A 39-strong squad has been announced as part of the Aviva Great Britain & Northern Ireland team for the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey 9 – 11 March.
The team is led by Jessica Ennis who will be in the Pentathlon and Mo Farrah who will be going in the 3,000m. The event allows many top British athletes to step up there preparations for the Olympics later in the year.
Dwain Chambers will look to defend his 60m title, while Robbie Grabarz who has had a great start to the season will look to take a medal in the High Jump.
On the womens side Yamile Aldama will look to win a medal in the Triple Jump at the age of 40. Young Pole Vaulter Holly Bleasdale will be looking to win her first major medal.
Aviva GB & NI Team:
Dwain Chambers (self-coached) – Belgrave (PB: 6.42 SB: 6.58)
*Andy Robertson (Sam Robertson) – Sale Harriers (PB: 6.61 SB: 6.61)
Nigel Levine (Linford Christie) – Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow (PB: 45.71 SB: 45.71)
Richard Buck (Steve Fudge) – City of York (PB: 45.88 SB: 45.88)
Joe Thomas (Arwyn Davies) – Cardiff (PB: 1:46.35 SB: 1:46.35)
Andrew Osagie (Craig Winrow) – Harlow (PB: 1:46.53 SB: 1:46.53)
Lewis Moses (John Nuttall) – New Marske (PB: 3:41.33 SB: 3:41.33)
James Brewer (Craig Winrow) – Cheltenham (PB: 3:38.03 SB: 3:38.03)
Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar) – Newham & Essex (PB: 7:34.47 SB: 7:37.4)
Andy Pozzi (Malcolm Arnold) – Stratford-Upon-Avon (PB: 7.62 SB: 7.62)
Samson Oni (Trevor Llewelyn) – Belgrave (PB: 2.31 SB: 2.31)
Robbie Grabarz (Fuzz Ahmed) – Newham & Essex (PB: 2.34 SB: 2.34)
Steve Lewis (Dan Pfaff) – Newham & Essex (PB: 5.72 SB: 5.72)
*Andrew Sutcliffe (Julien Raffalli-Ebezant) – Sale Harriers (PB: 5.55 SB: 5.55)
*JJ Jegede (Peter Stanley) – Newham & Essex (PB: 8.04 SB: 8.04)
Nigel Levine (Linford Christie) – Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow
Richard Buck (Steve Fudge) – City of York
Conrad Williams (Linford Christie) – Kent
Michael Bingham (Kevin Tyler) – Birchfield
James Forman (Andy Forman) – Isle of Wight
Luke Lennon Ford (Linford Christie) – Birchfield
Asha Philip (Christine Bowmaker) – Newham & Essex (PB: 7.19 SB: 7.19)
Jodie Williams (Mike McFarlane) – Herts Phoenix (PB: 7.21 SB: 7.29)
Shana Cox (Lloyd Cowan) – Woodford Green Essex Ladies (PB: 52.16 SB: 52.18)
Nadine Okyere (Joe Caines) – Birchfield (PB:53.01 SB:53.01)
Marilyn Okoro (Ayo Falola) – Shaftesbury Barnet (PB: 1:59.27 SB: 2:02.62)
Helen Clitheroe (John Nuttall) – Preston (PB: 8:39.81 SB: 8:45.59)
Tiffany Porter (James Henry) – Woodford Green Essex Ladies (PB: 7.80 SB: 7.93)
Holly Bleasdale (Julien Raffalli- Ebezant) – Blackburn (PB: 4.87 SB: 4.87)
Katie Byres (Julien Raffalli- Ebezant) – Sale Harriers (PB: 4.52 SB: 4.52)
Shara Proctor (Rana Reider) – Birchfield (PB: 6.80 SB: 6.80)
Yamile Aldama (Frank Attoh) – Shaftesbury Barnet (PB: 14.90 SB: 14.09)
Jessica Ennis (Toni Minichiello) – Sheffield (PB: 4937)
Shana Cox (Lloyd Cowan) – Woodford Green Essex Ladies
Nadine Okyere (Joe Caines) – Birchfield
Nicola Sanders (Tony Lester) Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow
Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan) – Newham & Essex
Perri Shakes-Drayton (Chris Zah) – Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets
Laura Langowski (Nick Dakin) – Coventry
*Subject to qualification standard reached by 27 February
The WGC World Matchplay gets under way today. The format adds a new twist to golf as players are paired up to compete against each other. The worlds top 64 go to Arizona with the aim of winning the £900,000 first prize. Reigning champion Luke Donald opens up against South African Ernie Els. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano is in bullish mood ahead of his game against Tiger Woods and believes he can defeat the former World number one. Paul Casey meanwhile has had to withdraw from the event and has been replaced by another South African George Coetzee, he has now been given the task of taking on Rory McIlroy.
