Tag Archives: sprinter

Oscar Pistorius shooting: How the South African icon was driven by anger

Icon who fell to earth: Poster boy Pistorius had scars that ran so deep

During an interview with Oscar Pistorius in Pretoria last year, our conversation turned to how the South African’s prosthetic legs affected the way he runs. Pistorius had been training on the grass track at the city’s university and it was striking that he moved in an ungainly, fidgety way.

He shifted his weight from side to side when he was not running. Those 2,600 carbon-fibre blades defined him as one of the most iconic athletes on the planet, but they looked cumbersome; painful even.

Questions turned to how being a double amputee impacted on his training regime. How was he able to compete with rivals who were born with fibulae, the bones that connect your knees to your ankles

Historic: Oscar Pistorius in Olympic action in London last year

Historic: Oscar Pistorius in Olympic action in London last year

Pistorius’s oft-repeated argument for his inclusion in able-bodied athletics was ‘there are tens of thousands of people using the same prosthetics I use and there’s no-one running the same times’, but what made Pistorius different from the rest

When asked what it would mean to become the first double amputee to run at the Olympic Games, a remarkable feat he duly achieved some five months later, it was clear he was irritated. Suddenly, the mild exterior of one of sport’s most famous faces clouded over. Pistorius became fractious and prickly.

‘It’s pretty similar to any other athlete,’ said Pistorius. ‘I think it’s a reward for any athlete, after years of training, to progress to a competition like that.’

In the spotlight: Pistorius leaves the Boschkop police station, east of Pretoria

In the spotlight: Pistorius leaves the Boschkop police station, east of Pretoria

In the spotlight: Pistorius leaves the Boschkop police station, east of Pretoria

He was not being modest, just evasive. Pistorius, after all, was not just ‘any athlete’. He redefined what it is to run fast. He challenged the traditional perception of what a sprinter looks like.

Inspirational is a word too often attached to athletes, but it is a description that accurately reflects what Pistorius has achieved on a 400metre track.

His parents took the decision to have his legs amputated below the knees when he was just 11 months old, yet he became a symbol of battling against adversity, recognised across the globe.

No fear: Pistorius poses for Sportsmail's Andy Hooper last year

No fear: Pistorius poses for Sportsmail's Andy Hooper last year

The speed of Pistorius’s rise to prominence has only been beaten by the swiftness with which he has fallen since reports came in of the shooting in the early hours of Thursday morning.

In 2007, the IAAF, athletics’ governing body, said Pistorius’s prosthesic limbs gave him an unfair advantage but he fought the ruling and saw it overturned the following year.

He did not just challenge legislation, however, he transcended athletics and certainly Para-athletics, testing ideas and dividing opinion about what is right and wrong and acceptable in competitive sport.

Happier times: Oscar Pistorius had been with girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp for a couple of months

Happier times: Oscar Pistorius had been with girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp for a couple of months

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE BLADE RUNNER

Born November 1986 without the fibula, the bone that connects the knee to the ankle, in each leg. Has both legs amputated below the knee before his first birthday.

January 2004 Takes up athletics, initially to recover from a rugby injury.

June 2004 Receives his first pair of Ossur Flex-Foot Cheetah legs, Pistorius’ blades.

August 2004 Wins gold and bronze in the T44 200m and 100m at the Paralympics in Athens.

July 2007 Competes for the first time internationally against able-bodied athletes in Rome.

November 2007 Undergoes clinical tests and is then banned from IAAF competition. The organisation say Pistorius’ blades give him an unfair advantage.

May 2008 The Court of Arbitration for Sport over-rules the IAAF decision.

September 2008 Misses qualification for the Olympics by 0.7secs, but wins three golds at the Paralympics in Beijing.

January 2011 Wins three IPC world titles but loses for the first time in seven years over 100m.

August 2011 Qualifies for the IAAF World Championships in Daegu. Wins silver in the 4x400m relay, but misses out on a place in South Africa’s team for the final.

August 2012 Becomes the first double amputee to run at the Olympic Games, reaching the semi-finals of the 400m and the final of the 4x400m. Carries the South African flag at the Paralympic Opening Ceremony and then wins a silver and two gold medals in the 200m, 400m and 4x100m relay.

