Tag Archives: records

Coventry to have 30,000 crowd for JPT against Crewe

Coventry on course for 30,000 crowd at showdown with Crewe… but why the sudden rush to the Ricoh

Neil Moxley


11:40 GMT, 5 February 2013



16:04 GMT, 5 February 2013

Coventry City are set to smash a few attendance records this evening in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Area final first leg against Crewe Alexandra at the Ricoh Arena.

It has been a testing few years for the Sky Blues…demotion from the Premier League in 2001 followed by relegation from the Championship last year.

But with more than 30,500 supporters expected at the stadium this evening – with 2,000 arriving from Cheshire – at last the club's beleaguered supporters may have something worthwhile to shout about.

Here, Midlands football correspondent Neil Moxley looks at the reasons why so many punters will be turning out tonight.

Filling up: Coventry will be supported by 28,500 fans at the Ricoh Arena

Filling up: Coventry will be supported by 28,500 fans at the Ricoh Arena

Phew, 28,500 tickets have been sold for this…and it's only the first leg

Yes, but there's a whiff of success in the air and you cannot accuse Coventry City supporters of being fair-weather supporters, can you

I didn't realise the club was so well-supported

Well, Coventry is England's ninth biggest city, so it's little surprise really that they can attract the support if the team is doing well.

Yes, but that's a big 'If', as far as the Sky Blues are concerned, isn't it

Oh yes. It's reasonable to point out that Coventry supporters have just had one knock after another following the club's demotion from the Premier League in 2001.

Then chairman Bryan Richardson left the club either with a whopping 60million debt or a whopping 22m debt – depending on who you believe – and the Sky Blues have become embroiled in one financial problem after another since then.

On the up: Coventry are on the brink of moving into the play-off spots

On the up: Coventry are on the brink of moving into the play-off spots

On the up: Coventry are on the brink of moving into the play-off spots

Right, but what happened to Highfield Road

It's a sore point. Richardson had done a deal to move to a state-of-the-art new stadium on a brownfield site on the outskirts of the city. But, in truth, though it was opened seven years ago, it was done without the proper finances to ensure that the club thrived.

How is that then

Well the matchday revenues were sold off. Coventry still cannot take a penny from a burger, a pint or a pie that they sell to their supporters.

To be honest, it's all a gigantic mess.

Did it contribute to their fall into the Championship

It had an effect, certainly, but it was by no means the only reason and now the current owners, a hedge fund with the acronym of SISU, are trying to sort out the mess. The only trouble is, they have racked up a 43m debt doing so.

So, why are the fans flocking to the stadium tonight

Robins and his arrival at the club following Andy Thorn's sacking
earlier this season has given everyone a huge lift. From being in the
bottom three, Robins has transformed the club's fortunes and now they
are in with a realistic shot at promotion.

Main man: Mark Robins (left) has guided Coventry up the League One table

Main man: Mark Robins (left) has guided Coventry up the League One table

And in this competition too, a Wembley shot

Yes, some might say Coventry's name might be on it. They won a penalty shoot-out with Burton in an earlier round and defeated Preston last time out 3-2 with two goals in the last few minutes.

How many supporters could the club take to Wembley

Coventry were last at the national stadium in 1987 when they faced Everton in the Charity Shield. Estimates that day put the following at 40,000-plus.

If they can sell out the Ricoh Arena they should have no problem taking up their allocation.

But, as always with Coventry City, it's a mighty big 'If'!

Arsenal"s Santi Cazorla has one, but Dixie Dean holds hat-trick record at 37

Nice trick, Santi, but you've got a long way to go before you beat Dixie!



23:18 GMT, 18 December 2012

Santi Cazorla scored his first hat-trick in English football against Reading on Monday, but the Spanish maestro has a long way to go before he can write his name into the English football record books.

Here, Sportsmail looks at some of the all-time English record-breakers:

DIXIE DEAN: Everton, 1925-37, 37

The legendary centre forward has the most hat-tricks in English football with an astonishing 37. Everton’s first ever No 9 also scored the most league goals in a season — 60 — in 1927-28.

Record holder: Dixie Dean launches an attack against Arsenal

Record holder: Dixie Dean launches an attack against Arsenal

GEORGE CAMSELL: Middlesbrough, 1925-39, 24

Middlesbrough’s record scorer notched 24 hat-tricks and held the greatest haul of league goals in a season with 59 before Dean broke it. He also scored 18 times in nine England appearances, the best international goals-per-game ratio for any English player.

STEVE BULL: Wolves, 1986-99, 18

Wanderers striker Bull scored a club record 18 hat-tricks, with his goals helping Wolves win back-to-back promotions in the 1980s.

