News Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and ex-wife Mariam Aziz, pictured in 1999

A former international badminton player who became a bodyguard and close friend to the ex-wife of the Sultan of Brunei abused her position to steal diamonds worth £11.6m from her “extremely wealthy” employer, a court heard yesterday.

Multi-million pound battle to regain masterpiece

A saleroom battle is looming for a unique 18th-century cabinet, the purchase of which by an American collector in 1990 was regarded as a grave loss to the nation.

Three women in a boat (or, How British sailing trio ended gold-medal drought)

After five days and a series of false hopes that had started quiet murmurings of discontent about the returns from Lottery-funded Olympians, Britain finally claimed its first gold medal in Athens yesterday.

Robertson and Emms one match away from badminton gold

When Nathan Robertson arched his back to see Jonas Rasmussen's lob shot drop outside the tramlines of court one in the Goudi Olympic Hall yesterday, sheer joy and disbelief coursed through his long, linear frame in equal measure.

Hallam hits high to beat Denmark's Martin

Britain's Tracey Hallam beat the former world champion and Sydney silver medallist Camilla Martin of Denmark in the second round of the Olympic women's badminton tournament yesterday.

Equestrianism: Fox-Pitt aims to repeat Bramham glory

William Fox-Pitt would be delighted to repeat last year's sparkling form when he rides Moon Man and Parkmore Ed in the Bramham International Horse Trials that begin today in Yorkshire. He was on two different horses - Wallow and Ballincoola - when he filled the top two places last year. Another two from his Dorset yard - Tamarillo and Tom Cruise - carried him to victory at Badminton and Saumur last month.

Equestrianism: Cutteridge is new face in British team for Athens

There was never any doubt that William Fox-Pitt, the victor at Badminton this month, and Pippa Funnell, winner of the three major contests that made up the Grand Slam of eventing last year, would be on the Olympic Three-Day Event team when the five riders for Athens were announced yesterday. They will be joined by two other regular team members, Leslie Law and Jeanette Brakewell, with Sarah Cutteridge getting her first call-up.

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