Olympic24: Fantastic Farah and sensational Scott

Olympic24: Fantastic Farah and sensational Scott

23 August 2015 / 09:34

Mo Farah stormed to 10,000m gold at the World Athletic Championships in Beijing while Giles Scott ruled the Finn roost at the Rio sailing test event. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Martyn Rooney shines in 400m as Jessica Ennis-Hill tightens grip on heptathlon
  • Mo Farah claims sixth global title with 10,000m gold
  • Giles Scott tops the Finn podium in Rio
  • Jon Schofield and Liam Heath secure Rio 2016 quoata place
  • Joe Choong bags Rio qualification standard at the Modern Pentathlon European Championships
  • England Women narrowly beat Scotland in EuroHockey opener
  • Andy Murray goes down fighting against Roger Federer

Rooney delivers captain’s performance

Martyn Rooney has his sights set on a final spot after he delivered a captain’s performance in his 400m heat at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing.

The team captain was in the second heat of the 400m, which produced no fewer than two national records, one area record and a personal best for the 28-year-old Brit.

Seven years on from setting his previous best mark in the Bird’s Nest Stadium at the Olympic Games, Rooney showed that it was a happy hunting ground, finishing fourth in 44.45 seconds – 0.15 off his time set in 2008.  

The race which was won by Saudi Yousef Ahmed Masrahi in 43.93, but Rooney who is now ranked fourth on the UK all-time lists secured his semi-final berth as a fastest qualifier.

Rooney said: “Every start list for every heat was incredible, all world-class. I came in to run fast, and I knew I was going to have to run 44-high.

“But to run 44.4 and come fourth, it’s just shows where the standard of athletics is. The standard of the event has picked up, with these heats being won in 44.5 and mine 43.9. All of the guys in the event are running fast, they all look good.

“The basis of my appeal was that I am a championship performer. But I have to make the final yet, and then I’ll be vindicated. For now I need to come back and do it all again, and maybe even better.”

British champion Rabah Yousif continued his strong 2015 form winning the fifth heat of the 400m in 45.24, but up against the three 2012 Olympic medallists in his heat Jarryd Dunn failed to progress.

It was a case of a tale of two stories as the heptathlon entered the final day of action. Jessica Ennis-Hill maintained her lead from overnight in the long jump courtesy of her second round effort of 6.43m, but it was heartbreak for Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who registered three no jumps.

After two fouls, it looked like the Liverpool Harrier had produced a big jump only for the red flag to be raised stepping over the board by an agonising 0.10cm – dropping her down to 29th on the overall standards by the end of the day.

In the penultimate event, Ennis-Hill’s first attempt of 42.51m in the javelin saw the Olympic champion go into the 800m with a lead of 86 points. Johnson-Thompson bravely fought back from her long jump disappointment to record a best throw of 39.52m. 

There was great news for Eilidh Child and Meghan Beesley, with both 400m hurdlers moving through to the semi-final.

Tom Bosworth battled the warm conditions on the roads to cross the line in 25th place in the 20km race walk in a time of 1:23.58, while Asha Philip came through her opening round test in the 100m, taking the third automatic spot in heat one.

Farah claims sixth global crown

Mo Farah 

Mo Farah immediately turned his attentions to more silverware after winning his sixth global title on the opening evening session at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing with gold in the 10,000m.

Having won 5000m and 10,000m gold at the last Olympic Games, World and European Championships, Farah was certainly the man to beat at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing.

But despite the rest of the field throwing everything they could at him, Farah didn’t panic and crossed the line in 27:01.13 minutes for gold.

Kenyans Geoffrey Kamworor and Paul Tanui were second and third respectively, but there was no doubting who the star of the show was with Farah hoping he has enough left in the tank to secure another historic double gold.

“I knew the guys were going to do that,” he said. “It has been too many years and I knew they would slow it down and that they had to do it.

“It was just a matter of hanging in there and hopefully it didn’t take too much out of me because it is not easy running in this heat and doing 27 minutes.

“You have got to believe in yourself and I do, it is just a matter of recovering now and getting ready for the 5000m heats.

“I want to keep doing what I am doing and representing my country and win as many medals as I can. I want to be remembered for someone who did well for his country.”

Scott claims Rio test event gold

Giles Scott 

Giles Scott admitted he was made to work hard for his Rio sailing test event Finn gold medal.

World champion Scott continued his two year winning streak by overhauling the Netherlands’ Pieter-Jan Postma on the final day of racing at the Aquece Rio International Regatta after a testing start to his week-long regatta.

Scott admitted he had been ‘on the back foot’ after a race disqualification earlier in the week, but was relieved that a fourth place finish in the medal race to Postma’s eighth proved enough to claim the top spot of the podium – his second consecutive Test Event victory at the 2016 venue.

