Olympic24: Watson beaten in America, King on comeback trail

Heather Watson suffers first round loss to Donna Vekic at clay-court Family Circle Cup in Charleston while Dani King discusses her aims for the 2015 road season. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

Heather Watson failed to capitalise on her chances as she slipped to a three-set defeat to Croatian teenager Donna Vekic at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston.

The world number 41 lost the opening set before rallying against her lower-placed opponent to level the match.

She looked on course for victory, leading by a break in the third but Vekic, who suffered with cramp in her foot, hit back to win 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 and progress into the second round.

For Watson, it was a case of what might have been, having failed to take advantage of 14 break points as well as losing her own serve seven times during the match.

While breaking five ribs and puncturing a lung might put some off returning to the saddle, fit-again Dani King prefers to seek out the positives as she gets back on the road to Rio.

The 24-year-old has been steadily working her way back into shape since suffering a training ride crash last November.

The aim is to open her road season at the Tour of the Reservoir on April 11, although King, team pursuit gold medalist at London 2012, admits next year’s Olympics are not far from her mind.

“In many ways it hasn't worked out too bad because at this moment in time I feel the best I have ever felt,” King told the Friends Life Women’s Tour website.

“There has been time to really work on things and you don't often get that in sport.

“I will do the occasional track session, mostly as power strength training, but mainly its road all the way this season until the British national track champs in September when as well as racing we will look at the numbers and see how my body is performing on the track. Needless to say I am hoping to make a strong case for inclusion back in the TP squad!"

Nothing but a podium finish will be good enough for James Wilby at this month’s British Swimming Championships, as he chases a spot on the team for the 2015 World Championships.

The 21-year-old helped England claim 4x100m medley gold at last summer’s Commonwealth Games but he is determined to step things up another level, starting with the British Championships at London’s Aquatics Centre from April 14-18.

“The Commonwealth Games was the best experience of my life, particularly swimming the relay heat and then watching the race as we won the gold medal,” he said.

“But now it is about moving on from that. To realistically get a spot on the World Championships team I will need to finish first or second at the British Championships but want a podium at least.”

© Sportsbeat 2015