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Dean Richards exclusive – bloodgate in the past

EXCLUSIVE: Bad blood is in the past as Richards aims for the top again with resurgent Newcastle

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 21 December 2012

Four months into his second coming as a coach and Dean Richards has had a perfect return; 15 wins from 15 games with Newcastle and not one jibe about the reason for his ‘sabbatical’.

In the depths of his post-Bloodgate exile, when the three-year ban he had to serve surely felt like a lifetime of pain and punishment, this scenario would have been nothing more than an idle fantasy.

Yet, the legendary former England and Lions No 8 is now at the forefront of a promising salvage operation on Tyneside and relishing an unexpectedly warm embrace from the game he adores and missed so much.

Turnover: Richards is rebuilding at Newcastle after the shame of Bloodgate

Turnover: Richards is rebuilding at Newcastle after the shame of Bloodgate

‘I’ve not had one comment about the past, which is quite strange,’ said Richards. ‘I had been expecting something, but there has not been a single remark, which is bizarre. Sorry, I should qualify that – I’ve not had one negative comment about it, which is slightly different. People have commented, but seem to be accepting me for what I am. A lot of people have said how pleased they are that I’m here.’

The welcome he has received, at his own club and elsewhere, has touched Richards. That has been the bonus element in this reintegration process. But the principal source of satisfaction stems from simply being involved again, day after day, and seeing lots of hard graft paying off in the results that have followed, even if, on a personal level, he has taken time to get his bearings.

‘I love it,’ he told Sportsmail, after overseeing a training session at Kingston Park in the build-up to Sunday’s home Championship clash with London Scottish. ‘Being around a team again has given me a real buzz. It is one of the things that you miss, when you have your – sabbatical. I had my three years out and missed that involvement. Now I’m back, I’m enjoying the buzz, I love being around players and coaches, being around a winning team.

‘I had watched a lot, but there is no doubt there was a huge amount of rustiness; there still is. You don’t get up to speed straight away, but I’ve got enough quality people around me who have pushed me in the right direction.’

He feels he’s changed, too, although he doesn’t believe that has anything to do with his exit from Harlequins in 2009.

‘With
everything I’ve been through in the last few years, I’m a bit more
relaxed on match day,’ said Richards. ‘Wellsy (forwards coach John
Wells) finds it very frustrating because he has gone totally the other
way! He is far more animated and I’m there with my feet up, just
watching and analysing. I’m not very demonstrative in the changing rooms
either, rather than bringing out the old hair-dryer!’

Scandal: Richards clashes with Leinster coaches after bringing Nick Evans back on the field

Scandal: Richards clashes with Leinster coaches after bringing Nick Evans back on the field in 2009

Ronan O'Donnell (left) and physio James Allen
BACK FROM THE SIN BIN: THE RETURN OF RICHARDS

AFTER being banned from coaching for three years following the ‘Bloodgate’ scandal, Dean Richards is back and eyeing promotion with Newcastle. Here are the key stats for the former England forward.

Born: July 11, 1963
Clubs: Roanne, Leicester
England caps: 48 Lions caps: 6
Coaching career: Leicester, FC Grenoble, Harlequins, Newcastle
Coaching honours: 4 Premiership titles, 2 Heineken Cups

This is his second such assignment – trying to conjure an immediate return to the Premiership. In 2005-06, his first season at Quins, he took them straight back up. Richards is now helping the Falcons fly again, as they try to build on a 12-point lead at the top of the Championship table.

‘When I arrived at Quins, the fanbase was down to 3,500-4,000 per game; it has been very similar here,’ he said. ‘With the success we had that year and hopefully the success we have this year, the fans will come back.

‘It is similar in terms of the mental state of people when I arrived. A lot of people were very down; the club had gone down, though it wasn’t until July we knew for sure. Once that news broke, there was a real dropping of jaws and the realisation set in. The main difference is that I arrived at Quins and we had Andre Vos, Will Greenwood, Andrew Mehrtens, Ugo Monye – guys like that who were already in situ. We don’t quite have the leaders here who we had at Quins back then, which made a big difference.’

The contrast that has struck Richards the most is nothing to do with the comparative depth of leadership within his current club and his previous one. It is not the clubs’ markedly different catchment areas – a huge northern region with a low density of ‘chimney pots’, as opposed to a small southern region crammed full of them at Quins.

And it is nothing to do with the gulf in travel times that have played havoc with his fondness to share a post-match beer with the opposition. The most striking contrast has been in the landscape of the league.

