And The First Wardrobe Malfunction Of The 2012 London Summer Olympics Goes To…

…this judo competitor, who couldn’t seem to escape the disrobing grasp of her opponent.

After conducting a thorough investigation, we are led to believe that this picture was taken during a Bronze Medal quarter-final match from the Women’s 48kg Judo competition at ExCel Arena on Saturday.  The women who is flashing a little more than we’d probable like to see is Urantsetseg Munkhbat of Mongolia.  As for the woman playing Justin Timberlake to Munkhbat’s Janet Jackson, that would be Paula Pareto of Argentina.

For those who are interested, Pareto would go on to win the match, but would fall short of earning the bronze medal after losing her following match to Charline van Snick of Belgium. (Total Pro Sports).

 

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Swiss team says Cancellara to start time trial

From Yahoo Sports

LONDON (AP) — Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara plans to defend his time trial gold medal Wednesday after a nasty crash late in the road race put his Olympic future in question.

The four-time world champion was in the lead group Saturday when he misjudged a late turn and crashed into a barrier. He finished the race but was holding up his right arm afterward, and said on Twitter that he had X-rays taken at a clinic in the athletes’ village.

“I feel better with every hour passing,” Cancellara said Monday from his team hotel. “I have to be positive, otherwise I would have been home already. I’m a hard man.”

Cancellara then trained for the first time since his crash and spent about two hours on his time trial bike. The Swiss team said in a statement he is still experiencing pain in his right shoulder, adding that a decision on his participation in the race against the clock will be made Wednesday morning at the latest.

Cancellara broke his right collarbone in the Tour of Flanders earlier this year, causing him to miss two months or racing, and thought he may have done so again.

“I am lucky it is not broken, but it feels like it is,” he said. “When I was in the ambulance, I told the doctor that it felt broken. I could feel pain all over, just like it was in Flanders. When the doctor came back after the scan, he said I was lucky.”

Swiss team doctor Andreas Goesele likened the spill to being in a “car crash, with a whiplash injury.” He also said that Cancellara would have to ride through pain because the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of prohibited substances limits what he can prescribe.

“The WADA list is very strict and we have to stick to it absolutely,” Goesele said.

Cancellara said that he’d watched his crash “100 times.”

Dutch rider Robert Gesink was starting the decisive move, and the rider known as “Spartacus” immediately went with him. Cancellara looked back to see who else was joining the attack, and “one little millisecond” was enough to lose control and slide through the corner, Cancellara said.

Eventual winner Alexander Vinokourov just missed him.

“Maybe everything turns out OK. The mental aspect is important,” Cancellara said. “I have been training many, many hours for the Olympics. We will just have to see how it goes.”

Cancellara wasn’t the only defending time trial gold medalist to crash over the weekend.

Kristin Armstrong of the United States took a tumble near Box Hill during the rain-soaked women’s race on Sunday. The former world champion managed to get back on her bike and finish in the main group, but was banged up after the race.

USA Cycling spokesperson Andrea Smith said Armstrong would be fine for the time trial.

Paula Radcliffe out of Olympics marathon with injury

Paula Radcliffe will not compete in the marathon at the London 2012 Olympics because of a foot injury.

The 38-year-old, who has never won an Olympic medal in four previous Games, was declared unfit after a test run this weekend.

Radcliffe said the thought of competing at London had kept her “fighting, motivated and focused”.

In a statement, she added: “That is why it hurts so much to finally admit to myself that it isn’t going to happen.”

Radcliffe, who is still the women’s marathon world record holder and a former world champion, has suffered with osteoarthritis in her foot during her career.

Radcliffe added: “However hard today is, finally closing the door on that [Olympic] dream, at least I can know that I truly have tried absolutely everything.

“Now however, is the time to accept that it is just not going to settle in time. As desperate as I was to be part of the amazing experience of the London Olympics, I don’t want to be there below my best.”

UK Athletics and the British Olympic Association said they will nominate Scotland’s Freya Murray as the replacement for Radcliffe, to be approved under the Late Athlete Replacement policy.

She will join Great Britain’s other participants, Claire Hallissey and Mara Yamauchi, in the race on Sunday, 5 August.

UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee said: “This is obviously a disappointing day for Paula and our sport but it was important to her that if she made the start line it would be in the best possible shape.

“It wasn’t meant to be and she has taken the right decision to withdraw at this stage.

“I think it is important that we don’t look at Paula’s career in Olympic cycles. She is undoubtedly one of the greatest female distance runners of all times and still holds the marathon world record.

“When we look back at her career it should be in the context of what she has achieved and not what she hasn’t. I wish her all the very best for her recovery.”

