Olympic24: Richardson-Walsh realises a dream as Walkden rules in Warsaw
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Olympic24: Richardson-Walsh realises a dream as Walkden rules in Warsaw

31 August 2015 / 09:08

England Women came from behind to secure their first EuroHockey Championship triumph in 24 years while Bianca Walkden claimed gold at the Polish Open. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

  • England Women beat Netherlands on penalties in EuroHockey Championship final
  • Bianca Walkden wins 73kg gold at the Polish Open
  • Double 4x400m relay bronze medals on World Championships final day in Beijing
  • Chris Froome is second in the ninth stage of the Vuelta a Espana
  • Great Britain enjoy five race wins on opening day of the Rowing World Championships

Richardson-Walsh on cloud nine

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Captain Kate Richardson-Walsh insisted she achieved one of her lifetime ambitions on Sunday after England Women came from 2-0 down to beat the Netherlands on penalties and win the EuroHockey Championship for the first time in 24 years.

Goalkeeper Maddie Hinch was the hero, not only keeping her side in the game for much of normal time but also pulling off three saves in the penalty shootout to help England lift the trophy.

They had trailed to two Caia van Maasakker strikes as the world and Olympic champions appeared en route to spoiling the part in front of the English crowd at the Olympic Park.

But the hosts found the net twice in the final quarter thanks to Sophie Bray and Lily Owsley following well-worked penalty corners before successful Helen Richardson-Walsh, Alex Danson and Bray efforts earned a 3-1 penalty win.

Back in 2014, England came within seconds of winning gold at the Commonwealth Games before a late Australian equaliser and subsequent penalty shootout defeat denied them.

But having triumphed this time, Kate Richardson-Walsh admitted she couldn’t be happier after finally getting her hands on a rare gold medal.

“I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. I’ve wanted my whole career to stand on top of the podium with this team or any team I’ve played in and I wanted to stay in my kit the whole night,” she said.

“Even when we were 2-0 down, there was still plenty of time, there was 15 minutes.

“I knew that we could cut through them and we just had to keep with the belief. Our corners have been slowly getting better at the tournament and if the chances came I knew that we could take them.

“With ten seconds to go, I was like ‘c’mon, don’t be another Commonwealth Games, don’t be another European Championships.’

“We’ve been there so many times but this team is learning how to play out the game.”

Bianca walks away with gold

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World champion Bianca Walkden won a gold medal at the Polish Open in Warsaw.

Walkden beat South Korean Injong Lee 3-1 in the final of the Warsaw Cup's 73kg division having reached the final thanks to a golden-point win over Serbia's Milica Mandic.

In May, 23-year-old Walkden became only the second Briton ever to win gold at the World Taekwondo Championships.

In the men's event, 17-year-old Max Cater won a silver medal after losing Spain's Jesus Tortosa Cabrera 20-14 in the -54kg final.

Double relay bronze on final day

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Great Britain and Northern Ireland made sure to round off a successful World Championships in style with double relay bronze in the Bird’s Nest in Beijing.

It was the women who got things underway first with two-time 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu charged with the lead off before Anyika Onuora and Eilidh Child put Seren Bundy-Davies in a strong position on the final leg.

With the Americans and Jamaicans already out front battling for gold – victory eventually going to the latter – Bundy-Davies maintained her composure to hold off the rest of the pack and bring Britain home in a season’s best time of 3:23.62 minutes.

Attention then switched to the men to see if they could repeat the heroics. The team of Rabah Yousif, Delanno Williams, Jarryd Dunn and Martyn Rooney had initially completed their stadium introduction with a baby celebration in a nod to captain Rooney, who had become a father for the first time while he was in China.

Froome finishes second in Spain

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Chris Froome was denied a ninth-stage Vuelta a Espana success by Tom Dumoulin as the Dutchman surged beyond him in the final 100 metres to regain the overall lead.

Britain's two-time Tour de France champion Froome, who is aiming to join only two others in history to follow up his success in Paris with victory at the Vuelta, moved up to eighth in the general classifications standings as he took advantage on an uphill stage.

However, despite being passed by Froome and Joaquim Rodriguez with 250 metres to go, Dumoulin went again in conditions which had been thought would not suit him as he expertly timed his dash to cross the line first.

GB enjoy opening day at Worlds

Olympic Champions Helen Glover and Heather Stanning made a strong start to the defence of their title with a dominant performance in the opening heats of the 2015 Rowing World Championships on Lake Aiguebelette, France.

Two of GB’s European champion crews also shone as James Foad and Matt Langridge brushed off Romania in the second half of their men’s pair heat to win, while Imogen Walsh controlled her lightweight women’s single scull heat.

London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Alan Campbell closed out the morning’s programme with a win in the open men’s single.

Sandwiched between these wins, Will Fletcher and Richard Chambers – the latter a 2012 silver medallist in the light men’s four – showed a good turn of pace to take victory in their lightweight men’s double scull heat.

Olympic Champion Kat Copeland and Charlotte Taylor also moved safely through in second place as did birthday boy Jamie Kirkwood in the lightweight men’s single.

Repechages await the men’s four after they were second with only one qualifying for the quarter-finals - and the men’s quadruple scull, fourth in their heat with only two moving into the semis.

© Sportsbeat 2015