Hayley Simmonds won the first cycling medal for Team GB on day five at the European Games in Minsk with a brilliant bronze in the women’s time trial.
Setting off 13th in a field of 29 riders, Simmonds rode a spectacular race finishing in a time of 37.44.57 and on finishing her race sat in second place. Teammate Alice Barnes set off a short while later and came home just 81 seconds behind Simmonds.
The last rider in the race, Chantal Blaak from the Netherlands then stormed across the line in 37.32.44 to knock Barnes off the podium and push Simmonds into third place. Marlen Reusser from Switzerland taking the gold.
Speaking after the race Simmonds said: “It feels really good, I’m really happy. I get really bad race nerves and anxiety so I just tried to keep myself calm and think back to how I felt at the Commonwealth Games because I managed to keep it under wraps there and come back with a bronze medal.
“I thought I might clinch the silver but to be honest I’m just really happy to get a medal, it was a really strong competition. I’m so proud to be here representing Team GB and I really wanted to add my name and cycling to the medal board in team HQ.”
Team GB enjoyed a good day at the boxing with Calum French (4-1), Luke McCormack (3-2), Ben Whitaker (5-0) and Chev Clarke (5-0) all winning through but Aqeel Ahmed lost on split decision (3-2).
Out at the regatta course Tom Lusty powered his way into today’s men’s K1 1000m final after a gruelling day in baking temperatures out on the course. He had to navigate the heats and then put in a superb semi-final race placing third to qualify for the final.
Lusty was pleased with his day’s work and said: “It’s my first major Games as a member of Team GB and I’m really excited to get back on the water and see what I can do against some of the best guys in Europe. It was a tough day trying to balance the two races in the heat, plus trying to back it up in the semi-final. It was about trying to conserve as much energy in the heat and get through it as best we can.”
In the women’s C2 500m Chloe Bracewell and Katie Reid had to contend with a delay and a lane change in their semi-final and dealt with it superbly to place second and reach Thursday’s final. Like Lusty, the pair had to get through an earlier heat and did well to perform so well in hot conditions.
Elsewhere, Corey Walkes put in a excellent senior debut performance in the individual trampoline competition at Minsk Arena. Corey delivered two excellent qualifying routines to finish in 10th place with a score of 107.050 sadly just missing out on a final place.
Over at the badminton, it was another clean sweep for Team GB with all players winning their second matches in the group stage.
The Team GB aerobic group – Kate Donelly, Isidora Vucicevic, Renee Augier, Niamh Keane and Rhys Williams impressed with their energetic and entertaining routine scoring 19.416 points and placing them seventh in their competition
There were mixed emotions in archery as teammates Sarah Bettles and Bryony Pitman came up against each other in the last eight after Pitman defeated Ardita Zejnullahu from Kosovo (6-0). Despite Pitman taking a 4-0 lead, Bettles battled back and eventually ran out a 6-4 winner.
Kristian Callaghan and Sam Gowin were underway in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol competition at the Sporting Club Shooting Centre, with Callaghan ranked 15th and Gowin 20th in a 22-strong field.
Team GB in action today:
Archery: Sarah Bettles and Naomi Folkard in the last eight
Badminton: Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge (men’s doubles), Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith (women’s doubles), Chloe Birch, Kirsty Gilmour and Toby Penty (singles)
Boxing: Galal Yafai (-52kg), Peter McGrail (-56kg), Calum French (-60kg), Luke McCormack (-64kg), Pat McCormack (-69kg), Lauren Price (-75kg), Ben Whitaker (-81kg)
Canoe sprint: Tom Lusty (K1 1000m final), Afton Fitzhenry (C1 200m heats and semi-finals)
Shooting: Amber Hill, Elena Allen, Ben Llewellin and Jeremy Bird (skeet qualifications), Kristian Callaghan and Sam Gowin (men’s 25m rapid fire pistol)
Courtesy of Team GB