Tag Archives: commonwealth

Dai Greene: Our golden night at London 2012 was hell for me

EXCLUSIVE: Our golden night at London 2012 was hell for me, admits Dai Greene

|

UPDATED:

22:43 GMT, 7 December 2012

Three golds on one glorious evening. A stadium rocking. Joy unconfined. 'Ah, the greatest night in British athletics history,' says Dai Greene, 'was the night I came fourth in my semi-final.'

He can finally bring himself to laugh about that – and the toughest point of his life, two days later, when he missed out on a long- predicted medal in the 400 metres hurdles – now that the stadium cacophony has been exchanged for the contemplative quiet of a Bath cafe.

Dai another day: Greene had endured a tough year

Dai another day: Greene had endured a tough year

He is ready to confront the truth that has barely uttered its name in the back-slapping, bus-touring, bunting-strewn euphoria of London 2012: sport can crush as well as exalt.

Nobody knows that more palpably than Greene. Some of our Olympians were simply happy to be at the Games; others merely hoped to mount the podium. Even after his injury-ravaged preparations, he was expected to do so. 'The question all year was not whether I could win a medal,' says the Welshman, 'but whether I could win gold. Simple as that.' Green, after all, was champion of Europe, champion of the Commonwealth and champion of the world. Selected as captain of the British athletics team, he was a proven big-stage performer.

His one anticipated task was to beat Javier Culson, of Puerto Rico, the season's best performer. That assumption was ripped apart on the night Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford reigned in gold.

'The heats had been lovely,' remembers Greene, 26. 'I won nice and easily. The crowd was brilliant and I believed everything was going to be fantastic in the semi-final. It was . . . until I looked inside and saw a few guys there alongside me and thought, “What the hell . . . ” They weren't my pace. They were pulling away. S***. The crowd got quieter and I panicked a bit. It was horrible.

Hurdler Dai Greene

'People always said athletes raise their games for an Olympics but I didn't believe it until I saw it at that moment.' The three men who beat him had all set their season's best. The Dominican Republic's Felix Sanchez, the eventual champion, had run his fastest time for eight years, at the age of 34.

'You do think it has gone t**s up,' says Greene. 'But you don't want to admit it to yourself. You cling to the hope that you still have something special inside you. I just hoped they couldn't run that fast again. But after the semi, yes, I would have been happy just to get any sort of medal, let alone gold.

'I got lane three – that was OK. I stuttered into the last hurdle but, regardless of that, I hadn't got it in me to do better.' America's Michael Tinsley was second to Sanchez, Culson third and Greene fourth.

'This was the biggest competition of my life and I just wasn't in the place I wanted to be,' admits Greene.

'After that I didn't want to speak to anyone. I went to get food in the canteen and then to find Malcolm (Arnold, his coach) to get my phone off him. I don't think I rang Sian (his girlfriend). I texted her to say I was OK and that we would speak tomorrow.

'I went to my room. It was hard to sleep. Usually you get over a disappointment in a few days. But with this you knew you would never get another chance.

Down and out of medals: Greene finished fourth in London

Down and out of medals: Greene finished fourth in London

Down and out of medals: Greene finished fourth in London

'Every day got slightly better. I was going through a process. I wasn't asking for help.' Greene's Olympics ended with fourth place in the 4×400 metres relay, bringing him close to tears.

'I didn't want to talk athletics for weeks,' he says. 'I didn't watch the Olympics after that. I barely watched the Paralympics. I didn't go on the London parade. I didn't see it on telly.'

What few people understood was the extent of Greene's injury. He had surgery on his left knee almost exactly a year ago but barely talked publicly about the ongoing problems he suffered. He did, however, type some painful and honest notes prior to the operation. In them he says: 'I'm a world champion. I can't be injured. I felt in great condition. I saw pain as a weakness.'

Nearly a month after surgery, and still having five hours of physio a day, he was thrilled to run 400m flat in the super-slow time of 2min 20sec. Even as late as April, he had to fly back from a training camp in Portugal for urgent treatment, his inability to stay compact by bringing his heel up to his buttocks as he hurdled having upset the rest of his body.

