Olympic24: Gibbons targeting Worlds success, Woods opens with win

Olympic24: Gibbons targeting Worlds success, Woods opens with win

11 August 2015 / 06:49

Olympic silver medallist Gemma Gibbons heads nine-strong British team for judo World Championships while freestyle skier James Woods starts the new season with a bang. Here's our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Olympic silver medallist Gemma Gibbons targets first-ever World Championships medal
  • James Woods records slopestyle victory in season-opening competition in New Zealand
  • Olympic champion and mother of two Anna Watkins announces intention to put herself in frame for Rio
  • Andy Murray to face brother Jamie for first time at Tour-level match at Rogers Cup
  • GB showjumping team named for European Championships
  • Paul Ratcliffe positive after latest canoe slalom World Cup success
  • Double Tour de France winner Chris Froome to compete in Vuelta a Espana later this month
  • Raj Ouseph suffers early exit at Badminton World Championship in Indonesia

Gibbons sets sights on maiden World Champs medal


Gemma Gibbons is setting her sights on a maiden World Judo Championships medal after being announced in a nine-strong British team heading to Astana, Kazakhstan.

Gibbons has never been far away from the podium in major international events, winning silver at London 2012 as well as taking home the same colour medal from last year's Commonwealth Games.

However, the 28-year-old has found success at World Championships hard to come by, and will be hoping to change all that at this year's event in Astana from August 24-29.

"The World Championship is one of the highest levels you can perform at in judo, so I'm really excited to be going to Astana," she said.

"I've never been a medallist at the World's before so that's my goal going in to the Championship."

Woods up and running with NZ win


Sochi 2014 freestyle skier James Woods made sure to kickstart the season in style by defending his title at the Freeski Open in Cardrona Alpine Resort, New Zealand.

The silver AFP (Association of Freeskiing Professionals) slope style event proved to be a tough competition, with Woodsy edging out home rider Jossie Wells with a massive 94 on his final run.

“I knew that Jossi had a mega run in the bank and we were pushing each other harder and harder” he said.

“It was head to head the whole way through, right from qualifiers.”

Returning Watkins braced for challenge


The lure of another Olympic Games has proved too much for Anna Watkins with the London 2012 double sculls gold medallist returning to the water with the aim of trying to qualify for Rio.

Five months after having her second baby, Watkins is hoping to make a comeback and reunite with victorious London 2012 partner Katherine Grainger to defend their title.

Watkins has been on the water since April but is well aware of the challenge ahead.

"I want to see what this old, clapped-out, two-babies body is capable of," the 32-year-old told BBC Sport.

"I initially just wanted to get fit and feel like myself again but the lure of the Olympics was just too strong.

"It's been made pretty clear that there will be no special treatment.

"Just because Katherine and I were successful before, it doesn't mean we will be automatically given preference again, especially as I have no history over the past few years. I have to prove myself.

"The golden scenario - that it all comes good and Katherine and I get to defend the title - is great but there's no pressure, in a nice way, and that's quite liberating.”

Murray brothers to lock horns in Montreal

Andy and Jamie Murray

British number one Andy Murray will play brother Jamie for the first time in a Tour-level match when they meet in men's doubles at the Rogers Cup.

Murray and partner Leander Paes set up their second-round tie with Jamie and John Peers in Montreal after beating Jeremy Chardy and Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-1.

In the men's singles, second seed Murray has received a first-round bye so will meet Tommy Robredo in the second round.

"We've not played each other for a long time so it'll be nice in some ways, but also it's not easy," said Andy.

In-form seventh seeds Murray and Peers recently won the German Open while they also reached the Wimbledon final this year.

Lampard looking to defend London 2012 show jumping title


Chef d'Equipe Di Lampard insists defending Team GB's showjumping team gold from London 2012 in Rio is at the forefront of her mind after announcing her squad for this month’s European Championships.

The upcoming European Championships – taking place in Aachen, Germany, from August 19-23, is the last major event before next year's Olympic Games.

And after Scott Brash, Peter Charles, Ben Maher and Nick Skelton helped Team GB to team gold at London 2012, the European Championship quartet will be looking to cement their place for Rio 2016.

Maher is the only survivor from London 2012 to be given the nod and he will be joined in Germany alongside Joe Clee, Jessica Mendoza and Michael Whitakes, with Guy Williams travelling as reserve.

"We are all entirely focussed on the job we have ahead of us," Lampard said. "Qualifying for Rio is at the forefront of our minds and we are absolutely committed to giving Great Britain the chance to defend the Team Gold title which was won at London 2012.

"We move forward to Aachen as a strong united team and are looking forward to the Championships and all it brings."

Ratcliffe positive ahead of World Championships


British Canoe slalom head coach Paul Ratcliffe believes two medals and a number of encouraging performances at the latest World Cup this weekend prove his paddlers are hitting form ahead of next month’s World Championships.

European champion Kimberley Woods won bronze in the C1 competition in La Seu d’Urgell on Saturday while Olympic silver medalists David Florence and Richard Hounslow repeated the feat in the men’s double C2 the following day.

And Ratcliffe insists the signs are promising ahead of the World Championships on home soil at the Lee Valley White Water Centre from September 16-20.

“Everyone has worked hard this weekend and where we have made mistakes we have refocused well,” he said.

“We know we have the ability to win and a few tweaks here and there will see us in a strong position for the World Championships.” 

Froome aims for more history, this time in Vuelta a Espana

There’ll be no rest yet for two-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome after his participation in this year’s Vuelta a Espana was announced.

The third and final Grand Tour of 2015 starts later this month with the race beginning in Puerto Banus on Saturday August 22.

Froome is attempting to become only the tenth cyclist to win two Grand Tours in one season.

The last man to win two in a season was Spaniard Alberto Contador, who won the Giro and Vuelta in 2008.

Only French pair Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault have ever won both the Tour and the Vuelta.

Ouseph suffers surprise defeat in Indonesia

England’s number one Rajiv Ouseph was on the wrong end of a first-round defeat in the Badminton World Championship in Indonesia.

The 16th seed surprisingly lost 21-16, 21-12 in 36 minutes to Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk.

England's Fontaine Chapman lost to Iris Wang of the United States in the women's single while Kirsty Gilmour, the top-ranked British singles player, lost to Thailand's Porntip Buranaprasertsuk.

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