Olympic24: Grabarz misses Worlds final, England suffer penalty woe

Olympic24: Grabarz misses Worlds final, England suffer penalty woe

28 August 2015 / 06:58

Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz falls short of automatic qualification for the World Championships high jump final while England men's hockey team stopped in their tracks by Germany at EuroHockey Championships. Here's our review of the last 24 hours.

  • High jumper Robbie Grabarz looks ahead to next year after missing Worlds final
  • Sophie Hitchon sets new national record on the way to fourth in the hammer final
  • Penalty heartache for England who lose out to Germany in EuroHockey Championships semi-final
  • Andy Murray drawn to face Nick Kyrgios in US Open first round while quartet of Brits remain in hunt for main draw place
  • Chris Froome stays in touch in Vuelta a Espana
  • Alice Schlesinger defeated in second round of judo World Championships
  • Jess Varnish excited for National Track Championships

Grabarz looking at positives despite missing final


Robbie Grabarz refused to be too downbeat despite missing out on a spot in the final of the high jump at the World Championships in Beijing.

The Olympic bronze medallist could only manage a clearance of 2.26m,  five centimetres short of the required mark for automatic qualification to the final.

But his appearance in China alone was still an achievement for the 27-year-old who returned this season after a year out with a knee injury.

And with that in mind, Grabarz was already looking ahead to plans for next year and Rio 2016.

“I’m just happy to be here, I shouldn’t be saying that – but I am,” Grabarz told British Athletics.

“Surgery was just a year ago, and my body feels great – I just need to get technically fit, which shouldn’t be too difficult – it’s harder to get your body back than your technical things and my body is back. That’s just a nice feeling to be honest

"It is nice having that feeling in my mind that I can come in higher than everyone else and get a couple of clean sheets, but when the bar went up I probably just tried a little too hard, it’s always the way.

"Rio, it’s Olympic year, that’s exciting enough and I’m not starting a winter hampered by my body this year, I’m starting it in the best shape of my life physically, so that’s a nice feeling to take forward… albeit to a long cold winter in Birmingham." 

Hitchon break British record twice on way to fourth in Beijing

It is usually the most agonising of positions to finish but Sophie Hitchon knows she gave everything she had as she threw two national records to finish fourth at the World Championships in Beijing.

The hammer thrower qualified for the final in sixth but produced a brilliant performance as she broke the British record with a throw of 73.65m in the third round.

But she wasn’t finished there and the 24-year-old went even further with an effort of 73.86m to seal fourth – victory going to Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk with a whopping 80.85m.

“As an athlete it feels hard – because fourth is the agonising place but honestly I couldn’t have done anything more,” she told British Athletics.

“Two national records, two PBs in one competition – I loved it out there and it bodes well for the future.”

Elsewhere, Zharnel Hughes finished fifth in the 200m final with a personal best of 22.02 while Shelayna Oskan-Clarke qualified for the 800m final.

In the 400m final Christine Ohuruogu finished eighth but there was plenty to cheer for Dina Asher-Smith who qualified for the 200m final. Read more here. 

Penalty shootout heartache for England

Ashley Jackson celebrates his equaliser against Germany. Credit Chris Lee

Nick Catlin tried hard to accentuate the positives as England's men suffered penalty shoot-out heartache against Germany at hockey's European Championships in London.

Markus Weise’s side had edged in front after goals from Martin Zwicker and Lukas Windfeder had cancelled out Mark Gleghorne’s opener but Ashley Jackson’s late penalty stroke took the semi-final into a shootout. 

Nicolas Jacobi was the hero for his side, saving twice in the shootout to condemn Bobby Crutchley’s team to the bronze medal match against Ireland.  

“It doesn’t get much closer than that," said Catlin. 

"It’s probably the best semi-final I’ve been involved in since I came into the team. We certainly turned up and played our part but we went from the ecstasy of making 2-2 to the agony of losing on shootout." Read more here.

Tough US Open draw for Murray as Brits battle to join him

Andy Murray

Great Britain’s Jo Konta, Kyle Edmund, Naomi Broady and Bryan Klein are all one win away from qualifying for the US Open main draw.

Konta extended her recent winning run to 12 with victory over Japan’s Naomi Osaka while Edmund beat Argentina’s Guido Andreozzi.

Klein beat Frenchman Tristan Lamasine while British number three beat China’s Ying-Ying Duan.

If any of the four were to progress, they would join the five British players who have made it directly into the main draw.

Third seed Andy Murray has been drawn to face Australian Nick Kyrgios in the first round while he is joined by Alijaz Bedene, James Ward, Heather Watson and Laura Robson.

Froome stays in contention in Vuelta a Espana

Froome kept himself in the hunt at the Vuelta a Espana although it is Esteban Chaves who leads the overall race after six stages.

The Colombian attacked in the closing kilometres to take his second stage win and regain the lead.

Froome meanwhile crossed 11 seconds behind with his rivals and is seventh, 55 seconds off the lead.

The Team Sky rider is aiming to become jus the third rider to win the Vuelta and Tour de France in the same year.

Schlesinger suffers second round defeat at Worlds

British judoka Alice Schlesinger saw her World Judo Championships hopes ended in the second round after she was knocked out by Juul Franssen in Astana.

Schlesinger was handed a bye in the first round before then coming up against the Dutch athlete.

The Brit had dominated the early stages and was leading going into the final minute before a late yuko by her opponent proved her undoing.

GB Elite performance coach Kate Howey said: “Today didn’t go as well as expected for Alice but considering she tore her hamstring six weeks ago in Russia she did well to be here in Astana.

“Having said that though to be three shidos up with a minute to go, Alice should have seen the fight out and it’s disappointing that she didn’t win this fight.

“She will get married in two weeks and start training again for Uzbekistan GP in the first week of October and carry on collecting Rio qualification points.”

Varnish can’t wait to defend titles in Manchester

Jess Varnish says she is excited about defending her titles at next month’s National Track Championships after a stellar lineup was confirmed to be competing in Manchester.

With the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins and Laura Trott set to take part it will be all eyes on the National Cycling Centre.

Varnish will be looking to defend her four titles in the 500m TT, Individual Sprint, Keirin and Team Sprint but expects tough competition from her rivals.

“I’ve always loved competing at the nationals,” she told British Cycling. “The crowd really get behind you and the atmosphere at the velodrome in Manchester is always incredible, which really lifts your performance.

“I can’t wait to get on the boards to defend my titles this year but I’m expecting some tough competition from my teammates.”

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