A bit of Bully: Steve Bull was a goal machine at Wolves

A bit of Bully: Steve Bull was a goal machine at Wolves

DENIS LAW: Man Utd, 1962-73, 18

Forward Law scored 18 hat-tricks in his time at Old Trafford, including one against former club Huddersfield as United won the FA Cup in 1963.

GORDON HODGSON: Liverpool, 1925–36, 17

In his 10 years at Anfield, Hodgson averaged more than 20 goals a season, and his record of 17 hat-tricks remains a club record.


Though not on the individual records list, Robert Earnshaw is the only striker to score a hat-trick in the Premier League, all three divisions of the Football League, the FA Cup, the League Cup and in an international, for Wales.

England need to show they can play – Nasser Hussain

Nasser Hussain: The time has come for you to go out and show us you can play



23:37 GMT, 19 November 2012

England v India – pictures

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England’s batsmen have proved themselves fine players with fantastic records over the years and we must not have short memories but enough is enough.

This was not the first time this year that the bulk of them have failed in subcontinental conditions and the time has come in Mumbai on Friday to put that right. You keep saying you are good players of spin. So go out there and show us.

One captain in Alastair Cook led brilliantly by example in Ahmedabad but the other one in MS Dhoni was more tactically astute and England have to stop being so English. The Indian captain bowled spin early and kept his seamers fresh for when there was reverse swing and that’s what Cook has to do in Mumbai.

The toss on Friday will be absolutely crucial.

The England bowlers will be looking
out at the middle saying, ‘Please win it, skip’, because if England are
really going to win two out of three Tests to win this series they have
to bat first.

Entering: Jonathan Bairstow (right) is likely to come in

Entering: Jonathan Bairstow (right) is likely to come in

If I was captain now I would love to have five specialist bowlers in the second Test because Matt Prior is clearly good enough to bat at six. But I would resist the temptation this time because there is so much uncertainty over England’s middle order.

A new batsman will come in for Ian Bell, presumably Jonny Bairstow in the interests of continuity, and I would stick with the others, including Samit Patel ahead of Eoin Morgan.

Monty Panesar has to come in because Patel is no more than a part-time bowler and I would select him ahead of Tim Bresnan.

Both Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson would remain in my side because you have to remember how little there was in the pitch on the first two days in Ahmedabad. There should be a bit more bounce in Mumbai.

England set for 17.5m boost with Twickenham Tests sold out

EXCLUSIVE: RFU set for 17.5m boost as ticket sales for England matches smash records



13:20 GMT, 31 October 2012

The RFU are set to enjoy a record-breaking autumn windfall as the unexpected sell-out of England's Test against Fiji at Twickenham on November 10 will lead to ticket-sales revenue of 17.5million.

All of the forthcoming QBE Internationals – against the Pacific island nation, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand – will be played in front of capacity crowds at HQ.

It is the first time that a four-match campaign has completely sold out and also the first time that a match against a Tier Two nation has drawn a full house.

Leaders: England coach Stuart Lancaster (left) and captain Chris Robshaw

Leaders: England coach Stuart Lancaster (left) and captain Chris Robshaw

The union is understood to have budgeted for ticket sales for this autumn series generating a return of 17m, but the higher-than-anticipated demand for the opening game has brought an additional 500,000 profit.

These figures are in stark contrast to last season, when the World Cup in New Zealand meant there were no November matches at Twickenham and just two home Six Nations games, so ticket-related income was particularly low.

This is the fourth time that England have had four fixtures in consecutive autumn weeks.

In 2006, there was an attendance of 72,027 for the lowest-profile of those games, against Argentina, while in 2008 the Pacific Islanders match drew a crowd of 55,427 and two years ago, England played Samoa in front of 70,553.

Big numbers: Supporters flocked to Twickenham to watch England face Argentina in 2006 but there will be even more at this year's four autumn Tests

Big numbers: Supporters flocked to Twickenham to watch England face Argentina in 2006 but there will be even more at this year's four autumn Tests

In 2009, the Test against Argentina – who were still classified as a Tier Two nation at that stage – brought in a healthy attendance of 78,743, but that will be eclipsed by the 82,000 sell-out in 10 days' time.

Ticket sales are thought to account for around a third of all revenue generated by the RFU and the governing body intend to channel increased funds into the grass-roots game.

With three years to go until the end of the home World Cup, a raft of 'legacy' intiatives are due to be announced later on Wednesday, with substantial investment into the development of coaches, referees and facilities, along with a push to introduce the sport into non rugby-playing schools.

