Olympic24: Brash makes history as Farah wins Great North Run

Olympic24: Brash makes history as Farah wins Great North Run

14 September 2015 / 06:42
Scott Brash becomes the first showjumper to win the Rolex Grand Slam while Mo Farah triumphs at the Great North Run for the second consecutive year. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Scott Brash takes victory at the Calgary Grand Prix to claim a historic Rolex Grand Slam
  • Mo Farah is targeting a hat-trick of Great North Run titles after making it two in a row
  • Great Britain take team silver at the European Eventing Championships
  • Team GB Exclusive: Dina Asher-Smith staying grounded ahead of Rio
  • Owain Doull finishes third and wins two jerseys in the Tour of Britain
  • Kirsty Gilmour comes up just short in the Belgian International

Brash makes history by winning Grand Slam

Scott Brash

Scott Brash won the Calgary Grand Prix to become the first man in showjumping history to land the Rolex Grand Slam.

Having already won the grands prix in Geneva and Aachen, Brash knew that victory in Canada would give him the Grand Slam and he did just that to also take home the prize of one million euros (£735,000).

Riding Hello Sanctos, the 29-year-old Brit was the only competitor to achieve a double clear at Spruce Meadows, pushing Belgian rider Pieter Devos into second on Dylano.

Brash, who has been ranked world number one since November 2013, won team gold at London 2012 but insists this achievement even beats that.

"Words can't describe it. It is the best feeling I've ever had," said Brash. "I didn't think it could be done. It means everything.

"What can I say about Sanctos, he is the horse of a lifetime. He wasn’t perfect in the first round, but he still jumped good.

“In the second round he was unbelievable, he tried his heart out. He’s a privilege to ride.”

Farah eyeing hat-trick after second Great North Run triumph

Mo Farah

Mo Farah is already targeting a hat-trick of Great North Run titles after winning the half-marathon for the second consecutive year in Newcastle on Sunday.

Farah trailed Stanley Biwott for large parts of the race but produced a perfectly-timed sprint to overhaul the Kenyan in the last 400 metres and triumph by one second.

His time of 59:22 minutes was the fastest half-marathon by a British athlete and is the latest victory in a season that has also seen him claim gold in both the 5,000m and the 10,000m at the World Championships in Beijing.

And Farah insists a vociferous home crowd made the difference when it came to the thrilling finish.

"It took a lot out of me. The crowd were amazing and always give massive support," said the 32-year-old.

"If it wasn't for the crowd edging me towards the end it definitely would have been a different result.

"Over the years the Great North Run is getting better and better. I definitely want to come back and see if I can do a hat-trick.

"It's been an amazing year and I couldn't have a better year than this."

In the women's race, Kenya's Mary Keitany retained the title she won last year while British duo David Weir and Shelly Woods won a sixth men's wheelchair and a seventh women's wheelchair crown respectively.

Funnell relieved after team silver at European Eventing Championships

Pippa Funnell

Great Britain claimed team silver at the European Eventing Championships on Sunday and Pippa Funnell admits that relief was the overriding emotion after the result at Blair Castle, Perthshire.

Britain were second heading into Sunday’s showjumping, and although they never had a realistic chance of overhauling leaders Germany, the trio of Funnell, Nicola Wilson and Kitty King all got round the course and did enough to hold off France, who finished third.

The original British quartet also included William Fox-Pitt but the 46-year-old had to retire his mount Bay My Hero on Saturday.

Germany’s overall total of 122.70 left them well clear of Britain on 173.30 with France ending on 183.70.

And with the Rio Olympics just under a year away, Funnell knows there is plenty of work for GB to do despite the positives at Blair Castle.

“I’m feeling relieved – phew! After all the rain on Saturday, it was hard work but from my point of view we had the horses to get it done,” said Funnell.

“Kitty was fantastic and William is always there but he just had one of those weeks that we all have at times.

