Tag Archives: bronze

Anthony Ogogo won his first professional fight

Olympic star Ogogo throws knockout blow in second round of professional debut

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

20:56 GMT, 27 April 2013

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UPDATED:

00:42 GMT, 28 April 2013

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Anthony Ogogo entered the ring to the wise words of Winston Churchill but was never forced to revert to the trenches as he started his professional career in blistering style.

The 24-year-old was the second member of Team GB to make his debut in the paid ranks having signed with American promoters Golden Boy last year.

And the middleweight made short work of his opponent Kieron Gray, stopping him in the second round after a straight right landed flush on the chin.

Jumping for joy: Anthony Ogogo celebrates knocking out Kieron Gray inside two rounds

Jumping for joy: Anthony Ogogo celebrates knocking out Kieron Gray inside two rounds

Ogogo won a bronze medal last summer
having given serious consideration to pulling out following shoulder
surgery and his mother's life-threatening illness.

Gray, 35, won his first five contests
as a professional but had lost his previous 14 as he settled into a
career as a journeyman.

Ogogo on the other hand can expect to
grace more iconic venues than Sheffield's Motorpoint Arena and will make
a quick turnaround on the undercard of Lee Purdy's challenge for Devon
Alexander's world welterweight title in Atlantic City on May 18.

Competent start: Ogogo uses his jab to good effect in the opening round against Gray

Competent start: Ogogo uses his jab to good effect in the opening round against Gray

Cameos in Las Vegas also await but the Lowestoft man had to first take care of the durable Gray.

Making his way from his dressing room
to the sound of Churchill's 'We shall fight on the beaches' speech from
1940, Ogogo's white shorts were trimmed with bronze in a nod to his
achievements in London.

Having already been hailed as a
potential cross-over star after a brief appearance on celebrity show
Splash and a regular slot as the face of Subway sandwiches, Ogogo was
given a rapturous reception by the Sheffield crowd.

And he was switched on from the first bell as he made a fast start, landing with a jab and right hook in the opening seconds.

Ended: Ogogo turns away after throwing the punch that sealed his debut victory

Ended: Ogogo turns away after throwing the punch that sealed his debut victory

Gray was content to box on the back foot in the face of fast hands from his younger opponent.

Despite his dominance, even Ogogo will have been surprised to have put Gray to the sword as comprehensively as he did.

The Shropshire man had only been
stopped twice previously but was sent crashing to the canvas after two
minutes of the second session before the contest was waved off by the
referee.

'That was great fun,' Ogogo said. 'The atmosphere was brilliant and I can't wait to get back out there. I love boxing!

'I'm not going to get carried away as I'm a million miles away from the top, but that was a statement of intent.'

Audley Harrison to fight Deontay Wilder on April 27 in Sheffield

Harrison confirms showdown with American Wilder on Khan undercard in Sheffield

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

18:51 GMT, 25 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:01 GMT, 25 March 2013

Audley Harrison has agreed to fight American heavyweight hope Deontay Wilder on April 27 in Sheffield.

The 41-year-old bounced back from a brutal defeat to David Price by winning Prizefighter for a second time last month.

But Wilder will prove to be an altogether different proposition having stopped every one of his 27 opponents to date.

A-Force: Audley Harrison will be back in action for the first time since winning Prizefighter in February

A-Force: Audley Harrison will be back in action for the first time since winning Prizefighter in February

Big stage: Deontay Wilder (right) was on the undercard of Amir Khan's win against Carlos Molina in December

Big stage: Deontay Wilder (right) was on the undercard of Amir Khan's win against Carlos Molina in December

Harrison confirmed on Twitter that he has accepted the fight at five weeks notice and expects to be added to the undercard of Amir Khan’s homecoming against Julio Diaz.

Wilder has long been groomed as America’s next world heavyweight champion but has been largely untested since turning professional more than four years ago.

