Tag Archives: capacity

Paul Di Resta under new management

Di Resta strikes new management deal but Hamilton court date still lies ahead

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UPDATED:

16:56 GMT, 8 September 2012

Paul Di Resta has finally ended his two-month search for a new manager by signing up to the team that look after Jenson Button.

Di Resta split with Anthony Hamilton as his manager just prior to the British Grand Prix in early July, the fallout from which will see them in the High Court later this year.

Hamilton is pursuing a case for wrongful termination of contract and loss of earnings, but with Di Resta alleging he was misled over a sponsorship deal with an energy drink company, Go Fast.

New backing: Paul Di Resta has ended his search

New backing: Paul Di Resta has ended his search

Since then Force India driver Di Resta has been advised by the Sports Partnership, run by Richard Goddard who has long had Button on his books.

The move means Di Resta can again focus on Formula One, leaving Goddard to pursue a deal for the 26-year-old Scot for next year given he has been linked with other teams.

Di Resta said: 'It's no secret I have been looking for new representation and I am delighted to have found this with The Sports Partnership.

'They've been assisting me in a purely advisory capacity whilst I've been making my decision.

'Based on how that's gone and having seen what they've achieved with other clients, in and out of the sport of F1, it became clear it was the right way to go.

'Having the right team behind me will allow me to focus on what's important, which is to continue to develop as a driver, further my career in F1 and ultimately fight it out for race wins and a world championship.'

Battle: Anthony Hamilton (right) will see Di Resta in court

Battle: Anthony Hamilton (right) will see Di Resta in court

From his perspective, Goddard said: 'Paul is unquestionably a serious talent and a star of the future.

'We've been helping him through the last couple of months and we're delighted we will be continuing to work together moving forward.

'We will ensure Paul is able to simply concentrate on the job at hand and enable him to realise his full potential.'

The announcement comes on the day Di Resta conjured his best qualifying performance in F1, claiming fourth ahead of Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.

However, any celebration had to be tempered by the fact he will start ninth, serving a five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change ahead of final practice.

Sweet time: Di Resta impressed on the track in qualifying

Sweet time: Di Resta impressed on the track in qualifying

'It's bitter sweet,' said Di Resta, whose result was no fluke as he ran in the top four in all three qualifying sessions.

'You have to give the guys (at the factory) credit. We obviously had a good simulator session and a good baseline to come here.

'We had a good philosophy, and each time we went on track we slowly dialled it in, showing the speed was there throughout the whole day.

'Unfortunately I start ninth, but if there was any day you need a result like that to influence your race and put you in a points position, then it was today.

'We're still in the top 10, we're starting in the points, so we really just need to look ahead.'

London 2012 Paralympics: David Weir wins 800m gold

Three and easy for Weir in the 800m as Paralympic star gets another gold

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UPDATED:

22:05 GMT, 6 September 2012

David Weir continued his relentless pursuit of quadruple gold in London by making it three out of three with yet another masterful ride on Thursday night.

The wheelchair racer has established himself as the hero of the Olympic Stadium in the same way Mo Farah did at the Olympics, with confident, stylish and tactically-superb racing.

And the 'Weirwolf' was at his imperious best as he devoured a world-class field to deafening roars from the enthralled capacity crown, adding the 800m crown to his 1500m and 5,000m titles.

Hat-trick hero: David Weir takes in the applause he deserved for his accomplishment, and celebrates his victory (below)

Hat-trick hero: David Weir takes in the applause he deserved for his accomplishment, and celebrates his victory (below)

The hat-trick: David Weir celebrates winning the 800m

The 33-year-old, the defending champion, tracked China's Zhang Lixin for the first lap before attacking with 250m to go.

Urged on by the whole stadium, he moved level with Zhang on the home straight before racing past to win in one minute 37.63 seconds.

Champs: Weir (right) with Jonnie Peacock

Champs: Weir (right) with Jonnie Peacock

Weir, who has the marathon left to come on Sunday, now even has his own battle cry thanks to the werewolf howls his team-mates have developed, adapted from the rock song Werewolves Of London by Warren Zevon.

And the 1970s track was played in the stadium ahead of the race.

