Tag Archives: osaka

Greg Rutherford on how Olympics changed his life

Greg the baker has recipe for success… Olympic hero Rutherford on how life has been very different since Super Saturday

) — but it was also the
shortest winning mark for Olympic gold since Randy Williams’ 8.24m in
1972.

‘People said I came out of nowhere,’
says Rutherford, ‘but I thought: “Hang on. I’ve been a professional
athlete for eight years. I’ve been a world top 10 athlete for five or
six.” It’s a bit frustrating.

Jump to it: Rutherford competing at the London Olympics in August

Jump to it: Rutherford competing at the London Olympics in August

‘It wasn’t the longest distance in the world, but I did what I needed to do on the day to win.

‘I want to be classed as one of the
greatest ever long jumpers, which means I have to go out there and jump a
hell of a lot further than I have done. I still genuinely believe, at
26, that’s possible.’

Rutherford at the Beijing Olympics in 2008

Rutherford at the Beijing Olympics in 2008

However, five years ago Rutherford
contemplated walking away from athletics, after a 2007 season heavily
disrupted by injury culminated in him failing to qualify for the final
at the World Championships in Osaka. But Rutherford won the British
title to book his place in Beijing only to finish 10th at the Olympic
Games as he failed to reach 8m.

‘I didn’t perform in Beijing,’
admitted Rutherford. ‘Emotionally I wasn’t in a good place (after his
grandfather died). But in 2009 I broke the British record, in 2010 got a
Commonwealth silver medal, had a great year in 2011 and, all of a
sudden, it was starting to work.

‘So I thought: “Well, I can’t give up
now, because I’ve got the greatest competition of my life next year.”
And thank goodness I didn’t.’

Rutherford credits Dan Pfaff, the
American ‘super-coach’ whose contract with UK Athletics expired in
December, as a ‘ridiculously important’ part of his development.

Later this month, however,
Rutherford, will move from his hometown of Milton Keyes to Phoenix in
Arizonza to continue working with Pfaff. It will be another huge change
for the self-titled ‘Ginger Wizard’.

‘I can’t wait,’ said Rutherford.
‘When I joined Dan he told me he wanted me to have a PhD in long jump by
the time I retired — that’s how well he wanted to teach me.

‘Technically, I’m still not a great
long jumper. I think there’s a hell of a lot more for me to learn.
Hopefully I’ve got another Olympics, maybe two, in me, so it’s
exciting.’

Greg Rutherford is supported by Home House: www.homehouse.co.uk

Heather Watson reaches Osaka HP Open singles final

First for Watson as Brit reaches singles final at Osaka HP Open with narrow win

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UPDATED:

09:23 GMT, 13 October 2012

Great Britain's Heather Watson and Kai-Chen Chang of Chinese Taipei both reached their first ever singles final on the WTA Tour at the HP Open in Osaka.

The 20-year-old from Guernsey beat Japan's Misaki Doi in two tight sets – and Chang then stunned top seed Sam Stosur in a third-set tie-break.

Watson took her first set against Doi, winning 7/2 in a tie-break after each player broke serve once.

Further than ever: Heather Watson has reached her first ever singles final

Further than ever: Heather Watson has reached her first ever singles final

But like Watson's quarter-final win
over Pauline Parmentier on Friday, Saturday's second set was littered
with service breaks – an area Watson will surely have to improve on in
the final.

Watson finally came through with a
late fourth break against three for her opponent, wrapping up a 7-6
(7/2) 7-5 win in just over two hours to end the hopes of the home fans.

Stosur was the only woman among the
final four who had previously reached a tour semi-final but quickly
found herself a set down against world No 134 Chang.

The world No 9 from Australia levelled
the match but Chang, who knocked out Watson's fellow Briton Laura
Robson on Friday, was not to be denied.

After a break apiece in the final set she forced four match-points in the breaker, taking the second to win 6-2 4-6 7-6 (7/3).

Laura Robson beats Eleni Daniilidou in HP Open

Robson sails through to second round of HP Open after straight-sets victory

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UPDATED:

07:26 GMT, 9 October 2012

British No 1 and eighth seed Laura Robson saw off Greece's Eleni Daniilidou 6-4, 6-2 to reach the second round of the HP Open in Osaka.

