Olympic24: Murray wins on clay, Froome & Yates stay in hunt

Olympic24: Murray wins on clay, Froome & Yates stay in hunt

01 May 2015 / 07:57

British number one Andy Murray makes a winning start to his clay-court season while Chris Froome and Simon Yates remain in the hunt at the Tour de Romandie. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Andy Murray beats Mischa Zverev at the Munich Open
  • Chris Froome and Simon Yates stay third and fourth respectively at the Tour de Romandie
  • Mhairi Spence set to make her maiden World Cup appearance of the season
  • Liam Pitchford able to look back on World Championships with his head held high
  • Mo Farah will contest the 1500m at the Anniversary Games in June
  • Jessica Ennis-Hill is being realistic ahead of her comeback
  • Tonia Couch excited by return to Olympic pool in this week's Team GB Exclusive

Murray makes winning start on clay

Andy Murray began his clay-court season with a comfortable win over Germany's Mischa Zverev at the Munich Open.

The British number one, playing under new coach Jonas Bjorkman for the first time, won 6-2 6-2 in 75 minutes.

"My forehand went better than my backhand, but it was a good first match for me,” Murray said.

Froome and Yates stay in Romandie hunt

British duo Chris Froome and Simon Yates retained third and fourth place overall at the Tour de Romandie in Switzerland as Michael Albasini extended his race lead by sprinting to a second successive win on stage three.

Albasini picked up ten bonus seconds for his triumph and consequently extends his lead at the top of the general classification over second-placed Ivan Santaromita to 20 seconds.

Team Sky’s Froome and Yates of Orica-GreenEdge both crossed the line in the peloton and are also 20 seconds adrift overall in third and fourth respectively.

Froome continues to enjoy healthy cushions over his two main rivals for overall victory, with Vincenzo Nibali 17 seconds down on the Briton and Nairo Quintana 40 seconds back.

Spence back for Hungary World Cup

Former world champion Mhairi Spence will make her first World Cup appearance of the season after being named in the Great Britain squad for the latest competition in Hungary this weekend.

Spence, who won the individual world title in 2012, has not contested a World Cup since the same event last year, which also took place in the city of Kecskemet.

She has been working her way towards full fitness during the winter, with her only competitive appearance of 2015 coming at the Swiss Women International when she finished fifth.

She is joined in the women's competition by reigning world champion Samantha Murray, Kate French and Francesca Summers with the qualifiers today and final on Saturday.

In the men's event which gets underway on Friday, Great Britain will be represented by double Olympian Nick Woodbridge, Jamie Cooke, Tom Toolis and Sam Curry.

Pitchford pleased with World Champs

Liam Pitchford insisted the positives outweighed the negatives after he reached the last 32 of the singles at the table tennis World Championships in China.

The world number 62 started his campaign confidently, impressing in particular with a 4-2 second-round victory over world number 20 Tiago Apolonia.

That would ultimately be as far as he would go, however, as he bowed out to Saehyuk Joo of Korea to miss out on a last-16 clash with world number one and top seed Ma Long of China - although Pitchford was in philosophical mood.

"I'm happy with the tournament and how it's gone and hopefully next time I'll get the chance again," he said.

"Overall it's been quite a positive tournament for me. I started off quite nervous in my first match (when he beat Kalinikos Kreanga of Greece 4-2 (7-11, 11-5, 11-5, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7) but I think I handled it well and started to play some good stuff.”

Pitchford also teamed up with Paul Drinkhall in the doubles although they were beaten 4-2 in the round of 64 by Youngsik Jung and Minseok Kim of Korea while Drinkhall exited the singles at the same stage.

Farah to contest 1500m

Mo Farah will race over 1,500 metres at the Birmingham Grand Prix in June, organisers have announced.

The double Olympic champion over 5,000m and 10,000m will step down in distance for the Diamond League event on June 7 as he looks to hone his finishing speed ahead of the World Championships in Beijing in August.

The race will be the first time the 32-year-old has competed over 1,500m since he broke the European record by clocking three minutes 28.81 seconds in Monaco two years ago.

Farah, who is unbeaten at the Alexander Stadium for seven years, said: "It will be good to step down to 1,500m and test myself over a shorter distance. Some of the best middle-distance runners in the world will be in the field so I will have to be at my best to compete with them."

Ennis-Hill realistic ahead of return

Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill admits she has to be realistic when it comes to initial results as she gears up to make her competitive return next month.

The 29-year-old took time away from the sport for the birth of her son Reggie and has not competed since July 2013.

She made her return to training last November but her first big test will be the forthcoming Great City Games in Manchester on May 9.

"Probably a lot of people are expecting me to step on the track and be exactly the same as I was in 2012," she said.

"That's something I have to come to terms with, be realistic and know it's going to take time to build back.”

Couch excited by home comforts as she looks for more medals

Looks can be deceiving but don't doubt Tonia Couch's raw blonde ambition.

We caught up with the British diver ahead of this week's Diving World Series in London, where she is looking for more medals after a double bronze in the last event.

"This is our pool and it holds great memories for us, we hope that and having all the home support will make us even better," she said.

Read more here

Would you like to meet Team GB?

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Whether it’s running your first marathon or passing an those all-important exams, we want to see them all!

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