The 27-year-old fought outside of the United States for the first time in January when beating Matthew Greer in Mexico and has never been past the fourth round of a fight.

Hailing from Alabama, he won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing despite having had just 30 amateur fights.

Homecoming: Khan will top the bill in Sheffield when he takes on Julio Diaz

Homecoming: Khan will top the bill in Sheffield when he takes on Julio Diaz

Harrison, meanwhile, still harbours hopes of winning a world title despite his defeats to Price and David Haye.

He earned plaudits for his performances in beating Claus Bertino, Martin Rogan and Derric Rossy at York Hall but will have his work cut out against Wilder.

Indeed, the pair sparred in preparation for Harrison’s fight with Price with the veteran admitting: ‘Deontay Wilder punches like a mule, and he’s fast. I had four weeks of him, and some days he was catching me with clean shots.’

TALE OF THE TAPE

Audley Harrison

Born: London
Age: 41
Height: 6’ 5 1/2”
Weight 234lb
Record 31(23)-6
Nickname: A-Force

Deontay Wilder

Born: Alabama
Age: 27
Height: 6’ 7”
Weight 240lb
Record 27(27)-0
Nickname: The Bronze Bomber

Amir Khan will fight in Britain for first time in two years against Julio Diaz

Khan will fight on British soil for first time in two years when he takes on Diaz

Olympic bronze medalist Anthony Ogogo and Khan's brother Haroon making their professional debuts on the undercard.

Track Cycling World Championships: Laura Trott looking to repeat Olympic omnium win over Sarah Hammer

Trott looking to repeat Olympic omnium win over dangerous American Hammer

Olympics bronze medallist Annette Edmondson fourth, just one point further back.

Trott is attempting to win an incredible sixth title at a major championships in the space of just 24 months.

Contender: Sarah Hammer, who Trott beat to the title at London 2012, leads the Brit by five points

Contender: Sarah Hammer, who Trott beat to the title at London 2012, leads the Brit by five points

She finished third in the flying lap before she came home 10th in the points race, leaving her needing to perform well in the elimination.

Trott, whose boyfriend Jason Kenny was dumped out of the sprint in disappointing fashion last night, duly won but Hammer was the last rider to go out.

Team GB"s cyclists win gold and silver medals in Rio Olympics 2018 preparations

Team GB's cyclists make a promising start to Rio preparations with bronze and silver medals

.

Two of the London Olympic-winning quartet – Ed Clancy and Steven Burke – were present in the squad which lost the world champion rainbow jerseys to Australia.

Over the moon: Great Britain's Becky James (left) and Vicky Williamson celebrate Bronze in the team sprint

Over the moon: Great Britain's Becky James (left) and Vicky Williamson celebrate Bronze in the team sprint

Silver service: The men's team pursuit pick up a second place

Silver service: The men's team pursuit pick up a second place

Clancy, Burke, 2012 world champion Andy Tennant and Sam Harrison, who won world bronze in 2011, qualified second fastest and were unable to overturn their seeding, finishing in four minutes 00.967 seconds, to their rivals' 3mins 56.751secs.

Australia led throughout the 16-lap final, even though Glenn O'Shea dropped out entering the final kilometre, leaving Alex Edmondson, Michael Hepburn and Alex Morgan to hold off Britain in the finale.

Clancy, who experimented with the team sprint earlier this winter before reverting to his usual discipline, said: 'It does hurt to lose to the Aussies, but it's an Olympic programme. It's bike racing, you can't win all the time.

'It's disappointing, but if you don't look at it so black and white there's a lot of positives.'

Clancy pointed to the absences of Geraint Thomas and Peter Kennaugh, focusing on their road careers with Team Sky after their Olympic glory, and the fact Britain finished fourth in Pruszkow in 2009, a year after winning gold in Beijing.

Vicky Williamson (bottom) and Becky James (top) pick up the bronze medal during the women's team sprint event

Vicky Williamson (bottom) and Becky James (top) pick up the bronze medal during the women's team sprint event

The quartet were not quite firing on all cylinders.