Victory took his total haul of Paralympic golds to five, having won Great Britain's only two in Beijing four years ago.

Home straight: Weir on the way to winning

Home straight: Weir on the way to winning

'I had to dig deep tonight, it did hurt,' said Weir, whose suit came undone on the first lap.

'They're all special. I've defended my title in both the distances I've won and now I've got a gold in the 5,000; I only got bronze in Beijing.

'I've really enjoyed the last six months of training. I've got the hunger back, which I thought I lost last year. I feel like I'm on top of the world at the moment.

'I dreamt about it and wished I'd come away with three gold medals, with maybe another one on the way, but you just dream of things like that. I won't believe it until I'm at home and can relax – then it might sink in a little bit more.'

A fourth gold of London 2012 is now the target for Weir.

Can he make it four Weir has one more event

Can he make it four Weir has one more event

'The marathon is going to be tough, because you can't train for these emotions, going up and down,” he added.

'I've done the mileage to cover all these distances, but you can't match these emotions in training. It's impossible.

'We'll see how it goes on Sunday. I've got two days left. I might train, I might not. I'm seeing my family tomorrow and that will do me good.

'It's 26.2 miles. It's not just two laps or 12 laps of the track. We'll see what happens on the day. I'll give it my best shot.'

Cheered on: The crowd love David Weir

Cheered on: The crowd love David Weir

London 2012 Paralympics: Oscar Pistorius sets new world record in T44 200m

History boy: Pistorius secures his place in the record books after setting new T44 200m time

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UPDATED:

20:16 GMT, 1 September 2012

Oscar Pistorius returned to London and to Paralympic competition with a new world record on Saturday night.

The South African, who last month became the first amputee sprinter to compete in an Olympics, clocked 21.30 seconds to win his heat of the T44 200m with effortless ease.

His crossover into able-bodied competition has made the Blade Runner is a Paralympic icon and he received a huge ovation from the capacity crowd at the Olympic Stadium.

In a league of his own: Oscar Pistorius breaks the world record with a time of 21.30 as he competes in the Men's 200m

In a league of his own: Oscar Pistorius breaks the world record with a time of 21.30 as he competes in the Men's 200m

Speed king: Pistorius set the record in the heats

Speed king: Pistorius set the record in the heats

Out in front: Pistorius is the face of the Paralympics

Out in front: Pistorius is the face of the Paralympics

'I just wanted to come out tonight and have a good race,' he told Channel 4.

'It makes me so happy to be here. I'm happy with the time.

'Tomorrow's the big race (the final) and I am looking forward to it. To run in front of such an amazing stadium is mind-blowing.'

Paralympic controversy as cyclist Jody Cundy is disqualified

'I've just wasted four years of my f****** life!' Controversy as British paralympic cycling hope Jody Cundy is disqualified

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UPDATED:

15:08 GMT, 31 August 2012

The London Paralympics saw its first big controversy in the Velodrome on Friday afternoon after British cyclist and defending champion Jody Cundy was disqualified.

The cyclist launched into a furious, expletive-strewn rant after learning of his demotion to last place in the C4-5 1km time trial event and had to be restrained as he left the arena.

Cundy, who was the last rider in the event and one of the favourites, stumbled out of the starting block and immediately raised his arm to ask for a restart as he veered off the track.

Disqualified: A raging Jody Cundy has to be restrained by his coach after learning that he had been denied another chance

Disqualified: A raging Jody Cundy has to be restrained by his coach after learning that he had been denied another chance

The rider, 33, and his team blamed a fault with the equipment for his faltering start but the officials disagreed and denied him a second chance by judging it was rider error.

Jeers rang out from a near-capacity crowd around the Velodrome as the scoreboard flashed up 'Did Not Finish' next to Cundy's name.

Cundy was expected to challenge the Spanish rider Alfonso Cabello, who was leading the competition after setting a world record time.

And another thing: Cundy remonstrates with the officials after learning of the bad news

And another thing: Cundy remonstrates with the officials after learning of the bad news

In the blocks: Cundy, the last rider to go, gets ready for his 1km against the clock

In the blocks: Cundy, the last rider to go, gets ready for his 1km against the clock

False start: But his back wheel slipped as he was released from the starting block

False start: But his back wheel slipped as he was released from the starting block

Fellow Brit Jon-Allan Butterworth won the silver medal following the disqualification, with China's Liu Xinyang taking bronze.

