Olympic24: McIntosh secures Rio quota place & Cullen comes back

Olympic24: McIntosh secures Rio quota place & Cullen comes back

22 July 2015 / 07:02

Jennifer McIntosh ensures Team GB will have a female rifle shooter at a non-home Olympic Games in nearly three decades, while Crista Cullen announces her intention to get back into the international hockey set up. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Jennifer McIntosh finished fourth at the European Championships to book a Rio quota place
  • Crista Cullen announces she is ready for selection again for the Great Britain Women’s Hockey squad
  • Heather Stanning and Helen Glover named in GB Rowing team for World Championships
  • Gymnast Giarnni Regini-Moran is ready for his Tbilisi test
  • Damon Sansum and Rachelle Booth will lead the line for Great Britain’s taekwondo players at the Chuncheon Open

McIntosh secures Rio quota place

Jennifer McIntosh 

Jennifer McIntosh has ensured British Shooting have their first female rifle shooter at a non-home Olympic Games in nearly three decades. 

The Scottish athlete came fourth in the 3x20 final at the European Championships in Maribor to secure an Olympic quota place for Rio 2016. 

The result means Team GB’s shooting team now hold a total of four quota places going into the Games with Ed Ling, Elena Allen and Amber Hill all gaining shotgun quotas at previous competitions.

To put McIntosh’s achievement into context, the last female athlete to perform in an Olympic Games prior to London 2012 was Sarah Cooper in 1988, some 27 years ago. 

“I feel relieved at the moment. It’s been quite a difficult season, I’ve come really close a couple of times, but to have done it now, it’s that box ticked and I can relax a bit,” she said.

"For me personally, I’ve always wanted to win a quota place at the Olympics. At London it was automatically allocated so feels like I’ve really earned this myself through a lot of hard work and determination.

"I felt a fair amount of pressure going into the match but I had a lot of experience to draw on to help me deal with that."

Cullen announces intention to return to international set-up

 Crista Cullen

London 2012 bronze medallist Crista Cullen admits she is ready to roll her sleeves up and work hard after making herself available for selection for the Great Britain Women's squad from October.

Cullen, who was the top penalty scorer at the London 2012 Games as Great Britain finished in third, has opted to return to the sport.

She retired after the Olympics after amassing 79 caps and 32 goals for Great Britain, and has been working in Kenya since 2012.

But following a chat with head coach Danny Kerry, Cullen has decided to throw herself back in the mix as the squad prepares for next year's Rio 2016 Olympics.

"I am excited about the opportunity to return to international hockey and to have a chance once more to compete for a place in the Great Britain squad," she said.

"I am well aware of the challenge ahead and the progress that the squad has made since London 2012 and I am looking forward to watching many of those players compete for England and Scotland in the forthcoming EuroHockey Championships back at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London in August."

Stanning and Glover lead GB Rowing team for World Champs

Helen Glover and Heather Stanning 

Of the 66-strong squad named by GB Rowing, Heather Stanning and Helen Glover’s names stand out after the reigning European and World champions have gone four year’s unbeaten.

And they would love to extend that run with this year’s World Championships, running between August 30 to September 6, doubling up as the Olympic and Paralympic qualifying regatta.

Britain won four golds in Amsterdam last year, with the men's four and eight both looking to successfully defend their titles.

The eight remains unchanged for a third successive regatta, having responded to defeat by Germany in May's European Championship by beating their rivals to World Cup gold in both Lucerne and Varese.

Three more of Britain's European Championship-winning boats will also reprise their combinations.

Imogen Walsh will go in the women's lightweight single scull and Olympic champions Kat Copeland will partner Charlotte Taylor in the double, while 2014 world silver medallists James Foad and Matthew Langridge will team up in the men's pair.

The successful men's four could also be reunited when the second wave of selections are finalised over the next few weeks.

Olympic champion Katherine Grainger will continue her comeback in tandem with Vicky Thornley in the double.

And another London 2012 medallist, Alan Campbell, has been reinstated as the sole single sculler after winning bronze at the last World Cup event.

Regini-Moran aware of target on his back

Giarnni Regini-Moran 

Gymnast Giarnni Regini-Moran is confident he can live up to the weight of expectation on his young shoulders at this month’s European Youth Olympic Festival.

Despite being just 16 years of age, Regini-Moran has already accumulated an impressive list of honours next to his name.

Last year in particular was a stellar year, with double European Junior gold and silver arriving in May before the Europa Gymnastics Club star added triple gold and double bronze at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing.

It all means there is little chance of the former St John’s Comprehensive School pupil slipping in under the radar when the European Youth Olympic Festival gets underway on July 26.

“For me, it’s another great achievement to be selected for the team for the European Youth Olympic Festival this year,” said Regini-Moran, who is joined on the team by Hamish Carter, Joe Fraser, Georgia-Mae Fenton, Maisie Methuen and Lucy Stanhope.

“I can’t wait to get out there and compete for Team GB again.

“I’ve competed well this year. Everyone knows me now which does put me under pressure. People know what I have achieved and are expecting me to do the same.

“It’s nice when they introduce me as the Youth Olympic champion but I don’t let it get to me.

“When I compete I just try and block it out and try and do my best.

“I’ve been working on my routines, making them a bit harder and just getting ready for the competition.”

Great Britain fighters gear up for busy period

World championship medallists Damon Sansum and Rachelle Booth will lead the line at the Chuncheon Open to kick start a busy period for Great Britain's taekwondo fighters.

A total of 15 British athletes are competing at the annual competition in South Korea, which gets underway on Wednesday.

Max Cater (-54kg) and Levi Goodride (-87kg) open proceedings for Great Britain while Christian McNeish is the team's newest medallist having finished on the podium at the recent World University Games and will compete next Monday.

World champion Bianca Walkden, who was also in action at the World University Games but missed out on a medal, takes a break as she prepares for the Grand Prix series, including next month's trip to Russia.

 © Sportsbeat 2015