Tag Archives: blake

England and Italy fight for Sheffield United striker Diego de Girolamo

England face fight with Italy for the future of United, City and Arsenal target De Girolamo

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UPDATED:

08:18 GMT, 20 December 2012

England are locked in a battle Italy over the future of one of Europe's most talented youngsters.

Sheffield United striker Diego de Girolamo was born in Chesterfield, but qualifies for the Azzurri through his father, who enjoy a top flight career in Italy with Napoli.

The 17-year-old was watched closely by the likes of Arsenal and the two Manchester teams last season after some show-stopping performances for Sheffield United Under 18s.

Pedigree: Blades striker Diego de Girolamo is wanted by England and Italy

Pedigree: Blades striker Diego de Girolamo is wanted by England and Italy

Talks planned: Noel Blake

Talks planned: Noel Blake

However, despite firm interest from some of the country's biggest clubs, De Girolamo signed a three-year professional contract at Bramall Lane.

And now he has another big decision to make with England U18s coach Noel Blake and Italian counterpart Alberigo Evani both seeking talks

A source told the Sun: 'Italy believe they are favourites to persuade Diego to play for them and are confident of winning the battle for his allegiance.

'They have some U18 games coming up shortly and they could force the issue by calling him up.'

De Girolamo took the latest step in his career when he was handed a first-team debut in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

The situation is similar to that of Schalke midfielder Lewis Holtby, who Sportsmail revealed two years ago had slipped under England's radar. The talented playmaker was eligible for the Three Lions through his father, but was picked first for Germany, the country of his birth.

Andre Villas-Boas in funny pose on touchline

AVBeast! Was Spurs boss firing up his men with Olympic star Blake's growl during Everton defeat

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UPDATED:

20:13 GMT, 9 December 2012

Andre Villas-Boas was spotted on the sidelines in a strange pose as he tried to inspire his Tottenham side against Everton.

With a grimace on his face and hands outstretched, the Portuguese boss was animated on the touchline.

Wild: Andre Villas-Boas strikes a funny pose, similar to that of Yohan Blake or Tommy Cooper (below)

Wild: Andre Villas-Boas strikes a funny pose, similar to that of Yohan Blake or Tommy Cooper (below)

Yohan Blake

Tommy Cooper

Maybe he was trying to replicate sprinter Yohan's Blake's 'beast' pose to scare his team into action

Or perhaps he was attempting to conjure some more fire in his Tottenham side, a-la magician Tommy Cooper.

But whatever he was trying, it didn't work as Everton ended up winning with two late goals.

Yohan Blake breaks car window as he hits cricket six

Sprint for cover: Olympics star Blake turns his hand to cricket… and ends up smashing car window!

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UPDATED:

13:06 GMT, 18 September 2012

If you thought Yohan Blake’s sole purpose in life was to wait for Usain Bolt to retire and take over the throne of sprint king, then think again.

The Jamaican took silver medal in the 100m and 200m behind his compatriot at London 2012 but he also has another passion in life, playing cricket – and he’s not too bad either.

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Oops: Yohan Blake hit a six... but in doing so damaged the car below

Oops: Yohan Blake hit a six… but in doing so damaged the car below

Oops: Smashed window of the car

In his first match since the Olympics,
Blake featured for Bartley XI in a Twenty20 game as they defeated
Correctional Services by 36 runs at the Prison Oval in Jamaica last
weekend.

Blake batted at five and scored 20 off 21 balls before being stumped on the last ball of the innings trying to dance down the wicket to hit a six.

It’s just as well he missed because an earlier shot he sent over the boundary not only cleared the ground but unfortunately smashed the rear view window of a parked car.

Speaking after the game, Blake explained that he was willing to discuss the cost of the damage with the owner while also commenting on the match where he opened the bowling for his side.

Start at 4:25 for Blake's six

Blake said: ‘I was a bit nervous as I haven’t batted in a while but I just had to play myself in and with 20 off 21 balls that’s what I did today.

‘The owner of the car said ‘that’s just cricket’ and I said ‘you know if anything, we can always talk’, it was a wonderful six but I know the owner of the car, he’s a good guy.