There is now a play-off system; semi-finals and a final, on a home-and-away basis. And after London Welsh’s promotion via appeal last summer, there are Minimum Standards Criteria that the Championship clubs regard as redundant. Richards doesn’t hold back in condemning the situation.

Reprieved: London Welsh were promoted to the Premiership on appeal earlier this year

Reprieved: London Welsh were promoted to the Premiership on appeal earlier this year

‘The Championship is different now,’ he said. ‘It is a bizarre scenario we find ourselves in – not knowing what is happening until May 29 and this Minimum Standards Criteria rubbish. You can’t plan conditioning, you can’t plan recruitment, no one knows where they stand.

‘It is a very ill-thought out process and whoever came up with it needs speaking to. It doesn’t have the ambience and rugby culture that was evident when I was there with Quins.

‘It has lost something because of what happened last year, which I think is wrong. What the London Welsh scenario means is that it doesn’t matter what facilities and structures are in place, you can just find a club 40 miles away and play there. There is no incentive to build foundations, to have a strong academy, to develop a side and a community and a culture.

‘You have to have a culture and strong roots, yet there is no encouragement to do that from the RFU because of the play-off structure and the Minimum Standards going out the window. It has become a real dog’s dinner. It is quite sad.’

Richards is adamant Newcastle will ‘do things right’. As the business end of the season approaches, he expects several other clubs to recruit heavily to ambush the Falcons in the play-offs, but he will not countenance a similar strategy. He feels the squad is of Premiership standard already.

Richards sets his sights incredibly high. ‘The ultimate goal is to win the European Cup,’ he said. ‘It will take a few years, but there’s no reason why we can’t get up there.’

Positive thinking, a long winning run and no negative comments about ‘the past’ – a perfect return indeed.

Australian Masters 2012: Ian Poulter and Adam Scott in fight for gold jacket

Poulter in straight duel with Scott Down Under as in-form duo move clear of field

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UPDATED:

10:03 GMT, 17 November 2012

The race for the gold jacket at the Australian Masters is between Ian Poulter and Adam Scott after they stamped their authority on the tournament with superb third rounds at Kingston Heath in Melbourne.

Poulter fired off a brilliant 64 to be 13 under overall and will head into the final day with a slender one-stroke advantage over Scott.

Scott's up-and-down round of 67 was not as flashy as Poulter's but it was good enough to keep him within striking distance and some five shots clear of third-placed Matthew Guyatt.

On the march: Poulter holds a one-shot advantage over Scott heading into the final day

On the march: Poulter holds a one-shot advantage over Scott heading into the final day

Guyatt could only manage a 75 on Saturday and is at seven under, while Kiwi Mark Brown is alone in fourth a shot further back at minus six.

The rest are too far back, although Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell picked up seven birdies when out nice and early on Saturday to fire a five-under 67.

That score was easily the world No 24's best of the week and was good enough to move him into a share of 13th place at one under overall.

Brown matched that score later in the day, but the two stars on show were Scott and Poulter and they look to be the only golfers set to fight it out for the gold jacket on the final day.

All smiles: Ian Poulter

Adam Scott

Head-to-head: Poulter and Scott will battle it out for the gold jacket at the Australian Masters

Golf blog

Playing in the penultimate group of the day, Poulter and Scott matched each other for the majority of the round through two distinctly different looks and playing styles.

Poulter was dressed boldly in red and often cautious off the tee, while Scott was more conservatively clothed in a grey sweater and often outdriving the Englishman by over 50 metres on some holes.

The two contrasting styles were obvious to all following the marquee group in Melbourne's south-east and none more so than on the relatively short par-four 7th.

Scott boomed his drive just a lob wedge away from the green and tapped in for his three after his approach shot stopped within a couple of feet from the hole, while Poulter made his birdie the hard way.

He had to rely on a putt from just off the green rolling in after his long-iron failed to make the putting surface from quite some distance out.

The Englishman cheekily smiled at his playing partner once the ball hit the bottom of the cup as Poulter took a share of the lead for the first time during his round.

Scott joined Poulter and Guyatt out in front at the eighth when he made his third consecutive birdie, but from that point on there were only two players in contention.

It was a case of 'anything you can do, I can do better' for Scott and Poulter, with the pair going head-to-head on the inward nine and producing some outstanding golf.

They picked up another four birdies apiece on the way home and none more impressive than when they made a mockery of the short and tricky par-three 15th by making a pair of twos with relative ease.

