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US Open 2012: Maria Sharapova beats Marion Bartoli

Sharapova books US Open semi-final clash with Azarenka after digging deep to beat Bartoli

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UPDATED:

19:59 GMT, 5 September 2012

Maria Sharapova maintained her remarkable record in deciding sets to defeat Marion Bartoli and reach the US Open semi-finals for the first time since winning the title six years ago.

Not since her third-round loss to Flavia Pennetta here 12 months ago has Sharapova lost a three-set match, winning 12 out of 12 this season.

She was pushed to the limit by Bartoli, who had led 4-0 when rain forced the match to be postponed yesterday, but eventually came through 3-6 6-3 6-4 to set up a meeting with world number one Victoria Azarenka.

Job done! Maria Sharapova had to dig deep to beat Marion Bartoli

Job done! Maria Sharapova had to dig deep to beat Marion Bartoli

Rain had come to Sharapova's aid in her fourth-round match against Nadia Petrova when she had looked in trouble early in the deciding set, and the Russian certainly would not have been disappointed by yesterday's abrupt halt.

Bartoli had completely outplayed her rival for four games but the question was whether she would be able to maintain it.

The initial signs were not good for the Frenchwoman as Sharapova won the first two games on the resumption, which was again twice delayed by more heavy showers.

But Bartoli held on to her advantage from there and served out the set, letting out a loud yell of 'allez' as Sharapova netted a forehand return.

It was the first set 11th seed Bartoli had won against the Russian in five matches, although this was only their second meeting in five years.

Relief: Sharapova booked a spot in the semi-final against Victoria Azarenka

Relief: Sharapova booked a spot in the semi-final against Victoria Azarenka

Relief: Sharapova booked a spot in the semi-final against Victoria Azarenka

Both players were struggling on serve and, after exchanging breaks at the start of the second set, their combined tally of double faults was up to 12, seven of them to Sharapova.

The Russian came under severe pressure again in the third game of the set but saved four break points, and it was a key moment as she gradually began to take control.

The third seed broke again to lead 5-3 with a forehand winner drilled down the line and levelled the match with her fifth ace.

Sharapova really had the bit between her teeth and she broke the Bartoli serve to lead 2-1 in the decider only for the Frenchwoman to hit back.

It was an epic struggle but Sharapova struck a major blow in the ninth game with another break, leaving her serving for a place in the last four.

And she did not falter, keeping alive her hopes of a second grand slam title of the year after completing her career slam at the French Open in June.

Sharapova said: 'The rain break gave me a few hours to think about things. I came out so flat yesterday. She's so tough and she was on fire.

'I'm so happy to get back to the semi-finals.'

Tough cookie: Bartoli provided a real challenge for the Russian to overcome

Tough cookie: Bartoli provided a real challenge for the Russian to overcome

Enjoying it US basketball star Tyson Chandler turned up to watch the match at Flushing Meadows

Enjoying it US basketball star Tyson Chandler turned up to watch the match at Flushing Meadows

London 2012 Olympics boxing: Nicola Adams guarantees bronze at least

Bronze guaranteed for Brit girl Adams as Ireland's Taylor ends Jonas' medal hopes

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UPDATED:

14:32 GMT, 6 August 2012

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

Nicola Adams became the second Great Britain boxer after Luke Campbell to guarantee at least a bronze medal after a comprehensive 16-7 win over Stoyka Petrova in her women’s flyweight quarter-final at ExCeL.

The Leeds 29-year-old was simply too sharp for her Bulgarian opponent, wobbling Petrova with a short left and a right over the top in the first round, and again with a stabbing left in the second to lead 5-3 at the half-way stage.

Winning feeling: Nicola Adams (Blue) celebrates another medal in prospect for Great Britain after her win over Stoyka Petrova guaranteed a bronze at least

Winning feeling: Nicola Adams (Blue) celebrates another medal in prospect for Great Britain after her win over Stoyka Petrova guaranteed a bronze at least

Hit and miss: Adams lands a shot on Petrova, with the Bulgarian missing her jab

Hit and miss: Adams lands a shot on Petrova, with the Bulgarian missing her jab

The shorter Adams continued to do well with her countering lefts in the third, but Petrova, a former world quarter-finalist, was proving a difficult challenge as she pushed forward looking to land hooks with either hand.

Adams, however, was clearly more classy, pulling away to take a six-point lead into the final round and book at least bronze – and a titanic showdown with Indian sensation Mary Kom in the semi-finals on Wednesday.

Natasha Jonas put up a brave fight against Ireland’s seemingly invincible four-time world champion Katie Taylor before the Irishwoman’s power and accuracy saw her book at least a bronze with a clear 26-15 victory.

Red alert: Ireland's four-time world champion Katie Taylor (red) lands a heavy blow on Natasha Jonas

Red alert: Ireland's four-time world champion Katie Taylor (red) lands a heavy blow on Natasha Jonas

Cheer we go: Favourite for the gold Taylor was roared on to victory by thousands of Irish fans

Cheer we go: Favourite for the gold Taylor was roared on to victory by thousands of Irish fans

Roared on by thousands of Irish supporters in an extraordinary atmosphere, Taylor set the pace right from the start, ramming home an early combination as Liverpool’s Jonas sought vainly to match her with counters.

A more even second saw Jonas have more success, rocking Taylor’s head back with a hard right but only incurring the wrath of the Irish fighter, who responded with a crisp combination as they reached half-way with Taylor in a 10-7 lead.

