Countdown to Rio 2016: Jessica Ennis-Hill records her best total since London

Jessica Ennis-Hill
Jessica Ennis-Hill believes she will have to improve on her weekend score of 6,733 points to retain her Olympic title in Rio

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ENNIS-HILL REIGNS AMID THE THUNDERSTORMS

Athletics: Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill said she feels "less pressure" than usual after defying the heavy rain and thunder to record her highest heptathlon score since winning gold in 2012.

A personal best of 6.63m in the long jump helped Ennis-Hill to a total of 6,733 points in Germany - more than when she won the world title last year and just 32 behind current world leader Brianne Theisen-Eaton.

James Dasaolu won a closely-fought 100m in 9.93 seconds at the British Championships in Birmingham.

Adam Gemili and Dina Asher-Smith won the 200m titles to also confirm their place in Rio, while Matthew Hudson-Smith won the 400m in a European leading time of 44.88 seconds.

HEATH ON FIRE

Canoe sprint: British pair Liam Heath and Jessica Walker earned gold and silver medals respectively in the kayak singles 200m races at the European Championships in Moscow.

Heath won by almost half a second from Sweden's Petter Menning, to add to his gold and bronze medals from this season's World Cup races.

He will also compete in the kayak doubles in Rio, having won Olympic bronze in that event four years ago, but he and partner Jon Schofield opted not to enter the weekend's competition.

Walker missed out on gold by just 0.148 seconds in the women's event, won by Lasma Liepa of Turkey.

SEVENTH HEAVEN FOR CHAMPIONS

Hockey: Argentina's women sealed a record seventh Champions Trophy title with a 2-1 victory against Olympic gold medallists the Netherlands in London.

The United States beat Australia for bronze, while Alex Danson scored a hat-trick as Great Britain defeated New Zealand 4-3 to finish fifth.

The British team had finished bottom of the pool stage without a win, and head coach Danny Kerry admitted "harsh words" were spoken after a 4-1 defeat by Australia on Saturday.

British selectors will reveal on Tuesday the 16 men and 16 women who have been selected for the Olympic hockey squads.

Lutalo Muhammad, Jade Jones, Bianca Walkden and Mahama Cho
The British taekwondo team for the Olympics (from left to right) - Lutalo Muhammad, Jade Jones, Bianca Walkden and Mahama Cho

NEWS IN BRIEF

Badminton:Husband-and-wife mixed doubles pair Chris and Gabby Adcock head the eight-strong Great Britain team announced for the Olympics.

Doping: Rio's anti-doping laboratory has been suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency just six weeks before the Olympic Games because it fails to comply with international standards.

Equestrian (show jumping): Great Britain finished a disappointing eighth in their final run-out before Rio selection. The British quartet of Ben Maher, Jessica Mendoza, Robert Whitaker and Joe Clee faded badly in the second round of the Nations Cup, won by the Netherlands in Rotterdam.

Fencing: The GB men's foil team beat France to win bronze at the European Championships in Torun, Poland. The British team comprised the fencers who will be going to Rio - James-Andrew Davis, Laurence Halsted, Richard Kruse and Marcus Mepstead. Russia beat Italy to take gold.

Golf: South Africa's top-ranked player Branden Grace has become the latest player to state he will not compete at the Rio Olympics due to concerns over the Zika virus. Rory McIlroy pulled out last week, while world number one Jason Day will consult with his family before making a decision.

Road cycling: Olympic champion Dani King may appeal against British Cycling's decision not to select her for the Rio Games. The 2012 track gold medallist is the second-highest British rider in the world standings but Emma Pooley and Nikki Harris have been chosen instead to support lead rider Lizzie Armitstead.

Rowing: Olympic champion Katherine Grainger and double scull partner Vicky Thornley have been officially selected for the British team for Rio. Alan Sinclair and Stewart Innes have also been added to the squad in the men's pair.

Rugby Sevens: Spain's women have emulated the men by earning the final qualifying spot for the Rio Olympics, defeating Russia 19-12 in the final in Dublin. Ireland lost to the Russians in the semi-finals.

Shooting: Britain's Kenny Parr, who has not been selected for the British Olympic team, won a silver medal in the 50m rifle prone at the fourth leg of the World Cup in the Azerbaijan capital, Baku.

Taekwondo: The four-strong British team announced last week has been challenged by GB Taekwondo performance director Gary Hall "to surpass" the success of London 2012, when Jade Jones won gold and Lutalo Muhammad earned a bronze medal. The pair will be joined in Rio by world champion Bianca Walkden and Mahama Cho.

Water polo: World and European champions Serbia won the men's World League title for the fourth successive year after overcoming the United States in the final.

Chris Froome
Chris Froome begins the defence of his Tour de France title this week

THIS WEEK'S EVENTS

Athletics: The ultra-competitive US Olympic trials take place in Eugene, Oregon (1-10 July). The top three finishers qualify for Rio, which means for some events - such as the women's 100m hurdles where America have the five fastest women in the world this year - potential Rio medallists may not even qualify.

Mountain bike: The World Championships take place in Nové Mesto, Czech Republic (28 June-3 July). Switzerland's Nino Schurter and France's Pauline Ferrand-Prevot are the reigning champions. Ferrand-Prevot's win last year was particularly eye-catching - it meant she held the world titles in three different cycling disciplines.

Road cycling: Britain's Chris Froome is bidding for Tour de France and Olympic glory this summer. The first half of that twin goal begins in Mont Saint-Michel on Saturday when the most famous three-week stage in the world kicks off. Defending champion Froome will attempt to win a third Tour, fresh from warming up in style at the Criterium du Dauphine earlier this month.

Swimming: The USA Olympic trials take place in Omah featuring 22-time Olympic medallist Michael Phelps who has come out of retirement since London 2012.

Tennis: Wimbledon fortnight is under way, concluding - weather permitting - with the finals weekend on 9 and 10 July. Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams are the defending champions in the respective men's and ladies' singles.

Triathlon: The World Series heads to Stockholm on 2 and 3 July, with Britain's Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee looking for a repeat of his dominant victory at the last round in Leeds. The British women's representatives include Rio-bound trio Helen Jenkins, Non Stanford and Vicky Holland.