It’s Wednesday! Or, at least it was yesterday. That means some competitions are just kicking off and others are getting into the real nitty gritty. Andy Murray started in Monte-Carlo, Ben Ainslie took to the waves once more Sir Bradley Wiggins continues to slog across Italy in preparation for a bigger slog across Italy. But how did they all do..?
Naomi Folkard was Great Britain’s best overall archer in the qualification rounds of the Riom European Grand Prix. She scored 1320 with 64 10s to finish the day in 9th place, although she struggled at the longer distances. Rebecca Martin finished 40th with 1271 points, followed by Bryony Pitman in 48th and Nicky Hunt in 52nd.
Larry Godfrey was the best male in 11th with a final score of 1306 and 58 10s. Kieran Slater also had a good day with a score of 1295, good enough for 17th. Ashe Morgan finished 43rd, Sean Evans 45th, Andrew Randall 58th and Glen Croft brought up the rear, coming in 71st with a score of just 1177 with 30 10s.
Godfrey and Folkard teamed up to come fourth out of eleven entries in the mixed team competition, better than both performances in the men’s and women’s teams.
Guernsey’s Alison Merrien MBE was able to reach the final of the women’s World Cup against Jo Edwards of New Zealand and the scores were level two thirds in with scores of 3-8 and 8-3, but Edwards nicked it in the end, taking the win 3-2.
Scotland extended their unbeaten record at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship, but left it until the extra end to beat Latvia 8-7. They were 7-3 points clear but their opponents were able to score four points in the final regulation end to force the overtime. Unfortunately, they then dropped points when they lost to Group C rivals Norway, their first defeat with a 5-6 loss. Nevertheless, they remain joint league leaders after seven matches.
England played just one match but lost again, this time a 10-4 thrashing at the hands of the Netherlands.
Sir Bradley Wiggins moved up to fourth overall after a simiarly-placed finish in Stage 2 of the Giro del Trentino. In bridging the gap to the leaders, Wiggins rolled over the line with Vincenzo Nibali to cap a successful day for Team Sky, one that Kanstantin Siutsou won. Peter Kennaugh came in 11 minutes later in 68th, and Adam Blythe 116th, but Jonny McEvoy was taken to hospital, with a motorbike suspected of clipping him.
Joshua Edmondson was the fastest finishing Brit in the Fleche Wallonne, the second of the ‘Ardennes Classics’. Edmondson, riding for Team Sky, finished 43rd, 53 seconds behind Daniel Moreno Fernandez of Katusha. Stephen Cummings of BMC came in 138th.
Lizzie Armistead was one of several home hopefuls in the women’s edition, her time of 40 seconds behind Marianne Vos good enough for 12th. Track Olympians Jo Rowsell and Laura Trott also finished, some way behind, whilst Katie Colclough was the slowest finisher. Emma Trott, Lucy Garner and Dani King did not finish.
England took part in an International Invitation Cup that also featured New Zealand, France, USA, Australia, Canada and a Guernsey side placed at 500/1 that went on to beat a strong Australian team. Oddly, the England side featured England and Surrey Storm netball star Rachel Dunn, as well as telly presenter Tim Lovejoy. Despite beating all but USA and New Zealand, England were booted into the 3/4 playoff… and I don’t know what happened next. Sorry!
Manchester City edged the dress rehearsal of their FA Cup Final with Wigan Athletic, but it took an 83rd minute Carlos Tevez goal to bag the three points. Having looked like the 2012 champions in recent weeks, a tired City seemed to return to their dreary, sloppy form from the last few months and it was Wigan who threatened most often. Eventually, Tevez started and finished a move that keeps City in the title race, albeit barely.
Rivals Manchester United dropped points with a 2-2 draw against West Ham United that was overshadowed by two contentious decisions. Hammers boss Sam Allardyce was angry at Robin Van Persie’s offside goal, whilst Sir Alex Ferguson demanded a red card for Andy Carroll’s clumsy bundle into David De Gea. In the London derby, the defence came to Chelsea’s rescue, as a wondergoal from David Luiz and two headed efforts from John Terry consolidated their third place position, with a game in hand over fourth placed Arsenal.
Max Whitlock impressed on the first day of the European Individual Gymnastics Championships
by topping the all-around qualification list. Out of almost 160 competitors, Whitlock came out on top, performing well on the pommel horse and floor in particular. Daniel Purvis also did well to qualify in eighth place. Further down, Sam Oldham finished 61st on three pieces of equipment, Theo Seager 82nd on two, Ashley Watson in 85th and Daniel Keatings in 89th.