With so many top players at the event the winner could be any of the 64. My choices for each quarter of the draw will be Luke Donald, you can’t look past the world number one and defending champion, but with players such as Adam Scott and KJ Choi in his quarter it wont be an easy route to the final. In the second quarter I will have to go for Ian Poulter, he has McIlroy in his quarter but he has great experience in these events through the Ryder Cup. He has an unknown to me South Korean in the first round. Bubba Watson will be my pick for the third quarter, big hitting he will put anyone he plays under pressure to come up with some bg shots to counter act this. In the bottom quarter I will throw in a bit of a wildcard in Matteo Manassero a youngster he will not have much fear and nothing to lose in the event.
FULL FIRST ROUND DRAW
Luke Donald (Eng) v Ernie Els (SA)
Jason Dufner (US) v Peter Hanson (Swe)
KJ Choi (Kor) v Kyle Stanley (US)
Brandt Snedeker (US) v Retief Goosen (SA)
Adam Scott (Aus) v Robert Rock (Eng)
Bo Van Pelt (US) v Mark Wilson (US)
Dustin Johnson (US) v Jim Furyk (US)
Thomas Bjorn (Den) v Francesco Molinari (Ita)
Rory McIlroy (NI) v George Coetzee (SA)
Kim Kyung-tae (Kor) v Anders Hansen (Den)
Sergio Garcia (Spa) v Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa)
Keegan Bradley (US) v Geoff Ogilvy (Aus)
Jason Day (Aus) v Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa)
Simon Dyson (Eng) v John Senden (Aus)
Charl Schwartzel (SA) v Gary Woodland (US)
Ian Poulter (Eng) v Bae Sang-moon (Kor)
Martin Kaymer (Ger) v Greg Chalmers (Aus)
David Toms (US) v Rickie Fowler (US)
Matt Kuchar (US) v Jonathan Byrd (US)
Bubba Watson (US) v Ben Crane (US)
Steve Stricker (US) v Kevin Na (US)
Louis Oosthuizen (SA) v Aaron Baddeley (Aus)
Graeme McDowell (NI) v Yang Yong-eun (Kor)
Hunter Mahan (US) v Zach Johnson (US)
Lee Westwood (Eng) v Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel)
Robert Karlsson (Swe) v Fredrik Jacobson (Swe)
Nick Watney (US) v Darren Clarke (NI)
Tiger Woods (US) v Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa)
Webb Simpson (US) v Matteo Manassero (Ita)
Alvaro Quiros (Spa) v Martin Laird (Sco)
Bill Haas (US) v Ryo Ishikawa (Jap)
Justin Rose (Eng) v Paul Lawrie (Sco)
Former World Number 1 tennis player Caroline Wozniacki has feathers ruffled by legend Navratilova.
The Scandinavian Darts Corporation (SDC) has now formed in co-operation with authorities in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, as well as UNICORN Products and Precision Sports Management.
The current qualifiers for Scandinavain countries has now been scrapped!!
The PDC are putting in 40,000 euros over 4 weekends in which two events will be hosted (8 in total)
02-03. June Denmark
Each event will count towards an OOM, in which seeding for each event will be used, (the initial event will be seeded based on PDC rankings). At the end of the season the prizes for those in the OOM are:
The Winner will have direct entry into 1 round by Ladbrokes.Com World Darts Championship + Tour Card for 2013-14
Runner Up Entry into the first round by Ladbrokes. Com World Darts Championship + Free entry to Q-school 2013
3rd, 4th and 5th Free entry to Q-school 2013
The player who lies 1st at the end of August, will represent his country and SDC at the European Championships in Germany 2012.