Julio Cesar Chavez against Sergio Martinez has the makings of modern classic

Sin City awaits a modern classic as Chavez and Martinez prepare for battle



23:26 GMT, 14 September 2012

So powerful is the sense that ring history is in the making that not even a rival world championship promotion less than two miles down The Strip could prevent Julio Cesar Chavez versus Sergio 'Maravilla' Martinez selling out the biggest arena in town.

So strong is the urge to be able to say you were there the night these men hewn from the highest tradition of prize-fighting elevated themselves to the pantheon of middleweight boxing that attendance records at the Thomas and Mack Center are being shattered.

Tens of thousands of Mexicans – and not a few Argentinians – have responded to the potential of this fight to compare with the magical middleweight battles of the past.

Ready for battle: Julio Cesar Chavez and Sergio Martinez go head to head for the final time before the meet in the ring

Ready for battle: Julio Cesar Chavez and Sergio Martinez go head to head for the final time before the meet in the ring

This is an annual pilgrimage from south of the border in celebration of Mexican Independence Day but an unprecedented 50,000 are estimated to have made the crossing this year.

So even as 19,186 tickets have been sold for Chavez-Martinez, it is likely that the overflow will fill the 16,000 seat MGM Grand Garden Arena, at the same televised hour.

There another Mexican prodigy, the quirkily red-headed Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, will defend his world super-welterweight title against Hispanic Californian Josesito Lopez.

In normal circumstance this confrontational scheduling between Bob Arum’s Top Rank, who represent Chavez, and Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy, who handle Chavez, should have cut off the noses of both promoters and left egg on the faces of them and their television pay-masters.

Pulling the crowds: WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr signs autographs

Pulling the crowds: WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr signs autographs

Yet the explosive potential of Chavez Jnr and Martinez, nine years his senior, has HBO predicting high pay-per-view sales and Showtime confident of a substantial spin-off viewing audience of their own.

Can they live up to the hype Their pedigree suggests.

Chavez, of course, is the same-name son of an iconic father. Julio Cesar Snr is here confident that his 26-year boy is ready to step out of his shadow and become a legend in his own right.

To do that, even though he already holds the lineal WBC world title, he must defeat now the successor to perhaps the greatest Argentine boxer , even though Martinez is a different animal from his own idol.

Carlos Monzon, who ranks among the best middleweights of all time, was a Bull (of the Pampas) by nickname and a bull of a fighter.

Mobbed: Martinez arrives in Las Vegas

Mobbed: Martinez arrives in Las Vegas

/09/14/article-2203464-14E8D7A1000005DC-243_468x286.jpg” width=”468″ height=”286″ alt=”Chance to shine: Matthew Macklin fights Joachim Alcine in a world-title eliminator on the undercard” class=”blkBorder” />

Chance to shine: Matthew Macklin fights Joachim Alcine in a world-title eliminator on the undercard

If so Martinez, at 37, will be giving away not only those nine years but more than 20 lbs.

So you pay your money at the sports book at the fight-hosting Wynn Hotel and Casino and you make your choice between youth and crunching size or speed and dazzling technique. You also have to decide that even though last year would have been too soon for Chavez, whether Saturday might be a few months too late for Martinez.

As if that equation is not tricky enough, we also have genuine anger and resentment mixing spite and venom into this cocktail.

Martinez, a charming gentleman by nature, has been riled by his conviction that Chavez was manipulated to the world title at his expense, So he has accused the champion of disrespecting boxing and his fabled mentor Freddie Roach with his erratic training pattern and alleged drinking habits.

Chavez, very much in his famous father’s idiom, has labelled Martinez a liar who has prospered on easy fights.

Undefeated: Chavez is the slight favorite

Undefeated: Chavez is the slight favorite

Each has threatened to seriously harm the other.

The plot thickened when Jose Sulaiman, Mexican president of the WBC and godfather of Chavez the younger, was heard betting an expensive dinner on Julio Cesar Jnr winning.

Martinez joked: ‘I wish he had made the bet with me. Then I could have had a fine meal to go with the title I am going to win.’

Then, seriously in view of the recent results controversies in Las Vegas, he added: ‘I don’t want a gift from the judges. Only justice.’

The odds, marginally in favour of Martinez a the start of the week, are expected to close to dead even as more Mexican money comes in.

Personally, I was inclining towards Chavez until his team kept predicting that body shots would slow down the older man. Since Martinez’s otherwise dangerous habit of carrying his hands low by his sides should offer him protection against that plan, he can win with a typically late stoppage.

Still, it is a desperately close call. More importantly for boxing, it could be a middleweight classic.

