Olympic24: Murray and Watson progress, silver for Howell

Olympic24: Murray and Watson progress, silver for Howell

27 March 2016 / 08:44

Andy Murray and Heather Watson safely through to next round at Miami Open while there is a silver medal for judoka Gemma Howell at Tbilisi Grand Prix. Catch up on all the latest news here.

  • Andy Murray into third round and Heather Watson the fourth round in Miami but there are exits for Aljaz Bedene and Jamie Murray
  • Judoka Gemma Howell wins her first judo Grand Prix medal since 2014 on day two in Tbilisi
  • Mo Farah has to settle for bronze at World Marathon Half Championships in Cardiff
  • Chris Froome stays eighth at Volta a Catalunya following penultimate stage
  • Nick Buckland and Penny Coomes gear up for figure skating World Championships in latest Team GB Exclusive

Wins for Murray and WatsonWatson

Andy Murray and Heather Watson both progressed at the Miami Open.

Murray beat Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin 6-3 7-5 in the evening session when the heat was cooler while Watson overcame Belgian Yanina Wickmayer 3-6 7-5 6-3.

Playing in the final session of day six, second seed Murray beat world number 76 Istomin to make the third round.

That came despite ending up serving with a rogue ball from the women’s event in the second set which actually saw him broken on serve before he broke straight back to set up a clash with Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov.

"The women's balls are very different from the men's balls," he said.

"They're much quicker, smaller, livelier, and when you're just about to serve at break point down, you don't want to be using a completely different ball. So I was just a bit frustrated with that."

Meanwhile Watson reached the fourth round in Miami for the first time after seeing off high-ranked Wickmayer.

The Brit had to endure searing heat and humidity which required both players to change clothing before the final set.

"We actually went to the porta-potties - that's where the referees took us - and we both had to get changed in there because we were just drenched," said Watson, who plays Romanian fifth seed Simona Halep next.

Judo silver for Howell


Gemma Howell returned to the Grand Prix medal rostrum for the first time since 2014 after a series of impressive performances in Tbilisi.

Howell progressed through the early pool contests comfortably, including a ippon victory over world number eight Anicka Van Emden of the Netherlands.

That set up a semi-final with Italian Edwige Gwend and she duly scored another ippon to march into the -63kgs final.

However she was denied gold by number one seed Katrin Unterwurzacher of Austria who scored an ippon with just over a minute to go.

Farah third at World Half Marathon Championships


Mo Farah struggled to hide his disappointment despite picking up a bronze medal at the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff.

In wet and windy conditions, Farah outsprinted Ethiopia’s Abayneh Ayele in the home straight to take the final podium position in a time of 59:59 minutes.

However his main rivals – Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor and Bedan Karoki – had already finished ahead of him with the former successfully defending his title in 59:10 minutes.

But ahead of another showdown with the Kenyans, this time on the track in Rio this summer, double Olympic champion Farah admitted he had wanted more.

“I'm disappointed," Farah told BBC Sport afterwards.

“Rio is definitely the aim. The guys are going to be strong in Rio, so I am going to work hard and this has just given me massive motivation." Read more here.

Froome sitting eighth at Volta a Catalunya

Chris Froome remained in eighth place at the Volta a Catalunya following the penultimate stage.

The day started with Ben Swift joining Ian Boswell and Geraint Thomas in withdrawing from the Team Sky ranks with a sickness bug.

With no recognised sprinter left in the squad, the riders then spent the 197.2km stage in the peleton.

Victory went to Davide Cimolai, with Froome rolling home in 35th to remain 46 seconds adrift of Nairo Quintana.

Buckland and Coomes reveal mid-season gamble

After 11 years competing together, it’s safe to say two-time Olympians Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland have experienced their fair share of highs and lows together.

But on the eve of this year’s World Figure Skating Championships, the British ice dance duo admit this season could have panned out very differently had they not opted to rip up the script and start again mid campaign.

“Making up a routine is something you do extremely early on each year,” explained Buckland.

“Typically we would make up a program May or June time, and you would compete it middle of September possibly but then it wouldn’t really be performance ready for your serious competitions until October, November.”

Detroit-based Buckland and Coomes did the same again this year, but by December the general feeling was that the program was not right and, with the European Championships looming in January, it was back to the drawing board shortly before Christmas. Read more here.

Sportsbeat 2016