Olympic24: Watson bows out but no end in sight for Pavey

18 March 2015 / 07:13

Heather Watson couldn't make find enough in the tank to see off Carla Suarez Navarro at Indian Wells while Jo Pavey has set her sights on competing at next year's Olympic Games. Here's our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Heather Watson beaten in three sets at Indian Wells
  • Jo Pavey eyes fifth Olympic Games
  • Seb Coe believes heptathlon rivals will have huge impact
  • Joyce wants to keep unbeaten Lionhearts run going
  • Eve Muirhead knows there is no room for error at World Champs
  • Dan Purvis wants another Olympic medal for his collection

Watson crashes out at Indian Wells

After a brilliant straight sets victory against Agnieszka Radwanska, Heather Watson came unstuck in the fourth round at Indian Wells losing in three sets 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-1 to Carla Suarez Navarro.

The Brit started the match on the offensive and found herself serving for the opening set after breaking the Spaniard.

But she couldn’t capitalise on the opportunity and, after losing her serve, was beaten 7-5 in the resultant tie break.

Her head didn’t drop however and she came back strong in the second set to win 6-3.

The Spaniard showed her guile however and powered through in the third to win 6-1 and send Watson packing. 

"I need to learn what I need to do better next time, stay positive and keep improving," said Watson

"I had my chances but wasn't able to take them. I gave it my absolute best, everything I had, I just wasn't the better player."

Pavey eyes fifth Olympics in Rio

Jo Pavey claims that there is no end in sight to her glittering running career as she targets a fifth Olympic Games appearance.

A year ago the 41-year-old had retirement plans in her mind but went on to claim European 10,000m gold and 5000m bronze at the Commonwealth Games.

Since then Pavey's calendar has been anything but empty as she seeks to claim an historic third Great Manchester Run crown later this year.

And her return to the road will be juggled with plenty of expeditions on the track as she seeks to secure her spot at next summer's Olympic Games.

But while she knows qualification for Rio will not be simple, she admits her successes in 2014 have given her the drive to keep pushing.

"At the start of 2014 I definitely had in my mind that it would be my final year," she said.

"This year I'm really excited about doing a combination of road and track because last year, with coming back from having a baby and being up against time to

try and qualify for both championships, that took up all the time and I didn't really get chance to road race.

"So this year I really want to focus on doing track and road and then I see 2016 to be a really full-on track year because it’s going to be all about trying to qualify for the Olympics.

"I think I was just really pleased (with results in 2014 ) to see that I could still be competitive. I didn’t know whether that would be possible.

"Then I started to have thoughts about whether I could get in the Olympic team for 2016 and I'm targeting trying to do that.

“But I’m not complacent about it, because you can't just want to do an Olympics, you've got to qualify and there are a lot of good young girls coming through and obviously I'm getting older and older.

"I'm not saying I could easily get on the team, it's just something I would aim to try and do and it just makes it feel that it might be a possibility."

Coe excited by heptathlon stars

Britain's triple hepthathlon threat of Jessica Ennis-Hill, Katarina Johnson-Thompson andd Morgan Lake can galvanise British athletics, according to Lord Sebastian Coe.

Olympic champion Ennis-Hill is set to return to action later this year but she will face stern competition on the domestic level from Johnson-Thompson whose recent performances have been nothing short of spectacular.

A new British high jump record at Sheffield's national championships was followed by gold at the European Indoor Championships for Johnson-Thompson – who missed out on a new world record score by a whisker.

And with youngster Lake also showing her unbridled potential with a ninth place finish in Prague, Coe believes athletics fans are in for a real treat over the next 18 months.

"Head-to-heads are what get people up aren't they?" said Coe.

"My kids were getting up at three o'clock in the morning at the weekend to watch Hamilton and Rosberg in the F1.

"It is head-to-heads that get people up, it's what excites people. And the more opportunities we have for athletes going head-to-head the better.

"It's what people talk about: it's the subject of conversation.

