Lizzy Yarnold became Britain’s most successful Winter Olympian on this day in 2018 when she overcame illness to retain her skeleton title in Pyeongchang.

Yarnold, from Sevenoaks in Kent, snatched victory on her fourth and final run with a new track record to make it back-to-back gold medals after her triumph at Sochi 2014.

Laura Deas claimed bronze as Britain won two medals in the same event for the first time at a Winter Olympics.

Yarnold went into the final day 0.10secs off the pace after complaining of feeling dizzy, but cut the deficit as overnight leader Jacqueline Lolling of Germany slipped back to third place after the third round.

The Sochi 2014 champion trailed Austria’s Janine Flock by 0.02 ahead of the final run, meaning Yarnold was the penultimate slider to take to the track and had to watch her rival’s performance.

The Briton clocked a track record of 51.46secs to take the lead in thrilling fashion and Flock floundered, relinquishing her spot on the podium to spark jubilant celebrations among a sizeable British contingent at the Olympic Sliding Centre, including Welsh racer Deas.

An emotional Yarnold, who became Britain’s most decorated Winter Olympian, said: “I’m overwhelmed and exhausted. I don’t really know how it happened.

“After the first run I wasn’t sure whether I was going to be able to finish the race because my chest infection was so bad I was struggling to breathe and I got here only with the help of my team.

“I guess four years ago, three years ago, the whole team all dared to dream that this was possible and I just went with them all and we managed it.”

With Deas finishing third behind Lolling, and Izzy Atkin having earlier secured bronze in the women’s ski slopestyle, it was the first time Britain had won three Winter Olympic medals on the same day, overtaking the record two from Chamonix in 1924.

Adam Peaty bounced back from individual disappointment to help Great Britain clinch bronze in the 4x100m mixed medley relay at the World Championships in Doha.

The quartet of Medi Harris, Peaty, Matthew Richards and Anna Hopkin finished third in a time of three minutes 40.22 seconds.

Victory went to the United States in 3:40.22, with Australia second in 3:43.12.

Peaty and Hopkin were part of the British 4x100m mixed medley team which won gold and broke the world record at the Tokyo Olympics.

Three-time Olympic champion Peaty, 29, earlier missed out on the medals by finishing fourth in the men’s 50m breaststroke, having claimed bronze over 100m on Monday as he gears up for this summer’s Games in Paris.

Also on Wednesday, Daniel Wiffen made history by becoming Ireland’s first world swimming champion after taking gold in the 800m freestyle final in Doha.

The 22-year-old from County Armagh topped the podium in a time of seven minutes 40.94 seconds.

Wiffen, who was second quickest in qualifying, took the lead with 50 metres to go to claim his first global title ahead of Australia’s Elijah Winnington and Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri.

“Obviously the goal coming into this meet was to win a world medal and make the podium for Ireland, win Ireland’s first ever medal at a world championship level,” he said, as reported by swimireland.ie.

“It’s just really cool to say and I’m really happy.”

Wiffen returns to the pool on Saturday morning for the heats of the 1500m freestyle.

Kevin Sinfield will take some time to consider his next campaign after completing the latest energy-sapping fundraising challenge to help people living with motor neurone disease as the push to raise awareness and research for a cure goes on.

Inspired by former Leeds team-mate Rob Burrow, the 43-year-old pushed through a gruelling schedule of running seven ultramarathons in as many days in seven different cities around Britain and Ireland.

Sinfield, the current England rugby union defence coach, had again battled the elements en route to crossing the finishing line to a rapturous welcome on The Mall in London on Thursday afternoon.

The team had taken to the roads once again to raise awareness of MND and funds for five charities supporting people affected by the condition and their families, and also to fund research into effective treatments and ultimately a cure.

Each leg of his latest challenge comprised 27 miles – the conventional marathon distance with an extra mile added to signify how much further people can go to help friends in need.

On Thursday evening, the Motor Neurone Disease Association confirmed with online and other donations, Sinfield’s latest campaign had passed the £777,777 target.

Proceeds from the ‘7in7in7’ initiative will go to mainly to the MND Association and Leeds Hospitals Charity appeal to build the Rob Burrow MND centre in the city.

