Tag Archives: convincing

Ryan Babel says Manchester City are "bunch of egos": EXCLUSIVE

EXCLUSIVE: Divided City are just a bunch of egos, says Ajax ace Babel

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UPDATED:

22:55 GMT, 5 November 2012

Manchester City have been labelled a team of expensive, self-centred flops who spent their recent Champions League loss at Ajax arguing with each other on the pitch at the Amsterdam Arena.

The accusation came on Monday night from Ajax winger Ryan Babel, part of the team who beat City 3-1 on matchday three to leave them bottom of their European group.

City face Ajax again on Tuesday night knowing they must win at the Etihad Stadium if they are not to crash out of the Champions League with two games to play.

Going Dutch: Ryan Babel and his Ajax team are ready to take on Manchester City once more

Going Dutch: Ryan Babel and his Ajax team are ready to take on Manchester City once more

Going Dutch: Ryan Babel and his Ajax team are ready to take on Manchester City once more

Babel said: 'Against City in the first game you could see the perfect example of a real team effort by Ajax against a team of individuals.

'We noticed how the frustration got the better of them during the game. And we saw how the players were directing those frustrations towards each other. That is the danger of a club with so many big-name players and so many big egos.

'When the going gets tough, they are not prepared to do the hard work for each other.'

City went to Amsterdam in October expecting to beat Frank de Boer’s team and get a foothold in Group D after a defeat at Real Madrid and a home draw with Borussia Dortmund.

But Ajax ended the night convincing winners.

Former Liverpool winger Babel believes Ajax’s organic approach to growing a team is superior to City’s attempts to throw money at a long-term project.

Coach De Boer, for example, is said to know the name of every player in the Ajax Academy from the age of 11 up to the first team.

Babel added: 'De Boer wants us to understand that we can beat the biggest teams with good football.

'We failed when we lost to Real Madrid, but that made it much sweeter when we did it against Man City.'

De Boer said on Monday night: 'I get tired of people saying we beat City because of our opponent playing badly. Our players dominated. City had no answer.'

He added: 'We want to be in the Champions League after the winter break as well.

Principles: Frank de Boer is said to know the name of every academy player at Ajax

Principles: Frank de Boer is said to know the name of every academy player at Ajax

Principles: Frank de Boer is said to know the name of every academy player at Ajax

'All the teams in this group do, and of course they want to have the nine points out of the three coming matches.

'We will give it a go to try to get a result here. Some of these teams will lose points and we will know who at the end of the match.

'We are not going to throw it open but it is not our way to play defensively. We want to show the way we play at Ajax, whether it is at home or away.'

De Boer took a similar approach when his side faced Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Europa League last season and was rewarded with a 2-1 win, although his side lost the tie overall.

Dutch delight: Christian Eriksen was the architect of City's downfall in Amsterdam

Dutch delight: Christian Eriksen was the architect of City's downfall in Amsterdam

He said: 'We showed it last year against Manchester United. I think this group of players have already proved they can do it and I am not worried whether they really believe it.

'I want to see players who play bravely with their own qualities and maybe better.

'That makes you a better player if you can play your best under the highest pressure. A lot of players will have that.'

Exeter 33 Worcester 9: Chiefs take charge with commanding win over Warriors

Exeter 33 Worcester 9: Chiefs take charge with commanding win over Warriors

PUBLISHED:

17:59 GMT, 3 November 2012

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UPDATED:

18:16 GMT, 3 November 2012

Late tries from Haydn Thomas and
Chris Budgen put the seal on a convincing victory for Exeter Chiefs who
remain unbeaten at Sandy Park in the Aviva Premiership this season.

Exeter went into the break 19-3 ahead through a try from Gonzalo Camacho which Gareth Steenson converted, and the Irishman followed that up with three penalties with Andy Goode replying with a late penalty.

The former England fly-half added two more after the break before the game petered out until the final 10 minutes when the Chiefs scored tries from Haydn Thomas and Chris Budgen.

