Olympic24: Bronze for Gallantree & Blagg, Watson progresses

14 March 2015 / 09:58

Rebecca Gallantree and Alicia Blagg open Diving World Series season with 3m synchro bronze in Beijing, while Heather Watson battles into third round in Indian Wells. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Gallantree and Blagg pick of the Brits on day one in Beijing, scoring 293.40 points for third place on the medal rostrum
  • Watson reaches third round of Indian Wells for the first time with 7-5, 7-5 win over Camila Giorgi
  • Geraint Thomas holds onto third place in Paris-Nice after safely making it through stage five
  • Elise Christie and Jack Whelbourne shine as Great Britain enjoy solid first day at World Short Track Speed Skating Championships
  • Jamie Cooke named among GB modern pentathlon team for second World Cup in Egypt

Beijing bronze for Gallantree and Blagg

Commonwealth champions Rebecca Gallantree and Alicia Blagg marked the start of the new Diving World Series in style with 3m synchro bronze on day one in Beijing.

The pair had already enjoyed success at the venue back in 2013 when they took silver – a result that is still their best-ever World Series finish.

And they were back on the medal rostrum again in China, posting 293.40 points to finish in third place behind Chinese gold medalists Wu Minxia and Shi Tingmao on 328.50.

Elsewhere Chris Mears and Jack Laugher finished in fourth place in the 3m synchro, four points off bronze with 402.12 while Sarah Barrow and Tonia Couch were fifth in the 10m synchro with 289.62 points.

Watson into third round of Indian Wells

Heather Watson overcame a spirited fightback from Camila Giorgi to reach the third round at Indian Wells for the first time.

London 2012 Olympian and British number one Watson had been on track for victory at 5-0 in the second set before the Italian hit back to win the next five games.

But Watson dug deep to seal a 7-5, 7-5 win and set up a last 32 clash with seventh seed Agnieszka Radwanska.

"It was a very tough match as I knew it would be," she said. "Camila's a great player and she's shot up the rankings this past year.

"I didn't feel I did much wrong [in the second set], she played too good, hitting winners and aces. I just had to stay tough and keep fighting.

"I feel that I'm playing better and better as each match goes on and hopefully I can play even better in my next match."

Thomas retains third place in Paris-Nice

Geraint Thomas kept within touching distance of the overall lead of this year’s Paris-Nice after coming home safely among the peleton on stage five.

The Welshman was well protected by his fellow Team Sky cyclists throughout the 192.5km trek from Saint-Etienne as they tackled four catogorised climbs and a hotly-contested finale.

Victory went to Italy’s Davide Cimolai while Thomas remains three seconds behind overall leader Michal Kwiatkowski with fellow Team Sky rider Richie Porte second.

Saturday’s sixth and penultimage stage covers 184.5km from Vence to Nice.

British skaters on good form on opening day of Worlds

It was a solid start to the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships for Great Britain in Russia as Elise Christie and Jack Whelbourne led the way in the heats.

The duo made it safely through their heats in the 1500m, 500m and 1000m while Jon Eley qualified through to the 500m and 1000m quarter-finals with Charlotte Gilmartin booking her place in the 1500m semi-finals.

Stuart Horsepool, performance director for GB Short Track said: “Overall, the first day of competition here in Moscow has been really positive.

“The squad have raced really well in the individual heats; they’re on good form and I’m pleased with the performances they’ve put in.

“They are up against some of the best skaters in the world, from 27 countries, some of whom have already been knocked out so the fact that each one of our individual skaters has made it through at least one heat is a good start.”

Cooke to lead GB team at Cairo World Cup

Jamie Cooke will bid to make it back-to-back World Cup golds after being named in Great Britain's modern pentathlon team for the second round in Egypt.

Great Britain claimed an historic double gold at the opening World Cup in Sarasota last month with Cooke winning the men's competition and world champion Samantha Murray doing the same in the women's contest.

The latter is rested for the second World Cup of the season from March 19-23 although Cooke leads the men's charge in Cairo alongside Joe Evas, Sam Curry and James Myatt.

Performance director Jan Bartu said: “We need to maximise the potential of all our athletes to perform well at the big events like the World and European Championships and different athletes are on different programmes because of this.  Sam will compete at the World Cups in Rome and Hungary.

"Every World Cup is important to us and for the athletes attending as we get closer and closer to Olympic qualifying."

© Sportsbeat 2015