THIS WEEK’S EVENTS
Badminton: The Singapore Open, the last Superseries event before the Olympic qualification period closes at the beginning of May, starts on Tuesday (12-17 April). Chris and Gabby Adcock will be looking for a strong performance to boost their chances of a seeding in Brazil, while men’s doubles pair Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge will be looking to earn vital qualification points.
Boxing: Great Britain will be hoping to qualify their first boxers for Rio as the European Olympics Qualifier continues in Samsun, Turkey (7-18 April). Chantelle Cameron made an early exit but Nicola Adams and Savannah Marshall will both be competing in the women’s tournament. Gamal Yafai, Muhammad Ali, Qais Ashfaq, Joe Cordina, Pat McCormack, Cyrus Pattinson, Antony Fowler, Joshua Buatsi, Lawrence Okolie and Joe Joyce are all in the men’s competition. Details of coverage on BBC TV and Radio.
Diving: The penultimate leg of the four-round World Series takes place in Windsor, Canada (15-17 April). Britain’s Tom Daley and Jack Laugher will be among those competing.
Cycling – Road: The Amstel Gold Race is on 17 April. Polish former world champion Michał Kwiatkowski of Team Sky is the reigning champion for the Holland-hosted race, the first of the spring Classics.
Fencing: The British Fencing Championships take place in Docklands, London on 16-17 April. British number one James Davis is not competing but fellow foil team members Richard Kruse, Laurence Halsted and Marcus Mepstead, who should all be in Rio, will be there.
Modern pentathlon: The fourth World Cup event of the season takes place in Hungary (14-18 April).
Rugby Sevens: The men’s World Series heads to Singapore (16-17 April) for the first time – it is round eight of 10 and extremely tight at the top of the overall standings with just six points separating the top three. The women are in Langford, Canada for the penultimate round of their series (16-17 April). Australia are looking to continue their 100% record.
Sailing: The 49er/49er FX European Championship is taking place in Barcelona (12-17 April). Britain’s Alain Sign and Dylan Fletcher-Scott, who won world championship bronze in February, will be in action, as will Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth, who have already secured their place in the GB team for Rio.
Meanwhile, the Laser Radial World Championships get under way in Mexico (12-20 April). Alison Young, who has already clinched her Rio spot, and Georgina Povall represent Great Britain.
Shooting: The second World Cup (pistol/rifle/shotgun) event of the season is also doubling up as the Rio test event. Amber Hill will be getting her first taste of Brazil when she competes in the skeet, along with Elena Allen, while other British shooters taking part include Jen McIntosh, Ed Ling and Tim Kneale.
Swimming: A crucial week in Glasgow with the British Championships (12-17 April) which double up as the Olympic trials. The likes of three-time world champion Adam Peaty might be a favourite to claim Rio gold this summer but he will not be on the plane to Brazil unless he stars in Scotland this week. Details of coverage on BBC Radio.
While the Brits attempt to rubber-stamp their selection, in Brazil the organisers are giving the swimming venue a dry run at the test event (15-20 April).
Table tennis: The European Olympic Qualifying event takes place in Halmstad, Sweden (12-16 April), where Britain’s Liam Pitchford and Paul Drinkhall will be looking to book one of the 10 Rio spots up for grabs.
Weightlifting: The European Championships are taking place in Forde, Norway (10-16 April). Zoe Smith, Emily Godley, Sarah Davies and Rebekah Tiler are among the 14-strong British team.
JENKINS WINS TO BOOST RIO HOPES
Triathlon: Helen Jenkins took a big step towards clinching the final GB women’s triathlon place with a stunning victory in the Gold Coast World Series event in Australia.
The 32-year-old’s first World Series win since 2012 ended the 13-event winning streak of American Gwen Jorgensen.
Jodie Stimpson, who is Jenkins’ main rival for the final Olympic spot to join already selected Non Stanford and Vicky Holland in Rio, finished 12th.
In the men’s race, defending champion Jonny Brownlee was third behind Spaniards Fernando Alarza and winner Mario Mola. Brownlee’s brother Alistair, the defending Olympic champion and like Jonny, already pre-selected for Rio, finished 36th.
WHITLOCK ON TOP FORM
Gymnastics: Max Whitlock underlined his credentials to be considered a gold medal prospect in Rio at the British Championships in Liverpool.
The 23-year-old won the all-around title with a personal best total of 92.7, and then posted a huge score of 16.325 to beat Louis Smith in the Masters pommel horse event. Whitlock won five medals in total.
Whitlock’s score in the all-around was better than the last world and Olympic gold-winning totals posted by Japan’s Kohei Uchimura.
