Olympic Games - Team GB's countdown to Rio: Double gold

Their sports couldn't be more different but boxer Andrew Selby and slalom canoeist Fiona Pennie both won their European titles in equally impressive fashion.

Olympic Games - Team GB's countdown to Rio: Double gold

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Fiona Pennie

Selby became the first British boxer to defend a continental crown when he defeated Irish rival Michael Conlan to win flyweight gold in Minsk.

It was a fourth consecutive European medal for the 24-year old Welsh boxer, who lost in the quarter-finals at last year's Olympics.

In addition there were bronze medals for international newcomers Joe Joyce and Jack Bateson in the super heavyweight and light flyweight categories respectively.

Pennie had won three bronzes at European level in previous events but upgraded in style to win K1 gold - beating her nearest rival by nearly four seconds in Krakow.

She also joined forces with Lizzie Neave and Bethan Latham to win silver in the women's K1 team event, capping a memorable weekend in Belarus.

“I can't quite believe that I'm European champion," said Pennie, who made her Team GB debut in Beijing but missed selection to last year's London Games.

“This is my best result ever. I got the bronze last year and there's been silver at the worlds back in 2006, but this is my first title win, so I'm very, very pleased."

Ben Maher just edged out fellow Olympic team show jumping gold medallist Nick Skelton to secure a home win at the Global Champions Tour, the first major event staged at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park since last year's Games.

"I took every risk and you need to do that to get on the podium at this level," said Maher.

"I had nothing to lose and just went for it. The crowd was amazing, it was like being back at the Olympics."

Olympic time trial bronze medallist Chris Froome kept the prestigious Criterium du Dauphine in British hands to underline his Tour de France credentials.

The eight-stage race was won in 2011 and 2012 by Sir Bradley Wiggins, who won't defend his Tour title due to injury. In his absence Froome, runner-up to Wiggins last year, dominated nearest rival, Team Sky team-mate Richie Porte, by 58 seconds.

"This win is a massive achievement for me," he said.

"I was using the Dauphine as build up to the Tour de France, but to have come away with the victory here, I couldn’t have asked for any more, and to have my best friend in second place is the perfect scenario.

"I have won the Dauphine, and other races before, but the counter is back to zero when the Tour starts. There will be six to seven main contenders for overall victory."

New head coach Bobby Crutchley admitted his England hockey team need to find their scoring touch ahead of the forthcoming World League semi-finals after three straight friendly defeats in Belgium.

“It’s been a tough few days, but a good learning curve for all the guys out here," said captain and three-time Olympian Barry Middleton.

"We’ve played great hockey in patches but going forward we need to play consistently well for 70 minutes.

"It’s been great to get together as a squad properly for the first time and test ourselves against a side like Belgium, but we now need to take that forward and start winning.”

Britain's water polo team have a new interim head coach after Andrei Iosep was appointed to lead the men's squad for the second round of the European Championships qualification tournament.

Iosep, the most capped Romanian player of all-time, competed at last year's Olympics and will guide the British team for matches against France, Switzerland, Slovakia, Moldova and Denmark next month.

Fran Halsall and Joe Roebuck each won a hat-trick of titles at the SASA Grand Prix in Edinburgh as they continued their preparations for this month's national swimming championships in Sheffield.

Halsall was unstoppable in the sprint events, winning over 50m and 100m freestyle, in addition to the 50m butterfly - with all three times below the World Championship qualification standard.

Roebuck was equally impressive, dominating in both his specialty butterfly events over 100m and 200m and also taking the 200m medley title.

Elsewhere, Shara Proctor was the pick of the British athletes at the IAAF Diamond League in Rome - finishing fourth with a leap that was just four centimetres off her own 6.95m national record.

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