London 2012: Olympic sport this week
MAJOR EVENTS THIS WEEK
TAEKWONDO: International Invitational, ExCeL, London (3-4 December); Four weight categories will be contested in this 2012 test event: Male -68kg, Male -80kg, Female -49kg and Female +67kg. Follow British medal hopeful Aaron Cook (-80kg) on Twitter.
JUDO: International Invitational, ExCeL, London (3-4 December); Around 100 athletes are expected for this 2012 test event, although several of Britain's Olympic medal prospects are in Asia preparing for the forthcoming Grand Slam event in Japan. The full British team for the test event is listed here.
SAILING: ISAF World Championships, Perth, Western Australia (3-18 December); Held every four years, the World Championships feature all 10 Olympic classes. More than 1,400 sailors from 80 countries will be taking part, including 36 British crews, some of which are bidding for Olympic selection.
HOCKEY: FIH Champions Trophy, Auckland, New Zealand (3-11 Dec); Great Britain's men begin their campaign with a group game against Pakistan on Saturday, followed by Australia the following day.
CYCLING: UCI Track Cycling World Cup, Colombia (1-3 December); Great Britain is sending a team of three: Wendy Houvenaghel, Laura Trott and Paralympic champion Sarah Storey, who will ride together in the team pursuit. Follow British Cycling 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.
HANDBALL: Women's World Championship, Brazil (2-18 December); Russia are the defending champions and will be aiming to win their fourth consecutive world title. Great Britain are not one of the 24 teams involved.
PARALYMPICS: Tickets go back on sale (Friday 2 December, 13:00 GMT); the remaining tickets for the London 2012 Paralympic Games go on sale. Tickets are still available on every day of the Games, including for medal sessions in a number of sports.
LAST WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS
GB's women boxers lead the gold rush at the London 2012 test events; Great Britain foil Russia in the team fencing final; and Daniel Purvis wins gymnastics' World Cup series.
British boxers won five gold medals and one bronze at the Olympic test event at London's ExCel Centre.
Natasha Jonas and Savannah Marshall won gold in the women's middleweight and lightweight categories respectively. It was Marshall's first gold medal at the Olympic middleweight (75kg) category after she moved up from welterweight (69kg) at the start of 2011.
The women's success was matched by the men as England's Martin Ward, Sean McGoldrick from Wales and Scotland's Josh Taylor all won gold.
GB's six-medal haul was completed by Wales' Fred Evans, who was third in the welterweight category.
Britain's fencers received a much-needed confidence boost by winning the team foil gold in the Olympic test event at London's ExCeL arena.
Richard Kruse, Laurence Halsted, James Kenber and Ed Jefferies defeated Russia 45-34 in the final after earlier wins over China and France.
The performances made up for the disappointment of Saturday's individual competition when only one of the eight-strong home squad managed to reach the quarter-finals in the 32-man event.
Kruse, who lost out to eventual winner Gerek Meinhardt of the United States in the last eight, is ranked 22nd in the world and is the only Briton currently in the top 40.
Great Britain's women caused an upset by beating African champions Angola 22-20 in the official London 2012 test event at the Handball Arena in the Olympic Park.
But the GB team, which was only formed in 2007, failed to add to their opening-day win and eventually finished last of the six nations after losing to Austria and Slovakia.
Austria went on to win the tournament, beating Poland 23-22 in the final.
Angola claimed the bronze medal after beating China, with both sides now heading to Brazil for next week's World Championships.
China's world number one Ma Long won the International Table Tennis Federation's Pro Tour Grand Finals as Britain failed to register a win.
Ma, 23, overcame world champion and compatriot Zhang Jike 4-1 to win the men's title in the Olympic test event at London's ExCel Centre.
In the women's singles final, Liu Shiwen upset the odds by beating favourite Ding Ning 4-0 to win the title.
Britain's players were granted entry at the ExCel as the host nation but were winless against decidedly strong opposition.
Great Britain's Daniel Purvis has won the 2011 World Cup series after taking bronze in the Tokyo Cup.
The 21-year-old - who won the Glasgow World Cup in May - scored 89.631 to finish third across the six events, with home favourite Kohei Uchimura claiming gold with 93.565 and Germany's Philip Boy second with 90.098.
Purvis scored highest on the floor, with 15.4 and also scored above 15 on the rings and vault.
His tally proved enough to see him beat Ukraine's Mykola Kuksenkov, who finished fifth, in the World Cup Series crown.
British international showjumper Tim Stockdale has been released from hospital six weeks after breaking his neck in a riding accident.
The 47-year-old suffered multiple fractures when he fell from a young horse he was trying out in north Wales last month.
Stockdale, who is based in Northamptonshire, rode for Great Britain at the 2008 Olympic Games. He is a regular Nations Cup performer and last year he landed Hickstead's prestigious Longines King George V Gold Cup.
Stockdale has said that he hopes to make a riding return early next year, launching a concerted bid to make the Great Britain showjumping team for London 2012.
A leadership battle between Olympic champion Nicole Cooke and Lizzie Armitstead threatens to undermine Great Britain's women in their London 2012 road race campaign.
While world champion Mark Cavendish is the undisputed leader of the men's squad and will ride for gold on the opening day of the Games, Cooke and Armitstead are vying for the support of their team-mates in the women's event, which takes place 24 hours later.
Armitstead hopes she will get the nod after being the nominated leader for September's World Championships in Copenhagen, where she was held up in a late crash, finishing seventh, while Cooke finished fourth.
The 22-year-old from Otley remains frustrated by events in Denmark, saying on cyclingweekly.co.uk, Cooke rode "for herself", adding: "I've never seen her work for a team-mate."
But Cooke, who won Olympic gold with a sensational ride in Beijing, insists she is happy to ride for the nominated leader in London. "I rode for the team (at the World Championships) and according to instructions given to me," she said.
The third-seeded Lin Dan won the men's singles at the China Open in Shanghai - the final Super-Series event of the season.
Having beaten his great rival, world number one Chong Wei, in the semi-finals, Lin beat number two seed and Chinese compatriot Chen Long in the final after converting his seventh match point.
The women's singles final was also an all-Chinese match, with second seed Wang Yihan taking the title when her opponent, the number three seed Wang Xin, retired with a sprained knee.
Great Britain's mixed doubles world silver medallists, Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier, suffered a first-round defeat - as did Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork.
The Mercury Music Prize-winning band Elbow are to record the BBC's soundtrack for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
They have composed a six-minute track called First Steps, with a choir taking on the vocals.
Lead singer Guy Garvey said the band were "over the moon" to get the role, and they felt "real responsibility".
The news came as the BBC announced its cultural programmes for the Olympics and the London 2012 Festival.
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