Tag Archives: shana

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London 2012 Olympics: Oscar Pistorius finishes fourth in warm-up race

Olympian Pistorius finishes fourth in first race after selection

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UPDATED:

21:43 GMT, 7 July 2012

Oscar Pistorius finished fourth on Saturday in his first race since being included in the South African team for the Olympics.

The Blade Runner, who will become the first amputee sprinter to compete in an Olympics, clocked 46.28 seconds over 400 metres in the KBC Nacht meeting in Heusden, Belgium.

Selected: Oscar Pistorius will make history at the Games

Selected: Oscar Pistorius will make history at the Games

Home favourite Jonathan Borlee won in 44.91secs.

Pistorius was on Monday selected to run in the 400m and 4x400m relay for South Africa at London 2012.

Fourth: Pistorius was not at the top of his game

Fourth: Pistorius was not at the top of his game

Perri Shakes-Drayton and Shana Cox, who will represent Team GB at the Olympics, won the 400m hurdles and 400m respectively.

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London 2012 Olympics: 4 x 400m women finish fourth

British women suffer relay bad result as Olympic preparations suffer blow

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UPDATED:

20:50 GMT, 29 April 2012

Britain’s women’s 4 x 400 metres relay team came down to earth with a bump in their first outing together since winning the World Indoor title last month.

They finished fourth at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia with the same quartet of Shana Cox, Nicola Sanders, Christine Ohuruogu and Perri Shakes-Drayton who won the gold medal.

Worryingly for the four women, they were eclipsed by more than seven seconds by the victorious team from the United States.

Not this time: Britain's women were unable to repeat their world success

Not this time: Britain's women were unable to repeat their world success

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Great Britain set medals record at world indoor games

Flying in face of sense: Tired Farah comes fourth… but Britain set medals record

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UPDATED:

23:28 GMT, 11 March 2012

We said there was too much of this flying athletes in from around the world to represent Britain. In Mo Farah’s case, flying in and out and back again to his training base in the United States.

He’s no Plastic Brit, jetted in to make us look good in the medal table. He grew up in London. But exhausted from his travels and his high training mileage, he could not muster the medal, let alone the longed for gold, he sought here in the 3,000 metres final. After two appeals, of which more later, he was confirmed in fourth place.

It was his fellow travellers in the team — comprising the mercenaries, the homeless and the fickle —who contributed towards Britain’s best ever performance at a World Indoor Championships with nine medals, to eclipse the seven won in 2003.

Baton brilliance: (from left) Cox, Shakes-Drayton, Ohuruogu and Sanders

Baton brilliance: (from left) Cox, Shakes-Drayton, Ohuruogu and Sanders

FROM OUT IN THE COLD TO GOLD:

At the end of her last year competing for America, Shana Cox (above left) was ranked No 9 in her country, unable to get in the team. After switching to Britain, she walked straight into the relay team and is now world indoor champion.

There is qualified cheering in this quarter: delight at the genuine British medals and pleasure that the question of who should represent the country has been debated so fervently in the last few days.

The greatest pity, leaving the nationality debate aside, was Farah’s. He has now not won any of his last three races. Little wonder, perhaps, given that only the other day he could not even count the number of times he has travelled from Oregon to compete and train in Europe and Kenya this year.

He is averaging 100 miles or more a week on the road under the direction of Alberto Salazar, his Cuban-born coach who uses every modern scientific quirk and harnesses it to a fierce work ethic.

Getting there first: Britain's Perri Shakes-Drayton crosses the line ahead of America's Sanya Richards-Ross

Getting there first: Britain's Perri Shakes-Drayton crosses the line ahead of America's Sanya Richards-Ross

Medals table

The winner of the 3,000m was again Bernard Lagat, formerly of Kenya. Now a ‘Plastic American’, he runs no more than 75 miles a week. The question is whether the miles Farah is accumulating will pay off, namely in the Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m finals.

Asked if Farah was still the man to beat in London, Lagat said: ‘Absolutely. He will go from here with a lot of hunger.’

There was a brief respite for Farah when he was awarded third place instead of Kenyan Edwin Soi, who was disqualified for obstruction. His team appealed the punishment and won. Soi, with countryman Augustine Choge second, held on to third.

Yes, there was a tangle as Farah
approached the home straight but by then the small advantage he had
seized with three laps remaining had vanished. He dived for the line
one-hundredth of a second behind Soi, falling over in the process.

‘I was disappointed,’ said the usually affable Farah, who at first refused to speak to the press, post-race.

‘This is not an Olympic event but it’s a good learning curve. I’ve got to keep my head down and keep training twice as hard.’

Falling down: Mo Farah falls after crossing the line as United States' Bernard Lagat wins the gold

Falling down: Mo Farah falls after crossing the line as United States' Bernard Lagat wins the gold

Flat out: Farah has a gruelling training schedule across the world

Flat out: Farah has a gruelling training schedule across the world

Is that really the answer Does he really think, as he claimed, he has not raced once too often this year

Farah apart, the British medals were rolling in. There was bronze and a new national record of 6.89m for long jumper Shara Proctor from Anguilla, where there is no Olympic association.

She, therefore, will represent Britain. Is that right I have no objection given it is a British territory, though we should note in passing she is based in Florida.