February 2013 Charged with murder after his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, is shot dead.

SOUTH AFRICAN GOLD MINE

Pistorius’ exploits made him the most famous Paralympic athlete on the planet and one of the sports’ top earners.

Estimated net worth: 3.2million

Estimated sponsorship deals: 3m (inc Nike and BT)

He is the highest-paid Paralympian in the world and last year was rated the eighth highest-paid Olympic athlete.

Yet, despite the countless awards and myriad appearances on chat shows and glossy magazines around the world in his crusade to be seen as a role model, the Blade Runner’s brand continued to be underpinned by his achievements on the track.

His attempt to break the 45-second barrier was set to continue this season before yesterday’s events. Pistorius had spent the last month training with British 400m runner Martyn Rooney in South Africa and was scheduled to contest two events in Australia in March.

He seemed calmer and more at ease than in the frenzied run-up to London 2012 but the burning desire to achieve, the drive that saw him lose 17kg in weight and change his body shape dramatically, remained.

Pistorius has never been afraid to set himself targets. He won three Paralympic gold medals in Beijing after failing to qualify for the Olympics and then told the world he would not miss out again in London. That he achieved that dream by reaching the semi-finals of the 400m is a testament to his self-belief and determination.

Seeing Pistorius swap race numbers with Kirani James, who eventually won 400m gold, after their semi-final provided one of the most touching moments of the Games, yet the South African’s participation was always going to be more significant than his performance.

It was not until the Paralympics that we saw the true sporting icon Pistorius had become. He was the poster boy of the Games; the good-looking South African plastered over adverts for Nike, Thierry Mugler, Oakley and BT in deals worth an estimated 3m a year, a figure that ranks him among athletics’ top earners.

When I visited him last February there was a copy of GQ magazine on the coffee table, heralding Pistorius as South Africa’s best-dressed man. The Blade Runner was the first and, possibly, only Paralympian whom many would have been able to name before the Games began. But then, suddenly, the halo slipped.

Pistorius lost his T44 200m crown to Alan Oliveira and claimed that the Brazilian’s blades were too long. His comments were not only ironic, given his continued insistence that blades did not give him an unfair advantage, but unsportsmanlike and deeply disrespectful. Yet, in the eyes of many, his outburst was the moment the Paralympics became relevant. This was elite sport we could relate to, argue over and dissect. And Pistorius was at the heart of it.

He comfortably retained his 400m crown and won another gold medal in the 4 x 100m relay, but he lost his 100m title in the stand-out race of the Paralympics. It was not Oscar’s name but that of 19-year-old Briton, Jonnie Peacock that was chanted by the sell-out crowd in the Olympic Stadium that evening.

Would there, though, have been a Jonnie without Oscar, the athlete Peacock has described as his ‘hero’ It was Pistorflius’s extraordinary sporting story that seemed to make it possible for a teenager from Cambridge who contracted meningitis when he was five years old.

And now the remarkable narrative of a quite extraordinary athlete has taken the most unimaginable twist.

A BLOODY HISTORY OF TALENT AND TRAGEDY…

Rugby star killed his daughter
Former Springbok rugby player accidentally shot dead his 19-year-old daughter when he mistook her for a car thief in 2004. Her Volkswagen Golf was being driven out of the driveway of their family home at 5am and he shot the driver from his bedroom window, thinking his daughter Marle was in bed.

Troubled end for Belcher
In December 2012, Jovan Belcher, a 25-year-old line-backer for the Kansas City Chiefs, shot his girlfriend dead before driving to the training ground and killing himself in front of his coach. The couple had a three-month-old child.

Life in prison for pitcher Ogawa
Japanese baseball pitcher Hiroshi Ogawa was convicted in September 2005 of killing a 67-year-old woman and was sentenced to life in prison. Deeply in debt, Ogawa stole $20,000 from the chairman of an industrial plant and pushed the housekeeper down the stairs before drowning her in a lake.

Did OJ get away with murder
In June 1994, NFL Hall of Famer OJ Simpson (below) was arrested for the murders of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman but was eventually acquitted. In 2008 he was convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping and is currently serving 33 years.

