Olympic24: Murray set for Rome, Johnson-Thompson alters plan

13 May 2015 / 07:55

Recently-crowned Madrid Masters champion Andy Murray confirms he will play at this week's Italian Open while Katarina Johnson-Thompson withdraws from Gotzis Hypo-Meeting later this month due to injury. Here's our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Andy Murray to play Frenchman Jeremy Chardy on Wednesday after confirming his participation in Italian Open
  • World Championships the main priority for Katarina Johnson-Thompson who decides not to defend her Gotzis Hypo-Meeting title
  • Mark Cavendish retains points jersey at Tour of California 
  • England sevens head coach Simon Amor names unchanged team for this weekend's final leg in Twickenham
  • Josh Calland goes down fighting on World Taekwondo Championships debut in Russia

Murray aiming to continue clay winning streak

Andy Murray has the bigger picture firmly in his mind after opting to take part in this week’s Italian Open.

After back-to-back wins at the Munich Open and Madrid Masters, there had been suggestions Murray would skip Rome in order to rest ahead of the French Open.

But the Brit, seeded third in Italy, admits the chance to get valuable matches under his belt was one he couldn’t turn down.

“I would like to play. I feel good just now in terms of my game, and confident,” he said.

"I said it would be good for me to play matches at sea level after playing at altitude the last couple of weeks, but I also need to look a little bit further ahead with such big events just around the corner - Roland Garros and Wimbledon - and try to make the best decision.”

Johnson-Thompson opts out of Gotzis event

Katarina Johnson-Thompson will not defend her Gotzis Hypo-Meeting title in Austria later this month after a knee injury set her back in her preparations.

The European indoor pentathlon champion, who finished second in the 200m hurdles in Manchester last Saturday, has been hindered by a knee injury sustained in March and coach Mike Holmes revealed his athlete would instead concentrate on a return to full fitness.

"Some good conditioning work has been possible, but it is only recently that Katarina has returned to relatively light track work, which was sufficient to enable her to compete on Saturday," he said.

"However, much of the preparation necessary to compete effectively across all events for the heptathlon in the Gotzis Hypo Meeting at the end of May has been lost.

"It is now possible to start back and progress steadily to full training to catch up and prepare for later in the summer; with the World Championships heptathlon in Beijing very much in mind."

Cavendish in green at Tour of California

Mark Cavendish retains the points leader jersey at the Tour of California after a gruelling third stage.

Cavendish, who won the opening two stages to take hold of the leaders jersey, stayed with the peleton as long as he could before eventually crossing the line 22 minutes behind winner Toms Skujiņš.

He does however remain the points leader on 30 points going into the next stage. 

Sevens world series set for Twickenham finale

England Sevens head coach Simon Amor has opted for an unchanged team for this weekend’s World Series finale at Twickenham.

England currently sit in the fourth and final Olympic qualifying spot in the standings and Amor has kept faith the side that finished third in Glasgow.

“This is the first time this season I have been able to pick the same 12 players for two back-to-back tournaments so it is a bit of a luxury for us," he said.

“To play the London Sevens in front of what will be no doubt a world-record crowd in the climax of the season is an incredibly exciting opportunity.” Read more here.

Calland keeping head high despite Worlds exit

Josh Calland intends to use his first ever experience at a World Taekwondo Championships to make him stronger in the long run after a narrow second-round defeat.

After a first round walkover against Jordanian Mohammad Rumman, Calland ran his Russian opponent Rusland Poiseev close before eventually losing out 15-12.

"I had a great third round but just left myself with a little too much to do," he said.

"However, I really enjoyed the experience. It's unlike anything I've been involved with before. I've just got to get back home now, train hard and hope for a better result next time."

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