Jamie Cooke won his first senior World Cup medal of his career in the Budapest World Cup, whilst Mhairi Spence also found herself on the podium.
A hugely fast swim for Cooke put him in pole position and similarly impressive riding and combined stages helped him to the gold medal. Mhairi Spence had already brought home the bronze medal, although the running let her down. Spence had topped her qualification group and a flawless ride had her joint first with one stage to go. Unfortunately, she wasn’t fast enough and slipped down to third.
Olympian Sam Weale impressed on his first World Cup event since London 2012, finishing in sixth whilst Katy Burke saw her lose her grip on a potential fifth place, eventually slipping to 22nd. However, it was disappointment for British champion Samantha Murray, the Olympic silver medallist suffering a terrible combined stage to see her miss out on qualification to Saturday’s final.
Great Britain’s women team succumbed to two consecutive defeats to Belarus. The warm-ups for the Eurobasket campaign were head coach Damian Jennings’ first games in charge, but he could do little to reverse GB’s fortunes in Lithuania. Roz Mason and Steph Gandy top-scored with ten points apiece. The team now travel home in preparation for the GB Invitational Tournament where they will take on Israel, Germany and Greece in three straight days.
In London, the O2 was the scene of Olympiacos’ 100-88 thrashing of Real Madrid in the Euroleague final.
The first season in the inaugural rugby sevens Olympic cycle ended in success for both England and Wales in front of a record Twickenham crowd.
England won their pool despite a loss and went on to claim third place in the cup competition. Dan Norton finished the season as overall top try scorer, as well as a player in the IRB’s first ‘dream team’ and admitted: “It’s been up and down all year, but it is nice to finish on a high. Coming out of the first few tournaments we were down the bottom, so it is nice to have finished a lot higher.”
Wales won just one pool game but eventually made it all the way to the bowl final, claiming the prize. It was also good news for Scotland Sevens, who participated in a qualifying competition and secured their status as a ‘core team’ for the 2013/14 campaign.
England Women won their respective London Sevens tournaments but have made six changes in advance of the series finale in Amsterdam.
Jonny Brownlee returned from injury to win his first World Series event of the season. The Olympic bronze medallist came in less than half a second before Spain’s Javier Gomez. Adam Bowden and David McNamee also reached the top ten. Mark Buckingham, Aaron Harris and Phil Wolfe also competed.
Jodie Stimpson made the top three in the elite women’s race for the first time, having been in the leading pack all of the way. Katie Hewison was some way off in 14th.
Marc Austin recorded his second podium finish of the season with a bronze at the Vierzon ETU Triathlon Junior Cup.
Louisa Sawers won a gold medal at the first World Cup of the year in Szeged and there were also medals for London 2012’s finest.
Sawers was part of the Olympic K4 500m squad and a change in personnel meant could be one reason they just missed out on a medal in Hungary. She more than made up for it in the endurance K1 5000m as she brought home Britain’s only gold medal of the meeting.
Ed McKeever maintained his record of reaching the podium in every 200m he has participated by claiming silver in the K1 event. Olympic bronze medallists Liam Heath and Jon Schofield also won silver in the K2 equivalent. Hannah Brown was the stand-out performer elsewhere, coming second in the K1 200m B final as well as just missing out on a K2 500m medal alongside Corrall Burkill.