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Dai Greene's coach has admitted that the 400m hurdle world champion underwent knee surgery during the winter, which has subsequently hampered his Olympic preparations.

The Welshman, one of the favourites for gold at London 2012, has begun his Olympic year with disappointing times and is currently 14th fastest in the world. Greene's season's best of 48.96sec is more than a second slower than the 2012 quickest set by Javier Culson.

"He has had a tough winter," Malcolm Arnold, who is Greene's coach, explained. "He didn't say much about it but he had to have some knee surgery just before Christmas. He has had two races which have both been of the required Olympic A standard but not quite a quick as we had hoped for."

The European and Commonwealth champion opened his season with a second in Morocco in May before running 0.02sec slower in the Diamond League in Oslo, where he finished fourth behind the winner, Puerto Rico's Culson, who ran a season's best of 47.92sec.

WHO'S UP? Richard Kruse

Britain's No 1 fencer Richard Kruse claimed bronze at the European Championships in Italy yesterday. Kruse, 28, was 10-5 up in his semi-final against Russian world No 8 Alexey Cheremisinov before succumbing to a 15-11 loss. "It feels good – I wanted to be on the podium," said the Londoner.

WHO'S down? Tasha Danvers

The 400m hurdler yesterday announced her retirement after a series of injury setbacks. Danvers, 34, a bronze medallist at the 2008 Games, had hoped to compete at London 2012, but said: "It's extremely disappointing not to be able to put myself into contention. The setbacks have been too many to overcome. Sadly my body has had enough."

39 Days to go until the Olympics

39 Minutes taken by South Koreans Lee Hyo-jung and Lee Yong-dae to stun world no 1's Liliyana Natsir and Nova Widianto and win mixed badminton gold in 2008.