Prize money at each SDC event per day:
Winner : 1,100 EURO
Runner Up : 600 EURO
Semi-finalists : 300 EURO
Quarter-finalists : 200 EURO
9-16 : 125 EURO
17-32 : 50 EURO
Total prize money per day : 5,000 EURO
Total prize amount for all 8 events : 40,000 EURO
In the next 24 months they hope to expand the prize fund and hae at least one event on tv.
UNICORN Products sponsors the tournament lanes for all 3 countries.
Both UNICORN Products and Precision Sports Management are represented by 1 person each in SDC’s board of directors and its composition is as follow:
Chairman Michael Frydendahl DDL Denmark
Chief Executive Officer Danny Cox PSM England
Event Director Jann Hoffmann DDL Denmark
Board member Heli Sorsa PDF Finland
Board member Richard Hagel PDS Sweden
Board member Edward Lowy Unicorn Products-England
The aquatics center that will host the Olympic Swimming and Diving events will be receiving a good workout over the next few days as competitors from over 44 countries will turn up and compete at the World Cup event.
The event will also allow team GB the opportunity to qualify an athlete in to the 4 remaining events that no one has yet qualified for. These include the men’s and women’s 3m springboard and women’s 10m platform. 8 Olympic events already have athletes from GB qualified in them. This weeks events will allow athletes to look towards the olympics and begin to familiarise themselves with the arena. However even though some positions have been secured for Great Britain at the London Olympics, divers will have to wait until their national trials in June before learning which athletes will be selected for Team GB.
Team GB s led by 17 year-old Tom Daley. Daley has been a star on the rise over the last few years and will look to add to his trophy cabinet as he partners experienced Pete Waterfield in the 10m synchronised event. Other names looking to draw support from the partisan crowd will include 3m springboard rising star Jack Laugher, who claimed to National titles last month and 3m synchro pair Nick Robinson-Baker and Chris Mears. For the women events look no further than the 10m platform divers Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow came closest to the podium than any other GB divers at last year’s World Championships, finishing just outside the medals in the synchronised event.
To follow the latest throughout the London World Cup check: http://www.swimming.org/britishswimming/diving
Courtesy of BBC Sport:
England took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the four-match one-day international series with Pakistan following an emphatic nine-wicket victory in Dubai.
Kevin Pietersen, who averaged 11 in the Test series, hit two sixes in 111 not out, his first ODI hundred since 2008.
Pietersen shared 170 with skipper Alastair Cook (80), England’s highest opening partnership against Pakistan.
Shahid Afridi (51) and Umar Akmal (50) put on 79 as Pakistan mustered 222 but England won with 76 balls remaining.
As quickly as England’s confidence began to evaporate in the 3-0 Test whitewash earlier this month, their complete dominance of the one-day matches has reduced Pakistan to a team bereft of answers.
It also continues a timely return to form for the limited overs team following their 5-0 whitewash in India late last year.
Cook, combining touch with controlled power he was once thought not to possess, looked certain to become the first England batsman to score three successive ODI hundreds but got a thin edge behind off Saeed Ajmal.
The renaissance of Pietersen, who had scored only 107 runs in eight international innings on the tour, is a significant bonus, and after successive half century stands he took his fledgling partnership with Cook at the top of the innings to new heights.
For once Cook lost the toss but his star fast bowler Steven Finn quickly put England in command.
Finn, who had taken 4-34 in both the first two matches, again displayed an exemplary line and length, collecting 2-14 from his first six overs, drawing Imran Farhat into an edge and trapping Mohammad Hafeez lbw with a full delivery that nipped back.
Stuart Broad’s spell began in horrific fashion, spraying short and wide, and four boundaries came off his opening over, including one from a free hit following a no-ball which denied him the wicket of Hafeez when he had been caught at backward point.