'We had at least one set of legs in there that weren't quite on it,' Clancy said.

'I'm not saying we're happy about coming second, but we're not in a bad place, that's for sure. If you look at where we were in Poland, we've done a hell of a lot better than we did there.'

While there was a sense of disappointment for Clancy and co, for James and Williamson there was joy.

The 19-year-old Williamson was a late replacement for Jess Varnish, who has a back injury, while James was fulfilling second-lap duties previously occupied by the now-retired Victoria Pendleton.

Sprint coach Iain Dyer says 21-year-old James, who pushed Olympic champion Anna Meares close for Commonwealth gold in 2010, is in the form of her life.

Warm up: After a magnificent medal haul at London 2012, Team GB will be hoping to show similar form at the Rio Olympics

Warm up: After a magnificent medal haul at London 2012, Team GB will be hoping to show similar form at the Rio Olympics

As if to prove it, James allowed a gap to open up by going up the banking coming into the changeover to allow her to accelerate into her lap.

The technique was devised in the last session of the Newport training camp ahead of travelling to Minsk.

James, who made up deficits in each of her rides, said: 'We just thought we'd try something new and because my form's come through quite nicely we wanted to get as much speed as possible off the lap.

'I'm just absolutely buzzing. I'm so shocked. I can't believe it, my first world medal.'

Williamson, who received text messages of support from Varnish in the build-up to Minsk, said: 'I'm gobsmacked. To come out with a bronze medal is just amazing.'

James will now ride in the 500 metres
time-trial tomorrow, the first of three individual events in which she
is targeting further success.

She added: 'Seeing the form I've got I'd really like to be up there this week. I'll give it my best shot.'

Pedal power: The Danish team competes during mens team pursuit qualifying race of the event in Minsk

Pedal power: The Danish team competes during mens team pursuit qualifying race of the event in Minsk

Kian Emadi competed in the corresponding men's event, the one-kilometre time-trial, placing an impressive fourth on his debut.

In an event removed from the Olympic programme following Sir Chris Hoy's win in Athens in 2004, Emadi clocked 1:01.756, with Francois Pervis of France winning in 1:00.221, New Zealand's Simon Van Velthooven second in 1.00.869 and Germany's Joachim Eilers third in 1:01.450.

Emadi's time was short of his personal best, set at altitude in Colombia, but he was content with his display.

The 20-year-old will now ride in the men's team sprint on day two alongside Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny, taking Hoy's man three slot in the three-lap event.

Emadi is confident of combining well with the Olympic champions.
He said: 'There's good signs in training. Everyone's stepping up and getting faster as the competition has come closer.'

Three more events take place tomorrow, including the women's team pursuit, featuring Olympic champions Laura Trott and Dani King, with Elinor Barker making up the trio.

Owain Doull is entered into the men's scratch race, with Burke entered in the 4km men's individual pursuit.

Stewart leaves British athletics under a cloud after coaching Mo Farah to gold

Stewart leaves British athletics under a cloud after coaching Farah to gold

Stewart was described by UKA as ‘a
vital cog in the machinery of British athletics for more than 20 years,
most notably as meeting director for the successful televised series
where Britain has built a reputation for hosting the best meetings in
the world, both indoors and outdoors’.

De Vos said last night: ‘Ian leaves us in great shape to take these events from strength to strength.

‘I’d like to thank him for his work and wish him well in his future career.’

Stewart was one of the world’s leading
distance runners during the late 1960s and mid-1970s. He won a 5,000m
bronze medal at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, adding to the European gold
he had captured three years earlier in Athens.

Nicole Cooke retires from cycling and attacks drug cheats

When Lance cries on Oprah spare a thought for those who walked away with shattered dreams: Golden girl Cooke slams drug cheats after retiring from cycling

.

Cooke had thought she could put an indifferent four years behind her and mount a defence of her title, but finished only 31st.