There will also be donations to the My Name’5 Doddie, the Irish MND Association, the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation and support for the 4ED campaign.

Although taking a well-deserved to reflect with his team on their achievements, Sinfield knows there remains plenty of hard work ahead in the continuing quest for a cure.

“I think we will see,” Sinfield said when asked what other challenges might be on the horizon.

“What I am really conscious of is the team have put so much into the last four that we have done and I can’t do it on my own.

“I know we are extremely passionate about what we have done. We have got some time together on the bus tonight, so we will let everybody settle and enjoy, to celebrate because it has been a really good week.

“I will never say never – there is a big possibility we will go again.

“I think some of that will show in what our grand total ends up being, because we are certainly all conscious of compassion fatigue.

“But we are also really conscious that we are really passionate about the MND community and how we can help it, whether that is through running or not, we are not sure.

“But we are really keen to see the donations and where those end up, because ultimately they are the things that really shift it.

“We want to raise the awareness, we want to change how people feel about the MND community.

“But if we are really going to help them, then we need to continue to raise money so that they can find a cure.”

Sinfield added: “Wherever we have been now, we have had unbelievable support, especially from the MND community, so that needs to continue in some way, shape or form.”

Former England bowler Stuart Broad and Rugby World Cup winner Will Greenwood were among the guests who joined Sinfield during the final leg in London, which had started at Twickenham.

With his latest campaign put to bed, it will not be long before Sinfield’s attentions turn swiftly back to his day job.

“I have got some work to do tomorrow and I will be at a game on Sunday (Sale v Stade Francais), but I will try to catch up on some sleep and I want to see some family,” Sinfield said.

“I was away for five months and then had a busy month getting ready for this, then away again for a week so I am really looking forward to Christmas.”

:: To donate to Kevin Sinfield’s 7 in 7 in 7 quest, visit https://donate.giveasyoulive.com/fundraising/kevin-sinfield

Andy Murray inspired Great Britain to Davis Cup victory for the first time in 79 years on this day in 2015 after success in the final against Belgium.

Britain had last got their hands on the trophy in 1936, when Fred Perry and Bunny Austin helped defeat Australia.

When Murray completed a straight-sets win against David Goffin in Ghent to clinch it, he completed one of the most impressive feats of his career.

The Scot’s 6-3 7-5 6-3 triumph against the Belgian number one at the Flanders Expo was his 11th win in the competition that season.

Murray spearheaded the victory and claimed 11 of the 12 points which Britain needed for the title, eight in singles and three in doubles with brother Jamie. The only player not a member of the Murray family to contribute was James Ward.

Three other players have won 11 rubbers in a season since the current Davis Cup format was introduced in 1981, but Murray became the first to do so all in live rubbers and remain unbeaten.

On their way to victory, Britain defeated the United States 3-2 in Glasgow, France 3-1 in London and Australia 3-2 in the semi-finals in Glasgow before Murray sealed a 3-1 success against Belgium.

Murray said: “I probably haven’t been as emotional as that after a match that I’ve won.

“I’ve been pretty upset having lost matches before. But I’d say that’s probably the most emotional I’ve been after a win.

“It’s incredible that we managed to win this competition. I didn’t know that would ever be possible.”

The Lawn Tennis Association has called on British fans to show respect to opposing players after Novak Djokovic’s spat with supporters at the Davis Cup in Malaga.

Djokovic defeated Cameron Norrie 6-4 6-4 to secure a 2-0 victory for Serbia over Great Britain in the quarter-finals on Thursday evening but was very unhappy when a section of the 5,000-strong British support tried to drown out his post-match interview with drumming.

Djokovic, who had earlier ironically blown kisses to a vocal British fan at the end of the first set, told the supporters: “Learn how to respect players, learn how to behave yourself.” He then added: “No, you shut up, you be quiet,” as the row continued.

British captain Leon Smith played down the incident, arguing that noisy, partisan atmospheres are central to the Davis Cup.

An LTA spokesperson said: “Passion is a unique component of the Davis Cup and it is a competition where emotions run high. We are lucky to have strong travelling support and would always encourage GB supporters to behave with respect for our opposition.”

Rather awkwardly for the governing body, it does provide help to some supporter groups, including the one in question, the Stirling University Barmy Army, to travel to ties in order to create a good atmosphere.