Down and out: Worcester Warriors players react to conceding a try

Down and out: Worcester Warriors players react to conceding a try

Exeter approached the game on the back of three straight defeats, to Leinster and Clermont Auvergne in the Heineken Cup and away to Bath in the Premiership last weekend.

They made four changes, with Fijian Sireli Naqelevuki starting at outside centre, Chris Whitehead at hooker, and skipper Tom Hayes linking up with Aly Muldowney in the second row, meaning Dean Mumm switched to the back row.

Worcester also made changes, with hooker Ed Shervington and prop Ceri Jones making their first Premiership starts of the season.

Quick hands: Worcester scrum-half Paul Hodgson gets a move started

Quick hands: Worcester scrum-half Paul Hodgson gets a move started

Lock Dean Schofield returned to lead the side, Chris Jones came in at number eight, while Josh Drauniniu returned on the wing.

The visitors had won their last three games across all competitions but were forced to make a late change when Samoan international wing David Lemi withdrew due to a tight hamstring.

Andy Short was drafted in for his first Premiership start. Exeter took the lead after full-back Luke Arscott put a grubber kick through and wing Camacho hacked on and won the chase for the try line.

Fly-half Steenson added the extras. Exeter's smooth start continued as Steenson, who had seen an early attempt hit the upright, took advantage of the wind at his back by adding three penalties to give the home side a 16-0 midway through the half.

Round the outside: Exter's Sireli Naqelevuki beats his man

Round the outside: Exter's Sireli Naqelevuki beats his man

Worcester full-back Chris Pennell was then forced to race back and touch down behind his own line after the Chiefs mounted another attack down the right.

The visitors continued to test the patience of referee David Rose as they conceded another penalty at the scrum and Steenson again found the target to stretch the lead to 19 points.

With time almost up in the first half, the Warriors again kicked a couple of penalties to the corner to set-up catch and drives.

They came to nothing but then home centre Phil Dollman was penalised for a high tackle and Andy Goode reduced the arrears to 19-3 at the break.

Goode work: Andy Goode of Worcester in action

Goode work: Andy Goode of Worcester in action

Worcester started the second period with a lot more energy but Exeter's defence stood firm for almost 10 minutes until they were penalised for hands in the ruck and Goode made it two successful kicks from two attempts.

The visitors had a try from replacement Ravai Fatiaki ruled out for a forward pass, and from the resultant scrum Exeter were able to clear their line.

Worcester tried to capitalise on Exeter errors to creep their way into the opposition half and the penalty count continued as Goode landed his third penalty with 10 minutes remaining.

Up for it: Worcester players organise a lineout

Up for it: Worcester players organise a lineout

But the Chiefs sealed the game as breaks from Arscott and Rich Baxter pressed them towards the line.

Scrum-half Thomas picked up at the back of the ruck and dummied before diving over the line with Steenson adding the conversion.

With five minutes remaining, Worcester's former Cornish Pirates flanker Sam Betty was sent to the sin-bin for taking out Arscott.

Dave Ewers went close to crossing the try-line but was stopped short and his fellow replacement Chris Budgen went over, with Ignacio Mieres adding the extras.

Andy Murray beats Lukas Lacko in Japan Open second round

Murray marches on as Scot sweeps Lacko aside to reach third round of Japan Open

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UPDATED:

11:00 GMT, 3 October 2012

Andy Murray dropped only three games as he brushed aside Lukas Lacko in less than an hour in the second round of the Japan Open.

The British No 1, top seed for the tournament in Tokyo, built on his opening straight-sets win over Ivo Karlovic with another convincing performance.

Murray had spoken to this morning's Independent about the improvement in his general play and mindset since winning his first grand slam at this summer's US Open, his last tournament prior to this week.