Chavez-Martinez and Macklin-Arcine is live on Primetime from 2am via Sky Ch. 498 and Virgin on Demand, 14.95 and Alvarez-Lopez live on BoxNation from 2am via Sky Ch. 437 and Virgin Ch. 546

James McClean looks a sorry state as Irish winger has nowhere to hide after Twitter outburst

McClean looks a sorry state as Ireland winger has nowhere to hide after Twitter outburst

Colin Young


21:23 GMT, 9 September 2012



21:23 GMT, 9 September 2012

He may have won his Ireland reprieve
with a humiliating apology on Saturday afternoon but James McClean
looked like a man who wanted to be a million miles away from Kingston on
Sunday morning.

The neat and tiny Kingsmeadow ground
on the outskirts of London – The Cherry Red Records Stadium to give it
its full title – plays host every week to modest crowds watching League
Two and non-league matches.

The only notable spectators in the
stands were keeper Keiren Westwood and defender Sean St Ledger, who are
both likely to be left to their own devices on Tuesday as well, sitting
out the friendly at Craven Cottage.

Ireland's James McClean

Feelign the heat: Ireland's James McClean

Other than them, a small throng of Irish journalists, a few bemused AFC Wimbledon officials and their ground staff, plus assorted FAI bodies, had assembled to observe a training session with the legendary Giovanni Trapattoni and his Ireland team.

All our eyes were on McClean. And through the searing south-west London heat, the poor lad toiled for every painful second. He looked like a man, in fact a boy, who wanted the ground to swallow him up and put an end to his very obvious misery.

No doubt still living through the stupidity of pressing the send button on his phone from the team bus on Friday night, McClean looked like a footballer with the weight of the world on his shoulders. And this was a Sunday morning run-out in Kingston.

The moment the practice match bibs were handed out, McClean knew he was in trouble.

Robbie Brady, anxious, excited and eager to impress, was handed one of the orange garments. McClean was overlooked by the coaches, left to ponder how much of a twit he has been in the reserve team, and then plonked in the centre of midfield, presumably as additional punishment. Every touch, every shot, every moment went awry. And he struggled to hide his contempt and disappointment.

Not amused: Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni

Not amused: Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni

This time he didn't need Twitter to make a twit of himself. The ball was doing it for him.

It was almost painful to watch, and as an observer who has seen every one of McClean's home matches since he made his sensational arrival at the Stadium of Light under Martin O'Neill in nine months, it was an alien performance and unlike anything the winger seems capable of.

The boy from Derry had not expected his Ireland career to shape up this way when he made the difficult and controversial choice of picking this particular colour of green for his international future.

Although he has no right to expect a starting place in the Irish team yet, and although he is still naive, raw and inexperienced, he surely deserves better treatment – and longer than 17 competitive minutes – for being hauled across to Italy, Hungary, Poland and now Kazakhstan.

As Sportsmail's columnist Kevin Kilbane said last week, McClean is Ireland's in-form Premier League player and he should be in the team from the start.

Sadly Trapattoni takes the opposite view and he appeared to have little sympathy with the player's well-publicised remarks and his obvious agony. There was no arm round McClean's shoulder, in fact there was little if any eye contact.

If Trapattoni is trying to ruin another young Irish footballer, who just happens by coincidence to play for Sunderland, and run him out of the squad, he is going the right way about doing it.

In favour: Robbie Brady (left)

In favour: Robbie Brady (left)

By contrast, Brady was having the time of his life.

Maybe it was the bib, maybe it was the call-up and the chance to show his talents to the senior boys. Whatever it was, Brady was the one winger with a smile on his face as he came off the lush Kingsmeadow turf. Trapattoni even had a private word with him, very publically in front of the main stand.

'It was my first few hours and I really enjoyed it,' Brady said. 'They are a good group of lads and I have been welcomed from the first moment I came in.

'I know John O'Shea from United and Paul McShane when I was at Hull, so I know quite a few of the lads from being around the football scene so it was not as if I was coming in and not knowing anybody. They made me fit in so it was great.

'The manager had a quick word and said that he had me on the radar for a while so I'm glad to hear that and that I am in.

'I've been working hard all year, it's been a good season for the 21s and I got my best ever run with Hull and I'm just delighted to have been called up to the squad. And, hopefully, come Tuesday if I get a chance I'll be able to show what I'm about.

'But I just don't want to come in, meet everybody, say 'hello' and go back out. Hopefully I have come in to stay.'

And while he may not have played a meaningful minute in a Manchester United shirt, and failed to hold down a regular starting place at Hull City last season, the Baldoyle Boy, once of St Kevins, has been promoted in to Tuesday's starting line-up ahead of McClean.