The row overshadowed what was a disappointing end to an encouraging season in the competition for Smith’s men.

Norrie played well and kept the scoreline relatively close against the world number one without ever remotely threatening an upset but the damage was done when Jack Draper lost out 7-6 (2) 7-6 (6) to Miomir Kecmanovic in the opening rubber.

It was only the 21-year-old’s second Davis Cup match and one he will unquestionably learn from, with Draper set to be central to Britain’s hopes over the next decade and more.

He has recovered well from an injury-hit first two-thirds of the season, reaching the fourth round of the US Open and his first ATP Tour final in Sofia earlier this month to pull his ranking back up to 60.

“I’m really proud of the improvements I made this year,” said Draper. “I think, though I lost the match, I’m trying to play in the right way. I didn’t serve great, but I’m trying to look to come forward a lot more.

“I think it’s only exciting with me. I’ve got so much to improve on. That’s an amazing thing. Just reset and look for improvements.”

Draper also backed Smith to continue his long tenure in the captain’s role. It is now eight years since the Scot guided Britain to a stunning Davis Cup title, and next year will be his 14th at the helm.

“He creates an amazing environment,” said Draper. “We all want to play for him, all want to work hard. He only is positive around us in my opinion.

“It’s up to him if he wants to step down or not, but I’d be very happy if he stayed on and we can keep playing, because he’s a great captain, a good guy. He gives us a lot.”

Without a peak Andy Murray, Smith has had more difficult selection decisions to make, and last year’s group-stage exit ended in recriminations when Dan Evans claimed he should have been picked for doubles.

He got his wish this year, which paid off when he played the key role in helping Britain reach the last eight only for a calf injury to rule him out of this week’s event.

Had Evans been available rather than cheering from the stands, things might have turned out differently, and, with Murray also sidelined, Smith was left with a team that picked itself.

He will hope that Norrie rediscovers his best form next season having now lost three Davis Cup rubbers in a row, and there were some encouraging signs against Djokovic despite the final result.

Britain will find out on Sunday if they have been awarded a wild card for September’s group stage or must play a qualifier in February, while Djokovic and Serbia have their eyes on the big prize and a crunch semi-final against Italy on Saturday.

The match will see Djokovic clash with Jannik Sinner for the third time in a week and a half in the biggest Davis Cup singles match for many years.

Sinner handed Djokovic his first defeat since the Wimbledon final in the group stage of the ATP Finals only for the world number one to take revenge in the final.

Djokovic, who is unbeaten in Davis Cup singles rubbers since 2011, said: “We’re developing a nice rivalry lately. I have tons of respect for him.

“He’s been playing arguably the tennis of his life. I saw a little bit of the singles and doubles that he won (against the Netherlands on Thursday). Amazing. He really played on a high level. I could see that he was very pumped to play for his nation.

“I’m not playing bad myself. So it’s going to be, I think, a great match.”

Novak Djokovic told rowdy British fans to “shut up” after leading Serbia to a 2-0 victory in the Davis Cup quarter-finals in Malaga.

The world number one showed his annoyance with a section of the 5,000-strong British support by cupping his ear and blowing ironic kisses at the end of the first set of his 6-4 6-4 victory over Cameron Norrie.

When the same group of fans began drumming during Djokovic’s on-court interview, the Serbian responded: “Learn how to respect players, learn how to behave yourself,” before adding, “no, you shut up, you be quiet”.

It was a sour end to what was a disappointing evening for Britain, with the writing on the wall once Jack Draper fell to a 7-6 (2) 7-6 (6) defeat by Miomir Kecmanovic in a opening rubber that was a must-win.

On his spat with the supporters, Djokovic said: “In the Davis Cup, it’s normal that sometimes fans step over the line but, in the heat of the moment, you react too, and you show that you don’t allow this kind of behaviour.

“They can do whatever they want, but I’m going to respond to that. I was trying to talk and they were purposely starting to play the drums so that I don’t talk and they were trying to annoy me the entire match. So we had a little bit of a chat in the end.”

Britain’s dramatic success against France in Manchester in September had sent them through to the final eight event for the first time in the revamped format.

