Olympic24: Fowler back with Lionhearts but Froome is ill

10 March 2015 / 07:50

Anthony Fowler is back with the British Lionhearts to take on Ukraine, while Froome is forced to sit out of a trip to Italy with illness. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Anthony Fowler in British Lionhearts squad set to tackle the Ukraine Otmamans on Thursday
  • Illness forces Chris Froome to miss this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico stage race
  • Katarina Johnson-Thompson set to make Great CityGames Manchester bow
  • Geraint Thomas remains highest-placed Brit in Paris-Nice

Fowler still on Road to Rio with Lionhearts

Anthony Fowler insists he will continue to fight on towards the 2016 Rio Olympics after being named in the British Lionhearts' squad to take on the Ukraine Otamans on Thursday.

Fowler will be back in action in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) at York Hall as he bids to keep marching towards Brazil for next year's Games.

He currently sits joint fifth in the middleweight rankings with 14 points after winning all three of his contests this season in matches against Algeria, China and Mexico.

And he admits he is determined to secure victory number four as he bids to climb the rankings and finish the regular season in one of the top-two places and guarantee himself a place at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016.

"Qualifying for the Olympics is the main goal for me with WSB," said Fowler. 

"I had to miss one match (against Russia away) because of injury so that has set me back slightly, however I am confident that if I keep winning and go through the season unbeaten then I will have every chance of finishing in one of the top two places and qualify for Rio."

Joining Fowler in the team to face Ukraine are three fellow Commonwealth Games medallists, Ashley Williams at light-flyweight, Qais Ashfaq at bantamweight and Sam Maxwell at light welterweight.  Overseas selection Ionut-Mirel Jitaru of Romania completes the line-up at heavyweight.

Froome to miss Tirreno-Adriatico

Chris Froome insists he is not about to hit the panic button after announcing he will miss this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico stage race in Italy because of a chest infection.

The 2013 Tour de France winner has enjoyed a fine start to this year and last month won the Ruta del Sol stage race.

Froome was due to take part in the Tirreno-Adriatico for Teak Sky having sat out last year with a back injury, as he looked to once again go up against Spaniard Alberto Contador and 2014 Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali.

However the 29-year-old revealed he will sit the trip out after failing to shake off an illness, although Froome believes he will be back to race in the Volta a Catalunya, which begins on march 23.

"I've been ill for a few days now and, unfortunately, I couldn't shake it off in time,” he said.

"After speaking with the doctors we decided as a precaution that it would be best to take a few days off the bike to recover fully.

"This is obviously frustrating after the good start that I've had to the season, but it's a minor setback."

Johnson-Thompson set for Great CityGames Manchester bow

Katarina Johnson-Thompson admits she is champing at the bit to get going after revealing she will warm up for this summer’s World Athletics Championships by making her debut at the Great CityGames Manchester in May.

Johnson-Thompson confirmed her status as the world's leading current all-round female athlete last week as she claimed her first senior international title, smashing Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill's British record on the way to the pentathlon gold medal at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague.

Now she has set her sights on a double challenge, when she makes her first appearance at the Great CityGames Manchester, in front of the live BBC cameras in her native North West.

Johnson-Thompson intends to contest the 200m hurdles on the purpose built temporary track that runs down the middle of Deansgate and also the long jump in the specially constructed field arena in Albert Square.

In doing so, the 22-year-old will be following in the footsteps of Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford, who have all starred in front of 20,000-strong crowds in the six-year history of the hugely popular city centre event in the heart of Manchester.

"I've haven’t taken part in either of the Great CityGames events before so I'm really looking forward to making my debut in Manchester in May," said Johnson-Thompson.

“I've seen the events on television before and love the idea of competing so close to the public. I can't wait to experience it first-hand for the first time.

“It will also be great to compete on home soil in front of a British crowd - all the more so, close to home in the North-West.

“My main aim this summer is the World Championships in Beijing in August and competing in the two events in the Great CityGames Manchester will be great preparation for my first heptathlon of the year at Gotzis at the end of May."

Thomas leads the way for Britain in Paris-Nice

Team Sky's Geraint Thomas remains the highest Briton in the Paris-Nice as he sits tenth after  Norwegian Alexander Kristoff won a sprint finish to claim victory in the 196.5km first stage.

Britain's Ben Swift took ninth with fellow Team Sky rider Bradley Wiggins finishing in the bunch to maintain his 12th position after Sunday's prologue.

Thomas, meanwhile, gained a one-second bonus in the second intermediate sprint and is now 13 seconds behind leader Michal Kwiatkowski.

Tuesday's stage is a 172km journey from Saint-Aignan to Saint-Amand-Montrond.

© Sportsbeat 2015