Team GB review of 2015: Part I
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Team GB review of 2015: Part I

17 December 2015 / 10:25

With 2015 coming to a close we look back at some of the highlights of an historic year for Britain’s athletes.

From Australia to Azerbaijan and everywhere in between we reflect on the highs and lows from January to June in the first of our two-part review of the last 12 months.

January

MurrayAusOpen

January is a time for new beginnings but it brought with it a familiar narrative for Andy Murray at the year’s first Grand Slam.

Murray had finished as runner up at the Australian Open on three previous occasions and he once again came within a whisker of the title as he lost out in the final to Novak Djokovic 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 6-3 6-0.

In Austria and Lichtenstein Team GB’s young winter stars got a taste of what the future could have in store as a team of 15 headed to the European Youth Olympic Festival.

There were no medals for the Brits but Team GB were represented in four of the eight disciplines at EYOF 2015 with athletes going in alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, figure skating and snowboarding.

February

Katarine JT

Britain’s athletics stars had to put their romantic lives on hold on Valentine’s Day with the British Indoor Championships taking place in Sheffield.

The event saw the start of a brilliant year for Katarina Johnson-Thompson as she clinched the high jump with a British record of 1.97m while Dina Asher-Smith took 60m gold.

There was disappointment for the country’s cyclists as they returned from the Track World Championships without a gold medal for the first time since 2001 – though they did claim three silver and three bronze medals in Paris.

The month finished with a slice of history as Mo Farah broke the indoor two-mile record in Birmingham as he clocked 8:03.40 in a stunning run at the National Indoor Arena.

March

Richard Kilty

March saw Great Britain’s men take their first steps towards history as Andy Murray and James Ward produced heroic displays to see off the USA in the first round of the Davis Cup in Glasgow.

The indoor athletics season came to a close at the European Championships in Prague where Britain won nine medals.

Richard Kilty claimed gold in the men’s 60m as he added the European title to his world indoor crown and Johnson-Thompson claimed victory in the pentathlon.

There were also silvers for the women’s 4x400m relay team, Lucy Hatton in the hurdles, Dina Asher-Smith in the 60m and Lee Emmanuel in the 3000m.

April

AdamPeaty

More world records fell in April with Adam Peaty producing a sensational display to swim 100m breaststroke faster than anyone else in history at the British Championships in London.

In continental competition, Britain’s gymnasts finished second in the medal table at the European Artistic Championships in Montpellier.

There was gold on the floor for Kristian Thomas and Louis Smith on the pommel horse while Sam Oldham won horizontal bar silver.

Becky Downie left with two medals to her name after silver in the uneven bars and balance beam, while Claudia Fragapane won floor silver and Ellie Downie and Dan Purvis both took all-around bronze.

May

BiancaWalkden

There were three World Championship medals for Britain’s taekwondo players in Russia in May with Bianca Walkden the pick of the bunch winning heavyweight gold while Damon Sansum won welterweight silver and Rachelle Booth lightweight bronze.

Andy Murray once again went deep into Grand Slam competition but Novak Djokovic proved too hot to handle as he dispatched the Olympic Champion in five sets at the French Open semi-final.

Six medals were won on the waters of Markkleeberg, Germany, at the European Canoe Slalom Championships with Kimberley Woods and Mallory Franklin completing a British one-two in the C1.

And, at the European Rowing Championships, Great Britain finished top of the medal table with ten – including six golds – in Poznan.

June

AmberHill

June saw the inaugural European Games take place in Baku, Azerbaijan with Team GB one of 50 countries who competed.

Almost 6,000 athletes, including 160 from Team GB, strutted their stuff across a total of 20 sports and the competition kicked off in style with an opening ceremony featuring global superstar Lady Gaga doing a cover of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine.’

In total, Team GB athletes accumulated 18 golds, ten silver and 19 bronze to finish third in the medal table behind Russia and Azerbaijan.

The most successful sport for British athletes was swimming, with 23 medals, including seven gold, picked up in the pool.

Duncan Scott (three golds and three silvers) and Luke Greenbank (two golds, two silvers and a world junior record in the 200m backstroke) shone for the guys while Abbie Wood (one gold, one silver and two bronze) was the most successful female competitor.

James Heatly also enjoyed himself off the diving boards with gold, silver and bronze while triathlete Gordon Benson picked up the honour of becoming the first ever European Games gold medal winner – also guaranteeing Team GB a male triathlon quota place for Rio 2016.

Taekwondo was another sport where Team GB excelled with Jade Jones bouncing back from her World Championship disappointment with victory in Baku, while Charlie Maddock also took gold and Lutalo Muhammad bronze.

In the boxing ring, Nicola Adams added to her Olympic title and Joe Joyce also claimed the +91kg title while the men’s foil team were victorious in the fencing competition and shooter Amber Hill produced a thrilling finish to take skeet gold.

Ryan Bartlett and Hannah Baughn also made sure to put on a show in the acrobatic gymnastics with triple bronze in the all-around, dynamic and balance competitions while Katherine Driscoll took trampoline silver and gymnast Brinn Bevan finished with bronze on the pommel.

Don’t just take our word for it either, look back on Team GB’s best bits on the video below! 


Tune back in tomorrow for Team GB Review of 2015: Part II



Sportsbeat 2015