Tag Archives: phelps

Aquatics Centre transformation underway

Aquatics Centre transformation going swimmingly as seating is removed

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UPDATED:

12:04 GMT, 18 December 2012

It was the arena where Ellie Simmonds sped her way to two golds and where Michael Phelps swam to his 22nd Olympic medal.

But now the Aquatics Centre is transforming, as construction workers start to dismantle the seating on either side of the pool.

Downsizing: The transformation of the Aquatics Centre has begun (and below)

Downsizing: The transformation of the Aquatics Centre has begun (and below)

During the games it had the capacity to hold 17,500 spectators, but now the two temporary wings on the structure are to be removed, leaving room for 2,500.

Designed by Zaha Hadid, a Pritzker Architecture prize winner, the centre was created in a way that would allow for the additional seating to be removed easily once it was no longer needed.

Diggers

Stripped bare

History: The building took three years to make and was designed by Zaha Hadid

The construction, which took three years to build, has moveable floors and can adjust depth to match ability in all three of its pools.

It will be run by Greenwich Leisure Limited and is anticipated to attract around 800,000 visitors from the local area per year.

Come on in: The new venue will be made 'welcoming'

Come on in: The new venue will be made 'welcoming'

The organisers have been determined to make the venue welcoming and family-friendly, adding a cafe and a creche for visitors.

They have also agreed to employ local workers, with over 250 jobs available once the centre opens in 2013.

The future of the Olympic stadium has yet to be decided.

Acquatics Centre transformation underway

Acquatics Centre transformation going swimmingly as seating is removed

|

UPDATED:

01:10 GMT, 18 December 2012

It was the arena where Ellie Simmonds sped her way to two golds and where Michael Phelps swam to his 22nd Olympic medal.

But now the Aquatics Centre is transforming, as construction workers start to dismantle the seating on either side of the pool.

Downsizing: The transformation of the Aquatics Centre has begun (and below)

Downsizing: The transformation of the Aquatics Centre has begun (and below)

During the games it had the capacity to hold 17,500 spectators, but now the two temporary wings on the structure are to be removed, leaving room for 2,500.

Designed by Zaha Hadid, a Pritzker Architecture prize winner, the centre was created in a way that would allow for the additional seating to be removed easily once it was no longer needed.

Diggers

Stripped bare

History: The building took three years to make and was designed by Zaha Hadid

The construction, which took three years to build, has moveable floors and can adjust depth to match ability in all three of its pools.

It will be run by Greenwich Leisure Limited and is anticipated to attract around 800,000 visitors from the local area per year.

Come on in: The new venue will be made 'welcoming'

Come on in: The new venue will be made 'welcoming'

The organisers have been determined to make the venue welcoming and family-friendly, adding a cafe and a creche for visitors.

They have also agreed to employ local workers, with over 250 jobs available once the centre opens in 2013.

The future of the Olympic stadium has yet to be decided.

Paul Casey loses ball to dog at Dunhill Links

Casey finds trouble at dogleg 12th as FORE-legged friend pinches ball off green

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UPDATED:

14:28 GMT, 5 October 2012

Paul Casey found himself unable to play on for a while in the Dunhill Links Championship after a dog came on to a green and had some fun with his ball.

The incident came on the 12th hole at Kingsbarns as Casey continued his partnership in the celebrity pro-am with Olympic swimming star Michael Phelps.

Here boy: Paul Casey tries to get the dog to drop his ball on the green

Here boy: Paul Casey tries to get the dog to drop his ball on the green

And he's off: The dog takes Casey's ball for a little run

And he's off: The dog takes Casey's ball for a little run

Eventually the dog, named on Twitter as Digby, decided to move on and the former world No 3, on in two at the par five, two-putted for a birdie that lifted him to one under par.

That was, however, still 11 adrift of South African Branden Grace, who equalled the European Tour record on Thursday with a 12-under-par 60 on the course.

Mugshot: The Dunhill Links Twitter page posted a picture of Digby

Mugshot: The Dunhill Links Twitter page posted a picture of Digby

Grace, switching to St Andrews for his second round, was among the later starters, but his lead remained two as France's Victor Dubuisson – round in a course-record 62 at the Home of Golf – covered his first five holes at Carnoustie in level par.

