Tag Archives: jenkins

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World Darts Championship 2012: Phil Taylor powers into last eight

Taylor powers into last eight after demolition of Thornton at Ally Pally

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UPDATED:

23:23 GMT, 23 December 2012

It was third time lucky for Phil Taylor as he got the better of his UK Open and World Grand Prix conqueror Robert Thornton on Sunday night in the World Darts Championship third round.

The 15-time world champion raced to a 4-0 win to book his place in the last eight is the last match before the Christmas break at Ally Pally.

Taylor made a good start to the match with a 12-dart finish and 131 checkout on his way to taking the opening set 3-1.

Powering through: Taylor was at his imperious best on Sunday

Powering through: Taylor was at his imperious best on Sunday

‘The Power’ then won the second set
3-0 before winning a pivotal deciding leg in the third set on Thornton’s
throw to take a three-set lead.

And Taylor checked out 81 to seal the final set as he romped past the UK Open winner and into the last eight.

He told Sky Sports: ‘Robert just seemed to be missing doubles but I’m glad because I can have a good Christmas now.’

Taylor will play Andy Hamilton for a place in the semi-finals after ‘The Hammer’ beat Terry Jenkins in a high-quality encounter.

It was a good start from Jenkins as he capitalised on Hamilton missing a 74 checkout to take the opening set.

Hammer time: Andy Hamilton beat Terry Jenkins

Hammer time: Andy Hamilton beat Terry Jenkins

But ‘The Bull’ missed chances to go
2-0 up and ‘The Hammer’ responded by taking four sets in a row to move
into the quarterfinals.

In Sunday’s second-round action, Dean Winstanley hit a stunning nine-dart finish but still lost 4-2 to Vincent van der Voort.

The Dutchman went 2-0 as he won the first six legs before Winstanley fought back with the perfect leg at 1-1 in the third set.

And Winstanley went on to take the set before winning the fourth set 3-0 to level at 2-2.

But The Dutch Destroyer took control again as he won the next two sets in deciding legs to seal his place in the third round.

Hair we go: Peter Wright sported an intriguing hairstyle

Hair we go: Peter Wright sported an intriguing hairstyle

Winstanley will pocket 15,000 for
his nine-dart finish should nobody else achieve the feat but that will
be scant consolation for ‘Over The Top’ as he will not be returning to
Ally Pally after Christmas.

Van der Voort’s fellow Dutchman Michael van Gerwen was in brilliant form as he came from two sets down to beat Peter Wright 4-2.

Van Gerwen started slow as he lost
the first set 3-1 and the second set 3-2 before steamrollering Wright
with an impressive display.

The Dutchman then won 12 of the next 14 legs and averaged 102.13 to set up a third-round tie with former world No 1 Colin Lloyd.

James Wade also qualified for the last 16 as he saw off a stiff challenge from Steve Beaton 4-2.

Dutch of class: Van Gerwen was in fine form

Dutch of class: Van Gerwen was in fine form

‘The Machine’ wasn’t at his best and
was twice pegged back but came through in six sets to set up a
third-round clash with Van der Voort on Thursday.

At two sets apiece, Wade produced a moment of magic to win the fifth set in a deciding leg as he checked out 130.

And Wade repeated the feat as he won the sixth set in a decider as well with a 120 checkout to seal his progress to the last 16.

Mark Walsh started the day with a 4-2 win over Justin Pipe to set up a third-round clash with Wes Newton.

The next action at Ally Pally will be
on Thursday after the three-day Christmas break when the remaining six
third-round matches take place, including Gary Anderson’s mouth-watering
tie against Raymond van Barneveld.

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Phil Taylor out for revenge against Robert Thornton at the World Darts Championship

Taylor out for revenge against Thornton at the World Darts Championship

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UPDATED:

01:10 GMT, 22 December 2012

Phil Taylor will look to avenge his
two defeats to Robert Thornton this year when they meet in the last 16
of the World Darts Championship after the pair both won their
second-round matches on Friday.