Three wickets fell in as many overs, Broad finding far greater reward when pitching the ball up and forcing catches behind and at slip.
A partnership of 47 from 67 balls revived the innings but the fifth wicket fell when replays showed Asad Shafiq’s bat was in the air as he dived for the crease after being sent back.
That brought in Afridi in the 22nd over and one more wicket could well have sparked a rapid end to the innings.
The severity of the situation did not affect the former skipper’s approach, and he played his usual array of outrageously cavalier strokes, although not always making contact.
Such was the crowd’s desire to see their hero they cheered on the rare occasions he chose to play defensive shots but he quickly found his touch and launched Graeme Swann for a gargantuan six down the ground as the fifty stand came up in 68 balls, Afridi’s contribution 32.
The purposeful Umar took advantage of a dropped catch by unpredictable wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter when on 28 – much to the chagrin of Broad – to provide the ideal foil for the charismatic Afridi.
England brought back Finn to break the partnership during the batting powerplay but Afridi took the only boundary off the giant fast bowler with a lofted drive.
It was a sensational catch that made the breakthrough in the 40th over.
Samit Patel belied critics of his physique to swoop superbly at mid-wicket and scoop up a looping chance one-handed millimetres from the turf to dismiss Umar.
Much to the dismay of the crowd Afridi succumbed in the next over, bowled through the gate and off the pad trying to whip James Anderson through the leg-side.
Finn returned to collect his third wicket, his 11th of the series, and though Umar Gul hit two sixes Pakistan’s total looked inadequate, which was borne out by the fluent start to England’s reply.
Gul sent down a 10-ball over and was pulled for six by Cook as England raced to 40-0 from five overs, prompting Pakistan to turn to spin.
Cook and Pietersen continued in positive vein, however, and recorded their third successive fifty partnership, with 60 scored in the first 10 overs.
Pietersen, beginning to return to his swaggering best, danced down the wicket to smash Afridi over his head for six and the century stand arrived in 102 balls.
He was reprieved on 45 when Azhar Ali spilled a routine chance in the deep but passed 4,000 ODI runs with a magnificent straight six and was soon clipping the ball through mid-wicket and driving on the up in vintage fashion.
Despite the loss of his captain in the 29th over, Pietersen ended a run of 36 ODI innings without a hundred and England will look to complete a 4-0 whitewash when the series concludes on Tuesday.
In England this weekend we saw the FA Cup 6th round take place. With both Manchester United and Manchester City already eliminated from the competition it will allow other teams in the Premiership to look at the FA Cup as a realistic shot at winning a trophy.
On Saturday we saw both Arsenal and Chelsea struggle, while the biggest upset came in the game involving Premiership team Norwich.
Norwich at home in this tie were playing Championship side Leicester. The visitors got off to a great start as Sean St Ledger scored with a header in just the 5th minute. This goal was scored after a flurry of corners from Leicester resulted in St Ledger rising above Steve Morison at the near post to glance the ball into the Norwich goal. Following the goal Leicester continued to attack and had a call for a penalty turned down by referee Mike Dean. Soon after the game turned as Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel conceded a penalty. Schmeichel lived up to the name with a fantastic save from Wes Hoolahan but having dived to his left the ball spun straight back into the takers feet and Hoolahan tied the match.
Into the second half Norwich started to dominate the game and Leicester were pushed all the way in defence. Both Wellens and Koncheskey had to make some good blocks to stop Norwich from taking the lead. However, with 19 minutes remaining former England International David Nugent showed some class by collecting the ball in the Norwich half, he evaded a challenge from Barnett and skipped into the area before applying a cool finish for his third goal in two games – and his 13th of the campaign. This goal sealed the match for Leicester as they hung on to victory and move into the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup.
