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Olympics

Olympics (8)

Bolt: I'll never come back

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Published in Olympics
Monday, 14 August 2017 19:58

Athletics legend Usain Bolt says his career as a sprinter is definitely over.

The 30-year-old Jamaican took a last lap of honour at the London Stadium on Sunday night before telling the media that he was not having any second thoughts about retirement.

Thousands stayed behind after the final event of the World Championships so they could honour the greatest sprinter of all time.

And Bolt was presented with a section of the track from London 2012, the Olympics at which he won both the 100m and 200m, a feat he matched in 2008 and 2016.

Montages of his most famous moments played on the big screen before the 30-year-old circled the stadium to unrelenting applause, clapping the fans back in return.

He stopped briefly at the 100m and 200m marks and said: "I was saying goodbye to the fans and saying goodbye to my events also.

"These are my two events that I have dominated for years. I was saying goodbye to everything, I almost cried. It was close, but it didn't come.

"It's really sad that I have to walk away now."

There is no chance of a dramatic comeback, however.

"I've seen too many people retire and come back into the sport just to make it worse or to shame themselves," Bolt added

"I won't be one of those people."

Bolt's extraordinary career ended in disappointment, a bronze medal finish in the 100m followed by a dramatic collapse to the ground, caused by hamstring cramp, as he ran the final leg for Jamaica in the 4x100m relay,

He was helped to his feet and limped across the line but his legacy is not likely to be tarnished.

"For me I don't think one championship is going to change what I've done," said Bolt.

"I remember after losing the 100m someone said to me, 'Usain, no worries, Muhammad Ali lost his last fight also, so don't be stressed about that'.

"I've proven myself year in, year out, throughout my whole career."

Bolt's genial approach to life has always endeared him to his fans and, asked about his plans, he responded in typical fashion.

"The first thing I'm going to do is have some fun," said the eight-time Olympic gold medal winner.

"Have a party and have a drink. I need to chill."

Ohuruogu may miss Worlds

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Published in Olympics
Sunday, 02 July 2017 09:47

Christine Ohuruogu could miss next month's World Athletics Championships in London after failing to qualify for the women's 400m final at the British trials in Birmingham.

The 33-year-old former Olympic champion finished third in her heat in a time of 54.41 seconds, raising doubts over her ability to continue performing at the highest level.

The top two finishers this weekend will qualify automatically for London providing they meet the qualification time, with a third place granted at the discretion of the selectors.

But Ohuruogu, also a former double world champion, was so far adrift it would appear her best chance of figuring in London will be as part of the women's relay squad.

Ohuruogu had reversed an earlier retirement decision after last year's Rio Olympics, but indicated she would cut down her training regime as she targeted a place in London.

Her Birmingham disappointment comes two weeks after the news that she is set to become Britain's most decorated world medallist due to Russian athlete Anastasiya Kapachinskaya failing a drugs test.

The announcement is likely to result in Ohuruogu being given relay bronze for both the 2009 and 2011 World Championships, enabling her to move two clear of Mo Farah with eight career world medals to her name.

Bolt and Farah win in Ostrava

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Published in Olympics
Friday, 30 June 2017 20:58

Athletics greats Usain Bolt and Mo Farah were both victorious at the Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava on Wednesday night.

But Bolt was disappointed with his time, after he had secured a narrow victory in the Czech Republic.

The Jamaican recently suggested he would carry on competing after August's IAAF World Championships in London, but only for the remainder of this season.

And, after a slow start at the Mestsky Stadion, he produced his trademark second half surge to clock 10.06 seconds and beat Cuba's Yunier Perez, who clocked a personal best of 10.09.

The times were well short of the world lead of 9.82 set by Christian Coleman of the United States in Eugene, Oregon earlier this month.

"I'm not happy with the time," Bolt told the crowd after the race.

"I'm just getting into my running. I have some training to do to get some good execution.

"I'll be fine, no worries."

Britain's World and Olympic champion Farah triumphed in the 10,000m in 27mins 12.09secs.

