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Archive for August 6th, 2012

Jessica Ennis: I’m not finished yet

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Taking time off - but Jess Ennis will be back

Taking time off - but Jess Ennis is still hungry for more medals

Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis has brushed aside suggestions that she should quit at the top after her spectacular gold medal success at London 2012.

Ennis was speaking at a joint press conference with Greg Rutherford, who says he wants to build on his success at becoming Olympic long jump champion.

Admitting it is going to be hard to top her gold in London, Ennis insisted: “I’m still only 26 and there a few years left in me yet,” adding “I definitely want to achieve a little bit more in this sport.”

Speaking before the ceremony to receive his gold medal on Monday, Rutherford said he was still coming to terms with the idea of being an Olympic champion. “It’s a very strange feeling. I’m very happy but don’t know how to get that out at the moment.”

Greg Rutherford says he was inspired by Jessica Ennis

Greg Rutherford says he was inspired by Jessica Ennis

 

It’s a measure of Team GB’s success that rivals who rubbished host nation a week ago are now guilty of sour grapes

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Jason Kenny succeeds Sir Chris Hoy with individual pursuit gold

Jason Kenny succeeds Sir Chris Hoy in individual pursuit

BY JOHN GUBBA

The conveyor belt of gold medals being churned out by Team GB has brought a wave of jealousy from rivals who have been left behind by Our Greatest Team – and that is the real measure of how far Great Britain has come at London 2012.

Following the impressive superiority of our rowers at Eton Dorney, it’s the turn of our spell-binding cycling team to show the rest of the world that our super-talented athletes are simply the best.

For bitter rivals France to question Team GB’s success by casting aspersions is out of order. It is a blatant dose  of sour grapes and it is worth reminding everyone that during the opening days of London 2012 the French were quick to ridicule a slow start by the Brits.

France’s cycling chief, Isabelle Gautheron, said she was ‘perplexed’ by the dominance in the Velodrome by the likes of Dani King, Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell, Victoria Pendleton and Sir Chris Hoy insisting: ‘They have not dominated the last four years – they were among the best teams with Australia, Germany and France. Here, they crush everyone. Girls, especially, are four seconds ahead in the pursuit.

‘It’s good for them. Do they have a technology? A secret preparation? We have to do sports intelligence to know how they can be so strong.’

The French media have joined in the mischief by asking what they might be ‘missing’ that has propelled British athletes to triumph.

Champion heptathlete Jessica Ennis has also been the target of French finger pointing, with journalist Thierry Vautrat posting on Twitter: ‘Ennis? She’s a bit unreal. Wonder how she could win the 800m so easily, with no pain. Surprising.’

It’s a sharp contrast to the comments by their president Françoise Hollande who taunted Britain over his country’s early success before Team GB’s first gold, saying London had ‘rolled out a red carpet for French athletes to win medals’.

The Australians have also been eating humble pie after their team pursuit star Jack Bobridge threw down the challenge to GB’s cycling team by declaring: “We are ready and confident and, yeah, let’s stick it to the Poms.”
So far a silver for Bobridge and two bronze medals are the the only return for Australia in the  velodrome, while Team GB have cleaned up.

Today it was the turn of Jason Kenny to win a glorious gold in the men’s individual sprint, taking GB’s medal haul by the track cycling team to five of the seven gold medals competed for. King Kenny, selected ahead of Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy, beat France’s Gregory Bauge in the final – so I’m wondering how our European neighbours will react this time.

Laura Trott was also in spectacular form on day 10 and leads at the half-way stage in the omnium, winning two of the three opening events.The world champion is the red hot favourite to win her second gold of the Games on Tuesday.

One man not surprised by the dominance of the British cycling team is performance director Dave Brailsford who said: “We have got our timing right again, and we are peaking coming into the Games, which is the important thing.”

Team GB's first showjumping Olympic gold for 50 years

Team GB's first showjumping Olympic gold for 50 years

Meanwhile, it’s been an historic day for Britain’s showjunpers who won their first Olympic gold since 1952 in Helsinki.

Nick Skelton, Ben Maher, Scott Brash and Peter Charles made up the winning team that beat Netherlands in a thrilling jump off at Greenwich Park.

“I’ve waited 54 years for this so you can certainly say it was a long time coming,” said Skelton, 54, who was competing in his sixth Olympic Games.

Watching Murray magic overpower Federer and Ainslie win Battle of the Bay made day 9 another golden celebration

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Wimbledon winner: Gold for Andy Murray

Wimbledon winner: Gold for Andy Murray

BY JOHN GUBBA

Four weeks after watching Andy Murray break down in tears after losing the Wimbledon final to Roger Federer, how great it was to see the Scot get his revenge back on Centre Court and claim an Olympic gold medal.

Murray turned on the magic and blew the world no.1 away in straight sets.

I can’t help thinking that being part of Team GB is now such a psychological boost that this was a contributing factor to Murray’s stunning victory.

Such is the confidence now among British fans that the only surprise is that Murray and his mixed doubles partner Laura Robson had to settle for silver when the duo contested the final just an hour after Murray won singles gold.

Ben Ainslie celebrates becoming sailing's most decorated Olympian with his fifth medal. 16 years after taking silver in Atlanta

Ben Ainslie celebrates becoming sailing's most decorated Olympian with his fifth medal. 16 years after taking silver in Atlanta

Meanwhile, how inspiring to see big bad Ben Ainslie complete a dramatic comeback and take gold in sailing’s Finn class.

Days after telling the world he was angry and would make rival for the gold Jonas Hogh-Christensen suffer, Britain’s greatest ever sailor completed a dramatic fight back to keep his word and retain his Olympic crown.

It was a truly herculean effort by Ainslie to succeed in making it four golds in four successive Olympic Games when he outmaneuvered the Dane in the ‘Battle of the Bay’

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