Rozier’s seven murders
Former American footballer Robert Rozier played for St Louis Cardinals before joining black supremacist cult ‘The Brotherhood’. He admitted to seven murders and was jailed for 22 years in October 1986 after agreeing to testify against other members of the organisation.

'Suicide bid’ went wrong
Jamaican fast bowler Leslie Hylton, who played in six Tests for the West Indies against England, taking 16 wickets, was hanged in May 1955 for the murder of his wife and remains the only cricketer to have ever been executed. Hylton claimed he had been trying to shoot himself but missed.

Mark Cavendish confident of success in 2013

Keep the faith! Cavendish bullish success will come his way in 2013 after switching to Omega

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

09:06 GMT, 2 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:16 GMT, 2 January 2013

Mark Cavendish believes the Omega Pharma-Quick-Step team can propel him back to winning ways.

The 'Manx Missile' struggled to make an impact at Team Sky last year before failing to win a medal at the London Olympics.

But the world’s fastest sprinter has been impressed with the set-up at his new employers.

New beginning: Mark Cavendish has joined up with his team-mates

New beginning: Mark Cavendish has joined up with his team-mates

New beginning: Mark Cavendish has joined up with his team-mates

'I have to say that the first approach with the team in Slovakia and Mallorca during the training camp was great,' Cavendish said.

'When you come to a new group, you never know how it’s going to go or how to behave. Instead, with this group there was immediate synchrony.

'Everyone here, staff and athletes, really loves cycling and is psyched to be a part of this group that has such a great history. For me, it’s important to be a part of this and to feel the faith around me.’

Cavendish will join his team-mates for a training camp in Spain later this week before making his debut at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina later in January.

'I will probably anticipate my arrival in Spain by a few days, so I can get right down to hard work,' he added.

VIDEO: New year, new team for Cav…

‘It’s going to be an important training camp, during which we’re going to be doing a lot of work to prepare for the start of the season,

‘2013 already looks like is going to be full of events. I want to do well and give back to this fantastic group that has placed so much faith in me,

‘The heritage of this team is incredible; it’s been around since 2003. I’m proud to wear this jersey that Tom (Boonen) and the other guys on the team have made unique in the group.

‘Now I, too, want to contribute and feel like this jersey I’m wearing is even more my own.’

Usain Bolt Christmas message to fans on Twitter

Season's greetings from the sprint king! Bolt takes to Twitter to wish fans Merry Christmas

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UPDATED:

18:45 GMT, 23 December 2012

Sprinter Usain Bolt took to Twitter to wish his millions of fans around the world a Merry Christmas.

2012 has been a year to remember for the 26-year-old Jamaican after he starred at the London Olympic Games by claiming the 100m, 200m and 4x100m titles.

Bolt became the only man to have retained both individual sprint golds and helped his team become the first to run under 37 seconds in the relay.

After winning the 200m title, he said: ‘I'm a living legend. I was fast, but I was not fit enough.’

Merry Christmas: Usain Bolt uses his famous pose to wish fans all the best for the season

Merry Christmas: Usain Bolt uses his famous pose to wish fans all the best for the season

Sprint king: Usain Bolt proved his dominance at the Olympic Games by winning the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay

Sprint king: Usain Bolt proved his dominance at the Olympic Games by winning the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay

Flying across the line: Bolt wins the 100m at the Olympics

Flying across the line: Bolt wins the 100m at the Olympics

His sixth Games gold made him the most decorated Olympic sprinter of all-time.

And Bolt posted a message on his
Twitter account with a picture of him celebrating in London with three
Christmas baubles replaced by his gold medals.

Last week, he added another gong to his collection as he was named the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year.

On receiving the award he said: 'It was a great Olympics, a great year and I worked really hard.'

Golden moment: Bolt celebrates after being presented with his 100m gold

Golden moment: Bolt celebrates after being presented with his 100m gold

Trading places: Bolt celebrates with Great Britain's Mo Farah

Trading places: Bolt celebrates with Great Britain's Mo Farah

Watch a re-run of the Olympic 100m final below

Roberto Martinez confirms signing of Roger Espinoza

Two out, one in! Martinez loses Lopez and McCarthy through injury but confirms Espinoza

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UPDATED:

20:19 GMT, 19 December 2012

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has revealed defender Adrian Lopez could be sidelined for 10 weeks with the hamstring tear he suffered in Saturday's defeat at Norwich.

