Olympic24: Young claims world title and makes British sailing history

Olympic24: Young claims world title and makes British sailing history

21 April 2016 / 06:23

Sailor Alison Young got the best confidence boost ahead of the Rio Olympics - now just 107 days away - as she won a historic world title in Mexico. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours:

  • Alison Young looks to Rio after finishing top of the world
  • Olympic torch to be lit at 10am this morning
  • British judo team head to European Championships
  • Bailey secures male trampolinist quota place for first time since Athens 2005

Young makes history in Mexico

Rio-bound sailor Alison Young has become the first British woman to win a World Championship title in a solo Olympic dinghy class.
Young, who finished fifth at London 2012 in the Laser Radial class, edged out American Paige Railey - the fleet leader heading into the decisive final race - to win by single point in Vallarta, Mexico.

“It’s a great confidence boost but ultimately this year is about the Games,” said Young.

“There’s still plenty of room for improvement and I know that come the Games there’s going to be seven or eight girls battling it out hard for the medals, so it’ll be a case of executing well come that regatta.

“We’ve also won Olympic medals in the women’s single-handed classes in the past so that’s the next target.”

Young - who will be back in action at next week’s ISAF World Cup in Hyeres - couldn’t be in a better position ahead of the Games, according to British Sailing’s Olympic manager Stephen Park.

“This was all about execution under pressure and she delivered,” he said. “As a result she has become world champion, makes history, and sets herself up well for the final run into Rio.

“It was, simply, an impressive performance.”

Olympic torch to be lit in Olympia today

GettyImages-522577840In a simple and moving ceremony that could come straight from hit TV show Game of Thrones, the Rio 2016 Olympic torch will be lit in ancient Olympia this morning.

The ceremony is led by the High Priestess, who prays to the ancient Gods, Apollo and Zeus, while lighting the torch from the rays of the sun.

Once lit, she takes the flame in a small ceramic bowl and leads a procession towards the first torchbearer - Greek gymnast Eleftherios Petrounias - briefly stopping to observe the custom of cutting a branch from an olive tree, a symbol of peace.

The torch will be handed over to Rio organisers next week in Athens after a tour around Greece. From there on it will embark on a 95-day tour of Brazil, visiting 83 cities, 26 state capitals and 500 towns.

The ceremony is live on You Tube from 10am UK time.

Gibbons and Powell continue selection battle at judo Europeans

Gemma Gibbons and Natalie Powell's battle for Olympic judo selection will continue at this week’s European Championships in Russia.

Only one judoka in the women’s -78kg category can be selected for Rio and Commonwealth champion Powell and London 2012 silver medallist Gibbons are both part of a 13-strong British team in Kazan.

Gibbons, who is ranked 13th in the world, four places behind Powell, has struggled with injuries over the last two years.

"It represents a chance for me to get closer to becoming Olympic champion," Gibbons she told BBC Sport.

Powell added: "Everything I do everyday is geared towards winning gold in Rio and I haven't thought about anything else."

ICYMI: Bailey bags GB a male trampoline spot for Rio 2016

Nathan Bailey is keeping his fingers crossed that he will be able to return to Brazil this summer after securing Team GB a male trampoline place at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The Rio Test Event was the final chance for gymnasts to claim places for their nations at the Games, and Bailey made the most of the opportunity to do exactly that.

He scored a total of 104.695 points for his two qualification routines to secure not only a place in the final but also Team GB’s first men’s trampoline Olympic place since Athens 2004.

Olympic bronze medallist Sam Oldham tweeted his congratulations with this blast from the past picture.
Read more here

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