‘I’m working on the bowling, I start off
well but I tend to lose concentration later on. The skipper made me
change ends which I didn’t like but I go with it because I don’t want to
go against what the captain says.’

So serious is Blake on his cricket, he claimed he wants to quit the track in six years so he can play more of the sport.

Big hitter: Blake was good with the bat

Big hitter: Blake was good with the bat

The 22-year-old was also lost for words trying to describe the honour of ringing the bell at Lord’s last month in the third test between England and South Africa.

‘With this hard training in track and
field, I know that cricket training is not that hard and I can make the
team and it is my first love,’ Blake said. ‘I want to finish this
(athletics) as early as possible, so I can play my cricket, like
somewhere around 30, 29, 28, in that region.

‘To
be the first non-cricketer to ring the bell at Lord’s, the greatest
sports ground in the world, with two top teams and get a standing
ovation from the crowd, words cannot explain how I felt.’

Blake interview after the match

Blake’s first target would be to travel to Australia and play in the Twenty20 Big Bash League along with Bolt, who also has eyes on appearing for Manchester United.

He added: ‘Usain and I said let’s go to Australia and play some cricket, let’s check out the Big Bash and see what it is all about.

‘I know those guys are really quick, but I am always ready and I am always playing cricket. I have my bowling machine and my batting machine at home, so I have been practising and getting ready for that.’

Wales 0 Belgium 2: James Collins the villain

Wales 0 Belgium 2: Collins the villain again as Kompany and Vertonghen slay hosts

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UPDATED:

22:47 GMT, 7 September 2012

James Collins's first-half sending off undermined the best efforts of a weakened Wales side, yet he was absolved of any blame by manager Chris Coleman.

The West Ham defender was dismissed for a lunge on right-back Guillaume Gillet as Group A favourites Belgium ended a dispiriting week for Coleman on a sour note.

The centre half saw red after horribly mistiming a tackle near the halfway line after 25 minutes, leaving an already under-strength team at the mercy of their highly-rated opponents.

Thunderous: Vincent Kompany (left) powers his header home

Thunderous: Vincent Kompany (left) powers his header home

Take that: Jan Vertonghen smashes in the second goal

Take that: Jan Vertonghen smashes in the second goal

MATCH FACTS

Wales (4-1-4-1): Myhill 6; Matthews 7, Collins 4, Blake 7, Gunter 7; A Williams 7; Church 6 (Robson-Kanu, 71min, 6), Edwards 6 (King, 79), Ramsey 6, Bale 8; Morison 6 (Vokes 72, 6)

Booked: Williams, Vokes.

Sent off: Collins.

Belgium (4-1-4-1): Courtois; 6, G Gillet 6, Kompany 8, Vermaelen 7, Vertonghen 6; Witsel 6; Hazard 6, Fellaini 5, Dembele 6 (De Bruyne, 46, 6), Mertens 6; Mirallas 6 (Lukaku, 46, 6)

Scorers: Kompany 42, Vertonghen 83

Booked: G Gillet, Vertoghen.

Man of the match: Gareth Bale.

Referee: Stefan Johannesson (Swe) 6.

Attendance: 18,000.

It was the latest gaffe in a dreadful
series of mistakes by Collins for his country. And he could have little
complaint when Swedish referee Stefan Johannesson ordered him off.

But Coleman jumped to Collins’s
defence. ‘I don’t think it was a red card,’ he said. ‘I’ve seen the
incident half-a-dozen times and maybe I’m biased but I think the referee
went on the reaction of the Belgium player on the floor. He got up and
finished the 90 minutes.

‘We can’t let players just run past
us. Sometimes as a defender you can’t help yourself. Even if it was
late, it wasn’t malicious. Maybe I’m old school, but I’ve seen more
dangerous tackles than that.’

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots countered
with ‘the referee had to give it’ and although the arguments raged
afterwards, there was little doubt it made a difficult job all the
harder for the hosts.

Agony: Guillaume Gillet writhes after being slide tackled by James Collins, who is sent off (below)

Agony: Guillaume Gillet writhes after being slide tackled by James Collins, who is sent off (below)

Off: Collins is dismissed

Annoyed: Collins stomps off

Coleman, already shorn of seven
players who could reasonably have expected to start, had to re-shuffle
his pack before kick-off when Joe Allen was struck down with a virus.

