Tag Archives: revels

Rafa Benitez refuses to rule out Premier League title challenge from Chelsea

Title still a possibility for Benitez as Chelsea boss revels in goal glut that silenced the boo-boys

|

UPDATED:

20:26 GMT, 24 December 2012

Rafael Benitez believes Chelsea can mount a successful Barclays Premier League title challenge despite the sizeable gap between themselves and leaders Manchester United.

The Blues moved into third place following the 8-0 demolition of Aston Villa and have now won five of their last six games in all competitions ahead of their Boxing Day trip to Norwich.

They ran riot at Stamford Bridge with seven different players getting on the scoresheet – a Premier League first – and it would have been more but for a missed Lucas Piazon penalty.

Blue is the colour: Chelsea set a Premier League record with their seven different scorers against Villa

Blue is the colour: Chelsea set a Premier League record with their seven different scorers against Villa

Blue is the colour: Chelsea set a Premier League record with their seven different scorers against Villa

The win came on the back of a convincing 5-1 win over rivals Leeds in the Capital One Cup and went some way to quietening the boos directed towards Benitez, with the furore over his appointment starting to die down.

Chelsea are still some way behind United in the title race, trailing by 11 points, but Benitez is not ruling anything out.

Asked if he will tell his players they can still win the league, Benitez said: 'We will see after two or three more games. You could see the team had confidence in themselves, they believed, and that was there to the end.

'They had good movements, created chances. Now we have to sustain this run and it will be easier for me to say we can compete.'

The Spaniard, who has been an unpopular figure at Stamford Bridge since he was brought in as interim manager on November 21, seems to have revitalised Blues frontman Fernando Torres – who he also managed at Liverpool – with the striker scoring seven times in his last six games.

'The players were really focused from day one,' Benitez said. 'They knew they had a new manager and they had to perform.

'The players, from day one, were trying to learn, to improve and they were keen to learn.'

Another player who looks to be developing under the leadership of Spaniard is David Luiz, who has been switched from defence into central midfield – a decision which saw the Brazilian produce a nonchalant but vibrant display against Villa.

Capped off with a spectacular goal from a technically difficult free-kick, the re-deployment of Luiz looks to be a triumph for Benitez in reshaping Chelsea's attack in a position where they have sometimes struggled to fully impose themselves.

I've got a plan: Rafael Benitez is refusing to rule out a title charge from his team

I've got a plan: Rafael Benitez is refusing to rule out a title charge from his team

Benitez confirmed the 25-year-old could find himself playing further up the pitch on a more regular basis following Sunday's performance.

He said: 'We will analyse it carefully. Maybe, if he can relax, he can play more games in this position because it's easier for him to rest here.'

Frank Lampard, who made his 500th Premier League start against Villa and became the Blues' all-time top scorer thanks to his second-half strike, hailed Luiz's talent and thinks he can be a success in both defence and midfield.

Lampard told the club website: 'He has the ability to play either position and he has been a fantastic defender at this club. People say that central midfield is also a role for him and I think they are right.

'You still have to have discipline and be in the right position and you can't take liberties, and against Villa he showed that he has the discipline and the ability to do that role.'

Much improved: David Luiz and Fernando Torres have both flourished under Benitez

Much improved: David Luiz and Fernando Torres have both flourished under Benitez

Much improved: David Luiz and Fernando Torres have both flourished under Benitez

However, there is still some bad news for Chelsea, as the return date for injured club captain John Terry is still to be confirmed as he recovers from a knee injury.

Terry was originally aiming to be fit to for the Club World Cup earlier this month but setbacks have seen him remain on the sidelines.

Benitez said: 'Two days ago it was one little step backwards, but now one step forwards. We cannot say when he'll be available.

'The doctors say it's difficult with an inflammation. The next two or three days, he won't be available, that is clear. He just did the warm-up with the team the other day. I don't know how long (he will be out).'

Steven Fletcher backs Sunderland revival after beating Southampton

Red-hot Fletcher revels in Sunderland revival after victory over Southampton

|

UPDATED:

15:09 GMT, 23 December 2012

Steven Fletcher always knew Sunderland's season would start to turn around and believes their win at Southampton will help them through their tough Christmas period.

