Olympic24: Scots in semis, Smith impresses at Worlds

Olympic24: Scots in semis, Smith impresses at Worlds

26 November 2015 / 07:58

Scotland set up a semi-final date with Finland at the European Curling Championships in Denmark while Great Britain fine-tune their preparations for the Davis Cup final in Ghent. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Eve Muirhead and her Scotland team are taking nothing for granted against Finland in their European Curling Championship semi-final
  • Zoe Smith in record-breaking form at weightlifting World Championships in Houston
  • Great Britain are on the home stretch as they look to win a first Davis Cup final in 79 years
  • Swimmer Luke Greenbank comes third in the Best Young European Athlete of 2015 prize
  • Marathon runner Chris Thompson targets medal success in Rio

Muirhead taking nothing for granted against Finland


Scotland will not take Finland lightly when they face them in the European Curling Championship semi-finals despite an 8-1 win over the same opponents earlier in the competition.

The Scottish women wrapped up second place in the round robin stages of the competition when they beat Norway, and now face the Finns who finished third.

But despite the comfortable win on Sunday, Muirhead expects a tough battle.

“I think we’ll be playing Finland, and they’re playing well,” she said.

“I think we got them at the right time at the start of the week, because they’ve come on to a really good game.”

Meanwhile Scotland’s men remain in the hunt for a semi-final spot as they beat Russia and Italy on Wednesday.

After a slow start they appear to be rounding into form ahead of the final set of round robin matches.

Smith breaks British records at World Championships


Zoe Smith boosted her prospects on selection for the Rio 2016 Olympics after breaking two British records at the weightlifting World Championships.

Competing in the final, Smith set a new snatch personal best of 97kg in the -63kg weight division to finish ninth overall.

Her subsequent 124kg clean and jerk and overall total of 221kg also saw her beat Michaela Breeze’s previous British record and achieve the best result for a British lifter at a World Championships since 2002.

"To be competing alongside some of the best in the world was a real privilege," said Smith on her Instagram account.

"Hopefully someday soon I'll give them a run for their money. Ninth place at the World Championships isn't too bad at all."

Great Britain still need to secure more ranking points at the European Championships in April to secure a place in Rio.

Smith’s teammate Tiler, who usually competes at -69kg, was 13th at the event in Houston.

Great Britain prepare for Davis Cup final 

Kyle Edmund Team GB Tennis

As Great Britain continue their preparations for this weekend’s Davis Cup final in Belgium, youngster Kyle Edmund insisted he will be ready if called upon in the singles.

Edmund could potentially make his Davis Cup debut in the final, if selected for the singles by captain Leon Smith, and is still just 20 years of age.

If he does so, he would be the first player since Spain’s Feliciano Lopez in 2003 to make his debut in a final, but Edmund is confident he’ll be ready if called upon.

"If I get into that situation, it's something I'm going to have to deal with," Edmund said.

"At the end of the day, it still is a tennis match," he said.

"Even with experience or no experience, whoever plays is going to be nervous because it's a Davis Cup final. I think that's normal. I'll just deal with it, if I play."
Lean Smith-

Luke Greenbank finishes third best athlete in Europe


British swimmer Luke Greenbank has finished third in the voting for the best young European athlete of 2015.

The Piotr Nurowski award is given by the European Olympic Committee, with Russian world champion gymnast Yana Kudryavtseva coming in first.

Greenbank came in third after a breakthrough year in which he won four medals at the inaugurual European Games.

The Cockermouth swimmer won double gold at Baku 2015 in the 100m and 200m backstroke as well as breaking the World Junior Record in the latter – pulling away during the final to claim victory in 1:56.89.

Greenbank followed up his European Games golden success with two relay silvers, finishing second in both the boys’ 4x100m medley and the mixed 4x100m medley as part of the Team GB quartet in Azerbaijan – an event which doubled up as the European Junior Championships.

Chris Thompson targets Rio medal

Marathon runner Chris Thompson has vowed to put his injury heartbreak behind him in Rio as he continues his preparation in the USA.

The Barrow athlete has been out of action for over a year because of an Achilles operation, having also suffered a broken back and hamstring problem during London 2012.

He still took part in the 10,000m final three years ago, but having switched his attention to the marathon, believes he has a shot at a medal.

“With an Olympic or World Championship marathon, there is a key statistic, which is highly motivational for someone like me,” said Thompson.

“A 2:10 finish, is the average time for an Olympic medallist when you look at the results from the previous championships.

“If you run a 2:10 in any big city marathon, you won’t be top 10.

“When you’re looking at these championship marathons, you’re only going to be running against three people from each country.

“If I go to Rio in 2:10, 2:09 shape, that kind of shape is what, if you execute on the day, will get you very close to a medal. That’s all you can do.”

Sportsbeat 2015