Olympic24: Brownlee and Daley ready for World Series openers

04 March 2015 / 07:53

Jonny Brownlee looks ahead to triathlon World Series opener, success for Fontaine Chapman at badminton's All England Championships and Tom Daley leads British team at diving World Series. Here's our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Jonny Brownlee and Jodie Stimpson led British triathlon team in Abu Dhabi
  • Fontaine Chapman overcomes illness to win at All England Championship
  • Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley ready to start diving World Series campaign
  • Super heavyweight Joe Joyce looks to stay unbeaten in World Series of Boxing
  • 100 days to go until European Games in Baku

Brownlee and Stimpson look to kickstart season in Abu Dhabi

Former world champion Jonny Brownlee and Commonwealth gold medallist Jodie Stimpson lead the British challenge at the opening triathlon World Series race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee is absent with an ankle injury while former British world champions Non Stanford and Helen Jenkins, both returning from long-term injuries, will commence their seasons at the next race in Auckland.

“It’s a shame for Alistair that he’s not racing but it’s a big year for us all with Olympic qualification and it’s still very early in the year at the moment," said Jonny, the Olympic bronze medallist at London 2012, who will be joined in the race by fellow Brits Adam Bowden, Mark Buckingham and Gordon Benson.

Stimpson has been training in San Diego and is looking forward to starting her season over the sprint distance, which see athletes swim 750m, bike 20km and run 5km.

“It’s good to be getting the season underway," she said.

"This is a sprint race so it’s a good chance to see where I’m at before the next two races in Auckland and the Gold Coast.”

Lucy Hall, Emma Pallant and Heather Sellars also line up for Great Britain.

Chapman on the mend with All England wins

Fontaine Chapman admits she has some home-spun TLC to thank after reaching the main draw of the Yonex All England Open badminton championships in Birmingham.

Chapman beat Malaysia's Peiy Yee Payee Lim and USA’s Rong Schafer, both in straight sets, in her two qualifying matches at the Barclaycard Arena yesterday. 

The 25-year-old's efforts were even more impressive considering she has been laid down by illness for the past fortnight as her preparations for the prestigious event took a hit.

But after seeing off Lim 21-14, 21-18 and Schafer 22-20, 21-15, Chapman claims it was her support team's care that made achieving her dream possible.

"It's amazing to make it through to the main draw – I think it is something everybody wants to do, everybody wants to play in the All Englands," explained Chapman.

"I was really pleased to get into the qualification but then you want to make it to the main event – it's the big thing.

"I got a sickness bug about two weeks ago and last week I flew home early from the German Open after being sick before and after my game.

"It wasn't the best preparation but I had the doctors, my Mum and my boyfriend telling me to just go to bed and rest.

"I'm a bit of a training addict, so it's difficult for me to do that but I'm glad I did because my body feels normal now."

While Chapman was finding success, it was tougher going for other Brits as the pairs of Heather Olver and Lauren Smith and Jenny Moore and Victoria Williams exited the women's doubles.

In the mixed doubles Greg Mairs and Jenny Moore and Oliver Baczala and Vicky Williams lost their first matches while Harley Towler and Emily Westwood won one game before losing their second.

But there was better news in the men’s doubles as Andy Ellis and Peter Mills battled their way past Taipei's Lin Chia Yu and Hsiao-Lin Wu 18-21, 21-11, 21-14.

"I'm really pleased to make it through," said Mills. "We had a match against them in Macau at the end of last year and it was close, so we knew we would have to play well to go out and win."

Joyce seeks to stay unbeaten at World Series

Joe Joyce insists he is still confident he can qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics through the World Series of Boxing ahead of the British Lionhearts' clash with China Dragon.

Commonwealth Games champion Joyce has won all three of his bouts this World Series of Boxing season to sit joint third in the super-heavyweight rankings with 14 points.

He trails both Filiip Hrgovic of Croatia and Azerbaijan's Arlanbek Makhmvdov by a single point, with the top-ranked boxer at the end of the regular season automatically qualifying for the Rio Games.

Next up for Joyce and his fellow Lionhearts is a test against China Dragon in Sanya on Friday, and the 29-year-old is not letting up any time soon.

"Qualifying for the Olympics is the main goal for me with WSB, so all I can do is keep on winning and hopefully that will get me to the top of the rankings," said Joyce. 

"The two boxers that are ahead of me will probably have to box each other at some point, so that does give me an opportunity to overtake at least one of them, provided I keep on winning."

Joyce is joined on the China trip by two fellow members of the GB Boxing squad, Ekow Essuman at welterweight and John Newell at light-heavyweight.

Two overseas selections, Spain's Kelvin De La Nieve at flyweight and French lightweight Oualid Belaoura complete the line-up for the British Lionhearts trip to China.

Daley returns to scene of Olympic debut in Beijing

Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley leads a seven-strong British team for the opening Diving World Series events in Beijing and Dubai.

Tom Daley will compete in the 10m Platform and will go head-to-head with Olympic champion David Boudia and Olympic silver medallist Qiu Bo.

European champion Sarah Barrow and Tonia Couch, who were ranked third overall for the 2014 event, will take to the boards in the 10m Synchro and will be looking to begin their international season off with the best start.

Commonwealth champions Chris Mears and Jack Laugher will be ready to take on the Olympic medallists Qin Kai and Yuan Cao and Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilia Zakharov.

Alicia Blagg and Rebecca Gallantree will return to action in the 3m Synchro having won the gold at the Commonwealth Games.

“This year is a vital year on our journey to the Olympic Games and this early season test will give us the chance to identify where we can improve ahead of the World Championships in Kazan," said performance director Alexei Evangulov.

Countdown gathers pace for Baku 2015

It's exactly 100 days until the first-ever European Games will open in Baku.

Over 6,000 athletes from 50 national Olympic committee will feature in 20 sports, with the opening ceremony staged at the 68,000 capacity Baku National Stadium.

Follow Baku 2015 on Twitter or visit the website.

© Sportsbeat 2015