Taylor dominated the third, forcing Jonas to take a standing count from a hard right, as she moved 19-11 ahead, and Jonas took another count in the last as the imperious Taylor charged home to a thoroughly convincing win.

London 2012 Olympics: LIVE – day nine including Usain Bolt

LIVE: Olympics – follow all the action on day nine as it happens

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UPDATED:

17:33 GMT, 5 August 2012

You can keep track of all the latest news, views and pictures from the Olympic Park and beyond with our live coverage. This is your ultimate guide to all the action as it unfolds during London 2012…

If you have anything to say, contact me on [email protected] or on Twitter @rbsfeatures.

Olympics essentials

Sport-by-sport schedule

Live results and stats

Medals table

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

18.33: Murray and Robson have lost the second set 6-3 and the mixed doubles final will be settled in a champions play-off. That's a 10-point tie breaker.

18.27: Russian duo Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova have beaten USA pair Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the women's doubles tennis bronze medal final.

18.20: Murray and Robson have gone on a downward swing in the second set of the tennis, trailing 4-1. The omnium time trial has started, but it's going in reverse order from the leaderboard. Clancy will be in heat 7.

18.18: We're still waiting for the omnium to begin, as the women's sprint 1/8 repechages are concluding.

18.14: The omnium 1k time trial will soon be underway. Clancy is not guaranteed gold by any means if he wins – he also needs his rivals at the top to finish a little way back from the front. This is a specialty of Clancy's so his does have a good chance of a medal.

18.07: Clancy is gearing up for the race of his life in the 1k time trial. Murray and Robson won the first set but are 1-0 down in the second.

17.57: It's 5-1 to Murray and Robson in the first set, with Azarenka serving.

Hope: Ed Clancy could get a medal in the men's omnium but gold will be tough

Hope: Ed Clancy could get a medal in the men's omnium but gold will be tough

17.51: Other important events to keep an eye on tonight are the men's 100m semi-finals at 19.45, Great Britain v Australia in the men's hockey at 19.00 and the women's water polo quarter-final between us and Spain at 20.20.

17.49: Murray and Robson are in good form and have just moved 4-0 up in the first set of the tennis mixed doubles final.

17.46: On a big day of action, it's easy to miss things. Here's a quick run-down of the key gold medals available today and what sort of time the action in each event should start.

As you know, the tennis mixed doubles are already underway.

The men's omnium 1k time trial will produce a gold medal winner – it begins at 18.16.

The women's 3m springboard diving final starts at 19.00.

The women's triple jump final starts at 19.35.

The men's hammer throw final is at 20.20.

The women's 400m final at 21.00.

The men's 3,000m steeplechaise final at 21.25.

And, the big one, the men's 100m final at 21.50.

17.41: The six-time world champion soared past Kanis with ease there to make it through, with a time of 11.840. It's hard to believe she's really going to retire after this Games.

17.37: Pendleton is on the track and about to start her sprint race 1/8 race. Her opponent is Dutch rider Willy Kanis.

17.33: Murray on his earlier triumph:

'(It was) the biggest win of my life. This week's been absolutely incredible so far, I've had a lot of fun. I felt so fresh on the court today. I didn't feel nervous really at all apart from at the beginning of the match.'

17.30: Murray and Robson are out for their doubles final. Could Murray get two golds in one day Azarenka and Miryni will have something to say about that.

Leading: Victoria Pendleton (right) easily beat Ekaterina Gnidenko (left)

Leading: Victoria Pendleton (right) easily beat Ekaterina Gnidenko (left)

17.28: Lasse Hansen (Den), Elia Viviani (Ita) and Bryan Coquard (Fra) are joint top on 25 points each. Roger Kluge (Ger) follows on 28, with Ed Clancy on 29. Sixth is Glenn O'Shea (Aus) on 31.

17.24: Get ready for the omnium standings with just one race to go, at 18.10 tonight.

17.23: The Brit wins with a time of 10.03 and he's through to the quarter-finals. He bravely took the inside fairly early, Awang cut towards him but Kenny did not panic and instead drove on, eventually taking the race at a canter.

17.22: Kenny is tracking his opponent again and they move around the track fairly slowly.

17.19: The track is being inspected, with Kenny's sprint race nearly ready to go.

17.18: Still waiting for the official confirmations but as soon as they're in I'll let you know the overall standings.

17.16: Final lap in the omnium… Canada's Bell won the race and picks up only 1 point (the cyclist with the least number of points overall wins). Clancy came 10th and picks up 10 points.

17.13: Kenny will compete in the second race against Awang at 17.21.

17.11: 18 laps to go in the scratch race. Hansen has recovered superbly from his crash to make up for that error.

17.08: Louis Smith on his gold-winning gymnastics rival Berki:

'We're good friends. We are great rivals, but we are good friends. If I was going to be beat by anyone apart from Max (Whitlock), then Krisztian Berki is that guy. He will go down as one of the greatest pommel horse riders ever, and the fact that I came second to him is something I'm proud of.'

17.06: Croatia are 19-7 up on Great Britain in the women's handball.

17.05: Disaster for Denmark's Lasse Hansen as he clips Clancy's back wheel and he tumbles to the floor. He's going to rejoin the race.

17.03: The rules for the scratch race are very simple indeed. First rider to complete all 60 laps is the winner. There are 46 remaining.

17.01: The Brit is second in the table – behind Glenn O'Shea – although this race is not his favoured event – Ed's a sprinter.