His fastest run of the year came at a Diamond League meeting in Paris, but his paucity of sustained training left him unable to improve on, or even sustain, his time of 47.84sec. His best at the Games was 48.19sec, in the semi-final. Now able to rationalise his performance, and happier after breaks in the south of France and New York, Greene is back in full training.

'These experiences make you a stronger person,' he says. 'Now my body is holding up. The volume of work I am doing is going up. I have my world title to defend in Moscow next year. Felix is eight years older than me so, yes, the next Olympics in Rio are definitely a realistic target. But for now I am not thinking too much about that. I am just excited about being an athlete again.'

Tyson Fury to return to ring at Madison Square Garden, New York

Fury puts Price clash on ice as heavyweight announces New York return to ring in March

|

UPDATED:

20:56 GMT, 5 December 2012

Tyson Fury will return to the ring on March 17 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Fury’s uncle and trainer Peter Fury took to Twitter tonight to confirm the date and claimed world-ranked heavyweights Tomasz Adamek, Chris Arreola, Bermane Stiverne and Johnathon Banks were possible opponents, as well as former WBO champion Shannon Briggs.

Peter Fury tweeted: ‘Tyson next out Madison square Garden march 17th. Training camp Canada starts jan 14th. Poss opponents Adamek” Arriola Stiverne Banks. Briggs.’

On ice: Tyson Fury will fight in New York on St Patrick's Day 2013

On ice: Tyson Fury will fight in New York on St Patrick's Day 2013

Fury maintained his unbeaten record with a straightforward points win over Kevin Johnson in a WBC eliminator last Friday and has since resumed hostilities with British and Commonwealth champion David Price.

Price’s manager Frank Maloney offered 650,000 to make the fight, but Fury’s promoter Mick Hennessy described the bid as a ‘joke’.

Fury’s Madison Square Garden date will come exactly a year after his proposed debut at the ionic venue fell through.

David Price ready for Matt Skelton

I won't be Mr Nice in the ring, insists Price ahead of Skelton challenge

|

UPDATED:

18:37 GMT, 28 November 2012

Nice guy David Price is happy to keep nurturing his nasty streak as he builds his growing reputation as the hottest property in heavyweight boxing.

The genial Liverpudlian's stock has continued to rise in 2012 with a series of brutal wins brought about by his devastating punching power.

Price, 29, hopes to finish a successful year in style when he defends his British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles against tough veteran Matt Skelton at Aintree on Friday.

Head to head: David Price (left) takes on Matt Skelton in Liverpool on Friday

Head to head: David Price (left) takes on Matt Skelton in Liverpool on Friday

After destroying other British rivals such as Tom Dallas, John McDermott, Sam Sexton and Audley Harrison in brutal style, the pressure is on for Price to repeat such ferocity.

And the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist admits even he has been taken aback by his explosive power.

'I've surprised myself with my progress at times,' he said. 'I've expected the fights to be a bit more difficult.

'It's the punch power which surprises me because in training I know I can punch, but it's when I put the 10oz gloves on, get in the ring and start punching then that it produces results which I didn't think were possible.

'I have got that nastiness in there. It's something that people always thought I never had. I've heard a lot of people say to me 'you're too nice'.

'But being nice is one thing and being soft is another and I'm not soft.'

Knockout: Price destroyed Audley Harrison in the first round in his last fight

Knockout: Price destroyed Audley Harrison in the first round in his last fight

Price added: 'I might be a nice person but when I'm in that ring a completely different persona comes out. It's heavyweight boxing, at the end of the day.

'If I don't finish the job it can give them an opportunity to take me out. It only takes one punch. So I want to get them out of there as quickly as possible and when I hit someone, I make sure they stay hit.

'That's what boxing is about. It's the noble art. For all the trash talking involved in boxing – which there is a place for, because people get excited about it, but it's not for me – there's always room for gentlemanly conduct as well.

'I just be myself and be normal and it comes across well to the fans as someone they can relate to.

'There's also a market for the trash talk as well, so it creates a nice balance.'