Still winning: Andy Murray is through to the third round of the Japan Open after beating Lukas Lacko

Still winning: Andy Murray is through to the third round of the Japan Open after beating Lukas Lacko

He said: 'Because winning a slam was
so important to me I felt sometimes that I was focusing on the next slam
rather than on every tournament and every match.

'Now I feel I can hopefully concentrate better throughout the year and not take my eye off the ball at any tournaments.'

That was in evidence as he broke to
love in each of Lacko's first two service games to race into a 5-0 lead
in less than 20 minutes.

The Slovakian staved off a love set
at the last opportunity and made Murray work hard to serve out the set,
but the Scot came through 6-1 in 25 minutes.

Another break in the third game of
the second set put him further in control and one more was to follow,
Murray taking all four of his break points as he wrapped up a 6-1, 6-2
win.

Worcester 35 London Irish 11

Worcester 35 London Irish 11: Late three tries seal Warriors' first win of season

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UPDATED:

22:05 GMT, 28 September 2012

Worcester collected their first Aviva Premiership win of the season with an ultimately convincing performance against London Irish at Sixways.

The hosts led 16-11 with less than 15 minutes remaining but three late tries saw their superiority rewarded with a bonus-point victory.

The kick-off to the game was delayed by 30 minutes after Irish arrived late due heavy traffic on the M5.

Break on: Jon Clarke surges through the centre of the park

Break on: Jon Clarke surges through the centre of the park

When the action finally got under way, Worcester had the first chance after six minutes but Andy Goode's penalty attempt from just inside his own half fell narrowly short.

Two minutes later the Warriors suffered another setback when Nikki Walker left the field with a leg injury to be replaced by former Northampton centre Jon Clarke, who was making his home debut.

The Warriors had the better of the opening exchanges but failed to take advantage and it was Irish who scored the first try after 14 minutes.

A neat pass from Marland Yarde sent Ofisa Treviranus away and the number eight had sufficient pace to hold off the cover defence for an excellent score.

Steve Shingler missed the conversion but was soon on target with a simple penalty.

Saliosi Tagicakibau carelessly knocked-on the restart to give the Warriors a platform in the visitors' 22 and he was made to pay for his error as Aleki Lutui drove over from close range for the try which Goode converted.

Even at this early stage it seemed a contest between the stronger home pack against the more creative running of the Irish three-quarters, who were seeing too little of the ball.

Gotcha: Alex Gray claims the catch to to win a lineout

Gotcha: Alex Gray claims the catch to to win a lineout

Come here you: Sailosi Tagicakibau is halted by two Worcester players

Come here you: Sailosi Tagicakibau is halted by two Worcester players

After 30 minutes another mistake from Tagicakibau cost his side dear when the wing received a yellow card for tip tackling Jonny Arr.

Goode easily kicked the resulting penalty to put Worcester into the lead for the first time.

Shingler was given a penalty opportunity 50 metres out after the Warriors were penalised but he couldn't capitalise and the hosts deservedly led 10-8 at the interval.

Tagicakibau returned for the second half with Worcester having failed to take any advantage from his absence.

The Warriors nearly extended their lead when Goode made a fine break, handing off a weak tackling attempt from Ian Humphreys in the process.

The outside half kicked ahead but a knock on just short of the line ruined Worcester's hopes of a second try but soon afterwards they were rewarded when Goode kicked another penalty.

Almost immediately Shingler nullified this with a 45-metre penalty and when Matt Kvesic was penalised for not releasing, the centre had a chance to put Irish back into the lead but his kick from halfway sailed wide.

No chance: The Irish defence were powerless as Semisi Taulava steamed through to score his try

No chance: The Irish defence were powerless as Semisi Taulava steamed through to score his try

The next penalty chance fell to Goode and he was bang on target from nearly 50 metres.

The Worcester pack continued to dominate which resulted in Irish flanker Jamie Gibson being sin-binned for illegally stopping one of their drives.

The Irish line was under intense pressure but somehow their defence held firm which meant it was only 16-11 to the hosts with 15 minutes remaining.