Wales, with Gareth Bale and Aaron
Ramsey outstanding, made a decent fist of the game before Collins’s
dismissal, even with their scratch side.

But thereafter it was only likely to
take one goal to swing the balance in Belgium’s favour. And the
breakthrough came four minutes before the interval.

Dries Mertens’s corner on the right was met at the near post by Vincent Kompany and his header flashed past Boaz Myhill.

Well done: Belgium celebrate with scorer Kompany

Well done: Belgium celebrate with scorer Kompany

Rivals: Aaron Ramsey gets to grips with Mousa Dembele

Rivals: Aaron Ramsey gets to grips with Mousa Dembele

After the interval, Wales were reduced
to raiding from deep using Bale’s energy. It took a fine stop from
Thibaut Courtois to prevent the Tottenham winger from finding the net
with a 30-yard free-kick. But that was as close as Wales came to
drawing level.

The match finished as a contest seven minutes from time when Aaron Ramsey was adjudged to have tripped Romelu Lukaku.

Jan Vertonghen with Dries Mertens on his back

Gareth Bale and Mertens

Contrasting fortunes: Club-mates Jan Vertonghen and Gareth Bale

‘It wasn’t a free-kick,’ said a frustrated Coleman, ‘Lukaku pulled back his leg to have a shot and caught Aaron.’

That did not seem to matter to Jan Vertonghen, who lashed a thunderous left-foot shot beyond Myhill from 25 yards.

In truth, it was only half-hearted
finishing that prevented a greater margin of victory. Yet that would
have been unfair on the 10 players who remained on the pitch in
Collins’s absence.

Tussle: Bale goes in on Dries Mertens

Tussle: Bale goes in on Dries Mertens

Eden Hazard

Mousa Dembele

Star names: Eden Hazard and Dembele featured for Belgium but neither were on top form

Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake upstaged by Aries Merritt at Brussels Diamond League meeting

Bolt and Blake upstaged by 110m heroics from Merritt at Diamond League final

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UPDATED:

19:51 GMT, 7 September 2012

Usain Bolt won his year’s final 100metres in the Diamond League final but was overshadowed by American Aries Merritt.

Bolt won in 9.86sec, modest by the world record holder’s standards, but Merritt beat the world 110m hurdles record by 0.07sec in 12.80. The margin is a country mile in a sprint and the biggest improvement in three decades.

Bolt said: 'Coming to this event I felt
so tired, I felt so drained. I just went through the motions. It was an
OK race, I did not lose so it is good.' Yohan Blake won the 200m in 19.54sec.

Bolt from the blue: The Jamaican superstar sprinter won and treated the fans to his customary celebration

Bolt from the blue: The Jamaican superstar sprinter won and treated the fans to his customary celebration

Bolt from the blue: The Jamaican superstar sprinter won and treated the fans to his customary celebration

Long jumper Chris Tomlinson had the 31,000 prize as Diamond League winner within his grasp and then let it slip.

A jump of 7.95m in the third round launched him into the lead for the season’s bonus.

Russian Alek Menkov had fouled his
first three attempts and in other competitions he would have missed the
cut but, with only eight starters, he was reprieved.

He
finally got his act together with a career-best leap of 8.29m while
Tomlinson improved only one centimetre and faded to fourth.

Easy, tiger: Blake cleaned up in the 200m after training partner Bolt took the 100m

Easy, tiger: Blake cleaned up in the 200m after training partner Bolt took the 100m

Easy, tiger: Blake cleaned up in the 200m after training partner Bolt took the 100m

Perri Shakes-Drayton finished second to Kaliese Spencer in the 400m hurdles.

Merritt told the BBC: 'I can't believe I ran that fast – I'm in shock. I
was focused on running under 13 for one last time to cap off a really
good season, and I obliterated it. When I crossed the line and saw the
time I was still in shock.

'I'm so happy I'm finally living up
to my potential after all this time with injuries and hamstring tears
and so many people telling me I should throw in the towel and get a
normal job.'

