Olympic24: Tense times at GB canoe slalom selection trials

Olympic24: Tense times at GB canoe slalom selection trials

26 October 2015 / 07:47

Rio on the mind as GB canoe slalom selection trials continue plus latest from the World Gymnastics Championships. Here's our review of the last 24 hours:

  • Joe Clarke and Fiona Pennie make their claims at Lee Valley White Water Centre
  • British men well placed in team event qualifying at World Gymnastics
  • Ward backs to winning ways in Bangalore
  • Hawkins sets Olympic marathon selection standard

Clarke and Pennie set for tense final day at GB canoe trials

Joe Clarke admitted relief he was able to bring his best at the Great Britain Olympic canoe slalom trials, but knows there is still plenty of work to do before he can book his plane ticket to Rio next summer.

The 22-year-old put down two blistering runs to win day two of the competition at the Lee Valley White Water Centre, and can now only be caught by day one winner Huw Swetnam on Monday.

Swetnam finished second and remains in pole position, whilst Bradley Forbes-Cryans was third, but former world championship bronze medallist Clarke is confident he can repeat his heroics on what will be a nerve-jangling final day.

“It was a bit shaky on the first day and that showed in the results finishing third,” he said.

“I just planned to come out and do what I've been doing in training and I did exactly that. Two fantastic clean runs and I stamped some authority back again which was good.

“It will be the same again on Monday, so I'll get an early night, get some good food inside me, and go again and hopefully repeat, repeat, repeat.”

Meanwhile, London Olympian Lizzie Neave will be looking over her shoulder at Fiona Pennie, whose opening run was almost two seconds faster than anything Neave could produce.

And after winning on Sunday, Pennie needs to do the same again on Monday if she is to avoid missing out on selection as she did for London 2012.

She said: “I didn't see the top of Lizzie's run but I was watching the last bit when the commentators were saying it was really close, so I'm glad it's still alive."

British men off to strong start at Gymnastics World Championships

Great Britain's men took a giant step towards joining the women's team on the plane to Rio 2016 after a strong showing during qualification at the Gymnastics World Championships in Glasgow.

The women's team secured their team final berth on Saturday night, qualifying third best, and the men's team were in solid form when their turn came around in the first of the men's qualification sessions.

The team of Louis Smith, Kristian Thomas, Max Whitlock, Brinn Bevan, Dan Purvis and Nile Wilson racked up a total score of 354.417 and now face a long wait until Monday night to find out if they have done enough to make the top eight and Wednesday's final.

But Thomas, who helped Britain to team bronze at London 2012, thinks the team have done enough and praised the hard work of his teammates.

“It means everything to put ourselves in with a chance of going to Rio because it's everything we have been training for since London,” he said.

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Victory for Ward boosts Davis Cup chances

British Davis Cup captain Leon Smith got a timely nudge from James Ward ahead of next month's final against Belgium.

Ward defeated top seed Adrian Menendez-Maceiras 6-2, 7-5 to win the AirAsia Open in Bangalore, his first title on the second-tier Challenger Tour since July 2013.

Ward played a key role in the victory over the United States in March but was left out of the semi-final tie against the United States, with Dan Evans given the nod instead.

Smith will choose between Ward, Evans and Kyle Edmund for who will take the other singles slot alongside Andy Murray.

Hawkins achieves Olympic selection time

Callum Hawkins achieved an Olympic qualifying time at the Frankfurt Marathon - his debut over the distance.

The 23-year-old finished Sunday's race - won by Ethiopia's Sisay Lemma - in 12th place in two hours 12 minutes 17 seconds.

Scott Overall is the only other British athlete to have finished under the Rio qualifying mark of two hours 14 minutes this year.

Sportsbeat 2015