Claudia Fragapane won the women’s all-around event with a lifetime best of 58.1.
PHILLIPS LEADS HOME GB ONE-TWO
Cycling – BMX: British cyclist Liam Phillips began his Olympic year in style by claiming his fourth consecutive victory at the BMX Supercross World Cup in Manchester.
Phillips, 27, led home a British one-two in the elite men’s event ahead of team-mate Kyle Evans.
The 2013 world champion burst from the start-gate to lead from the front and pip 22-year-old Evans, who earned his best ever World Cup result.
Meanwhile, Phillips told BBC Sport that he is happy with the progress being made at the Olympic track in Rio. Phillips was one of the elite riders who led a revolt against the track at last year’s test event.
GB ROWING SQUAD GIVES RIO SELECTION CLUES
Rowing: Great Britain have announced their squad for next month’s European Championships, which is likely to form the basis for the team that goes to the Rio Olympics later this year.
Double Olympic men’s four champions Pete Reed and Andrew T Hodge have been selected in the men’s eight.
Alex Gregory, who won gold in the men’s four in 2012, is restored to that boat with fellow world champions Mo Sbihi, George Nash and Constantine Louloudis.
Four-time Olympic medallist Katherine Grainger reprises her 2015 double sculls partnership with Vicky Thornley in the women’s squad, which is headed by all-conquering Olympic women’s pair champions Helen Glover and Heather Stanning.
Anti-doping: Kenya could be banned from the Olympics if it does not pass new anti-doping rules by a new World Anti-Doping Agency deadline of 2 May.
Athletics: Olympic and double world hammer champion Tatyana Beloborodova (nee Lysenko) has become the latest athlete from Russia to be suspended for testing positive for a banned substance.
Badminton: Badminton world number two Kento Momota of Japan will miss the Rio Olympics after being suspended by his national badminton federation for gambling at an illegal casino in Tokyo.
Chris and Gabby Adcock and British number one men’s singles player Rajiv Ouseph both lost in the quarter-finals of the Malaysia Open. Lee Chong Wei beat world number one Chen Long in the men’s final.
Cycling – road: Britain’s Ian Stannard was third in the iconic Paris-Roubaix one-day classic. Australian Mathew Hayman edged out four-time winner Tom Boonen of Belgium by a bike length as Stannard became only the third Briton ever to make the podium in the prestigious race.
Equestrian: William Fox-Pitt was reported to be “absolutely fine” after falling at the Weston Horse Trials. Fox-Pitt suffered a serious head injury last year but his wife Alice tweeted that he was “relieved to get the first fall since his accident over with and be none the worse”.
Golf: Gold medal-winning golfers at the Olympic Games in Rio will win exemptions to next year’s majors.
Handball: Denmark, Croatia, Slovenia, Tunisia, Poland and Sweden clinched the final six men’s Olympic spots. Sweden earned their place after beating Spain, who will be missing an Olympic handball event for the first time in 40 years.
Judo: Ashley McKenzie and Colin Oates head a 13-strong GB squad for the European Judo Championships, the last major championship before Rio, which take place in Kazan later this month.
Rugby Sevens: Australia’s women edged a step closer to the women’s World Series title by winning the event in Atlanta, their third consecutive victory of the season. England’s women finished third.
Fiji extended their slender lead in the overall men’s standings by beating New Zealand in the final in Hong Kong.
Great Britain will compete in a series of international sevens tournaments in preparation for Rio. Two men’s teams will enter tournaments in Moscow, Exeter, Gdynia and London in June and July, with the women’s sides competing in Kazan and Tignes.
Swimming: Kosuke Kitajima, the most decorated breaststroker of all time, has retired after failing to automatically qualify for a fifth Japanese Olympic team.
Meanwhile, 35-year-old Australian freestyler Grant Hackett will also be absent from Rio after the three-time Olympic champion failed to qualify for the Australian team at their trials.
Tickets: Brazil’s new sports minister, Ricardo Leyser, says the government is considering buying up unsold tickets for the Rio Games and giving them away to schoolchildren.
Taekwondo: World champion Bianca Walkden and Mahama Cho both won gold at the President’s Cup in Bonn. Walkden dropped only three points in her four contests on her way to the +73kg title, while Cho overcame a virus to win heavyweight gold.
Water polo: Hungary, Italy, Spain and France clinched the final four spots in the men’s Olympic water polo at the qualification tournament in Italy.
Weightlifting: The IOC said improvements were needed but that overall it was satisfied with the Olympic weightlifting test event that took place in Rio last week.