After such progress this year, the selection of Skelton (28-6) as challenger has drawn criticism from some quarters.

On the rise: Price remains unbeaten as he looks to dominate the heavyweight scene

On the rise: Price remains unbeaten as he looks to dominate the heavyweight scene

But while the 45-year-old Bedford brawler's age has unsurprisingly raised eyebrows, the former kickboxing champion arguably poses more of a threat than the timid Harrison managed last time out.

'Matt Skelton's a fighter a lot of fighters would prefer to avoid because he's a tough opponent who can make guys look bad,' said Price (14-0, 12KOs).

'He's fit, he's durable and he's a fighter. I think it's a significant fight for me.

'I haven't been getting many rounds under my belt and I think Skelton will be able to take my punches. If he doesn't then he doesn't and it's a confidence boost for me and if he does, then it's good rounds in the bank for me.'

Usain Bolt wants to run in 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games

Bolt bound for Scotland as 100m record holder wants to run at 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

|

UPDATED:

22:56 GMT, 23 November 2012

Usain Bolt has revealed he 'definitely' wants to compete in the 100 metres at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The Jamaican missed the 2006 Games in Melbourne with a hamstring injury and elected not to travel to Delhi four years ago, but said he wants to compete again in Britain to complete his collection of international sprint titles.

The Olympic champion and world record-holder over 100m and 200m said: 'Definitely. That’s the only title I don’t have so I think it’s something I would like to go for, even if I just do the 100m.

Still in the game: Usain Bolt said he wants to run the 100metres at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014

Still in the game: Usain Bolt said he wants to run the 100metres at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014

See you there! Bolt is likely to meet compatriot and training partner Yohan Blake (left)

See you there! Bolt is likely to meet compatriot and training partner Yohan Blake (left)

'It’s something to say (I have won) at the end of my career. It’s a good one to get and if everything goes well and the coach (Glenn Mills) agrees then I will go. It’s the Commonwealth Games so I don’t think he will have a problem with me going.'

Bolt, 26, will attempt to regain his World Championship 100m title in Moscow next summer – which he lost in 2011 to compatriot Yohan Blake after he was disqualified for a false start in the final – but is also targeting breaking his own world record in 2013.

Speaking at the IAAF Centenary Gala in Barcelona, the sprinter also ruled out suggestions he will move up to the 400m or add the long jump to his repertoire.

In the dark: Bolt and Blake were both in Barcelona on Friday

In the dark: Bolt and Blake were both in Barcelona on Friday

In the dark: Bolt and Blake were both in Barcelona on Friday

Switching on: Bolt was turning on the Christmas lights at the Puma store in the Spanish city

Switching on: Bolt was turning on the Christmas lights at the Puma store in the Spanish city

Vocal: Bolt wants to continue short distance sprinting

Vocal: Bolt wants to continue short distance sprinting

Bolt said: 'It’s just speed, really. Next season I just want to go as fast as possible. I’m getting a little bit old now so I want to go as fast as I can – but the World Championships is also a real focus for me.

'We talked about the 400m and long jump. I decided I won’t go to do one of those. It’s just about trying to go as fast as possible (over 100m and 200m). I just need to stay injury-free.

'At 28 coming up 29 you’re going to start going downhill. So (the target is) fast and hopefully everything will go well at the World Championships.'

Bolt is also keen to take up Sir Alex Ferguson's offer of a training session with Manchester United next year.

The Jamaican said he plays football 'every Wednesday and Sunday' and added: 'I have got an invite from Alex Ferguson to come and train with the guys any time I want.

It's just finding time to get up to Manchester to do it. Hopefully after my career in track and field I can go and play some football for Manchester United.'

Welcome part: Bolt was greeted in Spain by a band playing reggae music

Welcome part: Bolt was greeted in Spain by a band playing reggae music

Ready for more: Bolt sat next to another Olympic gold medal winner US athlete Allyson Felix

Ready for more: Bolt sat next to another Olympic gold medal winner US athlete Allyson Felix

Sir Chris Hoy interview – On not going to Rio, his love of speed and enjoying his life

EXCLUSIVE Sir Chris Hoy: Cycling has consumed me for 20 years and my body just won't make it to Rio

|

UPDATED:

22:50 GMT, 14 November 2012

The banking of the Manchester velodrome looks steeper than ever as you watch from a hospitality box perched above one of the bends.