One shot further back were Dane Thorbjorn Olesen and Spain's Pablo Martin, who birdied the first four holes of Carnoustie's back nine.

Bored now: The dog eventually releases Casey's ball after having a play

Bored now: The dog eventually releases Casey's ball after having a play

It's a bit wet: Casey has a look to see what condition is ball is in

It's a bit wet: Casey has a look to see what condition is ball is in

John Terry ready to test FA"s rules in Ferdinand race case – Charles Sale

Terry ready to test FA's rules in Ferdinand race case

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UPDATED:

06:42 GMT, 19 September 2012

John Terry's legal team are planning to fight the FA racism charge next week on the grounds that the governing body's own rulebook strikes out their case.

Terry was cleared at Westminster Magistrates' Court in July of racially aggravated public behaviour last October towards QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

The 27-year-old Ferdinand then refused to shake Terry's hand on Saturday before the corresponding QPR v Chelsea match.

Testing: John Terry's legal team are planning to fight the FA racism charge

Testing: John Terry's legal team are planning to fight the FA racism charge

More from Charles Sale…

Charles Sale: Wenger says no to Rugby World Cup use of Emirates Stadium
17/09/12

Charles Sale: Rub your hands… the Premier League's 1bn global bonus
14/09/12

Charles Sale: England 2018 World Cup bid speaker moves out of City
13/09/12

Charles Sale: Humphrey given Vision of a new job with BT
12/09/12

Charles Sale: Police praise England supporters for Moldova show
11/09/12

Charles Sale: Phelps coach to probe GB swimming failures
10/09/12

Charles Sale: Hammers go large with stadium bid to fend off other parties
09/09/12

Charles Sale: Bernstein banks on the Hodgson effect
07/09/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

And the Terry camp will be quick to quote FA rule 6.8 which states that the results of relevant civil or criminal proceedings are 'presumed to be correct and the facts presumed to be true' by FA regulatory commissions.

But there is a proviso in the last sentence of the FA ruling which states '…unless it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that this is not the case'.

And presumably the FA, who surely must have close knowledge of their statutes, would not have charged Terry if they didn't believe they had sufficient evidence.

Heat's on for Chambers

The heat at Wednesday's British Olympic Association board meeting will be on beleaguered commercial director Hugh Chambers.

He will have to explain the failed Games sale of scarves and medallions and why only one sponsor, adidas, is signed up for 2013 when all the LOCOG Games rights revert to the BOA.

Chambers is understood to have various deals in the pipeline, but will have to convince his opponents on the board they will soon come to fruition.

But the BOA will be banking on new chairman-in-waiting Lord Coe to persuade some of LOCOG's raft of backers to stay on board for another four years.

Despite the certainty of Coe winning the election for chairman in November, GB hockey chief Richard Leman is due to stand against him.

And looking further ahead, it is difficult to see Sir Clive Woodward remaining at the BOA, unless he's given the challenge of being Team GB chef de mission for the Winter Games in Sochi in 2014.

Humphrey off BBC's agenda

BBC Sport have reacted to F1 presenter Jake Humphrey's 800,000-a-year move to host BT Vision's Premier League football coverage for four seasons – first revealed by Sports Agenda – by removing him from their trio of hosts for Sports Personality of the Year on December 16.

No thanks: The BBC will replace Jake Humphrey as one of the co-anchors of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year

No thanks: The BBC will replace Jake Humphrey as one of the co-anchors of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year

Humphrey, who is under contract to the Beeb until the end of December, was due to anchor the flagship show with Gary Lineker and Sue Barker but will be replaced by Clare Balding or Gabby Logan.

Meanwhile, as well as the F1 broadcast merry-go-round caused by Humphrey's defection, the feeling in Sky is their big-name signing Martin Brundle has not made as large an impact as expected in the first year of his deal.

And after Brundle left the BBC for Sky, his relationship with former management client and Beeb F1 pundit David Coulthard has cooled.