After learning of his news after a referral to video officials, Cundy reacted with fury, gesticulating wildly and throwing a drink bottle to the floor.

He yelled: 'I've just wasted four f****** years of my f****** life' and remonstrated with the officials before leaving the track pursued by reporters.

More to follow.

Mo Farah returns to action with Diamond League win

The best by Farah: Mo finishes his unbeaten season with trademark celebration

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 26 August 2012

The capacity crowd at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium for Sunday’s Aviva Grand Prix, a coming home party for Britain’s Olympians, gave Mo Farah the ovation we have come to expect for his final track race of the year.

As he sprinted down the finishing straight, the 12,800 rose to their feet to acclaim him as the winner of a wholly meaningless two-mile race that ended his season unbeaten, and he responded with his trademark Mobot and broad smile.

The crowd did not care that the object of this exercise — the breaking of Steve Ovett’s 34-year-old British record — proved way beyond the double Olympic champion. They had sold the place out not to witness another triumph but to acclaim those already achieved in another place.

Back in action: Mo Farah made his first athletics appearance since the Games

Back in action: Mo Farah made his first athletics appearance since the Games

After two weeks of working with his ghostwriter on the final two chapters of his autobiography, signing deals that will make him very rich and attending the birth of twin daughters last Friday, Farah had abandoned all thought of chasing the record attempt set up by the organisers.

‘It’s been a hard week. I’m feeling a bit tired. I didn’t get much sleep on Friday, so the record was never on my mind, not at all,’ he said

So Ovett’s mark survives comfortably — by a margin of 14 seconds. The only similarity in the two Olympic champions’ performances came in the last 200 metres when Farah finally took off the brakes and buried those who had clung to his modest earlier pace.

Biding his time: Farah stays with the pack during the the Men's two mile race

Biding his time: Farah stays with the pack during the the Men's two mile race

He has one more race — a half-marathon in the Great North Run in Newcastle on September 16 — and then he will return to his training base in the US far from the maddening crowd that has turned him into Britain’s Usain Bolt. ‘There was a queue at my local (gold-painted) postbox in Teddington when I passed it last week,’ he said with a chuckle.

He declined to name his twin girls, give their weight or even their time of birth because of a deal their mother Tania has done with a glossy magazine but he did say that he will not return to the UK for at least another year, or run a marathon.

‘When everything is going so well, why change’ he asked.

Brit special: Olympic medalists Farah, Christine Ohuruogu, Greg Rutherford and Robbie Grabarz

Brit special: Olympic medalists Farah, Christine Ohuruogu, Greg Rutherford and Robbie Grabarz

Farah will comfortably pass the 1million mark in earnings this year — Virgin Media is the latest endorsement — but rather smaller sums are as significant for high jumper Robbie Grabarz, who won with a leap of 2.32m on Sunday. This time last year, he was competing for nothing at Alexander Stadium in a club competition. Weeks later he was stripped of all Lottery funding.

‘Come January of this year I was pretty skint. I was living a get-by existence,’ he said.

Victory earned him $10,000 and made him short-odds favourite to earn another $50,000 as the overall Diamond League winner of his event when it concludes in Zurich next Thursday.

‘That’s $50,000 more than I earned in the whole of last year,’ he said, laughing.

On top: Grabarz is favourite to win the Diamond League high jump competition

On top: Grabarz is favourite to win the Diamond League high jump competition

He has only to finish ahead of world champion Jesse Williams in Zurich to collect the largest prize of his life, and Williams is so out of form that he finished last on Sunday.

No victories for Britain’s other medallists. Christine Ohuruogu was second in the 400 metres to Jamaican Rosemarie Whyte, whom she had beaten in the Olympic final, and Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford finished third.

He needed treatment on his groin during the competition, and missed four of the six rounds before returning.

‘I haven’t stopped since the Olympics, there’s been no respite. It’s been wonderful,’ he said.

Certainly it has been but not, perhaps, conducive to great athletic performances. Fortunately the crowd was happy enough with a parade of champions.

