Record for Tancock as Scots miss out
Gregor Tait, Becky Cooke and the medley relay team all had fourthplaced finishes as Scottish swimmers just failed to add to their medal tally on the final day of the Japan International in Narashino yesterday, writes Lorin McDougall.
Tait, the Commonwealth champion, third in the 200 metres backstroke on Thursday, was one place worse in yesterday’s 200m individual medley in 2min.01.25sec, as the Englishman, Liam Tancock, took gold and set a new British record in the process. He clocked under two minutes for only the second time in his career to secure his second gold of the meeting with a time of 1:59.19. The Loughborough University swimmer led from the start and lowered the previous British standard by more than 11/ seconds.
2 Cooke, from Glasgow, was also fourth in the 800m freestyle final in 8:33.21. Caitlin McClatchey and Hannah Miley, experimenting with a new event, were 10th and 11th. Miley had earlier been fifth in the 200m individual medley in 2:14.49.
Todd Cooper, the Stirling swimmer, struggled home eighth in the 100m butterfly, but went quicker in the medley relay, which also featured Edinburgh’s Kris Gilchrist on the breast-stroke leg.
Sterling Davis claims to be close to a first summer signing for the Scottish Rocks, but admits his new job has been an eye-opening experience,
The player coach still has just Rob Yanders on his roster for the forthcoming British Basketball League campaign, although Julius Joseph, the Great Britain guard, has verbally agreed a fresh deal.
With just five weeks until the season tips-off, there are fears that last year’s team will be broken up, but Davis is urging the club’s fans to be patient. “There’s no need to panic,” he said. “We’re close to signing a couple of guys and are talking to a few more. I’m confident that we’ll have at least one deal done.” ■ Chris Finch, the Great Britain coach, will have an eye on both teams when his team play a friendly with Mons tomorrow ahead of Wednesday’s Eurobasket qualifier with the Netherlands. Finch joined the Belgian side last month but has left pre-season preparations in the hands of his assistants while he focuses on guiding GB toward promotion.
The Isle of Man rider, Mark Cavendish, won a bunch sprint finish to take the second stage of the Tour of Benelux, from Antwerp to Knokke-Heist, yesterday, writes Gillian Firth. Fred Rodriguez was second and the Belgian, Wouter Weylandt, third. Nick Nuyens of Belgium maintained his overall race lead.
“This is my eighth season win, now I want to get 11 victories like [Italian sprinter Alessandro] Petacchi,” said Cavendish, a T-Mobile rider. “When I’m in the top three in the last 200 metres of a sprint, there’s not many people out there can beat me.”
The Scot, David Millar, remains fourth overall. He was third in the opening intermediate sprint outside Anvers, but finished yesterday’s stage in the peloton. ■ Andrew Whitehall leads the Scottish challenge at the Junior Tour of Wales, which starts today with a 10 kilometre time trial, writes Colin Renton.
Whitehall, 11th in last weekend’s British road race championships, will ride in the colours of his Belgian club ASFRA against a strong field that includes his fellow Scots Aaron Murray, Magnus Davidson, Dean Martin and Tom Dempster, who will compete for the Scotland team
Dan Clarke, the British driver, has been suspended from the Champ Car Grand Prix of Belgium after he took out his compatriot Justin Wilson during a crash on the opening lap of practice at the Zolder circuit, writes Chris Hope. Clarke, a driver for Minardi Team USA, was in contact with the car of Wilson and the latter collided with Jan Heylen whose car was extensively damaged.
Clarke was banned from the Belgian race and he may also be stopped from returning for next weekend’s event at Assen in the Netherlands. Clarke has been on probation following an incident at the recent San Jose Grand Prix, in which he collided with fellow Britons Wilson and Katherine Legge. ■ Allan McNish can tie up two titles tomorrow at Mosport in the American Le Mans series, writes Kenneth Stephen. A win in Canada for the Scot would give Audi the manufacturers’ and team titles. Audi’s diesel-powered R10s lead the manufacturers’ standings by 59pts over Creation Zytec. In the teams award, the famous marque leads Intersport Racing by 95pts.
A seventh class win of the campaign in round 8 would be enough to take both of those championships, leaving McNish with just the drivers’ title to clinch. Nearest challengers in that category are Audi themselves, with the team’s other car 22pts adrift.
For the second successive weekend, the action in Scotland is in the north, writes Mike Haggerty. Following last week’s successful Inverness Sprint, the committee of the Dee, the cooperative of all the Aberdeen rowing clubs, stages their annual Aberdeen Sprint Regatta in the Granite city today .
A 75-race programme will be staged with crews from Lochwinnochbased club Castle Semple and Inverness joining in the action.
Christian Henry could upset Glasgow Tigers’ hopes of a place in the play-offs for the Premier League title, writes Nigel Duncan. The former Tigers rider has impressed with his form for Newcastle Diamonds this season, finally coming good when reaching second-top place in the Tyneside team’s averages.
Diamonds come to Ashfield tomorrow looking for only their second road win of the season, while Tigers are in eighth spot and have only lost one of the eight home league matches this season.
Josef Frank, a former Berwick Bandit, heads Newcastle’s averages, but it is Henry who is the man to watch.
The Great Britain women’s team, which included the Scots, Lynne Beattie, Jennifer Thom and Jo Morgan, were defeated 25-14, 25-23, 25-22 by the hosts, Kazakhstan, in their opening match in the President’s Cup.
RECORD BREAKER: Liam Tancock, second from front, set a new British record in the 200m individual medley in Narashino yesterday. He had won the backstroke earlier in the meeting.