Premier League gamble with new sponsorship

The often murky gambling sector of football sponsorship has embroiled Newcastle, Fulham and Sunderland.

They have all signed 1million three-year sponsorship contracts with Bet Butler and their software technology partners Worldlink Sport, who are funding the deals.

But Worldlink have yet to pay monies due to the clubs last month while consultant Stephen Pearson, the former Premier League commercial chief who brokered the agreements, is taking legal action against Worldlink for non-payment of his fees.

The clubs have been told by Worldlink the money is coming.

The Football League are due to announce Bet Butler imminently as their new betting partner but that agreement does not directly involve Worldlink.

Warning: Andy Flower said he would prefer if his players waited until the end of their careers before writing biographies

Warning: Andy Flower said he would prefer if his players waited until the end of their careers before writing biographies

Flower's Prior warning

England cricket team director Andy Flower has made clear he would prefer centrally contracted players to wait until their careers are over before writing autobiographies.

Yet wicketkeeper Matt Prior is the latest England regular to agree a book deal with Simon & Schuster following the life stories of Graeme Swann and Jimmy Anderson.

Rugby row rumbles on

England Rugby 2015 face fraught talks over football stadium usage for the World Cup.

The Premier League, who delayed negotiations until their 3billion TV deal was signed, will agree nothing that puts them in breach of that contract.

Charles Sale: John Terry ready to test FA"s rules in Ferdinand race case

Terry ready to test FA's rules in Ferdinand race case

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 18 September 2012

John Terry's legal team are planning to fight the FA racism charge next week on the grounds that the governing body's own rulebook strikes out their case.

Terry was cleared at Westminster Magistrates' Court in July of racially aggravated public behaviour last October towards QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

The 27-year-old Ferdinand then refused to shake Terry's hand on Saturday before the corresponding QPR v Chelsea match.

Testing: John Terry's legal team are planning to fight the FA racism charge

Testing: John Terry's legal team are planning to fight the FA racism charge

More from Charles Sale…

Charles Sale: Wenger says no to Rugby World Cup use of Emirates Stadium
17/09/12

Charles Sale: Rub your hands… the Premier League's 1bn global bonus
14/09/12

Charles Sale: England 2018 World Cup bid speaker moves out of City
13/09/12

Charles Sale: Humphrey given Vision of a new job with BT
12/09/12

Charles Sale: Police praise England supporters for Moldova show
11/09/12

Charles Sale: Phelps coach to probe GB swimming failures
10/09/12

Charles Sale: Hammers go large with stadium bid to fend off other parties
09/09/12

Charles Sale: Bernstein banks on the Hodgson effect
07/09/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

And the Terry camp will be quick to quote FA rule 6.8 which states that the results of relevant civil or criminal proceedings are 'presumed to be correct and the facts presumed to be true' by FA regulatory commissions.

But there is a proviso in the last sentence of the FA ruling which states '…unless it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that this is not the case'.

And presumably the FA, who surely must have close knowledge of their statutes, would not have charged Terry if they didn't believe they had sufficient evidence.

Heat's on for Chambers

The heat at Wednesday's British Olympic Association board meeting will be on beleaguered commercial director Hugh Chambers.

He will have to explain the failed Games sale of scarves and medallions and why only one sponsor, adidas, is signed up for 2013 when all the LOCOG Games rights revert to the BOA.

Chambers is understood to have various deals in the pipeline, but will have to convince his opponents on the board they will soon come to fruition.

But the BOA will be banking on new chairman-in-waiting Lord Coe to persuade some of LOCOG's raft of backers to stay on board for another four years.

Despite the certainty of Coe winning the election for chairman in November, GB hockey chief Richard Leman is due to stand against him.

And looking further ahead, it is difficult to see Sir Clive Woodward remaining at the BOA, unless he's given the challenge of being Team GB chef de mission for the Winter Games in Sochi in 2014.

Humphrey off BBC's agenda

BBC Sport have reacted to F1 presenter Jake Humphrey's 800,000-a-year move to host BT Vision's Premier League football coverage for four seasons – first revealed by Sports Agenda – by removing him from their trio of hosts for Sports Personality of the Year on December 16.