Robson, seeded in a WTA tournament for the first time, appeared to be letting her opponent back into the match when Daniilidou came back from 3-0 down in the second set to the brink of levelling at 3-3.

But Robson held a tough service game, re-established her double break at 5-2 and served out at the first attempt to join compatriot Heather Watson in the second round, where she will face either Japan's Kurumi Nara or Zhou Yimiao of China.

Going through: Robson saw off Daniilidou to reach the second round

Going through: Robson saw off Daniilidou to reach the second round

Heather Watson beats Polona Hercog at HP Open

Watson downs Hercog to progress into second round at HP Open

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UPDATED:

23:23 GMT, 8 October 2012

Heather Watson made an encouraging start to the HP Open in Osaka with a 6-4 6-4 first-round win over Slovenia's Polona Hercog.

The British No 2, at 71st in the world 10 places higher in the rankings than Hercog, carved out 10 break points, taking three, as she thrived on her opponent's serve.

The 20-year-old took the opening set thanks to a single break of serve and broke twice in the second to close out victory in one hour 29 minutes.

Safely through: British No 2 Heather Watson won in Osaka

Safely through: British No 2 Heather Watson won in Osaka

Wales to face Japan in two test in 2013

Wales to travel to Japan for two Test series against the Brave Blossoms in 2013

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UPDATED:

12:27 GMT, 24 September 2012

Wales will face Asian champions Japan in a two-match test series next June.

Warren Gatland’s men will travel to Japan to face the Brave Blossoms in Osaka on June 8 and in Tokyo on June 15.

Japan coach Eddie Jones insisted his side needed more games against top opposition in order to stand any chance of improving on their wretched run of results at World Cups.

Heading to Japan: Wales coach Warren Gatland will take his side for two Tests

Heading to Japan: Wales coach Warren Gatland will take his side for two Tests

'Back in May, the Welsh under 20s beat Japan by at least 90 points,’ the Australian said

'There is a big gap between the level of rugby played in Japan and international rugby.’
Japan's one World Cup victory in 24 matches came against Zimbabwe in 1991.

'These two tests are so important,’ said Jones. ‘But two are not enough. You can't play low level teams and improve. We need 10 games like this a year.’

Wales last played in Japan in 2001, when they swept a two-test series after suffering an embarrassing defeat by Suntory in their opening tour game.

London 2012 Games: Christine Ohuruogu right on track

Ohuruogu right on track to grab another Olympic medal

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UPDATED:

20:40 GMT, 21 June 2012

Upbeat: Christine Ohuruogu

Upbeat: Christine Ohuruogu

Eleven months have passed since
Britain's only reigning Olympic track champion won in her own event, the
400 metres, five years since she improved on her best time. Yet, going
into the trials, Christine Ohuruogu talks of it as final preparation for
going to London 'to grab something I want'.

Far behind her are the days when in
Osaka and Beijing she caught the rest of the world flat-footed and
open-mouthed. Long gone are world and Commonwealth titles she once
owned.

She ended last year ranked 17th in
the world. Her best this year of 50.69sec ranks her ninth, outside the
likely Olympic finalists. World leader Sanya Richards-Ross has beaten
her in 14 out of 15 career races. Yet, none of the statistics disturb
Ohuruogu.

'I am pretty content with what is
happening,' she said. 'I am happy I am on track. It's not a time to get
over-anxious. I don't regard it as defending something (in London). I am
going to grab something I want, something the rest of the world wants,
and that really motivates me.'

She believes that rivals like Richards-Ross are ahead because they have simply run more often – tonight's race will be only her fourth of the season – but she won her world title, remember, after just two preparatory races.

Her fastest run this summer was her latest in New York when she ran with a slight chest infection. 'Another solid run and that's what you want, solid performances progressing,' she added. 'I try not to drag 2008 into my planning and preparation.

'Lloyd (Cowan, her coach) keeps a mental note of times then and now, but I've tried to break the connection. There were things that were relevant then to my training that I don't need now. My body is older. It's not as if I have been in a hole for a couple of years. I have been working, but things didn't work out how I planned.