To add insult to McClean's hurt, he even talked up Brady to an extent even Sir Alex wouldn't recognise him.

'He's a type of player we are missing,' said Trapattoni. 'He has vision, can pass and can shoot, like James McCarthy but he has other midfield work like Meyler. Brady sees the pass immediately, he has the pitch in front of him, he can pass and shoot, he is intelligent and clever.'

Robbie was not the only Brady on Trapattoni's mind.

At the end of his pitchside press briefing, the Italian was informed of Liam Brady's surprise criticism of his old manager's style of play which was adopted in Poland and failed. The depressing long ball tactic was restored in Astana and even Brady found it painful to watch.

It was at this moment – to the amusement of the Wimbledon staff at least – that Trapattoni became typically animated, voluble, yet no entirely coherent. He even grabbed a pen and pad and scribbled diagrams and notes. His minders wanted him out of there, but Trapattoni wanted to talk. Or shout. And it was still clear as mud.

But he said: 'Liam Brady He was never a manager

'I lie awake in the night and I think about a new team, how we play in defence, how we develop the game.

'In the first 50 minutes, we had three chances, how many after one hour You could pass the ball for 80 minutes and still lose one or two nil.

'We had to save energy. So then we play the long ball and the second ball. We're not Manchester United – tip tip tap tap – we needed our strength.'

Brian Clough once said of players showing dissent. 'Well, we talk about it for 20 minutes and then decide I was right.'

As Liam Brady will tell Robbie Brady and James McClean, it is a philosophy Giovanni Trapattoni knows very well, and they will have to accept that. Or stay at home.

London 2012 Olympics: Phillips Idowu ready to leap for triple jump gold

Idowu set to jump out of the shadows and leap for triple jump gold



22:05 GMT, 6 August 2012

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Nobody would ever describe Phillips Idowu as shy and retiring but he has retreated so far from the public eye in the Olympic build-up that there was more likelihood of meeting the Dalai Lama on the triple jump runway.

On Monday the mystery of the missing triple jumper ended when he walked into the Athletes’ Village, allegedly looking the picture of good health, and asked for a bed for the night.

On Tuesday, when he launches himself down a runway in competition for the first time in a little over nine weeks, we shall have a better idea whether looks deceive. Nothing reveals the condition of an athlete’s body like a hop, step and jump.

Hidden talent: Idowu has been off the radar for weeks

Hidden talent: Idowu has been off the radar for weeks

The British Olympic Association’s medical adviser, having talked to Idowu’s personal physician, is convinced that he is fit to do himself justice in today’s qualifying competition and not embarrass Team GB.

‘He’s set to compete. All is good,’ said a BOA spokesman.

All Confidential medical records exchanged between doctors cannot tell the full story of a man’s ability to put enormous stress on heels, knees and hips by landing more than 15 times his own body weight on to them in the step phase.

Idowu has not done that in competition since June 2. He has not completed a flat-out training session for three weeks. And he will go into the competition on a wing and a prayer, hoping that sports tape on his upper leg will see him through.

Everybody has their favourite theory about Idowu’s refusal to have anything to do with the brouhaha of a home Olympic Games. Being injured is the most prevalent and cannot be denied.

Playing mind games with rivals is the theory of world champion Christian Taylor, as an attempt to fly at them under the radar now they have written him off in their minds.

Is he injury free Idowu fitness has been a cause for concern

Is he injury free Idowu fitness has been a cause for concern

Showing the finger to his bete noire, the team’s chief coach Charles van Commenee (right), is another. The two have not talked in a year.

Idowu has spoken only through the medium of Twitter. He says he has imposed a media blackout on himself for weeks and so knew nothing of the controversy over his absence until last Saturday. He confessed to surprise that his movements caused so much interest.

After all, he pointed out, he has to keep his daily whereabouts known for doping purposes ‘so it’s impossible to completely disappear’.

His statement added: ‘The appropriate people can contact me with ease. There is no story here at all.’
That may be his way of seeing it but when the most recognisable man in British athletics, with his dyed hair and facial piercings, makes himself so scarce that his head coach describes him as a ‘missing person’, it is a story.

Star attraction: Idowu was one of Great Britain's pre-Olympic medal hopes

Star attraction: Idowu was one of Great Britain's pre-Olympic medal hopes

The facts we have at our disposal to help resolve the mystery of why he turned himself into a recluse are the confirmation that he ended a training session prematurely three weeks ago because of pain in his thigh and back and that he has not trained with his personal coach Aston Moore subsequently.

