Olympic24: 7s ready for NZ, silver for Couch and Barrow

23 May 2015 / 09:58

England Women's Sevens face a tough test in Amsterdam later today in their bid for Olympic Qualification, while Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow claim a superb World Diving Series silver in Canada. Here's our review of the last 24 hours.

  • England Women's Sevens lock horns with World Series champions New Zealand in Amsterdam quarter-finals
  • Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow take silver in the women’s 10m synchro platform in Windsor, Canada
  • Badminton star Rajiv Ouseph confident of taking top form to the Olympics
  • Mark Cavendish enjoying his early-season fireworks on the road

England Women set for crunch New Zealand clash

England Women Sevens coach Simon Middleton admits his side will have to produce their very best to overhaul World Series champions New Zealand in Amsterdam later today.

After two wins from three on day one, beating Russia and China but losing to London champions Australia, England advanced to the quarter-final stage.

“Saturday is a big day,” said Middleton, whose side need to finish above both the USA and France on the World Series ladder to secure automatic qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games. 

“We have to put in a big performance to get the result we need. We know New Zealand are beatable after their defeat to the USA and we played well against China and Russia. 

“Against Australia we were not aggressive enough in the breakdown and gave away the ball too easily but they are all things we can put right.”

Couch and Barrow enjoy best result yet at Diving World Series

Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow continued a superb run of form at the FINA Diving World Series, picking up silver in the women’s 10m synchro platform in Windsor, Canada.

After bronze medals in both Dubai and London, Couch and Barrow finished comfortably in second spot with a total score of 325.92 from their five dives, 1.98 points adrift of Yajie Si and Jie Lian of China.

Couch will now aim to add to her haul of medals so far this year on Sunday, as she competes in the individual 10m event on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Jack Laugher and Chris Mears were unlucky to be edged into fourth place in the men’s 3m synchro, while Rebecca Gallantree and Alicia Blagg – who dives alongside Tom Daley later today – came fifth in the women’s event.

Ouseph desperate to experience Olympic dream once again

Rajiv Ouseph is relishing the prospect of reaching his second Olympic Games with the qualification period for Rio well under way.

Great Britain’s number one ranked men’s singles player reached the quarter-finals of the All England Badminton Open in March but came unstuck against Japan’s Sho Sasaki.

But he is confident of carrying his finest form forward and meeting the requirements to book his spot at next summer’s Games.

“It’s an exciting time for us that the Olympic qualification period has started now. It’s going to be a long tough year but a year that at the end of it, there will be something very good to look forward to in Rio," he said. Read more here.

“For me it would mean the world to qualify for Rio. I had a great experience in London, being my first Olympics and a home Olympics as well was something very special to me and gave me a taste of wanting to do even better in Rio. I’m putting all my efforts into qualifying for Rio.”

Cavendish relishing early season form

Mark Cavendish insists he is focused only on himself ahead of July’s Tour de France, and not the condition of sprint rival Marcel Kittel.

Cavendish, who celebrated his 30th birthday on Thursday, has 14 stage wins to his name already this season including four at the Tour of California earlier this month – with main rival Kittel struggling with illness for most of this season.

“It's always been about my condition and where I am in July. No-one else,” he said.

“I'm super happy. The team's really gelled together this year. I've got the Tour de Suisse coming up and I'd like to win a couple of stages there and then go and be successful in the Tour de France.

“I'm where I want to be, the team's where it wants to be, so we're working to be more successful.”

© Sportsbeat 2015