Whitlock’s performance means he also qualifies for the finals in the floor and pommel horse and is a reserve for the parallel bars. Sam Oldham will compete in the floor and high bar finals, Keatings edged into the pommel horse final and Seager is third reserve on the same discipline.
Great Britain’s men suffered another comprehensive beating in the Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A, this time to Italy. Robert Farmer’s goal allowed the underdogs to end the first period on level terms at 1-1, but the Italians rallied to bury four more goals past Stephen Murphy and Ben Bowns to lose 5-1. With two games to go against fellow strugglers Japan and South Korea, Britain remain bottom with no points.
Katy Burke, Kate French and Rebecca Wain represented Great Britain in the third Modern Pentathlon World Cup in Chengdu but couldn’t keep up with the pace in the qualification round. Burke and Wain qualified for the final.
Paddy McLoughlin played just one match yesterday in the European Championships, enjoying a 9-3 win against Finland’s Valtteri Virtanen to propel him into the last 64. Daryl Peach also progressed past the qualification stage, but it was a much closer encounter, edging Bulgaria’s Radostin Dimov 9-8. However, Imran Majid’s loss the previous day meant a slog through the losers’ bracket and he beat Berk Mehmetcik from Northern Cyprus, his participation ended in the losers’ qualification round, knocked out 9-5 by Indonesia’s Mateusz Sniegocki.
Wheelchair 8-ball runner-up Tony Southern continued his impressive run by beating countryman Daniel Luton 7-2. Luton joined Roy Kimberley in the losers’ bracket, along with Craig Welsh, where all three lost.
Charlotte Kerwood enjoyed an impressive qualification round in the trap competition at Al Ain’s Shotgun World Cup, shooting 24, 25 and 25 to reach the semi-finals in first place. Unfortunately, she didn’t take that form into the next round, as a score of 10 was only good enough for 5th. An 8th place from Shona Marshall in the qualifiers meant she just missed out on a place in the shoot-off. Linda Louise Pearson was off the pace with a score of 61 giving her a 34th place finish. Caroline Povey participated in an extra qualification round, beating the other two entrants but scoring just 65 points.
Michael Wixey was the best British shooter in the men’s trap, coming 13th, with Aaron Heading 15th and Mark David Hampton 37th.
Poole Pirates’ 590-day unbeaten home record came to a crashing end when Wolverhampton Wolves stunned them 48-42. The victory was secured with a 5-1 heat win thanks to ex-Pirates Adam Skornicki and Ludvig Lindgren. King’s Lynn Stars maintained their own record by beating Eastbourne Eagles 51-39.
England’s involvement in squash’s NSA Open in Pretoria is over as Tom Ford lost 3-1 to Fares Dessouki, the Egyptian’s second British conquest in as many days. Just like in the second round, Dessouki stumbled in the opening game, one which Ford took 11-9, but he eventually built up steam. Ford refused to give in easily, taking the third game to 13-11, yet a third consecutive game lost spelled the end for the Englishman.
Having received a bye in the first round, Andy Murray began his clay court season at the Monte-Carlo Masters with a comfortable 6-1 6-4 run against France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin. The qualifier earned a break point in the first game but couldn’t convert it and Murray went on to dominate, despite being broken back at least once.
The British number one isn’t the only participant remaining, as Colin Fleming and Jonny Marray beat Austria’s Julian Knowle and Marray’s former partner Frederik Nielsen of Denmark 6-4 7-6 (9-7) to advance to the second round.
– Bristol Academy and Everton Ladies begin their Women’s Super League season.
– Andy Murray faces 13th seed Stanislas Wawrinka in Monte-Carlo, whilst Fleming and Marray square up to Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer.
– Stage 3 of the Giro del Trentino in the Valle delle Chiese.
– Match racing qualifiers and quarter finals at the America’s Cup World Series in Naples, involving Ben Ainslie.
– Opening rounds of golf’s Open de Espana and the RBC Heritage, involving Graeme McDowell and Luke Donald.
– Round 11 of Premier League Darts.
– Scotland v Slovakia and England v Estonia in the curling.
– Women’s qualification at the European Individual Gymnastics Championships.
– Final rounds in the archery European Grand Prix, featuring Larry Godfrey and Naomi Folkard.
– 8-ball, men and wheelchair categories, at the European Pool Championships.
– Men’s qualification in the Modern Pentathlon World Cup, Chengdu.
– Netball Showdown League fixture, Team Bath v Hertfordshire Mavericks
– Summer X Games at Foz do Iguacu, including the skateboarding Big Air final