Talking Horses: Frodon can bag Gold Cup prize on big day at Cheltenham

15-12-2018 The selection rarely runs a bad race at the track and could well have the class to carry top weight to victoryThe BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham in November is often the best guide to the big handicap chase at the December meeting, even if the former is staged on the old course at the home of jumps racing while the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup is on the new.It is the placed horses and the unlucky ones that tend to come to the fore a month later, however, and the top-class Exotic Dancer, who was twice placed in the Gold Cup, was the last to complete the double in 2006. That does not bode well for Baron Alco, who enjoyed an easy time of it in front in the BetVictor this season and is 6lb higher in the official ratings. Continue reading...

What is the smallest football ground a European champion has lost at? | The Knowledge

15-12-2018 Plus: the longest delay for any new stadium in history and the worst goal difference you can get away with and still qualify in the Champions League. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“Real Madrid recently lost 3-0 to Eibar in a stadium that holds just 7,000 people,” begins Robin Tucker. “That got me thinking: have any former European champions lost a competitive match in a smaller stadium? This would be only counting results after their first European success, so games such as Liverpool’s 1959 defeat to Worcester City would not count.”A fine question, but it’s not even the smallest stadium a former European champion has lost in this season. The 1986 winners Steaua Bucharest, now snappily known as FCSB, have suffered plenty of turmoil recently, including a defeat earlier this month to Sepsi OSK. That was in front of an estimated 2,500 at the 5,200-capacity Stadionul Municipal. Continue reading...

World sport: 10 photos we liked this week - 22-28 October

15-12-2018 A selection of the most striking sports photographs from around the world this week.

Men: how to be kinder to yourself – and feel more confident

15-12-2018 A growing ‘kindful movement’ is gathering pace, says author Caroline Millington, and men have much to gain from itYou’d have had to be trapped in the Love Island villa all summer with no access to the outside world to have missed the latest movement in self-care.It’s on T-shirts, phone covers, Instagram quotes, street art … I’ve even written an entire book about it. The buzzword? “Kind”. Continue reading...

Lisa Ashton goes to the oche and the nuns go wild at the PDC World Darts

15-12-2018 Ashton took the opening leg in style but her first visit to Alexandra Palace ended in defeatBy 6pm the fairground outside Ally Pally is just beginning to wind down, the ferris wheel has stopped going, the merry-go-round is slowing and there is a sign outside the grotto promising that Santa will be back again tomorrow. So, at that time of night, it’s little kids this way and big kids that, up the hill and on beyond the fair to the Great Hall for the opening night of the PDC World Championship. For a lot of people the trip is a winter tradition now, a little less solemn than the carol service at St Paul’s, a little less sobering than swimming in the Serpentine on Christmas morning.The Championship has junked one of its own old rituals. The walk-on girls are gone. The PDC chairman, Barry Hearn, says he was forced into it by the TV companies. “It’s out of my control,” he said. “We’re living in changing times – the PC brigade, the liberal brigade are out in strength.” Continue reading...

Copa Sudamericana 2018: Atletico Paranaense beat Junior to win Copa Sudamericana

15-12-2018 Watch highlights from Atletico Paranaense's victory over Junior FC on penalties to win the Copa Sudamericana trophy in Brazil.

PDC World Darts Championship: Gary Anderson beats Kevin Burness

15-12-2018 Two-time champion Gary Anderson finishes strongly to beat debutant Kevin Burness at the PDC World Championship.

Blog: ‘Why my fiancee and I are creating a new joint surname when we marry’

15-12-2018 In his second weekly blog, Alexi Duggins explains how he’s making sure his upcoming marriage will be a genuine, equal partnershipIn two months’ time, I get married. It’s a big occasion for many reasons: I’ll be making a lifelong commitment to the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met, it’s the most expensive thing I’ve ever done, and it will also be the first time that my family have seen me cry in public since an ill-advised midnight screening of Ghostbusters II. Continue reading...

Dina Asher-Smith a real contender for BBC Sports Personality of the Year

15-12-2018 The athlete who won three European gold medals is likely to be up against Harry Kane, Geraint Thomas and Lewis HamiltonA hugely successful and exhilarating year for British sport will be acknowledged in time-worn fashion on Sunday night when the country’s leading athletes – along with 12,000 paying spectators – gather at the Genting Arena in Birmingham for the 65th running of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award. Yet, in a break from recent tradition, a woman has a genuine shot at the main prize.Not since 2006, when Zara Phillips was rewarded for winning the equestrian world title, has the award gone to a woman – and since then the only women to make even the podium are the athletes Jessica Ennis-Hill and Jo Pavey, and the swimmer Rebecca Adlington. Yet the bookmakers rate Dina Asher-Smith as a genuine contender after a dizzying few months, during which she became the first British track and field star to claim a treble of gold medals at a major championships. Continue reading...