Mo Farah back in action at Diamond League Grand Prix in Birmingham

Farah back in action at Diamond League Grand Prix but can't break two mile record

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UPDATED:

16:29 GMT, 26 August 2012

Mo Farah returned to action for the first time following his glorious Olympic double gold at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix, but for once came up short.

The 29-year-old won the two miles race with considerable and predictable ease, bursting away from the field with 200 metres to go, but was unable to break Steve Ovett's 34-year-old European outdoor record.

Farah, also celebrating the birth of twin girls on Friday, clocked eight minutes 27.24 seconds over the rarely-run distance, well short of Ovett's mark of 8mins 13.51secs.

Back in action: Mo Farah made his first athletics appearance since the Games

Back in action: Mo Farah made his first athletics appearance since the Games

Farah, who won the 5,000 and 10,000 metres titles in London, was roared on to those successes by 80,000 screaming fans. The surroundings at the Alexander Stadium, capacity 12,700, were rather more modest, but he still received the loudest cheer of the afternoon.

Tributes to the man could be seen around the stadium, including a wicker Farah, in full Team GB kit and in his trademark 'Mobot' celebration, on a grassy bank between two stands, while a 'Mo Cam' went round the stands capturing fans doing the pose.

Perri Shakes-Drayton beat the 400 metres hurdles Olympic champion for the second time in four days, but was still denied her first Diamond League win in controversial circumstances.

The Briton, who failed to qualify for the final in London after her hamstring tightened in the warm-up ahead of her semi-final, crossed the line in second place behind Kaliese Spencer, but was upgraded to first when the Jamaican was disqualified.

Spencer was quickly reinstated, though, officials deciding her trail leg had not gone around rather than over the hurdle.

But Shakes-Drayton, who clocked 54.08 seconds, still claimed the scalp of London 2012 gold medallist Russian Natalya Antyukh, whom she also beat in finishing third at the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne on Thursday, and Olympic bronze medallist Zuzana Hejnova.

Her Olympic disappointment still hurts, however.

'I was heartbroken, I'm not going to tell fibs,' the east Londoner said.

'I'm kind of glad that it's over with as well because I can move on.

'I had anger, I had upset inside so I couldn't wait to get on the track again.

'I said I wanted to end my season on a high and at the moment it's looking that way because I'm running good times.'

Olympic 400m silver medallist Christine Ohuruogu was second in 50.67s in a race won by Jamaican Rosemarie Whyte.

London 2012 Olympic Boxing: Freddie Evans beats Taras Shelestyuk to make boxing final

Good Evans! Freddie makes final and has shot at gold after beating world No 1

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UPDATED:

21:07 GMT, 10 August 2012

Freddie Evans continued his magnificent run in the welterweight division all the way to the Olympic final with a superbly composed performance to see off Ukraine's world No 1 and reigning world champion Taras Shelestyuk 11-10.

Once again roared on by a capacity crowd who have taken the Welshman's no-holds-barred style to their hearts, Evans started in composed fashion, keeping the Ukrainian at range and darting in behind a flicking right jab.

Shelestyuk was equally active, but it was Evans who was producing the cleaner work, with a nice right hook towards the end of the first giving him a three-point advantage on the judges' cards.

Punch perfect: Great Britain's Fred Evans beat Ukraine Taras Shelestyuk in the Men's Boxing Welter Weight semi-final

Punch perfect: Great Britain's Fred Evans beat Ukraine Taras Shelestyuk in the Men's Boxing Welter Weight semi-final

Evans, who has veered from kamikaze attacking to reluctance to engage in his three bouts in the Games so far, was looking far more composed as he worked over the Ukrainian, digging loose shots to the body and another right as Shelestyuk seemed shorn of ideas.

When the Ukrainian did land, with a looping right hand, Evans fired back a split second later with a cracking straight left, and although he finished the round with another right, the judges scored the round a draw, so Evans took his three-point lead into the last.

Covering up well to deflect the majority of the Ukrainian's big shots, Evans found his target with a right through the middle, but the Ukrainian scored with enough shots of his own to make it an anxious wait for the verdict.