'I am not a different person to what you saw before. I know I can run a better race than in 2008. That's what I'll try to do. What I want is to go there and give the best performance I can, to know I've done everything possible.'

Shinji Kagawa Manchester United bid rejected by Dortmund

United setback in pursuit for Kagawa as Dortmund turn down 13m bid for Japan star

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UPDATED:

07:56 GMT, 26 May 2012

Manchester United have had a bid for Borussia Dortmund’s highly rated midfielder Shinji Kagawa turned down.

It is believed they tabled a bid of around 13million for the 23-year-old but the German champions are holding out for a fee closer to 16m, according to the Guardian.

He cost just 280,000 when the Dortmund bought him from the Japanese club Cerezo Osaka two years ago, and United are expected to go back with an increased bid within the next two weeks.

Highly rated: Manchester United are keen to sign Shinji Kagawa

Highly rated: Manchester United are keen to sign Shinji Kagawa

Sir Alex Ferguson watched Kagawa a fortnight ago when he scored in Dortmund’s 5-2 win over Bayern Munich in the German Cup final.

He scored 13 goals in 31 league games as Dortmund won the Bundesliga from Bayern by eight points and would fit the profile currently adhered to by United of a young player who could improve and not cost a premium price.

Star from the East: Ferguson wants Kagawa to boost his midfield

Star from the East: Ferguson wants Kagawa to boost his midfield

Manchester United on alert after Shinji Kagawa snubs new Dortmund deal

Kagawa edges closer to Old Trafford after Dortmund confirm ace is leaving

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UPDATED:

10:56 GMT, 15 May 2012

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa is set to leave the club this summer after turning down the offer of a new contact.

The Japan international still has a
year left to run on his current deal with the Bundesliga champions, but
he is a player in demand – he has been heavily linked with Manchester
United – and Dortmund are unlikely to want to run the risk of losing him
for nothing next year.

Impressive: Alex Ferguson watched Shinji Kagawa in German Cup final

Impressive: Alex Ferguson watched Shinji Kagawa in German Cup final

'I had a meeting with his agent yesterday morning and Shinji Kagawa has informed us that he will definitely not be extending his contract,' Dortmund director of sport Michael Zorc told the Bild newspaper.

'Should we now receive offers for Kagawa, then we will consider and negotiate them.'

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and assistant Mike Phelan were present at the DFB-Pokal final at the weekend as 23-year-old Kagawa scored in Dortmund's 5-2 win over Bayern Munich.

Silver service: Kagawa with the trophy

Silver service: Kagawa with the trophy

Kagawa will command a significantly higher fee than the 280,000 Dortmund paid Cerezo Osaka for him in 2010.

He has scored 21 goals in 49 Bundesliga matches, playing a key role in the club's back-to-back league titles.

Chelsea and Manchester United set to compete for Japan"s Shinji Kagawa

Chelsea and United set to go head-to-head for Kagawa after Japan star snubs Dortmund deal

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UPDATED:

21:57 GMT, 4 April 2012

Chelsea and Manchester United are leading the race to sign Japan forward Shinji Kagawa who is refusing to sign a contract at Borussia Dortmund.

The 23-year-old is attracted to a switch to the Barclays Premier League due to the huge popularity of the English game in his homeland.

The German club have given him two weeks to decide on a contract extension to 2016 that would double his salary from 1.25million per year to 2.5m. But they would be forced to sell Kagawa in the summer or risk losing him for nothing when his contract runs out in 2013.

Wanted man: Dortmund's Shinji Kagawa is attracting interest from Manchester United and Chelsea

Wanted man: Dortmund's Shinji Kagawa is attracting interest from Manchester United and Chelsea

Dortmund paid just 294,000 to buy him from J-League Cereza Osaka in summer 2010 but he has been a revelation.

He helped them lift the Bundesliga title and even though he missed the second half of the season with an ankle injury he still scored eight goals in 18 games. Kagawa has 15 goals in 36 games this season — two goals and six assists in the league — and Dortmund lead the Bundesliga by three points.

The striker, who has 29 caps and nine goals for Japan, has said joining Manchester United would be a dream.

Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said: ‘Shinji must now decide. We know he is flirting with clubs in England and Spain.’