16.59: Ed Clancy is sitting pretty in the men's omnium standings. He has a very good chance of a medal. The 15k scratch race is underway.

16.56: Russia's Tatiana Kashirinia, competing in the 75kg + weightlifting category, has broken a world record with a 151kg lift in the snatch. Astonishing.

16.52: Plenty more excitement to come today at the Velodrome is the men's omnium 15km scratch race, the women's sprint round 1/8 and the men's omnium 1km time-trial.

16.48: In the men's sprint cycling, progress is decided out of a 'best of three'. So Kenny will face Awang at least once more before he progresses.

16.43: After his defeat, Federer said:

'He (Murray) was better, much better than I was today but I'm happy with silver. I had a very emotional tournament. Maybe I was emotionally drained but, nevertheless, I didn't think I played too badly, but things didn't go my way.

It's unfortunate, but still a great day for me. Andy looked like he was never doubting himself and he was able to come through this time around. He's had a wonderful career already and I'm happy for him.'

Golden boy: Andy Murray won gold by beating Roger Federer

Golden boy: Andy Murray won gold by beating Roger Federer

16.38: Croatia are beating us 12-5 in the women's handball after 22 minutes.

16.35: Kenny takes his sprint against Awang, but he left it late to surge past his man.

16.34: Murray sung the national anthem as he collected his medal.

Kenny is off in the sprinting.

16.32: Jason Kenny is getting ready to go against Azizulhasni Awang of Malaysia in the men's cycling sprint.

16.29: Remember, Murray will be back out later with Laura Robson for the mixed doubles final, Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirnyi of Belarus their opponents.

16.25: This Olympics victory bodes well for Andy Murray at the US open. Although he dispatched Federer today, nobody can say the Swiss star wasn't trying. Out comes Murray for his medal now, along with Federer and Del Potro, who is here to get his bronze.

Medal men: Max Whitlock (left) and Louis Smith (right) with their spoils

Medal men: Max Whitlock (left) and Louis Smith (right) with their spoils

16.22: Anna Meares of Australia also made it through the sprint cycling last 16. She is a fierce rival of Pendleton's.

16.20: Murray left the court to go and give his girlfriend Kim and mum Judy a huge hug. They are both delighted.

16.17: An incredible few minutes here. Disappointment for Smith as he finishes LEVEL with Berki in the pommel horse final, but loses out on gold because of a lower execution score.

Delight for Whitlock who did superbly to get bronze.

And Murray… well… what a performance. He won 6-4 in what proved to be the final set.

16.15: Andy Murray wins GOLD in the tennis men's singles final

16.14: Murray is serving for GOLD.

16.10: Louis Smith wins SILVER in men's pommel horse final.Max Whitlock wins bronze.

16.08: Federer and Murray take another game each which puts the score in the third set at 5-3 to Murray.

16.05: Hi everybody. Victoria Pendleton has beaten her Russian opponent Ekaterina Gnidenko in the sprint cycling. The rules are simple – it's a straight one-off race. Pendleton was expected to win this with Gnidenko recording the slowest time in the time trial speed. Pendleton surged past her Russian opponent. Easy does it.

16.02: As Andy Murray closes in on victory at 4-2 in the third I will pass you over to Rik Sharma who, with Victoria Pendleton back at the Velodrome, will hope to make it sweet 16 for Britain as far as gold medals are concerned.

15.59: From Sportsmail's Alex Kay:

Max Whitlock the first of the two Brits up in this pommel horse final.

Louis Smith is of course the other.

15.56: Murray isn't on tip-toes anymore – he is on the home straight towards an Olympic gold medal. The Brit has broken Federer to lead 3-2.

15.53: A more even third set on Centre Court, but that's more to do with Federer finally playing something close to his talent rather than Murray easing up. The Brit still looks in good shape at 2-2.

15.50: From Infostrada 2012:

For the first time in #badminton history at the Olympic Games, one NOC (#China) won every gold medal.

15.47: It's a clean sweep for China as Yun Cai and Haifeng Fui defeat Denamrk's Carsten Mogensen and Mathias Boe in the Badminton men's doubles 21-16 21-15.

15.44: Murray takes the second set 6-1 and if he stands on his tip-toes he can see the Olympic gold medal. Federer to his credit has come back from two sets down many times before though – so it's not over just yet.

15.42: Elsewhere Juan Martin del Potro has won Argentina's first medal of the games by defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia 7-5 6-4 in the bronze medal match of the men's tennis singles.

15.40: From Infostrada 2012:

Romania's Sandra Raluca Izbasa won gold in the Women's Vault. This was her country's 300th medal in Olympic Games history.

Full support: British fans packed into Wimbledon to cheer on Andy Murray

Full support: British fans packed into Wimbledon to cheer on Andy Murray

15.37: …okay it was 57 minutes. Federer though is now 0-30 on Murray's serve. Nerves for me.

15.36: BREAKING NEWS: Roger Federer wins a game in tennis to make it 5-1 to Murray. That is his first in over an hour.

15.33: The Murray machine rolls on as he wins his tenth consecutive game to take a 5-0 lead. This set is done and dusted – I'm starting to think the same for the match too judging by how one sided it is.

15.30: The racing may be done in the Aquatics Centre but we are not done with the swimming just yet.

Getting underway is the synchronised swimming. The women's duets are up with Britain's Jenna Randall and Olivia Federici featuring later on in the technical qualifying routine.