Radcliffe’s marathon record

  • 2002 – First in London and Chicago
  • 2003 – First in London
  • 2004 – First in New York, did not finish Athens Olympics
  • 2005 – First in London and at World Championships in Helsinki
  • 2007 – First in New York
  • 2008 – First in New York, 23rd at Beijing Olympics
  • 2009 – Fourth in New York
  • 2011 – Third in Berlin

Radcliffe has been dogged by doubts about her fitness in the build-up to London 2012, leading to a trip to Germany for specialist treatment earlier in July.

She was rated 50-50 by Van Commenee as recently as last week.

Radcliffe has missed out on a medal in four Olympic Games appearances between 1996 and 2008, with her best performance coming on the track at the Sydney Games in 2000, when she was fourth in the 10,000m.

She won the marathon in the 2005 world championships in Helsinki and has won the London and New York marathons three times each.

The Bedford club runner broke the marathon world record in the 2003 London marathon in a time of two hours, 15 minutes and 25 seconds.

From BBC Sport

Fabian Cancellara to decide on time trial after his crash

LONDON (Reuters) – Switzerland’s Olympic time trial champion Fabian Cancellara will decide in the next few hours whether he will defend his title after crashing in the men’s road race on Saturday.

Cancellara hit the deck with about 15 km to go in the race, leaving him with a bloodied arm and ruining his chances of claiming a medal.

A Swiss cycling team spokeswoman said Cancellara was bruised but had not suffered any broken bones and a decision on whether the 31-year-old would ride in Wednesday’s time trial would be made in the coming hours.

Cancellara, who was in a leading group of 32, missed a right-hand turn and crashed into the safety barriers.

He managed to get back on his bike but struggled to hold his handlebar with his right hand.

“Have no words left. The tears are stronger then the pain. Now we are waiting in the policlinic in the athletvillage (sic) for the X-ray,” Cancellara had said on his Twitter account.

British Triathlon seeking Performance Director

British Triathlon Federation announcement:

British Triathlon is looking to appoint a Performance Director based at our headquarters in Loughborough to build on our current success and lead us through to Rio and beyond.

Britain currently boasts both the male and female world champion over standard distance triathlon as well as World and European title holders at long distance triathlon and duathlon and a pipeline of emerging talent.  Put simply, our top athletes are world class.

We are seeking a leader who has the creativity, passion and the vision to develop the strategic direction, inspire and engage and drive the shared vision to achieve sustainable, world-leading performance at all levels.  Your experience in delivering excellence will build confidence that this vision can be delivered, enhancing performance throughout our GB Triathlon teams.  The existing athletes, coaches, staff and the Board who have supported the journey to London 2012 have demonstrated that together, we have the talent to succeed; their engagement in the future performance journey is critical.

British Triathlon is a high performing organisation, twice winner of the prestigious Sports Industry Awards Governing Body of the year (2010 and 2012); our culture supports those who aspire to perform at the highest level.  Our mission is to promote excellence and create everyone’s personal triathlon challenge.  If “no stone unturned” performance delivery is the challenge that inspires you, then this is the role for you.

Applicants will have significant experience of high performing environments, a good technical knowledge of endurance sport, backed up by personal experience in the field of elite international competition.  You will be a leader with the ability to develop a shared vision and build a strategy around that vision. You will have the skills to build, manage, inspire and engage the teams to deliver that vision. Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the proven ability to lead a diverse, highly skilled team are essential.

Applicant must be able to spend periods of time away from home at weekends and evenings and travel extensively overseas for extended periods.

You can download the relevant application form and person specification by visiting the British Triathlon website, www.britishtriathlon.org

Closing date for applications is 18 September 2012. British Triathlon is an equal opportunities employer.  Details of our equal opportunities policy can be found on our website: http://www.britishtriathlon.org under ‘About’ and then ‘Policies documents’. British Triathlon aims to promote excellence in our sport, and create opportunities for everyone to achieve their personal triathlon challenges.

Lizzie Armitstead claims Team GB’s first medal of London 2012 in the women’s cycling road race

From the Independent

Lizzie Armitstead was happy after claiming Great Britain’s first medal of the London 2012 Olympic Games in the women’s road race, but was a little rueful after missing out on gold.

Armitstead was beaten to victory at the end of a pulsating 140-kilometre race, which featured two climbs of Surrey’s Box Hill, as prolific winner Marianne Vos of Holland triumphed on The Mall.

With the peloton cast adrift, the 23-year-old from Otley was in line for Britain’s first medal of the home Games, but the question remained which colour.

Armitstead positioned herself behind the Dutchwoman entering the finishing straight but Vos was strong enough to hold off the Briton, who had to settle for second. Russia’s Olga Zabelinskaya was third.

