Countdown to Rio 2016: Olympic sport this week

Mo Farah
It will be the first time Farah has competed at the World Half-Marathon Championships


Athletics: The 2016 World Half Marathon Championships take place in Cardiff on Saturday. All eyes will be on Britain's double Olympic champion Mo Farah, who skipped last week's World Indoor Championships to compete in Wales.

Cycling - BMX: The opening round of the 2016 BMX Supercross World Cup (25-26 March) takes place in Argentina, with British hopes led by Kyle Evans and Tre Whyte. Britain's former world champion Liam Phillips has opted to start his season in the second round of the World Cup in Manchester in April.

Cycling - Road: The one-day Ghent-Wevelgem race (27 March), in which Geraint Thomas was third last year, takes place, while it's also the fourth round of the women's World Tour. Meanwhile, 2015 Tour de France winner Chris Froome kicks off his season in Europe with the Volta a Catalunya. A strong field includes two of Froome's arch-rivals in this year's Tour, Nairo Quintana and Alberto Contador, plus defending champion Richie Porte.

Equestrian - Dressage: The World Cup final takes place in Gothenburg (24-28 March). Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin will not be defending her World Cup title because of a legal dispute over the ownership of her qualified horse Uthopia.

Equestrian - Eventing: The 2016 international eventing season gets under way with the first leg of this year's FEI Nations Cup in Fontainebleau, France. Olympic champion Michael Jung heads a field that will also include British riders Nicola Wilson, Izzy Taylor, Laura Collett and Gemma Tattersall.

Equestrian - Jumping: The World Cup final takes place in Gothenburg (23-28 March). Laura Renwick, who will ride Bintang II, is the only British show jumper to have qualified. The field also includes Switzerland's Olympic champion Steve Guerdat.

Rowing: The Great Britain Olympic trials take place at Caversham from 21-23 March, when selection issues for the season - and thus for the Olympics - will become clearer.

Sailing: The prestigious annual Princess Sofia Trophy has attracted a record number of entries, with three-time Finn world champion Giles Scott heading a strong British contingent in Mallorca (25 March-2 April). Olympic silver medallist Luke Patience begins his attempt to re-qualify for Rio in the men's 470 with new crew Chris Grube, following the withdrawal of his usual partner Elliot Willis because of ongoing cancer treatment.

Table tennis: Britain's Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford will be looking to boost their rankings points at the Qatar Open (23-27 March).

Robbie Grabarz celebrates his silver at the World Indoor Championships
Grabarz struggled to recover from knee surgery after London 2012 but is now back in medal-winning form



Athletics: Great Britain failed to win a gold medal at the World Indoor Championships for only the second time since 1997 at the four-day event in Portland.

High jumper Robbie Grabarz, who has been plagued by injury since 2012, said he was "ecstatic" after taking silver, while Lorraine Ugen won bronze in the long jump.

Tiffany Porter won the only British track medal with a bronze in the 60m hurdles, her third consecutive world medal.

Britain, who were without Olympic champions Mo Farah, Greg Rutherford and Jessica Ennis-Hill, finished 16th in the overall medal table, having been fourth two years ago.

American Ashton Eaton and Canada's Brianne Theisen-Eaton won the heptathlon and pentathlon respectively to become the first married couple to win gold medals at the same World Championships.


Road cycling: Britain's Lizzie Armitstead defended her Trofeo Alfredo Binda title in Cittiglio, Italy, to claim her second UCI World Tour win of the season.

The 27-year-old, who won the world road race title last year and Olympic silver in 2012, triumphed in the opening race of the World Tour season, the Italian one-day classic Strade Bianche in Tuscany, but then abandoned the second World Tour event because of sickness.

But she bounced back over the 112km race on Sunday, and sits top of the World Tour standings.

Meanwhile, Britain's Ben Swift was second in the Milan-San Remo, the first of cycling's five Monuments. Winner Arnaud Demare denied he had been towed by his team car during the race.