Bikes clap around at gravity-defying angles and Sir Chris Hoy, watching on, talks about how it helps to look forward rather than down.

The advice he dispenses to cycling beginners he is applying more broadly to himself. There will not be another Olympics for Hoy. He is 36 and the track to Rio 2016 stretches further than the eye can see.

Prospects: Sir Chris Hoy is looking forwards, not backwards, as he approaches the end of his cycling career

Prospects: Sir Chris Hoy is looking forwards, not backwards, as he approaches the end of his cycling career

His back and knees, which have squatted under the sort of weights that give you Popeye thighs, would struggle to last the distance.

'I'm definitely not going to Rio,' he confirmed, which means he is not about to 'do a Redgrave' by going back on the undertaking he made while the sweat was still wet.

'It is 100 per cent ruled out. Nothing will top London. And four years is too much to ask. We're not talking about a sport like equestrianism where you can go on to an older age.

'I think the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow would be a nice way to end it. That's only two years away and I have never competed seriously in Scotland. If it was anywhere else in the world I wouldn't even think about it. I am not expecting to be there but if I can be there, it would be great.

'You don't know how your body is going to shape up. It's whether you can maintain the performance – or improve it – without getting injured. That's the battle every athlete faces and the older you get the harder it becomes.

'You are always pushing, pushing, pushing but it is when you do that that your body can break down. In terms of doing any competition, I'll leave it until at least next summer before making a call.'

Therefore, Hoy will not be competing in the new velodrome named after him when the World Cup comes to Glasgow tomorrow, 101 days after he won the last of his six Olympic gold medals.

That'll do: Hoy wins his sixth Olympic gold medal

Greatest show

Glory days: Hoy celebrates winning his sixth Olympic gold medal (left) at the London 2012 Games

He will merely be watching an event showcasing the younger generation of British track stars: three-time Olympic champion Jason Kenny, double champion Laura Trott as well as Ed Clancy, Jess Varnish and Becky James are chief among them.

For Hoy, post-London life has been a whirl of open-top bus rides and acclamation, including being handed the freedom of his home city, Edinburgh. Ten weeks after the Olympic closing ceremony he had not spent longer than 48 hours in one place. His kitbag was still packed.

Time has now allowed him to work through Sky+ recordings, feet up, glass of wine in hand. He has just returned from holiday in America with his wife Sarra. He is, as we said, looking forward.

He loves speed, having recently flown
in a Typhoon fighter jet and enjoyed it. Motor racing beckons him.
After taking part in various track days over the last few years, he has
decided to compete in the 2013 Radical SR1 Cup with 23 fellow novices.
After instruction, he will race eight times.

'I absolutely love it,' he
says of his new car. 'There's a bit of a leap of faith throwing
yourself into the corner and braking later than you would normally in a
car that doesn't have the same downforce, so it's a whole new
experience.'

But
cycling still courses through his veins. Ask him about any aspect of it
and he has a ready answer. Divert the conversation too far and he does
not want to know. What, for example, is his take on Scottish
independence 'I think that's why they have a curtain on the booth I am
a sportsman. You'll have to ask a politician about that.'

Guest of honour: Hoy delivers the match ball before the international rugby match between Scotland and New Zealand on November 11

Guest of honour: Hoy delivers the match ball before the international rugby match between Scotland and New Zealand on November 11

I thought that a man who has been such a conspicuously fine ambassador for British sport, never failing to say the right thing, might wish to expand his statesmanship into a hinterland. No, he just does what he does, brilliantly and modestly.

At the photo-shoot that followed our
chat, he shook hands with everyone in the room, be they important or
decidedly ancillary. Anyway, motor racing is a hobby, so he is planning
his next venture in cycling.

'I have been working on this project for 18 months and this will represent my post-competitive life,' he says.

'The final touches are being put to that before we announce what it will be at the end of the month. But it will be in cycling.

