Tag Archives: eleanor

Ryan Shawcross agrees new Stoke deal

Shawcross resists lure of Manchester City as Stoke captain agrees new contract

By
Eleanor Crooks, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

14:57 GMT, 3 January 2013

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UPDATED:

18:07 GMT, 3 January 2013

Ryan Shawcross has committed his future to Stoke by agreeing a new five-and-a-half-year contract.

Manager Tony Pulis was desperate to tie his captain to a new deal with Manchester City known admirers of the 25-year-old.

Pulis said: 'It's fantastic for us as a football club. We're really, really pleased to have him.

Deal me in: Ryan Shawcross (left) has agreed a new contract to stay at Stoke

Deal me in: Ryan Shawcross (left) has agreed a new contract to stay at Stoke

'He's been the bedrock of what we've been trying to do over the past five or six years and we're really pleased that he's finally agreed.'

The two parties have been in talks for a number of weeks, with Shawcross indicating he was ready to sign a long-term deal in November.

He joined Stoke from Manchester United, initially on loan, in 2007 and has gone from strength to strength, making his England debut against Sweden earlier this season.

Shawcross brought his family to the Potters' Clayton Wood training ground for the signing of the contract, and the defender's three-year-old son Freddie accompanied Pulis to the press conference.

The manager said: 'It's a long
contract, Ryan has to get it right, the football club has to get it
right and they've managed to come to an agreement, which is great news
for everybody.

'I think the
world of Ryan. I think he's a great lad. We've just seen little Freddie
in here. They're a great family and they're part of this football club.

'We've signed Asmir (Begovic), we've
signed Marc Wilson and now Ryan, Steven Nzonzi's on a long-term
contract, so that's four top young players.

'And
that's what we want to do – keep improving it, keep getting younger
players and players who will grow together at the football club.

'We're
not going to do what Manchester City have done, we're not going to do a
Chelsea, we have to build gradually and steadily, and that's what we've
done over the last five years.

Delighted: Stoke boss Tony Pulis was desperate to tie Shawcross down

Delighted: Stoke boss Tony Pulis was desperate to tie Shawcross down

'We'll do it our way, in our fashion. A lot of people don't like it but who cares.'

Shawcross revealed the influence of Pulis and the ambition shown by the club were the key reasons behind his decision to sign such a long-term deal.

'I wouldn't have signed the contract if I didn't think the club was moving forward,' he told the club's official website.

'Throughout the talks with the manager and (chief executive) Tony Scholes over the past few months, they were very positive about what the club is aiming to achieve in the future.

'Hopefully, we can build on what has been achieved over the past five years. From what I've heard from them, I am confident we can keep on improving.

'The manager is probably the main reason why I'm where I am today. I've been here for five years now and he's been great throughout that time.

'I came here because I felt the manager could get the best out of me, and I just want to continue what I've been doing so far – keep on improving.'

Hannah Miley earns second medal at World Short-Course Championships

Miley earns second medal at World Short-Course Championships

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UPDATED:

19:12 GMT, 15 December 2012

Medal winner: Hannah Miley earned a bronze to go with her gold

Medal winner: Hannah Miley earned a bronze to go with her gold

Hannah Miley claimed her second medal of the World Short-Course Championships when she was third in the 200 metres individual medley in Istanbul.

The 23-year-old won gold in her specialist 400m event on the first night of competition, breaking her own European record in the process.

The Garioch swimmer was fourth with
50m to go tonight but she managed to force her way into the podium
places to touch in two minutes 07.12 seconds.

It was Great Britain's fourth medal of the five-day competition in Turkey, which will conclude on Sunday.

Miley, seventh in this event at the Olympics, said: 'I am really, really happy with that. It has given me another boost of confidence and motivation for the next part of the season.'

In the other final in which Britain competed, the women's 4x100m freestyle relay finished eighth.

The quartet comprising Rebecca
Turner, Lizzie Simmonds, Eleanor Faulkner and Fran Halsall had qualified
seventh and they were 0.03secs slower tonight in a race won by the
United States.

Here"s a challenge: forget the disability, focus on the sport

Here's a challenge: forget the disability, focus on the sport

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UPDATED:

00:00 GMT, 27 August 2012

'Thanks for the warm-up' say the Channel 4 adverts declaring the Paralympic Games are coming to town.

'Forget everything you thought you
knew about strength,' says another trailer. 'Forget everything you
thought you knew about humans. Meet the superhumans.'

