Olympic news in brief: Russia and Lithiania secure London places

Russia and Lithuania secured places in the men’s basketball competition at the London Olympics by advancing to the final of the qualifying tournament in Venezuela on Saturday night.

Alexey Shved poured in 22 points to lead the Russians to an 85-77 victory over Nigeria in the first semi-final in Caracas and then Jonas Maciulis’ 19-point haul helped Lithuania stroll past Dominican Republic 109-83.

Sanchez out of Tour de France after road crash

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Olympic road race champion Samuel Sanchez has abandoned the Tour de France and looks doubtful for the London Olympics after hitting his head in a crash and suffering a shoulder injury on the eighth stage yesterday.

The Spanish Euskaltel-Euskadi rider briefly lost consciousness following the incident between France’s Belfort and the Swiss town of Porrentruy. The rider lay in the road receiving medical attention for several minutes and was then taken away on a stretcher amid fears he could have broken his collarbone. The road race at the London Games takes place on 28 July. This year’s Tour has been marred by a series of pile-ups which have resulted in an array of broken bones.

Dujardin breaks world record in dressage win

British dressage star Charlotte Dujardin has achieved another landmark feat just three weeks before London 2012. Barely two months after breaking the grand prix special world record with her Olympics horse Valegro, she became the first British rider to break the 90 per cent barrier for a freestyle routine in international competition. Dujardin, who is based with British Olympic team-mate Carl Hester in Newent, thrilled a capacity crowd at the Hartpury International Festival of Dressage in Gloucestershire. Giving her Olympic freestyle to music routine a run before the Games, she was awarded 90.65 per cent, confirming the 25-year-old Dujardin as a gold medal contender in team and individual disciplines.

Olympics can learn from Formula 1, says Rogge

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge believes the Games movement can learn from Formula 1. Rogge visited Silverstone yesterday ahead of the British Grand Prix as a guest of Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. The 70-year-old Belgian was given a guided tour of the circuit.

Despite the issues pertaining to the Northamptonshire circuit, Rogge said: “I think Formula 1 is an extremely well organised sport, both on the track and in general. There’s a lot that we can learn from Formula 1. We have many similarities – it’s a sport with great competitors who prepare very hard. In the mind we want to go faster, higher, stronger, and it’s exactly the same mind as Formula 1, going faster and better.