Mollie and Rosie Kmita: the twins 'breaking the mould' for women in football – video

15-12-2018 Twitter UK has launched a new #WomenInFootball campaign with sisters Rosie and Mollie Kmita telling the story of how they ‘broke the mould’ to earn respect in their sport. Rosie, a professional footballer at West Ham, and Mollie who plays for Gillingham, believe ‘women’s football is going in the right direction’ and hope to inspire the next generation of female players. You can watch all four films in the series here.The 100 best female footballers in the world 2018 Continue reading...

Canelo Álvarez awaits in Rocky Fielding's unlikely shot at glory

15-12-2018 Few will give the 31-year-old Liverpudlian a chance on Saturday when he climbs through the ropes at Madison Square Garden to face Canelo ÁlvarezWhen Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez announced the first opponent of his blockbuster 11-fight, $365m contract with upstart streaming service DAZN, the collective reaction from the general public was unanimous: Who?Few beyond dedicated boxing fans were familiar with Rocky Fielding, the lesser of the two super middleweight champions recognized by the World Boxing Association, the sanctioning body that hands out belts seemingly at will and has done more to cheapen the currency of a world title than any one factor (and it is a high bar). Continue reading...

What ‘masculinity’ means when you’re gay, bi or trans …

15-12-2018 We’re in the middle of a ‘genderquake’ where the qualities traditionally associated with men are changing daily. So how do three LGBT guys define manliness in 2018? By Joe StoneWhat does it mean to be a man? Right now, masculinity is under the microscope like never before. But one group that is used to navigating the tricky terrain of gender norms is the LGBT community. In a recent survey by Attitude, Britain’s best-selling gay magazine, 69% of readers admitted they’d been made to feel “less of a man” because they are gay, bisexual or queer. More troubling still, 41% said that at some point they themselves thought that they were less of a man too. Continue reading...

'Canelo' Alvarez v Rocky Fielding: Briton relishing chance to upset the odds

15-12-2018 Rocky Fielding says he will relish the chance to upset the odds when he takes on Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez at Madison Square Gardens.

Laura Kenny, Katie Archibald, Neah Evans and Ellie Dickinson win gold in women's team pursuit

15-12-2018 Laura Kenny, Katie Archibald, Neah Evans and Ellie Dickinson win gold in the women's team pursuit at the World Track Cycling World Cup in London.

The Breakdown | England’s dilemma: undermine Eddie Jones or risk scramble for a top coach

15-12-2018 Looking for a successor could be a distraction in World Cup year but waiting could mean the talent is snaffled up and Wales and Ireland have already made their moveThe start of the World Cup is nine months away but countries are already thinking about their next coach. Wales are sorted, appointing Wayne Pivac in the summer knowing Warren Gatland would be off after his side’s final match in Japan, as are Ireland, with Andy Farrell to take over from Joe Schmidt.In New Zealand, Steve Hansen is due to announce this evening UK time as to whether he will seek a new contract after the World Cup. Rassie Erasmus has told South Africa he will not be carrying on after Japan, focusing on his director of rugby role instead. Australia’s Michael Cheika may not last that long after taking part in a performance review this month after the Wallabies’ worst year, in terms of results, for 60 years. A decision is expected before Christmas. Continue reading...

Can women save Sumo? The crossroads facing Japan's national sport – video

15-12-2018 The ancient Japanese ritual of Sumo is in crisis. Only last week, a Mongolian wrestler was forced to retire after assaulting a teammate – but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Years of controversy and scandal, coupled with the country's declining population, have greatly impacted the sport's ability to attract new talent. The Guardian visits Tokyo's Ryōgoku district, the birthplace of Sumo, to see how this iconic institution is adapting to life in the 21st century, and why - despite women being banned from the ring itself - young female fans are flocking to watch it like never beforeYokozuna, controversies and a 'Dump Truck': a sumo history – in pictures Continue reading...

Jockeys face tougher whip penalties in British Horseracing Authority crackdown

15-12-2018 Controversial stronger deterrents to jockeys breaching the whip rules in British racing are on the horizon, the BBC has learned.

Football transfer rumours: Ben Chilwell to Manchester City for £50m?

15-12-2018 Today’s fluff is on the upWith Benjamin Mendy still sidelined through injury, Manchester City are ready to bid for Leicester City left-back Ben Chilwell in January. A summer spent in the company of a personal trainer doing sprints in a Milton Keynes park have yielded rich dividends for the youngster, who told one interviewer: “I feel like this season needs to be the season I push on”. Having done exactly that, he may earn himself a move to the reigning Premier League champions to further his education under Pep Guardiola. £50m is the fee being mentioned. Related: Tottenham’s manager Pochettino tips his hat to ‘hard-working’ chairman Levy Continue reading...