Usain Bolt finished his season by
winning the 100m in 9.86, ahead of fellow Jamaicans Nester Carter and
Kemar Bailey, but admitted fatigue was starting to be a big factor.

Centre stage: Merritt smashed the 110m hurdle record in Brussels

Centre stage: Merritt smashed the 110m hurdle record in Brussels

Bolt, who recovered from a shoddy start to lead home the field, said: 'I'm so tired, I just feel drained and I went through the motions pretty much – it was an okay race and I didn't lose so that's good.

'To go to the Olympics and push yourself drains you mentally because people are saying that maybe you'll lose. Coming to the end of the season, your level just goes way down.'

Bolt's compatriot and training partner Yohan Blake eased to victory in the 200m in a sparkling time of 19.54.

Final flourish: Shakes-Drayton had to settle for second in the 400m hurdles

Final flourish: Shakes-Drayton had to settle for second in the 400m hurdles

Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake win in Zurich

Bolt and Blake cruise to victory in Zurich as Jamaican duo set meeting records

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UPDATED:

20:23 GMT, 30 August 2012

Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt were once again the star attractions at a cold and drizzly Diamond League meeting in Zurich.

Jamaican Blake, double Olympic silver medallist at London in the sprints, benefited from a false start by American rival Tyson Gay – and subsequent disqualification – to win the 100 metres in a time of 9.76 seconds.

Stroll: Usain Bolt cruises to victory in the 200m in Zurich

Stroll: Usain Bolt cruises to victory in the 200m in Zurich

Winner again: Usain Bolt celebrates after winning the men's 200m at the Diamond League in Zurich

Winner again: Usain Bolt celebrates after winning the men's 200m at the Diamond League in Zurich

Compatriot Nesta Carter was a distant second in 9.95secs with Ryan Bailey of the United States third.

Bolt was then pushed hard by Jason Young in the 200m but eventually eased away over the last 50 metres to take the plaudits in 19.66s.

In front: Yohan Blake (left) stormed to victory in the 100m in Zurich

In front: Yohan Blake (left) stormed to victory in the 100m in Zurich

Yohan Blake celebrates

London 2012 Olympics Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake qualify for 200 metre final

It's the Bolt and Blake show again! Jamaican sprinters cruise into 200m final

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UPDATED:

19:31 GMT, 8 August 2012

Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake will go head-to-head in the 200 metre final on Thursday night after the Jamaica sprinters made light work of their semi-final heats.

More to follow…

Stroll in the park: Bolt eased in the final without breaking sweat

Stroll in the park: Bolt eased in the final without breaking sweat

Final countdown: Blake and Bolt will race for the 200m crown

Final countdown: Blake and Bolt will race for the 200m crown

LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS: Usain Bolt on his way to capital

Watch out London, Usain is coming… Bolt travels to capital as Jamaican superstar prepares for Games

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UPDATED:

10:56 GMT, 26 July 2012

On his way: Usain Bolt

On his way: Usain Bolt

Look who's on his way to the Olympic village.

Usain Bolt, the undoubted biggest star of these London Games, used his Twitter account on Thursday to tell the world he was on the way from Birmingham to the capital.

The defending 100m and 200m champion
has been training in Birmingham. There has been some talk of whether he
is properly fit, especially after he didn't show up to an open training
session on Tuesday.

The 100m heats take place on August 4, with the semi-finals and final on August 5.

At one stage, Bolt looked to be an overwhelming favourite, but Yohan Blake has proved to be a formidable rival this year.

Earlier this week, Bolt predicted he could run a time of 9.4 seconds, and hoped it would happen at the London Games.

'You can’t be sure when or where you can run a time like 9.4.


Pushing the limit: Bolt grimaces as his physio goes to work but coach Mills looks relaxed

Pushing the limit: Bolt grimaces as his physio goes to work but coach Mills looks relaxed

'But the major competitions are when I take it really seriously and shine through — that’s business time.

'It is impossible to run 9.2. The body isn’t made to go that fast no matter how hard you train, how good a shape you’re in or how good your technique.'

Unforgettable: Usain Bolt wins the 200m at the Beijing Olympics

Unforgettable: Usain Bolt wins the 200m at the Beijing Olympics

Bolt stunned the world at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, winning both the 100m and 200m titles with new world records.

