Baku Bulletin: Day Twelve in review

24 June 2015 / 14:57

Nicola Adams books her places in Thursday’s final while Qais Ashfaq has to settle for bronze. Luke Greenbank adds to medal tally with gold in the pool but Natalia Sheppard’s European Games end with extra time defeat. Here’s our round up of all the action from day 12 in Baku.

  • Adams wins chance to fight for gold but Ashfaq goes out with bronze
  • Luke Greenbank is the pick of performances in pool with 100m backstroke gold
  • Natalia Sheppard suffers agonising overtime defeat to Germany’s Carolin Golubytskyi

Around the village

  • Fletcher looks to draw on Commonwealth experience ahead of Baku bow

Adams on cusp of gold after sealing final spot

Nicola Adams believes nothing can stop her on her quest for European Games gold after the Olympic champion outclassed Turkey’s Elif Coskun to earn a place in Thursday’s final.

Adams has been in fine form as she navigated her way to the semi final and was once again on point as she saw off her Turkish counterpart.

It leaves Adams with a bout against Poland’s Sandra Drabik in the final and she is confident that she can bring home the gold.

“It went quite well. I’m into the finals. I had to grind it out a little bit today but a win’s a win and I’m through to the final – hopefully I can bring back a gold medal,” she said.

“I really want this gold and I wanted it since I first heard about the European Games. It’s another chance at history and I keep creating history each time I get in the ring and I’m just loving the moment.

“I don’t think anyone can stop me. I’m hoping to bring back that gold medal. It would mean absolutely everything to me and I’d be overwhelmed with joy. It’s going to really make my day.”

Elsewhere Qais Ashfaq had to settle for bronze after he lost 3-0 to Belarus’ Dzmitry Asanau.

Greenbank is pick of bunch on second day in pool

Luke Greenbank added more gold to Team GB’s collection in the pool as he took gold in the 100m backstroke.

After some great swims to book his spot in the final Greenbank kept up the fine work to touch in 54.75 to seal the win.

And the 17-year-old admits he was taking nothing for granted as he took his place on the blocks for the final.

 “I’ve been swimming well here, this wasn’t my preferred event but I was first after the semi finals and that gave me a confidence boost,” he said.

“It was always going to be tough and it was close going into the final and the race was very close in the last 25m.

“The semi final swim definitely gave me confidence, I was nervous going into the final I’m not going to lie but that happens with every race really.

“You just have to get past that and focus on what you have to do.

“My time was slightly slower than my time in the semi but it was still a lot faster than my old PB and the semi was my first time under 55 seconds.”

Fencer Sheppard upbeat despite bowing out

British fencer Natalia Sheppard suffered an extra-time defeat to a German at the European Games in Baku.

Sheppard progressed to the last 16 by winning four of her five pool encounters, with wins over Georgia's Teona Goglidze, Romania's Maria Boldor, Israel's Deilia Hatuel and France's Julie Huin all secured by a single point margin.

But she was the wrong side of that narrow scoreline in the women's foil first knockout round, losing 13-12 to Carolin Golubytskyi.

"She’s an opponent I’ve fenced about four times now and beaten once," said 31-year old Sheppard, a member of Team GB at the London Olympics. 

"I think I can appreciate that I have fenced quite well, it’s an improvement on my last competition. 

"Baku has been an incredible opportunity for sports like ours which doesn’t generally get the village environment," she added. 

"For us to come and practice before going out to the Olympics or any major championships, it’s been a great experience.”

Fletcher aims to build on Glasgow success in Baku

Megan Fletcher believes her experience of last year's Commonwealth Games could be invaluable in Baku.

Fletcher beat home favourite and Baku team-mate Sally Conway and then New Zealand's Moira de Villiers to claim the women's 70kg judo title in Glasgow.

And she wants another podium in Friday's women's 70kg competition at the European Games, which also doubles as her sport's European Championships this summer.

“The Commonwealth Games was of massive importance to me because until you do something like that, win a major gold medal, you can’t say you are a real force,” she said.

“I had all this expectation on me and from myself too and to come through that and live up to it has done wonders for my confidence.

“And it is this new attitude that I will carry on over to Baku and hopefully I can have another good competition.”

© Sportsbeat 2015