Luke Patience, Chris Grube, Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign win the final Team GB sailing spots for Rio 2016 while Zara Tindall is hoping to impress at the Badminton Horse Trials. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours:
- The final four are added to the Team GB sailing team for this summer’s Olympics
- Tindall knows a strong showing at the Badminton Horse Trials will be vital
- Muhammad delighted to bring taekwondo back to London
- ‘Favourites’ tag does not weigh heavy on Helen Glover
Team GB’s sailing line-up for Rio is complete
Team GB have completed their sailing line up for this summer's Olympics after naming the final four athletes to take the total bound for Rio up to 15.
The first group of sailors were announced back in September with further names added in March.
And now the team has been completed with Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign named in the 49er class after a close British selection battle, while Luke Patience and Chris Grube will compete in the men's 470.
London 2012 silver medallist Patience had originally been named in the team back in September alongside Elliot Willis but the latter's cancer diagnosis at the end of 2015 meant selectors had to have a rethink on the partnership.
"It's still a special day but mixed feelings I suppose because I am combining two campaigns to try and still achieve the same goal,"said Patience after the team was revealed.
"It was wonderful to do this today with Chris and it was wonderful to do that day with Elliot as well. Mixed emotions, but overall I'm happy and I can't wait to hopefully do Queen and country proud.”
While Patience has previous Games experience having won silver at London 2012, it will be a first Olympic outing for Fletcher, Sign and Grube.
Sign said: "It's just a really awesome experience to be able to represent our country in sailing, just really emotional.
"We definitely haven't made it easy for the selectors to pick a boat, so we are really happy to come out on top. Through the whole cycle we have been kind of battling it out [with the other British teams], finishing next to each other.
"Dylan and I have known each other since I was 16 and come through a long journey, through lots of highs and lows so to come out on top [in Rio] would be an amazing experience and top it all off."
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Tindall is hoping to pick her moment
Zara Tindall is well aware that a good performance is required at the upcoming Badminton Horse Trials if she wants to force herself into the reckoning for Rio 2016.
Four years ago, Tindall was a part of the British eventing team who took silver at London 2012, riding on board High Kingdom.
Her horse is yet to qualify for Rio however having missed almost all of last year through injury.
And Tindall knows the Badminton Horse Trials, which begin on Thursday, represent the chance to show they are both back to top form.
"I have got to have good qualifying. It is also about a good result," said Tindall, the Queen's granddaughter.
"It would be amazing to go to the Olympics, and it is something we are all working towards, but it is competition by competition.
"The Olympics is the place to be. It is where you want to be, with the rest of the world's sport. It is a unique championship, and to be able to represent your country there is phenomenal.
Glover happy to lead from the front in Rio
As reigning Olympic and World champion, Helen Glover accepts she will be one of the favourites heading into Rio but insists she is in a great position to defend her title from four years ago.
The final squad for this summer’s Olympic Games will not be announced until June but the boats selected for this weekend's European Championships are those expected to line-up in Brazil, barring injuries or a drastic loss in form.
Glover will once again be alongside Heather Stanning in the women’s pair in Brandenburg, Germany, as the duo look to continue their unbeaten run on the international stage – a record which goes back to 2011.
Glover said: “This is the first tick in the box and I do feel a step closer to Rio. Even though it is only the European Championships squad selection, it gives you the long-term perspective because it is likely to be what the team looks like in Rio.
“The overriding feeling now is one of readiness. I feel this is where we are supposed to be and I am ready for the Olympics to get closer, ready to start racing and see what our competition is like.
“For us in our sport, the Olympics is by a long way is the pinnacle of our sport so to be selected for the team means that you are in the best team you can be in with GB Rowing.
“And to compete in the Olympics is a childhood dream. To know you are competing against the best of the world on what they hope will be their best day is really exciting.”
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Muhammad welcomes taekwondo’s return to the capital
Olympic bronze medallist Lutalo Muhammad expressed his delight at the news that his hometown London will host the 2016 National Taekwondo Championships.
Muhammad became the first British male to claim an Olympic taekwondo medal when he defeated Armenian Arman Yeremyan to claim bronze at London 2012.
Now, the Copper Box Arena at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – host venue for handball during the London Olympics – will stage taekwondo's showpiece domestic competition on September 24 and 25.
More than 800 competitors of all ages and abilities are expected to compete at the Copper Box, a popular legacy venue that has staged basketball, badminton and netball since the 2012 Games.
The opening day will feature a wide range of novice age group competitions, earmarking potential stars of the future, and Muhammad can't wait to see the capital in full taekwondo flow again.
"This is fantastic news that the Nationals are going to be in my home city and great news for Taekwondo as a whole," said Muhammad, preparing to regain his European Championship title in Switzerland later this month.
"I won a National title in Manchester and love the city. But London is such a hotbed for taekwondo, and such an exciting city, this move can only help increase the popularity of the sport, especially at grass roots level.”
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