In an Olympic year there are few better sights for British sports fans than to see their heroes and top medal hopes performing with distinction on a world stage. Last weekend offered a glimpse of what may lie ahead in Rio, as Andy Murray led Team GB to Davis Cup glory against Japan and global #Cycling titles were gloriously clinched by Sir Bradley Wiggins and Laura Trott.
Extended rubber against Nishikori
Murray put his avid followers through the wringer yet again in a tie-defining five-set and almost five-hour triumph over Kei Nishikori, before confirming his nation’s first-round success in Birmingham. After gleaning two points over the first two days of action, his priceless and exhausting victory ensured that Dan Evans would not need to play again to edge his country over the line.
Hectic summer for Murray
As reigning Olympics singles champion, Murray has promised a stern defence in 2016, yet the potential for a hectic summer now lies ahead. Not only can he look forward to Wimbledon and the possibility of doubling up in Brazil with his elder brother, Jamie – who he once again partnered to doubles victory in the Midlands – he now has a mouth-watering quarter-final in the Davis Cup looming.
Serbia away looks daunting
An away tie against Serbia looks likely to pit Murray against his nemesis Novak Djokovic. Murray and captain Leon Smith can begin plotting how to overcome the majesty of the world number one on his home soil in July. Not an impossible task but in all likelihood the best option would be to trust Dom Inglot to partner Jamie in the doubles, leaving Andy to focus on the singles. Even then the task ahead seems daunting, but that conundrum is for another day.
Wiggins and Cavendish back on top
Wiggins basked in the delirium inside the Lee Valley VeloPark as he partnered road race sprint specialist Mark Cavendish to a nail-biting Madison gold at the World Track Championships. Both Wiggins and sprint king ‘Cav’ may have now taken their final bows on a world stage inside the velodrome. If so, this was a wonderfully apt way for them to sign off in style, clawing back their lap deficit in the latter stages with a determined breakaway. With the lap gained back on their opponents, the sprint points they had accumulated earlier ensured their ultimate success.
Wiggins in, Cavendish uncertain
The 35-year-old knight of the realm may yet reproduce his golden standard from Sunday in South America, with team pursuit glory his likely target. Cavendish will have to wait before his summer plans can be finalised as the Madison is not an Olympic event, much to the Manx rider’s chagrin. His highly creditable sixth place in the men’s omnium may not yet be enough to make the plane for Rio. Britain has strength in depth in the event with Ed Clancy and Jon Dibben – who also claimed gold in the championships in the points race – also vying for the place.
Trott reigned supreme
Their compatriot Trott was a slightly more comfortable victor in the omnium, marking her out as a hot favourite come the Olympics. It was the second golden moment of the championships (she had won the scratch race earlier in the week) and third medal in total for Team GB’s cycling heroine.
Cycling team looking strong
For now though, the British bulldog spirit seems very much alive. GB topped the medal table in the cycling at the weekend, although in terms of Olympic events they would have been relegated to second behind Germany. There is still plenty for them to work on in the five months remaining before the Olympics, but the situation is far from the doom and gloom suggested by many observers over recent months. #Tennis #Games