15.26: I haven't seen Federer get destroyed like this in…well…years. Murray breaks AGAIN in deuce to move 4-0 ahead and surely be on course to take the second set. Don't forget unlike the previous rounds this is a best of five encounter…who put that rule in!

15.22: Murray crucially holds to 3-0 after Federer wasted more break points than I can count on one hand.

I am convinced this is finally the Scot's day. It's been 45 minutes since Federer won a game.

15.19: Our women's volleyball team are also in action, but are a set down and 8-5 behind in the second. You want some good news

History maker: Natasha Jonas (left) became the first British female boxer to win at the Olympics

History maker: Natasha Jonas (left) became the first British female boxer to win at the Olympics

15.16: Britain's fencers are in action again, with the men's team foil currently leading Russia 12-10.

15.11: Fantastic stuff from Jonas, who makes history to become the first British female boxer to win after defeating Quanitta Underwood of the United States 21-13.

She now faces four-time world champion Katie Taylor in the quarter-finals – the Irish star is also the top seed in the Light (60kg) division.

15.06: From Infostrada 2012:

Women's vault: Oksana Chusovitina (GER) is competing in her 6th #Olympics, a joint record in Gym – artistic with Jordan Yovtchev (BUL).

15.03: Whatever Andy Murray is on I want some as he effectively performs a triple break to move into a 2-0 lead at the start of the second set. Federer has a face like thunder.

15.00: Kai Zou has won gold for China in the Men's Floor Exercise ahead of Japan's Kohei Uchimura and Russia's Denis Ablyazin.

14.55: Federer is well and truly rattled. Murray breaks the world No. 1 to takes the first set 6-2.

Of course he did that in the Wimbledon final last month too but the British No. 1 looks much more in control here.

14.52: Edward Ling continues to improve in the men's shooting trap, finishing the third round (and the day) with a perfect 25 that leaves him in 15th with an overall score of 72:

'It's too early to start feeling confident. In shooting anything can happen right until the last target, so it's full concentration right to the end.

'In the first round the nerves were all there but I got that out of my system and I'm loving it. I'm all ready for tomorrow (when he will shoot the last two qualification rounds).'

King of the waves: Ben Ainslie celebrates after claiming gold for Britain in the sailing finn

King of the waves: Ben Ainslie celebrates after claiming gold for Britain in the sailing finn

14.49: From Sportsmail's Laura Williamson:

Here she comes. Natasha Jonas makes a little bit of history as Britain's first female boxer at an Olympic Games.

14.45: Advantage Murray! Andy breaks Federer to lead the first set 4-2. What a few minutes this has been for Great Britain.

14.40: It was just as tense as the star regatta! Ainslie finished a lowly ninth but in doing so he eliminated the threat of Hogh-Christensen who finished behind the now greatest ever Olympic sailor.

Postma was set to take gold for Holland in the closing moments but rather than move up to second he slipped to fifth and lost out on the medals altogether.

14.35: BEN AINSLIE WINS GOLD IN THE SAILING MEN'S FINN

14.30: We are with serve on Centre Court as Murray leads 2-1.

14.28: From Infostrada 2012:

Lin Dan (CHN) is the first #badminton player to win the Olympic men's singles title twice.

Lee Chong Wei loses second straight Olympic #badminton final to Lin Dan, but he becomes #Malaysia's first Olympic Games multi-medallist.

Andy MurrayGoing for gold: Andy Murray returns a shot against Roger Federer in the tennis men's singles final

Going for gold: Andy Murray returns a shot against Roger Federer in the tennis men's singles final

14.25: Very tense in the Finn. Ainslie is eighth with Hogh-Christensen in tenth. It's ever so close though – nothing is decided yet.

14.22: Dan Lin of China has beaten Chong Wei Lee of Malaysia 15-21 21-10 21-19 to win the Badminton Men's Singles gold medal.

14.18: The players are out on Centre Court (it's full of spectators now) as Murray prepares to serve to Federer. Unlike the previous rounds it's five sets so it could be Wimbledon all over again in this gold medal match…minus the white kits.

14.13: Boost for Big Ben. Ainslie made a poor start but the three-time gold medallist has recovered and is up into third. Hogh-Christensen is way down in ninth.

14.11: History has been made this afternoon as women's boxing has made its Olympic debut.

Russia's Elena Savelyeva has defeated Hye Song Kim in the women's fly (51kg) 12-9.

In control: Ben Ainslie kept Jonas Hogh-Christensen behind for the majority of the medal regatta

In control: Ben Ainslie kept Jonas Hogh-Christensen behind for the majority of the medal regatta

14.06: A boost for Murray and we haven't even warmed up on Centre Court. Mike Dickson explains:

The roof is opening at Wimbledon, that really evens things up for Murray as Fed's game is low margin. Elements can now interfere.

14.01: Ben gets his gold medal charge underway – his best course to it is to finish two places in front of Jonas Hogh-Christensen of Denmark but he must watch out fir Holland too.

We saw in the star class how badly you can suffer if you take your eye off the whole picture.

13.56: Jin Jong Oh wins the Men's 50m Pistol Shooting gold medal. Choi Young-Rae makes it a South Korea one-two with China's Wang Zhiwei earning bronze.

13.51: From Infostrada 2012:

Serena Williams wins double Olympic gold (singles, doubles) as sister #Venus did in 2000. They both set #tennis record with 4th gold.