Three minutes later, Worcester scored the decisive try. Goode, Clarke and James Percival were heavily involved in a movement which ended with David Lemi outflanking the defence.

Goode missed that conversion but kicked two as Worcester scored two late tries through Semisi Taulava and Clarke to run out comfortable winners.

Ricky Burns beats Kevin Mitchell in Glasgow

Feel the Burns: Rampant Ricky blasts through Mitchell to win 'Battle of Britain' and retain world belt

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UPDATED:

23:23 GMT, 22 September 2012

Burns stunned Kevin Mitchell in front
of a raucous crowd in Glasgow to retain his world lightweight title in
breathtaking fashion.

The Scot, defending his WBO belt for
the second time, took the fight to his opponent from the first bell and
never relented in a staggering display.

Mitchell was floored twice in the
fourth round before yet another unanswered flurry of punches forced the
referee to call a halt to the bout.

Impressive: Ricky Burns aims a punch at Kevin Mitchell during his convincing victory

Impressive: Ricky Burns aims a punch at Kevin Mitchell during his convincing victory

Billed as a 'Battle of Britain', Burns turned the fight into a procession, beating the Englishman to the punch time and time again before pinning him to the ropes and unloading.

Controlling the fight with his jab and always looking to land the right to head and body, Burns edged the opening exchanges of the first round.

Mitchell looked to respond where he could but the bout burst into life when the pair went toe-to-toe with neither giving an inch.

Down and out: Ricky Burns knocks Kevin Mitchell down

Down and out: Ricky Burns knocks Kevin Mitchell down

The home favourite continued to dominate in the second stanza as the pace of the bout refused to relent.

Mitchell served the champion with some timely reminders of his punching power but it was he who was taking some hefty punishment.

Mitchell showed he was not fazed by the Scot's flying start in the third round when, pinned to the ropes, he beat his own chest in a mocking show of defiance.

Punishing: Ricky Burns goes on the attack

Punishing: Ricky Burns goes on the attack

But if that was an indication that he was forcing his way into the contest, the sizeable English contingent in the crowd were silenced minutes later.

Burns' pressure fighting paid off as he floored Mitchell twice in quick succession and although he rose on both occassions, Burns' victory was inevitable and 10,000 fans rose as one to salute their hero.

Burns is set to defend his title again in December with countryman Scott Harrison a possible opponent.

Shanghai Masters: John Higgins beats Ali Carter to reach semi-final

Pot luck: Higgins sees off Essex boy Carter to reach last four in Shanghai

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UPDATED:

16:29 GMT, 21 September 2012

John Higgins held off a comeback from Ali Carter to reach the semi-finals of the Bank of Communication Shanghai Masters.

The Scot, seeking a first tournament win in China since 1999 and playing his first ranking event of the season, looked poised to wrap up a convincing success when he established a 4-1 lead.

However, World Championship finalist Carter made Higgins pay for missing the final red in the sixth frame, compiling a 32 break to overturn a 19-point deficit and seal a 73-60 success which kept his hopes alive.

Pot luck: John Higgins is through to the last four at the Shanghai Masters

Pot luck: John Higgins is through to the last four at the Shanghai Masters

The 33-year-old Essex potter, who is fighting an ongoing battle with Crohn's disease, built a 47-point lead in the seventh frame and wrapped it up with a knock of 35 to move to within a frame of his opponent at 4-3.

However, Higgins kept his composure to complete a 5-3 success – having started the contest with a break of 103 in the opening frame.

Former world champion Mark Williams joined Higgins in the semis, beating Joe Perry 5-4 in a match where there was never more than a single frame between the players.

The left-hander from Cwm was taken to a decider after a 131 clearance by Perry squared the contest in the eighth frame.

However, Williams – beaten by Mark Selby in the final of this tournament last season having held a 9-7 lead – held his nerve in the ninth frame with a match-winning break of 75, after Perry had earlier sportingly called a foul on himself after feathering the white.

