London 2012: Olympic sport this week

Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier
Adcock and Bankier finished second in the World Championships in August

MAJOR EVENTS THIS WEEK

GENERAL: Pan American Games, Guadalajara, Mexico (14-30 October)

ATHLETICS: BUPA Great South Run, Portsmouth (30 October); Scott Overall returns to action after reaching the UK qualification standard for the 2012 Games at the Berlin Marathon, while Kenya's 10k and 15k world record holder Leonard Komon is also in the field. Live on Channel 5, 1030 BST. Follow Scott Overall on Twitter.

ATHLETICS: Frankfurt Marathon, Germany (30 October); Britain's Liz Yelling takes on a strong field that includes the likes of Merima Mohammed, Mamitu Daska, Fate Tola and Agnes Kiprop. Follow Liz Yelling on Twitter.

BADMINTON: BWF French Open, Paris (25-30 October); Chris Adcock/Imogen Bankier & Nathan Robertson/Jenny Wallwork continue their battle to be Britain's top mixed doubles pair. Robertson/Wallwork are just four places ahead in the world rankings in 11th, but Adcock/Bankier are on course to overtake them and grab pole position for an Olympic spot. Scotland's Susan Egelstaff and England's Elizabeth Cann continue a similar battle in the women's singles. Follow Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier on Facebook, and Nathan Robertson on Twitter.

TABLE TENNIS: Women's World Cup, Singapore (28-30 October)

LAST WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS

Magnificent seven for GB's cyclists at the European Championships; historic win for boxer Nicola Adams in Rotterdam; Pearce and Powell to lead GB football teams; and Halsall makes short work of her rivals in the pool.

CYCLING

Great Britain topped the medal table at the European Championships in Apeldoorn with an impressive seven gold medals, despite losing Sir Chris Hoy to a chest infection.

Among the winners was Hoy's unheralded GB team-mate Matt Crampton, who won the men's keirin in his absence.

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Pendleton buoyed by Euro display

The women's keirin was won by Victoria Pendleton, who returned from the Netherlands with two golds after victory in the team sprint as well.

Pendleton had earlier suffered a surprise defeat in the quarter-finals of the individual sprint, the event in which she is the Olympic champion. Lyubov Shukila of the Ukraine got the better of her, and went on to claim gold.

Laura Trott, 19, was impressive in winning the women's omnium while Ed Clancy rounded off the weekend in style for Britain by winning the men's omnium.

BOXING

Nicola Adams became the first British woman to win a major boxing title with victory at the European Championships in Rotterdam.

British boxer Nicola Adams

Adams, who turns 29 this week, beat Sarah Ourahmoune of France 15-8 in the flyweight (51kg) final.

Adams' fellow Olympic hopefuls, light-welterweight (64kg) Natasha Jonas and middleweight (75kg) Savannah Marshall, won bronze medals following semi-final defeats.

There were silver medals for Lynsey Holdaway of Wales and England's Lisa Whiteside in non-Olympic categories, while Ireland's three-time world champion Katie Taylor won her fifth straight European gold with a 10-5 victory against Russia's Sofya Ochigava in the lightweight (60kg) final.

The three Olympic weight categories in women's boxing are flyweight, middleweight and lightweight, which Jonas hopes to compete in.

FOOTBALL

Stuart Pearce and Hope Powell will lead the British men's and women's football teams at London 2012 after their appointments were announced by the Football Association.

Pearce and Powell
Stuart Pearce and Hope Powell will lead GB's football teams at London 2012

Great Britain will field a men's team in the Olympics for the first time since the Rome Games of 1960 and next year will be a debut appearance for the women's team.

The 18-strong men's squads must contain 15 players who were born on, or after, 1 January 1989 - but three players can be older. There are no age limits for the women's selections.

Among the players Pearce may well be working with in London is David Beckham, who has said frequently that he hopes to represent Britain at the Olympics.

HANDBALL

Great Britain women's handball team began their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign with back-to-back defeats against Montenegro and world champions Russia - but there were encouraging signs for the British team, who were only formed in 2007.

Britain lost 34-18 to Montenegro in Wednesday's opening Group Three Euro 2012 qualifier, and were expected to struggle more against Russia.

But they put in a spirited display, losing 24-16 at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.

GB captain Lynn McCafferty led from the front against Russia with three goals, while goalkeeper Sarah Hargreaves had a fine game, making 13 saves in the second half to prevent a heavier defeat.

GB return to action next month in the London Cup, which is the official test event for the 2012 Olympics.

SWIMMING

Five-time Olympic gold medallist Ian Thorpe says he is more likely to fail than succeed at London 2012.

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Thorpe's secret Olympic training base

After winning two golds at the Athens Olympics in 2004, Thorpe took a year away from the sport before announcing his retirement in November 2006.

Five years on, the 29-year-old is preparing to return to competition with the Australian squad at the Singapore World Cup on 4-5 November, with further meets in Beijing and Tokyo to follow.

Speaking exclusively to BBC Sport, Thorpe said: "I'm more concerned about [being really successful] because that's what I'm not prepared for."

SWIMMING

Fran Halsall won gold in the women's 100m individual medley at the short-course Fina World Cup in Berlin.

The Briton won 100m butterfly silver and 50m freestyle bronze on day one and then returned on Sunday to power her way to medley gold.

Compatriot James Goddard took 100m and 200m medley silvers, twice finishing behind 14-time Olympic champion Michael Phelps, and a breaststroke silver.

Phelps was the star of the show, finishing with four gold medals, while 16-year-old American Missy Franklin confirmed she is one to watch in 2012 with a new world record (short course) in the 200m backstroke.

ATHLETICS

Haile Gebrselassie returned to winning ways with a convincing victory in the BUPA Great Birmingham Run.

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Highlights - Gebrselassie cruises to Birmingham victory

The 38-year-old Ethiopian dropped out of last month's Berlin Marathon during the race because of illness, but was back to form over half-marathon distance on Sunday, winning easily in one hour, one minute and 29 seconds.

Gebrselassie said: "This helps me in my preparations for next year's Olympic Games where of course I still have to get the qualifying standard. That means to get one of the three places in the Ethiopian team I will have to run around 2:05".

The women's race was won by Gemma Steel of Great Britain in 1:12:21.

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