13.48: From Sportsmail's Mike Dickson:

Williams sisters win doubles gold, so promptish start for Murray. Sun out – big call now on whether to open roof.

13.46: Venus Williams and Serena Williams take gold in the Tennis Women's Doubles after defeating Czech pair Hradecka and Hlavackov 6-4 6-4

Disappointment: Great Britain's Iain Percy (right) and Andrew Simpson had to settle for silver in the men's star

Disappointment: Great Britain's Iain Percy (right) and Andrew Simpson had to settle for silver in the men's star

13.41: A big effort from the British lads but that's one big disappointment on the waves. Don't forget though Ben Ainslie also goes for gold on the hour in the Finn.

13.36: That is a big shock. Swedish pair Fredrik Loof and Max Salminen can hardly believe it as they come from a distant third overall to take gold in the men's star.

They win the race with Britain finishing eighth. Brazil, who finished seventh, take the bronze.

13.33: IAIN PERCY AND ANDREW SIMPSON WIN SILVER IN THE SAILING MEN'S STAR

13.30: Britain have defeated France 45-29 in the fencing men's team foil and they will now face Russia at 3pm after they saw off China 45-40.

13.27: Percy and Simpson are now down to seventh. It's still good news that Brazil are behind in ninth but a new worry threatens with race leaders Sweden who can still snatch what did seem an improbable gold before the race.

In the bag: Tiki Gelana wins the women's marathon for Ethiopia

In the bag: Tiki Gelana wins the women's marathon for Ethiopia

13.23: Tiki Gelana wins the Women's Marathon for Ethiopia in a time of 2:23.07 to set a new Olympic record. Jeptoo takes silver for Kenya with Russian, Petrova following shortly after to finish with a bronze.

13.21: And now down to two as Gelana sets off, it may as well be one though as Jeptoo struggles to hold on.

13.20: We are down to three as race favourite Keitany drops off. Petrova still hangs on to Gelana and Jeptoo though.

13.29: Two kilometres to go and it's STILL those four leading. Who is going to blink first and lead a final charge

13.17: The bad news for Percy and Simpson in the sailing star is they are down in fifth. The good news is that Brazil are directly behind them – just where they want them to be if they want to win gold again.

13.14: Still the four lead the marathon but you get the impression Petrova is struggling to keep up with the African trio. Crucially though she's still with them.

13.10: Meanwhile it's advantage USA in the women's tennis doubles final. The Williams sisters take the first set 6-4 against the Czech pair of Hradecka and Hlavackov.

13.05: Still the gang of four lead the marathon in the closing stages. It's Petrova from Russia, Tiki Gelana from Ethiopia and Kenyan duo Keitany and Priscah Jeptoo with six kilometres to go.

Flawless: Nick Skelton of Great Britain was penalty free on Big Star during the jumping in the equestrian

Flawless: Nick Skelton of Great Britain was penalty free on Big Star during the jumping in the equestrian

13.00: Time for a fencing update. It's in fact France who Britain face in the men's team foil repechage (NOT USA, sorry about that) and after six bouts of nine, the hosts lead 31-22.

12.57: Second and third big shock of the marathon. The sun is out and the Russian of Tatyana Petrova has caught the leading three Kenyans and now a sole Ethiopian. Mare Dibaba has dropped off the pace.

12.53: Coming up is the start of the medal race at Weymouth in the men's star, where Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson will attempt to defend their Olympic title and keep Brazil at arm's length.

They only need to finish fourth or keep three boats between them and the South Americans.

12.48: A better round from Edward Ling sees him score 24 out of 25 in the men's trap shooting to take him on to 47 overall. That's three points off the lead and two points off a targeted top six spot. The Brit is down in 19th in a competitive qualifying round.

12.43: Scott Brash is also through to the next round of the jumping on Hello Sanctos, but his eight penalty points see Britain drop behind new leaders Saudi Arabia after one round in the team event.

Peter Charles on Vindicat to come for the hosts.

12.40: There is a gang of five leading the marathon containing exclusively athletes from Kenya and Ethiopia. Keitany still leading the pace.

12.37: From Infostrada 2012:

South Africa lose 4-5 to PAK and are first to lose a men's hockey match at #Olympics despite scoring 4 goals since ARG-MAS 4-6 in 1992.

On the charge: Competitors run in front of the Palace of Westminster in the women's marathon

On the charge: Competitors run in front of the Palace of Westminster in the women's marathon

12.33: Yamauchi has confirmed to the BBC that an injury she carried into the marathon flared up at the start of the race:

'I ran with a bruise on my heel which I thought I could manage, but I started to feel it on the second corner and sadly I couldn't go on.'

12.28: The leading pack is thinning out by the kilometre. Sadly there are no Brits in it as Mary Jepkosgei Keitany ups the pace again.

12.23: Strong start for the Williams sisters, who break in the opening game and hold to move into a 2-0 lead on Centre Court.

12.18: Big shame for Shobukhova. She has not raced a marathon this year and has pulled up at the halfway mark clutching her hamstring and in tears.

Her brain told her the Olympics were possible but sadly her body has disagreed.

12.15: First big shock in the marathon and no the sunshine has not come out.

Straneo's burst of pace has claimed a big scalp as Liliya Shobukhova of Russia has fallen nearly half-a-minute off the pace.

She was one of the favourites coming into this.

12.10: Straneo has bolted…well led a breakaway in the marathon. A few have followed her as the tactics begin.