The time between Beijing and London
was marked by a spat with Armitstead at the 2011 World Championships,
when Cooke was accused of riding 'for herself', rather than the team.

The duo put that behind them before again being team-mates at last summer's Olympics.

Armitstead was among the first to pay
tribute to Cooke, writing on Twitter: 'Congratulations to Nicole Cooke
on a fantastic career!'

British Cycling president Brian Cookson said: 'There is no doubt that Nicole has been a pioneering force in women's cycling.

'British Cycling owes a huge debt of gratitude to her and wish her all the best.'

COOKE REPORT – A LIFE ON THE ROAD

Team-mate: Elizabeth Armitstead and Nicole Cooke

1983 – Born April 13, Swansea, Wales.

2000 – Wins gold medals in World Championship junior road races in France and Spain.

2001 – Continues that success with further wins in junior race and time-trial in Portugal.Awarded the Bidlake Memorial Prize, given for outstanding performance or contribution to the betterment of cycling.

2002 – Wins gold medal in women’s road race at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

2003 – Wins the women’s road race World Cup, the youngest to do so and the first Briton. Named BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year.

2004 – Becomes the youngest winner of the Giro d’Italia Femminile.

August – Finishes fifth in road race in the Athens Olympics.

2006 – Wins the bronze medal in the road race at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
September – Wins road race World Cup for the second time.

2008 – August – Wins gold medal in road race at the Beijing Olympics, Britain’s first medal of the Games.

September – Becomes first cyclist to win World Championships and Olympics in same year with victory in Varese, Italy.

2009: June – Wins Giro del Trentino, before triumphing in British Championships road race for the ninth time.

2010: June – Beaten into third place as Emma Pooley wins British Championships.

September – Fourth in World Championships road race.

October – Fifth in Commonwealth Games road race.

2011: June – Fourth in British Championships as Lizzie Armitstead wins.

July – Wins Giro D’Italia stage five.

September – Has a well-publicised spat with Armitstead, who was
nominated leader at World Championships but accused Cooke of riding 'for
herself'.

2012: June – Sixth at British Championships road race.

July – Finishes 31st in defence of her Olympic title as Armitstead (above) claims
Britain’s first medal of London 2012, a silver behind Marianne Vos of
Holland.

September – Finishes 60th as Vos wins the world title in Limburg, Holland.

2013: January 14 – Announces retirement.

Sportsmail"s Magnificent Seven, including Louis Smith and Tom Daley, come together for the final time

Thanks for being MAGNIFICENT! Sportsmail pays tribute to the seven athletes we have followed from 2005 to the 2012 Olympics

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UPDATED:

00:04 GMT, 28 December 2012

Seven years ago, Sportsmail began following seven young athletes as they set out on their journeys to try to reach the 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games in London.

Three of the original seven made it to the Games but two called time on their sporting careers before the start of this year. Their replacements, however, were both part of Team GB and Paralympics GB last summer.

It has been an enlightening experience, punctuated by extremes of success and disappointment, watching the development of these athletes' careers since 2005.

Recently, Sportsmail's Magnificent Seven met up for the final time and shared memories of their experiences.

Then and now: From left, Gemma Howell, Tom Daley, Louise Watkin, Sportsmail's Andy Hooper, Emily Pidgeon, Shanaze Reade and Louis Smith met up for one final time recently

Then and now: From left, Gemma Howell, Tom Daley, Louise Watkin, Sportsmail's Andy Hooper, Emily Pidgeon, Shanaze Reade and Louis Smith met up for one final time recently

As they were: The original Magnificent Seven lined up at Lord's, from left, Tom Daley, Louis Smith, Jean-Rene Badrick, Emily Pidgeon, Giles Scott, Rachael Latham and Shanaze Reade

As they were: The original Magnificent Seven lined up at Lord's, from left, Tom Daley, Louis Smith, Jean-Rene Badrick, Emily Pidgeon, Giles Scott, Rachael Latham and Shanaze Reade

Tom Daley, Diving, 18, from Plymouth

The youngest of the Magnificent Seven has become a superstar. Daley was selected for the Beijing Games aged just 14 after becoming a British and European champion in the 10-metre platform.