The tie did not get under way until 6.10pm, more than two hours later than billed, because of the over-running first match of the day between Italy and the Netherlands.

The near-capacity crowd, which also included a sizeable number of Serbian supporters, gave the event the sort of authentic Davis Cup feel that has so often been missing since the switch from the home-and-away format.

Among those sat in the stands at the Palacio de Deportes Martin Carpena was Dan Evans, who had hoped to build on his brilliant performances in Manchester before a calf injury prematurely ended his season.

But even the British number two would have had his work cut out against an inspired Kecmanovic, who was chosen ahead of the higher-ranked Laslo Djere and fully justified the decision.

Draper had the better form coming in having reached his first ATP Tour final this month and had beaten Kecmanovic – ranked five places higher at 55 – earlier this year, but the Serbian was dominant on serve and edged two tie-breaks.

It was only the 21-year-old’s second Davis Cup rubber and he admitted knowing Djokovic was looming added to the nerves he felt.

“That’s seemingly a must-win match for me,” said Draper. “It’s definitely a tough challenge to go out there knowing that there is a lot more pressure on me to win the match.

“That’s the kind of pressure that, if I want to be a top player, I have to cope with and have to perform under. It’s tough not to get the win today. I gave it all I had mentally. I didn’t do a few things as well as I wanted to, but he played a great match.”

Djokovic had lost only six of his 61 previous matches this season, with just one defeat since the Wimbledon final, while his Davis Cup record is utterly formidable.

It is 12 years since he lost a singles match in the competition, and even that was by retirement, with now 21 straight wins and only four sets dropped.

Norrie had managed only a single set in three previous meetings and has endured a miserable run since the clay-court swing back in the spring, but he was captain Leon Smith’s only option once Andy Murray pulled out with a minor shoulder injury.

He did not put in a bad performance by any means, but was fire-fighting from the moment he was broken at 2-2 in the opening set and won only eight points on Djokovic’s serve during the contest.

While Serbia are a step closer to the trophy, Britain must start again in February in the qualifiers – barring an unlikely wild card through to September’s group stage.

Novak Djokovic ended Great Britain’s hopes of winning another Davis Cup title as he led Serbia to a 2-0 quarter-final victory in Malaga.

Britain’s dramatic success against France in Manchester in September had sent them through to the final eight event for the first time in the revamped format.

But they fell at the first hurdle, with Miomir Kecmanovic defeating Jack Draper 7-6 (2) 7-6 (6) before Djokovic comfortably saw off Cameron Norrie 6-4 6-4 to send a jubilant Serbia through to a semi-final against Italy on Saturday.

Given the presence of Djokovic, who cemented his position at the top of the sport by winning a seventh ATP Finals title on Sunday, Britain’s hopes depended on Draper winning the first rubber.

The tie did not get under way until 6.10pm, more than two hours later than billed, because of the over-running first match of the day between Italy and the Netherlands.

There were around 5,000 British fans in a near-capacity crowd, giving the event the sort of authentic Davis Cup feel that has so often been missing since the switch from the home-and-away format.

Among those sat in the stands at the Palacio de Deportes Martin Carpena was Dan Evans, who had hoped to build on his brilliant performances in Manchester before a calf injury prematurely ended his season.

But even the British number two would have had his work cut out against an inspired Kecmanovic, who was chosen ahead of the higher-ranked Laslo Djere and fully justified the decision.

Draper had the better form coming in having reached his first ATP Tour final this month and had beaten Kecmanovic – ranked five places higher at 55 – earlier this year, but the Serbian was dominant on serve and edged two tie-breaks.

Draper hung on during the first set, saving two break points at 3-4 and then two set points at 4-5 with some gutsy play only to double fault twice in the tie-break.

His chance came when he recovered from 2-5 to level at 5-5 in the second tie-break but, despite saving a match point, he could not force a decider.

It was only the 21-year-old’s second Davis Cup rubber and he admitted knowing Djokovic was looming added to the nerves he felt.

“That’s seemingly a must-win match for me,” said Draper. “It’s definitely a tough challenge to go out there knowing that there is a lot more pressure on me to win the match.