Arise: Hoy is knighted by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace

Arise: Hoy is knighted by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace

'I've
been involved in cycling all my life and at a high level for 20 years.
It consumes your every waking minute whether you are aware of it or not:
your last training session, your next session, what you are eating
next.

'It is a
passion. It is almost a dream because if you had said to me when I was
10 that I'd spend all this time riding, travelling the world and being
paid to do it, I'd have taken that over being an astronaut, a racing
driver or a fireman.

'I'm
still like that kid who loves being involved in bikes. That is why I
have chosen to do what I am now embarking on. I need something else that
really excites me.'

Hoy may not have a published view on
Alex Salmond's nationalist plans but he is perfectly positioned to
deliver a verdict on sporting greatness. No other British Olympian has
won six gold medals. Sir Steve Redgrave has five. Hoy's cycling
colleague Bradley Wiggins, rower Sir Matt Pinsent and sailor Ben Ainslie
have four.

Wiggins,
whose Olympic collection amounts to four golds, one silver and two
bronze, is a national icon primarily for another reason: he is the first
British winner of the Tour de France. So does that make him better than
Redgrave

'No,' says Hoy, turning his thoughts to the ultimate saloonbar debate.

'Bradley
is responsible for the greatest single achievement by a British
sportsman. I stand by that. But as an overall achievement, Steve's
record of five consecutive golds is yet to be beaten.

'I understand what it is like to do four Games. He won gold and then defended it, and did it again and again and again. Nobody has ever done that, and until someone does, he is the greatest. And I don't think anyone will do it in such a physically demanding sport as rowing. I know a little bit about it because I rowed as a junior.'

That was at George Watson's College, an independent school in Edinburgh. Trying the political angle again, what did he make of David Cameron's view that not enough Olympic medallists came from the state sector

'I have no thoughts on that to be honest,' he said. 'I am just pleased to have had the opportunities I was given by my school and my parents.'

David and Carol, two lovely people who are happy to dine with us hacks on trips abroad, support Chris avidly, unfurling the 'Real McHoy' banner at every appropriate time. There must be something of the values they instilled in their son that has led him to be such an outspoken advocate of doping-free sport. This is sports politics, you see.

Drug free sport: Hoy says he has never been offered drugs to boost his performance

Drug free sport: Hoy says he has never been offered drugs to boost his performance

I tell him that David Millar, the reformed EPO user, disparagingly referred to him and Redgrave as 'white knights' in an interview before the Games. Hoy had not seen it. 'He is entitled to his opinion,' comes the chilly response.

'I have always had a very clear view on the matter. It is black and white. You just don't do it.' But, of course, they nearly all did, in road cycling at least. The recent Lance Armstrong revelations tell us all we need to know about the pervasive culture.

Hoy adds: 'It is disappointing to see what was going on in the past. But that is what it is: the past. That is why Team Sky (the British road team run by Dave Brailsford) was set up, almost as a riposte to the system, to say, “We are going to do it our own way”.

'We ride bikes but that is the only similarity between a track sprinter and a Tour de France rider. They are two different sports.

'I have never been offered drugs, and bear in mind all the gyms I have been to across the country. That's the truth. Maybe I'm lucky but I have never been put in that position.

'We now have the “whereabouts” system – where you have to be available to the testers at a given place for one hour each day. If you are not there, it is one strike. Three strikes and it's taken to be a positive test. It is one of the reasons why it is becoming a far cleaner and safer world in which to become a sportsperson.'

Solid gold: Diplomatic and reasonable, Hoy is well liked

Solid gold: Diplomatic and reasonable, Hoy is well liked

Hoy is a true but hard sportsman, yet he became entangled in one seemingly murky incident, when Britain's young German-born rider Philip Hindes fell off his bike in the Olympic team sprint competition. It necessitated a restart.

Hindes later told the BBC he had fallen off deliberately because he had not got away as fast as he would have liked. A minor storm blew up. Was this cheating Hindes' poor English was used as an excuse for his admission. So, too, was the notion that his comments were meant as a joke. Hoy sticks to that line.

