Tag: The Telegraph

America’s Cup: Martin Whitmarsh appointed new CEO of Ben Ainslie Racing

Martin Whitmarsh appointed new CEO of Ben Ainslie Racing as former McLaren stalwart aims to win America’s Cup

Martin Whitmarsh, the former McLaren team principal and chief executive of The McLaren Group, was announced as the new CEO of Ben Ainslie Racing, the team founded by Britain’s four-time Olympic gold medallist with the aim of retrieving the America’s Cup and bringing it back to British waters for the first time since the inaugural competition was held off the Isle of Wight in 1851.

Whitmarsh, who will take a seat on the board and report to Ainslie, BAR’s team principal, was recommended to the yachtsman by a number of high-profile figures within motorsport, among them Red Bull’s Christian Horner and Adrian Newey. The latter is already committed to working for BAR as part of a consultancy agreement between the fledgling Portsmouth-based team and Red Bull Advanced Technologies.

Whitmarsh admitted the prospect of working with Formula One’s pre-eminent designer again, after the pair spent nine years together at McLaren between 1997 and 2006, was a key factor behind his decision to join BAR, although he claimed he needed little persuading once he had sat down with Ainslie.

“Ben came to see me at my house a couple of weeks ago and it was an easy sell,” he said. “There were no negotiations. Frankly, within minutes of talking to Ben I knew I wanted to do it. I rang him the next morning to accept.”

Since that meeting, Whitmarsh has been out in Borneo, where his daughter, an anthropologist, is working on a project with orangutans.

It was the last trip in what he describes as a “life-changing” nine months since he walked out of the McLaren Technology Centre for the last time, having been ousted as team principal last January following a lengthy power struggle with Ron Dennis.

Whitmarsh declined to discuss his departure, or even the current goings-on at McLaren (“I’m still too close to it all”) but said he did not regret his decision and would almost certainly never go back.

“It has been good for my soul,” he said of his mid-life gap year. “I mean, you’re the first journalist I have spoken to in 12 months. I’ve been travelling. I’ve been able to spend more time with my kids who are grown up now. My son is a music photographer so I’ve helped him set up a bit. I’ve been out to visit my daughter in Uganda and Rwanda and Borneo, and see what she is doing. I feel quite energised by it all. Formula One is a sport that can take over your life, it can consume you. And I think it got pretty close to doing that with me.

“But I know I’m a lucky, lucky man. I had an amazing 25 years and never have to work again if I don’t want to. Whatever I do now should be because I want to do something fresh.”

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That opportunity has arrived, unexpectedly, in the shape of BAR, who will be competing for the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2017.

Whitmarsh will begin his role next month, just a few weeks before the team move from their temporary offices in Whiteley to a new state-of-the-art facility in Camber Quay.

“That is what I have been brought in to help do. If I look back at my 25 years at McLaren, we developed from a business with fewer than 100 people to over 3000 people, a business that went from £19 million turnover to over £600  million.

Read more at The Telegraph

European Athletics Championships 2014: Mo Farah leads gold rush on Great Britain’s Super Sunday

Historic ‘triple-double’ for distance runner after 5,000m triumph while team claim five titles on the last day to finish top of the medal table

n the lustrous glow of a Swiss summer’s afternoon, British athletics enjoyed a day in the sun greater than any it had seen.

Little did Mo Farah realise, as he swept to his third European 5,000 metres title, that he was spearheading an extraordinary charge to five gold and three bronze medals to make this officially the country’s most garlanded day in major cham­pionships history.

For symbolism of such an achievement, we needed look no further than the figure of young Desiree Henry, anchoring the women’s sprint-relay quartet to an astonishing fifth victory in the space of 2¼ hours.

Where the gold rush had all begun with a rousing triumph in the 10,000m for Jo Pavey, 41 next month and a mother-of-two, it ended with joy for an 18-year-old firmly in the vanguard of the next generation.

The cumulative swag of 12 golds and 23 medals overall was the highest for Britain at any European championships. For only the third time in the event’s 90-year history, after Brussels in 1950 and Budapest in 1998, the team also finished at the summit of the medal table. It felt momentarily as if the British had annexed this genteel residential quarter of Zurich around the Letzigrund Stadium, such was the profusion of Union flags.

From Farah’s fourth distance double in five seasons to the precocious success of Adam Gemili, the former Chelsea academy starlet who won the 200m title in 19.98 seconds at the age of 20, the sense of a renaissance was palpable.