“That’s the kind of pressure that, if I want to be a top player, I have to cope with and have to perform under. It’s tough not to get the win today. I gave it all I had mentally. I didn’t do a few things as well as I wanted to, but he played a great match.”

Djokovic had lost only six of his 61 previous matches this season, with just one defeat since the Wimbledon final, while his Davis Cup record is utterly formidable.

It is 12 years since he lost a singles match in the competition, and even that was by retirement, with now 21 straight wins and only four sets dropped.

Norrie had managed only a single set in three previous meetings and has endured a miserable run since the clay-court swing back in the spring, but he was captain Leon Smith’s only option once Andy Murray pulled out with a minor shoulder injury.

He did not put in a bad performance by any means, but was fire-fighting from the moment he was broken at 2-2 in the opening set, throwing everything he had at Djokovic to fight back from 0-40 in his next service game.

The Serbian lost just three points on serve in the first set – and only eight in the match – and blew kisses towards a vocal British fan who had been warned by the umpire after clinching it to love.

Norrie promptly dropped serve to start the second set before again hanging on grimly, this time saving five break points at 1-3, but Djokovic was able to stay in his comfort zone through to the finish line.

While Serbia are a step closer to the trophy, Britain must start again in February in the qualifiers – barring an unlikely wild card through to September’s group stage.

Great Britain’s hopes of reaching the Davis Cup semi-finals were hanging by a thread after Jack Draper lost the opening rubber to Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic in Malaga.

Draper’s 7-6 (2) 7-6 (6) defeat left Cameron Norrie needing to hand Novak Djokovic just his seventh loss of the season to send the tie to a deciding doubles.

Serbia sprang a surprise by picking Kecmanovic, ranked five places above Draper at 55 in the world, ahead of their number two Laslo Djere, but the 24-year-old fully justified the decision with an impressive display.

Twenty-one-year-old Draper was unable to impose his big game on the match and came out on the wrong end of two tie-breaks in a contest lasting two hours and two minutes.

The tie did not get under way until 6.10pm, more than two hours later than billed, because of the over-running first match of the day between Italy and the Netherlands.

Around 5,000 British fans, including Dan Evans, who was forced out of the event through injury after playing the leading role in qualification, made up the majority of a virtually full crowd at the Palacio de Deportes Martin Carpena.

The International Tennis Federation’s decision to move away from the traditional home-and-away format and to a World Cup-style event has been unpopular with players and fans, but this was the sort of occasion they would have envisaged.

It was a huge moment for Draper, who only played his first match in the competition in September in Manchester and now found British hopes depending on him given the presence of Djokovic in the second rubber.

He could draw on better recent form than Kecmanovic, having reached his first ATP Tour final in Sofia earlier this month while the Serbian had lost his last four matches, and also won their only previous meeting on clay in May.

But Kecmanovic is a quality player who was ranked in the top 30 at the start of the year and, despite three aces in his first service game from Draper, it was the Serbian who was the more impressive in the early stages.

Draper had to dig deep to save two break points in a long eighth game and then found himself facing two set points at 4-5, which he again fought off in gutsy fashion.

But two double faults cost him dearly in the tie-break and left him with a lot of work to do to turn the match around.

Neither man faced a break point in the second set, but again it was Kecmanovic who looked the more convincing on serve.

After losing five points in a row from 2-0 up in the tie-break, Draper did well to level at 5-5 and then save a match point with a volley that just caught the line, but a wayward forehand gave Kecmanovic a second chance and this time the British youngster netted a return.

Andy Murray has been ruled out of the Great Britain team for next week’s Davis Cup finals in Malaga.

The 36-year-old former Wimbledon and US Open champion is sidelined due to a minor shoulder injury, the Lawn Tennis Association confirmed.

Britain play quarter-final opponents Serbia on November 23.

“I’ve picked up a minor shoulder injury which means I won’t be able to take part in the Davis Cup,” Murray said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“I’m gutted not to be part of the squad, but my focus is now on rehab and getting ready for the new season.”

Mallory Franklin said the excitement surrounding kayak cross debuting as an Olympic event in Paris is because competitors are still figuring out how best to approach it.

Next year’s Games will see the event which was previously known as extreme slalom feature for the first time as a combination of white water disciplines.