The Black Cats have struggled this season and headed to St Mary's in 16th place, just a point and a place better off than the hosts.

Fletcher's first half strike proved the difference in appalling conditions on the south coast as Martin O'Neill's side eked out a 1-0 win to make it two victories from their last three matches.

Festive cheer: Steven Fletcher celebrates his winner at Southampton for Sunderland

Festive cheer: Steven Fletcher celebrates his winner at Southampton for Sunderland

'We're all professional boys,' the Scotland international said. 'We all know what is needed when we need to go and win game.

'I thought it was a good performance. We attacked well and defended well so you're always going to win games when you play like that.

'Sometimes it is not pretty and we ground it out. We needed the three points and we got that.

'We're just happy we got three points and a good performance as well.'

It is a result that Fletcher hopes can act as a catalyst for further success this Christmas, with Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool all lying in wait.

'We approach them with a bit of confidence,' the striker said.

Pleased as punch: Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill was delighted after his side picked up three points away from home

Pleased as punch: Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill was delighted after his side picked up three points away from home

'We know we've got a hard Christmas period coming up but we've built a bit of confidence and we'll take that into the next game.

'The boys are all very tight. We all get on very well. It is a good bunch of lads.

'If we keep our heads down and keep working hard, we'll get results like this.'

Fletcher's instinctive strike was the summer signing's eighth league goal of the campaign.

The 25-year-old has shone for Sunderland and would like nothing more than to add to his tally when City visit the Stadium of Light on Boxing Day.

'I think Sessy [Stephane Sessegnon] will take an assist for that one but I think he had a shot,' he said with a smile.

'I am just glad I got another goal and we got the win.

'It just came to me quick and my instinct was to side-foot it away. Luckily for me it went in the back of the net.

'It would be nice to get a goal under my belt and another win, but we'll wait to see what happens.”

Michael Dawson taunted at Tottenham training ground after FIFA 13 thrashing

VIDEO: L-plates for Dawson as Tottenham team-mates taunt defender at training ground

|

UPDATED:

15:27 GMT, 4 December 2012

It's been a frustrating season for Michael Dawson so far. He has made only 11 appearances and limped off injured at the weekend with a hamstring problem during last weekend's 3-0 Barclays Premier League win at Fulham.

And to compound his misery, the England defender became the butt of all jokes at the Tottenham training ground after he suffered humiliation at the hands of his team-mates.

Game for a laugh: Michael Dawson loses 5-0 at FIFA 13 to team-mate Tom Huddlestone at Tottenham's training ground

Game for a laugh: Michael Dawson loses 5-0 at FIFA 13 to team-mate Tom Huddlestone at Tottenham's training ground

Dawson, 29, competed against midfielder Tom Huddlestone, full-back Kyle Naughton and youngster Thomas Carroll in a four-man FIFA 13 tournament.

But he was forced to endure the ignominy of being handed L-plates after he was thrashed 5-0 to eventual winner Huddlestone.

'I was horrendous,' said Dawson.

All smiles: Huddlestone revels in his success alongside Kyle Naughton (L), Dawson and Thomas Carroll (R)

All smiles: Huddlestone revels in his success alongside Kyle Naughton (L), Dawson and Thomas Carroll (R)

'Unfortunately I got beat 5-0. But I was rather happy keeping it down to five. Tom [Huddlestone] thought he was going to beat me by a lot more!

Huddlestone, who was crowned Tottenham's champion after beating Naughton in the final, added: 'I play it quite a bit at home with my friends to be fair, which probably helped me win.

A Premier League footballer spending his spare time playing video games. Who would have thought it…

Play Video

Loading video…

DM.has('rcpv31525','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-thinArticle”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'adUrl' : “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/adssz=8×8&iu=%2F7023%2Fdm.video%2Fdm_video_sport&ciu_szs=&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&unviewed_position_start=1&url=[referrer_url]&correlator=[timestamp]”,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv31525”,
'videoPlayer' : “2010435437001”,
'width' : 470,
'height' : 264,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2242814/Michael-Dawson-taunted-Tottenham-training-ground-FIFA-13-thrashing.html”

});

Ashley Cole revels in Chelsea win over Newcastle

Cole revels in Chelsea's new-look side after Blues maintain perfect start

|

UPDATED:

20:04 GMT, 25 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Ashley Cole believes the new-look Chelsea are off to the perfect start after a 2-0 home win over Newcastle moved them back to the top of the Barclays Premier League.

