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The Sport Matrix: Friday 26 July 2013

Dasaolu confident as he prepares to race against Bolt

British sprinter James Dasaolu says he is beginning to feel more at ease among the top names of the sport as he prepares to line up alongside the likes of Usain Bolt and Kim Collins at the Anniversary Games tonight.

The 26-year-old’s rise has been rapid since running the second fastest 100m time by a Briton – 9.91sec – under a fortnight ago in Birmingham. “This is what I work hard for every day,” Dasaolu, above, said. “I’m going to have to run quicker to challenge. But I’ve broken that sub-10 barrier so I feel I belong. It will give me confidence.

“It’s going to be a tough race against the quickest man in history, a six-time Olympic gold medallist. I’m just going to give it my best and enjoy competing in front of a home crowd.”

Bolt was again forced to protest his innocence following a number of recent failed drugs tests by fellow Jamaican athletes and American rival Tyson Gay. “I was given a gift and that’s what I do,” he said. “I know I’m clean so I’m just going to continue running and using my talent.” MORE

Koscielny a doubt for final tour game

Arsenal complete their pre-season tour of the Far East with a friendly against the Urawa Red Diamonds this morning. Laurent Koscielny (ankle) is a doubt, but manager Arsène Wenger thinks Wojciech Szczesny and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be fit to play at the Saitama Stadium.

Suarez looks to League for help

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez hopes the Premier League will help settle his dispute with the club over a contract clause he believes gives him the right to speak to Arsenal. The player’s agent, Pere Guardiola, claims the Uruguayan was given assurances last summer. MORE

United go quiet  on Everton pair

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has revealed that Manchester United have yet to come back with improved offers for Goodison pair Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini. However, United have not given up their pursuit of Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas. MORE

Cardiff lining up transfer double

Cardiff City were last night closing in on the signings of Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue and Derby right-back John Brayford. The Welsh side have had a bid of £8.6m for Capoue, 25, accepted, while also agreeing a £1.3m fee for Brayford, who is in the final year of his contract.

Barrow just misses out on a British first

Sarah Barrow came close to a first medal for a British woman at the World Championship after finishing fourth in the 10-metre platform. The 24-year-old finished 11.95 points behind third-placed Ukranian Iuliia Prokopchuk.

Serb Troicki gets 18-month drug ban

Viktor Troicki was last night banned for 18 months by the ITF for a violation of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme. The 27-year-old failed to provide a blood sample during April’s Monte Carlo Masters after claiming he felt unwell.

Wade leads the Aussie auditions

Matthew Wade is one of five Australian players seeking to impress against Sussex in the hope of winning a place in the team for the third Ashes Test. Ed Cowan, James Faulkner, Nathan Lyon and Jackson Bird are also playing for a place at Old Trafford. MORE

Godolphin: no more doping charges

The British Racing Authority have found that nobody other than Mahmood Al Zarooni was responsible for the doping of horses at Sheikh Mohammed’s Moulton Paddocks. Godolphin have been criticised for significant failings in management and process. MORE

Joshua has what it takes to be a pro

Anthony Joshua lacks the power that helped Lennox Lewis develop into a champion, and none of Audley Harrison’s arrogance. But he can whack, has bundles of confidence and his attitude is perfect. MORE

James Lawton

In London, Usain Bolt invaded doubt with glorious performances and the gifts of a vaudevillian. His weapons were brilliant humour and performance that made you ache to accept it was purely natural. MORE

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