Franklin, who won silver for Team GB in Tokyo in 2021 in the canoeing C1 event, has been selected as part of the slalom canoe squad and will look to go one better in Paris whilst also aiming for the podium in kayak cross.

And she observed that amongst her and her fellow competitors, there is a sense of stepping into the unknown, with the wider sport’s understanding of the new discipline still in a process of evolution.

“Kayak cross is still actually very new, and exactly how to train best for it and perform best in it is reasonably unknown,” the 29-year-old said.

“I went into Tokyo doing a debut event and now going into Paris doing a debut event. C1 at Tokyo wasn’t much of a variation, but kayak cross is very different. Within our races, it’s still developing. The rules are changing.

“It feels a bit hard to bring that into the Games, but that kind of allows so much freedom in how you choose to go about it.

“I can understand why people really like it. I think it can give quite a lot to slalom and give that level of excitement that other disciplines don’t give.

“It’s a funny thing because it seems like you’re doing (canoeing and kayaking) side by side but you aren’t, because we train in the morning then in afternoon, and each time you arrive at one of those sessions it’s new and it’s fresh and it may as well be a different day.

“It’d be really cool to be that first person in the (medal) list.”

Franklin was announced as one of the four-competitor canoeing squad for Team GB alongside Kimberley Woods, Joe Clarke and Adam Burgess.

Despite her success in Tokyo this will be her first experience of an Olympics in front of a crowd, after the last addition was held without spectators due to the Covid pandemic.

“I’m going for the classic ‘ignore (the crowds)’,” she said. “I haven’t experienced anything massively like it. I did go to London to watch some of the canoeing but I was young and don’t remember it very well.

“The weird thing with Tokyo was being sat in the start line and realising the camera was in my face, the number of people on the other side of that. That indirectly put pressure on me.

“Loads of these people care about what I’m going to do for the next two minutes, but it affects none of their lives except me.

“Trying to bring that feeling to when there are people physically there. A lot of them might get mad or dead angry or happy depending on the outcome, but it’s only for those two minutes.

“To focus on me and how I want to come out of that I’ll basically just have to ignore the humans.

Eniola Aluko still believes England can secure qualification for Great Britain at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The Lionesses – who need to finish top of Nations League Group A1 to have a chance at claiming GB an Olympic spot – slipped to third after losing 3-2 in Belgium on Tuesday.

Sarina Wiegman’s side, with six points from four games, are three behind leaders the Netherlands and one behind second-placed Belgium.

Their final two group fixtures see them play the Dutch at Wembley on December 1 and then Scotland at Hampden Park four days later.

Former England and Team GB forward Aluko said: “It is a tough group with the Netherlands, Belgium and Scotland. It is not an easy group at all. I think the Nations League is deliberately competitive.

“Really, England have got to win the last two games to have any chance of qualifying, but if any team is going to prove anyone wrong it’s the Lionesses, and they have done so well in the last two years.”

Aluko is not doubtful that England – who were World Cup runners-up over the summer, a year on from winning the Euros – could pull through because they “have everything to win those last two games”.

She added: “I think sometimes there can be a bit of a hangover from the World Cup where you have a massive high and then come back to normality.

“Sometimes it takes players a little bit to get going again. The season only just started again and we are only five games into the Women’s Super League.

“Fatigue is not just physical – it is mental as well. There are so many games and so many tournaments.

“Frankly, the women’s game is really competitive. On any given day, Scotland can beat England and Holland can beat England – that is the sort of level of competition we are dealing with.”

Aluko was speaking after she collected an MBE for her services to association football and to charity on Wednesday.

The Prince of Wales, who presented Aluko with her MBE at a ceremony at Windsor Castle, told her “this feels like this is overdue”, and she later said of that moment: “It was lovely and a really, really nice thing to say.”

Broadcaster and football executive Aluko’s playing career included featuring at three World Cups, three European Championships and the London 2012 Olympics.

She began her career at Birmingham and had subsequent spells at Charlton, Chelsea and in the United States before returning to Birmingham in 2012.

Aluko rejoined Chelsea from 2012 to 2018, during which time she won two WSL titles, the WSL Spring Series and two FA Cups.

After announcing her retirement from playing in January 2020 following a spell with Juventus, Aluko had stints as sporting director at Aston Villa and Los Angeles-based Angel City FC.