The Power lost to The Thorn in the
UK Open final and was then dumped out of the World Grand Prix by the
Scot but he will get his chance at revenge on Sunday night in the last
match before the Christmas break at Ally Pally.

On his way: Phil Taylor celebrates

On his way: Phil Taylor celebrates

Taylor came from a set down to cruise past Jerry Hendriks 4-1 after Thornton saw off Paul Nicholson 6-5 in the final set of their thrilling second-round match.

Day eight results

Afternoon session

Andy Hamilton 4-1 Richie Burnett
Dave Chisnall 4-1 Daryl Gurney
Gary Anderson 4-3 John Bowles

Evening session

Terry Jenkins 4-1 John Part
Paul Nicholson 3-4 R Thornton
Phil Taylor 4-1 Jerry Hendriks

The 15-time world champion was far from his vintage best and Hendriks capitalised to take the opening set. The first three legs went with throw with Hendriks ahead 2-1 before the underdog broke throw to take the set 3-1.

But The Power upped his game and was too good for Hendriks as he reeled off the next four sets without losing a leg.

After the match, he told Sky Sports: 'I'm happy with 4-1 but I'm not happy with the performance. I was trying everything and the more he struggled the more I struggled myself.

'I just lost concentration. I tried to gee myself up and get myself going but it was hard work.

Early promise: Jerry Hendriks took the first set

Early promise: Jerry Hendriks took the first set

'I did think Paul (Nicholson) was going to beat him (Thornton) but Robert will feed off that and so will I because both of us know if we play like that in the next round we will be out. You don't win a world championship playing like that.'

Thornton will look to complete a hat-trick of wins over Taylor after The Thorn coming through a classic against Nicholson in a deciding leg.

It was a match that swung one way and then another and, in the end, only a tie-break in the seventh set separated the two players.

Nicholson led 2-1 and should've moved two sets clear but poor scoring in the deciding leg of the fourth set allowed Thornton to level at 2-2.

The UK Open champion then took a 3-2 lead and checked out 136 to break Nicholson's throw in leg three of the sixth set to move 2-1 up and throw for the match.

Delight: Robert Thornton celebrates his win

Delight: Robert Thornton celebrates his win

But Thornton blew four darts at doubles and Nicholson levelled at 2-2 with a 62 checkout before a 78 checkout in the deciding leg took the match into a final set.

And Thornton would get more chances to win the match as he broke the throw with a 124 checkout to lead 3-2 before missing double 15 for the match.

Nicholson then broke throw to lead 4-3 but a brilliant 130 checkout from Thornton levelled the set at 4-4 and The Thorn hit double 16 in the 11th and deciding leg to seal a dramatic win.

Terry Jenkins started the evening session with a comfortable 4-1 over Canadian three-time world champion John Part.

Part won just two legs in the first three sets and despite rallying to take the fourth set it was too little too late for Dart Maple as The Bull won the fifth set 3-1 to move into the last 16.

Ready to rock: Darts fans in fancy dress

Ready to rock: Darts fans in fancy dress

Jenkins will play Andy Hamilton on Sunday night for a place in the quarter-finals after The Hammer started the day with a 4-1 win over Richie Burnett.

It was a solid performance from Hamilton, who averaged 97.27 and had a finishing success of 45%, but four of the five sets went to the deciding leg as Burnett pushed the 2012 world finalist all the way.

Also in the afternoon session, Gary Anderson came through a Christmas cracker as he beat John Bowles 6-4 in the final set despite a lowly 28% double success rate.

The Flying Scotsman hit 19 180s and averaged over 98 but his poor finishing allowed Bowles to stay in the match and the underdog almost pulled off an upset.

There were no finishing problems at the start for Anderson as he won the opening leg with a 142 checkout on his way to taking the opening set.

And Anderson led 2-1 before Bowles won the next two sets on deciding legs to leave the Scot staring at another early exit from the World Darts Championship.

