Olympic24: Murray marches on; Armitstead claims victory

30 March 2015 / 07:47

Andy Murray is looking good in Miami, Lizzie Armitstead wins in Italy and Geraint Thomas recovers from being blown off his bike by a gust of wind to claim third place in cycling classic. Here's our review of the last 24 hours

  • World number four Andy Murray eases into last 16 at Miami Open
  • Olympic silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead claims sprint win in Italy
  • Geraint Thomas takes third place in brutal Gent Wevelgem classic
  • Swim star Adam Peaty on track for Olympics, says Mark Foster
  • Louis Smith takes pommel gold at national championships as new faces also shine
  • Tom Mitchell excited for Fiji rematch after Hong Kong Sevens disappointment
  • World champion Giles Scott to lead British challenge at sailing's Princess Sofia Trophy
  • British duathlon titles for triathletes Mark Buckingham and Emma Pallant 
  • Scottish skip Ewan MacDonald slips to third straight loss at world curling 

Murray makes quick work of progress in Miami heat

Andy Murray will seek the 500th win of his career against Kevin Anderson at the Miami Open.

The world number four booked his last 16 clash with the 15th seed following a 6-3, 6-4 win over hard-hitting Santiago Giraldo.

"I felt like I played a good match," he said, after taking just one hour and 24 minutes to progress.

"When he started really going for it at the end I lost my timing a bit but I managed to close it out."

Lizzie Armitstead takes UCI World Cup victory in Italy

Olympic silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead out-sprinted her rivals to win the Trofeo Alfredo Binda, the second round of the 2015 UCI Women’s World Cup, in Italy.

Armitstead was crowned overall World Cup champion last year and looked strong throughout after getting involved a six-rider breakaway.

And after 123.7 kilometres and five climbs, she edged out world champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot and Anna Van Der Breggen in the charge for the line, securing her fourth win of the year in the process.

Thomas grabs podium place in brutal Belgian classic 

After his impressive E3 Harelbeke victory 48 hours earlier, double Olympic champion Geraint Thomas took a memorable third place in a brutal Gent Wevelgem.

Thomas got involved in the key breakaway but his hopes of a victory were ended when Luca Paolini decisively struck for the finish in the final kilometres. 

It was a memorable edition of the classic race, with terrible conditions forcing many - including Sir Bradley Wiggins - to retire. Thomas was blown off his bike and into a ditch by one gust of wind.

Peaty in shape to strike Olympic gold in Rio

Mark Foster believes Adam Peaty is ready to make a splash on the world stage this year after a 2014 to remember.

Peaty won double gold at last year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and then four golds at the European Championships, where he also set a new 50m breaststroke world record.

He is quickest in the world this year over 100m breaststroke.

"I don’t even think he needs to improve, even though he is improving, but if he maintains where he was last year, he’ll be right in the mix for Olympic gold in Rio," said five-time Olympian Foster.

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Smith claims another national title in Liverpool

Olympic silver medallist Louis Smith claimed pommel horse gold with a masterful routine at the British Championships in Liverpool.

Elsewhere, 16-year old Giarrni Regini-Moran won double gold to underline his promise on the floor and vault, while Ashley Watson proved king of both the parallel and high bars. Courtney Tulloch won the rings.

Tyesha Mattis was unbeatable on the women's bars and beam while all-around champion won the floor and Commonwealth Games star Claudia Fragapane vaulted to success.

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Sevens star Mitchell not fretting over Olympic qualification

England Sevens captain Tom Mitchell insists his team will not crumble under the pressure of securing Olympic qualification.

England - who are tasked with earning Team GB their place at next summer's Games - are currently fifth in the World Series standings, with only the top four assured their place in the draw in Brazil.

They lost narrowly 14-12 to eventual winners Fiji at the iconic Hong Kong Sevens and then went down again to Australia, the fifth placed team in the standings, in the plate semi-finals. Top three South Africa, Fiji and New Zealand have all but guaranteed their spots for when the sport makes its Olympic debut next summer.

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Scott returns to European waters in Majorca 

World Finn champion Giles Scott and in-form men's 470 pairing Luke Patience and Elliot Willis will lead the British challenge at sailing's ISAF World Cup in Majorca.

They won gold at the last leg of the series in Miami and will be joined at the Princess Sofia Trophy by Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark and Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves who took silvers in Florida in the women's 470 and Nacra 17 Olympic classes.

“It’s an exciting year for competing teams from around the world as the new World Cup series takes shape, and the race for Rio qualification steps up a gear," said RYA Olympic sailing manager Stephen Park.

“All of that I’m sure will mean that Palma will provide some tough competition as sailors aim to secure their berths on the revamped world tour, and establish their places in the pecking order for their national Olympic selectors.”

Buckingham and Pallant claim national wins

Mark Buckingham and Emma Pallant rounded off a tough day of racing to win the first senior domestic titles of the season at the British Elite Duathlon Championships,

“I started my season early in Abu Dhabi in March, so I’m going to use April for a good period of training," said Buckingham.

"I have three or four weeks where I won’t be racing, so I’m going to use that time to build up to the Yokohama World Triathlon Series race.”

Three straight losses for Scotland at World Curling

Skip Ewan MacDonald was left downbeat as his Scottish rink - which drafted in alternate and Olympic silver medallist David Murdoch after two early losses - slipped to a third consecutive defeat at the curling World Championships.

MacDonald, who beat Murdoch's Olympic rink at the recent Scottish Championships, came from behind in Halifax to force an extra end but finally went down 10-7.

"We thought a change would be a good thing and David’s here for that," said MacDonald. "We know he’s a really good shooter, so we just wanted to mix things up."

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