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Premiership: Newcastle United 0-2 Manchester City

David Silva and Sergio Aguero on target as champions make winning start

And so the race begins. In a staggered start for the Premier Leagueseason’s anticipated front runners, first Arsenal, then Liverpool, and nowManchester City have commenced the season with victories.

None of the displays was particularly convincing, but it was all about avoiding a false start.

On Monday night it is Chelsea’s turn to try to fly out of the blocks.

Ominously for their rivals, City looked assured, coping with the occasional Newcastle United squalls whipped up by R©my Cabella, a bundle of tricks on his debut, the powerful Moussa Sissoko and by the exciting substitute, Ayoze P©rez. Newcastle can take heart from the performance, if not the result, their 10th successive league defeat by City.

For those who have wagered revenue or reputation on Chelsea to lift the trophy next May, these 90 minutes at St James’ Park made uncomfortable viewing. Unrecognisable from the listless collection of individuals who lost last week’s Community Shield, City were far sharper.

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Premiership: Liverpool 2-1 Southampton

Daniel Sturridge scores winner as Brendan Rodgers’ side hold on for win

Bulldozers have gathered outside Anfield over the summer ahead of the much anticipated stadium redevelopment, but Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling are proving firm foundations are in place at Liverpool.

The England duo secured a nervy, scruffy opening-day victory against Southampton with a start to the new campaign that felt like a replica to the last, Liverpool sneaking three points in comparable circumstances as against Stoke City a year ago.

In the highly publicised absence of Luis Su¡rez, Sturridge was the match winner then, too, and the similarity extended to the goalkeeper Simon Mignolet’s late intervention in preserving three points. That was retrospectively acknowledged as an early turning point in a dizzying campaign. There will be no complaints if the next eight months are directed down a similar path.

For Liverpool the comfort was all in the win rather than the performance. The dynamism, speed of movement and nimble footwork that defined much of last season was lacking here, but it is hardly surprising. That will come when there are more miles in the legs.

This was the most typical of opening-day performances where jumping to conclusions beyond the result is hazardous. Indeed Ronald Koeman, the Southampton manager, had as much cause to be comforted in defeat as Brendan Rodgers in victory.

After a summer of gloom at St Mary’s when Southampton hosted its greatest exodus since the Cunard Line was in its prime, there was much to enthuse the Dutch coach.

He had four debutants effortlessly slotting in, and when right-back Nathaniel Clyne cancelled out Sterling’s first-half strike with a thunderous drive into the top corner at the Kop end, Koeman’s side looked more likely winners. Even after Sturridge glanced the 79th-minute winner following a Sterling header, Mignolet was called upon to push Morgan Schneiderlin’s late effort onto the bar.

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Football: Arsenal 3-0 Manchester City 0: Arsene Wenger’s men coast to Community Shield victory

Arsenal sent out a statement of intent for the season as they impressively dismissed Manchester City in the Community Shield at Wembley.

The FA Cup winners took the lead through Santi Cazorla’s angled shot and added to that when Aaron Ramsey drove in a strike to finish a counter-attack.

Premier League champions City came close when Stevan Jovetic had a header hit the post and a shot saved.

But Olivier Giroud’s dipping 25-yard strike secured Arsenal’s win.

The victory is the first for Arsene Wenger’s side in the English season’s curtain raiser since 2004, and should give them plenty of belief before they start their top-flight campaign against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The Gunners fielded three of their four summer signings as forwardAlexis Sanchez, right-back Mathieu Debuchy and defender Calum Chambers started, with the trio appearing to have effortlessly slipped into Arsenal’s trademark one-touch free-flowing football.

City were missing eight key players and, while manager Manuel Pellegrini may play down the defeat, it will serve as a warning sign before they begin the defence of their top-flight title at Newcastle on Sunday.

Pellegrini had insisted he had a stronger squad at his disposal this season as he gave two of his five summer signings in midfielderFernando and keeper Willy Caballero starts.

However, he was not helped by the absence of Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta, Fernandinho, Sergio Aguero, Martin Demichelis, Frank Lampard, Bacary Sagna and Alvaro Negredo for the game.

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Tennis: Andy Murray beats Nick Kyrgios at Rogers Cup in Toronto

British No 1 cruises past young Australian 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the third round.

It took Andy Murray just 54 minutes on Wednesday to appear to unshackle himself of any lingering disappointment of his quarter-final defeat at Wimbledon last month.

It was Australia’s rising star Nick Kyrgios who was forced to endure the full frontal assault of Murray’s powerful revival as he crashed to a 6-2, 6-2 defeat in the second round of the Rogers Cup in Toronto’s Rexall Centre.