Eden Hazard got his first Blues goal from the penalty spot after Fernando Torres tumbled in the area, and the revitalised Spain striker added the second in first-half stoppage time.

Chelsea have changed their style this summer, but Cole is delighted with how quickly they have gelled.

Star of the show: Eden Hazard was at his best for Chelsea against Newcastle

Star of the show: Eden Hazard was at his best for Chelsea against Newcastle

'We've lost Didier (Drogba), a big powerful presence up front and sometimes we just used to knock it up to him,' the England left-back told ESPN.

'But now we've signed some smaller players so we've got to get the ball down a play a little bit more now.

'The second goal today was a great goal for the whole team.'

It was Torres' third goal of the season, counting his strike in the Community Shield, and Cole reckons the frontman's new-found confidence is as much a result of Spain's triumph at Euro 2012 as his new role in a Drogba-less Chelsea team.

Main men: Hazard and Fernando Torres

Main men: Hazard and Fernando Torres

'Of course it was really hard for him to (only) get that many games (last season),' he said. 'But when he did play he worked really hard for the team.

'Now he's the main man, like you say. But he's full of confidence after the European Championships and he scored a great goal today.'

Hazard turned in another fine performance to add to his growing reputation since his big-money move from Lille this summer.

'I think he deserves a lot of credit for the start to the season we've had,' Cole said.

'He's won two penalties, got two assists and now a goal – it's phenomenal.

'We're proud to have this guy in the team and hopefully he can keep doing it.'

Hazard added: 'I'm very happy to get my first goal at Stamford Bridge.'

Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo believes all of his players deserve credit for the club's unbeaten start to the new season despite Eden Hazard once again grabbing the headlines in a 2-0 win at home to Newcastle.

The Blues returned to the top of the Barclays Premier League thanks to a third win in a week.

Summer signing Hazard opened the scoring from the penalty spot and then provided an assist for Fernando Torres to seal the points in first-half stoppage time.

The Belgium international has been central to the wins over Newcastle, Reading and Wigan and Torres has started to look more like the 50million man brought in from Liverpool in January 2011, but Di Matteo feels the whole team deserve praise.

Hitting form: Torres scores Chelsea's second goal against Newcastle

Hitting form: Torres scores Chelsea's second goal against Newcastle

'It's not just them two, they have a good link-up with (Juan) Mata and the other midfield players,' he said.

'Thanks to the team he (Hazard) has been able to slide in and play very comfortably with the others.

'I know you focus on the goalscorers but I think it was a good performance considering it was our third game in six days. The demand was high playing against tough opposition today.'

Torres, 28, was brought down for the penalty and scored a tremendous goal from the edge of the box and Di Matteo is pleased that he has started to add goals to his game once more.

'He was very important for us last season, maybe not scoring as much but providing and working hard for the team,' he said.

'He is a great team player as well but it is great to see him scoring and the second goal I think was terrific play from us.'

Rangers" Chris Hegarty makes debut at two hours notice

Hegarty revels in finally making Rangers debut… at just two hours notice

|

UPDATED:

14:31 GMT, 22 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Chris Hegarty was glad to be given just a couple of hours' notice before making his long-awaited full Rangers debut.

The defender was handed a starting role in Tuesday night's 1-0 win over holders Falkirk in the Ramsdens Cup and delivered a solid performance at right-back.

Hegarty was a regular on the bench last season but had yet to make a first-team start until the second-round clash with the Bairns, which saw fellow Northern Irishman Andy Little grab the only goal of the game.

Dream debut: Chris Hegarty (left) in action for Rangers against Falkirk

Dream debut: Chris Hegarty (left) in action for Rangers against Falkirk

And he says nerves would have been a factor had he been given too long to dwell on the prospect of finally making his senior bow.