No thanks: The BBC will replace Jake Humphrey as one of the co-anchors of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year

No thanks: The BBC will replace Jake Humphrey as one of the co-anchors of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year

Humphrey, who is under contract to the Beeb until the end of December, was due to anchor the flagship show with Gary Lineker and Sue Barker but will be replaced by Clare Balding or Gabby Logan.

Meanwhile, as well as the F1 broadcast merry-go-round caused by Humphrey's defection, the feeling in Sky is their big-name signing Martin Brundle has not made as large an impact as expected in the first year of his deal.

And after Brundle left the BBC for Sky, his relationship with former management client and Beeb F1 pundit David Coulthard has cooled.

Premier League gamble with new sponsorship

The often murky gambling sector of football sponsorship has embroiled Newcastle, Fulham and Sunderland.

They have all signed 1million three-year sponsorship contracts with Bet Butler and their software technology partners Worldlink Sport, who are funding the deals.

But Worldlink have yet to pay monies due to the clubs last month while consultant Stephen Pearson, the former Premier League commercial chief who brokered the agreements, is taking legal action against Worldlink for non-payment of his fees.

The clubs have been told by Worldlink the money is coming.

The Football League are due to announce Bet Butler imminently as their new betting partner but that agreement does not directly involve Worldlink.

Warning: Andy Flower said he would prefer if his players waited until the end of their careers before writing biographies

Warning: Andy Flower said he would prefer if his players waited until the end of their careers before writing biographies

Flower's Prior warning

England cricket team director Andy Flower has made clear he would prefer centrally contracted players to wait until their careers are over before writing autobiographies.

Yet wicketkeeper Matt Prior is the latest England regular to agree a book deal with Simon & Schuster following the life stories of Graeme Swann and Jimmy Anderson.

England Rugby 2015 face fraught talks over football stadium usage for the World Cup.

The Premier League, who delayed negotiations until their 3billion TV deal was signed, will agree nothing that puts them in breach of that contract.

Michael Phelps" coach to probe GB swimming failure

Phelps coach to probe GB swimming failures

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UPDATED:

05:13 GMT, 11 September 2012

British Swimming, with little to cheer in Monday's Olympic parade, are bringing in the coach of the sport’s greatest-ever performer Michael Phelps to help investigate what went wrong at the Games.

Bob Bowman, who coached Phelps to a record 22 Olympic medals including 18 golds, is to be part of the inquiry team.

They will begin their probe at the start of October and report back before the end of the month on why 25million a year brought GB Swimming only Michael Jamieson’s silver medal and two bronzes for Rebecca Adlington, which was below their target.

Record breaker: Michael Phelps won 22 medals

Record breaker: Michael Phelps won 22 medals

More from Charles Sale…

Charles Sale: Hammers go large with stadium bid to fend off other parties
09/09/12

Charles Sale: Bernstein banks on the Hodgson effect
07/09/12

Charles Sale: Little fanfare for big Chelsea deal
07/09/12

Charles Sale: England sign up for more of same as 1966 renew deal
06/09/12

See a shrink, Mario! City boss Mancini wants Balotelli to quit smoking habit
04/09/12

Charles Sale: Kenyon stands to cash in on any Chelsea Falcao deal
03/09/12

Charles Sale: Hammers relaxed about agent link despite swelling ranks
31/08/12

Charles Sale: Keep your shirt on, Tevez is told
29/08/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Bowman has formed one of sport’s best known coach-athlete partnerships with Phelps, who has never considered changing advisors since he was 11.

The inquiry group will also include GB Swimming performance director Michael Scott, chef de mission of GB Paralympics Craig Hunter and the Harlequins director of rugby Conor O’Shea.

Scott will examine his own failings while Hunter’s Paralympics team, led by Ellie Simmonds, enjoyed much more success.

Murray's hurry foiled

Andy Murray engaged with the Team GB ethos to the extent that he was planning to rush back from the US Open having won or lost his final against Novak Djokovic in time to join the athletes parade — until the match was delayed by a day because of the weather.

