Olympic24: Stannard wins in Belgium; Ouseph eyes consistency

01 March 2015 / 09:50

Ian Stannard back to top form after sprinting to victory in Belgium while Rajiv Ouseph wants to make a splash at the All England Open Badminton Championships. Here's our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Stannard reigns supreme at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
  • Ouseph targets smooth road to Rio
  • GB women 14th and 15 in two-woman bobsleigh
  • James Woods seventh in Park City
  • Rio plans unveiled by IOC President Thomas Bach

Stannard back on top in Flanders

Ian Stannard admits he is delighted to get back to his best after he was able to retain his Omloop Het Nieuwsblad title in Belgium.

Stannard claimed victory in Flanders last year but suffered a broken back later on in the year which saw him forced out of the rest of the classic season.

With the support of Sir Bradley Wiggins, the Team Sky rider was able to hold off attacks from Tom Boonen and Stijn Vandenbergh before edging the closing stages of the race after a sprint with Niki Terpstra.

The 27-year-old is the only Briton to have won the race and admits he felt the pressure to succeed.

“I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “It’s nice to do the double sweep at the race, but after the difficulties I had last year breaking my back it’s nice to have got myself back to where I was.

“All the guys got me into the climbs perfectly. I felt a bit of pressure when you’ve got a Tour de France winner putting it all on the line for you. You can only really finish it off can’t you.

Consistency is king for Ouseph

Rajiv Ouseph believes consistency will be key in a busy 2015 as he looks to secure his spot at Rio 2016.

Ouseph is the country’s leading badminton men’s singles player and started the year with a win at the Swedish Open before helping England to silver at the European Mixed Team Championships.

The 28-year-old is now hoping to carry that form into next week’s All England Open Badminton Championships and make an impact as he sets off on the road to next year’s Olympic Games.  

“The main goal for this year’s All England will be to win my first round match but it won’t be easy. The other thing I’m aiming for is consistency as that’s something I’ve been missing at the start of the year,” he said.

“It seems only really recently we were talking about the London Games and now we’re already starting to talk about Rio.

“It’s going to be a busy period for us trying to qualify for next year’s games.

“I’m going to draw on my experience on London and hopefully improve my performances.”

Britain’s women bow out of two-woman bob’

Mica McNeill and Victoria Olaoye were separated by 0.06 seconds as the pair finished 14th and 15th respectively in the two-woman bobsleigh at Winterberg’s World Championships.

The pair had struggled to make a dent into the top of the field after the first day’s action and didn’t fare much better on their final two runs.

McNeill and partner Aleasha Kiddle posted 131.33 and followed it with an identical final run to finish on a combined time of 3:50.56.

Olaoye and Nikki McSweeney meanwhile got progressively slower as the event wore on posting 130.5 and 130.86 to finish on 3:50.69.

Victory on the day went to Elana Meyers Taylor who was 3.89 seconds quicker than McNeill over four runs while silver and bronze both went to Germany with Anja Schneiderheinze second and Cathleen Martini third.

Woods seventh in Park City

James Woods says he was satisfied with his performance after the freestyle skier finished seventh in the slopestyle World Cup in Park City, Utah.

Woods finished with a total on 83 points toedge out American Bobby Brown but he couldn’t disturb the top of the pile with Joss Christensen taking the win, McRae Williams second and Gus Kenworthy third.

“In general I'm very happy with my skiing, although I just didn't manage to pull everything little piece together for my final runs,” he said.

IOC gives Rio athletes chance to remember loved ones

There will be a special area in the Rio 2016 Olympic Village for athletes to mourn the loss of family or friends.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach announced the decision following a meeting on his executive board in Rio.

At the inauguration of the mourning place, Bach added the IOC will also remember all those who have lost their lives at the Olympic Games at the closing ceremony during a 'moment of reflection'.

“There is really an impressive programme in place for engagement and legacies surrounding these Games,” said Bach. 

"The IOC wants to leave the Closing Ceremony not just saying goodbye and thank you. We want to leave knowing there is a great legacy plan in place for the Cariocas and for Brazil. 

"We received excellent plans from the organising committee and public authorities to use the Games as a catalyst for social and economic development in Rio and Brazil. So for Rio we have many reasons to be confident and we are in fact inspired by the legacy project. 

"On the other hand we have no reason to be complacent because we all know there is not a single moment to lose in preparations.”

© Sportsbeat 2015