Countdown to Rio 2016: Olympic sport this week

Ross Murdoch
Ross Murdoch said he had not been expecting to win European gold



Swimming: Great Britain won seven golds at the European Championships in London to finish second in the medals table behind Hungary.

Adam Peaty won the 50m and 100m breaststroke, while Ross Murdoch was victorious in the 200m and Fran Halsall retained her 50m backstroke title.

There were also victories for the men's and women's 4 x 100m medley relay, and the non-Olympic mixed medley relay.

The British team won 22 medals in all - more than any other country - seven gold, six silver and nine bronze.


Athletics: Jessica Ennis-Hill said her troublesome Achilles "feels really good" after making her first competitive appearance of the season.

The Olympic heptathlon champion threw a modest 41.69m in the javelin in Loughborough but says she is back on track after fearing a one stage last winter that she would not be able to defend her title.

Jess Andrews, in only her second track 10,000m race, won the British trials in London to qualify for the Rio Olympics, along with Scot Beth Potter.

But 42-year-old Jo Pavey, who is aiming to reach her fifth Olympics, could only manage sixth, and must now hope selectors hand her a discretionary place.

British long jump Olympic champion Greg Rutherford looked in good form in winning the Great CityGames in Manchester while Usain Bolt ran under 10 seconds for the first time this season in the Czech Republic.

South African Caster Semenya clocked the fastest 800m in the world for four years at the Diamond League meeting in Morocco.

Fiji celebrate retaining their World Sevens title at Twickenham
Fiji celebrate retaining their World Sevens title at Twickenham


Rugby Sevens: Fiji retained their World Series title after the last of the 10 rounds at Twickenham.

They only reached the quarter-finals of the London leg - which was won in thrilling fashion by Scotland - but it was enough to clinch the overall title.

South Africa finished second, with New Zealand third. England finished eighth and Scotland 10th.

Fiji's win also secures top seeding for Rio, where rugby sevens is making its debut, thus boosting the nation's hopes of a first-ever Olympic medal.


Anti-doping: Up to 31 athletes from six sports could be banned from competing at the Rio Games after the IOC retested 454 selected doping samples from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Meanwhile, Kenya's government has agreed a "roadmap" that increases the likelihood of the country's athletes competing at the Olympic Games in Rio this summer.

Badminton: Denmark became the first European country to win the prestigious Thomas Cup,external-link beating Indonesia in the final. England's team did not progress beyond the group stage of the men's team event.

Chantelle Cameron
Chantelle Cameron's Olympic hopes have suffered a knockout blow

Boxing: British boxer Chantelle Cameron's hopes of competing at the Rio Olympics are over after she lost at the Women's World Championships in Kazakhstan.

Canoe sprint: London 2012 canoeing gold medallist Ed McKeever will be unable to defend his title after failing to qualify for this summer's Rio Olympics. The 32-year-old needed to make the top two in the K1 200m final of the Duisburg stage of the Sprint World Cup but finished fifth.

Hockey: Great Britain let slip a two-goal lead as world champions Australia won the second of the three-Test series 4-3 in Narrogin. The opening Test finished in a 2-2 draw.

Mountain bike: Reigning World Cup champion Nino Schurter beat arch-rival Julien Absalonexternal-link to win the second round of the mountain bike World Cup in Albstadt, Germany. Britain's Grant Ferguson was 15th.

Road cycling: Great Britain's Mark Cavendish won the final stage of the Tour of California in a sprint finish. The overall race was won by France's Julian Alaphilippe,

American rider Megan Guarnier won the women's Tour of California,external-link and now moves ahead of team-mate and world champion Lizzie Armitstead in the WorldTour standings.

Rio security: Three members of Spain's Olympic sailing team were robbed at gunpointexternal-link in a popular tourist area close to the sailing venue.

Rio tickets: Organisers say that more than two thirds of Olympic ticketsexternal-link have now been sold.

Sailing: Nick Thompson led the Laser World Championship from the outset in Mexico to retain his global title. He is the third Briton to be crowned world champion in an Olympic class this year, joining laser radial winner Alison Young and Giles Scott in the finn.