He added the world title in 2009, two Commonwealth golds (in the individual event and synchronised 10m platform) in 2010 and then won an emotional Olympic bronze medal in London, despite intense pressure and expectation and the passing of his father, Rob, in May 2011.

'When I look at some of the photos from 2005 I'm so small! It's crazy how much I've changed since then and what I've achieved in that time.

'Life's changed, too. In fact, it's stacked up to a whole new level since London. Going out anywhere, there are so many people who stop you and say, “Congratulations”.

'It's nice to feel appreciated and respected but it does feel weird that seven years of training were geared towards London 2012 and now it's been and gone.

Superstar: Tom Daley won a bronze medal in the men's 10m platform at the London Games

Superstar: Tom Daley won a bronze medal in the men's 10m platform at the London Games

In the spotlight: Daley (right) presented the Young Sports Personality of the Year award to Josef Craig (centre)

In the spotlight: Daley (right) presented the Young Sports Personality of the Year award to Josef Craig (centre)

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN…

The Magnificent Seven series originated in 2005 through Sportsmail selecting seven talented athletes to follow through to London 2012.

The National Lottery joined as partner in 2006 to promote their funding into the seven chosen athletes, along with over 1,200 other competitors, on their journey to the London 2012 Games.

National Lottery funding, originating directly from the Lottery-playing public across the UK, enables elite athletes to benefit from the world-class coaching, facilities and medical support, giving them every possible chance to succeed during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

As the nation's attention moves from the London 2012 Games to Rio 2016, The National Lottery will continue to invest in sports facilities, support staff and coaching, providing opportunities for future generations to succeed on an elite level.

No-one has contributed more to our athletes than National Lottery players, with more than 1,200 athletes having benefited from world-class coaching and support. www.national-lottery.co.uk/London2012

'I think 2012 changed the face of British sport but there was a bit of a crash after the Olympics when I thought, “I can't believe it's all over.” I'm slowly, gradually, building my way back up there.

'After the Games, I went on holiday with my family and then got two golds at the World Junior Championships: one in the 10-metre event and one in the 3m synchro with Jack Laugher. Then I went to Dubai with my friends and have been back at school catching up on my maths and Spanish A-levels. I want to get three A*s rather than three As.

'Rio in four years' time does seem a long way away, but there are also World Championships, European Championships and Commonwealth Games in between, so there's plenty to look forward to.

'I think in total I might make maybe four or five Olympic Games – depending on how diving moves on – but we'll get to Rio first. It's outdoors, which the Chinese don't like, and I love diving outdoors.'

Louise Watkin, Paralympic Swimming, 20, from Redhill (replaced Rachael Latham)

Latham, who was born with Erbs Palsy, which limits the use of her left arm, made two swimming finals at the Paralympic Games in Beijing.

She retired in 2010 due to injury but went on to become a Channel 4 presenter and was a Sportsmail columnist during the London Paralympics. Watkin, who has upper limb deficiency, won two Paralympic silvers and two bronzes in London.

Dazzling: Louise Watkin won four medals in the London Paralympic Games

Dazzling: Louise Watkin won four medals in the London Paralympic Games

'The Paralympics were amazing. I didn't want them to end. You could hear the crowd when you were under water in the Aquatics Centre. I came away with two medals from the individual events and two in the relays. It went brilliantly.

'In the past four years, the Paralympics has moved on so much. People are still talking about it now. It's nice so many people have got the Paralympics bug. 'I hope there will be more integration in the future. Come and watch us at the World Championships next year. Then hopefully I'll get my gold in Rio!'