Colourful: Gary Anderson

Colourful: Gary Anderson

The 2011 Premier League winner won the sixth set thanks to an 11-dart finish in the deciding leg to send the match into a final set.

Bowles took a giant stride towards victory as he went 2-0 in the set but he missed one dart at tops which would've sealed the match before Anderson fought back to level at 2-2.

With the players tied at 4-4 in the seventh set, Anderson broke Bowles's throw with a 12-dart leg before closing out the match with double four in the 10th leg.

In Friday's other match, Dave Chisnall saw off a fine performance from Daryl Gurney with a 4-1 victory in a high-quality encounter.

The margin of Chizzy's win was harsh on the Northern Irishman Gurney as he won 11 out of the 25 legs as well as hitting 11 180s compared to Chisnall's 10.

But Chizzy won six legs against the throw compared to Gurney's five as he won four of the five sets which all went to a deciding leg.

Saturday will see six more second-round matches with Adrian Lewis in action in the evening session and Raymond van Barneveld headlining the afternoon session.

Also in the afternoon, Kevin Painter plays Ronnie Baxter and Mark Webster tackles Colin Lloyd before Simon Whitlock and Wes Newton take to the oche in the evening.

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St Louis Rams v New England Patriots: American football fans in Wembley for NFL clash

Touchdown Wembley! Supporters (and cheerleaders) brave the cold for NFL clash

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UPDATED:

17:25 GMT, 28 October 2012

American football fans have descended upon London as the NFL makes its annual pilgrimage to Wembley.

Supporters braved the cold snap engulfing Britain with tens of thousands of fans descending on the home of English football for the sixth consecutive year.

London calling: Thousands of NFL fans have descended on Wembley for the International Series showdown

London calling: Thousands of NFL fans have descended on Wembley for the International Series showdown

Braving the cold: Cheerleaders strut their stuff ahead of the Wembley clash

Braving the cold: Cheerleaders strut their stuff ahead of the Wembley clash

The International Series is a firm fixture on the British sporting calendar and Wembley is expecting a full house for Sunday night's eagerly-awaited game.

St Louis Rams – who prior to this season had won just 15 games in five years – will play the New England Patriots.

Game on: The Patriots and Rams are contesting the sixth NFL game at Wembley

Game on: The Patriots and Rams are contesting the sixth NFL game at Wembley

Strictly Come Dancing: The Rams' mascot dances with cheerleaders before the NFL clash

Wish you were here: The Rams' mascot dances with cheerleaders before the NFL clash

The Patriots are making their second visit to Wembley after seeing off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009.

But they've suffered a disappointing start to the new season, losing three of their opening four games.

Taking to the stage: Boris Johnson addresses the crowd (below) before Katherine Jenkins sings the British National Anthem

Taking to the stage: Boris Johnson addresses the crowd (below) before Katherine Jenkins sings the British National Anthem

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson

Any advantage the Patriots might be hoping to get out of their experience of beating the Buccaneers 35-7 is dented by the turnover in their roster.

Only 13 of the 53-man roster of three years ago are still with the Pats, testament to ever-changing nature of NFL teams.

Cheer we go: The NFL clash has attracted a full-house at the home of English football

Cheer we go: The NFL clash has attracted a full-house at the home of English football

Cheer we go: The NFL clash has attracted a full-house at the home of English football

Coach Bill Belichick is still the man in charge, but earlier this weeke he acknowledged that Sunday night's experience would be new to the vast majority of his players.

'I'm not sure how many of our players now were on that trip but I would say not a whole lot,' he said.

'There's been a decent amount of turnover since then. But you know, the experience for those of us that went, you have some idea what to expect. There's something to be said for that.'

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London 2012 Olympics: Nicola Spirig wins triathlon in photo finish

Disappointment for Jenkins as Spirig wins dramatic photo finish in triathlon

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UPDATED:

11:28 GMT, 4 August 2012

Nicola Spirig of Switzerland edged out Swede Lisa Norden in a photo finish in a dramatic end to the women's triathlon in Hyde Park.