James McCarthy's ankle problem, sustained in the same game, appears to have been only a short-term setback, but for Lopez the verdict was far from encouraging.

Martinez told the Wigan Evening Post: 'We are waiting on the results of another scan, but Adrian has a tear to his hamstring and it will probably be between six and 10 weeks.

'It's a shame': Wigan defender Adrian Lopez (left) could be out for up to 10 weeks after injuring his hamstring in the defeat against Norwich

'It's a shame': Wigan defender Adrian Lopez (left) could be out for up to 10 weeks after injuring his hamstring in the defeat against Norwich

'It's a shame because Adrian has never had a soft-tissue injury before.

'He is a sprinter and he has a real sprinter's muscles – you don't usually see people like him picking up this kind of injury.'

Wigan's Adrian Lopez

Blow: Lopez had played Wigan's last five games, coming into the side as defenders Ivan Ramis, Antolin Alcaraz and Gary Caldwell have all suffered injuries

Midfielder McCarthy had to be substituted at half-time at Carrow Road after being left with a hurt ankle following what Latics manager Martinez branded a 'nasty challenge'.

Martinez has since received an update on McCarthy's situation, and said: 'We've had the scan and he has a sprain in his ankle, and we need to see how that develops.

'Any sort of injury is disappointing, although we are relieved that it is not a really bad tear to his ligament.

James McCarthy

Too early: Midfielder James McCarthy has been working hard to play against Arsenal Saturday, but according to Roberto Martinez, it's 'too early to tell'

'He's been working really hard this past two days, accelerating the recovery process, but it's too early to tell if he'll be okay for the weekend.'

Wigan, who have dropped into the relegation zone, play Arsenal in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday.

Defenders Gary Caldwell, Ivan Ramis (both hamstring) and Antolin Alcaraz (groin) could return, while midfielder Ben Watson, who fractured his shin in November, is to have his cast removed tomorrow.

Wigan defender Gary Caldwell

Wigan defender Ivan Ramis

Injuries: Wigan have also been without defenders Gary Caldwell (left), Ivan Ramis (right) and Antolin Alcaraz (not pictured) at various stages this season

Martinez was delighted to have confirmation that Sporting Kansas City's versatile Honduras midfielder Roger Espinoza will be joining Wigan in January after being granted permission to work in the UK.

'He is someone who physically is really capable and has a gifted left foot,' Martinez told www.wiganlatics.co.uk.

'Having someone with such a good left foot gives a balance to the squad because most players are primarily right-footed.

'He's developed his tactical awareness and has learned how to play in different systems.

'Roger can play in any position in the midfield and can even play out in a wide left position, so we are delighted to capture a player with such versatility and stature.'

Reinforcements: Roberto Martinez has confirmed the signing of versatile Honduran midfielder Roger Espinoza

Reinforcements: Roberto Martinez has confirmed the signing of versatile Honduran midfielder Roger Espinoza from MLS side Sporting Kansas City

Oscar Pistorius beats Arabian horse Maserati in race in Doha

Oscar 1 Horse 0: Pistorius races against Arabian stud Maserati in Doha… and WINS

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UPDATED:

23:04 GMT, 12 December 2012

Oscar Pistorius has never baulked at a challenge. The sprinter was a star of both the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer, but his latest feat is little more on the obscure side.

The South African athlete raced against an Arabian horse named Maserati in Doha… and won!

Pistorius, who is nicknamed the “Blade
Runner” because of his carbon fibre running blades, outran the Arabian stud over 115metres in the
‘Run Like The Wind’ challenge at the Aspire Zone outdoor circuit.

Scroll down for video…

Miles ahead: The crowds cheered Oscar Pistorius as he bounds way ahead of the horse

Miles ahead: The crowds cheered Oscar Pistorius as he bounds way ahead of the horse

And the winner is...: Oscar Pistorius capitalised on a 15metre start over the horse in Doha

And the winner is…: Oscar Pistorius capitalised on a 15metre start over the horse in Doha

In the shadows: Maserati (right) was unable to catch up to the Olympian and Paralympian sprinter

In the shadows: Maserati (right) was unable to catch up to the Olympian and Paralympian sprinter

The athlete, who reached the 400m semi-finals in London and also ran in the 4x400m relay final to realise his boyhood dream of competing at the able-bodied Games, took full advantage of starting 15 metres in front of Maserati, who made a sluggish start to the race.