Hegarty said: 'I found out I was starting two and a half hours before the game and I think that was a good thing for me.

'I would have been nervous if I'd been told the day before so it wasn't a bad thing.

'I felt my performance was solid. The main thing was keeping a clean sheet and we did that. It was hard but that was the main thing for me.'

The 20-year-old was the first player to sign for Rangers after the club was consigned to liquidation in the summer.

The youngster's previous Ibrox contract had expired and he penned a new one-year deal with the newco in June.

Winner: Andrew Little (left) fires the ball home to open the scoring for Rangers

Winner: Andrew Little (left) fires the ball home to open the scoring for Rangers

He said: 'The main reason is that I'm a Rangers fan and I want to stay at the club and help them win whatever they can and do my bit for the club.

'The lads want it more than ever, just to prove a point to everyone. Everyone wants to win.

'Training is positive. Everything is positive now. We've got over what's happened to the club.'

Hegarty believes Rangers can win a quadruple of trophies this season, as they battle for honours in the Irn-Bru Third Division, the William Hill Scottish Cup, the Scottish Communities League Cup and the Ramsdens Cup.

He said: 'I definitely think so. We're very positive about everything we're going for this year so I don't see why not.

Main man: Little (centre) celebrates scoring with Francisco Sandaza

Main man: Little (centre) celebrates scoring with Francisco Sandaza

'It would be brilliant and would tell everyone what the club is about. It's just a natural thing – everybody at the club wants to win.'

Manager Ally McCoist has again stressed the need to strengthen his squad before a 12-month transfer embargo kicks in on September 1.

Hegarty said: 'We have a really good base of a squad just now and if the manager wants to bring in a few more players, it would really strengthen the squad.

'I think we've got a strong squad at the moment.

'But a bit of competition is not a bad thing at any club. You want to have competition because it drives you on and makes you want to work harder.'

Rory McIlroy delighted to prove doubters wrong – USPGA

McIlroy revels in proving doubters wrong after stunning triumph in USPGA

|

UPDATED:

05:28 GMT, 13 August 2012

Rory McIlroy is savouring yet another
major masterclass – and just loving the fact that he had proved some
people wrong about him.

Fourteen
months after winning the US Open by a massive eight shots, the
23-year-old Northern Irishman astonishingly did the same in the USPGA
Championship at Kiawah Island.

McIlroy's
first major title had come with a record score and his second was by a
record margin in the event, beating the seven strokes of Jack Nicklaus
in 1970.

Winner: Rory McIlroy won his second major at Kiawah Island

Winner: Rory McIlroy won his second major at Kiawah Island

No pressure: Crowds turned out in full force at Kiawah Island

No pressure: Crowds turned out in full force at Kiawah Island

Well done, son: McIlroy hugged his father Gerry after his triumph

Well done, son: McIlroy hugged his father Gerry after his triumph

Final leaderboard

Rory McIlroy – 13

David Lynn -5
Justin Rose -4

Ian Poulter -4

Selected others
Tiger Woods -2
Luke Donald +2

More than that, the Holywood golfer – now starting his fourth reign as world No 1 and intent on making it a longer one than the first three – had become a multiple major winner at a younger age than Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and all but four players in golf history.

Those four were Young Tom Morris in the 1860s, John McDermott and Gene Sarazen just before and after the First World War and Seve Ballesteros.

As satisfying as all that is, McIlroy took extra pleasure in winning so emphatically so soon after questions were being asked about where his career was heading – not surprisingly given he missed four halfway cuts in five starts.

Not today: Tiger Woods was not happy with his game on the penultimate day of the competition

Not today: Tiger Woods was not happy with his game on the penultimate day of the competition

David Lynn had to settle for second place

David Lynn had to settle for second place

Justin Rose could not make up the lost ground over McIlroy on the final day

Justin Rose could not make up the lost ground over McIlroy on the final day

'A few people in this room were probably pressing panic buttons for no reason,' the biggest young talent in the game told a crowded press conference.

