Olympic24: Relay teams impress, England book final spot

Olympic24: Relay teams impress, England book final spot

29 August 2015 / 09:04

All four of Great Britain’s relay teams successfully booked their place in the finals while England women continued their recent run of form by beating Spain to reach the EuroHockey final. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Men’s 4x100m and 4x400m and women’s 4x100m and 4x400m all safely through at World Championships
  • Shara Proctor adds to Great Britain’s medal tally with silver in the long jump while Dina Asher-Smith breaks British 200m record
  • Goals from Alex Danson and Lily Owsley see England beat Spain 2-1 in EuroHockey semi-final while Scotland lose classification match to Belgium.
  • Gemma Gibbons finishes seventh at judo World Championships
  • Chris Froome loses time at Vuelta a Espana
  • Johanna Konta books her place in the main draw of the US Open

GB relay teams impress in qualification


Great Britain’s relay teams all eased through qualification on the penultimate day of the World Championships in Beijing.

The women’s 4x100m ran a season’s best 42.48 to finish second in their heat behind Jamaica’s world leading 41.84 seconds.

Dina Asher-Smith was rested after she broke the 200m record on Friday but Asha Phiip, Jodie Williams, Bianca Williams and Desiree Henry got the job done in her absence.

The men’s quartet of Richard Kilty, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, James Ellington and Danny Talbot also qualified second from their heat in a season’s best time of 38.20 seconds.

“The main thing was just to get through safely – I think all of us were just being a bit too cautious,” said Ellington.

“I know I waited until Harry was on his check mark before I went and probably the same for these guys.

“Mine and Danny’s change could have been a bit quicker – we were coming around at the same time and it could have been a bit quicker. We’re going to push it to the limits in the final.”

Meanwhile in the 4x400m, Eilidh Child, Anyika Onuora, Kirsten McAslan and Seren Bundy-Davies safely got the baton round for the women in a season’s best of 3:23.90.

While the men’s team of Rabah Yousif, Delano Williams, Jarryd Dunn and captain Martyn Rooney won their heat, also in a season’s best of 2:59.05.

Porter smiling despite missing gold


She may have seen the gold medal snatched out of her grasp at the last minute but Shara Proctor insisted she still felt like a champion after setting a new British record en route to long jump silver at the World Championships.

Proctor had been leading going into the final round after soaring to 7.07m to become the first Briton to jump over seven metres but American Tianna Bartoletta crashed the party with a mark of 7.14m to take the title.

It was still an impressive achievement for Proctor who helped contribute to a memorable evening of action for British athletics as Dina Asher-Smith broke Kathy Cook’s long standing British record from 1984 on the way to fifth in the 200m in 22.07 seconds while Tiffany Porter looked set for another major medal before stumbling off the final barrier to finish fifth in the 100m hurdles.

"I don't know what to feel, I'm speechless but I'm happy most of all," said Proctor.

"It's my fifth champs, I finally got on the podium. It's a silver medal but I still feel like a winner.” Read more here.

England look ahead to EuroHockey final


Laura Unsworth admitted England were determined not to allow themselves any regrets after beating beat Spain 2-1 to book their place in the final of the EuroHockey Championships.

Goals from Alex Danson and Lily Owsley proved Spain’s undoing despite Georgina Oliva’s splendid strike setting up a nervous finish.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet. It was a really tough match but we played our hearts out to the very last minute,” said Unsworth.

“We knew if we kept playing our game the second goal would come. We were hanging on at the end but we got over the line. I can’t wait for Sunday.

Scotland’s survival in the European Nations Championship is now less than secure however after they slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Belgium in the second relegation pool match.

It means Belgium are all but guaranteed a top two finish, and with it survival in the top flight, while Scotland could still join them if they beat Poland. Read more here.

Mixed feelings for Gibbons at Worlds


Olympic silver medallist Gemma Gibbons believes there are signs she is starting to work her way back to top form despite finishing seventh at the judo World Championships.

Day five at the Championships in Astana proved to be a busy one with 2015 Baku Grand Slam winner Sally Conway, Natalie Powell and Gibbons all in the action.

Conway saw her bid ended in the second round against Japan’s Chirzuru Arai while Powell also suffered a similar fate against eventual bronze medallist Luise Malzahn.

Gibbons fared slightly better reaching the quarter-finals where she lost out to Anamari Velensek, leaving her taking on Marhide Verkerk in the repechage.

Unfortunately it would not be Gibbons day although she remained in reflective mood afterwards.

“All in all I have mixed feelings. This is the first time I placed at a World Championships so that’s nice but I didn’t come here to place, I came here to medal,” she said.

“I am pretty frustrated for not being able to turn my last two fights into wins, however I think and the result shows as well that I am getting better and getting back to the level I know I can be and the level where it is a very small margin whether I am on the podium or not.”

Froome loses time on rivals


Chris Froome found the going tough in the first mountain test of the Vuelta a Espana, dropping 82 seconds behind overall leader Esteban Chaves of Columbia.

The Tour de France leader lost ground in the last two kilometres of the 19km ascent of Alto de Capileira as Bert-Jan Lindeman won stage seven.

Froome finished 27 seconds adrift of his main rivals, who include Nairo Quintana and now lies 12th overall.

Konta continues good form by booking US Open spot

Jo Konta ensured there will be six British singles players at the US Open after coming through the final round of qualifying.

Konta defeated Austria’s Tamira Paszek 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 to take her winning run since Wimbledon to 13 matches.

She will face 19-year-old American wildcard Louisa Chirico in the first round although there will not be places for Kyle Edmund, Naomi Broady or Brydan Klein after they all fell at the final hurdle.

"I've been keeping myself in the present so I haven't been counting the wins," said Konta.

"I'm still here. I've just qualified for the US Open and I'm going to enjoy this for what it is.”

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