Olympic24: Murray to lead GB in Davis Cup, Konta makes winning return

Olympic24: Murray to lead GB in Davis Cup, Konta makes winning return

24 February 2016 / 08:11

Andy Murray set to lead Great Britain in the defence of their Davis Cup title against Japan while fellow Brit Johanna Konta wins on her return to the court. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Andy Murray to lead GB at Davis Cup
  • British number one Johanna Konta wins in first match since Australian Open
  • Shane Sutton discusses Sir Bradley Wiggins and competition for places at Rio 2016
  • Four-time Olympian Sarah Stevenson steps down from GB high performance taekwondo coach role
  • Dina Asher-Smith hopeful she has got mistakes out of the way ahead of Indoor British Championships
  • Take a look back at Team GB’s performances at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games

GB name squad for Japan Davis Cup tie


Andy Murray is set to lead the Great Britain team when the defence of their Davis Cup title begins against Japan in Birmingham early next month.

Britain won the Davis Cup for the first time since 1936 when they beat Belgium in the final in Ghent last November.

GB coach Leon Smith has named a five-man team for the Japan clash, which takes place at the Barclaycard Arena from 4-6 March, with Murray being joined by older brother Jamie, Kyle Edmund, Dominic Inglot and Dan Evans.

Japan have world No.6 Kei Nishikori in their ranks, meaning that the inclusion of the younger Murray – who became a father for the first time earlier this month – is a real boon for the British team.

"Andy has once again demonstrated his commitment to the team and his country in making himself available to play, especially so soon after becoming a father," said Smith.

"It will be a test but I'm confident in our team and we're lucky to have another home tie.”

Konta returns with a victory

British number one Johanna Konta made a winning return to the court as she beat Anett Kontaveit in the first round of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco.

Playing her first match since reaching the Australian Open semi-finals last month, the world number 26 won 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.

It proved to be an intriguing affair with Kontaveit hitting back in the second set but the Brit eventually triumphed in one hour and 44 minutes.

Sutton expects to discover selection answers in London


Seven-time Olympic medallist Sir Bradley Wiggins is not guaranteed to be in Great Britain's track team come Rio 2016, according to British Cycling's technical director Shane Sutton.

Wiggins has won four Olympic golds – including three on the track – during his decorated career, as well as one silver medal and two bronzes.

The 35-year-old has also found success on the road by becoming the first British winner of the Tour de France back in 2012 but returned to the track last year in an attempt to qualify for a fifth Olympic Games in Rio this summer.

Wiggins will compete alongside Mark Cavendish in the madison at the Track Cycling World Championships in London next week and Sutton says the four-time Olympian must produce in the British capital if he is to stay on course for Rio.

"I think a lot of questions will be answered next week in London," Sutton told BBC Sport.

"Brad will want to go there and perform well but as we've said time and time again it's an evidenced-based selection that he is involved in.

"There are six guys in the mix at the moment and Brad is one of the strong guys in that group but he has to go out and produce and that will determine whether he makes the road to Rio or not.”

Stevenson opts to bring curtain down on taekwondo career

Four-time Olympian and coach Sarah Stevenson admitted it was with a heavy heart that she was stepping away from GB taekwondo.

Stevenson was Great Britain’s first ever World and Olympic medallist – the latter title coming via bronze at Beijing 2008.

She announced her retirement from competing three years ago but consequently took up the role as Britain’s first female high performance taekwondo coach.

However Stevenson is now handing over that responsibility in order to devote more time to nine-month-old daughter Elsie Diana.

“I want to be the best mum I can be. Retiring from competitive sport was a million times easier than this decision,” admitted Stevenson, a triple World Championship gold medallist.

“This decision ended something I have done all my life and it was the hardest one I have ever made.

“There are so many exciting things happening with the junior programme and at the elite level of our sport. That’s what makes it even harder.”

Asher-Smith turns attention to Indoor British Championships 

British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith intends to put her Glasgow disappointment behind her by bouncing back at the Indoor British Championships.

Despite some promising early season form, Asher-Smith finished sixth in the 60m at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix last weekend as the Netherlands’ world champion Dafne Schippers took victory in 7.10 seconds.

She now switches her attention to the Indoor British Championships in Sheffield, which also double up as trials for next month’s World Indoors in Portland.

“It isn’t a championships so it is good to learn from this and I’ll move on to the British Championships next week,” Asher-Smith told Athletics Weekly.

“It was a bad race but that happens sometimes.

“Hopefully that’s the last mistake I make before the trials and then, fingers crossed, World Indoors.”

Pengilly reflects on YOG 2016

Well that’s a wrap from the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Games and Team GB return home from Norway boasting five medals and personal bests galore.

The 16-strong team competed across seven winter sport disciplines during the 10 days of action and for Chef de Mission Adam Pengilly the experience the Games had to offer our team of 15-17 year olds will be one to live long in the memory.

“There’s been a real focus on togetherness and one team here in Lillehammer,” said Pengilly.

 “Our performances have been excellent and we’ve seen many of the team produce their best out here.” Read more here.

Sportsbeat 2016