Britain's Helen Jenkins was in a leading pack of five on the 10km run before being dropped by Spirig, Norden, Australia's Erin Densham and Sarah Groff of the United States in the closing stages.

Spiring and Norden then sprinted for the line and could only be separated by a photo finish.

Cheered on: Jenkins was in the running for much of the race

Cheered on: Jenkins was in the running for much of the race

Photo finish: Spirig of Switzerland just beat out Swede Lisa Norden

Photo finish: Spirig of Switzerland just beat out Swede Lisa Norden

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London 2012 Olympics: Alistair and Jonny Brownlee geared for gold

EXCLUSIVE: Brownlee brothers are geared for triathlon gold in London

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UPDATED:

22:32 GMT, 16 July 2012

When UK Sport announced their medal targets for the London 2012 Olympic Games, triathlon was in the 'one to two' bracket.

You can make that one or two golds for a start, plus another medal in the men's event. This is a sport that isn't interested in aiming low. Great Britain boast the two current triathlon world champions: Alistair Brownlee and Helen Jenkins.

Brownlee's younger brother Jonny also came second in the 1500m swim, 40km cycle and 10km run in Beijing last October. The British Triathlon Federation have picked their team accordingly.

Win or bust: Alistair Brownlee in London last year

Win or bust: Alistair Brownlee in London last year

The selectors are only interested in 'medal contenders' and have therefore chosen two 'domestiques' in the six-person squad.

Stuart Hayes, 33, and Lucy Hall, 20, are only there to help one of the Brownlees and Jenkins win gold.

'I think it's fantastic,' says Alistair Brownlee, 24. 'It's a massive step from picking the three best athletes to picking a team that's most likely to win a gold medal.

'It's all about performance and that's a big step for British sport and especially triathlon. It's a very un-British attitude, really. Triathlon needs an Olympic medal to retain funding so that's why they've selected this team.

'Jonny and I will go for the individual medal and the third person is only there to support us. They'll do more of a share of the work on the bike to try and push the pace along, go and chase people if there's a breakaway and help one of us if we get a puncture.

'Jonny and I always work to help each other out until we start running. Then it's just a race.'

Jenkins, 28, is a little more diplomatic than Yorkshire-born Brownlee, who doesn't much care for mincing his words.

Team ethic: Helen Jenkins with the Brownlee brothers make up Team GB's elite squad

Team ethic: Helen Jenkins with the Brownlee brothers make up Team GB's elite squad

Her husband and coach, Marc, bristles at the suggestion it is not a particularly British thing to do; this wonderful disregard for taking part and complete focus on winning.

'It has been said it's almost unfair to win, but it's the nature of sport,' he says. 'You create a race-winning scenario and that's what we're trying to do.'

'I think it's a good thing,' adds Jenkins. 'There are certain race scenarios which benefit me. If it's a fast swim, a hard bike race and there are less people (in contention) on the run, I've got more chance of winning.

'It's a harsh policy if you're the third, fourth or even second-best athlete – and I've been in that position – but you have to look at it as the way it is. 'We've known what our selection policy is for two years. Our future funding for the sport depends on medals.'

Both Jenkins and Alistair Brownlee insist they are comfortable with the 'favourite' tag going into London; a tag loaded with even more pressure owing to Britain's selection policy.

Jenkins and her husband, who competed in the 2004 Olympic triathlon, will prepare for the race in Hyde Park in their 'little bubble' at their home in Bridgend, Wales, where they have converted their garage into a gym.

'It's not to say that everybody should be coached by their husbands,' she says. 'But it's always worked well for us. It's not like Marc's standing over me. It's pretty relaxed.

'It's just life. We don't really know any different. We're pretty good at switching off from it.'