Daniel Goodfellow and Tom Daley
Goodfellow and Daley have won medals at both World Series legs so far this season


Diving: Great Britain's divers claimed three medals in synchronised events as China again won all 10 titles at the second World Series event of the season in Dubai.

Tom Daley and Daniel Goodfellow improved on their bronze medal in the first leg to finish as synchronised 10m platform runners-up behind world champions Lin Yue and Chen Aisen.

Tonia Couch and Lois Toulson claimed bronze in the women's equivalent, while there was a similar result for Jack Laugher and Christopher Mears in the men's synchronised 3m springboard.

Daley failed to reach the individual 10m platform final after poor second and third dives in his semi-final.


Badminton: Chinese teenager and rising star He Bingjiao upset London 2012 silver medallist Wang Yihan to win the women's singles at the Swiss Open.

Boxing: Olympic champion Nicola Adams heads a 13-strong team for the first of four Olympic qualification events in Turkey next month.

Defending Olympic champions Claressa Shields of the USA and Cuba's Roniel Iglesias were among the boxers to book their places in Rio at the American qualifying event in Buenos Aires. Highly-rated American teenager Shakur Stevenson was another boxer to clinch his place at the Olympics.

Drug-testing: Brazil passed anti-doping legislation just in time to beat the World Anti-Doping Agency non-compliance deadline.

Equestrian: William Fox-Pitt, who suffered a serious head injury in a fall last November, has been given the all-clear to compete again, and hopes to make his return to eventing at Burnham Market in April.

Football: Fifa's trial to allow a fourth substitute in extra time will begin at the Rio Olympics.

The FA is hopeful that a Great Britain's women's football team will compete at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Claudia Fragapane
Fragapane won four Commonwealth golds as a 16-year-old

Gymnastics: Claudia Fragapane and Sam Oldham were crowned the all-around champions at the 2016 English Championships in Loughborough.

London Olympian Rebecca Tunney continued her return from injury by coming seventh at the FIG World Cup Series in Stuttgart.

Handball: Romania, Montenegro, Russia, Sweden, Netherlands and France clinched the final places up for grabs in the Olympic women's handball.

Sailing: World Sailing, the sport's organising body, say they are satisfied with progress being made by Brazilian authorities at the venue for the Olympic Games. Water pollution in Guanabara Bay has been a major concern but a sewer pipe belt designed to prevent waste from entering the Bay is due to be completed by the end of March.

Shooting: British pair Steven Scott and Tim Kneale were only 12th and 15th in the double trap at the first shotgun World Cup event of the season in Cyprus. Welshman Ben Llewellin won silver in the skeet but Great Britain are yet to earn a quota place in that event for Rio.

Swimming: Russia's 100m breaststroke world champion and London 2012 bronze medallist Yuliya Efimova has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for meldonium. The 23-year-old returned a positive result during an out-of-competition test and could now be facing a life ban having previously failed a drugs test.

Adam Peaty is one of four British swimmers to win their appeal to ratify world records set at the European Championships in 2014. The records were not originally recognised because organisers of the Berlin event did not carry out testing for banned substance EPO.

Synchronised Swimming: GB will be taking up their duet quota place at the Rio Olympics, which was earned by Katie Clark and Olivia Federici earlier this month.

Paul Drinkhall
Drinkhall was part of the England squad that won bronze at this year's World Team Championships.

Table tennis:Paul Drinkhall won his fifth title and Tin Tin Ho her first at the Table Tennis National Championships in Hatfield.

China's Olympic champion Zhang Jike enjoyed a stunning return to form to beat world number one and teammate Ma Long in the men's singles final at the Kuwait Open.

Tennis: Jamie Murray, who is likely to partner brother Andy at the Olympics, came within one win of topping the men's doubles world rankings.

Weightlifting: Zoe Smith will lead a 14-strong British team at next month's European Championships in Norway. The event represents the final opportunity for GB to clinch places (a maximum of two) the Rio Olympics.

Top Stories