“It’s been a great team atmosphere and it’s really nice having a medal round my neck again.

“We’ve had fun but we need to dig in deep and do a lot of hard work to catch up with the Germans.”

Olympic champion Michael Jung produced a clear round to comfortably claim individual gold while fellow German Sandra Auffarth finished second and Frenchman Thibaut Vallette Lt Col third.

Britain’s Izzy Taylor had been third on her horse KBIS Briarlands Matilda heading into the final day of competition but incurred four faults and a time penalty to finish sixth.

That meant King was the highest-placed British rider in fourth, ultimately missing out on a bronze medal by just 0.10.

But her clear round was a key reason why GB won team silver and she reserved special praise for her horse Persimmon.

“He’s been fantastic all week and he couldn’t have jumped better,” said King. “I knew he could do it so long as I didn’t mess up.”

Team GB Exclusive: Asher-Smith refusing to get carried away with Rio looming

Dina Asher-Smith

The 2016 Rio Olympic Games are now less than one year away and in terms of Great British medal prospects, Dina Asher-Smith must be near the top of the list when it comes to athletics.

But despite being the fastest woman in British history over 100m and 200m and despite setting three personal bests en route to coming fifth in the 200m at the recent World Championships in Beijing, Asher-Smith is refusing to commit to an Olympic podium place as her goal – for the time being.

“I guess everything is building towards Rio now for me. I’m going into this winter with the motivation that I want to be an Olympian next year,” she said.

“I really don’t know if I’m targeting a medal at the Olympics or not yet – it completely depends on what happens next season and what shape my body is in.

“Everybody will want to go to the Olympic Games and win a medal but it does completely depend on what happens as the season goes on.”

Read more of our Team GB exclusive with Asher-Smith here

Doull claims two jerseys, podium finish at Tour of Britain

Owain Doull

Owain Doull ended the Tour of Britain on a high as he walked away with two jerseys and finished third overall.

Doull came top of the points classification and won the jersey for the top British rider while also leapfrogging Denmark's Rasmus Guldhammer to get on the podium by picking up two bonus points on Sunday’s first intermediate sprint.

The Team Wiggins rider ultimately finished 42 seconds behind overall winner Edvald Boassen Hagen – the Norwegian becoming the first man to win the Tour of Britain twice since its return in 2004.

The final stage, which consisted of 14 laps of a central London circuit and finished on Regent Street, was won by Team Sky’s Elia Viviani who was promoted after the initial victor, Andre Greipel, was adjudged to have blocked him on the final sprint.

There was also success for another Brit as ONE Pro Cycling’s Pete Williams topped the sprint and king of the mountains classifications.

And Doull, who is more well-known for his track riding, admits he couldn’t have asked for a better week.

“Over the moon to finish third overall and win the points jersey at the Tour of Britain, it’s been an amazing week,” tweeted the 22-year-old.

“Big thanks to all the staff, riders, sponsors and for the help this week. Wouldn’t be possible without them.

“And lastly thanks for all the support and kind words from so many people on the roadside across the UK.”

Gilmour goes down in Belgian International final

Kirsty Gilmour

Kirsty Gilmour admits she only has herself to blame after she lost in the final of the Belgian International in Leuven to 15-year-old Malaysian Jin Wei Goh.

Second-seeded Gilmour saw off Denmark's fourth seed Line Kjaersfeldt in the semi-finals but lost 21-15, 21-18 in the 44-minute final to the teenager.

Goh had played seven matches after coming through qualifying all the way to the final while the 21-year-old Gilmour was appearing in her first final since retaining her Swedish Masters crown in January.

And Gilmour – who won a Commonwealth Games silver medal in Glasgow last summer - admitted her concentration had let her down at the key junctures as she gifted Goh her first senior title.

"I'm a little disappointed not to come away with a win," said Gilmour.

"I thought I played well. She was very solid and I made some poor decisions at some crucial points."

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