Talking tactics: Czech Republic's Andrea Hlavackova (L) and Lucie Hradecka plan their next move during the women's doubles gold medal match against the Williams sisters

Talking tactics: Czech Republic's Andrea Hlavackova (L) and Lucie Hradecka plan their next move during the women's doubles gold medal match against the Williams sisters

12.06: The roof is indeed on at a puzzlingly sparse Centre Court (tickets impossible to get for me anyway) with the final of the women's doubles set to get underway.

Czech Republic's Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka will battle the American sisters of Venus and Serena Williams.

12.01: Straneo still leads the pack at the 15km mark. Murray remains off the leading runners but has maintained the gap at 10 seconds. This marathon yet to have an injection of pace though.

11.56: Two out of two for the Brits in the jumping. Ben Maher also produces a faultless round on Tripple X to join his compatriot as the third qualified entrant for the next round.

11.52: Time for me to back-track. In fairness at the time Pendleton was confirmed to have set a new world record but stats reveal it's 'just' an Olympic record.

Germany's Miriam Welte set the world record only in June at a time of 10.643.

11.49: Still no breakaway in the marathon as we approach 15km and Trafalgar Square. Valeria Straneo setting the pace.

Murray is around 10 seconds behind the leading pack.

11.45: We are in the early stages of the equestrian at Greenwich Park where the jumping events are underway.

Still many riders to come but Nick Skelton has come through with no penalties and will be through to round two. On Big Star he is the only rider to do so far out of 17 and that will help Britain in the team standings too.

11.41: Another medal update for you as Chung Jae Sung and Lee Yong Dae of South Korea have defeated Malaysian pair Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong 23-21 21-10 to take the bronze medal in the badminton men's doubles.

Golden girl: Britain's Victoria Pendleton set an Olympic record in the women's sprint during qualifying

Golden girl: Britain's Victoria Pendleton set an Olympic record in the women's sprint during qualifying

Golden girl: Britain's Victoria Pendleton set an Olympic record in the women's sprint during qualifying

11.37: More sad news from the ExCeL but it is a glorious failure from Britain who took Italy all the way in the team foil.

The world champions were heavy favourites but they progressed to the semi-finals narrowly to win 45-40. Britain now face USA in a repechage.

11.32: Sad news for the Brits in the marathon, Yamauchi has pulled up with an injury and our best hope of gold has gone with it.

11.27: Special, even by Queen Victoria's standard!. Pendleton has just smashed Australia's Anna Mears world record by riding to a time of 10.724….good start then.

11.22: Britain are taking Italy all the way in the fencing Team Foil.

With two bouts remaining Italy lead 35-32, but James Davis now takes on the world No. 1 in Andrea Cassara.

11.18: Two Americans lead the marathon in Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher but it's a big leading pack out the front so not much should be read into the race at the moment – except that it is absolutely chucking it down with rain.

Typical British weather: Rain lashed down at the start of the women's marathon

Typical British weather: Rain lashed down at the start of the women's marathon

11.15: It's straight back to the velodrome in a minute or two where Victoria Pendleton starts the defence of her Olympic title in the women's sprint.

No winners today though as it's the start of qualifying.

11.12: From Infostrada 2012:

Edna Kiplagat (KEN) can become 2nd woman to win the Olympic Marathon as reigning world champion after Rosa Mota (POR) in 1988.

11.09: Great conditions at the marathon…not for us of course but for the runners as rain continues to fall.

11.05: It's all to play for at the completion of the 4km in the men's omnium.

Clancy takes second and that puts him in the same position overall, two points behind O'Shea and level with Norman.

11.02: It's still all umbrellas at The Mall as the athletes all start their stop watches on the line with the women's marathon underway.

Freya Murray, Mara Yamauchi and Claire Hallissey compete for Britain but sadly there is no Paula Radcliffe who has been replaced by the former due to injury.

11.01: What a performance from Britain in the fencing. They are really talking it to the Italians. At the start of the fifth bout it's 20-20. Very even contest.

Focused: Ed Clancy rode to second place in the men's 4km for Britain

Focused: Ed Clancy rode to second place in the men's 4km for Britain

10.56: From Infostrada 2012:

Great Britain have seven gold medals more halfway than at same juncture four years ago.

10.51: Fantastic ride from Clancy, who only just misses out on the fastest time with a 4:20.853 to go second. One more heat to come.

10.47: Huge roar at the velodrome as Clancy gets underway in his pursuit of an omnium medal.

10.42: It's almost time for Clancy at the velodrome. He is up next with the Dane of Lasse Norman Hansen setting the fastest time at 4:20.674 so far.

10.37: Andrea Baldini defeats Davis 3-1 in the first bout but Kruse races ahead in the second bout to lead Valerio Aspromonte 5-2. That puts Britain ahead overall.

10.34: James Davis hasn't had much time between the two fencing bouts but he did recap on the win against Egypt:

'We are very pleased with that victory. But the job is now just starting. There is a lot of pressure with Italy coming up. We are just going to enjoy our fencing and do our very best against them (Italy).'

10.32: It's not just Wimbledon where the rain is falling. The women's marathon starts at The Mall in around 30 minutes and you're very much a sitting duck there if you don't have an umbrella.

Ecstasy: China's Chen Long celebrates after winning bronze in the men's singles badminton

Ecstasy: China's Chen Long celebrates after winning bronze in the men's singles badminton

10.29: The disco is over at the ExCeL, as the British and Italian fencers make their way out to a loud reception.