For both Arsene Wenger and Andre Villas-Boas there positions as manager were put under even more pressure. Aresnal were sent packing out of the cup by Sunderland. Resurgent under manager Martin O’Neil Sunderland have been on a very good run of form. With a goal in each half Sunderland now progress to the next round, leaving Arsene Wenger and Arsenal looking at a 7th successive trophy less year. Richardson put the hosts ahead just before half time. His shot taking a deflection leaving Arsenal goalkeeper Fabianski with no chance. As the second half progressed Arsenal pressed for a goal but it was Sunderland who grabbed a second Sebastian Larsson’s shot was put into his own net by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. It was an unfortunate moment for the 18-year-old, who was one of Arsenal’s more impressive performers on a dark day for the club. Coming just a few days after the 4-0 defeat by AC Milan in the Champions League Arsene Wenger will now be under immense pressure to turn the fortune of club around.
Chelsea meanwhile struggled against Championship side Birmingham to heap pressure on AVB. A poor season that seems likely to indicate Chelsea have fallen behind the Manchester clubs will not have got much better over the weekend. Chelsea, below par in the first half, went behind to a close range strike from David Murphy. Moments later Chelsea were awarded a penalty but Birmingham goaly Colin Doyle saved superbly from Juan Mata. In the second half Chelsea pushed for parity and youngster Daniel Sturridge scored just after the hour when his beautifully guided header, from Ivanovic’s cross, nestled in the far corner of the Birmingham net.
In other ties of the FA Cup 6th round, Bolton scored a comfortable 2-0 win against Millwall, and Everton defeated Blackpool with the same scoreline. On Sunday Stoke defeated League 2 Crawley with yet another 2-0 victory. Stoke led by manager Tony Pulis will b looking to go one step further in the competition after finishing as runner-up in last years final. Tottenham struggled to find any rhythm as they were held to a goalless draw by League 1 Stevenage. The final math of the round saw Liverpool claim a 6-1 victory over Brighton. Brighton creating a bit of history by being the first team in the FA Cup to score 3 own goals in a single match. The match also saw Andy Caroll score again as he looks to find the form that brought him the big money move to Liverpool.
The draw for the Quarter Finals was made on Sunday evening:
FA Cup quarter-finals draw
Liverpool v Stoke City
Chelsea/Birmingham City v Leicester City
Stevenage/Tottenham Hotspur v Bolton Wanderers
Everton v Sunderland
The Cycling World Cup is being held this weekend at the Olympic velodrome. The event, doubling up as the test event ahead of the Olympics, sees many of the top track cyclists go head to head in the build up to the greatest show on earth. cycling has long been a sport that the Great British team can expect to see many medals with many of the team hoping to strike Gold.
In this first event in the London velodrome the track is already proving to be one of the fastest ever. Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish set a new world best of 32.754 seconds as they beat Kaarle McCulloch and Anna Meares of Australia in the team sprint. Courtesy of BBC :Women’s Sprint Team claim WR
Following the fantastic performance by the sprint Queens, Dani King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell then beat Canada in a record 3:18.148 in the team pursuit final.
There was however some disappointment for the British team as the mens sprint team of Ross Edgar, Jason Kenny and Sir Chris Hoy missed out on a final place in the qualifying session, Germany went on to beat France for gold in the evening, as Gret Britain defeated Australia to claim the Bronze Medal. Sir Chris commented on the event by saying “The wall of noise when you’re on the track is unbelievable.
“We all had lumps in our throat when Vicky and Jess were on the podium and it’s hard not to get caught up in that emotion.
“I believe the crowd have been a decisive factor in our performances today. Goodness knows what it will be like in a few months’ time.”
The competition continue over the weekend as many more of Great Britain’s hopefuls continue on their path towards the Olympics.
Tha Aviva Grand Prix took place on Saturday and many of the top British athletes took part in this top indoor event. The big names included Jessica Ennis and Mo Farrah.
In the Women’s Pole Vault Holly Bleasdale continued her good form with a solid jump of 4.70m, this jump ensured victory for the Brit as she looks to continue her development ahead of the Olympics later in the year.
In the mens Long Jump JJ Jegede surprised the field with a jump of 8.04m. This puts JJ into the top 10 in the world for this year just ahead of the World Indoor Championships next month.
Another performance of note from a Brit came from Robbie Grabarz in the mens High Jump. Currently ranked 3rd in the world with a jump of 2.34m, Robbie continued his fine form with a jump of 2.32m to claim victory.
