Olympic24: Boxers inch closer to Rio, Smith reacts to Euros bronze

Olympic24: Boxers inch closer to Rio, Smith reacts to Euros bronze

14 April 2016 / 07:06

Nicola Adams starts preparations ahead of a pivotal Friday for British boxing, weightlifter Zoe Smith reacts to her individual European medal while the British Swimming Championships continued in Glasgow. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours:

  • Nine boxers, including Olympic champion Adams, move within one bout of Rio 2016 qualification
  • Weightlifter Zoe Smith clinches a European bronze - though believes there is plenty of room for improvement
  • Chloe Tutton set a new British 200m breaststroke record in Glasgow, thrusting her into the frame for Rio 2016
  • Tom Daley readies himself for next month’s European Aquatic Championships as part of a 14-strong squad
  • Andy Murray turns his attention to the singles after he and Dom Inglot reached the doubles quarter-finals at the Monte Carlo Masters

Adams and company gear up for big Friday

Nicola Adams says she will pull out all the stops to complete the job after she became one of nine British boxers to move just one win away from Rio 2016 qualification.

The Olympic champion - aiming to become the first Briton to defend her title for 92 years - beat France’s Sarah Ourahmoune in the quarter-finals of the European qualification tournament on Thursday.

She now faces Marielle Hansen of Denmark in the semi-finals on Friday and a win would guarantee the 33-year-old a seat on the plane to Rio.

“This is a huge match for me - this is my Olympic place, this is my Road to Rio,” said Adams. Hopefully I can get the win and it will no longer be a road, I’ll be actually going.

“This is what it’s working towards for the last four years, so I’m going to give it everything.”

Joe Joyce, Josh Buatsi, Galal Yafai, Mohammad Ali, Qais Ashfaq, Anthony Fowler, Lawrence Okolie and Joe Cordina will also secure berths for Rio should they win on Friday.

Nicola Adams

Smith has mixed emotions after European display

Zoe Smith rued a missed chance at the European Weightlifting Championships, despite battling injury to pick up an individual bronze medal.

The 21-year-old’s best of 119kg in the clean-and-jerk secured her the medal, though she came fourth overall in Norway.

She was forced to fight through the pain after recent injury struggles - but still believes she could have performed better.

"I guess in the grand scheme it's not too bad," she said. "I think if I was on form, I could've achieved a lot more.

"A couple of weeks ago I had a bit of a knee problem and before coming here I picked up a back niggle.

"I've got two bulging discs, so at one point I didn't actually think I'd be able to compete.”

Teammate Emily Godley finished sixth overall, while in the men’s competition, British record holder Jack Oliver had to withdraw after picking up an injury.


Tutton stars on another fine night in Glasgow

Chloe Tutton provided one of the results of the British Swimming Championships so far as she smashed the women’s 200m breaststroke record on the way to gold ahead of previous record holder Molly Renshaw.

Cardiff’s Tutton touched the wall in a time of 2:22.34 to be crowned British champion in Glasgow, breaking the previous record of 2:23.82 and her own personal best by almost six seconds.

“I really don’t think it could have gone any better and I really didn’t expect that to happen,” she said.

“It is my dream to go to the Olympics and it would be incredible if I was selected for the Rio team after getting the British record, but I know it’s not in my hands.”

Commonwealth champion Georgia Davies demonstrated she was back to her best as she claimed the 100m backstroke title on a strong day for Welsh swimmers, coming home ahead of Lizzie Simmonds in a time of 59.64.

“I’m so pleased. I was really disappointed with how trials went last year and I couldn’t quite put my finger on what went wrong but it fuelled me to get even more hungry than I’ve ever been in training,” she said.

In the men’s equivalent, it was three-time European champion Chris Walker-Hebborn who came out on top as he touched in 53.73 to edge out double Olympian Liam Tancock with Cardiff’s Xavier Mohammed third.

And finally, Swansea’s Adam Mallett took the men’s 200m breaststroke title in 1:58.02, with Mark Szaranek second and Jay Lelliott third.

Daley - Divers reaping rewards of London 2012 legacy

Tom Daley admits he is already relishing the prospect of competing in his home pool once again after being named in British Diving's 14-strong squad for the European Aquatics Championships.

He joins fellow world medallists Jack Laugher, Chris Mears and Rebecca Gallantree in the team while the likes of Goodfellow, Lois Toulson, Matty Lee and Freddie Woodward will be making their European Aquatics Championships debut.

Daley won Olympic bronze at the venue, which is also where he trains, back at London 2012 and is counting down the days until his return.

"It is really exciting to have the European Championships in May in London in my home pool," Daley told British Swimming.

"It is great to think that the London 2012 pool has such a great legacy and we can now hold Diving World Series, European Championships – all these major world events.”

Tom Daley

Murray back in action after doubles success

Andy Murray continues his singles campaign at the Monte Carlo Masters on Thursday after bouncing back to reach the doubles quarter-finals with Dominic Inglot.

The British pair lost their first five games against Serbia's Nenad Zimonjic and France's Edouard Roger-Vasselin before securing a 2-6 6-3 10-5.

Murray will now set his sights on toppling Frenchman Benoit Paire in the third round of the singles after beating another home favourite, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, earlier in the week.

Jamie Murray is also safely through to the doubles quarter-finals with Bruno Soares - with whom he won the Australian Open title earlier this year - after squeezing past Canada's Daniel Nester and Czech Radek Stepanek 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (11-9) 14-12.

Sportsbeat 2016