'It was his humour,' he says. 'We were thinking, “What is he talking about” He comes out with some funny stuff. He was thrust into the limelight and I think he was a bit embarrassed about crashing.

'We take the mickey out of him sometimes but he is a good lad. You wondered if it would have repercussions but it didn't. I'm 36 and he was 19. When you are that age everything is different and new.'

Diplomatic and reasonable, nothing is new to cycling's elder statesman. Nothing, that is, but looking to the future and the rest of his life.

Sir Chris Hoy is a member of the British Cycling Team and is pictured wearing current British Cycling clothing produced by adidas. To purchase a replica, visit www.wiggle.com and to discuss British Cycling visit @adidasUK on Twitter.

Enzo Maccarinelli beaten by Ovil McKenzie in controversial fashion

Devastated Maccarinelli controversially stopped in second round as McKenzie retains Commonwealth title

|

UPDATED:

23:03 GMT, 9 November 2012

Enzo Maccarinelli was robbed of the chance to win the only belt missing from his collection when his light-heavyweight Commonwealth title clash with Ovil McKenzie was stopped prematurely in the second round.

The Welshman, 32, came under pressure from the champion but appeared in no distress, only for referee Ian John-Lewis to end the fight, much to the bewilderment of the former cruiserweight world champion, and the crowd.

'I am absolutely devastated,' Maccarinelli said. 'The referee apologised to me afterwards.

Taking the blows: Enzo Maccarinelli gets caught with a left hook from Ovill McKenzie

Taking the blows: Enzo Maccarinelli gets caught with a left hook from Ovill McKenzie

'We knew he [McKenzie] was strong but it was my plan to take the shots on the ropes. My hands were up and I blocked his shots until the referee stepped in.'

McKenzie meanwhile admitted the fight could have continued.

'It's not my fault, there's nothing I can do,' he said. 'I will give this guy a rematch anytime. The fight could have carried on, I can't lie about that.'

Maccarinelli was involved in a controversial bout for the second time this year following his British title victory over Shane McPhilbin in March.

Stoppage time: Refree Ian John Lewis explains to Maccarinelli why he stopped the fight against McKenzie. The referee later apologised

Stoppage time: Refree Ian John Lewis explains to Maccarinelli why he stopped the fight against McKenzie. The referee later apologised

That fight was marred by the bizarre decision to end the first round 47 seconds early after Maccarinelli had been knocked down. He was floored again in the third before winning on all three judges' scorecards.

Having endured a torrid four years since losing a cruiserweight unification bout with David Haye at the O2 Arena in London, Maccarinelli had hoped to get back on track against McKenzie after serving a six-month ban for failing a drugs test.

Game over: Maccarinelli looks stunned as McKenzie celebrates his win

Game over: Maccarinelli looks stunned as McKenzie celebrates his win

He looked comfortable in the opening stages, although the man from Derby was the busier man which was also the case in the second session before the controversial stoppage.

The final fight of the evening saw Paul Butler maintain his unbeaten record and claim the vacant British super flyweight title with a stunning first-round stoppage of John Donnelly.

The home favourite delivered a sickening body shot after just 69 seconds to send the Liverpool crowd into delirium.

Martin Murray to fight Jorge Navarro for vacant WBA interim middleweight title

Murray gets shot at unbeaten Navarro for vacant WBA interim middleweight title on Hatton undercard

|

UPDATED:

20:18 GMT, 7 November 2012

Martin Murray will fight for the vacant WBA interim middleweight title against unbeaten Venezuelan Jorge Navarro on the undercard of Ricky Hatton's comeback at the Manchester Arena on November 24.

The 30-year-old from St Helens has endured a frustrating year after drawing with then world champion Felix Sturm last December.

Murray has had only one fight since then, a points win over Frenchman Karim Achour in June, but hopes to get back on track with victory over Navarro.

Dangerous fight: Murray

Dangerous fight: Murray

'This is a dangerous fight,' he said. 'It has been tough getting an opponent, but Navarro is the only fighter ranked in the top 10 willing to fight me.'