A hole later they both dropped a stroke – it was to be Poulter's only blemish for the day – and, when Scott could not get up-and-down from the back of the 17th and had to settle for a bogey, the defending champion was out in front on his own yet again.

The duo then birdied the last in style to complete the day's showdown and will once again go head-to-head on Sunday when the Masters winner will be crowned.

Richard Kingson claims he was offered bribe for Ghana defeat

Ex-Wigan keeper Kingson claims he was offered bribe to throw World Cup match

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UPDATED:

12:09 GMT, 10 September 2012

Ghana goalkeeper Richard Kingson has claimed he rejected a $300,000 (187,000) offer to throw a World Cup match in 2006.

Kingson, 34, explained that the bribe was to ensure his country lost 2-0 to the Czech Republic in the group stage.

He admitted to weighing up the options before deciding against accepting the offer.

Bribe: Richard Kingson claims he was asked to throw this match in Germany

Bribe: Richard Kingson claims he was asked to throw this match in Germany

Kingston said he 'got confused by weighing the options of getting richer by $300,000 after that match, whereas all that I would get in the event of a Ghana victory would be much less – just $3,000'

'In the 2006 World Cup in Germany, we were about to play Czech Republic. /09/10/article-0-0B7701D400000578-886_468x286.jpg” width=”468″ height=”286″ alt=”Former glories: Kingson played for several clubs in England” class=”blkBorder” />

Former glories: Kingson played for several clubs in England

'My wife said: “Richard, I love you not because of your money, so don’t get tempted by this offer to lose your dignity and credibility”.'

Goals from Asamoah Gyan and Sulley Muntari saw Ghana beat the Czechs 2-0. They went on to qualify for the knockout phase, in which they were beaten 3-0 by Brazil.

London 2012 Olympics rowing: Great Britain win gold in women"s lightweight sculls

Golden girls! Hosking and Copeland create history on the lake after securing another win

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UPDATED:

11:11 GMT, 4 August 2012

Great Britain's Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hosking have won the gold medal in the women's double sculls.

The British crew were roared to victory by over a length, with China in second and Greece in third.

More to follow…

We've done it! Great Britain's Sophie Hosking and Katherine Copeland celebrate winning gold

We've done it! Great Britain's Sophie Hosking and Katherine Copeland celebrate winning gold

KATHERINE COPELAND AND SOPHIE HOSKING FACTFILE

1986: Sophie Hosking born on January 25 in Wimbledon and learns to row at Kingston Grammar School.

1990: Kat Copeland born on December 1 in Ashington and begins to row at Yarm School at the age of 14.

2006: Hosking wins bronze in the lightweight women's quadruple sculls at the World Championships.

2007: Hosking wins silver in the lightweight women's quadruple sculls at the World Championships.

2009: Hosking wins bronze in the lightweight double sculls with Hester Goodsell at the World Championships. Copeland wins gold in the quadruple sculls at the Youth Olympic festival in Sydney.

2010: Copeland comes close to quitting the Great Britain set-up because she wants to remain based in the north-east.

2011: Copeland wins gold in the lightweight single scull at the Under-23 World Championships in Amsterdam. She wins silver in her first senior event, at the Munich World Cup.
: Hosking wins bronze with Goodsell at the World Championships in the lightweight double sculls

2012: May – Copeland and Hosking come together for the World Cup series, winning a silver in Belgrade but place out of the medals in Lucerne and Munich.

August 4 – Copeland and Hosking win a gold medal at the Olympic Games.

Harlequins coach Mapletoft commits future with two-year extension to deal at champions

Harlequins coach Mapletoft commits future with two-year extension at champions

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UPDATED:

17:58 GMT, 17 July 2012

Harlequins backs coach Mark Mapletoft has committed his future to the Aviva Premiership champions by signing a two-year contract extension that will keep him at the club until 2015.

He joins director of rugby Conor O'Shea, head coach John Kingston, skills coach Collin Osbourne and forwards coach Tony Diprose in agreeing a new deal; the quartet all signed extensions earlier this year.

Forty-year-old Mapletoft, capped by England in 1997, represented Quins during his playing career, and returned to the club in 2010.

Staying put: Mapletoft (right) has signed an extension at Harlequins

Staying put: Mapletoft (right) has signed an extension at Harlequins

Having helped O'Shea's side to Premiership glory against Leicester at Twickenham in May, he is delighted to have extended his stay at the Stoop.