Hamilton mood explained

Lewis Hamilton’s downbeat demeanour after his victory in the Italian Grand Prix relates to more than being in the middle of a battle between McLaren and Mercedes for his services.

Hamilton was understood still to be feeling low after the funeral last Tuesday of his aunt Diane. McLaren are believed to be in pole position to keep the driver.

Mood: Lewis Hamilton seemed downbeat after his win

Mood: Lewis Hamilton seemed downbeat after his win

Becks at grand opening

David Beckham, following his glamorous role driving a speed boat carrying the Olympic flame down the Thames to the London 2012 Opening Ceremony, is one of the great and good from football being invited to the official launch of the FA’s National Football Centre St George’s Park.

The ceremony will take place on October 9 in the build-up to the England World Cup qualifier against San Marino, when Roy Hodgson’s team will train for the first time at SGP, where one of the pitches is named after Becks.

Coe won’t run alone

Lord Coe, who confirmed on Monday he would put himself forward for the British Olympic Association chairmanship, is likely to face at least one challenger in GB hockey president Richard Leman.

Coe can expect a landslide victory with his hero status after London 2012. But Leman, a close board ally of departing chairman Lord Moynihan, will step forward before the September 24 deadline in the belief it is better for the organisation’s transparency if a ballot takes place.

Not alone: Sebastian Coe (centre) will have a challenger for the BOA role

Not alone: Sebastian Coe (centre) will have a challenger for the BOA role

Coe, approached to stand by a BOA election sub-committee including rowing’s Di Ellis and Niels de Vos from UK Athletics, said: ‘I have a deep commitment to the BOA and owe them a huge debt of gratitude. They fought to allow me to go to Moscow.’ The Thatcher Government had wanted a boycott of those 1980 Games.

USA home for Brazil football chief

Ricardo Teixeira, the former Brazilian football overlord mired in corruption claims including being named by a Swiss court as having taken bribes from FIFA’s former marketing partners ISL, is living in Florida to escape the furore. But Teixeira is still thought to be on the Brazil football payroll as a commercial advisor.

Scarf shambles

The final ignominy for those BOA scarves whose poor sales have contributed to the seven-figure hole in the accounts was the attempt by hawkers to sell off the tens of thousands remaining during Monday’s parade for 10 when suppliers Next had slashed the price to 5 weeks ago.

As BOA chef de mission Andy Hunt or parody tweeter Randy Shunt would post: ‘Whoop, whoop #Ourgreatestsham.’ Celebrity chef Hunt would have loved his name check from BOA president the Princess Royal after the parade, especially when she was wearing one of those scarves.

LONDON OLYMPICS 2012: 5 Live still the place to be for great show

Nick Metcalfe: 24 TV channels… but Olympics is simply better on the radio

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UPDATED:

14:41 GMT, 10 August 2012

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

It's funny, you know. TV Technology may advance in startling ways, but the way I follow sport's greatest show hasn't really changed. It is first and foremost still a radio event for me.

Yes, when the marquee moments arrive: a Usain Bolt sprint for gold or Michael Phelps' attempt for another medal, it's useful to find a television if you can.

But on a day to day basis, for the nuts and bolts of this overwhelming show, it’s the wireless that is permanently close at hand.

It was ever thus in truth. The radio has helped guide me through the Games since the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Another special moment: Sam Oldham, Max Whitlock, Daniel Purvis and Kristian Thomas celebrate winning gymnastics bronze for Britain

Another special moment: Sam Oldham, Max Whitlock, Daniel Purvis and Kristian Thomas celebrate winning gymnastics bronze for Britain

The memory banks are full of magical
moments. I well remember waking in the middle of the night to hear Ian
Darke describe Ben Johnson's infamous 100m win at the Seoul Olympics.
Late nights with John Inverdale were a common feature of the Atlanta
Games. I was stuck on a train station when a delirious John Rawling
shouted Britain’s sprint relay team to victory in Athens.

And it has been that way again during this stunning fortnight, and probably more than ever before, even though there have never been so many television options. The radio, tuned to Five Live, has simply been invaluable as I tear across the capital during this unique event.

