Team GB’s women’s hockey defeats New Zealand to reach Olympic final

Great Britain were celebrating a first-ever Olympic hockey final on day 12 as their women’s side beat New Zealand 3-0 to set up a showdown for gold with the Netherlands.

Goals from Helen Richardson-Walsh and an Alex Danson double handed Danny Kerry’s side victory over the Black Sticks.

The side are now assured at least a silver, their third medal in the history of the Games, and an upgrade on the bronze they won four years ago at London 2012.

However they go looking for gold against a Netherlands side on Friday who will be bidding to complete a hat-trick of consecutive Olympic titles.

Catriona Matthew and Charley Hull welcomed women’s golf back on to the Olympic programme as they got their attempts to follow in teammate Justin Rose’s shoes off and running.

Matthew was in the second group to tee off and finished her round level par, while Hull was three-under par and sits three shots behind leader Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand.

Canoe sprint duo of Liam Heath and Jon Schofield qualified superbly for the final of the Men’s K2 200m as they comfortably won their semi-final on the Lagoa.

Heath and Schofield, who won bronze in the event at London 2012, finished their heat in third to secure a semi-final spot as they stepped off towards line in an effort to conserve energy.

It was in the semi-final that the Heath and Schofield really opened the throttles and their winning time of 31.899 seconds made them the fastest pair of both races.

Elsewhere in the women’s K1 500 event, Team GB’s Rachel Cawthorn put in two strong performances but her sixth place in the semi-finals means she will miss out on the A final and race the B final instead.

Rajiv Ouseph’s remarkable Rio 2016 adventure came to an end following a quarter-final defeat in straight sets to European champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.

But Ben Maher and Nick Skelton kept their showjumping medal hopes alive in Deodoro by securing qualification for the individual final.

Maher jumped clear on his stallion Tic Tac for the first time in Rio, picking up a single fault for a time penalty but progressing comfortably on nine faults overall from his three rounds.

Skelton also started the day on eight faults, and while he picked up another jump penalty and one time penalty on Big Star, they progressed on 13 faults.

And Tonia Couch’s second attempt to win Team GB’s first female diving medal at an Olympic Games started nicely as she finished fifth in the 10m platform preliminary.

Couch has seen teammate Jack Laugher win two medals – gold with synchro partner Chris Mears and silver individually – since opening her Games campaign in Rio.

The 27-year-old and Lois Toulson placed fifth in the women’s 10m synchro final the day after Tom Daley and Dan Goodfellow started the medal rush with bronze in the men’s equivalent.

However Couch is well placed to join in after advancing to the individual 10m platform semi-finals in fifth with a score of 332.80 – Britain looking to end 56 years of female hurt, although Sarah Barrow exited the competition.

Savannah Marshall fell agonisingly short of guaranteeing herself an Olympic medal at Rio 2016 after a quarter-final defeat to Nouchka Fontijn of the Netherlands.

Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark should have got their hands on women’s 470 gold in the sailing but were made to wait 24 hours due to the weather.

Elsewhere, Liam Phillips and Kyle Evans kicked off their Rio 2016 campaigns with the seeding race at the Olympic BMX Centre.

Triple Olympian and 2013 world champion Phillips finished tenth overall while Evans, who is making his Olympic debut in Rio, was 21st.

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