The sprinter, who was born without
the fibula bones in both legs, was taking part in the Definitely Able
campaign to highlight how Paralympians have contributed in sport.

After the race, Pistorius said: 'It wasnt about who won today, it was about just coming out here and showing people that those with disabilities are not to be stereotyped against.

'Thanks to everybody who came out here, we had a good night and hopefully that will do a lot to change perceptions of people with disabilities in this region.'

The Qatar Olympic committee tweeted:
‘Never mind run @OscarPistorius flew past #Arabian stud at
the#RunLikeTheWind #DefinitelyAble campaign.’

In his wake: Pistorius was grinning after the race

In his wake: Pistorius was grinning after the race

Earlier this week at Doha Goals, a
gathering of the leaders of sport in Abu Dhabi, said: ‘Arabian horses
[are] an iconic thing of the region. It is just a very special kind of
thing to do.

'I think it is going to be an amazing spectacle.’

Another victory: Oscar Pistorius beat the horse over 115m

Another victory: Oscar Pistorius beat the horse over 115m

Another victory: Oscar Pistorius beat the horse over 115m

The 26-year-old lit up the Olympic
Park stadium in this summer's Olympics, and won two gold medals and a
silver in the Paralympic Games.

The race was not the first time athletes have competed against horses with some of the most notable champions such as 1936 Olympics hero Jesse Owens and 1992 Olympic 100m gold medallist Linford Christie also going up against their four-legged friends, who generally out-paced their human rivals.

Pistorius is not even the first South African to run against an animal. Rugby player Bryan Habana ran against a cheetah in 2007.

Fair fight Pistorius' fellow South African Bryan Habana raced a cheetah in 2007

Fair fight Pistorius' fellow South African Bryan Habana raced a cheetah in 2007

Champion: Olympic legend Jesse Owens also raced against a horse

Champion: Olympic legend Jesse Owens also raced against a horse

VIDEO: Watch Oscar take on the horse Maserati in Doha

Sprinter Sacre wins Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown

Sprinter Sacre storms to Tingle Creek Chase victory at Sandown on seasonal debut

PUBLISHED:

16:02 GMT, 8 December 2012

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UPDATED:

16:19 GMT, 8 December 2012

Sprinter Sacre ran out a hugely-impressive winner of the the Sportingbet Tingle Creek Chase on his seasonal bow at Sandown.

Nicky Henderson's charge arrived unbeaten in five chase starts last term and he extended that run to six in the hands of Barry Geraghty.

Deeply impressive: Sprinter Sacre and Barry Geraghty jump the last

Deeply impressive: Sprinter Sacre and Barry Geraghty jump the last

Assuming control from the Pond Fence, the 4-11 favourite accelerated away to claim the Grade One prize by 15 lengths.

Sprinter Sacre ran out a hugely-impressive winner of the the Sportingbet Tingle Creek Chase on his seasonal bow at Sandown.

Nicky Henderson's charge arrived
unbeaten in five chase starts last term and he extended that run to six
in the hands of Barry Geraghty.

Assuming control from the Pond Fence, the 4-11 favourite accelerated away to claim the Grade One prize by 15 lengths.

Henderson said: 'He has got the 'wow'
factor. It's been a long time since Aintree and I admit to being
petrified about Sanctuaire.

All too easy: Barry Geraghty takes a peek over his shoulder

All too easy: Barry Geraghty takes a peek over his shoulder

'I knew that horse had got pace and
would put it into the race which would stretch anybody and it was as
soft as our fellow would ever want to go on. “He's just class isn't he

'I knew that I had something a bit special and I just wanted it to stay that way.

'That's as good a two-mile chase as you'll ever see.

'He will probably go for the Victor
Chandler and Cheltenham, I don't know for sure, but there aren't that
many options and then on to Aintree or Punchestown.'

Sprinter scores: Barry Geraghty shows his delight after Tingle Creek success

Sprinter scores: Barry Geraghty shows his delight after Tingle Creek success

Geraghty partnered Moscow Flyer to
win 10 Grade One chases, including two Queen Mother Champion Chases, and
he believes Sprinter Sacre compares favourably.

