The Great North Run has got underway in wet and windy conditions, with more than 50,000 people setting off from Newcastle this morning.

Athletics: Sprinters handed lucrative baton

BRITAIN'S RISING hopes of earning relay medals at next month's World Championships in Seville have been boosted by news the four relay squads have received a sponsorship deal worth pounds 150,000 with GTECH UK Ltd, technology suppliers to the UK National Lottery. Dave Moorcroft, chief executive of UK Athletics, said: "We have a great tradition in relay and are looking forward to clashes with the USA in Seville and Sydney. This sponsorship will ensure the squad ethic can continue to develop."

Athletics: Richardson's Friday date

Britain's top 400 metres runner will test his suspect knee with an outing in Stockholm. By Mike Rowbottom

Athletics: Britain's fast men impress Greene

Athletics: American world 100m record holder praises the young contenders for Christie's mantle at Birmingham

The Brian Viner Interview: Mark Richardson - Richardson's mind set on gold

`You get into a relaxed state and do this visualisation. Whatever happens in the race, you've been there 1,000 times before'

Athletics: Ngeny closes on Coe record

THE FINAL vestige of Britain's golden age of middle distance running survived a new age assault on the Cote D'Azur last night. By less than half a second - 0.49 sec, to be precise - Sebastian Coe's 1,000m world record eluded the clutches of Noah Ngeny, the 20-year-old Kenyan who has a training base in Teddington and whose burgeoning running career is guided by Kim McDonald, a rival of Coe in their teenage years in Yorkshire.

Athletics: Thomas on the mend

IWAN THOMAS yesterday cast aside his disappointment at missing next month's World Championships in Seville and looked ahead to making his return towards the end of the year.

Athletics: Pride and the prejudicial starting positions

OF COURSE, Kris Akabusi didn't mind being beaten by Brian Whittle in last weekend's Masters Sprint.

Athletics: Merry in a hurry to move up

A former teenage sprint prodigy is itching to build on signs of success at 400 metres. By Mike Rowbottom

Athletics: One-track mind of a one-lap wonder

European Cup: Richardson takes the lonesome road to Paris as his 400m rivals fall by the wayside

The Brian Viner Interview: Black pep talk has the golden touch

`Kevin Keegan is brilliant at motivation. A master. And when we get together it's hilarious... We have read all the same books'

Athletics: Life is tougher in Baulch's fun zone

The pin-up boy of British athletics supplements his teen-dream image with a new-found determination.

Athletics: Gebrselassie sweeps to world record

THE EMPEROR is back," said the banner here yesterday, "Others off the track." The faith of an estimated 500 Ethiopian supporters was rewarded as Haile Gebrselassie repeated his world-record breaking exploits of last season in this arena to establish a new mark for the 5,000m and bring the Bupa Grand Prix to a successful climax.

Athletics: Books for Christmas - Failure to realise potential in heart-to-heart

IS THIS the book which stopped a piece of athletics history being made?

Ten command performances- Athletics: Dog-tired but dogged in Kuala Lumpur

Ten command performances that lit up 1998
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Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
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