The adverts are deliberately cheeky;
deliberately in-your-face and challenging. Aggressive, even. One advert
features a bomb explosion, car crash and a baby scan interspersed with
images of elite athletes such as swimmer Eleanor Simmonds and Jonnie
Peacock.

Flying the flag: The French Paralympic team arrive at St Pancras

Flying the flag: The French Paralympic team arrive at St Pancras

The Paralympic Games isn't going to be about cosy chats on a sofa and a patronising 'well done' for reaching a final, that's for sure, but it should still be about sport.

You can add 'Forget everything you thought you knew about athletes' to that list, too: for the next fortnight, our idea of what sportsmen and women look like is going to be turned on its head.

I was at St Pancras station when the French Paralympic team arrived on the Eurostar on Saturday. There was a big fanfare announcement and then a procession of people in blue tracksuits appeared. People stared. Some of them were in wheelchairs, but it wasn't that. It was that they looked, as one chap next to me put it, 'well, just a bit old'.

Olympic teams are all shapes and sizes, encompassing show-jumpers, judokas and marathon runners all under one national flag but the physical differences are more exaggerated with Paralympians.

The British team will still be in Stella McCartney-designed adidas kit, but some look very different to the image conjured up by the word 'athlete'.

Elite level: Jonnie Peacock

Elite level: Jonnie Peacock

We can get so wrapped up in what the competitors look like and their journeys to the start line that we forget about the actual sporting event. It's still about getting from A to B faster than anyone else, or scoring more points than the other team. It's just that your opponent might not have an arm, or a leg, or needs a wheelchair or prosthetic limb to try to beat you.

'Sometimes people go, “Oh, they're inspirational”,' said Olympian and Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, 'because the perception they had was so warped – “That person doesn't have any arms and legs. They shouldn't be able to do this”.

'Well, that person's not focusing on what they don't have. They're focusing on what they do have.That's why you get so many more Paralympic athletes who are far more able than able-bodied people who are doing things with their bodies. It's just a mindset. Yes, it's inspirational, but it's hardcore sport. I've seen some phenomenal Paralympic moments that are, just from a sporting point of view, amazing.'

Do you, then, try to forget about the disability and just focus on the ability This is impossible. There is a human need to explain how these athletes can do what they do; how they overcome physical and mental barriers to challenge for gold. It would be disrespectful to simply ignore it, and it should be celebrated.

But the ingredient that makes the Olympics so sensational – this fleeting opportunity, once every four years, to be the best you can possibly be – still applies to the Paralympics.

It's still sport, just very different to what we're used to. Forget everything you thought you knew – and enjoy the challenge.

My way: Roy Hodgson

My way: Roy Hodgson

… and this is what I have been doing this week

Admiring Roy Hodgson's determination to do things his way. 'Should England youth teams all use the same formation' 'Not really . . . systems are overexaggerated anyway.' Will you pick John Terry in the next squad' 'Yes.' There's no saying anything was lost in translation now.

Digesting Lance Armstrong's decision to say 'enough is enough' and not contest drugs charges. For 'great' we must now read 'cheat'. How can that be 'enough'

Visiting Hampton Court Palace for the unveiling of the British flag-bearer at the Paralympics opening ceremony, Peter Norfolk OBE. The Quad tennis double gold medallist, 51, is nicknamed 'the Quadfather'. 'It probably should be the Grumpy Father,' he said, 'but I'm overjoyed.'

What they said

Yang Jian, a commentator for China's state broadcaster CC TV, was almost in tears when Liu Xiang hit the first barrier in his 110 metres hurdles heat at London 2012. 'This is the worst outcome I have thought of,' he said. 'If an athlete does not have a good leg, it's like a soldier without a gun.' All very poetic. The problem, according to Chinese newspaper the Oriental Guardian, is that it was scripted. The broadcaster knew Liu was carrying an injury and had prepared four scripts – including a 'crying' version. They say sport is theatre but duping your audience is not part of the act.

Performance of the week

It 's tough to upstage Usain Bolt, but Yohan Blake managed it in Lausanne on Thursday, recording the joint third fastest 100 metres time of 9.69sec. Bolt was watching as he prepared to run the 200m: he may keep an even closer eye on his training partner now.

London 2012 Olympics: Rebbeca Adlington wins 800m

Adlington doubles up as Olympic champion books 800m place with dominant display

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 9 March 2012

Double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington overcame a bout of nerves to yet again produce a commanding performance in the 800 metres freestyle at the Olympic trials in London.