He added: 'He's the closest I have ridden to Moscow. Time will tell (if he will be as good) but he's going the right way. “He's the most natural I have ever ridden and so far, so good.'

All smiles: Geraghty (right) and trainer Nicky Henderson

All smiles: Geraghty (right) and trainer Nicky Henderson

Vote for Sanctuaire as big Nicholls hope for Sandown has the X Factor

Vote for Sanctuaire as big Nicholls hope for Sandown has the X Factor

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UPDATED:

20:18 GMT, 7 December 2012

The people at ITV will have you
believe that all this weekend's fireworks are reserved for the X Factor
final but, for National Hunt fans, there are two explosive chasers at
Sandown today for whom that description fits adroitly.

Both Sprinter Sacre and SANCTUAIRE
(Sandown, 3.05) boast the star quality that X Factor finalists can only
dream of, although the progression through the series of favourite James
Arthur does in a way mirror that of Sanctuaire.

tale of the tingle tape

Peter Scudamore's view

The Tingle Creek Chase provides the clash between Sanctuaire and Sprinter Sacre that we’ve been waiting for since the Spring and, with both unbeaten over fences, something has to give. My worry is the ground is going to play a part. Jockey Peter Buchanan, who landed the big race yesterday on Bold Sir Brian, described conditions on Sandown’s chase course as ‘hard-work ground’.

The big two have both had breathing operations in the past. You can never be totally confident how they will react in arduous going.
I’d also be concerned that the ground will negate the immense jumping of Sprinter Sacre. He is a horse with natural spring in his legs. His technique last year was outstanding and some of his leaps spectacular.

His defeat of Cue Card at the Cheltenham Festival was a piece of form to drool over. He has already shown the potential to be not only the most exciting steeplechaser in training but also the best pound for pound across the distance spectrum. Despite my concerns I can’t desert the Nicky Henderson-trained favourite.

A troubled soul at the start of the
series, the talented Arthur has prospered due to a strict regime of
rehearsal and training and much the same can be said of the headstrong
Sanctuaire

It is only in the past 12 months that trainer Paul Nicholls and his team has managed to resolve the physical and mental issues that were stopping his charge from ascending the chasing tree.

The result has been three unblemished chasing victories by an aggregate margin of 74 lengths, two of which were achieved at today's venue.

It is those front-running demolitions that Sanctuaire's supporters will put their faith in as he bids to see off the imposing claims of Sprinter Sacre.

Nicky Henderson's hot favourite is yet to taste defeat over fences.

A six-length defeat of Cue Card in the Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival looks all the more creditable given the runner-up's subsequent efforts.

However, Sanctuaire's experience of the tricky Sandown fences could prove decisive in springing a mini surprise.

Craig Pickering swaps sprinting for bobsleigh

Cool Runnings! Just like the film, Olympian Pickering swaps sprinting for bobsleigh

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UPDATED:

10:28 GMT, 7 December 2012

Olympic sprinter Craig Pickering has quit athletics and joined the Great Britain bobsleigh team in a bid to make the 2014 Winter Games.

The 26-year-old, who competed in the 100metres at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, missed out on making this year’s London Games after suffering an injury that required surgery on his back.

In October he lost his UK Athletics funding and has since decided to try his hand at the bobsleigh instead.

All change: Craig Pickering (second left) hopes to compete in the bobsleigh

All change: Craig Pickering (second left) hopes to compete in the bobsleigh

‘It’s been frustrating because I felt good enough to get funding,’ Pickering told BBC Sport.

‘But I’ve been in athletics for so long I started to feel a bit jaded. This is a new challenge I’m really excited by.

‘It’s great to have another opportunity and to go to a Winter and Summer Games, which not many people have done, would be incredible.

‘I do hope I can help [GB bobsleigh], but with their recent results I know I’m going to have to push myself really hard.

‘I am not in it just for Sochi [2014 Olympics] and then heading off back to athletics, I am in it because I want to do it for a long time.

Struggles: Pickering failed to make London 2012 after suffering from injury

Struggles: Pickering failed to make London 2012 after suffering from injury

‘Bobsleigh training and athletics training isn’t as different as people will think and the initial plan is to do some indoor athletics as well as bobsleigh and ease into the new regime.