Kyrgios had made a name for himself at Wimbledon by defeating Rafael Nadal on the way to the quarter-finals, but the 19-year-old was painfully anonymous in the face of the most physically domineering game Murray had produced since his back surgery last December.

The memories of Murray’s meltdown during his Wimbledon exit to Grigor Dimitrov were eradicated as he battered the Australian with a powerful service game and booming return game on his first return to action since dropping to ninth in the world rankings.

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Championship: Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino tells fans: ‘We will do this my way’

Controversial Italian, who initially failed the ‘fit and proper person’ test for ownership is forthright and uncompromising in his approach to his Championship club.

It was late on Saturday night, several hours after Leeds United’s friendly win over Dundee United, and only one person was left at Elland Road. “There were lights left on everywhere,” owner Massimo Cellino fumes. “I had to go round and turn them all off, one by one. Unbelievable.”

The 58-year-old was still unhappy about the game as he furiously paced the corridors of the empty stadium. Unhappy with the players, who were “a long way from where they need to be”. Unhappy with the new manager, Dave Hockaday, who is “OK, but needs some babysitting”. Unhappy, even, with the ball boys.

“After 10 minutes of the match I said ‘where are the ball boys?’ The ball boys were forgetting to bring the ball back.”

If Cellino is like this after a friendly match, you wonder what he will be like during the season, which begins with a trip to Millwall on Saturday afternoon. An hour in the Italian’s presence feels like being caught in a whirlwind. The former Cagliari owner smokes constantly, twitches, runs his fingers through his hair nervously and talks furiously, barely giving you the opportunity to interrupt his stream of invective.

Is there another owner like this in English football? After all, this is a man who spent 16 days in prison last year; who plays accomplished guitar with his own band in front of crowds of thousands; and who is so superstitious that he had all the No 17 seats removed from Cagliari’s stadium because of a fear of the number.

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La Liga: Spain midfielder Xavi retires from international football

Barcelona midfielder calls time with national team after winning 133 caps and helping Spain win 2010 World Cup and two European Championships.

The 34-year-old revealed at a press conference with Barcelona on Tuesday that he has decided to hang up his Spain boots after winning 133 caps and helping La Roja win the 2010 World Cup and back-to-back European Championships.

“I’ve taken the decision to leave the national team. My time there has finished,” he said.

“From now on I’m another fan of the Spain team.

“I’m grateful to everybody at the Federation (RFEF), it’s been a marvellous time for me to be there for so many years and have so much success. I’m leaving very proud and I wish them all the best.”

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Premiership: Alisher Usmanov says Arsenal are starting a new era ‘where we win trophies’

Second highest shareholder Alisher Usmanov says Arsenal’s nine-year trophy drought could have been averted and he has always been ready to inject funds

Alisher Usmanov has revealed that he has still never spoken to Stan Kroenke since the two billionaires began their battle for control of Arsenal seven years ago but that he believes the club are now finally ready to deliver a new era of trophy-winning success.

Usmanov has outlined how the nine-year trophy drought could have been averted, how he has always been ready to inject funds into the club and stressed that he has never had any intention of selling the 30 per cent stake that still makes him the second highest shareholder.

Yet as Arsenal prepare for Sunday’s Community Shield against Manchester City, Usmanov has also delivered his most enthusiastic endorsement of the club’s current direction and is adamant that Ars¨ne Wenger can again win the Premier League title. “The club is very well placed to succeed,” says Usmanov. “I think we begin a new era for Arsenal where we win trophies.

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Glasgow 2014 : Emma Pooley takes silver for England in the time trial

Danish-born Kiwi Linda Villumsen dug deep in the final stages to pip Emma Pooley to win time-trial gold in Glasgow

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It was not the gold she was hoping for but Emma Pooley said she was “thrilled” to have bowed out of her final competitive time trial with silver at the Commonwealth Games, paying tribute afterwards to those who have supported her through a career in which she was a consistent force both on and off the bike.

The 31-year-old, who retires after Sunday’s road race to focus on triathlons and other endurance events, was pipped, agonisingly, by New Zealand’s Danish-born rider Linda Villumsen on a damp Glasgow course. Australia’s Katrin Garfoot took the bronze.

Villumsen was nine seconds behind Pooley at the final time check but managed to finish six seconds ahead. The Englishwoman, though, said she had no regrets.

“You can’t be frustrated when you have done your best,” she shrugged. “Linda deserves the credit for a fantastic race. I’m not upset. I’m thrilled to have a medal.”