Brownlee, too, sees his family
connections in the sport as a positive. Jonny won two races, in San
Diego and Madrid, when Alistair was out for four months earlier this
year after suffering a tear in one of his achilles tendons, but the
older brother returned to winning ways in Kitzbuhel, Austria, last
month.

Winning feeling: Alistair won gold in Beijing last year

Winning feeling: Alistair won gold in Beijing last year

'It's good, most of the time,' says Alistair. 'We push each other on and we train hard together and we can race together and help each other in races, but it can be tough as well. 'When I'm injured and sat there and he's going out training, that's pretty tough.

'I didn't actually watch his races. I think the important thing when you get an injury like that is you take yourself so far away; you don't really give yourself a chance to miss it.'

Alistair's coach, Malcolm Brown, has noted his injury could have been a blessing in disguise as he prepares to race in London, but Brownlee scoffs at the suggestion.

He has not enjoyed spending more time than normal in the gym – 'I hate it' – and the pool, swimming and using an underwater treadmill. He much prefers to be outside, cycling and running.

'Has it helped Not really!' he says, 'I think that's dressing it up, probably. But you never know. Just being given that bit of perspective; being able to take that step back – especially this year – might be beneficial. But I think in a perfect world it wouldn't have happened.'

The pursuit of the 'perfect world', after all, is what British triathlon is all about.

GE is a Worldwide Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games, and the Elite Partner of the GE GB Triathlon team – providing support and expertise for the athletes as they prepare to compete at the highest levels. See more at: www.facebook.com/GEtriathlon

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London 2012 Olympics: Triathlon trio join Brownlee brothers in Team GB squad

Triathlon trio join Brownlee brothers in push for London gold

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UPDATED:

11:12 GMT, 9 June 2012

Vicky Holland, Lucy Hall and Stuart Hayes will join Alistair Brownlee, Jonny Brownlee and Helen Jenkins in the Great Britain triathlon team at the London Olympics.

The latter trio booked their places last year after superb seasons, with Alistair Brownlee and Jenkins winning their second world titles and Jonny Brownlee establishing himself as world No 2.

Britain have never won an Olympic medal in triathlon but it would be a major surprise were they not to change that statistic this time.

Brothers in arms: Helen Jenkins is flanked by Jonathan and Alastair Browlee

Brothers in arms: Helen Jenkins is flanked by Jonathan and Alastair Browlee

Neil Wilson

Alistair Brownlee in particular has been utterly dominant over the last three years, winning 11 of the 15 World Triathlon Series races he has competed in, picking up two world titles as well as two European titles.

The 24-year-old was a clear winner over the Olympic course in Hyde Park last year, as was Jenkins, who has been a consistent medal winner and began her 2012 season with second place in Sydney and then a runaway victory in San Diego.

Alistair Brownlee will return to action at the Blenheim Triathlon on Saturday after missing the start of the season with an achilles injury, and in his absence his 22-year-old brother has taken on the mantle.

Jonny Brownlee won in San Diego and then crushed the opposition in Madrid two weeks ago for his first victories over the Olympic distance at elite senior level.

The selection of the rest of the team has been controversial, with British Triathlon making clear their stated intent to win a medal and leaving open the possibility of picking domestiques to help their team-mates rather than the best athletes individually.

The governing body are not saying in what capacity Holland, Hall and Hayes have been selected, but in the case of the latter two especially, it appears they will be there in a supporting role.

Holland has hit form at just the right time with top-seven finishes in San Diego and Madrid and may well race in her own right.

Hall, 20, has never finished higher than 37th in a World Series race over the Olympic distance but she is one of the fastest swimmers in the sport and may well be able to help Jenkins split the pack, giving her a better chance of victory.

Hayes, who will also be making his Olympic debut at the age of 33, won the World Series race in Kitzbuhel in 2010 but has not had any results of note since.

However, he is an experienced and highly respected team member and his prowess in the 40 kilometre bike leg is likely to have swayed the selectors.