'I don't think I could have answered it in any better way – and yeah, to be honest, it did motivate me.

'I did want to go out there and prove a few people wrong.

'That's what I did. It took me all of four weeks to get my game back in shape and get out of my mini slump – and this is the result.

Carl Pettersson plays a shot out of the bunker during the final round

Carl Pettersson plays a shot out of the bunker during the final round

'To sit up here and see this trophy and call myself a multiple major champion… not many people have done it and I'm very privileged to join such an elite list of names.'

McIlroy, who left the rest for dead in the first golf tournament to have 99 of the world's top 100 playing in it, smiled when reminded he had just taken a record off Nicklaus.

'I don't care if I win by one or by eight – I just want to win – but it's nice to break a record like that, especially of Jack Nicklaus,' he said.

'He's the most successful player of all time so far. It's a nice achievement.'

Picture perfect: Rory celebrates his second major

Picture perfect: Rory celebrates his second major

The US Open last year saw McIlroy take the lead on the first day and gradually move away, but this was different.

He was three clear with a round to go, but that became only one when Ian Poulter leapt out of the pack by starting with five birdies in a row and six in seven holes.

McIlroy knew about it and put his foot on the accelerator. He turned in 33 to Poulter's 31 and while his Ryder Cup team-mate faltered he added further birdies at the 12th, 16th and 18th.

Class apart: McIlroy won the Championship by eight shots

Class apart: McIlroy won the Championship by eight shots

Class apart: McIlroy won the Championship by eight shots

Class apart: McIlroy won the Championship by eight shots

Poulter's slip allowed compatriot David Lynn to be the surprise runner-up. This was the 38-year-old first major in America and only the second of a career in which he was won just one of 371 European Tour events.

He qualified by being in the world's top 100 and now is 40th – and he is exempt for next April's Masters now.

Poulter, runner-up to Padraig Harrington in the 2008 Open, shared third with another Englishman, Justin Rose, defending champion Keegan Bradley and Swede Carl Pettersson. Woods was joint 11th.

Unbridled: McIlroy celebrates after he birdied on the final hole

Unbridled: McIlroy celebrates after he birdied on the final hole

Bradley Wiggins: I"m like Rodney Trotter

I'm more like Rodney Trotter! Hero Wiggins wishes he had Hoy's body to go with gold

|

UPDATED:

14:33 GMT, 5 August 2012

Tour de France winner and four-time Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins has achieved sporting immortality in the last few weeks, but insists he is not blessed in all departments, comparing his physique to that of Rodney Trotter from Only Fools and Horses.

The 32-year-old Wiggins grew up in Kilburn and used to ride around Hyde Park dreaming of winning the Tour.

This summer he has been embraced by the public for his sporting achievements and charisma.
But Wiggins has made numerous sacrifices in targeting his goals, including his appearance.

Rock star: Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins revels from the applause of British fans at BT London Live at Hyde Park

Rock star: Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins revels from the applause of British fans at BT London Live at Hyde Park

After appearing on stage in front of 100,000 people at Hyde Park, Wiggins told Absolute Radio: 'The one thing with an endurance sport, we aren't blessed with incredible bodies because we have to be very skinny.

'We have to look very lean and I think one of the great things about being an athletic sprinter like Chris Hoy is that you've got an amazing body to show off.

'We just look like Rodney Trotter. We don't look at all athletic.'

Wiggins is slowly becoming accustomed to his new status.

Only fools and horses: Wiggins joked he has a body like Rodney Trotter

Got it all: Wiggins says Hoy has the golds and a great body

Only fools and horses: Wiggins joked he has a body like Rodney Trotter unlike fellow cycling hero Sir Chris Hoy

He added: 'It was a bit overwhelming going out there (on to the stage at BT London Live).

'I started cycling round Hyde Park when I was a kid, so to come back here in front of a crowd like that 20-odd years on, it's brilliant.

'I'm very, very, very, humbled by everything and I love it.

'It's fantastic that a minority sport like cycling is taking such a profile at the moment, and that's brilliant.