"It's not even just Jess and Katarina either: you've got Morgan coming through who I'm sure will be equally good, so it's an extraordinary period to be entering."

Joyce looks to maintain unbeaten Lionhearts run

Joe Joyce admits Olympic qualification is always at the forefront of his mind as he looks to maintain his unbeaten World Series of Boxing record against the Morocco Atlas Lions on Thursday.

The Commonwealth champion is 4-0 for the British Lionhearts so far this season but currently sits second in the super-heavyweight rankings with 19 points – one behind leader Filip Hrgovic of Croatia who boxes for Astana Arlans Kazakhstan.

Joyce will be joined at York Hall by welterweight Ekow Essuman, lightweight Luke McCormack and light-heavyweight Joshua Buatsi.

For McCormack and Buatsi it will their first outing for the Lionhearts while Essuman will be looking to get back to winning ways after defeat in his last bout against China Dragons.

And for Joyce the stakes couldn't be higher, with the top-ranked super-heavyweight at the end of the regular season automatically qualifying for Rio 2016.

"Qualifying for the Olympics is the main goal for me with WSB, so the aim is simply to keep winning and maintain my unbeaten record through the season," said Joyce. 

"Hrgovic is in the other group and I will not get to face him in the regular season, so I just need to focus on what I can do, keep winning and hope that he slips-up at some point as he will have to face some good opponents."

Muirhead: No more slip ups at World Champs

Eve Muirhead admits Scotland can't afford anymore slip ups at this year's Women's World Curling Championships after a mixed day on the ice left them joint fourth in the standings in Sapporo, Japan.

After two wins on day three, Scotland were dealt an early blow on Tuesday when they slipped to a 7-5 defeat to China.

Skip Muirhead had initially drawn Scotland level at 3-3 after the third end when she hit out a Chinese stone for all three points.

But it was China who eventually prevailed when skip Sijia Liu played her last stone to hit out a Scottish stone and nudge another to score one point and win the game.

Fortunately for Muirhead and Scotland, they were able to bounce back strongly against Finland in the evening session, starting by scoring three points in the first end.

In the fourth end, Muirhead was facing two Finnish stones in the house as she drew inside them to score one point for a 4-2 lead.

And with the score at 7-3 in their favour, the Scots built up the ninth end well, leaving Finnish skip Sanna Puustinen with the prospect of facing three Scottish counters spread across the house when she played her last stone.

She could only remove two of them, giving Scotland a single point steal to win the game at 8-3 and take their overall tally to four wins.

It leaves Scotland tied for fourth with four other teams – China, Germany, Japan and Sweden – and Muirhead knows only the best will do from now on if they want to stay in play-off contention.

"This morning was disappointing.  We got the stones and the ice into our heads too much, but that happens – tonight we played really well," she said.

"We got off to a strong start and that's what we wanted to do after our disappointing loss this morning.  We had good stone placement and got on top pretty quick. 

"We had consistent shot-making and we got our stones in good spots.

"We still have a few games to go, but we know we can't give up any more losses – we always put ourselves in this position, don't we?"

Purvis has Rio on the mind

He might have one Olympic medal to his name already but Daniel Purvis is determined to add to his collection next summer.

The 24-year-old was part of the British squad that took team bronze at London 2012 and has since followed that with European and Commonwealth team silver as well as gold on the parallel bars at Glasgow 2014.

With preparations for next week’s British Championships coming to an end, Purvis has set his sights on repeating his Olympic success at Rio 2016.

And he says that he is well aware that the next 18 months could be the last chance for him to make an impact on the world’s biggest stage.

“The cycle seems to be so much quicker now,” he told the Liverpool Echo. “Whether that’s because I’ve done one Olympics already I don’t know, but this one is already just round the corner.

“I’ll be 25 by the time of the next Olympics and I don’t know how many more I could do after that.

“I want to go out at the top. So if I could get into the team for Rio and then maybe even get a medal again I’d be the happiest man in the world.

“That’s the way I want to go, anyway!”

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