When Britain won their historic gymnastics bronze in the first week, I was on the DLR listening to Alison Mitchell and team at the North Greenwich Arena.

When Gemma Gibbons emotionally reached her judo final, I was wolfing down a sandwich outside the ExCel Arena listening to Eleanor Oldroyd.

When the crowd at the velodrome sang along with Sir Paul McCartney, I was walking through Stratford's Westfield Centre, tuned to Colin Murray. I think you get the idea.

Not everything is perfect about 5 Live, but it has to said that the station has mastered the art of covering the big event.

Leading the singing: Sir Paul McCartney at the velodrome

Leading the singing: Sir Paul McCartney at the velodrome

Nicky Campbell has shown over
breakfast that he is simply one of the best broadcasters in the business
(‘QVC are going to have a problem with their viewing figures tonight’ he has
just said, on the day of the men's 200m final).

It’s
always fantastic to hear Simon Brotherton describe cycling, and after
gorging on an historic Tour de France earlier in the summer, the
Olympics has proved to be a delightful bonus. Brotherton certainly coped
a lot better than his television counterparts on the opening weekend,
when a lack of information from Olympic Broadcasting Services badly
affected coverage of the men’s cycling road race.

Alan Green will always infuriate many listeners, but I maintain his rowing commentaries have been among the genuine highlights of recent Games. Indeed, his description of Sir Steve Redgrave’s fifth gold medal in Sydney is one of the very best of our lifetimes. As the successes kept coming at Eton, Green was very much at home.

As for the presenting teams, I'll be surprised if the station don’t use Peter Allen and Colin Murray again at some stage in the future, as they feed off other very nicely.

Much has been very good, but I don’t want to sound like a cheerleader, and some of the coverage has grated too. Why, for example, must 5 Live be at the forefront of the campaign to get us all using the absurd marketing slogan ‘Team GB’

Colin Murray

Alan Green

Voices of the Games: Presenter Colin Murray (left) and commentator Alan Green (right)

I can’t have been the only person thinking ‘calm down’ when Victoria Derbyshire is on duty. And I certainly wouldn’t have been the only one wincing when England’s rugby World Cup winner Matt Dawson wrongly told listeners that Britain’s men’s cycling sprint team had been disqualified in the velodrome, not the women.

It’s a bit clichd to complain about the BBC having a penchant for former sports stars rather than trained journalists, but they don’t always help themselves.

Make no mistake however, this has been another radio Olympics that will live long in the memory. I’ve lost count of the number of television reviews I’ve read, with accompanying opinions of Gabby, John, Clare and all the others I hope that I’ve redressed the balance a little here, because the older medium has once again been in its element.

London 2012 Olympics: Is Usain Bolt the greatest Olympian of them all?

Better than Ali and Pele Well, Bolt might just be right

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UPDATED:

00:06 GMT, 10 August 2012

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

The Games of the XXXth Olympiad celebrated its imperishable hero on Thursday night and he was a clowning showboater who may just be The Greatest performer all sport has ever known.

For a fortnight we have all been in the recalibrating business. Is Sir Steve Redgrave better than Sir Chris Hoy or Bradley Wiggins in the British Olympic pantheon Is Michael Phelps, the most decorated competitor since the Games were reborn in 1896, the supreme athlete

Now, though, we can argue strongly that Bolt is the non-pareil Olympian in history, winner of both the 100 metres and 200m in successive Games. Nobody else who has lived can make that claim.

No 1: Usain Bolt celebrates winning the 200m

No 1: Usain Bolt celebrates winning the 200m

Only the Jamaican phenomenon who zoomed along the London track on Thursday night into another planet.

Certainly, the debate over his extraordinary talent cannot be confined even within 118 years of Olympic endeavour. The question is: has anyone ever matched his feats in any sport

The debate is obviously subjective: how can you compare Pele’s longevity and his starring role in arguably the finest football team assembled, the Brazil of 1970, with Jack Nicklaus or Tiger Woods in the more mannered world of golf All three were touched by the angels.