10.24: China have taken bronze in the badminton men's singles, after Long Chen defeated Hyun Lee of South Korea 21-12 15-21 21-15.

10.19: Fantastic now Blue Monday has come on! But back to the action…

Ling has finished his first round in the trap but it's good and bad news.

The good news is he scored a very respectable 23 out of 25. The bad news is nearly everyone has matched him so far. Only sharpshooters allowed at these Games and I'm not talking wrestling submission moves.

10.14: The action has gone quiet at the ExCeL arena – especially as far as the fencing is concerned.

Pistes are beautifully lit up in luminous red and blue though, with the PA speaker blasting out some smashing 80s classics in the otherwise dark arena.

Duran Duran and the Buggles rewinding us back nearly 30 years there.

Luck of the Irish: Martyn Irvine competes in the men's omnium 4km at the Velodrome

Luck of the Irish: Martyn Irvine competes in the men's omnium 4km at the Velodrome

10.11: Seeing as we started the day on hockey I at least will bring you the result from Belgium and New Zealand.

It's not good for either side as the 1-1 draw means they are both out of the tournament.

10.06: The men's omnium is up and running at the Velodrome with Britain's Ed Clancy is still on course for a medal later on.

First up is the 4km individual pursuit where Clancy goes off in the eighth and penultimate heat when he takes on Australia's Glenn O'Shea.

10.01: Still no sign of Edward Ling in the Trap, but he goes in a second bout of qualifiers.

He is going to have to find his A game though, a very strong first round saw 10 competitors fire at least 24 out of 25.

There are five rounds though so there may be slight room for error with only six progressing to the final.

9.56: Kruse loses the bout 6-5 but Great Britain win the war 45-33. They will now face the heavily fancied Italians in around 30 minutes' time in a quarter-final.

9.52: Alaaeldin Abouelkassem is really going for it though and has Richard Kruse on the backfoot. I'm suddenly a bit worried as the lead goes down to 10.

9.48: Britain look safely through to the quarter-finals of the men's foil. The lead is 40-27 going into the final bout on the piste, where Egypt must score 13 points in three minutes.

That's like trying to score three goals in injury time of a football match.

9.43: From Sportsmail's Mike Dickson:

It's currently raining in Wimbledon (you guessed it). Fed will be happier about this than Murray – roof on standby.

9.38: Scrap the comeback. Britain have hit a purple patch with three bouts left, now leading 32-19. This one looks over as a contest – bring on the Italians!

9.33: It's not over yet in the fencing, Egypt have stopped the rot in the sixth bout as the lead has only increased by one. Britain's lead at 26-19 though is still a comfortable one.

9.28: Yesterday was a historic day for Team GB but we also witnessed the end of an era.

Michael Phelps signed off his career on top of the swimming world by claiming his 18th gold medal in the 4x100m relay.

It's the Games where the American became the greatest Olympian of all time with 22 medals in total.

On top: Britain's James Davis (right) faces off against Egypt's Tarek Ayad in the fencing team foil

On top: Britain's James Davis (right) faces off against Egypt's Tarek Ayad in the fencing team foil

9.23: Britain are on top in the foil, leading Egypt 18-12 in the fourth bout of nine. We are a bit behind there after a doctor had to attend to one of the Egyptian fencers who picked up an injury on his leg.

9.19: So the third and fourth Why it's Andy Murray of course!

In a rematch of the Wimbledon final last month, Roger Federer takes on the Brit in the gold medal match of the men's singles. Is revenge on the cards for Muzza

If not, the Scot has a chance of redemption in the mixed doubles final on Centre Court straight after when he teams up with Laura Robson to face Max Mirnyi and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

9.14: An hour later sees Ben Ainslie try and claim a fourth gold medal in the Finn – but he has a tough job on his hands.

The Brit trails leader Jonas Hogh-Christensen by two points meaning the Dane only needs to finish second in the final race to claim gold. Nervy times ahead.

9.09: Four big shouts for a British gold medal for the first part of today. The first comes at 1pm when Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson attempt to become Olympic champions when they sail in the star class – an event they have dominated so far.

9.04: Ennis was riding high after claiming gold last night but she has ruled out running in the 100m hurdles, despite setting a time on Friday that matched the winning run in the final at Beijing.

She told the BBC: 'Right now I'm just going to enjoy this moment for as long as I possibly can, spend some time with my family and then have a break and relax.

'It's being a long build-up and it's been stressful.

'I did think about it (entering the 100m hurdles) especially when I ran a personal best in the hurdles.

'But for me it was just about the heptathlon. I'm more than happy with that and I think I just need to rest now.'

Well earned I say.

Kicking up a storm: Belgium's Xavier Reckinger plays a ball against New Zealand during the men's hockey

Kicking up a storm: Belgium's Xavier Reckinger plays a ball against New Zealand during the men's hockey

8.58: Also on the hour, qualifying for the men's trap final at the Royal Artillery Barracks gets underway with Britain's Edward Ling in action.

8.55: Coming up by the way is some more Brits in action. In the fencing at the ExCel, it's the men's team foil.

Britain meet Egypt in the last 16 with the winner set to face Italy who have a bye to the quarter-finals.

It's the exact same draw the British women had – but they were stopped in their tracks by the top seeded Italians who went on to claim gold.

8.50: And in the middle of a night where Britain won three gold medals for the first time in one athletics session, Greg Rutherford took the long jump to success.

Just seeing him being interviewed afterwards showed what it meant to him. His excitement pretty much summed up the happy mood of the nation.