If things go to plan, then the Brownlees will not need the extra help but Hayes will also be there should things go wrong, as they did at the European Championships last year when Alistair Brownlee picked up a puncture but still won after his team-mates worked with him to get back to the pack.

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Ray Wilkins and Claudio Ranieri have had West Brom talks

Former Chelsea assistant manager Wilkins rivals Ranieri in bid to be new Baggies boss

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UPDATED:

11:46 GMT, 25 May 2012

Ray Wilkins has emerged as a shock competitor for the vacant West Bromwich Albion job.

The Baggies spoke to former Chelsea man Claudio Ranieri about the position on Thursday but now another former Blue is in contention.

Possibility: Ray Wilkins could be the new Baggies boss

Possibility: Ray Wilkins could be the new Baggies boss

Wilkins has also held talks with the club to fill the role vacated by new England manager Roy Hodgson.

Chris Hughton is still considered to be the favourite for the Albion hot-seat, but to speak to him they must negotiate with his current club, Birmingham.

The hunt for a new boss was being conducted by sporting and technical director Dan Ashworth, who drew up a shortlist of candidates.

But Ranieri and Wilkins spoke to chairman Jeremy Pearce, who will be the man charged with making the final decision.

Meanwhile, West Brom have agreed the largest sponsorship deal in the club's history with online property company Zoopla.

Potential: Claudio Ranieri could be the new West Brom manager

Potential: Claudio Ranieri could be the new West Brom manager

An initial three-year deal will establish the UK-based firm as the Baggies' kit sponsor in addition to high-profile branding at The Hawthorns.

'We are delighted to welcome Zoopla as our new principal club sponsor,' West Brom chief executive Mark Jenkins said.

'It represents the most comprehensive sponsorship deal in the club's history and we have been impressed by the approach that Zoopla have taken to supporting the club.'

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Liam Noble launches Twitter attack on Sunderland

Sunderland They're a s*** club with s*** fans, says former Black Cats striker Noble

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UPDATED:

17:38 GMT, 24 April 2012

Former Sunderland striker Liam Noble has launched an amazing attack on the Barclays Premier League club following his release and branded them a 's*** club with s*** fans'.

Newcastle fan Noble spent more than three seasons at the Wearside club after graduating from Ged McNamee's academy and becoming a reserves regular three years ago.

The 20-year-old was top scorer for Keith Bertschin's second string side but was unable to break into the first team under Steve Bruce or Martin O'Neill.

Outburst: Noble has blasted his former club on Twitter

Outburst: Noble has blasted his former club on Twitter

He reluctantly gave up his quest to become a Sunderland regular earlier this season after a spell on loan with Carlisle United.

The Cramlington-born forward eventually joined Greg Abbott's League One promotion hopefuls permanently in January.

Since then his Twitter account has attracted more interest than his impact for the Cumbrians whose excellent league campaign has faltered in recent weeks.

And he has angered his former employers with a number of lively observations on his Twitter account, culminating in a series of controversial comments.

Prospect: Noble was handed a deal by Sunderland but has moved to Carlisle

Prospect: Noble was handed a deal by Sunderland but has moved to Carlisle

Noble tweeted: 'Sunderland was great until I signed a pro contract. Only one club gave me a shot at pro football. Many thanks to everyone at Carlisle United. Great club great fans.'

He later added: 'Not bitter at all about leaving Sunderland! S*** club s*** fans! Hope to see you’s soon. Maybe give us a derby next year. Haha.'

Abbott and chairman Andrew Jenkins have taken a dim view of their new player's stance and they are expected to find him later this week. Sunderland have refused to comment.

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London 2012 Olympic Watch: Yohan Blake makes flying start

London 2012 Olympic Watch: Blake's flying start gives warning to his sprint rivals

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UPDATED:

22:33 GMT, 15 April 2012

World 100metres champion Yohan Blake opened his year with the fastest time ever run this early in a season of 9.90sec before claiming he could have run quicker.

