GB hockey players
GB hockey players celebrate their overtime winner against Croatia - see below. Pic via Team GB hockey.

Olympic links: 14 April, 2015


Shanaze Reade returning to GB track cycling, Paris 2024 bid moves closer, French railway demands action against cyclists in safety barrier dodge, IOC launches corruption hotline, swimmers ‘mend mental scars’ at GB swimming nationals in Olympic pool, Phelps in five events on suspension comeback, Tokyo airport unveils running-track design, ‘shambolic’ 10km run turns into 13km.

2024 Summer Olympics

Paris city council said ‘yes’ to further preparations for a 2024 bid yesterday, although the deal is not done yet.

Here’s a summary of who’s in and who’s out when it comes to 2024 Olympic bids. A minor development on the Hamburg bid: it will include the city of Kiel as the sailing venue.


A 10km run in Bournemouth accidentally turned into 13km following a marshalling error:

Bournemouth council, which runs the event, said it was investigating what happened to the marshal who should have directed runners at a turning point.

Runners were said to be “in tears” while one described the event’s organisation as “shambolic”.

Hayley James, who is four months pregnant and from Poole, said: “To have a race of that scale with only one marshal on a point is inexcusable.

“We saw loads of people walking at the end, some were in tears, I felt so sorry for them – I felt like crying at the 10km mark.”

Andy Isaac, from Bournemouth, said the event was “mayhem” with one point where an elderly woman managed to drive on to the route and was flashing her lights at oncoming runners.

Baku 2015

“The situation is a mess.” Breaking down the forthcoming European Games, European Sports Championship and other events.


British Lionhearts will compete at the Copper Box for the first time this week as they face Cuba in the World Series.


Eve Muirhead’s rink won the Players’ Championship in Toronto.


Three-time BMX world champion Shanaze Reade has returned to the GB track cycling team.

The French state railway, SNCF, wants police action against cyclists in the Paris-Roubaix who dodged a safety barrier to cross the tracks, just seconds before a high-speed train arrived:

“Millions of television viewers saw live this extremely serious and irresponsible action which could have been tragic,” said SNCF.

“A few seconds later, a TGV ran on this line and could have hit the peloton.”

The barriers went down while the peloton was approaching at about 37mph.

SNCF spokesman Christophe Piednoel said the train and the riders, who were 10 minutes ahead of schedule because of a strong tail wind, were not supposed to arrive at the crossing at the same time.

Some riders managed to go through, but a police motorcycle stopped others in the 151-mile race.


Athletics Kenya has suspended two agencies for six months while it investigates a spate of doping cases involving home athletes.

Figure skating

Gracie Gold will spend her off-season learning new jumps, including a triple Axel and quadruple Salchow.


Full Twist’s preview: everything you need to know about the European championships, which begin tomorrow in Montpellier.

Hockey (ice)

Britain’s men won their opening game in Division 1B of the world championships in Eindhoven, beating Croatia 3-2 in overtime.

Rugby sevens

I found this to be a very interesting post from Fiji men’s coach Ben Ryan about the philosophy and scientific approaches behind his team, including recent changes they’ve made that move away from some of the techniques being used by rivals.


“A chance for mental scars to be mended.” British swimmers prepare for their national championships inside London’s Olympic pool, scene of much British disappointment in 2012. There’s also a preview with Jazz Carlin here, and a look at how the “tables have turned” for Adam Peaty, who says the hunter has become the hunted in his case.

Meanwhile, Alicia Coutts deals with missing the Australian team for this year’s world championships:

There’s been speculation Coutts would retire, given she missed out on the worlds and has recently struggled with injury, but coach John Fowlie said she would be back training on Monday with Rio the goal.

The Canberra-based swimmer’s haul of five medals at the London Olympics in 2012 – one gold, three silver and a bronze – put her alongside Ian Thorpe and Shane Gould for Australia’s biggest individual haul of medals at a single Olympics.

Fowlie said it was an exciting time for Australian swimming, highlighted by Coutts missing out on the worlds in Russia in July. The 27-year-old finished third in the women’s 100-metre butterfly at the Australian national championships earlier this month, but Fowlie said she posted a time that put her in the top-eight in the world.

Coutts tore her labrum three months ago and Fowlie said it was a remarkable effort just to compete at the nationals, let alone post such a competitive time. He said missing out on the worlds meant she could now focus on next year’s Olympic selection trials and expected her to be in peak condition to push for a spot at Rio.

“Looking at the bigger picture for Alicia, this allows her more time to keep progressing now and focus on a 12-month preparation to Olympic trials and a 16-month preparation until the Olympics,” Fowlie said. “In some ways it’s a bit of a blessing to give her some more time to get ready for the Olympics.

“It’s a positive thing for the country that we’ve got two young girls [Emma McKeon and Madeline Groves] that can get up and improve on the time that it took [Coutts] to win the [100m fly] last year.”

Michael Phelps is entered in five events for his return from a six-month suspension, at an Arena Pro Swim Series meet in Mesa, Arizona. It begins today.


Brazil’s former UFC champion Anderson Silva has reportedly reiterated his desire to compete in taekwondo at Rio 2016, despite two failed drugs tests in UFC.

TOkyo 2020

Japan’s Narita Airport has unveiled a new “running track” design.


Other news

The IOC has launched a ‘hotline’ to report corruption and match-fixing:

Callers can report suspicious approaches or activities related to fixing and manipulation of competitions or violations of the IOC ethics code, including financial misconduct.

The move was announced at an international summit meeting on sports integrity that was held in Lausanne and chaired by IOC President Thomas Bach.

“The ultimate goal of all this is to protect the clean athletes and to give them, as far as we can, fair competition,” Bach said.

The conference urged governments to sign the Council of Europe convention against match-fixing and strengthen the role of “sports integrity officers” within sports organizations.

“When it comes to the fight against manipulation and related corruption, sport needs the help and cooperation of governments and governmental authorities and other stakeholders much more than in any other area,” Bach said.