The sport of pankration dates back to the 648 BC Olympic Games. According to Plutarch, it was created by Theseus to defeat the Minotaur.

BRIEFLY : Ethiopians threaten to quit

Ethiopian athletes yesterday threatened not to represent their country in future international meetings. Around 600 athletes staged a demonstration outside the prime minister's office, voiced their unhappiness at the mismanagement of their sport and demanded the dismissal of senior sports officials.

JUDO: Adams looks to the future



Round up England's 500 most fearsome karateka (that's exponents of karate to you), put them together in the same sports hall, then stand back and watch the fun. This is what's on the cards at the English National Karate Championships on Sunday at Crystal Palace.



Drugs in sport: Haunted by the past

LIKE athletics, Brunning's new chosen sport of judo comes under the umbrella of Sports Council doping control, and participants are similarly tested at random in and out of competition, writes Mike Rowbottom.

Judo: Allan takes blame for row

DEBBIE ALLAN, the European featherweight bronze medallist, has taken the blame for the incident during the British Olympic Association's training camp at Tallahassee, Florida, which led to the suspension of Mark Earle, the deputy national squad trainer, writes Philip Nicksan.

Judo: National trainer suspended

MARK EARLE, one of Britain's leading coaches, has been suspended as deputy national squad trainer after an incident, allegedly involving a punch, with the European bronze medallist Debbie Allan, writes Philip Nicksan.

Rising to meet the challenge of the wrestling game

TOP this one. Japan's sumo wrestling association has outlawed silicone scalp implants for short would-be wrestlers trying to increase their height in an effort to break into the sport. The ruling followed the disclosure last month that a 16-year-old wrestler had increased his height by 15cm (5.9in) to meet the entry requirement of a minimum height of 173cm (5ft 8in).

Judo: Birch tops the bill: Sweatman's remarkable gold medal

FIVE medals from the women's team, including a gold from Rowena Sweatman, and two medals from the men, with a gold from Ryan Birch, at the European Championships here indicated that, midway through the Olympic interval, the British squad is in good health.

Sporting Digest: Judo

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS (Gdansk, Pol) Selected medals (Saturday): Men 95kg: Gold: P Nastula (Pol). Silver: R Stevens (GB). Bronze: D Sedrgeyev (Rus), M Hax (Ger). Over 95kg: Gold: D Douilles (Fra). Silver: R Kubacki (Pol). Bronze: S Tataroglu (Tur), F Moeller (Ger). 78kg: Gold: R Birch (GB). Silver: J Laats (Bel). Bronze: M Huizinga (Neth), P Reiter (Aut). 86kg: Gold: O Malcev (Rus). Silver: V Carabetta (Fr). Bronze: I Dzhikurauli (Geor), A Croitoru (Rom). Women: 72kg: Gold: U Werbrouck (Bel). Silver: E Essombe (Fr). Bronze: C Curto (Sp), K Howey (GB). Over 72kg: Gold: A Seriese (Neth). Silver: B Maksymow (Pol). Bronze: S Gundaryenko (Rus), R Barrientos (Sp). 61kg: Gold: G van den Caveye (Bel). Silver: D Bell (GB). Bronze: M Blasco (Sp), M Janosikova (Slovak). 66kg: Gold: R Sweatman (GB). Silver: A Angelberger (Aut). Bronze: C Zwirs (Neth), R Stusakova (Cz Rep). (Yesterday) Men: 71kg: Gold: S Kosmynin (Rus). Silver: P Rosso (Fr). Bronze: J Vensek (Cz Rep), B Hajtos (Hung). 65kg: Gold: V Drachko (Rus). Silver: J Lewak (Pol). Bronze: B Campargue (Fr), S Abanoz (Turk). 60kg: Gold: G Giovinazzo (It). Silver: N Gousseinov (Azerbaijan). Bronze: G Revazichvili (Geor), P Chambily (Fr). Open: Gold: L Crost (Fr). Silver: H Van Barneveld (Bel). Bronze: R Koser (Ger), T Davidashvili (Geor). Women: 56kg: Gold: J Gal (Neth). Silver: N Fairbrother (GB). Bronze: U Myren (Swit), M Baton (Fr). 52kg: Gold: E Krause (Pol). Silver: A Guingi (It). Bronze: D Allan (GB), P Saldanha (Por). 48kg: Gold: Y Soler (Sp). Silver: S Meloux (Fr). Bronze: J Pinheiro (Por), J Perlberg (Ger). Open: Gold: M Van der Lee (Neth). Silver: C Cicot (Fr). Bronze: B Maksymov (Pol), K Kutz (Ger).

Judo: Fairly tough for Fairbrother: World champion is marked woman in defence of European title

ALONG with the status of world champion comes the fact that you become a marked man or, in Nicola Fairbrother's case, a marked woman. The 23-year-old lightweight came here to defend the European title she won in Athens last year and, while she reached tomorrow's semi- finals, she had to draw on her mental and tactical reserves.

Judo: Stevens and Howey take the honours

THE British squad had one of its most successful days in recent years at the European Championships in Gdansk, Poland, yesterday - the first of two days of preliminaries - when five of the seven competitors secured places in tomorrow's semi-finals, writes Philip Nicksan.

Judo: Fairbrother becomes the target: British women in medal hunt at European Championships

WITHOUT a world championships or Olympics this year, the European Championships, which begin here today, have attracted the strongest possible entry, putting pressure on Britain's medal hopes and especially on the world lightweight champion, Nicola Fairbrother, who is out to retain the European title she won in Athens last year, writes Philip Nicksan from Gdansk, Poland.

CENTREFOLD / Long hot sumo: Inflation rocks the city

'Everyone in the City is a wimp,' roared a man wearing bright red trousers and a yellow baseball cap into a crackly microphone. The forlorn-looking businessman sitting on a bench nearby stopped eating his sandwich for a moment and stared. Things have not been going too well for MC Richard Kelly this week. You'd have thought that the sight of two giant inflatable sumo wrestlers lying on the grass in Exchange Square would have caused something of a stir. But, what with the wind and the rain, Kelly has persuaded only a handful of the passing business community to indulge in a quick lunchtime bout. Hordes turned up last year, apparently, but on Tuesday the keenest interest came from a stray Japanese tourist, and he only wanted a photo.

Karate: Ancient pursuit in need of new face: Steve Bunce reports from Birmingham on a sport's desire to shed an unwanted image

KARATE is a serious discipline. At the 29th European Championships held over the weekend at the National Indoor Arena here, more than 400 competitors from 34 countries helped distance the ancient sport from the excessives of kung fu and the spurious claims of martial artists.
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