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Brit Watch... Who to look out for in April

 

Swimming

Brit Watch... Who to look out for in April

01 April 2016 / 17:40

It’s now officially an Olympic year and the prospect of competing on the biggest stage of all is becoming very real for Team GB’s homegrown heroes.
With so much to keep track of in the build-up to Rio it can be easy to miss some of the crucial moments that will shape the fate of Team GB’s Olympic hopefuls, while not forgetting those athletes continuing their build-up to the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
So each month we will be keeping you abreast of what to watch out for in the coming weeks continuing with the four names to make sure you check out in April.

ADAM PEATY – SWIMMING
AdamPeaty

Adam Peaty made the biggest splash of all in 2015, and the early signs this year all point to the fact that the Uttoxeter-born breaststroke star isn’t about to slow down.

Last year saw Peaty win 50m and 100m breaststroke gold medals at the World Championships in Kazan, while 2015 also saw him lower the world records for both events too.

The 20-year-old became the first man ever to dip under 58 seconds over 100m – with the world record now standing at 57.92 after Peaty starred at the 2015 British Championships in London.

And it is the 2016 British Championships that Peaty will have his sights set on this month, with the action taking place at Glasgow’s Tollcross International Swimming Centre between April 12-17.

At last year’s British Championships Peaty walked away with three gold medals as well as his new world record, and with Tollcross the scene of his 2014 Commonwealth Games heroics – where he claimed two golds and a silver – few would bet against him being cream of the crop again.

NICOLA ADAMS – BOXING
Nicola Adams

After shining at London 2012 Nicola Adams will aim to seize her first opportunity to qualify for this summer's Rio Olympics at the European qualifying event in Turkey this month.

Adams is one of a Great Britain squad of ten men and three women selected for the tournament which starts in Samsun on April 8.

The tournament in Turkey represents the first of three chances for the men's team to qualify for Rio, while the women will have one more opportunity via the World Championships in Kazakhstan in May.

But Adams won’t be looking for second chances as she leads the women’s team at 51kg, with Chantelle Cameron selected at lightweight and 2012 World gold medallist Savannah Marshall going in the 75kg competition.

Since making history with the first-ever female Olympic women’s boxing gold at London 2012, Adams has never been far away from the top step of the podium.

She won European Union Boxing Championships gold in 2013, won the title at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and once again made history by earning the crown at the European Games in Baku last year.

And with Adams now setting her sights on more history in Rio – she will be keen to earn herself a plane ticket with this month’s trip to Turkey.

LIAM PHILLIPS – BMX
Liam Phillips

Defending champion Liam Phillips missed the opening round of the 2016 BMX Supercross World Cup but nothing is going to stand in the way of him appearing in Manchester this month.

The opening BMX Supercross World Cup event took place in Argentina in March, but while Phillips travelled to South America he chose not to compete.

Instead the 27-year-old chose to train and also visited Rio so he and team-mates Kyle Evans and Tre Whyte could ride on the Olympic track from March 17 to 19.

But now Phillips is ready to pick up where he left off and will open his season in Manchester on April 9, looking to claim the title for a third straight year.

And the omens look good with Phillips also going for a fourth consecutive victory in this event on his home track.

ZOE SMITH – WEIGHTLIFTING ZoeSmith3200

London Olympian Zoe Smith will lead a 14-strong British team at April's European Championships in Norway.

The event represents the final opportunity for Great Britain to attain a maximum of two berths – one male and one female – for August's Rio Olympics.

In order to do that the women’s team will need to rank in the top six from nations who have not already qualified for Rio, when the competition gets underway in Forde on between April 10-16.

And while Smith didn’t medal at last year’s European Championships, she did so in 2014 when she claimed a bronze medal in the 58kg category.

That same year Smith won gold in the same event at the 2014 Commonwealth Games – improving on her bronze from Delhi 2010 – while in November she broke two British records at the World Championships.

The 21-year-old set a new snatch personal best of 97kg in the -63kg weight division as she finished ninth overall, while her subsequent 124kg clean and jerk and overall total of 221kg beat Michaela Breeze's previous GB record.

Sportsbeat 2016