British taekwondo star Bianca Walkden
Walkden has added the European title to her world crown

Table tennis: Liam Pitchford and Paul Drinkhall have been selected to represent Great Britain at this summer's Rio Olympics. The pair had earned two quota places for Britain by virtue of their world rankings.

Taekwondo: Housemates Jade Jones and Bianca Walkden both won gold along with 17-year-old Lauren Williams as Great Britain finished top of the medal table at the European Championships in Switzerland. It was a first gold medal in the competition for Olympic champion Jones, and a second for Walkden, who won the world title last year. Williams, a former world junior champion, will not go to the Olympics as only two fighters of each sex are allowed to compete per country.

Track cycling: British Cycling is believed to have stood by its decision to drop Jess Varnishexternal-link from the Olympic programme after a meeting with the 25-year-old. Varnish had said she still hoped to be in the GB team for Rio, despite the controversy over the situation, which led to the departure of technical director Shane Sutton.

Volleyball: With the final qualifying tournaments now finished, the last places for the women's event in Rio have been earned by Italy, South Korea, the Netherlands and Japan.


Archery: The European Championships take place in Nottingham (23-29 May). Britain's archers, including Larry Godfrey, Patrick Huston and Naomi Folkard, will be looking to clinch a men's and women's quota place for the Olympics.

Athletics: World and Olympic champion Mo Farah gets his Rio campaign up and running in the Diamond League in Eugene, USA. The Briton will be competing in the 10,000m, his first outdoor track race since retaining his world titles in Beijing last summer.

Boxing: The women's World Championships continue in Kazakhstan. Olympic champion Nicola Adams, who has already qualified for Rio, is bidding for her first world title, while Savannah Marshall and Irish world champion Katie Taylor are hoping to book their spots in this summer's Games in Brazil.

BMX: The World Championships take place in Medellin, Colombia (25-29 May), with Liam Phillips and Kyle Evans representing Great Britain.

Gymnastics: Olympic silver medallist Louis Smith is part of the British team for the men's European Championships in Bern (25-29 May). World champion Max Whitlock has been forced to withdraw with illness but his team-mates, who include Dan Purvis, Kristian Thomas and Nile Wilson, will have hopes of coming home with medals.

Hockey: Great Britain's men's meet world champions Australia in Perth in the last of a three-test series. The first match was drawn, with host Australia winning the second 4-3.

Heather Watson
Qualifying for the Olympics is Heather Watson's main goal this year

Judo: The annual Masters event, the most prestigious judo tournament outside of the Olympic Games or World Championships, takes place in Guadalajara on 28-29 May. It also marks the end of the qualifying period for the Olympics: the top 22 men and first 14 women in the world rankings for each event will be guaranteed their ticket for Rio.

Modern pentathlon: World number two Jamie Cooke and 2014 champion Samantha Murray lead a nine-strong British team competing at the World Championships in Moscow (23-29 May).

Road cycling: The first Grand Tour of the season, the Giro d'Italia (May 6-29) reaches its conclusion, with Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk going into the final week in the leader's pink jersey.

Rowing: The second World Cup regatta of the season takes place in Lucerne, Switzerland (27-29 May) as Rio preparations move into the next gear. The men's four will be without the ill Constantine Louloudis but Olympic champions Helen Glover and Heather Stanning will be confident of continuing their impressive winning streak. The British women's eight were crowned champions of Europe earlier this month but will not be resting on their laurels with Olympic champion Katherine Grainger and Vicky Thornley ready to step in.external-link

Also in Lucerne this week is the final Olympic qualifier (22-24 May).external-link The only two events that GB has not qualified a boat in are the women's singles sculls and the women's quadruple sculls.

Tennis: The French Open, the second of this year's majors, takes place in Paris (22 May-5 June). The Olympic qualification period closes at the beginning of June - Britain's Heather Watson, who is currently ranked 56 in the world, is one of those on the cusp of qualification.

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