Olympic24: James makes GB return, Oliver sets British record

Olympic24: James makes GB return, Oliver sets British record

24 November 2015 / 07:48

Cyclist Becky James returns to Great Britain fold after almost two years out while Jack Oliver breaks British record at weightlifting World Championships. Here’s our review of the news from the last 24 hours.

  • Double world champion Becky James named in track cycling World Cup squad in New Zealand
  • Weightlifter Jack Oliver breaks British clean and jerk record with a 176kg lift at World Championships
  • Giles Scott gets world title defence off to a strong start
  • Scotland’s women get back on track with victory at European Championships but not such luck for men’s team
  • Simon Mantell discusses his return to tournament hockey following long lay off
  • Peter Briggs and Tom Wolfenden set for badminton’s Rio test event
  • GB women’s handball team to play double header against Faroe Islands

Cyclist James set for Great Britain outing

Two-time world champion Becky James is set for her first outing in Great Britain colours for almost two years after being named in the team for next week's track cycling World Cup in New Zealand.

The 23-year-old last rode for Great Britain at the 2014 World Championships where she picked up bronze in the keirin and team sprint.

However a combination of a knee injury and cancer scare left her on the sidelines for the last 18 months with her track return coming back in August.

The World Cup competition in New Zealand from December 4-6 offers qualification points for Rio 2016.

British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton said: "It's great to see Becky James come back into the fold.

"We're in the fortunate position that our performance across men's and women's endurance has left us in a strong position in qualification, allowing us to blood some of our younger academy riders."

Weightlifter Oliver opens with a bang

JackOliverJack Oliver kickstarted Britain’s campaign at the weightlifting World Championships in Houston with a new British record in the clean and jerk.

The 24-year-old improved upon his own British record in the clean and jerk in the men’s 77kg category with a lift of 176kg.

Having earlier achieved 140kg in the snatch, the London 2012 Olympian finished with a combined total of 316kg across the two lifts.

British Weight Lifting Performance Director Tommy Yule, said, “Jack’s record-breaking performance pays testament to the fantastic progress he continues to make. This new British record in the clean & jerk is a huge boost for all the team.

“We’ve placed a great emphasis on personal achievement at the championships so to see Jack improve upon his previous best clean & jerk and perform admirably overall sets the tone for the rest of the athletes ahead of their lifts.”

Scott and Wright well placed at Finn Gold Cup

Defending champion Giles Scott is in a strong position after day one of the Finn Gold Cup in Takapuna, New Zealand.

The 28-year, chasing his third Finn Gold Cup victory, is tied on points at the top of the leaderboard after posting a fifth and third.

Home favourite Andrew Murdoch is level with him while 2010 British world champion Ed Wright is also third.

“I certainly can’t complain. I’ve had quite a good start with a five and a three,” said Scott.

“The wind out there was pretty tricky with big shifts left to right in the first one and then it settled down a little for the second. I’m happy to come away with a nice consistent day.

“You can’t win the Gold Cup on the first day but you can certainly lose it and I managed not to do that, which is good!” 

Mixed bag for Scotland's curlers

They may not yet have found a consistent level but skip Eve Muirhead believes her Scotland women’s team are right in contention at the 2015 European Curling Championships in Esbjerg.

Heading into this afternoon’s clash with Hungary, the Scots had recorded two wins and two defeats from their opening four round-robin games.

But they were on the mark against the Hungarians, applying the pressure to record a 9-3 win.

"We're definitely back on track," said Muirhead, whose side now sit fourth in the standings.

Meanwhile Scotland’s men suffered back-to-back defeats against Switzerland and the Netherlands. Read more here.

Mantell talks tournament return after concussion lay off

SimonMantell3200 For someone used to combining playing international hockey for England and Great Britain with a part time job at a top investment banking firm, being forced onto the sidelines for almost a year due to concussion was never going to be easy for Simon Mantell.

But on the eve of his first tournament back since the incident, the forward admits the experience has helped reinvigorate his love for the sport.

“It was a frustrating period for me off the pitch,” reflected the 31-year-old.

“For me, it was completely different to any injury I had had in the past.

“When I first got back to playing full time again, it was almost like my love of the game had been rejuvenated. I’m just enjoying being back playing.” Read more here.

Briggs and Wolfenden set for Rio test event

Men's doubles duo Peter Briggs and Tom Wolfenden will take to the court for this week's YONEX Brasil Open looking to come away with more than just a successful performance.

With the week-long competition also acting as a test event for next year's Rio Olympics, the duo's trip will act as a valuable information gathering exercise for the rest of the England badminton team hoping to qualify for the Games.

Badminton England’s performance director Jon Austin said: "We would like to have entered those players who are in the mix for qualification so they could experience the environment they will potentially complete in, but the schedule does not work well when focussing on qualification.

"Tom and Peter have the joint task of competing in the event and providing valuable insight into the environment on and off court that will inform our preparation as we approach the Games next summer."

GB women gear up for Faroe Islands test

GB women’s handball team will play two full international games against the Faroe Islands as part of their upcoming training camp.

A 12-strong women's squad will travel out to the Faroe Islands from November 26-30 November.

British Handball chair Paul Bray said: "This is a talented squad going to the Faroes with a mix of experienced Olympians and up-and-coming players.

"The senior squads are the inspirational element of our programme and give young players a goal to aim at.”

© Sportsbeat 2015