BBC BLOGS - Ollie Williams

Archives for July 2011

London 2012: How are Britain's rivals doing?

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Ollie Williams | 22:59 UK time, Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Next year may be a home Olympics for the British but Team GB are not the only ones hoping London 2012 will be their greatest Games ever.

The British Olympic Association and UK Sport tell us everything is on track, Britain's athletes are "better-prepared than ever to succeed" and fourth place in the medal table is the least they expect. But GB's rivals are racing to outdo them at every turn.

With one year to go, projected medal tables - where statisticians distil data from major championships to decide how the Games would go were they staged today - are coming out of the woodwork.

Going by the most comprehensive of these virtual tables, the British are no longer the comfortable fourth they finished at Beijing 2008. They are fifth.

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At the sharp end: time ticking for British Fencing

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Ollie Williams | 11:52 UK time, Monday, 18 July 2011

Britain's fencers are running out of time to prove they can perform when it matters. Now they will turn their training upside down in the hope it provides the answer.

This month's European Championships in Sheffield look certain to become the second major tournament in a row, following last winter's Worlds in Paris, in which a British squad arrived with high hopes of a medal and left without a bean.

One year from London 2012, the pattern is a worrying one for a sport without an Olympic medal since 1964.

New performance director Alex Newton has spent two months taking stock since her appointment, and is introducing a "fundamentally different" training regime from 1 August.

It is the Olympic equivalent of applying the defibrillator, in the hope that British medal prospects - which clearly exist but lie frustratingly dormant - come to life.

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