The former England Under 20 coach said: 'When Conor O'Shea offered me the opportunity to extend my stay with the club, it was a very easy decision.

'Harlequins is a fantastic environment to work in – supportive, challenging, fun and hugely rewarding to coach a large number of ambitious English players.

'Winning the Amlin Challenge Cup and the Aviva Premiership in successive seasons has given everyone involved with the club a boost, but we recognise that these successes are only a start.'

London 2012: Yohan Blake gunning for gold thanks to rival Usain Bolt

Blake gunning for Olympic gold thanks to sprint rival Bolt

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UPDATED:

11:31 GMT, 17 July 2012

Yohan Blake insists he will remain great friends with sprint rival Usain Bolt regardless of the outcome of their duel at London 2012.

Blake fired a warning to the reigning Olympic champion by winning both the 100m an 200m at Jamaican trials.

Focused: Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake

Focused: Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake

But Blake told the BBC: 'Win, lose or draw we are friends, even though it is business and he wants to win and I want to win.'

Blake is the reigning 100m world champion after world record-holder Bolt was disqualified for a false start in the final at n Daegu in 2011.

Six days later Bolt stormed to victory in the 200m to underline his status as favourite for both sprint titles in London.

Blake believes that his decision to leave his school coach in October 2008 and join Bolt under coach Glen Mills at the Racers Track Club in Kingston has helped him.

'Every time in training I want to win but he's always there. So I say “OK, how am I going to win on the big day”' added Blake.

'That's why some of the time I tend to be at the front so when I get on the track I can say “OK, I beat him in training”.'

Blake beats Bolt at the Jamaican trials

Warning: Blake beats Bolt at the Jamaican trials

Far from resisting Blake's rise, Bolt has been key in helping to develop the man he has dubbed 'the Beast' and tipped as a future rival back in 2009.

'He will say to me: “Yohan, look, you're not doing this for the people, you're not doing this for the fans, you're not doing this for your family, you're doing this for yourself.” He can motivate me,' added Blake.

Motivation is not something that Blake has ever appeared to lack.

The 22-year-old is famed for his serious-minded dedication to training harder in stark contrast to Bolt's light-hearted confidence.

Bolt jokes that he is nervous about tipping Blake as the man to win gold if he cannot at the Olympics.

'We train every day, I know how hard he works, so I would love for Blake to win if I wasn't in the 100m, but let's not ask this question again please, let's not jinx me on that one,' he said.

London 2012 Games: Usain Bolt is fit and ready, claims his agent

Bolt back to full fitness and raring to go for Olympics, claims his agent

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UPDATED:

07:36 GMT, 10 July 2012

Usain Bolt is fit and firing ahead of the Olympics, according to his agent.

Bolt had worried London organisers as
well as his legion of fans when he flew to Munich for treatment by
celebrated sports doctor Hans-Wilhelm M|ller-Wohlfahrt after training
partner Yohan Blake edged him out in both the 100 metres and 200m at the
Olympic trials.

Concern: Usain Bolt has been nursing tight hamstring

Concern: Usain Bolt has been nursing tight hamstring

But Bolt's agent Ricky Simms has attempted to play down fears he is a doubt for the Games, adding the 25-year-old sprinter was merely suffering from tightness in his hamstring.

'He's back to normal, he's back in full training and he's good to go,' Simms told the Telegraph.

'His body is back to normal. The muscle tightness has gone.'

Simms acknowledged Bolt nursed the minor problem at the Olympic trials at the National Stadium in Kingston.

Edged out: Bolt was beaten by Yohan Blake at the Olympic trial

Edged out: Bolt was beaten by Yohan Blake at the Olympic trial

But after managing to qualify for London in spite of the complaint, the Jamaican was told by his coach to fully recover before he can prepare to defend his 100m, 200m and 4x100m crowns at the Games.

'He had a slightly tight hamstring during the trials and that's why possibly he didn't push as hard as he could have,' added Simms.

'He was just protecting that. The main thing at the trials was to get through and get on the team for the Olympic Games.

'His coach decided that he needs to get a little bit of massage and treatment on that and rest up, and then train again hard next week so that he's ready for the Olympic Games.'

London 2012 Olympics: Usain Bolt injury scare

Usain injury scare! Bolt needs treatment with just 21 days to go until Olympics

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UPDATED:

21:21 GMT, 5 July 2012

Usain Bolt has flown to see his German doctor three weeks before the start of the Olympics with what Sportsmail understands is a back injury.