'What's so great about it is that once the whole Olympics is over anyone can go out to the roads of Kingston where I won the Olympic Games time-trial and ride that circuit for nothing after this is all done, and there's your legacy there.'

Cool Britannia: Wiggins enjoys the spotlight after an incredible month following his Tour de France and Olympic triumphs

Cool Britannia: Wiggins enjoys the spotlight after an incredible month following his Tour de France and Olympic triumphs

Centre of attention: Wiggins

Centre of attention: Wiggins

Wiggins' route to sporting greatness began in Hyde Park while growing up in central London.

He said: 'It was the only place my mum would let me cycle round – because I lived in Kilburn – where I wouldn't get knocked off by cars, because there's a cycle track all the way round.

'Every kid when I was a kid, used to kick a football round, pretend they were Gary Lineker or Paul Gascoigne; they were in the FA Cup.

'I used to come up here and ride around in lycra as a 12-year-old and get it taken out of me and everything.

'I used to pretend I was in the Tour de France and I had the yellow jersey.'

Wiggins has been offered the Freedom of the Borough of Chorley.

Had it been Kilburn, he might have found it difficult to accept.

He
said: 'I haven't heard about that yet to be honest, but it's nothing to
write home about, is it, because the borough I grew up in was an
absolute toilet. That was the Borough of Brent just to confirm.'

London 2012 Olympics: Athletics: Yohan Blake may cry if he wins 100m gold

Jamaican Blake ready for tears if he beats team-mate Bolt to 100m gold

|

UPDATED:

14:57 GMT, 1 August 2012

.olympicStats1038148 background:url(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/07_04/bckg308x110.jpg) no-repeat top left; display:block; width:308px; height:110px; padding:0; font-weight:bold
.olympicStats1038148 ul width:98%; padding:2px; list-style:none; position:relative; top:86px; left:6px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif
.olympicStats1038148 ul li a padding:0 2px; font-size:11px; color:#0cac0c; text-decoration:none
.olympicStats1038148 a:hover text-decoration:underline
.olympicStats1038148 ul li float:left; list-style-type: none; padding: 0;

LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

World champion Yohan Blake, nicknamed 'The Beast' by fellow sprint star Usain Bolt, admits he may be reduced to tears if he wins Olympic gold as Jamaica celebrates the 50th anniversary of its independence.

'To be on the podium is going to mean a lot,' said Blake, who won the 100 metres title in Daegu last year after Bolt had been disqualified for a false start. 'There will probably be some tears after all the work that I have put in. I have been working tirelessly.'

Blake revels in the nickname given to him by Bolt due to the intensity of his training regime, having it inscribed on his new spikes for London 2012, which manufacturers adidas say weigh just 99g – half the weight of the box they come in.

In it to win it: Yohan Blake hopes to beat Jamaican team-mate Usain Bolt in the 100 metres

In it to win it: Yohan Blake hopes to beat Jamaican team-mate Usain Bolt in the 100 metres

But the 22-year-old insists he and triple Olympic champion Bolt will remain friends no matter what happens on the track in London, where Blake will be aiming to deprive his compatriot of the titles he saw him win on television.

'In 2008 I was watching the Olympics at home,' added Blake, who has been strongly tipped to depose Bolt after beating him twice in the Jamaican trials, with Bolt also recently suffering from a back/hamstring injury.

'I had just left school. I tried out for the Olympic team and did not make it because I was young and not that strong, but look at (me) four years down the road. I am confident, coach (Glen) Mills has been preparing me for this moment. I took confidence from Daegu, I know what I can do. I am bringing it to London.

Champ: Blake won the 100 metre final in the Daegu World Championships after Bolt was disqualified after a false start

Champ: Blake won the 100 metre final in the Daegu World Championships after Bolt was disqualified after a false start

Top class: Blake has also beaten Bolt recently in the 100 and 200 metres

Top class: Blake has also beaten Bolt recently in the 100 and 200 metres

'Looking back at the last Olympics, I always wanted to be there. It's everybody's dream. To be here is just exciting. I feel goosebumps. It will really mean a lot to me to show all the people around the world what I can do.'

