Olympic24: Glover looks to future; Birmingham GP previews

06 June 2015 / 06:57

Olympic champion Helen Glover is looking beyond Rio, our top athletes are preparing for this weekend's Diamond League meeting in Birmingham and Andy Murray is back in action in Paris. Here's our review of the last 24 hours:

  • Helen Glover hints she may retire after Olympics in Rio
  • Dina Asher-Smith wants to break more records
  • Richard Kilty looking to become 100th man to go below ten seconds
  • Jessica Ennis-Hill withdraws from Diamond League event
  • Andy Murray back on court at French Open. He's on court at noon UK time

Glover looks ahead as she continues her road to Rio

While insisting that it would be hard to walk away from rowing, Olympic champion Helen Glover admits that could be what she does after the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Glover shot to fame in the summer of 2012 when she and Heather Stanning claimed pairs gold on the water at Eton Dorney.

It was just four years earlier when Glover first picked up the sport, becoming full-time in 2010 and winning silver in the coxless pairs at that summer's World Championships.

The 28-year-old has since gone on to win two world and two European titles – not to mention her Olympic gold – and while she knows it will be a tough decision to make, Glover is not ruling anything out. 

"The tough thing in a sport like this is that it's so Olympic-based that you really make decisions in four-year cycles," Glover told BBC Cornwall.

"After Rio I can see myself retiring, I'd have had two Olympic Games and eight years at the top level.

"I don't know how I'll feel after racing, and if I feel I can give more to the sport and if I feel I want to keep on improving and keep on trying then that's what I'll do."

Asher-Smith takes on idol Felix in Birmingham

New British record holder Dina Asher-Smith is looking to underline her potential at Sunday's IAAF Diamond League meeting in Birmingham.

Asher-Smith will line up against USA’s four-time Olympic champion Allyson Felix over 200m - and can't wait to get on the track.

“I can't wait to run because I just really love racing," said Asher-Smith, who clocked a new national 100m record when she ran 11.02 seconds in Hengelo last month.

"I like the feeling of nerves and the tough competition. I've watched these ladies race for years - there is so much talent in this field. I've got such a great opportunity to race here which you don't get very often so I need to grab it. Any female sprinter wants to be like Allyson Felix – she is an absolutely amazing athlete and young people do look up to her."

Asher-Smith has a 22.61 second personal best over 200m, set in the semi-finals of last year's European Championships and admits she's now got a taste for record breaking.

“The time flashed up and suddenly my mood completely changed in a split second - I was so happy," she said, as she recalled her performance two weeks ago. 

"I couldn't believe it when 11.02 flashed up on the screen and the wind speed was legal. I was so happy at that moment - I just couldn't stop jumping up and down.”

Kilty looks for his place in sprinting history

Richard Kilty believes this will be the year he makes the transition from proven indoor performer to making an impression in the summer season.

Kilty is the world and European champion over 60m but wants to crack the ten second barrier at this weekend's IAAF Diamond League meeting in Birmingham.

He lines up against five men who have already achieved the feat, including British rival Adam Gemili, whose time last weekend was wind assisted.

And if he breaks the mark he'll be the 100th man in history to do it.

“I’m really looking forward to some world class performances, we’ve got numerous world and Olympic champions competing," said Kilty. 

"My outdoor season has got off to a good start, I’ve ran a personal best of 10.09 so it’s looking pretty positive at the moment. I hope to go out there at the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix and if conditions are good to run a fast time; another personal best would be nice. 

"It’s a world-class line up and I want to beat as many people as I can and have fun in front of a home crowd.”

Rio priority means Ennis-Hill is taking things slowly

Jessica Ennis-Hill has withdrawn from this weekend's Diamond League in Birmingham following the exertions of her recent return to competition in Gotzis.

The Olympic champion completed her first heptathlon since London 2012 last weekend and secured the Rio qualifying standard.

But she's still taking her comeback slowly, following advice from coach Toni Minichiello.

"I have to keep the long term goal in mind and that is to be in the best shape possible for the next 14 months into the Rio Olympics," she said.

"Having competed in my first full heptathlon in three years, both Toni and I feel that my body held up well in Gotzis and we are delighted with how I did, but I feel competing seven days later is going to be too soon.

“I have missed a volume of training over the past few months, since having my baby, due to problems with my achilles and there is still a lot of work to do.  

"So we have made the decision for me to take the usual week off post a heptathlon to recover and then to get back into solid training. Toni will take time to review Gotzis together with Paul Brice, my bio-mechanist, and identify the key areas for continuing my improvement."

Christine Ohuruogu has also withdrawn from the event as a precaution due to a tight hip flexor.

Murray and Djokovic to return for high noon showdown

Andy Murray's semi-final fight back was put on hold as imminent rain and bad light forced him and Novak Djokovic off court at the French Open.

The British number one and number three seed was outclassed in the opening two sets as Djokovic looked like cruising into the final to face Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka.

Murray wasn't playing badly, Djokovic was just playing that well but it all turned around in a thrilling third set that held a capacity crowd on Philippe Chatrier in rapt attention.

Murray has staged a comeback from losing the first two sets seven times in his career - famously against Fernando Verdasco on his run to the Wimbledon title in 2013.

But doing it against world number one Djokovic - who is seeking to complete a career Grand Slam in Paris - represents an all together different challenge.

However, Murray found another level to take the third set and then seized an early break - which Djokovic quickly cancelled out - in the fourth before the prospect of heavy rain forced them off the court - to boos from a disappointed crowd - with the Scot trailing 3-6, 3-6, 7-5, 3-3.

They will now resume on Saturday (midday UK time) before Serena Williams and Lucie Safarova  play in the women's singles final. 

Read more here

© Sportsbeat 2015