London 2012: Olympic sport this week

Handball
Handball is one of several London 2012 test events taking place this week

MAJOR EVENTS THIS WEEK

HANDBALL: London Handball Cup, Handball Arena, Olympic Park (23-27 November); this 2012 test event features six women's teams from three continents, including Great Britain who will be competing at the Olympics for the first time next year. The GB team begin their campaign against African champions Angola on Wednesday at 13:00. Follow British Handball on Twitter.

TABLE TENNIS: ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals, ExCeL, London (24-27 November); the world's best are in London for the conclusion of this year's ITTF Pro Tour, which doubles as a London 2012 test event. As well as the singles and doubles competitions, Great Britain's men's and women's teams take on teams representing the Rest of the World. For regular updates, follow the English Table Tennis Association on Twitter.

BOXING: International Invitational, ExCeL, London (24-27 November); all 13 Olympic weight categories - three women's and 10 men's - will be contested in this London 2012 test event.

FENCING: International Invitational, ExCeL, London (26-27 November); a men's foil London 2012 test event, featuring Great Britain's 'A' and 'B' teams. Follow British Fencing on Twitter for updates.

BADMINTON: China Open, Shanghai (22-27 November); the fifth and final World Superseries event of the season. GB's World Championship silver medallists Imogen Bankier and Chris Adcock will aim to end on a high in the mixed doubles. Follow Imogen Bankier on Twitter.

VOLLEYBALL: Men's World Cup, Tokyo (20 November-4 December); the 12-team tournament features Brazil, winners of the last two World Cups in 2003 and 2007. There is Olympic qualification at stake too - the top three sides will book their place at London 2012, joining hosts Great Britain.

TENNIS: ATP World Tour Finals, The O2, London (20-27 November); the ATP's prestigious end-of-season tournament sees defending champion Roger Federer aiming to win for a record sixth time, while world number three Andy Murray carries British hopes. Live coverage on BBC TV, streamed online & available through iPlayer; live text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobiles; every singles match live on BBC 5 live sports extra.

LAST WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS

Mixed emotions for British world number one Kat Driscoll at the Trampoline World Championships in Birmingham; Mara Yamauchi impresses on her marathon comeback; Britain has a junior world champion in modern pentathlon; and Dwain Chambers moves a step closer to a place at London 2012.

GYMNASTICS - TRAMPOLINE

World number one Kat Driscoll finished last in the individual final at the Trampoline World Championships in Birmingham but did at least secure Britain a place at the 2012 Olympics by qualifying for the final.

Britain's Kat Driscoll

Driscoll had picked up medals in two non-Olympic events - the women's team trampoline event and the synchronised trampoline - earlier in the competition, but had to settle for eighth place in the individual final after failing to complete her routine.

Despite being the athlete to secure Team GB's Olympic spot, Driscoll is not automatically entitled to go to the Games as selection trials will decide who will represent Britain.

Both individual golds went to China; Olympic champion, He Wenna, won the women's competition and Chunlong Lu pipped defending champion Dong Dong to the men's title.

VOLLEYBALL

Italy retained their World Cup women's volleyball title as the USA and China also secured their tickets to the London Olympics by joining them on the podium.

World Cup winners Italy
Italy celebrate their World Cup triumph

The USA topped the table going into the last round of matches but lost to hosts Japan, while Italy beat Kenya to end with a 10-1 win-loss record and clinch gold.

Italy's Carolina del Pilar Costagrande was voted the World Cup's most valuable player after scoring 186 points.

And there was consolation for the USA, who have never won the World Cup. As well as securing a spot at the Olympics, their performance in Tokyo has moved them to the top of the world rankings.

ATHLETICS

Britain's Mara Yamauchi achieved the qualifying time for the London Olympics after finishing third in the Yokohama marathon.

Mara Yamauchi
Yamauchi crosses the line in Yokohama

Yamauchi was sixth at the last Olympics in Beijing, but has been plagued by illness and injury recently and was competing in her first marathon for more than a year.

The 38-year-old clocked a time of two hours 27 minutes 24 seconds to finish less than a minute behind winner Ryoko Kizaki of Japan, and comfortably inside the Olympic 'A' standard of two hours 31 minutes

Paula Radcliffe is the only British woman to have run faster than Yamauchi in 2011.

MODERN PENTATHLON

Britain's Jamie Cooke became the new world junior champion in Argentina on Sunday after overcoming an awful start.

Jamie Cooke
Britain's new world junior champion made up ground in the run/shoot

The 20-year-old was positioned in joint 29th after the first pentathlon discipline of fencing, but he excelled in the swimming, showjumping and run/shoot to take gold.

Cooke had already achieved the London 2012 qualifying standard, but is not yet certain of place on the team.

Fellow Briton Freyja Prentice won individual bronze in the women's final.

JUDO

Britain's Karina Bryant and Sophie Cox won bronze medals at a high-class Amsterdam Grand Prix.

Karina Bryant
Bryant continued her recent good form in Amsterdam

Heavyweight Bryant has been in a rich vein of form, winning the recent Samoa World Cup, and she impressed in reaching the semi-finals here. It took world silver medallist Qian Qin of China to stop her in a close contest.

Sophie Cox was no less impressive in the -52kg event, beating world number four Laura Gomez of Spain en route to the semi-final.

Japan's Yuki Hashimoto eventually brought her bid to an end but it was an encouraging tournament for Cox, who has only recently returned after an injury lay-off.

BADMINTON

World silver medallists Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier suffered a first-round defeat in the mixed doubles at the Hong Kong Open.

Badminton players Imogen Bankier and Chris Adcock
Bankier and Adcock will hope to end the year as GB's top pairing

The sixth seeds were beaten by the Beijing Olympic bronze medallist Hanbin He of China and his new partner Bao Yixin 23-21 21-10.

However, they remain the top-ranked British pair after Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork were beaten in the second round.

CYCLING

British cyclist Lizzie Armitstead has abandoned plans to ride in the omnium at London 2012 in order to concentrate on the 140km road race.

Lizzie Armitstead
Armitstead said giving up the omnium was "a difficult decision"

The 22-year-old - a world champion on the track and national champion on the road - had intended to compete in both.

Instead, the Yorkshire-born rider will now aim to be leader on the road of a British team that also includes Nicole Cooke, the 2008 Olympic champion.

Laura Trott or Dani King are likely to take Armitstead's omnium place - a six-discipline event making its Olympic debut in London.

OTHER NEWS

Sprinter Dwain Chambers and cyclist David Millar are a step closer to being able to compete at next summer's London 2012 Games after the British Olympic Association's lifetime ban for drugs cheats was deemed to violate the global anti-doping code.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) board declared the policy "non-compliant" at a meeting on Sunday.

The BOA intends to take the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) in a bid to keep the ban.

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