Speaking about his friendship with Bolt, he added: 'When I train I train like a beast. That's why Usain gave me the name. Off the track it's different. He is a calm guy. We are always friends.

'We always have fun, joke around. On the day it's all business, each man for himself. Win or lose we are going to be friends. I try not to build up a rivalry because at the end of the day it's just a race. If you focus on a rivalry you might not get the work done.'

The men's 100m promises to be one of the highlights of the athletics programme, with the heats on Saturday morning and the semi-finals and finals on Sunday evening.

Let's not forget... Bolt (right) romped to the 100 metre gold in 2008, smashing the existing world record in the process

Let's not forget… Bolt (right) romped to the 100 metre gold in 2008, smashing the existing world record in the process

The possibility of all eight finalists running under 10 seconds for the first time in history has even been mooted, with Blake, Bolt, Asafa Powell, Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay among those expected to battle for the right to be called the fastest man on Earth.

'When there are fast guys that are running wonderful times like me, Usain, Tyson Gay, Justin Gatlin, Asafa Powell, great things can be experienced,” added Blake, who has started a foundation to help poor people in Jamaica and insists he treats everyone the same despite his new-found fame, even the 'mad man in the road'.

'We are not really looking at times. We are looking at the gold medal. It's going to be good, great. In every race you always have surprises. Everyone is waiting for this for four years and I think it's going to live up to expectations.'

Louis Smith: London 2012 Olympics might be my last Games

Smith says London Games might be his last as British gymnast revels in bronze medal

|

UPDATED:

11:28 GMT, 31 July 2012

Great Britain gymnast Louis Smith is still revelling in Monday's Olympic bronze medal-winning success but revealed London might be his last Games.

The 23-year-old was part of the five-man team who wrote their place in the history books when they claimed Britain's first men's team Olympic medal in a century in a dramatic day at the North Greenwich Arena.

Smith, Max Whitlock, Daniel Purvis, Sam Oldham and Kristian Thomas scored a total of 271.711 as they produced a stunning team performance which exceeded all expectations ahead of the competition.

Can you believe it: Smith admits the London Games might be his last Olympics

Can you believe it: Smith admits the London Games might be his last Olympics

.olympicStats1038148 background:url(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/07_04/bckg308x110.jpg) no-repeat top left; display:block; width:308px; height:110px; padding:0; font-weight:bold
.olympicStats1038148 ul width:98%; padding:2px; list-style:none; position:relative; top:86px; left:6px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif
.olympicStats1038148 ul li a padding:0 2px; font-size:11px; color:#0cac0c; text-decoration:none
.olympicStats1038148 a:hover text-decoration:underline
.olympicStats1038148 ul li float:left; list-style-type: none; padding: 0;

LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

They had initially been awarded silver but a successful appeal by the Japanese team saw their marks increased and they moved to second, pushing Team GB down to third and leaving the Ukraine empty-handed by dropping to fourth as China won gold.

'We're very ecstatic about what we've done. We've overcome a lot of people thinking we couldn't do it,' Smith told ITV's Daybreak.

'We went out there, we had fun and we became Olympic bronze medallists.

'I don't know if I'll be there in four years' time, but I'm sure some of these young ones will be. In four years' time, I'll be 27 – I want kids by then.'

Balance: The British star helped Team GB achieve bronze during Monday's event

Balance: The British star helped Team GB achieve bronze during Monday's event

Oldham and Whitlock, both 19, along with 20-year-old Purvis look set to keep Britain's gymnastics revival growing apace.

A decade ago Britain were nowhere near the powerhouses of China, Japan and Russia and were ranked 23rd in the world. Now, they have won Olympic bronze, adding to the European team gold they claimed earlier this year.

Liverpool-born gymnast Purvis, who will compete in tomorrow's individual all-around event alongside Thomas, hailed his team-mates following their achievement.

In the medals: The British quintet celebrate bronze in Monday's team event

In the medals: The British quintet celebrate bronze in Monday's team event

'There was always an outside chance of us getting a medal, especially with this team of boys – it's like a wolf pack really,' Purvis said.

'After this I think I'm just going to try and enjoy the all-around more.

