Olympic24: England men through to European Team Badminton quarters while Lionhearts march on

Olympic24: England men through to European Team Badminton quarters while Lionhearts march on

19 February 2016 / 08:03

England’s men reached the last eight of the European Team Badminton Championships in Kazan but their female counterparts were knocked out at the same stage. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours:

  • England men through to last quarter-finals in Kazan but women out despite France win
  • Lionhearts cruise past Mexico in London
  • Great Britain women’s hockey team held to Australia draw
  • Laura Muir ready for Glasgow test
  • Parsons tenth at halfway stage of men’s skeleton world championships
  • Laura Deas focused on worlds podium
  • Yasmin Cooper picks up top 20 in ladies slalom and Youth Olympic Games

Badminton men into quarter-finals


England men beat Hungary 5-0 in Kazan to reach the last eight of the European Team Championships, but there was disappointment for England women.

Led by Rajiv Ouseph, England men cruised through in the event in Russia, and will now take on Poland in the quarter-finals.

They completed the 5-0 win, all in straight games, and will now prepare for the Poland clash, while defending champions Denmark take on hosts Russia.

But it was disappointment for England women, who won their first tie of the competition with a 3-2 victory over France.

That was not enough to make the knock-out stages though, as they were eliminated on countback.

Lionhearts victorious once more


British Lionhearts cruised to a third successive victory as they saw off Mexico Guerreros 5-0 in London.

Having already beaten USA and Morocco, the Lionhearts cemented their spot at the top of Group B with a comprehensive victory.

Light flyweight Galal Yafai and heavyweight Lawrence Okolie both picked up stoppage wins.

And the win was completed thanks to points victories for bantamweight Qais Ashfaq, light welterweight Pat McCormack and heavyweight Antony Fowler.

The Lionhearts’ next match is a rematch against USA at the start of March.

Ansley scores twice but Great Britain have to settle for draw

Giselle Ansley

Giselle Ansley scored her first goals for Great Britain but head coach Danny Kerry cut a frustrated figure as his team drew 2-2 with Australia in the fourth of their six-match series.

With the series tied at one win apiece going into Thursday's clash, Great Britain played out their second successive draw with their hosts to leave the series finely poised.

Australia had gone ahead through Georgia Nanscawen's opener before Ansley pulled one back with a penalty corner goal in the first half.

Another penalty corner routine resulted in a second Ansley goal ten minutes from time but Australia fought back to grab a late equaliser through Emily Smith.

And Kerry, who was missing a number of key players such as Alex Danson through injury, admitted his players had not been at their best.

"It was a very sub-optimal performance and we were very fortunate to get a draw. Many aspects of our game were not where they needed to be," he said.

"Having said that we have needed to and have shown plenty of grit and I'm pleased for Giselle scoring her corners."

Muir ready for Glasgow challenge

Laura Muir admits she is looking forward to testing herself against the world's best when she takes to the track at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday.

Scottish 1500m record holder Muir will face a strong field at the weekend, including Canadian World silver medallist Melissa Bishop and current world leader Joanna Jozwik.

The 22-year-old has been mainly competing in Scotland so far this year but with the standard of opponents going up a notch this weekend, Muir was excited to get a measure of her progress so far.

"I'm looking forward to it; it's going to be a really top class field so I'm looking forward to getting out there and testing myself against the best in the field. It will be good experience to see where I'm at," she told British Athletics.

"This event will allow me to test myself against a really high quality field. A couple of races I've done have just been in Scotland and I've had to run by myself so it will be good to push myself against other athletes and get into that racing mind-set again ahead of the summer.

"I love competing on home soil and it's not often you get to do it in such a big competition. It's the biggest competition in the world for indoor meets so I'm really looking forward to it and it's a great line-up.

"Glasgow showed in the Commonwealth Games that support athletes get in Scotland is amazing and fingers crossed for the Euros bid in 2019. I think we'd be a great host and hopefully this weekend will show what sort of competition they can stage."

Parsons tenth at halfway stage of men’s skeleton

Dominic Parsons has it all to do if he is to get a medal at the skeleton World Championships in Innsbruck as he sits tenth after two of the four runs.

Slovenia’s Martins Dukurs, the defending champion, looks set to retain his title after a dominant start to the competition and he already holds a 0.53 lead over Olympic champion Alexander Tretyakov.

Parsons sits tenth 1.70 seconds back in all after runs of 53.22 and 53.12 in the first two rounds of the competition.

He is just 0.07 seconds off America’s Nathan Crumpton in eighth, but a medal will require an excellent second day with South Korea’s Yun Sungbin currently third, 1.15 seconds clear of Parsons.

Deas targets World Championship podium


If Laura Deas ends up standing on the podium at this weekend’s skeleton World Championships in Innsbruck, she may well need to give an extra shout out to her mum.

Previously a professional eventer, Deas started skeleton back in 2009 through UK Sport talent programme Girls4Gold.

But had it not been for Deas’ family members – including her mum who filled out the initial form on the sly – then the latest success story in British skeleton may have not have been discovered.

“It was a real random thing. My brother heard about the girls for gold scheme on the radio, and my brother never listens to the radio!” explained Deas, who also previously played competitive netball and represented North Wales at hockey.

“He just happened to have it on that day and he said to me ‘you’re good at most things you try, you really should do this because it’s a chance to go to an Olympic Games.’ 

“I wasn’t all that keen because at the time I was riding and building up a business with the horses, and I didn’t really want to get distracted from doing that. 

“I ended up not applying, but my mum applied for me and didn’t tell me! She put the application in and then she told me ‘oh by the way, I did enter you for the girls for gold scheme, and you need to go to Manchester on this date to do the testing.’

“So by that point I was a bit intrigued, and because I’m so competitive I wanted to see how good I was compared to everyone else anyway, so I ended up going.

“Obviously the World Championships is where everyone wants to medal, so everybody is going to be pulling out all the stops.

“It’s a track that on paper should suit me, I’ve got a strong push and it’s a short track, so that should play into my hands. Let’s wait and see, but I’m gunning for a medal, that’s for sure.”

Cooper completes impressive week at Youth Olympic Games

Yasmin Cooper secured her second top 20 finish of Lillehammer 2016 in the ladies’ slalom – the 17-year-old’s final event of the week.

Cooper came down in 20th place with a combined time of 1:54.61 over the course of two runs and was delighted to overachieve on expectations for the week.

“Today went well. I made a couple of mistakes in the first run but wanted to focus on consistency in the second and I think I achieved that,” said Cooper.

“My target at the start of the week was for a top 30 place so I’m really pleased to come away with two top 20s. To get 13th in the combined was amazing, that will stay with me for a long time.

“There are lots of positive things to take away from the Games and hopefully it’s another step towards my dream of making the Olympic Games one day.”

Sportsbeat 2016