Adlington led from start to finish to book her second slot on the team after her 400m victory with 19-year-old runner-up Eleanor Faulkner also finishing inside the qualification time.

There was relief for European champion Lizzie Simmonds who qualified in the 200m backstroke after missing the cut in the 100m, while British record holder Michael Rock made it in the 100m butterfly.

Dominant: Rebecca Adlington (centre) comfortably won the 800m final to qualify for the Olympics

Dominant: Rebecca Adlington (centre) comfortably won the 800m final to qualify for the Olympics

Dominant: Rebecca Adlington (centre) comfortably won the 800m final to qualify for the Olympics

Adlington was never challenged, winning in eight minutes 18.54 seconds although she revealed she had suffered from such intense nerves before the race she had to speak to psychologist Simon Middlemass.

She said: 'I was more nervous for some reason today, I think it's because this event means so much to me.

'The 800 has always been the one I want to do well at and the one I've loved racing more than anything else so for me it was important to get in and enjoy it as well.

'But I was so nervous I had to speak to Simon my psychologist before the race and he told me to “man up”!'

While happy with the time, which was faster than the world trials this time last year, Adlington denied she was sending out a message to her rivals.

'I don't really think about other people. At the end of the day I am going to concentrate on my own race.

'I wasn't doing that for anyone else
but myself, I wanted to put in a good performance and swim what I know I
can and what I am capable of.'

Adlington also had to contend with hearing commentary done partly by her friend Jo Jackson during the race.

She
said: 'It was so bizarre. On the turns you could proper hear your name
and I was like “what's going on” – I thought something had happened, I
thought they were DQing us at the start. I'm not used to hearing people
under water!'

Streets ahead: Addlington was never in danger of losing her lead in the 800m with Eleanor Faulkner second

Streets ahead: Addlington was never in danger of losing her lead in the 800m with Eleanor Faulkner second

Streets ahead: Addlington was never in danger of losing her lead in the 800m with Eleanor Faulkner second

Faulkner has had a superb week, 400m freestyle bronze followed by third place over four lengths which prompted tears on poolside.

The City of Sheffield swimmer was alone throughout the race in second, finishing with a new best of 8mins 27.11secs.

The 2009 European junior open water
champion, Faulkner will make her senior international long-course debut
at this summer's Olympics.

She said: 'I just wanted to go out there, give it my all and make the team.

'There's
been a lot of tears. It was unexpected and I was so happy and now I
have made it on my main event I am even more delighted.

'It took some time to realise I'd made the 4×2. It's still a shock, I still can't believe I made it.'

Faulkner,
whose brother Joseph set a new best in the 1,500m freestyle heats,
added: 'Becky is an Olympic champion and she's been to these major meets
and knows what it's like.

'It was a target of mine to keep up with her and achieve my goals like she's achieved hers.'

It emerged later the reason for the
swimmers being able to hear the commentary was the underwater speakers
used in synchronised swimming had been left on after being tested.

Simmonds' dejection was plain for all
to see earlier this week after the 100m backstroke where her third
place left her precisely nowhere.

But in the 200m she went out like a train and was inside the British record at the final turn before tiring.

Lizzie Simmonds (centre) was triumphant in the 200m backstroke while Michael Rock also qualified (below)

Lizzie Simmonds (centre) was triumphant in the 200m backstroke while Michael Rock also qualified (below)

Lizzie Simmonds (centre) was triumphant in the 200m backstroke while Michael Rock also qualified (below)

Stephanie Proud could not catch her though, Simmonds finishing in 2:08.67, 1.27 ahead.

The 20-year-old said: 'Fantastic. A huge sigh of relief!

'I probably took a bit of knock really earlier in the week with that 100 although it was a decent swim.

'My coach and I had a bit of joke beforehand where we pretended it was just an open meet rather than the Olympic trials.

'It was just me having a blast. That's how I swim fast.'

Rock booked his spot in 52.02 after failing to make the 200m butterfly.

He said: 'It's been a disappointing couple of days and it was really important to regain my focus.

'There was some pressure tonight because of the 200 earlier in the week so I'm just overjoyed by everything tonight.'

Adam Brown won the 50m freestyle but 22.48 was outside the qualifying time.

Fran Halsall was quickest in the women's semi in 24.63.

In the multi-disability events, Sascha Kindred (SB7) won his third gold of the meet in the 100m breaststroke in a time of 1:23.73 which claimed him a total of 932 points.

Portsmouth's Amberley Hoar (SB14) stormed to victory in the women's race in 1:23.21 to take 940 points.