The 36-year-old has also worked heavily with charities and organisations such as Charity Water, Common Goal and Unesco.

William Buick has conceded that despite retaining his champion jockey title, this season has been “different”.

Having claimed his first championship last year with a plethora of Group One victories, his main Charlie Appleby stable had a much quieter time of things this summer.

That did not stop Buick storming to another title, but it meant he spread his net far and wide in the search of winners as he cruised to victory over Oisin Murphy, with a strike-rate of over 20 per cent.

Buick said: “Retaining the championship has been a real highlight, but it has been a very different season, no season is the same, when you set the bar high the expectations are there. Even though the season has been different, my ambition was to retain the championship and work hard for it, which I have done.

“Last year I had lot of good winners including Classics and this year has been slightly different, but none the less this season has been a success.

“I have had lot of domestic and international rides, which are never an easy thing to balance when going for a championship, but like last year I have managed to get that right, and already we are looking forward to next year.”

In an interview with Great British Racing, Buick was asked what motivates him and he replied: “Being champion jockey drives me, no question about it.

“I also think that I am at a point in my career where I think why not keep doing it. I enjoy going racing, the winners, the support, and I enjoy being champion jockey.

“The big races, the Classics, the Derbys, the big Group Ones, the festivals and Royal Ascot are the pinnacle of the sport and that is how we showcase ourselves and the best horses.

“Being champion jockey is great and it should be on everyone’s list, but I have been privileged to race in the big meetings for a while as well and those are the moments that sell our sport.”

Buick was one of four jockeys to ride over a century of winners in the title race, which runs from May 6 to October 21, with Murphy, Rossa Ryan and Tom Marquand the others.

Paula Dunn has been appointed interim head coach at UK Athletics following the departure of Stephen Maguire.

The 58-year-old, who was Paralympic head coach for 10 years before taking the role of team leader for major athletics championships in 2022, will lead the Performance programme through next year’s Paris Olympics and Paralympic Games.

“I’m looking forward to working with the performance staff and athletes once more at this incredibly important time for the GB and NI team,” Dunn said.

“The results from Paris (World Para Athletics Championships) and Budapest (World Championships) this summer were excellent, and I want to ensure we keep providing world-class support in the approach to Paris and help every athlete perform at their very best.

“There isn’t a moment to lose, and I am excited to rejoin UKA and help the team to succeed.”

UKA chief executive Jack Buckner said: “Paula has a huge amount of experience in leading athletics and her track record in performance means she is the best person to oversee the Performance programme towards Paris.

“2024 is a very important year for the sport with a home World Indoor Championships, a Para World Championships, European Championships as well as the Olympics and Paralympics.

“She is coming in at a critical time for the performance team, but her knowledge and experience will make a huge impact.”

UKA announced on Tuesday that Maguire was leaving his position as technical director with immediate effect, less than two months after overseeing a very successful World Championships in Budapest, with the British team equalling their best ever medal haul of 10.

Sprinter Dina Asher-Smith labelled the “snap decision” as “incredibly short-sighted” on Instagram and called for an explanation from UKA.

Jessica Ennis-Hill announced her retirement from athletics on this day in 2016.

She had won Olympic gold in the heptathlon at London 2012 and silver at Rio 2016, and retired as a two-time world champion.

Ennis-Hill, then 30, released a statement on her Instagram account to announce her decision and admitted it was “one of the toughest decisions” she had ever had to make during her successful career.

The Sheffield-born heptathlete returned to competition after the birth of her son Reggie in July 2014 and went on to win the World Athletics Championships in Beijing in 2015 having already achieved the qualifying standard for Rio.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill (@jessicaennishill)

 

It was her second world heptathlon title after previously achieving the feat in Berlin in 2009 while claiming silver in 2011.

Ennis-Hill’s senior breakthrough came at her only Commonwealth Games in 2006 where she picked up bronze, finishing behind winner and team-mate Kelly Sotherton.

But she was destined for more greatness and won gold at the 2010 European Championships before claiming the World Indoor Pentathlon title in the same year.

The victories were part of her dominance of the sport between 2009 and 2012 ahead of her success at London 2012.