Murray held the British title until recently and was ordered to face Commonwealth champion Billy Joe Saunders but that clash failed to materialise.

Subsequently, Murray was stripped of his title and Saunders will instead face Nick Blackwell for the vacant strap at the Excel Arena in London on December 15.

Since drawing with Murray last year, Sturm lost his WBA Super title to Australian Daniel Geale but he is set to be stripped of his newly-acquired honour after opting not to fight regular champion Gennadiy Golovkin.

Murray is ranked third by the WBA, four places above his younger opponent, and will hope that victory later this month will propel him into contention for title challenges.

Navarro has been a professional for six years but has fought just 12 times, stopping 10 of his opponents early with his last victory coming against Javier Gonzalez in August.

Jessica Ennis will compete at 2014 Commonwealth Games

Golden girl Ennis confirms she'll fight for heptathlon glory at 2014 Commonwealth Games

|

UPDATED:

18:53 GMT, 1 November 2012

Jessica Ennis will compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, her coach Toni Minichiello has confirmed.

The Olympic champion needs a Commonwealth gold to complete the set of major championship titles.

'Jessica will be at Glasgow 2014, definitely,' said Minichiello, who was in Glasgow for the International Festival of Athletics Coaching (IFAC).

Going for gold: Jessica Ennis will compete at 2014 Commonwealth Games

Going for gold: Jessica Ennis will compete at 2014 Commonwealth Games

'That is absolutely the competition plan for us looking ahead. She has not won the Commonwealth title before.

'She was the bronze medallist in Melbourne in 2006 when still quite young and didn't travel to Delhi two years ago. It will not be easy in Glasgow, either.

'There are Canadians and Australians who can step up to the mark there so it will be good competition.

'It is tight in terms of the schedule with Glasgow 2014 coming about a fortnight before the European Championships, but we certainly intend to come to Scotland.'

Sebastian Vettel"s in control at New Delhi

Vettel's in control at New Delhi, but driver's are at biting point with mosquitoes

|

UPDATED:

22:01 GMT, 26 October 2012

Despite the sound of it, Chikungunya is not a Sri Lankan opening batsman. It is a form of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne virus that makes you wake one morning with aching joints and does not leave you for 18 months.

It can be fatal to children and the elderly. Yash Raj Chopra, one of Bollywood's great directors, died of dengue on Sunday, aged 80.

Two years ago during the Commonwealth Games – those of falling masonry and organisational chaos that finally rescued some credit with the warm welcome of our Indian hosts – dengue was the most worrying health issue until the chief medical officer was taken ill with typhoid.

Drive time: Vettel with compatriot Schumacher and (below) Webber joins Hamilton and Button at the track

Drive time: Vettel with compatriot Schumacher and (below) Webber joins Hamilton and Button at the track

Drive time: Vettel with compatriot Schumacher and (below) Webber joins Hamilton and Button at the track

I merely contracted what was diagnosed back home as the aforementioned Chikungunya. As on that last visit, the monsoon season has just ended and the mosquitoes are at their most harmful ahead of Sunday’s Indian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, the two British McLaren drivers, are right in the buzzing centre of the danger. They, along with the whole McLaren entourage, are staying at the Hilton, who, awkwardly given the situation, sponsor the team. The hotel staff have been wielding racket-shaped zappers in the lobby to combat the problem.

Indian Grand Prix

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the race from 8am on Sunday right here

Button has been squashing mosquitoes with his hands. His manager Richard Goddard, sleeves rolled down, trousers and socks covering his legs, top button occasionally closed, was bitten on the ear.

Thankfully, not all mosquitoes carry the virus. The dengue carriers are said to strike only at dawn and dusk and to bite only between wrist and elbow, ankle and knee.

Whatever, there have been 720 dengue cases in India this year. And next to the Hilton, on the outskirts of central Delhi, is a perfect breeding swamp of clear water. Now the fearful authorities are frantically fogging – the misty process of spraying insecticide into the air.

Those hotel’s efforts have escalated since Goddard voiced his concerns.