London 2012 Paralympics: Oscar Pistorius wins gold in T44 400m

Oscar gets gold! Pistorius claims top spot with Paralympic record in T44 400m

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UPDATED:

22:04 GMT, 8 September 2012

Oscar Pistorius finally won his first individual gold medal of London 2012 in the very last race at the Olympics Stadium.

The South African did not quite manage to live up to Friday's claim that he would sign off in 'spectacular' fashion, but he was still a hugely convincing winner in a new Paralympic record 46.68 seconds, more than three seconds ahead of the field.

After a shock 200m loss and an expected 100m one, the 400m was the one title the 25-year-old wanted to keep hold of more than any other.

All for this: Oscar Pistorius shows off his gold medal and celebrates his win (below)

All for this: Oscar Pistorius shows off his gold medal and celebrates his win (below)

Glory: Oscar Pistorius celebrates his 400m victory

It is his event, the one at which he made history by becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete in the Olympics. And there was never any danger of an upset.

Pistorius came into the race with a
personal best more than five seconds quicker than the next fastest in
the race, none of whom had broken the 50-second barrier. Pistorius can
get close to 45secs at his best.

The South African is still the biggest draw in Paralympic sport and got a huge roar when introduced to the capacity crowd.

Victors: Silver medallist Blake Leeper of the United States, Pistorius, and bronze medallist David Prince, also American

Victors: Silver medallist Blake Leeper of the United States, Pistorius, and bronze medallist David Prince, also American

What a night: Pistorius destroyed the competition

What a night: Pistorius destroyed the competition

Alan Fonteles Oliveira, the T44 200m
champion whose long blades sparked furious criticism from Pistorius in
the immediate aftermath of that race, was in the lane outside him and
for the first half of the race looked like he might pose a challenge.

But Pistorius came into the home
straight with a clear lead and, as the Brazilian tired badly, American
Blake Leeper came into second and compatriot David Prince third.
Oliveira was fourth.

It marks the end of a long summer for
the Blade Runner, who leaves London with two golds, having taken one in
the relay, and a silver.

Proud: Pistorius celebrates with the South African flag

Proud: Pistorius celebrates with the South African flag

Golden Oscar

'It was very very special to me,'
Pistorius told Channel 4. 'It was the last event of my season, the last
event of the London 2012 Games. Just so special.

'It
was my 11th time I was able to come out on the track and I just wanted
to end and give the crowd something they would appreciate and take home
with them.

'I was very nervous before today's race. I was quite tired but the crowd just really kept me going.'

Pistorius added: 'For one of the first times I thought I could actually hear something coming into the home straight.

'Usually I'm so focused and so in my zone, but I could hear the crowd and it was just the most amazing feeling that I could have possibly had.

'This has been the most phenomenally successful Olympic and Paralympic Games and I think the world is finally seeing that Paralympic sport is truly elite.

'It has performances that are really worth supporting and worth getting to know the athletes for. It's been a humbling blessing being here.'

Miles ahead: Pistorius easily led the way

Miles ahead: Pistorius easily led the way

Asked about his rival Oliveira, Pistorius said: 'It was very difficult to know what race he was going to run after yesterday. He ran out very, very quick over the first 300 and then he in essence just jogged the last 100 so we didn't know what to expect.

'But I think that was a great race for me.'

He went on: 'I want to thank everyone. This week, this month and this season have had a lot of challenges and my coach is right behind me and I have a lot to thank him for too.'

Alan Oliveira

Pistorius

Helping hand: Pistorius offers support to his rival Alan Oliveira (left) and celebrates (right)

On winning the last race on the track
of London 2012, he said: 'I'm so proud. This summer's been a dream come
true. I couldn't have hoped for anything better.

'Lord Seb Coe and his team and LOCOG
have done the most amazing Olympic and Paralympic Games and this is one
of the biggest highlights of my life.