But could he still come out of the Games in his native city with a medal at least

He has only to jump 17.10 metres today to qualify for the final. He has jumped 17.81 at his best and 17.31 in the abbreviated season he has had this summer. A single jump could be enough.

Then it is anybody’s guess as to what he could do with one single do-or-die jump through the pain barrier in Thursday’s final. Nobody questions Idowu’s physical power and mental resilience. He would jump through a wall to win at these Games. So do not dismiss the possibility easily.

American Taylor is an outstanding opponent, the world champion, and if he ever hits his stride pattern perfectly a serious threat to Jonathan Edwards’s world record. But Taylor is almost alone in that category.

Idowu, like Greg Rutherford in the long jump, may not have to be at his very best to come away with something.

London 2012 Olympics: Philips Idowu"s medical records wanted

EXCLUSIVE: D-Day for Idowu! Prove you'll be fit, GB chiefs tell star



21:30 GMT, 23 July 2012

Olympics 2012

British Olympic officials have finally called time on Phillips Idowu’s injury charade by demanding to see his medical records.

On the day the triple jumper pulled out of Britain’s final pre-Olympic training camp in Portugal, the BOA invoked a clause in their team member’s agreement that allows them to ask for information which ‘could impact on an athlete’s ability to perform at the Games’.

BOA spokesman Darryl Seibel confirmed to Sportsmail: ‘We have written to Phillips and his agents asking that he provides the relevant material relating to his injury and the treatment he is currently receiving to our chief medical adviser, Dr Ian McCurdie.’

Exit: Idowu has pulled out of the warm weather camp in Portugal

Exit: Idowu has pulled out of the warm weather camp in Portugal

It is understood the information will be provided on a doctor-to-doctor basis and treated in strict confidence.

The BOA’s response highlights their concerns over the extent of Idowu’s injury 10 days before he is due to compete as one of the country’s supposed gold-medal favourites.

The intervention is also set against the ludicrous backdrop whereby he does not communicate with UK Athletics’ head coach Charles van Commenee after a public falling out last year. As Sportsmail revealed on July 16, Idowu has moved outside the UKA medical structure and funds his own treatment — a fact confirmed by his coach, Aston Moore, on Monday.

In confirming the latest setback, Moore said: ‘In training recently Phillips has had an ongoing injury problem and we have not been able to go at things 100 per cent.

No go: Idowu is not joining up with the Team GB camp in Portugal

No go: Idowu is not joining up with the Team GB camp in Portugal

‘At the weekend Phillips told me he would continue to seek treatment from a private physio in London and would not travel to prepare in Portugal, although he may join us here later.

‘He is an experienced athlete who I have worked with for more than four years and we will assess the situation again in the coming days.’

Idowu, 33, had insisted stories suggesting he was injured after pulling out midway through his last event, in Oregon in the United States last month, were no more than a ‘rumour mill’.

But days later he withdrew from the Diamond League meeting in Crystal Palace, citing a hip problem. That made a nonsense of Idowu’s protestations of fitness and substantiated Van Commenee’s earlier comments that he was ‘worried’ about the athlete’s Olympic prospects.

Long time no see: Idowu will head into the Olympics lacking practice

Long time no see: Idowu will head into the Olympics lacking practice

It appears Idowu’s contrary medical bulletin was at least partially a ham-fisted attempt to undermine his disciplinarian head coach.

Even if the physiotherapy gets him to the start of his run-up in the Olympic Stadium on August 3, it is doubtful he will be able to produce his best, given how rusty he must be after withdrawing from meetings in Oslo and Paris and the Olympic trials.

Rhythm is a key element of the triple jump and, anyway, Christian Taylor, the American who took his world title last year, is in ominously impressive form.

100m Olympics history – from Jesse Owens to Usain Bolt

From Jesse Owens to Usain Bolt… a history of the Olympics 100m finals



09:15 GMT, 13 July 2012

The men’s 100 metres final has been the blue riband event at every Olympic Games, generating the greatest hype and excitement.

It is an event done and dusted in 10 seconds or less, but it carries a great history and dozens of stories.

Times have tumbled over the decades, with Jim Hines the first athlete to run under ten seconds in an Olympic final in 1968.

Jesse Owens

Usain Bolt

History men: Jesse Owens (left) was the golden boy in 1936, while Usain Bolt ruled in 2008

But the advance from cinder to rubberized artificial tracks, the advent of hi-tech running spikes and kits, and the fact that Olympic sprinters now devote their entire year to training help to ever lower records.

We will have to wait and see if the current world record of 9.58 seconds, held by Usain Bolt, will be bettered in London.