“I’ve had a pretty trying week and have been a bit on the back foot since day one. 

“I clawed my way to the front of the fleet somehow and managed to get that race just about right. It was a stressful one put it that way!

“[Postma] fired off left down the first run and caught up a lot. He took the other gate and then got a decent shift to get right back to a boat length behind me. At the same time the Finnish guy was on the left and it was a very hard race to manage but I managed it somehow.”

London 2012 silver medallists Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark didn’t have the golden end to their regatta that they’d hoped for in the 470 Women’s event.

Going into the final medal race assured of a medal but intent on keeping their yellow jerseys come the end of it, the duo were forced to take penalty turns after infringing another boat at the start and were left fighting back from the outset.

Their nearest American rivals sailed through to fourth in the medal race and with Mills and Clark in tenth, they wrested gold from the British duo by seven points.

The 470 Men’s event also didn’t play out the way Luke Patience and Elliot Willis had hoped as they finished the medal race in tenth to end the regatta in eighth overall.

Heath and Schofield secure Rio quota place

Jon Schofield and Liam Heath 

Jon Schofield insists it is all systems go to Rio as he and Liam Heath secured Great Britain’s first canoe sprint Olympic quota place in the men’s K2 200m as they finished fifth in the World Championship final in Milan.

The race was filled with controversy when a false start attributed to the British crew was not initially recalled and the race had to be re-run 45 minutes later.

However in the end it didn’t alter the final placings and in a very tight race with only 0.4 seconds separating the first five crews, Heath and Schofield had to settle for fifth place.

“Our focus was always to win and secondly to qualify the Olympic place, so it is half a job done today, however we can now fully focus on preparing for Rio next year,” Schofield said.

“It was the same for everyone having to re-run the race and I am proud of the way we turned round so quickly and still qualified the place.

“Although we had a conservative start as we didn’t want another false start against us, it was a good race and we didn’t make any mistakes. It just shows how tough racing is at this level.”

Choong nets Rio 2016 qualification standard at European Championships

Joe Choong admitted his grandparents will be nearly as pleased as he was at securing the Rio 2016 qualification standard at the Modern Pentathlon European Championships.

The 22-year-old had a good start in the pool, finishing with a time of 1:59.20 minutes, three seconds behind team mate Jamie Cooke. 

Choong then had a much improved fence since the qualification competition two days ago, winning 18 of his bouts and finishing 17th in the table following the ranking round.

Despite not progressing in the bonus round, Choong was in sixth place ahead of the ride where he had a fantastic round, knocking down just the one fence.

He started the combined event in fourth place, 26 seconds behind leader Ireland's Arthur Lanigan O'Keefe.

Despite dropping to 14th in the third lap, Choong powered on to cross the line in seventh place – much to his delight.

Choong said: "I was a couple of seconds down on my semi-final swim time but you're always more tired in the final, so I was still really pleased with that.

"My fence was one of the best at senior level, especially compared to the semi-final and my ride was amazing.

"I had a really strong horse and I did make a couple of mistakes. There were areas where I could have saved time but it didn't stop me from starting the combined in a good position.

"Getting an Olympic qualification place means everything; it's everything I have been working towards since I was 12 years old. My grandparents have said they want to go to Rio and it might be their last trips abroad. I'm just so happy.

"I've just got to keep my performances up to this standard now. This is my first time in the top ten, so I need to continue this and try and improve on it so I can medal at Rio, which I absolutely believe I can do."

Choong has not yet guaranteed his place at next year's Olympics as if more than two British men reach qualification standard he will go through a selection process next June. Jamie Cooke and Tom Toolis finished the competition in tenth and 20th place respectively. 

England Women made to work for opening EuroHockey win

England Women’s head coach Danny Kerry accepted his team struggled to cope with the expectation against Scotland in their opening EuroHockey Championships match, despite securing a 2-1 victory.

Kerry and his side were returning to the scene of their London 2012 bronze medal success but the contest at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre ended up being a game of attrition.

Scotland took the lead early on through Kareena Marshall but Kate Richardson-Walsh and Helen Richardson-Walsh handed England an opening win against their neighbours.

“The challenge is for the players to expect and cope with expectation,” Kerry said.

“If we want to be up there with the best, we have to learn to cope with pressure. We looked really sluggish, although there were brief periods of sparkle. I think the players were tense, largely because of the scoreline and we were way off our best.”

Murray beaten by Federer

Andy Murray's Cincinnati Masters bid ended at the semi-final stage as Roger Federer recorded a 6-4 7-6 (8-6) win.

Murray deposed Federer as world number two this week but lost the first set to some often impeccable Federer strokes.

The second set was fiercely contested, with no breaks, but Federer prevailed to win in one hour 37 minutes, taking his record against the Briton to 14-11.

© Sportsbeat 2015