Blake then followed his individual feat at the UTech Invitational in Kingston, Jamaica, by running in a 4x100m relay team which Usain Bolt anchored to a time of 37.82sec, good enough to have won the silver medal at last year’s world championships.

As two of Jamaica’s world champion quartet from Daegu, Mike Frater and
Nesta Carter, were running in a second placed foursome with Briton Dwain Chambers and former world record holder Asafa Powell, Jamaica’s first
team look odds-on to break their world record of 37.04sec again in the
London Games in August.

Fine start: World champion Yohan Blake is already looking good this year

Fine start: World champion Yohan Blake is already looking good this year

Daley back on board

Tom Daley is getting back to his best. He won his season’s third silver
diving medal at the World Cup in Moscow, scoring 520.95 points. Only the Chinese have finished ahead of Daley from the platform this season.

Kate cleans up in Russia

Kate Driscoll, Britain's hope for Olympic gold in London, performed a
clean routine without flaws to lead Britain to gold in the women’s team event at the European trampoline championships in St Petersburg.

Race hots up for Ethiopians

Yemane Tsegay ran the ninth fastest marathon ever of 2hr 4min 47sec in Rotterdam on Sunday. However, the Ethiopian cannot be certain of his Olympic place. Two compatriots are faster this year and others may be in Boston on Monday and London next Sunday.

Winner: Yemane Tsegay crosses the line first in Rotterdam on Sunday

Winner: Yemane Tsegay crosses the line first in Rotterdam on Sunday

Jenkins pipped in triathlon

Britain's world champion Helen Jenkins finished second by nine seconds to Australian Erin Densham in the first of the world championships triathlon series in Sydney. GB’s world champion Alistair Brownlee and his brother Jonny did not participate in the men’s event.

Aussie Rules: Erin Densham claimed victory ahead of Helen Jenkins in Sydney

Aussie Rules: Erin Densham claimed victory ahead of Helen Jenkins in Sydney

Murray so close to a medal

British Olympic modern pentathlon team contender Samantha Murray rose from 20th place to finish fourth in the World Cup in Hungary with a brilliant run-shoot in which she hit all final five targets in just 10 seconds. It equalled the best performance of her career.

Warren Gatland breaks ankles in fall from ladder

Wales coach Gatland breaks both heels after falling from ladder at New Zealand home

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UPDATED:

09:13 GMT, 12 April 2012

Fall: Gatland has suffered multiple fractures

Fall: Gatland has suffered multiple fractures

Wales's Grand Slam-winning coach Warren Gatland has suffered multiple fractures to both his heels after a fall at his New Zealand beach home.

The Lions coach-elect, who presided over a second Welsh Slam in five seasons this spring, was cleaning windows when he fell 10 feet from a ladder, taking the full impact on his heels.

He suffered multiple fractures to the right calcaneus and also a fracture to the left.

Consequently, he is in leg casts and requires surgery to reconstruct his right heel.

Rob Howley has been placed on standby to take temporary charge of Wales in the lead-up to the June tour of Australia.

While the WRU remain confident Gatland, 48, will be fit to lead the tour party, he and union chief executive Roger Lewis have agreed that Howley be put forward to the board as a caretaker in case his recovery takes longer than expected.

For now, Howley and the other assistant coaches – Shaun Edwards, Robin McBryde and Neil Jenkins – will keep in contact with Gatland about player form and fitness.

Wales face the Barbarians in Cardiff on June 2 before flying to Australia for their three-Test tour.

Lewis said: 'We all wish Warren a speedy recovery from the injuries he has suffered in this extremely unfortunate accident.

'Knowing Warren as I do I can reassure the Welsh rugby public that he has diligently put the people and processes in place to ensure he stays closely linked to what is happening in the game back in Wales.

'I have spoken to Warren on a number of occasions since his fall and have told him he will lead the tour to Australia unless anything unforeseen happens in the prognosis for recovery we are working to.'