'To have had 11 races here, to have
made an Olympic final, to have made the semi-final and run one of my
quickest times in the Olympics and then to come out here in the Paras
and run two world records and get three medals, it's such a blessing for
me.'

Well done: Pistorius is congratulated by the crowd

Well done: Pistorius is congratulated by the crowd

More to follow.

Rangers 5 Elgin City 1: David Templeton strikes twice on debut

Rangers 5 Elgin City 1: New boy Templeton hits a brace as McCoists men run riot

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UPDATED:

18:25 GMT, 2 September 2012

Fantasy football 2012

David Templeton marked his debut with a double as Rangers came from behind to claim a convincing victory over Elgin City in the Irn-Bru Third Division.

Lee McCulloch celebrated being handed the captain's armband with a brace of his own, as he netted his 100th and 101st career goals.

Dean Shiels was also on target, sparking the Rangers comeback with the equaliser after Jamie Duff had given Elgin a shock lead.

What a way to introduce yourself: David Templeton bags his second goal

What a way to introduce yourself: David Templeton bags his second goal

Templeton made his Rangers bow from the start as boss Ally McCoist made two changes from the Scottish Communities League Cup win over Falkirk midweek.

The winger was drafted straight into the starting line-up for the clash at Ibrox, ahead of Sebastien Faure, after sealing his move from Hearts late on Friday night.

Ross Perry was also given the nod as he took the place of skipper Carlos Bocanegra in the heart of defence, after the American joined Racing Santander on loan on transfer deadline day.

Skipper: Lee McCulloch, who also scored two, celebrates (centre)

Skipper: Lee McCulloch, who also scored two, celebrates (centre)

Minutes before the match was due to start, McCoist confirmed on the club's official website that McCulloch would replace Bocanegra as captain, describing the decision as a 'no brainer'.

Rangers enjoyed the best of the opening stages and came close after a couple of minutes when McCulloch fed Shiels and he dragged his shot narrowly wide.

Andy Little then raced onto a Templeton pass only to see his well-struck shot fizz just past the post as the home side continued the early pressure.

However, Rangers were hit with a sucker-punch when Elgin took the lead after 15 minutes when a corner broke for Duff and he lashed high into the top corner.

Surprise: Jamie Duff scores a shock opener for Elgin City

Surprise: Jamie Duff scores a shock opener for Elgin City

McCulloch could have levelled the scoreline again almost immediately but directed his header straight into the grateful hands of goalkeeper John Gibson.

But Rangers were back on level terms with 24 minutes gone when McCulloch's initial effort was blocked and Shiels pounced on the rebound to power home.

The Ibrox side then surged into the lead five minutes later when Ian Black teed up the shot with some fine play for Templeton and the new recruit rifled high into the net.

Loyal: Fans turned up in their droves

Loyal: Fans turned up in their droves

Templeton could have been celebrating again moments later when he unleashed from distance and Gibson was only just able to block for a corner.

The winger then tested the goalkeeper again with another decent effort but, this time, McCulloch was able to stab home the rebound from inside the six yard box to claim his century on the stroke of half-time.

Templeton claimed his second of the day just three minutes after the restart.

A
Shiels corner into the packed box was collected by the winger, who
turned and drove past Gibson from close range to leave Elgin with no way
back.

Chuffed: Ally McCoist enjoyed himself

Chuffed: Ally McCoist enjoyed himself

There was also a double for McCulloch after 59 minutes. Little was the provider when he squared across the face of goal and a simple finish was all that was required from the new skipper.

McCulloch could have claimed his hat-trick when he met an Anestis Argyriou ball across the face of goal but blasted over, before firing wide after being set up by Barrie McKay.

There was no hat-trick for Templeton either, who was withdrawn to a loud ovation from the 46,015 crowd – the biggest in Scotland this weekend – to make way for Kevin Kyle late on.

He was later announced as the sponsors' man of the match following an impressive first outing for his new club.