She won the 100 metres hurdles before coming sixth in the high jump and 10th in the shot put. A personal best of 22.83 seconds saw her finish second in the 200 metres and Ennis-Hill was also second in the long jump before she threw a personal best of 47.49 metres in the javelin to finish 10th and put her on the brink of glory.

She earned the Olympic crown with a season’s best of two minutes and eight seconds in the 800 metres to win the race.

Ennis-Hill then called time on her career following the 2016 Olympics after she narrowly failed to retain her Olympic heptathlon title-winning silver behind Belgian Nafissatou Thiam at Rio 2016.

She won the 800m – the final discipline of the competition – but it was not enough to overtake Thiam, who won by 35 points.

Beth Potter cried every day after making the switch from athletics to triathlon but she now stands on the brink of qualifying for the Paris Olympics.

The 31-year-old Scot won the Games test event in the French capital last month and a top-three finish at the World Triathlon Championship Finals in Spain on Sunday would see her meet the selection criteria for the British team.

Whether she qualifies this weekend or not, there seems little doubt Potter will be part of the British line-up next summer, joining a notable list of athletes who have competed at the Olympics in two different sports.

It was after using her summer holidays from her day job as a physics teacher to race in the 10,000 metres in Rio in 2016 that Potter decided to throw her eggs in the triathlon basket.

“I think I probably had doubts until last year,” she told the PA news agency.

“It’s been really hard. I think those around me, the guys I train with, my boyfriend and my mum and dad, will know how hard it’s been. Even that first year I was in Leeds I probably spent every day pretty upset and wondering whether I’d made the right choice. I think I probably cried every day.”

Potter used family motivation to keep her going, saying: “I always did know it was never going to happen overnight, these things never do, it always takes four or five years.

“It was in line with my sister finishing her medical degree in Sheffield. I gave myself until then, if I’m not making a living out of it by then or things are just not going how I thought they would then I’ll probably just quit and go back to the day job. Luckily I beat her to that. She’s just finished her training.”

Potter grew up doing swimming alongside her athletics but she was a cycling novice when she made the transition to triathlon aged 25.

“It’s not as easy to pick up skills like that as an adult because you have the fear, you know what’s going to happen if you come off,” she said. “It’s not like a kid where you just bounce off the ground. You know you’re going to hurt yourself.

“There was just a lot of doubt. I found that quite hard, constantly trying to believe in myself and constantly be like, it is going to work, I’m just not quite there yet. Getting to grips with a completely different sport.

“It was a very steep learning curve. Getting thrown into the world series and drowning, basically, way out of my depth. There was one way that I could race. If I had an easy swim and an easy bike then that would be fine.

“The way racing has been the last couple of years it’s not been ideal for me but now I’ve got my bike and my swim up to those levels, I’m trying to turn myself into an all-round athlete that can win from any position.

“It’s been quite good this year how I’ve managed to win and get on the podium in different events and in different race scenarios.”

Potter has put together a brilliant 2023 campaign, winning world series races in Abu Dhabi and Montreal and then getting the better of big French rival Cassandre Beaugrand in a head-to-head finish at the test event.

A repeat in Pontevedra would see the winner crowned world champion, although Potter’s main target remains booking her spot in Paris.

“My goal at the start of the season was to qualify for the Olympics,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting to be in the running for the world title. I knew I could be up there but I didn’t expect it to come down to the wire.

“It’s a bit of a chicken and egg where I think if I just focus on doing the little things right, I’ll probably get the Olympic qualification and finish wherever on the podium.”

Olympic silver medallist Alex Yee is in the running for the men’s title having also won the test event, and the British team look well positioned to continue their brilliant run of success in the sport next summer.

Potter is currently the leading woman in the absence of the injured Georgia Taylor-Brown, individual silver medallist in Tokyo, and her gold medal-winning mixed relay team-mate Jess Learmonth, who recently gave birth to her first child.

Potter praised the coaches in Leeds who have kept the faith through the last six years that her move to triathlon would pay off.

“They’ve stuck by me through thick and thin so I owe it to them because they believed when I was nothing,” she said. “They can see a reward now hopefully. It was a bit bonkers to do it but I definitely think it’s been the right decision.”

Page 1 of 5
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.