The participation of the world's fastest man at the London Games is possibly in doubt, though his camp naturally sought to play down the extent of his latest setback.

Bolt's coach Glen Mills said: 'Arising from Usain's participation at the national trials in Kingston this past weekend, where he had a slight problem, after careful assessment I have had to withdraw him from the Diamond League meeting in Monaco on July 20 to give him sufficient time for treatment and time to train and prepare for the Olympic Games in London.'

Sweating on Bolt: Usain has had to pull out of the meet in Monaco

Sweating on Bolt: Usain has had to pull out of the meet in Monaco

Sources in Jamaica indicated that the problem is related to his back. Bolt was born with a curvature of the spine and missed the end of the 2010 season with a back injury that was treated, as in this instance, by renowned if controversial doctor Hans Muller-Wohlfahrt.

Bolt, 25, flew to Muller-Wohlfahrt's Munich clinic via London. The trip came after his double defeat at the Jamaican trials, where he lost unexpectedly in both the 100 metres and 200m to training partner Yohan Blake.

He lay down on the track while his right hamstring was stretched out following the second of those races, the 200m, last Sunday night.

Although Bolt has spoken of running the 100m in 9.4sec in London next month – the fastest he believes the human body can travel – this is not the first time this year he has made an unexpected trip to see Muller-Wohlfahrt.

Sportsmail reported in February how he pulled out of his advertised first race of the season, the Camperdown Classic in Kingston, to make the 22-hour round trip from the Caribbean to Europe.

Second best Bolt was beaten twice at the Jamaica Olympic trials

Second best Bolt was beaten twice at the Jamaica Olympic trials

Sources close to his training group, the Racers Track Club, said then he was suffering from a niggling leg injury. However, Bolt's camp insisted the visit was routine and his website had made a mistake in suggesting he had intended to take part in the Camperdown Classic. On the site, he had claimed to be 'excited to be beginning my season'.

Muller-Wohlfahrt divides opinion. A senior figure within the US Anti-Doping Agency has called his methods 'Frankenstein-type experiments', though his many approving patients know him as 'Healing Hans'.

Footballers Steven Gerrard, Ronaldo, Michael Owen and ardent anti-drugs campaigner Paula Radcliffe have all availed themselves of his medicine. Radcliffe is currently being treated by the doctor for a foot injury.

Muller-Wohlfahrt, 70, was trained in conventional medicine and orthopaedics but now he also injects some patients with calves' blood and extracts from the crest of cockerels. He has treated Bolt since the runner was a teenager.

A fit Bolt is the greatest box-office draw of the Games. American sprint legend Michael Johnson said this week: 'He can do whatever he wants to do. If he gets to the starting line healthy, at his best, he wins every time.'

London 2012 Olympics: Usain Bolt beaten again

London set for fastest 100m ever as Bolt is beaten again and rivals smash 10-second barrier

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 2 July 2012

So, Usain Bolt is not quite the ice-veined winner the world thought he was. Twice in 48 hours he has lost to his apprentice friend Yohan Blake and, suddenly, the Olympics has a race on its hands.

Paying up to 750 to watch a 100 metres procession came with magic attached. Could Bolt move back the frontiers in 9.4sec How early in the race could he launch into a celebration How much daylight would there be between him and the pursuing world

But the possibilities now are all together more intriguing. Blake, Bolt’s vanquisher in the 100m at the Jamaican trials on Friday and in the 200m on Sunday night, is suddenly the man to beat. A competition rather than a demonstration beckons us.

Second-best: Bolt (above left) is beaten by Blake (above right) again before receiving treatment

Second-best: Bolt (above left) is beaten by Blake (above right) again before receiving treatment

Second-best: Bolt (above left) is beaten by Blake (above right) again before receiving treatment

It changes the nature of the history that could be written in London’s Olympic Stadium on 100m final night, Sunday, August 5.

Yes, we could yet witness Bolt finding how to uncoil those lanky legs off the blocks – he started desperately slowly in Kingston – so he can run the times he has talked of. But more likely we will see the fastest foot race since cavemen learned to walk: eight men traversing the blue-riband distance of sprinting in under 10sec.

