Baku Bulletin: Day One in Review

13 June 2015 / 13:23

The opening day of the first ever European Games saw Team GB in action in three sports - water polo, synchronised swimming and triathlon. Here's our review of the action and the latest news from Baku.

Live reports

  • Genevieve Randall finishes tenth in synchro swim solo preliminaries
  • Heather Sellars takes 15th in women's triathlon
  • Team GB water polo women suffer narrow defeat to Germany
  • Coach Katie Dawkins content after team rank tenth in free combination prelims

Around the village

  • Flag carrier Nicola Adams looks to future acting career
  • Canoeist Cawthorn is ready to shine in Baku
  • Trampolinist Luke Strong recalls how he's no stranger to adversity 
  • Fit again gymnast Nile Wilson is chasing return to the podium

Randall happy to be busy in Baku

Genevieve Randall is happy to be one of the busiest synchronised swimmers at the European Games.

The 17-year old is entered in four events in Baku and ranked tenth in Saturday's solo free routine preliminaries with a score of 76.2333.

She said: "Though it’s a competition where we will be competing in more events than we would in Rio, potentially, it’s great because it means we have to keep on the ball and our fitness has to be great, because we have to keep up with all the other programmes."

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Sellars finds it hot work in women's triathlon

Heather Sellars will swap sweltering Baku for the cooler climbs of altitude training in the Swiss mountains after the European Games.

Sellars came home 15th in the women's triathlon in Baku, her time of 2:05.27 nearly five minutes slower than Switzerland's Nicola Spirig, who won the first-ever European Games gold.

"It's certainly a bit warmer than Leeds but we have done some races in the heat this year," she said. 

"None of the races are in Europe just yet, but they are all moving there now. It will be a bit cooler in St Moritz as well, so it will be a shock to the system going from here to there."

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Bulldog spirit pleases coach Buller

Great Britain coach Nick Buller praised his side's bulldog spirit as they slipped to a narrow women's water polo defeat at the European Games.

After a heavy loss to Greece in their tournament opener, Buller urged his under-17 team to show their potential against Germany.

It was close throughout but the more experienced German side showed just too much class as Great Britain slipped to a 10-7 loss, with Alice Dean and Verity McCoy both claiming doubles.

"I’m bitterly disappointed to lose; I thought we could have won it," said Buller, whose youthful side is aiming for a top ten finish in Baku. 

"The posts had a great game for them and our shooting just wasn’t there."

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Dawkins happy but wants more in final

British synchronised swim coach Katie Dawkins declared herself happy but admitted there was work to do after Team GB progressed to the free combination final at the European Games in Baku.

As expected Russia, Spain and the Ukraine dominated the top positions while Dawkins's youthful team ranked tenth in the preliminaries, with a score of 74.900.

"Presentation probably could have been better in the second half, that’s what we really need to work on and we know that," said Dawkins.

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Flag carrier Adams might swap chasing golds for the silver screen

Nicola Adams has revealed she may soon swap gold medals for Golden Globes.

Flyweight Adams made history when she became the first woman boxer to win an Olympic title at London 2012.

And she carried the Team GB flag at the opening ceremony of the first-ever European Games in Baku last night.

But while the immediate focus is adding to her collection of medals in Azerbaijan, the 32-year old is already looking ahead to life after next summer's Olympics in Rio.

"I'd like to be the first woman to win two Olympic titles. When that's done, I'll think about the future. Maybe I'll start to negotiate a professional contract or I may go into acting," said Adams, who played herself in BBC drama Waterloo Road and has appeared as an extra in popular soaps Eastenders and Coronation Street.

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Cawthorn in the zone ahead of European Games

Sprint canoeist Rachel Cawthorn knows that fractions matter in a sport that might appear straightforward but where technique is everything.

Cawthorn arrives at the European Games in confident mood after a silver medal at the recent World Cup in Copenhagen over her specialty 500m distance.

"I'm really in the zone of racing after the World Cup," she said. 

"I've had a fourth and second in my recent World Cups, which gives me a good idea of where I'm racing."

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From nearly losing a leg and Olympic heartache to the European Games

Luke Strong admits he had to live up to his name after being crushed when he failed to make the British Olympic team in London.

The trampoline gymnast may only be 21 but he's already had a lifetime of overcoming adversity.

As a 15-year he was told he would probably lose his leg after a devastating training injury but recovered to put himself in contention for the 2012 Games, only to miss the qualifying standard by a tenth of a point.

He then broke the leg he nearly lost before recovering again to win bronze at last year's European Championship, becoming the first British medallist at the event in 32 years.

And that's form which makes the Liverpudlian one to watch at the European Games in Baku.

"Being so close to making London 2012 was obviously heartbreaking and it's definitely always in the back of my mind," said Strong.

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Fit again Wilson is chasing a return to the podium

While Lewis Smith and Max Whitlock were winning medals at London 2012, gymnast Nile Wilson was watching on and plotting his course to the top.

“The Olympics is right around the corner and that’s the ultimate goal for me and it would mean the world to go there,” he said.

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