Giles Scott, Sailing, 25, from Huntingdon

Scott was a world youth champion in the Laser class when he joined us in 2005 and became world champion in the Finn in 2011. The one major disappointment was missing out on London 2012.

Scott competes in the same class as Ben Ainslie and GB could only send one sailor. With Ainslie now retired, Rio 2016 cannot come soon enough.

Disappointed: Giles Scott missed out on the London Games as he was in the same division as gold medal winner Ben Ainslie

Disappointed: Giles Scott missed out on the London Games as he was in the same division as gold medal winner Ben Ainslie

Who they are

'I wouldn't call it bad luck, being in the same division as Ben. If I had performed at the right regatta it would have led to me being selected to go to the Olympics.

'I was unsure whether to watch the Olympics and some of it was hard, but I got into it and was probably as addicted as everyone else by the end. Since then I have joined an America's Cup team (Team Korea) and moved away from the UK. I wanted to broaden my horizons so I don't mess up for Rio like I did this time around.'

Emily Pidgeon, Athletics, 23, from Cheltenham

Pidgeon was an outstanding junior 5,000 metres runner but has struggled with injuries and found it difficult on the senior circuit. She still hopes her best years are to come.

Her boyfriend, GB runner Andrew Osagie, was in the fastest 800m race in history, the Olympic final in London.

'It has been an amazing journey. It's scary how quickly it's gone. I always thought I'd be there in London, so it's been up and down.

'When I realised I wasn't going to be
able to compete, it wasn't that I didn't want anything to do with the
Olympics but I just knew I'd find it hard to go and watch.

A first: Emily Pidgeon ran around the Olympic Park stadium before anyone else

A first: Emily Pidgeon ran around the Olympic Park stadium before anyone else

'But because I got injured in May I had dealt with that by the time the Olympics came round.

'I was determined to enjoy the experience and I'm so glad I did. I was there to watch Andrew in his heat and his final. I think there's a reason I was injured and I hope Rio will be my time.'

Gemma Howell, Judo, 22, from Telford (replaced Jean-Rene Badrick)

Badrick, then 16, won bronze at the European Youth Olympics but retired in 2010 through injury. Howell replaced him, battled back from serious injury and was selected for London.

She was disqualified in her first-round fight against world champion Gevrise Emane.

'It was the worst and best week of my life. I was devastated. When I came off the mat I wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible but then I thought, “I just have to use this going forward to Rio.”

Devastated: Gemma Howell was disqualified in her first round bout at the 2012 Olympics

Devastated: Gemma Howell was disqualified in her first round bout at the 2012 Olympics

'I was more nervous than I'd ever been. I have dreamed since I was little of being Olympic champion and I was a bit overwhelmed. Hopefully I can just get on with the job next time around.

'I've started a sport and exercise science degree at Bath University. My brain hurts after four years out of education. But while I want an Olympic medal more than anything, it's education and judo going forward.'

Louis Smith, Gymnastics, 23, Peterborough

In 2006, Smith won the Commonwealth pommel horse title aged 16 and has not looked back. He won Britain's first individual Olympic gymnastics medal for 100 years with a bronze in Beijing and went one better with silver in London.

He also won a bronze in the men's team event. Since the Games he has won the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing. 'No one would ever have thought we could have got that bronze in the team event. I didn't even think we could do it. It was a big statement to the rest of the world.

'It was really hard to come back again for my individual event. Winning the bronze was such a high and then you've got to come back down again for the event that was most important for me, and the one everyone expected me to do well in. It was tough but I'm glad I finished it the way I did.

Enjoying it Smith posed for Sportsmail on the back of a real 'pommel horse'

Enjoying it Smith posed for Sportsmail on the back of a real 'pommel horse'

Proud: Smith put in a sterling performance on the pommel horse to take silver home

Proud: Smith put in a sterling performance on the pommel horse to take silver home

A different route: Smith recently won the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing

A different route: Smith recently won the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing

'There are about seven different paths I could take now: fashion, property, sport. Do I carry on to Rio The Commonwealths When do I call it quits It's about making the right and the best decision, not necessarily the one everyone wants me to make.