Armitstead said: “I’m really, really happy. Maybe later I’ll start thinking about that gold, but I’m happy with silver at the moment.

“I was thinking about trying to play poker in the final and I sat on with about 3k (kilometres) to go and I thought that was my best chance and it came off.

“In retrospect I should’ve tried to jump Marianne but she’s the fastest and I’m happy enough with silver.

On the first British podium place of London 2012, Armitstead said: “It’s something very special and it hasn’t sunk in yet.”

Nicole Cooke won Britain’s first gold medal of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing in the event and Armitstead was seeking to emulate the success to ensure the title remained in British hands.

Cooke’s victory came in teeming rain by the Great Wall of China four years ago and Armitstead’s bid for victory was played out in similarly treacherous and wet conditions.

In a frantic race, with attack after attack, Armitstead was part of the late escape on the final descent after Box Hill, but prolific winner Vos was too strong.

Emma Pooley put in a strong performance, marking escapes and keeping the tempo high, while Lucy Martin, the fourth member of the British team, played an integral role from the start.

“Hopefully, the GB ball is rolling now and I’m just so grateful to my team-mates, friends and family,” Armitstead added.

“It means four years of hard work has paid off.

“Lucy was fantastic in the beginning. I didn’t have to worry about being in the right position or anything.

“She did an incredible job. Pooley as always was smashing it over the climbs, which is perfect for me, an aggressive race.

“Nicole was there for the back-up plan, so it was good.”

Why Team GB lost the one they were supposed to win

From The Independent

Mark Cavendish in flying form, British morale at an all-time high after Bradley Wiggins’s victory in the Tour de France, four out of five riders stage winners in the Tour and an Olympic team regularly touted as the strongest in the world. How could it possibly have gone so wrong for Team GB in yesterday’s road-race?

The short answer to that is that for 85 per cent of the race it hadn’t. For over 200km of the 250km race things actually went swimmingly for Great Britain. With virtually no assistance from anyone bar the Germans – and that was limited – the blue-clad GB riders spearheaded the main pack. After eight laps of Box Hill – the crunch point of the entire race – the breakaway of 12 that had escaped from the start was pegged back to a minute, a manageable difference.

As the race powered up Box Hill for the final time that, perhaps, was the root of the problem: the British were doing too well. And with Cavendish’s failure to falter on the nine climbs of the hill confirming that he had not lost his condition after the Tour, many teams clicked that if they did not attack at that point, a bunch sprint was all but inevitable. It was now or never. They had to make a move.

“We had planned that all the way from the beginning of the race to do something on Box Hill, but after what the British did we knew at that point we had to strike,” said Spain’s road coach Jose Luis De Santos, who placed three Spanish riders into the 30-strong break that finally decided the race.

With one-day specialists of the calibre of Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland), Philippe Gilbert (Belgium), Sylvain Chavanel (France) and the eventual winner Alexandr Vinokurov doing the same, suddenly Britain were on the back foot.

First Chris Froome, then David Millar and finally Wiggins dropped back, all exhausted. “The race was six hours long and we’d done five and a quarter hours on the front. I just didn’t have that extra little bit,” said Millar.

“We rode the exact race we wanted to ride,” Cavendish explained. “We wanted to control it and we wanted the group at a minute. We expected teams to come and chase at the end with us. We controlled it with four guys for 250km and we couldn’t do more. We are human beings.”

“Technically the Brits did a perfect race,” added the veteran US racer Chris Horner. “I would have done it exactly as they did. They played to their strengths, which was working for Mark Cavendish, playing it easy on the ascents of Box Hill and then harder everywhere else,” – so the other riders would be deterred from attacking.

But without the support of other sprinter-led teams on the crucial last 40km, four riders – crucially, three less than the seven who supported Cavendish’s World Championship win – were never going to be able to bring back 30.

The loss, late-on, of a top Classics rider like Cancellara in the front group, bizarrely, did not benefit the British pursuit. Instead, when the Swiss rider crashed it spurred on the other riders in the break because they realised their chances of success had increased hugely as a result. And that, coupled with a gentle but perceptible tailwind speeding the break on its way, spelled curtains for the British who had, almost unaided, managed to keep the break at 45 to 55secs for almost 30km.

The knock-on efforts of riding a Tour de France cannot be blamed for the British defeat; most top riders will be riding 250km races like the Clásica San Sebastian, a Spanish one-day event, the Saturday after the Tour’s final stage.

In 2009 Cavendish himself won a very tough one-day race in Germany, the Sparkasse Classic, in torrential rain five days after the Tour.

“They played the best they could and their racing tactics were spot on,” said De Santos. “Simply, the cards didn’t fall their way.”