Kenya's Mathew Kimeli led Farah as the pair reached the bell but the Brit responded down the back straight, overtaking Kimeli to take a commanding lead rounding the final bend.

And he then surged to the finish, with Kimeli second in 27:14.43.

In other events, Wayde van Niekerk beat Bolt's meeting record over 300m, setting the fastest time ever over the distance.

The South African won in 30.81, lowering Bolt's mark of 30.97 set in 2010.

It was also quicker than Michael Johnson's previous world best of 30.85, set in Pretoria in 2000, over a distance which is run irregularly.

Kenya's David Rudisha, the two-time 800m Olympic champion, was competing over 1000m and finished a disappointing fourth.

Rudisha led into the final 150m, but appeared laboured and was passed in the finishing straight by compatriot Nicholas Kipkoech, who won in 2:18.51.

Great Manchester Run to go ahead

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Published in Olympics
Thursday, 25 May 2017 13:23

The Great Manchester Run will go ahead on Sunday following a security consultation between Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council.

Manchester has been on high alert following the terrorist attack which killed 22 people and injured more than 50 others at the Manchester Arena on Monday night.

Thousands of athletes are expected to descend on the city for Europe's largest 10-kilometre race this weekend and officials have confirmed it will go ahead - as will the Great CityGames on Friday.

"The Great CityGames and Great Manchester Run are two of the real highlights of Manchester's sporting calendar," said Manchester City Council's executive member for culture and leisure, Luthfur Rahman.

"We know that thousands of Mancunians have been looking forward to taking part, or cheering the athletes on, so I am pleased and proud to confirm that these fantastic events will be held as planned this weekend.

"Manchester is a truly resilient city and we look forward to successfully hosting these great sporting events, with the support of Greater Manchester Police."

Organisers have warned that the route for the 10km race, as well as the half-marathon which will be held alongside the main event, could change from its planned route amid security concerns.

A statement, published on www.greatrun.org, said: "All event entrants will receive a detailed pre-event communication by email in the next 48 hours regarding plans for Sunday which may differ from those previously issued.

"All planned start times will remain as scheduled."

Ellington starts walking

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Published in Olympics
Friday, 12 May 2017 10:17

British sprinter James Ellington is walking again following injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident in January.

The 31-year-old and his training partner, Nigel Levine, were left with potential life changing injuries after being involved in a collision in Tenerife.

 Ellington, who had been targeting this summer's World Championships in London prior to the accident, sustained a broken tibia, fibula, a facial fracture and pelvic injuries.

In a post on Instagram, Ellington wrote: "Who said miracles don't exist, I'm walking again.

"I had this vision when I was banged up in intensive care and even when they said at this point I would be in a wheelchair."

Doha, Barcelona & London dreams

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Published in Olympics
Friday, 12 May 2017 10:15

A new campaign is upon Holly Bradshaw and she's been clocking up the miles.

A training camp in Barcelona in April and the salubrious surroundings of Doha on May 6 for the pole vaulter's first competition.

The 25-year-old Sky Academy Sports Scholar impressed with a leap of 4.55m in the Diamond League opener to just miss out on third spot, but her health and form bodes well for a busy season.

Here are Holly's latest thoughts as she builds up to a sizzling summer......

It was so nice being back competing - it has been eight months since I last competed so to get back in the competitive environment was so exciting again!

I had so much fun out there in Doha with the rest of the girls despite the challenging windy conditions. Pole vault is super complicated as it is so when you add another tricky variable like a head wind, although it's not ideal, it makes it all the more interesting.

I decided to compete from a short approach (12 steps) for my first meet of the year given it's quite early, as it only takes me six to eight weeks to be ready before a majors.

However, I wanted to get back competing sooner rather than later as it's what I love doing so I compromised and just decided to jump from short approach. I am really excited to get back into training for a month and head back to a full approach ready for the rest of the season.

 

This year is a very special year for any British athlete - a home World Championships doesn't come around all that often so I really want to take advantage of the British crowd, which is always amazing and obviously back in the Olympic stadium.

Some of my best career memories are jumping in the UK in front of a home crowd so I cannot wait for the London 2017 World Champs in August.