‘Ultimately I want to help them be in the mix for a medal [in Sochi 2014] and all of my efforts will be in that,” he added.

The British bobsleigh team have been in impressive form in their early part of the season, with the men’s team currently ranked fourth in the world.

GB performance director Gary Anderson said: ‘Our performances across the board have been exactly what we required in this important pre-Olympic season.’

From the track to the ice…

Craig Pickering is not the first to make the switch from the track to the bobsleigh..

Marcus Adam won 200m gold at the 1990 Commonwealth Games before changing sports.

He competed in the two-man bobsleigh event at the 2002 Winter Olympics, finishing 10th.

Dean Macey and Jason Gardener

Former Commonwealth decathlon gold medallist Dean Macey also took up the bobsleigh after his retirement from athletics in 2008.

He finished six at the 2008 British Bobsleigh Championships with former sprinter Jason Gardener and failed to reach the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

… and don't forget Cool Runnings!

In the classic film, which is loosely based on the true story of the Jamaican bobsled team's debut in the 1988 Winter Olympics, 100m sprinter Derice Bannock is convinced to compete after failing to qualify for the summer Olympics.

He is joined by Sanka Coffie, Yul Brenner and Junior Bevel and the quartet enjoys some success before crashing spectacularly.

Frankel settling into new home at Banstead Manor Stud

Frankel's back at start as world's greatest settles into stud where he was born

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UPDATED:

16:18 GMT, 8 November 2012

Feline fine: Frankel meets his new friend at Banstead

Feline fine: Frankel meets his new friend at Banstead

Frankel, the world's highest-rated racehorse, has begun settling into his new home after he left Sir Henry Cecil’s stable and returned to his birthplace, Banstead Manor Stud.

The Newmarket stud, just a few miles from Cecil's stable, will be where Frankel's new career as a stallion for Juddmonte Farms will start next year.

Philip Mitchell, the stud's general manager, said: 'In the foaling unit on February 11, 2008, at 11.40pm, little did we realise that we were witnessing the birth of a phenomenal racehorse.

'The rest as they say is history. And it is now extremely exciting that Frankel will be returning to the Stallion Unit at Banstead, some 500 yards from where he was born.'

Frankel is retired to stud as the winner of all 14 of his races, 10 of which came at Group One level. His glittering racing career came to end when he won the Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 20.

Paying tribute to his champion, Cecil said: 'There is no doubt Frankel has been a brilliant racehorse. I am pretty certain that there has never been a better or more talented thoroughbred.

Greatest: The unbeaten Frankel has been retired to stud back at his birthplace

Greatest: The unbeaten Frankel has been retired to stud back at his birthplace

Greatest: The unbeaten Frankel has been retired to stud back at his birthplace

‘He had the speed to be a champion sprinter and then, once he grew up and settled, he got a distance with a turn of foot that makes champions.

'Today is a sad day in some ways for us as he has given us so much pleasure over the last three years. But I want to thank Frankel for so much – for being such a very special part of my training career. Thank you, Frankel.'

Jessica Ennis shortlisted for Athlete of the Year

Golden girl Ennis shortlisted for prestigious award after stunning Olympic success

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UPDATED:

12:23 GMT, 6 November 2012

Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis is among the three finalists shortlisted for the 2012 World Female Athlete of the Year.

The 26-year-old, who won gold in front of her home crowd at this year's London Games, is in contention for the award alongside American sprinter Allyson Felix and New Zealand shot putter Valerie Adams.

Golden girl: Jessica Ennis won the heptathlon at the London Olympics

Golden girl: Jessica Ennis won the heptathlon at the London Olympics

Felix was a double Olympic champion with victories in the 200m and 4x400m relay, while 2008 Olympic champion Adams was awarded a second successive gold after Nadzeya Ostapchuk was stripped of the title following a failed drugs test.

The shortlist for the men's award was announced on Monday, with Usain Bolt, Aries Merritt and David Rudisha in contention.

Done it! Ennis will now hope to be named Athlete of the Year

Done it! Ennis will now hope to be named Athlete of the Year

The winners of both categories will be announced on November 24 in Barcelona.