Dan's the man: Purvis competes on the rings

Dan's the man: Purvis competes on the rings

'There's the possibility of a medal
there as well but now I've got one here it will hopefully affect my
performance in a better way and make me more relaxed.'

Oldham, reigning Youth Olympic high bar champion, who recovered from a broken collarbone and torn pectoral muscle suffered late last year to compete at the Games, believes this is only the start for success in British gymnastics.

'We've got incredible juniors coming up and hopefully we can do this in four, eight, 12 years time,' Oldham said.

'The support we've got from everyone in the audience, the British public. Hopefully it's raised the profile of the sport.

'I want to just enjoy this experience and try and take it all in because it's just unbelievable.'

Whitlock, who still has the pommel horse final to come with Smith, said
the team was thrilled with getting a medal of any colour.

'We're not annoyed about it. We had no expectations of getting a medal,' he said.

'We wanted to get out there and have fun, and we did.

'First of all we thought we had a silver medal, but silver or bronze medal – it doesn't matter really. We made history.'

Wolverhampton's Thomas admits it will take time for the enormity of what they have achieved to sink in.

He said: 'I'm hoping once the next week or so is out of the way we can just sit down, relax and take a moment just to think that we have just achieved one of the greatest things in history in our sport.'

Bradley Wiggins revels in Tour de France win

Wiggins revels in Tour triumph after Brit cements his place in sporting history

|

UPDATED:

16:43 GMT, 22 July 2012

Bradley Wiggins was on top of the world after celebrating becoming the first British Tour de France champion by leading Mark Cavendish to victory in Paris.

Wiggins completed his 13th day in the yellow jersey and the 99th Tour in first place, three minutes 21 seconds ahead of Team Sky colleague Chris Froome, who became the second Briton, after his team-mate, on the podium in the history of the race.

Not content with his personal success, Wiggins played an integral role as world champion Cavendish won the 120-kilometre 20th stage from Rambouillet, sealing victory on the Champs-Elysees for a fourth consecutive year.

Main man: Bradley Wiggins celebrates his historic win in the Tour de France

Main man: Bradley Wiggins celebrates his historic win in the Tour de France

Bradley Wiggins of Britain wearing the yellow jersey celebrates his overall victory

'I'm still buzzing from the Champs-Elysees, it's so quick around there,' Wiggins told ITV.

'We had a job to do with Cav and we did it. What a way for him to finish it off.

'I've got to get used to that now (his place in cycling history being secured forever).

'It will take a while…..I'm just trying to soak up every minute of today as it goes along.

'It's very surreal at the moment. This sort of thing happens to other people, you never imagine it happens to you.

Brit special: Wiggins celebrates with team-mate Chris Froome who was second

Brit special: Wiggins celebrates with team-mate Chris Froome who was second

'It's incredible. I bet I'll look back in years to come and think 'God, that was special'.'

The final-day triumph was the seventh British stage success of the 2012 Tour, with Cavendish finishing with three wins, Wiggins with two, Froome with one and David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) one.

All four Britons, together with Ian Stannard, are due to combine on Saturday in a bid to help Cavendish win Olympic gold in the 250-kilometre road race on the opening day of London 2012.

Cavendish has won on the French capital's most famous boulevard in each of the Tours he has completed – in 2009, 2010, 2011 and now in 2012.

Cavendish said: 'It's incredible. It couldn't be a more perfect end to an amazing Tour for me.

Finishing in style: Mark Cavendish celebrates winning the final stage in Paris

Finishing in style: Mark Cavendish celebrates winning the final stage in Paris

'We haven't just won the yellow jersey, we got first and second.

'We (Britain) won seven stages in total – that's one out of three stages won by a British rider.

'The guys in the Olympic team have one more job to do, but it's been an incredible few weeks for us.'

It was a remarkable effort for the Manxman, who spent much of the Tour in the service of Wiggins.

Wiggins repaid the favour, taking to the front with 1.1km remaining, with Edvald Boasson Hagen assuming the lead 600 metres out.

Cavendish came to the front in the rainbow jersey 400 metres from the line and powered to a supreme victory.