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  1. Sarah Saunders

WATCH: Battle is on to make jousting an Olympic sport

It was enjoyed by kings and was a popular sport in the Middle Ages.

And today English Heritage launched a campaign to get jousting recognised as an Olympic sport in the splendid setting of Dover Castle grounds.

It says the strength and equestrian skills required, make it an ideal candidate.

Sarah Saunders spoke to jousters Dominic Sewell and Steve Lawton, and Lucy Hutchings form English Heritage.

Loss of equipment dashes pole vaulter's hopes

After surgery to his shoulder and a year out, decathlete Ashley Bryant has been training hard at the Thames Valley Athletics Centre in Eton to make sure he can fulfil his lifetime ambition of competing in the Olympics.

But with just two months to go his hopes have been dashed - he failed to qualify following a disappointing pole vault round.

And he says if he doesn't get the call-up it's down to the airline who lost his pole vault poles en-route to the competition. Natalie Boare reports.


Oxford scientists race to stop Zika virus coming to UK

Travellers returning to UK from Rio Olympics can be tested Credit: PA

Researchers in Oxfordshire have developed a test they hope will stop the Zika virus entering the UK.

The test can detect whether someone is infected with the disease, long after other methods cannot. The Oxford-based, Native Antigen Company, are now working on diagnostic kits to screen travellers returning home from the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The Zika virus was declared a ‘public health emergency of international concern’ by The World Health Organisation (WHO) this week.

The Zika virus is transmitted by mosquitos Credit: Patrick Pleul / DPA/PA Images

Our team is now producing to meet the demand for Zika NS1 from our labs at Cherwell Innovation Centre in addition to developing a diagnostic kit for wide-spread use from the summer."

– Dr. Nick Roesen, Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of The Native Antigen Company


Synchronised swimming team have fundings withdrawn

The Hampshire based Olympic synchronised swimming team has had its £4.3 million funding cut ahead of the Rio Games in 2016.

Sport UK said the Aldershot club missed out on the investment after 'failing to demonstrate realistic medal potential.'

Basketball, water polo and weightlifting were also cut.

The Olympic synchronised swimming team at Aldershot Credit: ITV Meridian

Hampshire scheme given Olympic boost

Gold medallist Dani King launched the Hampshire-based programme Credit: PA Wire

A Hampshire athlete scheme has seen its funding doubled thanks to an Olympic Legacy Programme.

Promising sportsmen and women are being invited to apply for the scheme which opens applications from Monday 2nd September.

The programme was launched by Hampshire-based gold medallist cyclist Dani King in July.

Hampshire County Council's Olympic Legacy Programme have given the athlete scheme £92,000 per year for the next three years.

The money will support local athletes with training, sports science and physiotherapy.

Keith Chapman, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Culture and Recreation, said:

“Hampshire has a strong sporting heritage, with many exceptional sportsmen and women living in the county. The Hampshire Talented Athlete Scheme goes some way to providing much needed support to these committed, talented and determined sportsmen and women.”

Olympic medal winner retires

Olympic bronze medalist has announced she will be leaving the the olympic scene Credit: PA Wire

Olympic bronze medalist Katrina Bryant has announced her retirement, a year to the day after standing on the podium at London 2012.

The 34-year-old from Camberley is Britain's most successful judoka, with four European titles as well as five silver medals at the World Championships.

Katrina said: "It's been a tough decision, but I spent the 18 months prior to London suffering with injury. After having surgery twice post London, I tried to get back into full training, but aggravated an old injury and I feel my body is telling me this is the right time to retire."

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