Olympic24: Adams on road to Rio as Bedene sets up Nadal clash

Nicola Adams wins first bout on the way to qualification for Rio 2016 as Aljaz Bedene sets up an encounter with Rafael Nadal and we look ahead to the British Swimming Championships in Glasgow. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours:

Olympic boxing champion Nicola Adams took the first step to defending her title with a win in the first round of the European qualifying tournament.

Should Adams reach Rio and defend her title she would be the first British boxer to do so in 92 years.

The 33-year-old from Leeds secured a unanimous decision victory over Iulia Coroli of Moldova at the event in Samsun, Turkey.

On Wednesday she faces France’s Sarah Ourahmoune for a place in the semi-finals.

Should she make the final she will secure qualification for Rio but her teammate Savannah Marshall fell at the first hurdle, losing to Erika Guerrier.

She will now hope to qualify via next month’s World Championships.

Aljaz Bedene got off to a flying start at the Monte Carlo Masters with a comfortable victory over Lukas Rosol.

The British number two beat Rosol, conqueror of Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2012, 6-2 6-3 to set up a clash with the Spaniard in the second round.

Nadal, seeded fifth at the tournament, has won the prestigious Monte Carlo title a record eight times and won 46 consecutive matches at the tournament between 2005 and 2013.

Bedene’s compatriot Andy Murray begins his campaign on the clay courts later this week with a second round tie against Guido Pella of Argentina or Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France.

Murray has already tasted action in Monte Carlo though, teaming up with Davis Cup colleague Dom Inglot to beat Pablo Cuevas and Marcel Granollers 6-3 6-4.

The duo will play experienced doubles pairing Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Serbia's Nenad Zimonjic in the second round.

When the pressure is on, elite sportsmen thrive. And the pressure will rarely have been higher than at next week’s British Swimming Championships in Glasgow.

GB’s best swimmers will go head-to-head to not only compete for British titles, but with places at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on the line.

The Tollcross International Swimming Centre will play host from Tuesday through to Sunday as any athletes finishing in the top two and going under the Olympic qualifying time, once ratified by the British Olympic Association, will be on the plane to Rio.

There are a myriad storylines to follow in Glasgow but one of the most interesting centres around Adam Peaty as he looks to continue his recent domination.

Read more here.

Great Britain men's ice hockey head coach Pete Russell is convinced his players' hunger will stand them in good stead after naming his squad for the upcoming World Championship in Croatia.

GB won a silver medal in the Netherlands last year and will face hosts Croatia, Estonia, Lithuania, Romania and Ukraine this time around in Division 1B.

Forward Evan Mosey will make his World Championship debut after the dual-national American was called up as part of the 23-man squad.

Mosey, 27, is one of six players in the party who helped Nottingham Panthers lift the Elite League play-off trophy last week.

Robert Dowd, Jonathan Weaver and Robert Farmer are also back in the 23 after missing the recent Olympic pre-qualifiers through injury and Russell is hopeful that the group he has assembled will thrive.

"I think we have a deep team and I think we have good balance," said Russell. "There is a real hunger in this team and that is so good to see.

"There were some huge decisions to make. All the guys made it very tough on the coaching team which is what they were here to do."

With the British Championships now in the rear-view mirror, the Olympic Games are beginning to come into sharper focus for Team GB’s gymnasts.

British titles were up for grabs at Liverpool’s Echo Arena over the weekend and a slew of impressive performances suggested that a number of Team GB’s gymnastics stars are almost Rio-ready.

Perhaps no-one stood out more than Max Whitlock though as he demonstrated the form that saw him win the Glasgow World Cup last month to claim two gold medals, two silvers and one bronze in the Masters events on Sunday.

That haul came 24 hours after he had taken the all-around title with a stunning personal best score of 92.7.

Read more here.

Welshman Luke Rowe is already looking ahead to next year’s Paris-Roubaix after the Team Sky rider’s hopes were dashed when he crashed during Sunday’s race.

Rowe saw his colleague Ian Stannard claim third place in the race nicknamed the Hell of the North after the Welshman somersaulted his handlebars when teammate Gianni Moscon crashed in front of him on a cobbled section of the historic race.

He remounted and made his way back to the lead group to work for teammate Stannard but admitted the crash dashed his own chances and is already looking forward to next year and another crack at northern Europe’s cobbled classics.

"Close but no cigar kind of sums up the campaign. I've been knocking on the door for quite a few of them but haven't got a podium, haven't quite reached the top," he said.

"Certainly year on year, certainly if you look at last year compared to this year, it's pretty promising.

“I'm already thinking about next year and Paris-Roubaix. It's my favourite race of the year – I absolutely love it.

"So the focus has already switched to this time next year and I'm gunning for it. Hopefully come back, have a good run, and try and win it."

Four British weightlifters have been in action at the European Championships in Forde, Norway. Gareth Evans recorded the best British result of the event so far with an 11th-place finish in the 62kg class. Just a week ahead of his 30th birthday Evans snatched 119kg before lifting 142kg in the clean and jerk to record a total lift of 261kg. Hannah Powell, 23, recorded a 12th-place finish in the 48kg category thanks to lifts of 66kg and 86kg in the snatch and clean and jerk, respectively, for a combined weight of 152kg.

Noorin Gulam finished 16th in the 53kg class with the 20-year-old lifting 69kg in the snatch before following that with 83kg in the clean and jerk for a total score of 152kg.

In the men’s competition Samuel Henderson finished 15th in the 56kg class with lifts of 84kg in the snatch and 97 in the clean and jerk, totalling 181kg.

Sportsbeat 2016