8.45: If Ennis got the night going with an expected gold then Mo Farah had us biting our nails in the 10,000m.

I have to admit I was worried by the size of the leading pack on the last lap, but Farah took the bull by the horns to lead the final 400m and claim gold. Magic moment.

8.40: In total Britain won six gold medals yesterday and that includes Jessica Ennis, the poster girl, the golden girl, the face of London 2012.

Not only did she win the heptathlon to become Olympic champion on home soil, she destroyed the field in doing so. It was truly a star performance.

8.35: Hockey gets us underway as usual this morning with the men's tournament. It's New Zealand v Belgium but in truth neither looks like progressing from the group. It's win or bust though for both.

8.30: From Sportsmail's Alex Kay:

Park is already buzzing this morning. Hundreds of people everywhere. And every single one of them is smiling.

8.25: So, the morning after the night before. Never mind it being the greatest night in British athletics.

Yesterday's drama inside the Olympic Stadium was one of the greatest moments in British sporting history.

It will take a lot to better it today, but history is yet again set to be made (we hope).

On for the double: Andy Murray is on course to win two gold medals at Wimbledon

On for the double: Andy Murray is on course to win two gold medals at Wimbledon

London 2012 Olympics: Marathon – Tiki Gelana wins gold as Mara Yamauchi does not finish

Marathon misery for Brit Yamauchi as Ethiopia's Gelana wins shock gold

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UPDATED:

13:23 GMT, 5 August 2012

Olympics 2012

Mara Yamauchi's Olympic marathon lasted less than 10 kilometres on the rainy streets of London on Sunday as Ethiopian Tiki Gelana took a surprise gold.

A week after Paula Radcliffe withdrew from London 2012 with a foot problem, an injured Yamauchi stopped in tears on the side of the road around 9.4km into the race as she decided she could go no further.

The 38-year-old Oxford athlete had been hampered by a bruised heel in the build-up to the Games and, although determined to get to the startline, was clearly not fit.

Golden moment: Tiki Gelana crosses the finish line to win the women's marathon

Golden moment: Tiki Gelana crosses the finish line to win the women's marathon

Gelana, in her first major championship, crossed the finish line on The Mall in two hours 23.07 minutes, an Olympic record, with Kenya's Priscah Jeptoo taking silver and Russia's Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova the bronze.

Scotland's Freya Murray, who had only been called up to the team a week ago following Radcliffe's withdrawal, was the first Briton home in 44th place, clocking 2hrs 32.14mins.

Her team-mate Claire Hallissey finished 57th in 2:35.39.

And they're off: The competitors leave the start line

And they're off: The competitors leave the start line

Yamauchi, though, was one of eight in the 118-strong field not to finish.

The 38-year-old, who finished sixth
in the Beijing Olympic marathon but has since been plagued by injury,
could not live with even the steady early pace of the large leading
pack.

'I was more than confident I could
give it a good go and I started off but on about the second corner it
(my heel) started hurting,' she said.

Wet, wet, wet: The runners had to contend with rain throughout the race

Wet, wet, wet: The runners had to contend with rain throughout the race

'I did my best – it's not the best
situation to be in, dropping out of the Olympic marathon at a home Games
– but I gave it my very best and I didn't want my Olympic journey to
end like this.

'I'm sorry for all the people who
supported me and encouraged me and came today in the pouring rain to
support me but I am still so pleased for their help.

'I've been doing lots of work cross
training and a reasonable amount of running so I knew cardio-vascular
wise I was fit and I have been able to run my foot.

'I did think about withdrawing
beforehand but I decided it's not that bad I can run I can do the race
and I had much higher hopes but sadly it wasn't to be.'

Shock win: Gelana was not expected to challenge for gold

Shock win: Gelana was not expected to challenge for gold

Shock win: Gelana was not expected to challenge for gold

Wimbledon 2012: Serena Williams plays two doubles matches on day off

No rest for Serena as Williams sisters come through doubles epic

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

21:00 GMT, 4 July 2012

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UPDATED:

21:01 GMT, 4 July 2012

Serena Williams warmed up for her eighth Wimbledon semi-final with back-to-back doubles matches in what turned out to be gruelling preparation for Thursday’s showdown with Victoria Azarenka.

The four-time singles champion was first involved in a lengthy battle alongside sister Venus against Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova.

Trailing 3-0 in the deciding set, it appeared the sisters would be crashing out in the second round, but they rallied to beat the fourth seeds 9-7.

Double header: The Williams sisters beat Kirilenko and Petrova (above) before beating Mattek-Sands and Mirza (below)

Double header: The Williams sisters beat Kirilenko and Petrova (above) before beating Mattek-Sands and Mirza (below)

Double header: The Williams sisters beat Kirilenko and Petrova (above) before beating Mattek-Sands and Mirza (below)

They were then scheduled on Court 2 against Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sania Mirza and won 6-4, 6-3, as Serena faced a demanding build-up to her meeting with the Belarussian.

Williams has only lost three of her 20 Grand Slam semi-finals so far and must fancy her chances against an opponent who has beaten her only once in seven attempts.

That said, Azarenka will take heart from the 26 straight victories with which she started this season as she bids to become the first Belarussian to reach a Wimbledon singles final.

By contrast to Williams’s hectic day, Agnieszka Radwanska pulled out of her doubles match with sister Urszula to concentrate on preparing for her semi-final against Angelique Kerber.