Olympic24: Walker retires but Murray magic continues

Olympic24: Walker retires but Murray magic continues

08 May 2015 / 07:58

Andy Murray shows no signs of tiredness to advance at the Madrid Masters, while Paula Walker calls time on her bobsleigh career. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Andy Murray comfortably beats Spaniard Marcel Granollers
  • Two-time Olympian Paula Waler retires from bobsleigh
  • Greg Rutherford admits he has an end date in mind
  • England Sevens men and women ready for next legs
  • Flora Harris is the top Brit after day one of Badminton Horse Trials

Murray marches on in Madrid

Andy Murray comfortably saw off Spanish wildcard Marcel Granollers to reach the last eight of the Madrid Masters.

The British number one recorded a 6-2 6-0 victory in his second match of the day, having started the tie against Philipp Kohlschreiber after midnight.

"I tried to pump myself as much as possible for this match and bluff him to show I was feeling OK,” said Murray.

Walker announces retirement

Two-time Olympic bobsledder Paula Walker has announced her retirement from the sport.

Walker became the first British woman to be crowned world junior champion with victory in Park City in 2011 and represented Team GB at both the Vancouver and Sochi Games.

“It's been a very tough decision to leave the British Bobsleigh family but, after having my daughter Poppy, all my time and attention needs to go to her,” said Walker.

“I'd like to personally thank all my team mates along the way who have braved their lives getting into my sled and given me 100 per cent day in, day out. 

“My career couldn't have happened without the support of the British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association and in particular I would like to thank Peter Gunn, who has been my driving coach since I made the transition to pilot. His knowledge and patience have been tested to their limits!”

Harris leads British Badminton charge

Flora Harris is leading the British charge at the Badminton Horse Trials as New Zealander Andrew Nicholson outs himself in pole position for victory after day one.

It could prove 33rd-time lucky for Nicholson at this year’s Badminton Horse Trials as his dressage score of 37.8 penalties secured him an overnight lead ahead of fellow Kiwi and 2013 champion Jonathan Paget.

Germany's Niklas Bschorer, at 20 the youngest competitor among an 81-strong Badminton field, lies third aboard Tom Tom Go 3, with 27-year-old Harris currently the leading British challenger in fourth with Amazing VIII.

Rutherford has end day in sight

If Greg Rutherford can add world champion to his long list of accolades this year then he says he can ride into the sunset as a happy man.

The 28-year-old took Olympic long jump gold in 2012 and last year added European and Commonwealth titles to his collection.

This year will see Rutherford head to Beijing in attempt to become world champion before heading to Rio next summer to defend his Olympic crown.

But this could be the beginning of the end for Rutherford who admits he wants to call it quits while he is still at the height of his powers.

“I’ll get out while still at the top, I hope,” said Rutherford.

“If I win the World Championships, in many ways there’s nothing left for me, but I like the idea of the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane in 2018.

England Sevens men and women ready for battle

Having reigned in Tokyo last time out, England Sevens head coach Simon Amor is hoping for more as the World Series arrives in Glasgow this weekend.

A 21-14 win against South Africa in the final pushed England into fourth and ahead of Australia in the overall standings with two tournaments remaining.

This time around they go in Pool A against France, Russia and the Australians and Amor has opted for two changes from the squad that triumphed in Japan.

Richard de Carpentier and Warwick Lehmert both come in to replace John Brake and Josh Watkins and Amor believes his squad can keep getting better as the Series nears its climax.

“Our pool will be a big challenge. Australia are an excellent team and they have played consistently well all season,” said Amor.

“They will bounce back after Tokyo and be incredibly strong because they have some very talented players.”

Meanwhile, Simon Middleton has recalled Rachael Burford and Kay Wilson for the penultimate round of the womens’ Series at the Twickenham Stoop and at Twickenham Stadium.

“Experience will be key for this leg of the series and both Rachael and Kay, who are experienced sevens players and also World Cup winners, offer us that,” said Middleton.

© Sportsbeat 2015