Olympic24: England unbeaten in Sevens as Peaty prepares perfectly for Rio

Olympic24: England unbeaten in Sevens as Peaty prepares perfectly for Rio

22 May 2016 / 08:55

England make perfect start to London leg of World Sevens series as Adam Peaty prepares perfectly for Rio with another gold and teenager Lauren Williams wins Euro taekwondo gold. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours in Olympic sport:

  • Perfect England qualify for cup quarter-finals at London World Sevens series
  • Adam Peaty says Euro glory is perfect preparation for Rio
  • Teenager Lauren Williams stuns Europe with taekwondo gold
  • Jo Pavey has to wait for Rio selection as Jess Andrews books her place
  • Katie Reid wins bronze on senior debut at canoeing World Cup
  • Simon Mantell earns draw for GB in Australia on 200th appearance

England unbeaten after first day of Twickenham Sevens


Simon Amor’s England Sevens side impressed the Twickenham masses by winning all three of their pool games on the opening day of the London leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series.

England got off to a flying start with a 31-10 victory over World Sevens overall champions Fiji.

Three tries in the opening six minutes from Dan Norton, Alex Gray and Alex Davis gave the home side a 19-0 lead.

Fiji, the top seeded side for the Rio Olympic Games, hit back with two tries of their own but a second for Norton and a first for Tom Bowen handed England the easy victory.

England’s second game saw them beat Australia in a low-scoring affair.

Tries from Norton and the returning Marcus Watson were enough for a 10-7 victory.

Simon Amor’s side then booked their place in the cup quarter-finals on Sunday with a comfortable 24-5 win over Wales.

Oliver Lindsay-Hague, Richard De Carpentier, Bowen and Norton were all on the scoresheet as Amor’s men completed a perfect day in west London. 

Peaty’s perfect warm up for Rio


World champion Adam Peaty insists the European Aquatics Championships are the perfect warm up for the Olympic Games as he clinched his third gold medal of the week in London.

Peaty, who won gold in the 100m breaststroke and 4x100m mixed medley relay on Tuesday, stormed to victory in the 50m breaststroke with Team GB teammate Ross Murdoch picking up a bronze medal in the same event.

Clocking a time of 26.66 seconds, 21-year-old Peaty quickly moved ahead of the rest of the field, although he was quick to admit he expected more.

“My start wasn’t the best, it could have been better but I’m happy to post the same time as yesterday,” he said.

“Everything happens for a reason though. I overthought the start and I paid for it. It’s a splash and dash but I’m really happy with that.

“The crowd were absolutely amazing and this event is absolutely perfect for the British swimmers to gain some competition experience and confidence ahead of Rio.”

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Teen Williams crowned Euro champ

Lauren Williams made her entrance onto the senior taekwondo stage with a bang on Saturday, winning 67kg gold in her first major final since making the step up from junior level at the European Championships in Switzerland.

The 17-year-old, who was fighting in only her second competition of 2016 following two major ankle injuries, defeated Turkey's Nur Tatar 4-3 to become the second Welsh woman to seal gold at this year's Championships after Olympic champion Jade Jones won on Friday.

Williams only made her return to action in last month's President's Cup following two ankle reconstruction operations in the last two years, after she was crowned Junior World champion in 2014.

She beat Ukraine's Tetiana Tetereviatnykova 11-10 on golden point in the quarter-final before edging out Croatia's Matea Jelic 13-12 in the last four, and admits she is floating on cloud nine following her unexpected success.

"I didn't expect a medal, let alone gold," she said. "I can't even explain it, I'm just so overwhelmed.

"I've just come back from injury so it's my second competition and to win a major is insane. I can’t explain it.”

Pavey to wait for Rio spot as Andrews books place


Former European 10,000m champion Jo Pavey finished sixth in the British trials as Jess Andrews smashed her personal best to book her spot on the plane to Rio.

The 23-year-old knocked 83 seconds off her best time to win the trials in 31 minutes and 58 seconds.

Beth Potter finished second and also dipped under the qualification standard of 32:15 to book her ticket to the Olympic Games.

Andrews said: “Everyone dreams of the Olympics. But it's whether you're dreaming about the reality, or whether you think, ah, it's a dream, it's never going to happen.

"I'm still a little bit shell-shocked. I've been training really hard, crazy hard, and I believed it was going to be my day.

"It's weird - I'd had vibes in training, thinking I was feeling really good, and I had nothing to lose."

Pavey, 42, won the European title in 2014 but came into this race having just overcome a chest infection.

She will now go in search of the qualifying time at another race and keep her fingers crossed that selectors award her a third, discretionary, spot on the team.

Reid wins first British medal at canoeing World Cup


Katie Reid insists the future is bright after winning Great Britain's first medal of the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup in Duisburg, picking up bronze on her senior debut.

The 21-year-old, a former Scottish karate champion before switching to the boat, boosted her personal best by almost one second to set a new time of 47.70 seconds, finishing just 1.2 seconds behind Canadian winner Katie Vincent.

Reid switched to canoeing to pursue her dream of competing at the Olympic Games, and while her favoured C1 boat currently does not feature in the Olympic programme, inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Games is on the cards.

And, after only taking up the sport less than two years ago, Reid admits she could never have imagined such success so early in her career.

"It's pretty crazy," she said. 

"I didn't really expect this. I didn't know how I would fare against the other countries but I decided to give it my all and not leave the water without giving everything I've got. It's exciting to get a massive personal best and third place.

"Being able to see I'm up there is a big confidence boost and it makes me want to do even better next time around.

"My previous personal best was 48.09 which I set last week, so the season is going well.

"It's just the start and I've got another four years until Tokyo, so hopefully if C1 is included then I will be up at the top by then. That's the aim."

Elsewhere, Liam Heath and Jon Schofield believe their preparations for Rio are well underway after competing in their first international final of the year.

The London 2012 bronze medallists finished seventh in the K2 200m, just 0.7 seconds adrift of race winners Saul Cravitto and Cristian Toro of Spain.

The duo had not raced at an international meet since last year's Milan World Championships, but Schofield insists they could not be happier with their form heading into the summer.

"We had a good race and it was good experience to get out racing against the top guys in the world and find out our form," said Schofield.

"Training has been great over the winter and everything we can see suggests we are moving forwards and getting faster all the time.

"We are on great form and it's just a case of maximising that all the way through to August this year.

"We've only got two races left before the big one now so it's all becoming very real and I'm looking forward to it.”

Mantell earns draw in 200th GB appearance


Great Britain hockey matched Australia’s physicality according to Simon Mantell on his 200th appearance in a 2-2 draw in Narrogin.

Mantell and Iain Lewers both scored for the Brits in the first match of a three-Test series, but after Matt Gohdes' opener, before Jamie Dwyer ensured that it was honours even with the Australian equaliser.

British keeper George Pinner was outstanding as Australia mounted a late barrage in search of victory, earning Britain the draw in tricky conditions.

Mantell said: "It was a tough game in tough conditions. It rained pretty hard and the pitch was a bit slow. It was a competitive match and it was always going to be. 2-2 was probably a fair result and both teams could have won it but neither could get over the line.

"It's always important to match Australia physically because they are such a strong side. That's an area where we've improved over the last few years.

"We're a much more physical side now and we can run hard and use our skills to try and finish games off. Unfortunately we couldn't quite do it.

“The weather doesn't affect our plans. We go out and try to do our jobs and hopefully it's enough to win the game.”

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Sportsbeat 2016