In the forth jumping event of the day saw a star performance from Brit Shara Proctor. Proctor has recently changed allegiance to Great Britain as her native Anguilla does not have an olympic committee so could not compete at the olympics. Proctor stole the show from Jessica Ennis, who jumped 6.47m, with a new National Record of 6.80m. This performance by Shara was the performance of the day and will now put her in with a medal chance at the World Indoors.
In the women’s 60m Hurdles Jessica Ennis performed in imperious fashion as she destroyed the filed with a world leading time of 7.87 seconds. Competing against some of the best athletes in the world this will give Ennis great confidence as she looks to the season ahead and in particular the Olympics.
Nigel Levine claimed victory in the mens 400m, after what can only be described as a bizarre instance that saw leader Nery Brenes of Costa Rica trip in the finishing straight when comfortably leading and fall flat on his face.
From BBC Sport: Nery Brenes Trips
Mo Farah failed in his bid for victory in the 2 mile event. Mo running over a shorter distance than usual never seemed to be able to hit the pace needed to compete against those around him. This result will have been a great disappointment for the fans, but I am sure that Farah will have been impressed with his run as he looks ahead to the Olympics and taking on the Kenyans and Ethiopians over longer distances.
Other impressive results at th Aviva Grand Prix saw Asafa Powell defeated by fellow Jamaican Lerone Clarke as he set a new National Record of 6.47 seconde over 60m. Clarke will now look to the summer as the battle to claim a place in the Jamaican National teams heats up with World Record holder Usain Bolt, World Champion Yohan Blake and Powell all except to be in the team already. The men’s 60m hurdles saw China’s Liu Xiang claim a new National Record as he defeated Cuba’s world record holder Dayron Robles in a time of 7.41secs.
In week 2 of the McCoys Premier League Darts Phil Taylor stole the show in his victory against Kevin Painter.
After a slow start Taylor stepped on the gas in the 10th leg with a memorable 9 darter. With scores of 180 and 174 Taylor rounded of his 9 darter with a 147. This gave Taylor his 2nd victory in 2 weeks as he went on to defeat Painter 8-5. In victory Taylor had an average of 108.27. After the match Taylor was quoted as saying:
“I’m overwhelmed to have hit the nine-darter, Kevin was playing really well and I knew I had to do something extraordinary to crack him.
“I thought I would do a nine-darter earlier in the match but it came at the perfect time. It’s always the tough games that you do something like this because you’re not thinking about it.”
In other matches in Week 2 Scotland’s Gary Anderson claimed a comfortable 8-2 against Premier League debutant Andy Hamilton. Many were concerned for Hamilton when he was announced in the line up, however after his victory last week many thought he could cope with this pressure, however with this heavy defeat can Hamilton bounce back for next weeks match.
In the other 2 matches Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld claimed a very impressive 7 all draw with World Champion Adrian Lewis. At one stage Lewis led the match 5-2 but Barney stormed back to claim a draw. This result will surely be good news of all members of the Barney Army as well as Barney himself in the manner of his performance and come back.
The last match of the night saw Simon Whitlock seal a very impressive 8-4 victory over James Wade. Defeat for Wade saw hm drop to the bottom of the table after 2 weeks as he has failed to pick up a point. The victory for Whitlock sees him lead the league on leg difference from Phil Taylor with one victory and a draw. The loss for Wade could have been worse but for a late charge. Wade struggled with his doubles and this left him 7-0 down. Wade then won 4 legs but with only an 18% checkout rate he will know improvement will have to come in the coming weeks should he want to move up the league.
The McCoy’s Premier League Darts continues at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast next Thursday, with the matches including resurgent van Barneveld taking on Phil Taylor.
McCoy’s Premier League Darts
February 16 – AECC, Aberdeen
Adrian Lewis 7-7 Raymond van Barneveld
Gary Anderson 8-2 Andy Hamilton
Phil Taylor 8-5 Kevin Painter
Simon Whitlock 8-4 James Wade
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