Olympic24: Rutherford misses Euros as Wiggins backs Stannard

Olympic24: Rutherford misses Euros as Wiggins backs Stannard

28 February 2015 / 09:24

Greg Rutherford decides to miss Prague's European Indoor Championships and focus on becoming world champion while Sir Bradley Wiggins will support Ian Stannard's bid for success in Flanders. Here's our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Rutherford to concentrate on Beijing
  • Wiggins to help Stannard in Belgium
  • Parsons hopes for skeleton consistency at World Championships
  • Deen sits 12th after first bobsleigh runs in Winterberg

Rutherford set to miss Europeans

Greg Rutherford says he will channel all his efforts into being crowned world champion after he decided not to compete at next month’s European Indoor Championships.

The Olympic and European champion was set to compete in Prague after a stellar display in Birmingham’s grand prix which saw him hit an indoor personal best of 8.17m.

But recovery hasn’t come about quick enough for the 28-year-old and, with the World Championships in Beijing on the horizon in August, he has decided to concentrate on being at his best for the summer.

"While I would have loved to compete at the European Indoor Championships, I have decided to remove myself after a long deliberation,” he said.

"My body still hasn't fully recovered from the Grand Prix and with an incredibly important summer coming up where I intend on giving it my all to win the World Championships in Beijing I've decided to keep my focus purely on the summer season.

"I wish all of the British athletes competing in Prague the very best of luck, and I will be a fan cheering them on from home."

Wiggins to support Stannard in Flanders

Sir Bradley Wiggins says he will head to Omloop Het Nieuwsblad with the goal of helping Ian Stannard claim back-to-back wins in Belgium.

The race will be the first one-day classic of the season and, despite his desire to claim victory in April’s Paris-Roubaix, he will step aside to assist Stannard in the 200.2km cobbled classic.

“I feel good. I’m coming off the back of a good block of training and I’m ready for what I consider to be the start of my season proper now. This next month of racing is where it really matters,” said Wiggins.

“For Omloop Het Niuewsblad, we have got last year’s winner in Ian Stannard, and he is trying to do the double, so my job will be to put him in the best position to win.

“My goal will be to finish, to finish well, and be there in the last 30-40km, when there might be a break that needs chasing down or we need to drive things ourselves.

“After everything these guys have given me over the years, I’m looking forward to do a job for them as they go for the win.”

Parsons optimistic for Winterberg test

Dom Parsons hopes his inconsistency is behind him as the skeleton star looks to end his season on a high at next week’s World Championships in Winterberg.

The Sochi Olympian encountered early-season struggles after trying to get to grips with a new sled and adapting to the methods of new head coach Eric Bernotas.

But consecutive fourth-place World Cup finishes after the turn of the year gave Parsons confidence and he is hoping to carry that momentum forward in Germany.

“I’ve been on new equipment this year and working with a new coach,” he said.

“There have been a lot of new things which we’ve been developing through the season.

“There have been new working relationships and that’s gone pretty well and there’s been a progression of that throughout the season and hopefully that will show in the World Championships.

“I was a little bit inconsistent at the start of the season with getting used to the sled.

“With some runs I’d get good speed out of it and others not so much and that’s been more consistent and getting speed up much more often now through training runs and race runs so there’s still a lot of progression to go there, but it’s going in the right direction.”

Deen twelfth at half-time in bobsleigh

Lamin Deen sits 12th in the two-man bobsleigh at the half-way stage on the World Championships in Winterberg.

Deen and partner Simeon Williamson are 0.95 seconds behind leader Friedrich Francesco after the pair clocked a combined time of 1:53.50 from their two runs.

Also in action was Oliver Biddulph and partner Jordan Smallin who had less fortune and trail by 2.07 seconds after they crossed for a total time of 1:54.62.

© Sportsbeat 2015