But in the meantime, enjoy these video clips of every Olympic 100m final from Berlin in 1936 to the last Olympics in Beijing.

2008 Beijing – Usain Bolt (Jamaica) 9.69

The uncatchable Bolt smashes the world and Olympic records and is so far ahead with 30 metres to go, he cruises over the finish line before celebrating in trademark fashion.

2004 Athens – Justin Gatlin (USA) 9.85

The American Gatlin runs a great race but is almost caught on the line by Portugal’s Francis Obikwelu and his compatriot Maurice Greene. His celebration must also be one of the most reserved in Olympic 100m history.

2000 Sydney – Maurice Greene (USA) 9.87

Following a false start, Greene bursts through the centre to win by a clear margin, an achievement that obviously overwhelms him.

1996 Atlanta – Donovan Bailey (CAN) 9.84

High drama in Atlanta as Britain’s Linford Christie, the defending champion, is disqualified for two false starts. After 10 minutes, the race finally gets underway with Bailey storming from behind to win.

1992 Barcelona – Linford Christie (GBR) 9.96

A great moment for British athletics as Christie, at 32, became the oldest Olympic 100m champion, just edging out Frankie Fredericks of Namibia.

1988 Seoul – Ben Johnson (CAN) 9.79 (*later disqualified)

Johnson wins by some distance – and sets a new world record – but is stripped of the title two days later after the post-race drug test indicated steroid use. Carl Lewis, who came in second, was awarded the gold medal.

1984 Los Angeles – Carl Lewis (USA) 9.99

The long limbs of Lewis carry him away from his rivals to win the first of four gold medals at the Los Angeles Games.

1980 Moscow – Alan Wells (GBR) 10.25

The tightest of 100m wins as Wells and Cuba’s Silvio Leonard cross the line in a photo finish, locked on the same time of 10.25.

1976 Montreal – Hasely Crawford (TRI) 10.06

Crawford, in the inside lane, just holds off the challenge of Jamaican Don Quarrie to win the gold and make amends for the 1972 final, when he pulled up and didn’t finish.

1972 Munich – Valeriy Borzov (SOV) 10.14

Borzov, from the Soviet Union, claims a fairly comfortable victory and, with Robert Taylor of the United States second, a small Cold War success.

1968 Mexico City – Jim Hines (USA) 9.95

Hines dominates this race in Mexico City, setting a sub-10 second time which was equal to the world record at the time. This was the first Olympics held on an artificial ‘Tartan’ track.

1964 Tokyo – Bob Hayes (USA) 10.0

Running on a churned-up cinder track in spikes he had to borrow after his were lost, Hayes ran ten seconds flat to equal the then world record.

1960 Rome – Armin Hary (GER) 10.2

Only six in the final in Rome, as the German Hary, running in the outside lane, took gold on the line from Dave Sime of the United States. Britain’s Peter Radford was third.

1956 Melbourne – Bobby Morrow (USA) 10.62

Morrow achieved great fame in the States after winning a hat-trick of gold medals in Melbourne, of which the 100m was the first.

1952 Helsinki – Lindy Remigino (USA) 10.79

In a thrilling final, Remigino appears to lunge forward over the line, thinking he had won. But Jamaica’s Herb McKenley was right behind him and almost took glory. The officials took some time deciding, but handed it to Remigino. All six runners were separated by just a tenth of a second.

1948 London – Harrison Dillard (USA) 10.3

It’s hard to tell from the video, but this final was a dead heat between Dillard, who was actually a hurdles specialist, and another American Barney Ewell. The photograph on the line showed a win for Dillard by the narrowest of margins.

1936 Berlin – Jesse Owens (USA) 10.3

In these incredible video clips, we see the great Jessie Owens winning his four gold medals in Berlin as an unimpressed Adolf Hitler looks on.

Nigel Mansell recalls 1987 British Grand Prix victory

Mansell recalls the race, 25 years ago, when Silverstone saw something… A Brit special

Simon Cass


21:30 GMT, 3 July 2012



21:31 GMT, 3 July 2012

There is a school of thought that those who do not get Nigel Mansell simply do not get Formula One.

Those who are not Mansell fans are quick to describe him as a difficult customer, egotistical, perhaps, even a bit miserable.

But wind back the clock 25 years from this weekend's British Grand Prix and you would struggle to find anyone among the thousands invading the track to engulf a victorious Mansell who harboured such negative opinions.

For those who burst through the fences to celebrate with their hero, after he had just pulled off one of the most remarkable victories in the history of Formula One, he was simply 'Our Nige'.

