pair, Sam Scrimgeour the men’s lightweight while Katherine Grainger will be making her fifth Olympic Games appearance alongside Vicky Thornley in the double. Read more here.

The week ahead

Tennis

All eyes will be on Wimbledon for the next fortnight as the world’s best tennis players descend on SW19 for the third Grand Slam of the year.

All four of Team GB’s named tennis players – Andy Murray, Jamie Murray, Johanna Konta and Heather Watson – will be in action starting on Tuesday.

Hopes are high when it comes to British chances with no fewer than 15 players in singles action although much of the attention will be focussed on Andy Murray, who will be looking to claim his second Wimbledon crown.

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Cycling

With Wimbledon getting underway, it means the Tour de France is not far behind either – or Saturday, July 2, to be more precise.

Fresh from being named in the road cycling squad for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Chris Froome will be aiming to join the privileged club to have won three Tour titles.

Fellow Rio-bound sprinter Mark Cavendish will also be aiming to star for the Brits as he looks to add to his 26 stage wins.

Triathlon

The next leg of the triathlon World Series rolls around next weekend, this time in Stockholm, Sweden.

Last time out it was the Brownlee show as Olympic Champion Alistair Brownlee pipped brother Jonny to take gold on home soil in Leeds, while in the women’s race Vicky Holland picked up bronze.

With Stockholm the penultimate leg before the Olympic Games gets underway, watch out for some stellar battles as athletes aim to put down a marker.

Sportsbeat 2016 

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