Speed king: Bolt seals his place in Olympic history with his win

Speed king: Bolt seals his place in Olympic history with his win

Out in front: Bolt celebrates after winning

Out in front: Bolt celebrates after winning

Carl Lewis won four long jump gold medals in successive Games and was also the last man to win the 100m and 200m at the same Games, 28 years ago.

He was the last man to reclaim the 100m title in successive Games, the second after Ben Johnson’s exposure as a drugs cheat. But even Lewis has not done what Bolt did.

There are perhaps two other leading contenders for the immortal crown, Jesse Owens from track and field and, of course, Muhammad Ali. Both men transcended their sports, Owens the black man who exposed Hitler’s Aryan race nonsense and Ali, whose fame extended to more homes in more countries than anyone who had ever lived up to that point. Television was made for his fast tongue.

Five star: Bolt celebrates with his fifth Olympic gold medal

Five star: Bolt celebrates with his fifth Olympic gold medal

It is that crucial, Ali-like sense of theatre combined with wondrous gifts as a sporting performer that makes Bolt such an irresistible claimant on the title of The Greatest.

After the race Bolt compared himself to Michael Johnson, the master speedster whose zenith came with the 200m and 400m golds at the 1996 Olympics. Johnson, with that uniquely upright pitter-patter stride, was stunningly good.

But Bolt was being modest. He should have looked further into history to find a plausible comparison.

Bradford 38 Widnes 26: Bulls boost play-off credentials by mauling Warriors

Bradford 38 Widnes 26: Bulls boost play-off credentials after mauling Warriors

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UPDATED:

16:53 GMT, 5 August 2012

Battling Bradford gave warning that they have not given up on a top eight place in the Stobart Super League with a 38-26 victory over struggling Widnes.

The cash-strapped Bulls recently suffered a triple blow to their play-off hopes through back-to-back defeats against Leeds and Warrington either side of a six-point deduction by the Rugby Football League for entering administration.

But, having put together three wins on the trot immediately before that, the seven tries to five success over the Vikings keeps alive the Yorkshire side's hopes of reaching the end of season shoot-out for the first time in four years.

Widnes, who had won two of their previous four games while pushing St Helens and Hull KR close, remain second from bottom of the table, just two points above basement club London Broncos.

As torrential rain swept down on Odsal the Bulls were forced to dig deep and come from 16-4 down midway through the first half.

The visitors made a strong start with two tries, both converted by Rhys Hanbury, in the opening 10 minutes.

Former Bradford winger Patrick Ah Van latched onto a long pass from Cameron Phelps and dived into the corner to put the visitors ahead.

Hep Cahill then sent Ben Davies charging through the middle and his momentum, on the rain soaked turf, took him over the whitewash to score.

Bradford hit back almost immediately with some swift handling freeing Michael Platt up to cross, although Luke Gale failed to emulate his opposite number with the conversion.

Danny Craven capitalised on a Bulls handling error and dummied his way to the line to restore Widnes' 12-point advantage before three tries in 12 minutes put the Bulls ahead for the first time.

Brett Kearney, Shaun Ainscough and Ben Jeffries – his 100th touchdown in club rugby – all crossed to leave the Bulls with a 22-16 lead.

But there was still time in a frenetic first half for Hanbury to twist his way over but the Vikings' half back's attempt to level things going into the break failed as he struck the near upright with his subsequent kick.

After registering 42 points in better than even time before the interval it took a further 18 minutes for the scoreboard to be called into action again.

Bulls skipper Heath L'Estrange finally broke the deadlock, forcing his way over from dummy half for his first try of the season.

L'Estrange was also involved as Michael Platt extended the hosts' lead four to 12 points shortly afterwards but Ah Van gave Widnes hope with a second try near the corner flag, taking over the kicking to convert his own score and reduce the deficit to 32-26.

Jeffries had a drop-goal charged down and Kearney saw a try disallowed for offside, following another attempt at a one-pointer from Gale, before Ainscough's second try secured the win and two vital league points, Gale finishing with five goals from seven attempts.

London 2012 Olympics: Swimming – Missy Franklin decision time looms

Exclusive: Decision time looms for Franklin after gold rush in the pool

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UPDATED:

12:10 GMT, 5 August 2012

Olympics 2012

Their daughter is wowing crowds at the Olympics with her brilliant swimming and Hollywood smile.

