Olympic24: Froome on the cusp of third Tour de France title as Farah celebrates Anniversary Games success

Olympic24: Froome on the cusp of third Tour de France title as Farah celebrates Anniversary Games success

24 July 2016 / 08:55

With today’s procession into Paris to come, Chris Froome is all but assured to become the first Briton to claim a third Tour de France title, while Mo Farah and Katarina Johnson-Thompson take honours in the Muller Anniversary Games and Johanna Konta reaches her first WTA final. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours:

  • Chris Froome survives the treacherous Alps to leave a final-stage procession to Paris
  • Mo Farah runs the fastest 5000m of 2016 to streak to victory at the Muller Anniversary Games
  • Katarina Johnson-Thompson jumps a season’s best 6.84m to win the long jump
  • Johanna Konta reaches the first WTA final of her career with victory over Dominika Cibulkova in Stanford
  • World and European bronze medallist Jenny Meadows reveals she has no regrets over ending her career

Froome on brink of third title at Le Tour


A Parisian parade awaits for Chris Froome as he all but secured a third Tour de France victory with one stage to go.

Froome, who won the Tour in both 2013 and 2015, saw his lead trimmed fractionally by Romain Bardet, to four minutes and five seconds, as Spanish rider Ion Izaguirre claimed his first stage victory in Morzine.

Horrendous rain made for treacherous conditions on the 146.5km route from Megeve, but Team Sky’s Froome survived the final descent to move the 31-year-old one step closer to becoming the first Brit in history to win three Tour titles.

Today’s route from Chantilly to the French capital will be largely processional as tradition dictates the Yellow Jersey holder should not be challenged during the final stage.

"I still need to get the yellow jersey to Paris but certainly the racing side is done and dusted," he said.

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Farah stuns London crowd with Anniversary Games win


Mo Farah was the man of the moment once more as he streaked to a stunning 5,000m victory to end the Muller Anniversary Games in emphatic style.

Double Olympic champion Farah finished a remarkable 15 seconds ahead of second-placed Andrew Butchart and the rest of the field, in what was his first competitive 5,000m of the year.

He set a new world leading time of 12:59.29, with fellow Brit Butchart crossing the line in 13:14.85 at the capital’s Olympic Stadium, with the event also doubling up as the London leg of the Diamond League.

And in what was his last race before competing at next month’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Farah admitted the win was made even more special by the roar of the home crowd.

“I got amazing support from the crowd – I just wanted to go for it,” he said. “It was my last chance to run quick before Rio.

“I mean, I love this track, it means a lot to me. Not many people get a chance to compete in their hometown and have so many memories of the place."

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Johnson-Thompson jumps season’s best in London


Katarina Johnson-Thompson pipped British teammate Shara Proctor to the win in the women’s long jump in a line-up that also featured Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill, at the Muller Anniversary Games.

The 23-year-old jumped 6.84m to set a new season's best, four centimetres further than Proctor and almost 20 centimetres ahead of the rest of the pack.

Earlier in the day, the men’s 4x100m relay A team – consisting of Adam Gemili, Chijindu Ujah, James Dasaolu and James Ellington – also set a new world lead of 37.78s, finishing 0.03 seconds ahead of Great Britain’s B team.

Their time was just 0.05 seconds slower than the current British record, and that, according to Ujah, sets the quartet in good stead ahead of competing in Brazil.

“This is my home city so to come and race against these guys in a very competitive field is amazing,” he said.

“I was definitely impressed with my performance in the heat, I am confident I have enough time on my hands and make it count on the world stage in Rio.”

Konta beats Cibulkova to make first WTA final


British number one Johanna Konta is through to the first WTA final of her career after beating world number 12 Dominika Cibulkova in straight sets in Stanford, USA.

It sets up a final showdown with Venus Williams for Konta, herself ranked number 18 in the world, after her 6-4 6-2 victory over the Slovak.

The 25-year-old was impressive on serve, conceding just six points with ball in hand, registering seven aces in the 74-minute match.

It’s the first time a Brit has made a Stanford final since Virginia Wade since 1981, with Konta still going strong in the doubles too alongside American partner Maria Sanchez.

"It's just a release of emotions," said Konta, who will be getting her first taste of the Olympic Games in Rio next month.

"I needed to do a very good job of just focusing on myself. It was about focusing on breathing and enjoying playing in front of such a great crowd."

Meadows with no regrets after curtain comes down on her career

World and European bronze medallist Jenny Meadows admits she has no regrets after calling time on her 28-year career earlier this month.

Meadows missed out on the 800m final at the European Championships in Amsterdam after suffering a hamstring injury in the heats, ending her hopes at competing at next month's Rio Olympic Games.

That result led to the 35-year-old announcing her retirement from athletics, but she admits the decision had been playing on her mind for some time.

"I decided after Beijing [2015 World Athletics Championships] that I'd give it one more year – I had broken two minutes twice that year in my indoor season so I thought if everything went perfectly for me, I could reach an Olympic final," she said.

"My main aim was to make the team for Rio – I felt I couldn't retire a year before an Olympic Games, but ultimately I knew my career would either end in Amsterdam or Rio. A day or so after the Olympic trials I was doing a few stretches and I felt my knee overstretch, so the whole week leading up to Amsterdam I wasn't able to run, it was just one of those battles too far.

"I know if I'd retired last year I would have looked at 2016 wondering 'what if?' – and the really important thing for me was to not walk away from the sport with regrets.”

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