He repeated the trick at the World Championships in Berlin a year later. At the 2011 World Championships, he won 200m gold, but was disqualified from the 100m after a false start.

London 2012 Olympics: Usain Bolt aiming to run 9.4secs

I'm ready to run 9.4s, says Bolt… but says that is the limit

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UPDATED:

08:53 GMT, 24 July 2012

Olympics 2012

Sprint king Usain Bolt is preparing to smash the world record once again by running 9.4 seconds – but says that is the limit.

His coach Glen Mills has always predicted Bolt will be at his very best by the time of his 26th birthday, which falls less than two weeks after the end of the Olympics on August 21.

Having set world records of 9.58s for the 100m and 19.19s for the 200m in winning golds at the 2009 World Championship in Berlin, Bolt still says there is room for improvement.

You can't see me: Bolt hides behind his hand

You can't see me: Bolt hides behind his hand

He told The Sun: 'You can’t be sure when or where you can run a time like 9.4.

'But the major competitions are when I take it really seriously and shine through — that’s business time.'

Fears have been raised over Bolt's fitness in the lead up to The Games and the threat posed by training partner Yohan Blake.

But the Jamacian remains confident of success, although he has set a limit on how fast he – or anyone can run – saying 9.4s is the fastest.

Lightening Bolt: Usain Bolt with his famous pose

Lightening Bolt: Usain Bolt with his famous pose

He added: 'It is impossible to run 9.2.

'The body isn’t made to go that fast no matter how hard you train, how good a shape you’re in or how good your technique.'

And Bolt claims his spirit and hunger for sprinting has remained the same since his school days and he claims that if he beats someone once, he'll never lose to them again.

He added: 'Once I’ve beaten you, you won’t beat me again.'

Rival: Yohan Blake won the World Championship 100m

Rival: Yohan Blake won the World Championship 100m

He applied it to races against his Jamaican rival Asafa Powell, and the American Tyson Gay.

Yes, he lost over 100m and 200m to Blake at the Jamaican trials but the big championships are what matters and where Bolt aims to produce his very best. Blake won gold in the 100m at the last world championships in Korea but Bolt was disqualified for a false start.

The world is waiting to see what happens when the two actually do go head-to-head in the big one.

London 2012 Olympics: Jessica Ennis and and Greg Rutherford need improvement

Jessica and Greg need to find a leap in form

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UPDATED:

21:01 GMT, 8 July 2012

It was not a great weekend for Britons who will be long jumping at the Olympic Games.

Jessica Ennis, who needs to leap at least 6.40 metres to be competitive in the heptathlon, had another poor outing at Loughborough, managing only 6.21m.

Leap of faith: Jessica Ennis needs to improve her long jump

Leap of faith: Jessica Ennis needs to improve her long jump

Admittedly it was into a headwind but the rest of her series was far worse.

Meanwhile in Madrid, Greg Rutherford, joint leader this year in the event, abandoned the competition after three attempts because of cramp.

His best at that point was only 7.81m with a lot of help from the wind, more than half a metre below his season's best.

'Not a great night,' he tweeted, admitting that his first jump was not even close to taking off from the board.

Sanchez agony

Olympic road race champion Samuel Sanchez's hopes of defending his title at London 2012 appear over after he broke his right hand and injured his left shoulder in a crash during the Tour de France on Sunday.

Ruled out: Samuel Sanchez injured his shoulder

Ruled out: Samuel Sanchez injured his shoulder

The Spaniard, 34, hurt during the eighth stage from Belfort to Porrentruy in Switzerland, immediately quit the Tour.

Gay hails Blake

Tyson Gay knows the 100m is more than just about beating 'the monster, the big dog' Usain Bolt.

'(Yohan) Blake is the favourite on time,' said the American after winning his first post-US Olympic trials race in Paris.

Backing: Tyson Gay (left) says Yohan Blake (right) should be favou8rite

Backing: Tyson Gay (left) says Yohan Blake (right) should be favou8rite

Backing: Tyson Gay (left) says Yohan Blake (right) should be favou8rite

Gay runs 100m against another Jamaican Asafa Powell in the Aviva Diamond League meeting in London on Friday.