London 2012: Olympic sport this week
LAST WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS
Medals for Great Britain's sailors despite Percy injury; magnificent Maher triumphs at Olympia; GB women too strong for USA in hockey series; but US dominate swimming's Duel in the Pool.
Great Britain ended up with six medals at the World Championships in Perth, clinching two silver medals on the final day of racing.
Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark moved up to second spot by winning the medal race in the 470 women's event, while Nick Thompson won a third consecutive World Championship medal in the Laser class.
British Olympic champion Paul Goodison - who beat Thompson in the 2012 selection trials - was fifth.
Britain's Olympic Star champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson were forced to relinquish their world title after two-time gold medallist Percy injured his back.
Australia finished as the top nation with three gold medals, but British Olympic sailing manager Stephen Park was positive about GB's overall showing. "We've had some great performances, with a timely reminder you can never get complacent," he said.
Ben Maher gave his Olympic selection hopes a boost with a magnificent World Cup victory at London's Olympia on Sunday.
Maher and his horse Tripple X III emulated Michael Whitaker's success in last year's blue riband event by defeating a top-class field packed with fellow Olympic contenders.
Earlier in the week, Britain's dressage riders strengthened their Olympic title credentials by sweeping the top-four places on successive nights.
Laura Bechtolsheimer won Wednesday's freestyle title a day after Charlotte Dujardin won the grand prix.
Great Britain's women completed a clean sweep in their five-match series against the United States with a 4-0 victory in San Diego.
Ashleigh Ball, Sarah Thomas, Vikki Bunce and Alex Danson all scored in a one-sided encounter on Sunday.
The teams met five times in eight days, with rain postponing one match.
Crista Cullen, who made her 150th appearance for Great Britain and England combined, said: "We've dominated the series and it's been great to score so many quality open play goals."
Fran Halsall helped set a world best time in the 100m freestyle relay but it was not enough to prevent Europe suffering a heavy defeat by the United States in the Duel in the Pool 2011 at the Georgia Tech Aquatics Center.
The Americans won the overall event by 181.5 points to 80.5, but Halsall, joined by Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen, Aliaksandra Herasimenia of Belarus and Dutchwoman Ranomi Kromowidjojo, won their race in three minutes, 27.53 seconds, beating the old mark set by the Netherlands.
However, the time will not count as a world record because the swimmers were all representing different countries.
Britain's Lizzie Simmonds set a new European record in the 200m backstroke to finish second behind 16-year-old American Missy Franklin, and followed that up by winning the 100m backstroke.
Beijing 2008 Olympians Sam Weale and Heather Fell ended the year on a high by winning the senior titles at the British Modern Pentathlon Championships at the University of Bath.
Jamie Cooke and Freyja Prentice - who finished first and third in their respective World Junior Championships last month - won the British Junior Championships titles.
Cooke actually achieved the highest score in the men's competition, which also doubled as the second national selection event for the British team for the 2012 season.
The third and final national selection competition takes place on the weekend of 21 and 22 January.
Britain's Karina Bryant won a bronze medal at the Qingdao Grand Prix in China, losing to Qin Qian in the semi-final of the women's +78kg event.
It was a welcome end to the year for Bryant who is hoping to compete in her fourth Olympic Games in 2012.
Gold went to China's Olympic champion Tong Wen, one of three winners for the host nation.
Euan Burton reached the quarter-final of the men's -81kg, losing to Russia's Ivan Nifontov.
Olympic and world champion Lin Dan added the World Superseries title to his remarkable trophy cabinet, beating his compatriot Chen Long 21-12 21-16 in the final.
The victory gave 'Super Dan' badminton's first-ever 'Super Grand Slam', with the 28-year-old Chinese pin-up having now won all nine of its premier titles.
In the women's final, top seed Wang Yihan of China proved too good in the end for Saina Nehwal of India, winning 18-21 21-13 21-13.
The only title to elude the hosts was the men's doubles, won by Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark.
Olympic and European champions Norway defeated France 32-24 to win their second world women's handball title.
Not since Denmark's dominance in the mid-1990s has a women's handball team held all three major titles.
Norway's Kristine Lunde-Borgersen led the way with six goals and celebrated with her baby son, Matheo, after the final whistle.
Spain took the bronze medal, beating Denmark.
Dwain Chambers would be accepted back into Team GB if the British Olympic Association's lifetime ban for drugs cheats is ruled unlawful.
It is challenging the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) policy that states the ban is "non-compliant" with its code.
BOA chairman Lord Moynihan told BBC Radio 5 Live: "They will, rest assured, be fully embraced into the team."
Both the BOA and Wada hope the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) will make its decision before the end of April.
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