Sport

‘Podium potential’ cash opens new doors for brilliant distance runner

Veteran Pavey aims to follow Radcliffe's long-distance route

It was in 1988 that Jo Pavey first made a mark on the national athletics scene. She was 14-year-old Jo Davis at the time.

Liliya Shobukhova not fearing return of Paula Radcliffe

Even the prospect of Paula Radcliffe’s return after pregnancy (to competitive racing next month and to the marathon this autumn) failed to knock Liliya Shobukhova out of her confident stride yesterday as she prepared for the defence of her Virgin London Marathon title on Sunday - and looked ahead to what she called her “golden chance” of Olympic marathon glory in London in 2012. “I respect Paula, but I don’t fear her,” said the Russian who has established herself as the world number one in the women’s marathon in the 17 months since Radcliffe has been out of commission and given birth to her second child.

The Week in Radio: A sports commentary that goes the distance

It's a fact unwisely overlooked by all those people gearing up to run Sunday's marathon that as Phidippides, the first marathon runner, hit the final ribbon in Athens he promptly dropped dead. It doesn't stop thousands doing the marathon of course, or indeed banging on about it afterwards, so it's a relief to discover that there is actually an interesting subject to talk about in the world of running. As explored in The Sub-Two-Hour Marathon: Sport's Holy Grail, it's the race to beat the current record of two hours, three minutes and 59 seconds.

Farah turns on the heat in Edinburgh

A new year, a new departure for Mo Farah, Britain's male athlete of 2010. "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em," has been a philosophy that has served the 27-year-old leading light of European distance running well with his regular training trips to Kenya to train with the global elite. This week, though, the European 5,000m and 10,000m champion will head off to New Mexico to train with some of the Americans he beat in the feature race in the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country on Saturday.

Twell follows Radcliffe on to the road

Steph Twell, the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, makes her debut over 10 miles at the Bupa Great South Run tomorrow, and Brendan Foster believes it could be a step to her becoming Britain's next long-distance superstar.

Yamauchi targets Great North glory

It just so happens that Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly have been asked to fire the starting gun to get the 30th edition of the Bupa Great North Run underway in Newcastle tomorrow morning.

Mark Leftly: Seven reasons to be cheerful, plus Asil Nadir for fun

Just don't worry about the FTSE 100 or talk of double-dip recession – the good times are back

Britain's golden medal haul: That's how you do it!

British athletes put wealthy footballers to shame with medal-winning romp at the European championships

Van Commenee targets 15 medals despite absentees

Like any proud, hopeful native of the Netherlands, Charles van Commenee was decked out in orange yesterday. While the Amsterdammer, a lifelong Ajax fan, was keeping his fingers crossed for Robin van Persie and the rest of the Oranje on World Cup semi-final duty in Cape Town last night, the head coach of UK Athletics was hopeful that the immediate future of the British track and field team would be relatively bright – if not quite as dazzling as it might have been.

Bright start to season keeps Ennis on track for heptathlon glory

It was just an hour's drive for Jessica Ennis yesterday, a 57-mile hop from Sheffield to the Paula Radcliffe Track on the outskirts of Loughborough. There are still 795 days to go before the South Yorkshirewoman carries the nation's hopes into the Olympic arena down the M1 in London. The one-eyed mascots are in place and work has started on the running track and the in-field at the 2012 stadium. In the meantime, Ennis is keeping encouragingly ahead of schedule in her quest to present as a talismanic home figure for the main track and field arena.

2020 vision: Lily Allen returns from obscurity to light up the longest-running music show in television history

I know, I know, you've hardly woken up after the King's Speech and you're still recovering from the Doctor Who Christmas Special (Florence Welch – the best doctor ever). But let's do a bit of time-travelling of our own, back across the past decade in the arts, way back to Copenhagen at the end of 2009. Remember the climate-change conference? If it yielded little else, at least it gave us David Hare's The Green Machine. His one-man, real-time, tour-de-force staging of the final 36 hours of the conference, playing 14 heads of state (with his quiff as his only prop), was performed once only, thank God, and has gone down in theatrical legend. Were you one of the seven people said to have stayed awake until the word-for-word recreation of the 4.30am treaty ratification? Bravo!

Kendal duo in mint condition for half-marathon challenge

It was in Kendal in 1869 that Joseph Wiper came up with the recipe for his famous Mint Cake. Some 140 years on, the Cumbrian town has found the ingredients for distance-running success, it would seem. Of the five-strong Great Britain women's team picked to contest the World Half Marathon Championships on the streets of Birmingham this morning, two happen to be products and proud members of Kendal Athletics Club.

Radcliffe to miss half marathon world championships

Three-times former champion Paula Radcliffe has withdrawn from next weekend's world half marathon championships in Birmingham because of illness.

Paula Radcliffe pulls out of Berlin marathon

Paula Radcliffe has decided not to race in the marathon at the World Championships in Berlin after testing her fitness in her first race for 10 months last weekend.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home