Olympic24: Murray makes history, Joyce edges closer to Rio

Olympic24: Murray makes history, Joyce edges closer to Rio

20 March 2015 / 07:59

Andy Murray surpasses Tim Henman for most Open-era wins by a British man en route to Indian Wells semi-finals, while Joe Joyce boosts his Olympic chances with another victory in World Series of Boxing. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Andy Murray moves onto 497 victories with 6-3, 6-4 win over quarter-finalist Feliciano Lopez
  • Joe Joyce boosts Olympic qualification hopes with victory but British Lionhearts fall to 3-2 loss to Morocco 
  • Scotland recover from defeat to Switzerland to beat Sweden to progress to play-off tie breaker on day six of World Championships
  • Chris Mears and Jack Laugher just miss out on medal as Dubai leg of Diving World Series gets underway
  • Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland out of World Figure Skating Championships due to injury
  • Francesca Summers and Freyja Prentice safely through qualifying round at second modern pentathlon World Cup in Cairo

History-maker Murray into Indian Wells semi-finals

Andy Murray admitted he was feeling back to his best on court after seeing off Feliciano Lopez to make it through to the semi-finals at Indian Wells.

The world number four extended his unbeaten record against the Spaniard with a 6-3, 6-4 victory.

The result not only set up a semi-final with Novak Djokovic but also moved him on 497 wins – surpassing Tim Henman as the most of any British man in the open-era.

“It was a good match in difficult conditions against a tough opponent," said Murray.

"I passed very well and it stopped him from feeling comfortable at the net.

"It kept him back and I was able to dictate the points. I've got my level back to where I was before my back injury."

Joyce stays on track for Rio

Joe Joyce enhanced his chances of qualifying for Rio 2016 with his fifth World Series of Boxing (WSB) win over the season against Abdeljalil Abouhamada at York Hall.

Joyce defeated his Moroccan opponent with a unanimous points victory to move top of the men’s super-heavyweight rankings.

Only the top ranked boxer come the end of the regular season will secure a spot at next year’s Olymics.

“Qualifying for the Olympics is my goal with WSB so it was important to get the win,” said Joyce.

“My two main rivals box each other this weekend and the right result could mean I stay top of the rankings.  

“There are quite a few permutations though so we will just have to see what happens and assess the situation after they have boxed.”

There was also a win for Luke Mccormack over Abdellah Boudrar but defeats for Joshua Buatsi, Ekow Essuman and overseas selection Kelvin de la Nieve meant a 3-2 loss on the night for the British Lionhearts.

Scotland dig deep at World Champs

Eve Muirhead believes Scotland are coming into form at just the right time after seeing off Sweden to set up a tie-breaker against China for the last available Page play-off slot at the Women's World Curling Championships

Muirhead and her team bounced back from losing their morning clash with Switzlerland 8-6 to hold off the challenge of Sweden and progress through to day seven of the Championships.

"That was our best performance of the week by a country mile.  We really dug deep there and gave our best performance, but we always seem to save our best performances for the play-offs," she said.

"We always seem to make it hard for ourselves. We had a right good chat after this morning's game.  When we all come together like that we play great. 

"We've put ourselves in the position now – we've still got a chance.  We just need to make sure we win our next game."

Mears and Laugher miss out on Dubai synchro medal 

Chris Mears and Jack Laugher were Great Britain’s best performers on day one of the Dubai leg of the Diving World Series, with the pair finishing fourth in the men’s 3m synchro

The duo started strongly with 105 from their required dives before a slight error on their penultimate diving eventually left them with  a score of 422.40, 13.98 off Germany's Patrick Hausding and Stephan Feck in third.

Elsewhere, Rebecca Gallantree and Alicia Blagg finished fifth in the women's 3m synchro with an overall score of 300.87.

And Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow were one place lower in the women's 10m synchro after earning 305.04.

Coomes and Buckland out of World Figure Skating Champs

Two-time Olympians Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland will not take to the ice for next week's World Figure Skating Championships in Shanghai after the former was taken ill in America.

Coomes was hospitalised earlier this week, and while fit to travel back to the UK for treatment, the decision was taken to withdraw the pair from the Worlds.

Nick Sellwood, chief executive of the National Ice Skating Association (NISA) said: "Obviously, this news has come as a huge blow to everyone concerned - Penny and Nick were on track to put in some good performances at the World Championships and we know that they are very disappointed that they aren't able to compete in China next week.

"Penny's health is our main concern and priority right now, and our medical team have made arrangements for specialist treatment here in the UK on her return. We would like to wish Penny a very speedy recovery."

Buckland's brother Joe will still compete at next week's Championships alongside ice dance partner Olivia Smart while Amani Fancy and Christopher Boyadji will compete in the pairs event.

Summers and Prentice on the march in Cairo

Francesa Summers and Freyja Prentice booked their spot in the finals of the second modern pentathlon World Cup in Cairo after successfully coming through qualifying.

Summers was second in group B while Prentice’s fifth place in group A was also enough to go through.

Friday sees the men’s qualification round with Jamie Cook, winner in the opening World Cup in America last month, one of four Brits in action.

© Sportsbeat 2015