This year alone 17 men have managed the feat, led by Blake’s 9.75sec over the weekend. On a warm night in London, without the wind intervening, who would bet against the 2012 cast transcending the 1991 World Championship peak, when six finalists managed to beat the 10sec mark

Our own Linford Christie ran 9.92sec yet finished fourth. Whither British sprinting, whose fastest competitor this year, teenager Adam Gemili, has run 10.08sec. The fireworks that await us in London will be a foreign affair.
Jamaica, with Bolt, Blake and Asafa Powell, and America, with Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey, lead the way. Trinidad, through Keston Bledman and Richard Thompson, promise to be bit-part players in the phenomenon. Europe Christophe Lemaitre, of France, has run sub-10sec, but not this year.

Pole position: Blake has made himself the man to beat

Pole position: Blake has made himself the man to beat

WORLD'S FASTEST MEN

Usain Bolt
Jamaica, 25. Season’s Best: 9.76sec.
The Olympic champion and world record holder in the 100m (9.58) and 200m (19.19) is the man to beat but Blake proved he is not invincible in the Jamaican trials at the weekend.

Yohan Blake
Jamaica, 22. SB: 9.75. Bolt’s training partner and current 100m world champion. Fourth fastest in history (9.75).

Justin Gatlin
USA, 30. SB: 9.8. Won Olympic gold in 2004 but was then banned for doping. Ran PB of 9.8 to win US trials.

Asafa Powell
Jamaica, 29. SB: 9.85. Third fastest man in history (9.72) and former 100m world record holder.

Keston Bledman
Trinidad, 24. SB: 9.86.
Won silver in the 4x100m in the 2008 Olympics and ran PB of 9.86 last month.

Tyson Gay
USA, 29. SB: 9.86.
Second fastest in history (9.69) but has never won an Olympic medal because of injury.

Ryan Bailey
USA, 23. SB: 9.93.
Finished third in the US trials behind Gay and Gatlin. Ran a PB of 9.88 in 2010.

Richard Thompson
Trinidad, 27. SB: 9.96.
Ran a PB of 9.89 to take silver in Beijing. Qualified for London with a run of 9.96.

Over in Jamaica, Bolt was coming to terms with his fallibility. Defeat in the 200m was more of a jolt than in the 100m. He has not lost at the longer distance, which suits his 6ft 5in frame more naturally, since 2007. He holds the world record that eclipsed Michael Johnson’s unforgettable 1996 gold medal-winning time.

Bolt looked left as the finishing line approached, his face etched into a grimace. Blake ran 19.8sec, winning by 0.03sec.

Bolt embraced Blake, at 22 three years the younger, before lying on the ground to have his right hamstring stretched out, reinforcing my belief that he has not been entirely injury-free this year no matter what his control-freak retinue might have us believe.

Bolt acted cool, of course. ‘I can never be discouraged,’ he said. ‘I’m never worried until my coach gets worried, and my coach isn’t worried.’

Glen Mills, a sturdy man with a gravelly voice reminiscent of Michael Holding, is coach to Bolt and Blake. He is avuncular and not given to panic. ‘Usain has the experience and the ability and has been there before,’ he said.

‘He might be a little off but I’m sure, when the time of delivery comes around, he’ll be on top of his game.’

Jim Hines first broke the 10sec mark in 1968, in the Olympic 100m final at altitude in Mexico City. Eight athletes accomplishing the feat in one London evening would be more than compensation for Bolt spluttering. Even – well, maybe – at 750 for the privilege.

London 2012 Olympics: Usain Bolt through heats of Jamaican Olympic trials

Bolt eases through heats at Jamaican Olympic trials but Blake goes faster

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UPDATED:

11:25 GMT, 29 June 2012

Usain Bolt clocked a time of 10.06 seconds to advance smoothly from the heats at the Jamaican National Championships and Olympic trials.

Bolt, the defending Olympic champion, world record holder and fastest man in the world this year, won the first of the day's four qualifiers to book his place in the semi-finals.

The only man to go faster than him was world champion Yohan Blake, who clocked 10.00 in the second heat to advance.

Easing up: Usain Bolt (left) beats his fellow countrymen to the line in Kingston

Easing up: Usain Bolt (left) beats his fellow countrymen to the line in Kingston

Go faster: Yohan Blake (third right) clocked the quickest time of the heats

Go faster: Yohan Blake (third right) clocked the quickest time of the heats

Former world record holder Asafa Powell also advanced with a time of 10.19.

The semi-finals and final are scheduled Friday night.

Bolt holds the fastest time in the world this year with the 9.76 he clocked in Rome in May and will be aiming to defend his Olympic crown in London.