'I want to start my own fashion range. It's something I've wanted to do for a while, although I won't be keeping any clothes I've worn on Strictly. They love their glitz and glam and shiny stuff!

'Magnificent Seven has been remarkable in so many different ways. It's been fantastic and we've done some funky stuff along the way.

'I never want to go on a horse again after that photoshoot when I pretended it was a pommel horse! I was scared stiff. I did it, although I probably wouldn't do it now!'

Shanaze Reade, BMX Cycling, 24, from Crewe

Reade went to Beijing as a world champion but crashed out in the final after deciding she would not settle for silver. Reade regained her BMX world title in 2010 and has also won two world championship golds on the track, but that Olympic medal still eludes her. Reade finished sixth in the BMX final in London.

'It was quite hard, mentally, after the Games. Everyone in British cycling did so well and I was tipped to get a medal but, again, I didn't fulfil my potential. I can definitely see what went wrong. It's about staying injury-free moving forward and just getting on that good mental pathway of getting some success under my belt and getting my confidence back.

'I have “Team Reade”, a group of people who I trust and I know will push me, to help me do that, but first and foremost it comes down to me.

Crushed: Shanaze Reade finished sixth in the final of the Olympics BMX Cycling

Crushed: Shanaze Reade finished sixth in the final of the Olympics BMX Cycling

Crushed: Shanaze Reade finished sixth in the final of the Olympics BMX Cycling

'I'm at a crossroads now where I feel I want to be world champion again in BMX, hopefully in New Zealand next year, and win a BMX Olympic medal. But then I've been world champion on the track and I also want to get further in that because I've only ever done six- to eight-week blocks of training. I would like to do the Commonwealth Games, and BMX isn't in it, so we'll see.

'I went to Beijing on such a high. I hadn't lost a race for six or seven years so I thought, “Why should it be any different”

'Coming into London was the opposite. I had been injured, missed races, crashed out of finals. I had never really fulfilled what I was capable of doing on the day. Now I don't want to short-change myself any longer.'

Manchester City to build giant Blue Moon fans tribute

Blue Moon rising! City to build giant fans' tribute with 40,000 discs spelling out anthem

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UPDATED:

10:14 GMT, 20 December 2012

Manchester City have revealed plans to build an iconic landmark around the circumference of the Etihad Stadium.

It will be called the City Circle and is set to transform the roads around the stadium with thousands of supporter messages in the shape of personalised ‘Bluemoon discs’ which also spell out the lyrics of the fans’ favourite Club anthem, Blue Moon.

The new tribute will see all four versus of the terrace classic written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart recreated from approximately 40,000 circular disks and is set become the UK’s largest permanent fan tribute. Each letter will span more than two metres in height.

Be part of it: Manchester City want fans to contribute to the landmark around the Etihad Stadium

Be part of it: Manchester City want fans to contribute to the landmark around the Etihad Stadium

The disks, which feature the City crest and can be personalised with inscriptions, are available for supporters to pre-order through the club’s official website.

Fans can take their pick from a range of styles with prices starting from from 60 for the stainless steel version, coloured glass will cost 95, and a limited edition of hand-cast bronze discs will set you back 395.

City Circle stainless steel

city circle bronze

Circle of life: City fans can choose from a range of options including stainless steel (left) and bronze

City Circle is part of the Club’s on-going plans to enhance the Etihad Stadium and will not only ensure supporters have a permanent place in the club’s history, but also provides a lasting tribute to fans, players and individuals both past and present.

Operations Director for Manchester City Steve Sayer, said: 'Manchester City has always been a club built on its fans. They are part of our DNA and make up the very fabric of whom and what we are today.