London 2012 Olympics Boxing: Anthony Ogogo beats Stefan Hartel to guarantee medal

All go for Ogogo as he guarantees boxing medal after beating Hartel in middleweight bout

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UPDATED:

22:38 GMT, 6 August 2012

Anthony Ogogo admitted shedding tears over Mo Farah's epic 10,000 metres triumph on Saturday night and said the exploits of his fellow Great Britain Olympians inspired him to guarantee a medal of his own at ExCeL.

Ogogo saw off Germany's tough Stefan Hartel 15-10 to set up a semi-final showdown against the excellent Brazilian Esquiva Falcao, who beat the Lowestoft man 17-12 in the last 16 of last year's World Championships.

Ogogo said: 'I watched Mo Farah the other night and I'm a big tough boxer but I'm not scared of saying I had a tear in my eye. Seeing Mo and Jess Ennis do well inspired me and hopefully I will have inspired another athlete to do well tomorrow.'

On the attack: Anthony Ogogo beat Germany's Stefan Hartel

On the attack: Anthony Ogogo beat Germany's Stefan Hartel

Ogogo admitted he deserved a 'slap on the wrist' for taking a handful of right hands in the course of his rugged win, in which he carved out a 5-2 advantage after one round and extended it by a further point at the half-way stage.

Roared on by another capacity crowd, Ogogo succeeded in largely repelling the German's advances in the third and final round, tying him up in clinches as Hartel bulled forward swinging shots, then unloading a pair of big right hands of his own in the final moments.

He's done it! Ogogo claims the win and with it at least a bronze medal

He's done it! Ogogo claims the win and with it at least a bronze medal

Ogogo added: 'I feel good but it's not enough. I've always dreamed of becoming Olympic champion, not the bronze medallist. It's a nice insurance policy but I've dreamed of being Olympic champion since I was 12 years old.'

Ogogo said he was confident of beating the Brazilian second time around having previously suffered from a chronic shoulder problem which required extensive surgery and left his Olympic place hanging by a thread.

Never in doubt: Ogogo celebrates his win

Never in doubt: Ogogo celebrates his win

Ogogo added: 'The Brazilian is one of the best fighters in the world, but every time I threw my right hand it felt like my arm was going to fall off. I'm looking forward to getting in the ring and doing a lot better next time.'

London 2012 Olympics: Team GB women"s hockey beat Japan

Team GB 4 Japan 0: Danson double gets women's hockey gold campaign off to flyer

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UPDATED:

20:20 GMT, 29 July 2012

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

Striker Alex Danson was the star of the show with two goals as Great Britain's Olympic medal bid began with a comprehensive victory.

However, there was much more to the performance than the Reading forward's double as the confidence the team showed with their movement, incisive passing and direct running dispelled any fears of stage fright in front of an expectant near-16,000 capacity crowd.

An early goal undoubtedly helped, though, and after Danson struck in the seventh minute goals rained in, somewhat appropriately in the open-air arena which had seen several deluges during the day.

Bring it in: Team GB celebrate during their routine 4-0 victory over Japan

Bring it in: Team GB celebrate during their routine 4-0 victory over Japan

Efforts from Sarah Thomas, Sally Walton and Danson's second followed, while a clean sheet meant GB have still to concede a tournament goal on the blue pitch, this being their fifth outing on the 'Smurf Turf'.

The only downside were late injuries to captain Kate Walsh (face) and Helen Richardson (knee).

The last time Danson played a competitive match here she dislocated her shoulder in the final of the test event, which GB won, and briefly raised concerns about her fitness for the Olympics.

Show stopper: Alex Danson excelled with two well taken goals

Show stopper: Alex Danson excelled with two well taken goals

On this occasion it was Japan's defence that was pulled out of place as GB worked hard to find space high up the pitch in which to attack the circle.

And they did with one-way traffic in the first half as the hosts put in exactly the display the noisy crowd at the Riverbank Arena demanded.

Georgie Twigg set the early tone, firing over after a driving 30-yard run, before Danson got the party started.

Richardson's cross was miscontrolled by Miyuki Nakagawa and the Reading forward pounced, unleashing a trademark reverse-stick shot from close range.