'The Hilton is really nice and the
people there are friendly and helpful,’ he said. ‘But perhaps with the
hotel being new, there has not been enough allowance made for the amount
of mosquitoes in the area.'

Final countdown: The teams are making last plans before the 17th race of the season on Sunday

Final countdown: The teams are making last plans before the 17th race of the season on Sunday

Final countdown: The teams are making last plans before the 17th race of the season on Sunday

McLaren stood by Hilton, as they had to, with spokesman Matt Bishop saying the hotel was 'excellent, luxurious, comfortable', adding: 'Mosquitoes are a hazard of life all over India that Indians learn to live with – just as Scottish Highlanders cope uncomplainingly with midges, for example.'

There is an incubation period of a few days so whether any McLaren team member has been affected by dengue is not yet known.

The government are credited with having reduced the scale of the disease over the years but, in languid India, progress is uniformly slow.

Yet, the circuit — an hour's heart-in-your-mouth drive from the imperial Delhi that Lutyens built — appears high-class. The rough edges of last year’s inaugural race have been smoothed out.

The sporting report is brief and predictable. Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull topped the timesheets in both yesterday’s practice sessions. His car is supreme. He has won the previous three rounds.

He leads the World Championship standings by six points over Ferrari's Fernando Alonso going into the fourth-last race of the season. An unforeseen twist or two notwithstanding, there seems no way to stop him.

Undeniably, the racing this season has been thrilling and Vettel has had to fight his way to the top. Many devoted Formula One fans will understandably not countenance any criticism of the spectacle. But a third consecutive title for a German driver does little to stir the hearts of casual British observers.

Soak it up: New Delhi offers a unique experience to the teams and fans travelling to the race

Soak it up: New Delhi offers a unique experience to the teams and fans travelling to the race

Soak it up: New Delhi offers a unique experience to the teams and fans travelling to the race

Grand Prix racing is ever more dominated by talk of tyres now than ever. Fascinating to some; an unfathomable imponderable to many.

Off the track, FIA president Jean Todt is doing nothing to keep the sport in the headlines. Consensual pragmatism has veered into plain boring.

A little more mischief from the little Frenchman would be welcome, because, like it or not, Formula One thrives on controversy.

Mr Todt's old team, Ferrari, did their own bit of storm-making by placing an Italian flag on the car in support of two of the country's marines who face trial in India for killing two fishermen, believing them to be pirates.

Their act contravenes the FIA#s rules banning political statements, even if Ferrari claimed they were not being political. Yes, and their cars are't red… The Indian External Affairs Ministry denounced Ferrari as 'unsporting'.

But as Formula One left through the mosquito-filled air of last evening, Mr Todt was silent, keeping up his proud presidential record of neglecting to demonstrate leadership on any topical issue.

India Grand Prix

David Price v Matt Skelton at Aintree on November 30

Price to jump back into action with Aintree title defence against 45-year-old Skelton

|

UPDATED:

09:42 GMT, 22 October 2012

David Price will make a quick return to action when he defends his British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles against veteran Matt Skelton at Aintree racecourse on November 30.

The giant Liverpudlian made short work of Audley Harrison earlier this month, stopping the Olympic gold medalist in his tracks with a devastating knockout after just 82 seconds.

On the line: David Price will defend his British and Commonwealth heavyweight championships against Matt Skelton at Aintree

On the line: David Price will defend his British and Commonwealth heavyweight championships against Matt Skelton at Aintree

Former British, Commonwealth and European champion Skelton boxed on the same bill in Liverpool, stopping Croatian Jakov Gospic in two rounds.

Price, 29, will expect to extend his unbeaten record against Skelton as he eyes fights with the Klitschko brothers and bitter rival Tyson Fury in the future.

‘Matt was on stand-by in case Audley pulled out,’ he said.

‘He went through with his part of the deal so we’ll go through with ours.

Veteran: 45-year-old Skelton will provide Price with his latest test in November

Veteran: 45-year-old Skelton will provide Price with his latest test in November

‘I am aware he is 45, but he has won major championships and challenged for the world title.

‘I have only boxed 14 times as a professional and still learning and Matt will bring something new for me.’