Olympic24: Murray goes out; British Lionhearts beaten

27 February 2015 / 08:00

Andy Murray sent packing from Dubai Championships by Borna Coric while British Lionhearts suffer third successive defeat. Here's our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Murray suffers shock straight sets defeat to Croatian world number 84 Coric in Dubai Championships quarter-finals
  • Wins for Qais Ashfaq and Anthony Fowler not enough to prevent British Lionhearts from losing 3-2 to Mexico Guerreros at York Hall
  • Fowler win does at least boost his Olympic qualification hopes 
  • Laura Trott insists there is no reason for panic despite no GB golds at Track World Championships
  • Olympic skeleton champion Yarnold determined to add World title to her list of achievements
  • Sibley targeting fifth national table tennis title this weekend
  • Britain's women bobsledders struggle in opening stages of World Championships in Winterberg 

Murray dumped out in Dubai

Andy Murray admits he made too many errors after the Olympic champion crashed out of the Dubai Championships at the hands of 18-year-old Borna Coric.

After a solid display against Joao Sousa, Murray struggled to find any rhythm on court and eventually fell to a straight sets defeat 6-1 6-3.

The world number three was uncharacteristically erroneous against the young Croatian, making 55 unforced errors and failing to bring up a single break point.

It was a combination that spelled disaster for the 27-year-old who was soundly beaten in the first set after losing his serve three times.

A solitary break in the second was enough for Coric to seal the win and book his spot in the semi-final – the first teen to make it that far in the tournament since Rafael Nadal nine years ago.

"He didn't make many errors," said Murray.

"He played very solid and he moved well. I made way too many mistakes from the beginning of the match right through to the end, early in rallies, rushing points."

Unbeaten Fowler boosts Rio hopes despite British Lionhearts loss

Anthony Fowler has his sights firmly on Rio after keeping his Olympic qualification campaign on track with a third victory in the World Series of Boxing (WSB).

It proved to be a mixed night for the British Lionhearts at York Hall on Thursday night as they fell to a 3-2 defeat to the Mexico Guerreros – their third WSB loss in a row.

However Fowler, who was making his return to injury, enjoyed success in the ring defeating Misael Rodriguez to take his record for the season to three wins from three.

It will also see him move up the WSB middleweight rankings, and with a top two-finish come the end of the regular season guaranteeing qualification for Rio, Fowler was feeling optimistic.

“Olympic qualification is what it’s all about for me,” he said.

“I lost a little bit of ground in the rankings because I had to miss the Russia match (two weeks ago) through injury but I am still on track and with that win I ought to go up in the rankings.

“I am unbeaten for the season and I really don’t think there is anyone out there better than me, so I just need to keep on winning and hopefully I will qualify for Rio through WSB.”

The Lionhearts other victory came from Qais Ashfaq who overcame Brian Gonzalez in the bantamweight category.

Although Harvey Horn was unable to mark his debut with a win, with Sam Maxwell and international selection Ionut-Mirel Jitaru of Romania also losing out.

Trott remains confident over GB's cycling hopes for Rio

Laura Trott fully believes Great Britain’s cyclists will be firing on all cylinders come Rio 2016 despite failing to pick up a single gold at last week’s Track World Championships in Paris.

Double Olympic and five-time World champion Trott was the team’s best performer in the French capital with a silver in the omnium and the team pursuit.

The latter came after the British quartet of Kate Archibald, Elinor Barker, Joanna Rowsell and Trott were beaten by Australia in the final for what was only the second defeat for a British team since the event was added to the Olympic programme.

And with none of the other British riders managing to climb top spot on the podium, it meant GB went winless for the first Track World since 2001 – although Trott is adamant there is no need for panic.

“We were a bit gutted about the team pursuit,” she said.

"But it takes four girls going well and unfortunately for us we didn't quite have that on the day.

"I look back to the 2011 Worlds in Apeldoorn and we only won one gold medal there, the team pursuit. So I still believe that come Rio we'll be able to do it.

"I said back in 2010 that I didn't care if I never win a gold medal again until the Olympics, and I'll say it again now."

Yarnold desperate to complete collection of titles

Lizzy Yarnold admits she is determined to get her hand on the one title that has eluded her when she makes the trip to Winterberg for the World Skeleton Championships next week.

The Olympic champion has a long list of accolades to her name so far in her career but has yet been unable to take a world title - bronze in 2012 the best she has been able to muster.

"The World Championship is the title that I want. I want to win the race like I want to win any race I go in and I’m going there to win," she said.

“I’m very proud that I’m most competitive with my other team mates because we do share lines and say what’s good here what’s not good here, but when it comes to race day I want to beat them as much as anyone else.

“I’m not sure we’ve taken this many athletes to the World Championships before so I think it'll be good and I think the team race will be exciting, so there’s lots to look forward to."

Sibley wary of domestic challengers

Kelly Sibley knows she will have to keep her wits about her if she is going to claim her fifth national table tennis title this weekend.

The 26-year-old Olympian is the number one seed for the Senior National Championships but is expecting plenty of competition for the crown at Redbridge.

While defending champion Joanna Drinkhall will be absent from the competition, the likes of rising star Tin Tin Ho have given Sibley plenty of food for thought.

“I’ve been working hard and putting in extra time in the gym to get myself as fit as I can be,” Sibley told Table Tennis England.

“I feel like my table tennis is going well, I’ve been playing well in France and have had variation of practices, so I feel like I’m ready.

“There’s more pressure being No 1 seed but I feel like I have to play my best and have to be fully concentrated because the younger girls are coming through, like Tin-Tin (Ho) and Maria Tsaptsinos.

“Hannah Hicks is a difficult opponent, you’ve got Karina (Le Fevre), Emma Vickers and Yolanda King – they’re all capable of causing upsets, so I need to forget the seedings and focus on my game and focus point by point on what I do well.”

Difficult start for Britain’s bobsledders

It was a tough start for Great Britain’s two-woman bobsledders at the World Championships in Winterberg with both pairs loitering in the bottom-half on the standings after two runs.

Mica McNeill and partner Aleasha Kiddle clocked 57.58 on their first run in Germany and followed that with a 57.53 on their second attempt for a tital of 1:55.37 at the halfway stage.

That leaves them in joint 12th place while Victoria Olaoye is further adrift in 16th after she and partner Nikki McSweeney clocked a combined time of 1:55.54.

Both will face the difficult task of making up time on leader Elana Meyers Taylor when the competition resumes – McNeill 1.82 seconds behind while Olaoye trails by 2.25 seconds.

© Sportsbeat 2015