Round-up: Chris Froome is proof of London 2012 legacy
We bring you a summer sports round-up as Team GB continue their preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympics
Chris Froome is certainly proof of the legacy of 2012.
Twelve months ago he finished Tour de France runner-up behind Sir Bradley Wiggins and claimed time trial bronze at the Olympics.
Now he is feted as cycling’s new standard bearer after becoming the second consecutive British rider to win his sport’s most famous and most storied prize.
After leading the race for 13 days, Froome crossed the finish line on the Champs Elysees a cumulative four minutes and 20 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.
And he dedicated his victory to his late mother Jane, who died from cancer in 2008.
“Without her encouragement to follow my dreams, I’d probably be at home watching this event on TV,” he said.
“It’s a great shame she never got to come see the Tour, but I’m sure she’d be extremely proud if she were here.”
Geraint Thomas, the double Olympic team pursuit champion, completed the race despite fracturing his pelvis in the opening week.
He missed last year’s edition to focus on his London 2012 preparations – making crossing the line alongside team-mate Froome even more special.
“I missed that last year but this more than makes up for it,” he said.
“It was nice for all of us to come together, because it doesn’t happen everyday.
“When you are a kid you dream of riding the Tour and coming to Paris, but I never even thought that one day I would be part of a British team, with a British rider winning.”
British triathletes dominated the World Series race in Hamburg – recording their most successful ever performance, winning four of the six medals available.
Jonathan Brownlee narrowly bested older brother and Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee in a sprint finish to take the men’s race.
And Non Stanford just edged out team-mate Jodie Stimpson to claim second in the women’s race, won by Germany’s Anna Haug.
However, Great Britain failed to defend their mixed relay world title for the third straight year after Alistair Brownlee was penalised for an infringement during his leg and Stanford crashed heavily during her 6.6km bike ride. She spent the night in hospital and declared herself ‘very, very lucky’ the injury was not more serious.
Great Britain’s team for the athletics World Championships will be 61 strong – with many competing in their final event before Moscow at this week’s Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium.
Much pressure will fall on double Olympic champion Mo Farah, who last week produced a stunning performance to break the European 1500m record at the IAAF Diamond League in Monaco.
Farah – who will seek to defend his 5000m world title and upgrade his 10000m world silver next month – showed he was right on form with an attention-grabbing show.
He clocked 3:28.21 to finish second behind Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop, erasing Steve Cram’s 28-year old British best and dropping race specialists Seb Coe and Steve Ovett down to third and fourth on the all-time list.
“I’m in the shape of my life,” he said. “I need to back off a bit now I think, I’ve never been so happy.”
British athletes topped the podium at the European Junior Championships – winning nine golds, six silver and four bronze medals in Rieti.
It was their best-ever performance at the event with the highlight a Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake led 1-2-3 in the men’s 200m and nine medallists in a single session on the team’s own version of Super Saturday.
Elsewhere, Rebecca Gallantree and Alicia Blagg finished sixth in the 3m synchro final at the diving World Championships in Barcelona while Chris Mears and Jack Laugher failed to make the final of the 1m springboard.
“We’re happy with the placing,” said Gallantree. “That’s the best we’ve got a world event before and it qualifies up for the World Series next year because the top six qualify for that which is great.
Synchro swim pair Jenna Randall and Olivia Federici recorded their best ever finish in a global competition with eighth place in the technical duet.
“We were really focusing on the element execution and we wanted to do better than we did in prelims, especially with the crane element which is halfway through the routine,” said Randall.
“It felt really good and synchronised, we felt really as a unit in the water, which is fantastic. We haven’t really felt like that in a tech programme for many years, so it was a really good swim.”
Colin Oakes claimed silver at the judo Grand Slam event in Moscow – impressive considering he only returned from a shoulder injury last month. Brazil’s Charles Chibana edged him out in the final of the under-66kg event. Elsewhere, Olympic silver medallist Gemma Gibbons and Sarah Adlington won bronzes in their respective events.
He said: “It is nice to finally take a Grand Slam medal because it’s something I have worked on for my whole career.”
Great Britain’s taekwondo team – including Olympic champion Jade Jones and bronze medallist Lutalo Muhammad – failed to medal at the World Championships in Mexico.
Two years ago, in Korea, Britain ranked sixth on the overall medal table with a gold, two silvers and a bronze.
Jones and Michael Harvey were closest to earning medals but were defeated in the closing stages of their quarter-final bouts.
“I’m devastated as I really believed I was in tip-top shape to win,” said Jones.
“I’m gutted for the team as well as we’ve all trained really hard. The results haven’t been showing that but we will come back fighting.”
But British performance director Jan Bartu was happy with the performance of his modern pentathlon team at the European Championships.
Britain’s women missed out on the individual podium but won team and team relay gold, while the men’s squad claimed bronze in their team relay.
There were also fourth places in the men’s team and mixed relay events.
“We have had a successful European Championships,” said Bartu.
“It’s been a good stepping stone towards the World Championships at the end of August.
“We’ll now go back to Bath and regroup for a few days. The opposition is going to be really, really strong, so that leaves us with more work to do.”