But for Missy Franklin’s parents, a golden summer and the adoration of millions is about to make life very complicated.

Dick and D.A Franklin watched on Saturday night as 17-year-old Missy claimed her fourth gold medal of the Games. She has a bronze too but now there are big decisions to be made.

On top of the world: Franklin won four gold medals at the Aquatic Centre

On top of the world: Franklin won four gold medals at the Aquatic Centre

'She is going to college – mum has spoken,' D.A, a Canadian who now lives in Colorado, told the Mail. 'Once this is over, we’ll sit down and have a talk about whether she should turn pro. She can’t claim prize money as a non-professional. Earlier this year she could have earned $70,000 in one weekend.

'But what happens if she goes pro and it’s not as much fun as she thought it would be Is that fair to put on a 17-year-old

'I don’t know how this changes things. I don’t know who wants her and what they want from her. It’s hard as a mother. I’d love to talk to Debbie Phelps (multi-gold winning Michael’s mum). I wish she was here now.'

D.A, a doctor, looks torn about her daughter’s next move but Dick, a business executive, is calmer about the process. 'We’ll speak to five coaches from colleges come to speak to us in September. We’ll then visit three and make a decision by October. We don’t want to take long over it and mess people around. She’s a natural with a microphone so she’s going to study broadcast journalism.'

Franklin’s personality has certainly won
over fans at the Aquatic Centre even if she is the second most famous
teenage swimmer at the Games following the controversy surrounding
China’s Ye Shiwen.

Decision time: Franklin is not yet a professional swimmer

Decision time: Franklin is not yet a professional swimmer

'She was born smiling,' says Dick, who she gets her big feet from. They are size 13 in American measurements, a UK size 11. 'She woke up in the morning smiling, she went to bed smiling. She was the happiest kid and she says it now. She loves her life.'

She wasn’t just smiling as a little girl, she was swimming too. 'She always had an affinity for the water,' says D.A. 'She started swimming at two and snorkelling in Maui before she turned three. She’d see a beautiful fish and just take off. She joined the neighbourhood swim team when she was five, loved that and then did more proper stuff when she was seven.

'She had big feet since she was little. When she was four she was wearing shoes for much older girls. It’s fine apart from proms. She’ll find a gorgeous dress but then we’ll try to find shoes. They will go out the back and find a few size 12 and maybe a really ugly size 13. So there’s times when she shoves her foot in a 12 so she can wear something nice.'

Her body meant she was a natural at
sport from a very young age but it wasn’t always swimming that she liked
best. 'She did loads of other stuff too. She played soccer, basketball
and she’s a great skier although she had to stop aged 12 because she
didn’t want to get injured. She did gymnastics, figure skating and the
one that lasted the longest was volleyball. I wondered if swimming was
going to lose her to volleyball because she was still playing at high
school.'

All smiles: Franklin and her team-mates celebrate winning the 4x200m freestyle relay

All smiles: Franklin and her team-mates celebrate winning the 4x200m freestyle relay

Luckily she
chose swimming. Five medals at last year’s world championships as a
16-year-old alerted the world to what a special talent she is. With four
more gold medal attempts to go, she could be the sensation of the Games
and, in doing so, offer a degree of respite to a town back home dealing
with the worst episode in its history.

Franklin trains in the Denver suburb of Aurora, where 71 people were shot earlier this month at the Batman film premiere. She had friends in the cinema that night and was in France at a training camp when she heard the news.

'Missy knew before I did,' says D.A. 'I was in bed and she called at 3.15 in the morning to tell me. She said she was scared because she had friends going and she couldn’t get hold of them. She was so mature though and just said she’d train really hard because maybe it would help Colorado if she did well. That was what she kept stressing.

'It was horrible her being so far away. One girl who died was a swimmer’s cousin who Missy is friends with. And another friend was in the next screen because he couldn’t get in to that one. She just needed a hug.

'We were asked if we wanted to fly over but we thought that would just make her more scared. She handled it ok.'

She certainly has.