London 2012: Olympic sport this week

Ben Ainslie competing at the 2011 ISAF World Championships in Perth
Five-time world champion Ben Ainslie is targetting more glory in Perth


SAILING: ISAF World Championshipsexternal-link, 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 are taking part, including 36 British crews, some of which are bidding for Olympic selection. Follow the ISAF on Twitterexternal-link for updates.

ATHLETICS: European Cross Country Championshipsexternal-link, Velenje, Slovenia (11 December); Britain's Steph Twell - Commonwealth 1500m bronze medallist - returns to competition after 10 months out with a broken ankle. Andy Baddeley - another 1500m hopeful at next year's Olympics - is one to watch in the GB men's team. Live on BBC 2, 12.30-14.15 GMT

HOCKEY: FIH Champions Trophyexternal-link, Auckland, New Zealand (3-11 Dec); After Sunday's heavy defeat against defending champions Australia, Great Britain's men must beat Spain in their final pool game on Tuesday to have any chance of a medal.

WEIGHTLIFTING: International Invitationalexternal-link, ExCeL, London (10-11 December); the latest 'London Prepares' test event for London 2012. There are two weight categories for men (94kg and +105kg) and women (69kg and +75kg). Great Britain's team is: Peter Kirkbride (94kg), Sonny Webster (94kg), Joe Muskett (+105kg), Natasha Perdue (69kg) and Zoe Smith (69kg).

WRESTLING: International Invitational, ExCeL, London (10-11 December); Great Britain's Myroslav Dukan - who won Commonwealth gold in Delhi last year - competes in the men's 66kg Greco-Roman wrestling event. The full British team can be viewed here.external-link

HANDBALL: Women's World Championshipexternal-link, 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.


Taekwondo's Aaron Cook excels at the ExCeL; GB's cycling pursuit team clinch gold in Colombia; Britain's hockey team fare less well in the Champions Trophy; and Russia lift the men's volleyball World Cup.


Aaron Cook continued his return to form and gave Britain a home victory at taekwondo's Olympic test event.

Aaron Cook
Aaron Cook (red) on his way to gold at the Olympic test event

The 20-year-old European under-80kg champion beat Yousef Karami on his way to the final, before opponent Ramin Azizov was forced out through injury.

"It was good to fight and beat Yousef Karami - probably one of the favourites for gold next year," said Cook.

Leading GB squad members Sarah Stevenson, Jade Jones and Martin Stamper did not compete but paid visits to the ExCel centre over the weekend.


Paralympic gold medallist Sarah Storey helped Great Britain's track cyclists to women's team pursuit World Cup gold in Cali, Colombia.

Sarah Storey
Sarah Storey celebrates in Colombia

Storey, Laura Trott and Wendy Houvenaghel - the only British cyclists competing at this latest World Cup meeting - finished well ahead of runners-up New Zealand.

There was more British success when Trott, 19, took bronze in the omnium behind winner Sarah Hammer of the USA.

And Houvenaghel won silver behind New Zealand's Alison Shanks in the Individual Pursuit.


World champions Australia proved too strong for Great Britain's men as they powered to a 4-1 victory in the Champions Trophy group stage.

Australia celebrate a goal in their 4-1 win over Great Britain
Defending champions Australia were too strong for Great Britain

Australia dominated Sunday's match in Auckland, which had been postponed for 24 hours because of a waterlogged pitch.

Britain began their campaign by beating Pakistan 2-1 on Saturday, with goals from Mark Pearn - back in the team after coming out of international retirement - and Simon Mantell.

But the defeat against Australia left Jason Lee's side needing to beat Spain in their final group game to have any chance of claiming a medal.


European bronze medallist Sophie Cox was one of three GB judokas to make the podium at a successful 2012 test event.

Sophie Cox
Sophie Cox has impressed since returning to the sport

Cox, 29, quit the sport after competing in the 2004 Olympics but has made an impressive return; her -57kg bronze at the ExCeL was her sixth medal of the year.

Sally Conway defeated European U-23 champion Laura Vargas Koch on her way to silver in the -70kg event, won by Brazil's Maria Portela.

And Edinburgh-based Matthew Purssey won four fights by ippon to secure bronze in the men's -90kg category.


Russia stormed back from match points down to beat Poland and win the men's World Cup volleyball tournament in Tokyo.

Poland v Russia
World Cup winners Russia (blue shorts) repelled Poland's challenge

The Russians finished with a 10-1 win-loss record in the 12-team round robin competition, losing only to top seeds Brazil.

Brazil - who eventually came third - and runners-up Poland had the consolation of securing Olympic qualification.

Just missing out were Italy, who ended with the same 8-3 record as Poland and Brazil, but finished fourth because of their inferior set ratio.


Italian fencing great Valentina Vezzali is recovering from head and abdominal injuries following a car crash.

Valentina Vezzali
Olympic champion Valentina Vezzali

Vezzali, the first fencer in history to win individual foil gold medals at three consecutive Olympics, was driving her car when was in collision with another vehicle and crashed into a tree in Perugia, where the Italian team was training.

She reassured fans later in the week, saying: "I'm fine but I was very scared. I'm thankful for the car's security system."

But doctors say they do not know when the 37-year-old - who won her sixth individual world title last month - can return to action.


Former Fifa president Joao Havelange has resigned from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) days before an ethics hearing into his conduct.

The 95-year-old was facing suspension over his involvement with Fifa's former marketing agency International Sport and Leisure (ISL).

The BBC's Panorama claimed in 2010 that Havelange accepted money from ISL for granting lucrative World Cup contracts.

Havelange was the IOC's longest-serving member having joined in 1963.

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