Road to Rio: 46 days to go
Road to Rio

Road to Rio: 46 days to go

20 June 2016 / 11:16

Just 46 days remain until this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio, but there is still plenty keeping our Team GB athletes busy.

Whether that is attempting to qualify or fine-tuning preparations for those already selected, no-one is resting on their laurels.

Each Monday we will look back at what our athletes have been getting up to during the last week and who to keep an eye on over the coming seven days.

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The week that was

Tennis

Olympic Champion Andy Murray made history on Sunday by becoming the first man to ever win five Queen’s Club titles.

Murray beat Canada’s Milos Raonic 6-7, 6-4, 6-3 in a pulsating final to get his grass court season off to a flying start and ensure perfect preparation for his tilt at a second Wimbledon title later this month.

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Elsewhere Murray’s fellow Brits Laura Robson, Liam Broady, Alex Ward, James Ward, Tara Moore and Katie Swann were given wildcards into the main draw at the All England Club.

Cycling

World Champion Lizzie Armitstead also created history this weekend, becoming the first British rider to win the Women’s Tour.

Armitstead’s winning move came in Friday’s third stage into Chesterfield as she took the leader’s yellow jersey from Dutch rival Marianne Vos.

She extended her lead on Saturday before completing the job by finishing safely in the bunch on Sunday to take the overall win by 11 seconds.

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Elsewhere Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas finished 17th in the Tour de Suisse as he continues to prepare for July’s Tour de France.

Hockey

Great Britain’s men narrowly missed out on a bronze medal in the Champions Trophy after a 1-0 defeat to Germany in the third-fourth place play-off.

Bobby Crutchley’s men nearly earned themselves a shot at the gold medal but lost their chance after drawing 3-3 with Belgium on Thursday.

Friday’s clash with Olympic Champions Germany was settled by Marco Miltkau’s 40th-minute effort as Great Britain finished fourth at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

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The women’s competition began on Saturday with Great Britain twice coming from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with World League champions Argentina, before losing 2-0 to the Netherlands on Sunday.

Rowing

It was another successful World Cup for Great Britain’s rowers as they left their final Olympic warm-up regatta with eight medals.

The women’s coxless pair and the men’s coxless four were both victorious at the third World Cup event of the season in Poznan, Poland, while both eights crews and the men’s open double all picked up silver medals.

Alan Campbell won bronze in the men’s singles scull, as did the men’s pair and the lightweight four.

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Canoe sprint

Six paddlers were announced as members of Team GB’s squad heading to Rio with Liam Heath and Jon Schofield returning after their bronze medals at London 2012.

Rachel Cawthorn, Louisa Gurski, Rebeka Simon and Jess Walker complete the team.
Walker, who will race in the K4 500m, will be competing in her third Olympic Games.

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Liam Heath

Aquatics

Team GB’s aquatics squad was completed with 11 divers and two open-water swimmers added to the Rio-bound contingent.

London 2012 bronze medallist Tom Daley, competing in his third Olympic Games, headlines the diving squad with Tonia Couch also set to feature at her third Games.

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Kerri-Anne Payne and Jack Burnell will both compete in the 10km marathon swimming events as Payne looks to improve on her silver medal from Beijing in what will be her third Olympic Games.

Burnell will be making his Olympic debut.

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Judo

Seven judoka will head to Rio with the aim of becoming the first Briton to win a judo gold medal.
After a silver and bronze medal at London 2012, Team GB’s players – three men and four women – will be spread across seven weight categories, each looking to make their own piece of history.

Ashley McKenzie returns for his second Olympic Games, as do Colin Oates and Sally Conway, while Natalie Powell, Alice Schlesinger, Benjamin Fletcher and Nekoda Smythe-Davis will all make their Olympic bows.

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The week ahead

Hockey

The women’s Champions Trophy continues in London this week with Great Britain’s women hoping to warm up for Rio in the best possible way.

After a draw and a loss from their opening fixtures coach Danny Kerry will be hopeful of a strong last three games to put them in with a shot at the gold medal match.

Kerry’s side face New Zealand on Tuesday before squaring off against the USA on Thursday and Australia on Saturday.

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Athletics

Team GB’s athletics squad will start to take shape next weekend as the British Athletics Championships take place in Birmingham.

The event doubles as the Olympic trials, meaning the nation’s best will be battling it out to book their place on the plane to Rio next month.

Fencing

Great Britain’s Rio-bound fencers will have a final chance to tune up for the Olympic Games when they take on the continent’s best at the European Championships in Torun, Poland, this week.

The men’s foil team of James-Andrew Davis, Laurence Halsted, Richard Kruse and Marcus Mepstead are all on the plane to Rio so will be looking to make their mark ahead of the summer showdown.

British Fencing will also be sending swordsmen to compete in the individual and team sabre competitions.

Canoe sprint

With Team GB’s six-strong squad already named for Rio, the paddlers will head to Moscow for the European Championships looking to lay down a marker ahead of the Olympic Games in August.

Heath, Schofield, Cawthorn, Gurski, Simon and Walker will all hope to be in good form with Rio on the horizon.

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