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Out with a bang? Or out with a whimper? It was frustrating to watch GB's hockey hopes fade. For all the excitement of the game against Australia, the men subsided with that draw against Canada - a country better known for their skills on the ice.

And the women's path was blocked by a stubborn but limited USA side. It's hard to shake the feeling that opportunity was knocking.

Ranked eighth and 10th in the world respectively, Britain's men and women will claim with justification to have made progress here in China. They each hope to finish in fifth place, which would be a significant achievement in the wider scheme of things. They are making headway.

Continue reading "Frustration for Britain's hockey teams"

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What a start for Britain's men's hockey team.

Just as Steve Harmison's wayward first ball of the 2006 Ashes set the tone for the whole of the series, they'll be hoping James Tindall's crashing strike is an omen for their Beijing campaign.

It certainly set tongues wagging at the Olympic hockey venue.

The New Zealand TV commentator next to me was cooing with admiration, so too my German counterpart just below me.

All four goals were of the highest quality - Rob Moore's reverse stick effort my personal favourite.

Continue reading "Victory over Pakistan kickstarts GB men"


GB's men have eased off the gas as D-Day approaches, confident that the hard work is done

Their coach Jason Lee told me the time at the training base in Macau was invaluable for the acclimatisation process, and he expects to reap the dividends here in China.

The stifling heat in Beijing will ask questions of every athlete - but Lee insists it was hotter in Macau, and his men will be ready for anything.

As for the smog: "Everyone has to breathe the same air" he said.


Continue reading "GB hockey teams shrug off heat ahead of tough openers"

The British Olympic squad lost the limelight in Macau on Wednesday as the American basketball team were in town!

Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, et al tuned up for their assault on Olympic gold with a couple of matches here against Turkey and Lithuania, so down I rushed to the ludicrously massive Venetian Hotel - twice the size of the Vegas version on which it's based and capable of holding a staggering 20,000 people - to join the media scrum.

Continue reading "NBA stars descend on Macau"

The first thing that strikes one about Macau is the heat.

And "strikes" is the operative word. A thermal wave hit me like a wall as I emerged from my air-conditioned ferry.

The women's hockey team, desperate to atone for their calamitous failure to even make the Games in Athens, are the first members of the British squad to taste Macau and its climate.

"It's something else," admitted coach Danny Kerry as I watched him oversee training. "It's like running through treacle."

Continue reading "Heat is on inside GB camp in Macau"

Welcome to our Olympics and Paralympics blog, which we are launching as the countdown to the 2008 Games begins in earnest.

Wednesday marks exactly 100 days to go to the 8 August opening ceremony (though oddly enough the football tournament starts two days earlier).

Writers from across BBC Sport, Radio 5Live, BBC London and BBC News will bring you the inside track on all 28 Olympic sports, as well as the Games themselves - which are set to be truly fascinating, if controversial, given China's hosting of them.

One of the uncertainties at the moment from a British perspective is whether the Games will turn out to be a triumph - or a failure. My view is...

Continue reading "Welcome to our new Olympics blog"

Twenty years ago, British hockey enjoyed its finest hour. On a sweltering afternoon in Seoul, a 3-1 win over West Germany prompted wild celebrations.

The amateurs assembled under Richard Dodds' captaincy were deservedly crowned Olympic champions, but rather than heralding a period of dominance and trophies, the game in this country stagnated. Two decades on, do Jason Lee and Danny Kerry's sides have what it takes to win gold for Britain in Beijing?

The easy answer is probably no, given current form and world rankings. Both the GB men and women seem short of genuine world-class players, but there is nothing like an Olympic Games to galvanise a group. It's their Everest, and for some, it's the only chance they will have to showcase their talents on the global stage.

Continue reading "Tough tests ahead for GB hockey teams"

Keep reading this blog for all the latest about the Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing and also for the inside track on the long build-up to London 2012.

News and reports will be on the BBC Sport website but our experts will bring you behind the scenes access to the world's biggest sporting event right here.

All of our bloggers are keen to hear your views and we want people to engage and comment on what we have to say.

To find out more about all our contributors, check our about their author pages.

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