I am doing all I can to be ready and be in the best place possible so I can do my best to compete for medals against all the other brilliant girls in the world.

Training has been going exceptionally well for the last few months - my coach has got me in such a great place.

I am in the best physical and technical shape I have ever been which is super exciting. However, the challenge is staying healthy and so far this has been possible!

 

My main priorities in the next three months are to stay healthy and continue to build momentum and confidence through the season with the aim of peaking and being at my prime come August!

Before jumping in the Doha Diamond League, I had been on a training camp in Barcelona which was very successful.

I got some great training sessions done there which has set me up nicely for my upcoming meets!

I spent another week in Doha after the competition to get some good quality training done in the heat before returning to the UK to make my final preparations ahead of the main bulk of the 2017 outdoor season. I cannot wait!

Kipchoge misses two-hour attempt

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Published in Olympics
Monday, 08 May 2017 08:14

Reigning Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge narrowly failed in his attempt to complete the marathon under two hours on Saturday, finishing in a time of 2hr 00min 24sec.

The 32-year-old Kenyan's time, set on the Monza Formula 1 track, smashed the official mark of 2:02.57 set by fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in Berlin in 2014, but will not enter the record books largely due to a non-compliant system of pacemakers entering mid-race and drinks being given to runners via mopeds.

Eritrean half-marathon world-record holder Zersenay Tadese and Ethiopian two-time Boston Marathon winner Lelisa Desisa, the other two runners in the race, both dropped off the pace and were out of the running by the halfway mark.

Backed by a small army of scientists and helped by an ever-changing battalion of pacesetters, Kipchoge set a ferocious pace of 4min 34sec per mile, seven seconds quicker than the pace of Kimetto's existing world record.

Kipchoge started in promising fashion and was clocked at five seconds under the target time after 10 then 15 km, and was still two seconds inside the target at the 25 km mark.

But over the remaining third of the race, which began at 5.45am local time in slightly humid conditions, Kipchoge steadily began to fall behind pace.

He was clocked at over six seconds over the required pace at the 35km mark and, over the remaining kilometres, began to steadily trail his pacesetters before finishing just 25 seconds over the target.

Kipchoge's attempt comes 63 years to the day that Great Britain's Roger Bannister became the first person to break the four-minute mile, setting a time of 3min 59.4sec with pacemakers in Oxford on May 6 1954.

Sayers announces retirement

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Published in Olympics
Thursday, 04 May 2017 16:12

Triple Olympic javelin thrower Goldie Sayers has announced her retirement from the sport at the age of 34.

Sayers represented Team GB at the 2004 Athens Olympics, at Beijing in 2008 and at London 2012. The Cambridgeshire athlete is an 11-time British champion and also competed at five World Championships and three Commonwealth Games.

She finished fourth at the Beijing Olympics but re-testing of anti-doping samples - uncovering a doping violation by Russia's Mariya Abakumova - saw her elevated to third last year.

Sayers said: "I am proud to retire after a 20-year career in athletics as a three-time Olympian, British record holder, 11-time national champion and - hopefully - an Olympic medallist.

"I am also extremely privileged to have captained the record-breaking European team in 2014, and wish all my team-mates every success in the months and years ahead.

"I am very keen to help develop the sport in the UK and help youngsters advance in a highly technical event. I would love to help influence the influencers and get javelin throwing in the UK back up to levels we used to enjoy when I was a youngster.

"This can only happen through good coaching and leadership and I am keen to help develop existing coaches and find more of them."

British Athletics performance director Neil Black added "Goldie's javelin career has been inspirational.

"She is up there with the all-time greats of British throwing. She first broke the British junior javelin record in 2001 and continued to break British records throughout her career.

"Whilst today marks the end of Goldie's involvement in athletics as a competitor, I am glad she intends to remain active within the sport.

"Hopefully, at some point in the very near future, Goldie will be awarded the Olympic bronze medal she rightly deserves from Beijing, which will top off a fantastic athletics career."

The British Olympic Association has announced Sayers as Team GB's deputy chef de mission for the Gyor 2017 European Youth Olympic Festival.

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