Champagne moment: Mansell celebrates after winning the 1987 British Grand Prix in a thrilling finale

Champagne moment: Mansell celebrates after winning the 1987 British Grand Prix in a thrilling finale

Indeed, the manner in which Mansell reeled in a 29-second gap to overhaul his Williams team-mate Nelson Piquet encapsulates just why he was the darling of British motorsport fans long before the McLaren duo of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

'You always feel an added weight of expectation on your shoulders,' recalls Mansell of his emotions in the run-up to his home race.

'There are drivers who feel the pressure far too much and it inhibits them doing the very best job they can. I turned it into an advantage rather than an extra pressure. Being British, the fans expect you to try and deliver something special.'

Special does not do the circumstances of his win justice as Mansell's fierce rivalry with Piquet provided the ideal backdrop for the drama which was to unfold.

Nigel Mansell

Nigel Mansell

Red Five: The British ace set a number of lap records to catch and pass Piquet in the closing stages of the race

'All these years later, I think Nelson has admitted that he was blown away by how quick I was,' says Mansell. 'So Nelson had to use as much psychology as he could to get an edge.

'As well as being a great driver and a great champion, he was, shall we say, a little unorthodox and a little unfair and rude at times. It is fair to say that when you are a reigning world champion and you have got a team-mate who is as quick as you, if not quicker, it rattles you, doesn't it'

With the battle lines drawn and Mansell eager, as ever, to put on a show for his adoring public, the Formula One circus rolled into Silverstone.

It would not be long before he realised how difficult his afternoon's work would be.

'I realised within the first half a dozen laps I had a small vibration on the front which turned into a massive vibration,' he explains.

Crowd favourite: Mansell is mobbed by British fans after winning in front of his home crowd

Crowd favourite: Mansell is mobbed by British fans after winning in front of his home crowd

'I was just hanging on to Nelson but I could see him edging away. 'Going down Hangar Straight I could hardly hold on to the steering wheel. It was affecting my visibility of the corner apexes.

'There was no way I was going to be able to make it to the end of the race. So I had to make the big decision to go into the pits sooner rather than later.'

As he blasted out of the pit-lane, with 28 of the 65 laps left and 29 seconds behind Piquet, Mansell was already doing the maths and despair quickly turned to elation.

'Going into the pits you are dealing with disappointment, the frustration of having to do a stop that wasn't planned,' recalls Mansell.

'Then, coming out, you see the time you have done, which was a couple of seconds faster than previously. What was so pleasing was that when I came out the car felt so beautiful.

In black and white: Mansell shares a handshake with rival Piquet on the rostrum

In black and white: Mansell shares a handshake with rival Piquet on the rostrum

'All of a sudden the crowd are getting excited. You come past, you do your maths and you keep saying to yourself, “If you press on at this pace then you have got half a chance”. I settled into a rhythm and found myself catching him by almost a second a lap.'

As if Mansell needed any further encouragement, it came via the roars of the crowd, which increased in volume with each passing lap.

'It was like a flipping Mexican wave all the way around the circuit,' says Mansell. 'The last 11 or 12 laps were just incredible. 'I think I broke the lap record 11 times in the last 15 laps.'

By lap 62, the cars were nose to tail. But catching is one thing, passing another – especially when your quarry is hell-bent on spoiling the party.

'In those days you could block and do anything you bloody well wanted'

'I knew it would be brutal,' admits Mansell of his stunning overtaking manoeuvre two laps from the finish, selling Piquet a dummy and then diving down the inside into Stowe Corner.

'I was chasing him down and he was responding. He was my teammate and at that time he had already won two world titles, so he wasn't going to pull over and say, “Here you go, thanks very much”.

'It was going to be a very tactical thing, how I would get him and where I would get him. What people don't realise is that several laps before I was being told to slow down and stay in position.

'I was told on the pit board I was running out of fuel and I had to turn the engine down. So I had a lot of emotional things to deal with. But I just thought, “Hang on a minute, this is the British Grand Prix and it could be one of the greatest races ever”.

'I knew I had to sell him a dummy. I knew I had to get his head to turn in the cockpit. As soon as I had managed to do that, then I knew I had him. Even then, he came across on me going into Stowe and we touched at 200mph. In those days you could block and anything you bloody well wanted!'

The move sent the crowd into raptures and, as Mansell's fuel tank ran dry after the miraculous win was sealed, they spilled on to the track to engulf him.

'Fans appreciate it when they can see a sportsman giving their all,' reasons Mansell as the fond memories come flooding back.

'They used to give me extra power. That is why I called it people power. They used to love it and I love them for it.'

For those who still do not get Mansell, surely that is what Formula One is all about.