Prince Harry at the Invictus Games
Prince Harry applauds a British military para-rowing one-two-three at the Invictus Games. Photo via @Row2Recovery.

Olympic links: 15 September, 2014

Prince Harry at the Invictus Games
Prince Harry applauds a British military para-rowing one-two-three at the Invictus Games. Photo via @Row2Recovery.

Tiffany Porter set a new British 100m hurdles record at the Continental Cup in Marrakech, while GB team-mate James Dasaolu won the 100m in 10.03 seconds.


The US easily beat Serbia to win a second consecutive basketball World Cup title. The World Cup occupies the same place in basketball that it has in football – but Sportsnet argues the basketball World Cup is doomed to relative anonymity in its current form.

Here’s a Canadian preview of the women’s World Championship, which start at the end of the month. This is the Worlds’ official website. (Why is the women’s event a World Championship but the men’s is a World Cup?)



Women’s coach Christy Halbert discusses her work as a consultant for the recent Bollywood biopic of Indian boxer Mary Kom’s life:

“The World Championship matches were the first action sequences to be filmed. Working with Priyanka Chopra was great. She picked up on choreography quickly because of her dance background and her enthusiasm for the story. She cared about the boxing.

“Priyanka is taller than Mary, so we made a few adjustments in punch selection and movements around the ring. Omung Kumar, the director, wanted the boxing to be dramatic in ways that a non-boxing audience could understand, and I think he and Priyanka accomplished that well.”


Double world champion David Florence previews the defence of his titles at canoe slalom’s World Championships in the US state of Maryland this week. Here’s the event’s official website.


Alberto Contador won his third Vuelta title:

Contador, who also won the Vuelta in 2008 and 2012, effectively secured victory when he left closest rival Chris Froome trailing to win Saturday’s penultimate stage. Team Sky’s Froome finished second overall and Alejandre Valverde of Movistar was third. Italy’s Adriano Malori took victory in the final stage in Santiago.

Just like in 2008 and 2012, the years of his previous triumphs, the Spaniard used this season’s Vuelta as a rebound race and it worked perfectly as he won his sixth grand tour title.

This year, Contador’s chances of winning the Tour de France for the third time were ruined on the 10th stage when he sustained a hairline fracture in his shinbone as he crashed at high speed in a descent.

Contador even ruled himself out of the Vuelta when he said he felt he was not recovering fast enough, but changed his mind and announced he would target a stage win in the first week. He kept his promise – and went far beyond, becoming again the formidable climber he was before his doping ban.

Chris Froome secured second place largely by virtue of an impressive Saturday performance.

Dutch rider Dylan van Baarle won the Tour of Britain, with Bradley Wiggins third overall having won the penultimate time trial. The Guardian says Wiggins understands now is the time to switch his focus to Rio 2016:

“If I am serious about Rio, which I am, it’s easy to get roped in when you come to things like this. There has to be a point where I make that switch and with the winter months ahead now I have time to go and change body shape. [It is] coming up to nearly 18 months now until the Olympics[so ] that’s going to have to start soon if we’re going to do it.”

Wiggins is uncertain whether he will return to the Tour of Britain next year in search of a second overall victory, as it is unclear how that would fit with his plans to put in a full autumn and winter’s preparation on the track in the run-in to Rio.

That in turn may depend how his contract negotiations with Team Sky pan out, and on that note he confirmed that the deal is still being worked out, and that there will be further meetings next week.

The below photo is not what you might think.

This garnered our good friend @OlympicStatman more than ten thousand retweets when he unearthed the above photo at the weekend. Clearly, it looks as though someone has designed a cycling kit to look as though a team of female riders are wearing nothing at all in certain key areas. The Independent has amassed several photos of the kit and the latest information, via Colombian media, seems to be that one of the riders designed it – the resulting visual effect being a disastrous accident and nothing more. (Link in Spanish.)

Even allowing for the team designing their own kit and a photo showing it in a particularly unfortunate light, it still seems a little hard to believe that the resemblance wasn’t noticed by anyone till now. (It may, of course, have been too late to do much about it by the time the kit arrived.)

Tim Carswell is the new endurance coach for New Zealand’s cyclists.


Italian cyclist Matteo Rabottini has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for EPO in training.


Canadian 67-year-old Ian Millar, long referred to as showjumping’s “Captain Canada”, won his sport’s richest prize on Sunday. Millar and Dixson won a jump-off to take the £800,000 CP International Grand Prix at Calgary’s Spruce Meadows.

Francis Whittington beat world number one William Fox-Pitt to win eventing’s Blenheim horse trials.

British-bred horses can now be exported to China.


Scotland’s women thumped the Faroe Islands 9-0 to earn at least a play-off place in the race to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Canada. If they beat Sweden by a better scoreline than 3-1, Scotland will automatically qualify for the tournament.


BBC One gymnastics entertainment show Tumble came to an end at the weekend.

Hockey (field)

Former GB hockey captain Ben Hawes is the new chair of the British Olympic Association’s athletes’ commission.

Rio 2016

Prices for tickets to Rio 2016 events will be announced tomorrow at 4pm local time in Brazil (no link for this, information via press release).


Here’s the latest from the British boats at sailing’s World Championships in Santander, Spain.


Britain’s Steve Scott and Rachel Parish both won bronze medals at the World Championships in Granada on Sunday. Parish, however, had her medal downgraded as the event was switched from a World Championships to a Grand Prix over a lack of entries.


Olympic champion Jade Jones reiterates her desire to “become a legend” in taekwondo and win multiple Olympic titles.


Australia’s Aaron Royle won the men’s Super Sprint Tri Grand Prix in Las Vegas. American Chelsea Burns won the women’s event and her share of the $70,000 overall prize purse.


Six teams are left in the men’s World Championships in Poland: the hosts plus Brazil, France, Germany, Iran and Russia. The US were dispatched by Argentina over the weekend.


The World Championships have come to a close in Uzbekistan. Russia topped the medal table with six titles – full results are here. Japan won four gold medals – all in women’s freestyle – and Armenia two.

Other news

Oscar Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide regarding the killing of Reeva Steenkamp, having been acquitted of murder last week. A trio of BBC features: this one recaps the life and times of Pistorius from early childhood to the trial; BBC Sport asks whether Paralympic sport needs Pistorius; and this piece speaks to former team-mates and rivals.

Pistorius, meanwhile, could still compete in the Rio Paralympics but Diamond League promoters say he’s no longer welcome.

The Queen told Invictus Games competitors she had been “deeply moved” by their courage, determination and talent as the event ended. There’s a full list of results here. Prince Harry took part in a celebrity wheelchair basketball match on Saturday.

You may remember, a little while ago, we featured a Dutch golf tournament where a hole-in-one would earn you a free trip to space. Someone won the trip. (Video, 34secs.)

Scotland at the Olympics – it’s nothing new. Scotland has previously competed as an independent nation at the Games.