London 2012 Olympics: Hockey: Team GB 1 Australia 3

Team GB 1 Australia 3: Lewers' fightback rendered futile as hosts well beaten to bronze

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UPDATED:

16:04 GMT, 11 August 2012

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

Team GB missed out on another medal on Saturday as the Australia hockey team eventually dismantled their defence to come out convincing winners.

The Britons went down to an early goal, but pulled one back through Iain Lewers, giving the home crowd something to cheer.

The ever-impressive Ashley Jackson
set up his compatriot after the Brits survived incredible pressure from
the visitors to level things up.

The man: Jamie Dwyer celebrated a brilliant performance with his Australian team-mates

The man: Jamie Dwyer celebrated a brilliant performance with his Australian team-mates

Futile: Team GB were level before the Australians took the game 3-1

Futile: Team GB were level before the Australians took the game 3-1

But the Britons couldn't cope for the duration of the game, and the cream eventually rose to the top as the Australians exhibited the better hockey, taking control of proceedings.

The side's top goalscorer Jamie Dwyer bagged another to make it 2-1 to the visitors, deflating the Team GB players for a moment.

As the hosts were in their lull, the Australians struck again to make it 3-1.

Team GB could not find a way back into the game from there, and struggled to get enough possession to trouble the impressive Australian outfit at the Riverbank.

More to follow.

Going for bronze: Dwyer capitalised on a penalty corner to bag a goal for Australia

Going for bronze: Dwyer capitalised on a penalty corner to bag a goal for Australia

Going for bronze: Dwyer capitalised on a penalty corner to bag a goal for Australia

London 2012 Olympics Athletics: Perri Shakes-Drayton eases into 400m hurdles semi-final

East London girl Shakes-Drayton eases into 400m hurdles semi-final

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UPDATED:

19:24 GMT, 5 August 2012

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

Londoner Perri Shakes-Drayton tonight powered into the semi-finals of the 400m hurdles, in the Olympic Stadium she can see from the end of her street.

Shakes-Drayton, who was born and raised in Bow, won the final heat in convincing fashion in 54.62 seconds to prove that her personal best at Crystal Palace last month was no fluke.

The 23-year-old ran 53.77secs at the London Grand Prix to clock the joint second fastest time in the world this year behind Russia's Natalya Antyukh, who was the fastest qualifier tonight in 53.90s.

Job done: Perri Shakes-Drayton eased to victory in the 400m hurdles heats

Job done: Perri Shakes-Drayton eased to victory in the 400m hurdles heats

On course for victory: Shakes-Drayton looked comfortable

On course for victory: Shakes-Drayton looked comfortable

Team-mate Eilidh Child had earlier made hard work of a seemingly straightforward heat made even easier by two of her competitors crashing to the track, the 25-year-old Scot eventually finishing third in 56.14.

'Coming round the final bend I thought just get your butt in gear and get moving. Luckily in the home straight I knew I was in the top four comfortably and I thought just keep working.

'I don't know if I just got a bit too
nervous at the start, maybe let the ocassion get to me a bit, so
hopefully now I've got that out the way I can just focus on the next
race.

Getting there first: Shakes-Drayton gets to final hurdle in the lead

Getting there first: Shakes-Drayton gets to final hurdle in the lead

Looking good: Perri Shakes-Drayton makes it into the semi-final

Looking good: Perri Shakes-Drayton makes it into the semi-final

'The second hurdle was where it all went wrong and after that I don't know what stride pattern I was doing, but it was all just really stuttery down that back straight. I think I've given my whole family, who are here, and my coach a heart attack watching that to be honest.'

Shakes-Drayton, who ran a brilliant anchor leg when Britain won gold in the 4x400m at the World Indoor Championships in March, said: 'It was really comfortable and it felt good as now I can safely say I'm through to the semis.

'It was really nerve-wracking but I did what I had to do. I was just trying to look like I was keeping my cool but on the whole they were really good nerves.'