Up close and personal: The discs will spell out the four verses of City's anthem Blue Moon

Up close and personal: The discs will spell out the four verses of City's anthem Blue Moon

'City Circle is our way of enabling supporters to get closer to the Club they love and actually become part of the foundations of the stadium, for many years to come.

'City Circle lets fans make their mark, be it birthday and memorial tributes, memories that have helped shape our history or messages that will hopefully inspire future generations of City fans to come.'

Kauto Star leaves Paul Nicholls" stables to begin new career in dressage

Nicholls saddened after Kauto Star leaves his stables to begin new career in dressage

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UPDATED:

18:47 GMT, 11 December 2012

Paul Nicholls admitted his 'sadness' after Kauto Star's time at his Ditcheat yard came to an abrupt end on Tuesday.

The winner of five King Georges and two Cheltenham Gold Cups had been officially retired in late October and was expected to remain at Manor Farm Stables in Somerset until Boxing Day, when he was due to parade at Kempton.

Owner Clive Smith had announced on Monday that the 12-year-old would be moving away to be prepared by European bronze medalist eventing rider Laura Collett and long-time Great Britain manager and coach Yogi Breisner for a new career in the world of dressage – a decision not popular with Nicholls and his staff.

Leap of faith: Kauto Star has left Nicholls' stables for the final time

Leap of faith: Kauto Star has left Nicholls' stables for the final time

The winner of 19 races for the champion trainer, including four Betfair Chases and two Tingle Creeks, Kauto Star had been with Nicholls for eight years and was invariably ridden by his head lad Clifford Baker.

'It is with great sadness that I have to report that Kauto Star has left the yard for the last time,' Nicholls told his Betfair column.

'It has been no secret that Kauto's future has been a great source of debate since we announced his retirement.

'And, to be brutally honest, this morning I felt the time had finally come for me to take control of the situation, and to start making the decisions.

'Now, I am fully aware that Kauto is Clive's horse and he can do as he wishes, even though I would personally have loved Clifford to have looked after him for the rest of his years.

'But what upset me and my team here is
when Clive announced that he had spoken to experts about the horse's
future – but failed to consult and listen properly to the team that had
looked after him here for the past nine years. That really upset us.'

Crowd favourite: Kauto Star is set to begin a new life in dressage

Crowd favourite: Kauto Star is set to begin a new life in dressage

Nicholls went on: 'So we had a team meeting here this morning. And after listening to everybody involved – there were about six of us in the meeting – I rang up Clive, said I don't want to fall out, but we think it is in the best interests of everybody concerned to take Kauto to Yogi Breisner's this afternoon so that he could start his new career in the dressage field as soon as possible.

'Which we did with the saddest of hearts. But I like to think with a lot of dignity, too. And, yes, there were plenty of tears too. He was a member of the family here at Ditcheat, and we will all miss him so much.

'I would just to like say that it was a privilege for us here at Ditcheat to train the horse. Good luck, old boy. You were the best – and deserve the best.'

Collett, 22, who is an aspiring Olympian based at the Membury Estate in Wiltshire, will be helped by Breisner to assess the gelding's suitability for the discipline in the coming weeks.

She tweeted: 'I feel very privileged and extremely honoured to have been asked to ride Kauto Star. I will be working closely with Yogi to give Kauto Star the best chance of a second career in dressage.'

Members of the Ditcheat team expressed their sadness at the horse's departure, with Nicholls' travelling head girl Donna Blake, tweeting:

'Farewell to our dear Kauto Star, sad day that he is leaving those who genuinely care and respect him. Undeserved.'

Smith is currently abroad, but at a lunch to promote the William Hill King George VI Chase in London on Monday, he had said: 'A lot of very good chasers have gone on to do very well at dressage, like Garrison Savannah and Neptune Collonges and I wanted him to have an interest – he's just too good to be a hack or to be out in a field.

'I wanted him to do something else and he's going to be down at the other side of Lambourn and Laura Collett and Yogi will be working with him. We'll know in a very short time (if it is a possible option).'