Olympic sport this week


Boxing: AIBA World Championships, Baku, Azerbaijan (22 September-10 October)

Cycling (track): National Championships, Manchester (28 Sept-2 Oct)

Cycling (BMX): Supercross World Cup, Chula Vista, USA (30 Sept-1 Oct)

Judo: GB World Cup, Liverpool (1-2 Oct)

Shooting: Shotgun World Cup final; Al Ain, UAE (27 Sept-6 Oct)

Taekwondo: British International Open, Manchester (1-2 Oct)


Sailor Ben Ainslie is among the first 2012 competitors named by Team GB; cyclist Mark Cavendish becomes Britain's first world road race champion for 46 years; Paula Radcliffe makes the London 2012 qualifying mark on her marathon comeback in Berlin, where Kenya's Patrick Makau wins the men's race in a world record time; Britain's women's water polo team qualify for the European Championships for the first time in 15 years; and five-time Olympic swimming champion Ian Thorpe will compete in his first international meeting since 2006.

Mark Cavendish


Britain has its first male road race world champion in 46 years after Mark Cavendish clinched gold in Copenhagen.

Cavendish - who also won the 2011 Tour de France green points jersey for the best sprinter - pipped Australia's Matt Goss and German Andre Greipel in a tremendous sprint finish. He is now favourite to deliver what would be Britain's first gold of next summer's Games.

The Isle of Man racer was quick to pay tribute to his team-mates - Steve Cummings, Chris Froome, Bradley Wiggins, Jeremy Hunt, David Millar, Ian Stannard and Geraint Thomas - who all played their part in him becoming Britain's first male world road champion since Tom Simpson in 1965.

It capped a tremendous week for Team GB's cyclists, with Bradley Wiggins earning time trial silver and Emma Pooley bronze in the elite women's time trial.


Marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe admitted she had to put aside her ego as she earned the Olympic qualifying time with a third-place finish in Berlin.

While Radcliffe curbed her competitive instincts in order to avoid further ailment to her fragile body, Kenyan Patrick Makau had no such constraints in the men's race - setting a world record of 2hr 3min 38sec.

His compatriot Florence Kiplagat comfortably won the women's race in only her second marathon. She crossed the line in 2hr 19min 44sec, with runner-up Irina Mikitenko two-and-a-half minutes behind. Radcliffe ran 2hr 23min 46sec in her first marathon for nearly two years.

Makau, who has never raced on the track, defended his Berlin title by taking 21 seconds off the world record set on the same course three years ago by Haile Gebrselassie, who failed to make it to the finish line on Sunday for the second marathon in a row. Gebrselassie, an asthmatic, dropped out after 35km suffering from breathing problems.

Britain's Scott Overall was fifth in 2hr 10min 55sec on his marathon debut - more than a minute inside the Olympic qualifying standard.


Ben Ainslie is on course to challenge for a fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal after being named in the Great Britain sailing team for London 2012.

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Tough task to make 2012 team - Ainslie

Finn sailor Ainslie, 34, will be joined in Weymouth by Beijing Olympic star champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson and laser gold medallist Paul Goodison. Windsurfers Nick Dempsey and Bryony Shaw have also been picked for 2012.

Eleven sailors were selected last week - the first confirmed names in Team GB's 550-strong squad for the Games.

Three classes - the 470 men's event, the 49er and the laser radial - are still to be decided and will probably not be named until after the World Championships in December.


Five-time Olympic gold medallist Ian Thorpe will compete in his first international meeting since 2006 when he swims at the World Cup in November.

The 28-year-old retired in 2006 aged only 24 but announced his intention to return to competition earlier this year and race in the 2012 London Olympics.

He has been named in Australia's squad of 26 for the Asian legs of the World Cup in Singapore, Beijing and Tokyo.

Libby Trickett, a gold medallist at the Athens and Beijing Olympics, also returns after a two-year absence.


Britain's women's water polo team will compete at the European Championships for the first time since 1997 after winning a qualifier against Ukraine.

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British water polo women qualify for Euros

Great Britain won 21-8 at the Manchester Aquatics Centre to book their place in Eindhoven in January. Captain Angie Winstanley-Smith led the way with six goals.

The women, who also play in Hungary's national league, have already qualified for the London 2012 Olympics as the hosts - although neither the women or men are considered medal prospects.


Three-time champion Beth Tweddle will lead a strong British team at the World Championships in Tokyo from 10-16 October. Tweddle defends her title on the uneven bars in what will almost certainly be her last-ever appearance in the competition, as she is expected to retire after the London Games.

Beth Tweddle
Beth Tweddle will go for gold again in Tokyo

The men's team boasts three previous World Championship medallists: Daniel Keatings, Louis Smith and Daniel Purvis.

The competition acts as the first qualifying event for places at next year's Olympics, with both the men's and women's British teams needing to finish in the top eight in Tokyo to ensure having the maximum number of gymnasts at London 2012.


American Brady Ellison and Cheng Ming of China were crowned as individual champions at the World Cup final in Istanbul.

Brady Ellison
Brady Ellison retained his world title

World number one Ellison successfully defended his title with victory over China's Dai Xiaoxiang in the gold-medal decider.

Cheng came from 4-2 down in the women's final to win 6-5 against 17-year old Commonwealth and world junior champion Deepika Kumari.

The world's top archers next month compete at Lord's in an Olympic test event. Five-time Olympian Alison Williamson will lead the British squad of six.


Double Olympic champion Saori Yoshida of Japan won a ninth consecutive world title in the 55kg class to help Japan finish top of the women's medal table.

Japan won three of the seven gold medals on offer in Istanbul. Russia were the top-ranked nation in the men's Greco-Roman and freestyle categories.


International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge has called on the BBC to provide evidence into claims attempts have been made to fix boxing results at the 2012 Olympic Games.

BBC Newsnight uncovered evidence of secret payments from Azerbaijan to World Series Boxing, to allegedly guarantee two golds.

"We take every allegation very seriously," said Rogge. The International Amateur Boxing Association denies the claim.

The BBC's report came just days before the World Amateur Boxing Championships got under way on 26 September in Baku, Azerbaijan.

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