On the podium: Bronze medallist Shara Proctor poses after the long jump

On the podium: Bronze medallist Shara Proctor poses after the long jump

We will also point out that her younger sister Shinelle competed for their homeland in the 60m. It’s all very confusing.

There was also a bronze medal for Holly Bleasdale, the 20-year-old pole vaulter, who cleared 4.70m. She is as cheery and down-to-earth a Lancashire lass as you could wish to find.

Andrew Osagie, born Harlow, Essex, came third in the 800m. No controversy there, just admiration for a running style as fluid as you could ever wish to see.

True Brit: Andrew Osagie came third in the 800m

True Brit: Andrew Osagie came third in the 800m

So on to the women’s 4x400m relay. Shana Cox, born Brooklyn, USA, ran the first leg. She passed the baton to the bona-fide Brits, Nicola Sanders, Christine Ohuruogu, born London, and on to Perri Shakes-Drayton, who held off America’s Sanya Richards-Ross to win gold.

And it was silver for the men’s team after America were reinstated in gold place after first being disqualified for ‘exchanging positions before takeover’.

Taking silver: Conrad Williams, Nigel Levine, Michael Bingham and Richard Buck celebrate coming second in the 4x400 relay

Taking silver: Conrad Williams, Nigel Levine, Michael Bingham and Richard Buck celebrate coming second in the 4×400 relay

Conrad Williams, Nigel Levine, Michael Bingham and Richard Buck were our quartet.

It would be neglectful not to remind ourselves that Mr Bingham hails from North Carolina, USA.

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Imports take GB to medal record

Imports take GB to medal record as Van Commenee eyes Olympic glory

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UPDATED:

02:11 GMT, 12 March 2012

The chief coach of Britain’s athletics team declared they were on target for Olympic glory after rounding off the World Indoor Championships with a flurry of medals on Sunday, including gold in the women’s relay.

The championships dominated by the debate over Plastic Brits ended with a haul of two gold medals, three silvers and four bronzes, beating the previous best performance by a British team at Birmingham in 2003.

Golden girls: (left to right) Perri Shakes-Drayton, Nicola Sanders, Christine Ohurugo and Shana Cox celebrate with their gold medals

Golden girls: (left to right) Perri Shakes-Drayton, Nicola Sanders, Christine Ohurugo and Shana Cox celebrate with their gold medals

‘We have every reason to travel home very happy,’ said Charles van Commenee.

In addition to a women’s 4×400 metres team containing US-born Shana Cox winning gold, there was silver for the men’s 4x400m team and bronzes for pole vaulter Holly Bleasdale, long jumper Shara Proctor and Andrew Osagie in the 800m.

High hopes: Holly Bleasdale won bronze in the pole vault

High hopes: Holly Bleasdale won bronze in the pole vault

Five of the medals were won by athletes who transferred their allegiance to the British cause since 2008.

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Hugh Roberton: British imports should learn National Anthem

Start learning God Save The Queen! Olympics chief fires warning to Plastic Brits

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UPDATED:

15:49 GMT, 9 March 2012

Olympics minister Hugh Robertson has entered the row over 'Plastic Brits' by saying every athlete representing Team GB at the London 2012 Games should know the words to the national anthem.

American-born hurdler Tiffany Porter, who has opted to represent Britain despite living in the USA all her life, was challenged to say the words of 'God Save The Queen' after being named as British team captain for the athletics indoor world championships.

Porter, who has dual nationality via her British mother, insisted she did know the first lines to the anthem, and 5,000m star Mo Farah branded the question 'unacceptable'.

Overcoming hurdles: Tiffany Porter at the World Indoor Championships

Overcoming hurdles: Tiffany Porter at the World Indoor Championships

Other athletes drafted into the British team last year include Cuban-born triple jumper Yamile Aldama, USA's 400m runner Shana Cox and long jumper Shara Proctor of Anguilla. Two Ukrainian women, who had hoped to be named as part of the British wrestling team, learned earlier this month that their applications are unlikely to be approved by the Government.

Robertson insists there should be no fast-tracking of foreign-born athletes into Team GB simply because they might win medals – and that those that are accepted should know the words of God Save The Queen.

He said: 'If you are going to represent Britain at the Olympics then I think it is sensible to know the words of the national anthem.
“I would say that would be even more necessary if you think you are going to win a medal.

'I am pretty clear on this issue – anyone who wants to compete for Great Britain must go hold a British passport or go through the full naturalisation process.

'What I am against is giving special treatment to people simply to allow them to compete for this country.'

Robertson said there were many examples in the history of British sport of people who had moved from other countries but embraced the new team.

'Cricket is a classic case,' he added. 'Allan Lamb came from South Africa to play for England but I would argue now that he is British rather than South African. I would also regard Kevin Pietersen as a bona fide Brit.'

It is not just athletics and wrestling that have been looking abroad to strengthen their teams.

British cycling have announced that German-born 19-year-old Philip Hindes will travel to the world championships in Melbourne in early April and he is a likely member of Team GB at the Olympics.

Hindes has a British father but represented Germany at the junior world championships in 2010 before joining the Great Britain sprint academy at the age of 18.

Speaking after winning her heat in the 60m hurdles to advance to the semi-finals, Porter declined to be drawn on the issue.

'I'm focusing right now on competing and I'm very excited to be here,' she said. 'I'm focusing on doing my best tomorrow and in the finals. Right now I'm just focusing on competing and I'm going to do my very best out here today.'