Olympic24: Froome confident, Watson pushes Williams to limit

Olympic24: Froome confident, Watson pushes Williams to limit

04 July 2015 / 07:03

Chris Froome confident of regaining crown ahead of Tour de France opener, while British number one Heather Watson gives Serena William an almighty scare. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

  • 2013 Tour de France winner Froome targets strong start to 2015 race
  • Heather Watson falls just short against world number one Williams, losing 6-2, 4-6, 7-5
  • Great Britain men miss out on final of World Hockey League after 3-1 loss to Australia
  • British Athletics Championships get underway in Birmingham with 200m and 400m heats
  • GB men struggle at modern pentathlon World Championships
  • Dan Norton reflects on health of rugby sevens both in Britain and around the world

Froome pleased with Tour de France support team

Chris Froome believes he's got the best team support to regain his Tour de France title.

This year's race - which starts in Utrecht on Saturday - is being billed as the most open of all time with former winners Froome and Alberto Contador pitched against defending champion Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana, who finished second 12 months ago.

"We've got a stronger team, we've got lots of classics guys in our line-up who have experience of this kind of racing and hopefully they'll keep me safe in that first week," said Froome, winner in 2013.

"You never know what will happen in bike racing but I can take confidence from being surrounded by such a great group of guys and hopefully we can get the job done.” Read more here.

Watson thrills despite defeat at Wimbedon

Heather Watson fell just two points short of pulling off the biggest win of her career as world number one Serena Williams battled back for victory in the third round at Wimbledon.

The 23-year-old battled back from a set down, winning six straight games from 3-3 in the second set.

Watson served for the match at 5-4 in the decider but five-time Wimbledon champion Williams recovered to win 6-2 4-6 7-5.

"The atmosphere on that court was amazing and I think it really helped me and pushed me and I just wish I could have closed it out at the end,” she said.

"I wouldn't call losing the greatest day of my career but it's very positive that I put myself in this position.” Read more here.

No gold medal match for GB men after Australia defeat

Great Britain were unable to book their place in Sunday’s World Hockey League final after losing 3-1 to Australia.

Much was owed to a display of clinical finishing by Australia who were unperturbed by Nick Catlin’s 36th leveller to cancel out Blake Glovers’ opener.

Two minutes later, Daniel Beale restored the Australians’ lead before Jacob Whetton rounded off the win.

“We’re really pleased with the development of some of our players but we want to compete with sides like Australia and be up there with the best,” said Great Britain head coach Bobby Crutchley.

“We are aiming to get better and better to give ourselves a chance in Rio. We want to start to win more games, to get on more podiums and to push even further.” Read more here.

Hughes and Williams star on day one of British Athletics champs 

Friday evening saw the start of the British Athletics Championships in Birmingham with the 400m and 200m heats contested at the Alexander Stadium.

Andrew Steele was the pick of the bunch in the men’s 400m, setting the fastest time ahead of Jarryd Dunn.

While in the 200m, Zharnel Hughes clocked an impressive 20.55 to comfortably top the timing sheets in the men’s event while Bianca Williams cruised through in the women’s, clocking 23.45.

Tough day at modern pentathlon World Champs for GB

Great Britain’s modern pentathletes were unable to make their presence felt at the World Championships, finishing outside the top 25 in Berlin.

Jamie Cooke, Olympian Nick Woodbridge and Joe Choong all competed in the hard fought contest in Germany but failed to recover from a tough fencing round, finishing 22nd, 27th and 28th respectively.

Current World Champion Samantha Murray will look to defend her title in today’s women’s final after topping her qualification group in the semi-final.

Norton: Sevens on the rise 

Dan Norton believes no-one is safe for a place on Great Britain's rugby sevens squad at next summer's Olympics.

Norton played a key role in the England team that qualified Team GB for Rio, with their fourth place in this season's World Series, including a victory in the Japan leg on the nine stage competition.

Next week England's rising stars will play in Rugby Europe’s Grand Prix 7s series event in Exeter, which will give coach Simon Amor the chance to run the rule over those pushing themselves into his thoughts.

"Since sevens was included in the Olympics there has been a lot more excitement and awareness around the sport in this country and all over the world," said Norton.

"The new guys coming in have done well and it gives the squad a refreshed look.” Read more here.

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