Easy: Sarah Thomas (left) added to Danson's two goals

Easy: Sarah Thomas (left) added to Danson's two goals

After a brief scare when Masako Sato slapped a shot wide of goalkeeper Beth Storry's left-hand post, normal service was resumed when Thomas, the only Wales international in the squad, deflected in Hannah Macleod's cross for only her seventh goal in 128 internationals.

Moments later Sally Walton scooped in the third, her eighth in 112 caps, from close range after Walsh's penalty corner was saved and partially cleared only to be returned by Twigg.

The lively Danson capped a sparkling opening 35 minutes when Richardson's clever under-the-shoulder pass presented the opening eight yards out and she needed no second invitation to beat Sakiyo Asano.

A hat-trick was only inches away when another reverse-stick effort from a wide angle flew past the far post.

Class act: Danson lived up to the hype with a stellar performance

Class act: Danson lived up to the hype with a stellar performance

Midway through the second half Crista Cullen had a penalty corner saved and then later hit the post with a set-piece while Danson was denied again by Asano.

Late in the game Walsh was caught in the face with a full swing by Akane Shibata but, bloodied and unbowed, the captain declined the stretcher and walked off clutching her jaw.

Richardson was then carried off after a ball crashed into her left knee.

It was not the finish GB would have liked but nobody could argue about the promise shown by their start.

London 2012 Olympics: Fred Evans and Josh Evans win boxing matches

Evans and Taylor are punch perfect to continue GB's boxing success story

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UPDATED:

20:44 GMT, 29 July 2012

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

Great Britain's Fred Evans booked his place in the last 16 of the Olympic welterweight competition after getting the better of a richly entertaining brawl with fired-up Algerian Ilyas Abbadi at ExCel.

The 21-year-old Welshman did not have things his own way against a gutsy opponent but extended his lead throughout the contest to triumph 18-10, to the delight of another excited capacity crowd.

Evans said: 'The atmosphere was unbelievable – like nothing I've experienced before. I felt the buzz when I watched Anthony Ogogo on Saturday but you don't really feel it until you go out there yourself.

Moving on: Freddie Evans (right) celebrates his win over Algeria's Iivas Abbadi

Moving on: Freddie Evans (right) celebrates his win over Algeria's Iivas Abbadi

'I'm so proud to be here fighting in my home country in front of my friends and family and fulfilling my dream. The whole team is building the momentum and we are all looking at going to win medals.'

In an action-packed opening round, Evans was caught by a pair of left hands by teenager Abbadi, but responded with a series of sharp assaults, landing a big right on his way to establishing a two-point lead at the end of the first.

Evans pulled away in the second, despite
looking a little excitable at times and still being troubled by
Abbadi's stiff left hands. He had extended his lead to five points at
the end of the second and continued exchanging hard shots in a
grandstand finish.

Excited: Evans will be in the last 16

Excited: Evans will be in the last 16

Next up for Evans is Lithuania's fourth
seed Egidijus Kavaliauskas, who dropped and stopped Evans in the
quarter-finals of last year's World Championships, with Evans already
having secured qualification for the Games.

The prospect of a rematch does not faze the confident Evans, who said: “He is going to see a different Fred Evans next time. I am stronger and sharper and he is going to find that out when we fight on Friday.

'What happened in the Worlds doesn't bother me. I'd just achieved my goal of qualifying for the Olympics and my mind wasn't on the job. This time, in front of my home crowd and my family, it's going to be a different story.'

Up close and personal: Josh Taylor (right) fights Brazil's Robson Conceicao

Up close and personal: Josh Taylor (right) fights Brazil's Robson Conceicao

Josh Taylor, the first Scottish lightweight to fight at an Olympics since two-time medallist Dick McTaggart, extended Great Britain's winning start by overcoming tough Brazilian Robson Conceicao 13-9.

In contrast to Evans' all-action effort earlier, Taylor produced a composed and patient performance on the back foot as his experienced opponent ploughed forward and flung shots at his resolute guard.

Taylor's accurate jabs helped him shade the first round by a point and an excellent second, speckled with nifty combinations, saw him extend his lead to three despite a jolting right hand from his opponent.

Conceicao, a former Pan-American Games silver medallist, grew increasingly impatient in the final round but Taylor kept his composure admirably as he skated home for a proud if slightly contentious victory.