THE parents of British Olympic diving prodigy Tom Daley are considering removing him from his school following claims he has been bullied due to his high profile.
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The 14-year-old, who is one of his country’s main medal hopes for the London Games in 2012, has been kept away from school over the past week.

His father, Rob Daley, said he was now considering removing his son from Eggbuckland Community College in Plymouth, Devon, permanently because of constant jibes and the "childish name-calling and antics" of his fellow pupils.

Mr Daley said: "I have been to see Tom’s head of year and also the principal in the past six weeks, because Tom has been so upset. Although Tom had not said anything, I could tell by his sombre mood when he came home from school over the past few months that something was wrong.

"Although they [the school] cannot be held responsible for the students, I do think the school should be more proactive in trying to sort this bullying out. We would not want to have to do it, but we will change schools unless this is sorted out, as my son’s wellbeing comes before everything else."

Mr Daley said he had kept his son away from school for two days before the Easter break because he felt the bullying might affect his form at the FINA World Series competition in Sheffield.

At the event Daley competed against Australian Olympic champion Matthew Mitcham and won a silver medal, finishing less than a point away from gold.

Mr Daley, who lives in Plymouth, said he had kept his son off school this week mainly because he did not want him to be further upset before he flies to Florida for next month’s grand prix event at Fort Lauderdale.

The young diver said that the bullying started after last year’s Olympics in Beijing and had become increasingly worse.

He said: "I had always ignored the ‘diver boy’ or ‘Speedo boy’ comments when I came back from Beijing last year, hoping they [the other pupils] would get fed up and stop. The trouble is they have not, and it is even the younger kids who are joining in. It is getting to the stage now where I think ‘Oh, to hell with it. I do not want to go back to school."

The school’s principal, Katrina Borowski, said in a statement: "Needless to say, it would be incorrect for me to specifically discuss the private matters of one of our students. However, what I can say is that Tom’s extremely high profile has led to a minority of students acting in an immature way towards him. Meetings have been held between college staff, parents and Tom’s friends, in which appropriate strategies were discussed. Certain students have been sanctioned.

"We take the wellbeing of students extremely seriously and have a very clear policy for dealing swiftly and firmly with any incidents of conflict. This involves working in close partnership with parents and other agencies where appropriate."

■ Tokyo: Japanese swimming star Kosuke Kitajima, who retained his double breaststroke titles at the Beijing Olympics, hinted heavily in an interview published on Friday that he will compete at the London 2012 Games.

Since Beijing last year, the 26-year-old has stopped regular training to help promote Tokyo’s 2016 Olympic bid and train children, prompting speculation that he may retire.

But in an interview with the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, he said he would soon resume training, in the United States.

"I want to compete for the national flag again. I want to be someone whom people will want to watch perform again," he said.

Kitajima, nicknamed the "Frog King" by the Chinese media, sat out the national championships this month in Japan, a selection event for the world championships in Rome this summer.

Asked which event he would train for, Kitajima said "an event that requires the most thrilling and best performance is definitely the Olympics. Once I start, I will of course go for victory."

Telegraph, London and AFP

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MAURITIUS-BOUND jockey Danny Nikolic hopes to leave Sydney on a winning note with in-form Melbourne mare Miss Maren awaiting in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
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Nikolic confirmed he would take up a riding contract in Mauritius having considered his options this week when news of the possible move came to light.

"Everything looks good, I’ll be riding for a good stable over there," he said yesterday. "It will be something different, but I’m looking forward to it."

Nikolic said Miss Maren was entitled to her chance of snaring a group 1. "She is up in class and up to weight-for-age but winning form is good form and she has plenty of that," he said.

Nikolic links with trainer Anthony Cummings when riding Solo Flyer in the All Aged Stakes and he is on Imananabaa for David Payne in the Emancipation Stakes.

"Imananabaa ran great in the Queen Of The Turf when third at her last start and this is an easier race for her," he said.

The jockey said he was likely to head to Mauritius late next week and his stint would end in time for him to be back in Australia for the spring carnival. Quinn confident

Jockey Rod Quinn is relying on trainer Guy Walter to provide him with success at today’s carnival-ending Sydney Cup meeting at Randwick.

While Quinn has only three rides, two are for Walter with talented mare Bernicia out to return to form in the Emancipation Stakes. "Her first couple of runs back from a spell were pretty good then I rode her in the Coolmore Classic and she came in near the rear there," Quinn said.

"Last time she didn’t get through the heavy track at Rosehill so forget that run. She is good on her day and if she was to put her best foot forward then she’d be a huge chance in the Emancipation."

Quinn rides the Walter-trained filly Balmont in the opening race. The three-year-old is coming off a last-start second, beaten a nose by Purrpurrlena on the Kensington track.

"She shows some talent and while this is a harder race on Saturday it wouldn’t surprise me if she measured up," Quinn said.

Quinn’s other ride today is the Les Tilley-trained Feorlan, which runs in the Tabcorp Handicap. With a Bullet

The Queensland carnival is gathering pace with southern raiders heading north.

Included among the invaders is 2007 Stradbroke Handicap winner Sniper’s Bullet, which gears up for another assault on Queensland racing’s premier event in today’s Sir Byrne Hart Stakes at Eagle Farm.

"He is a little bit new, hasn’t trialled, a bit bouncy," Sniper’s Bullet’s Mudgee-based trainer Tracey Bartley said yesterday.

"I’ve never had him as fresh as he is, he might have a good turn of foot. Greg Ryan said he worked enormous on Sunday at Mudgee and he did."

Sniper’s Bullet must overcome trainer Mick Mair’s group 1 winner Swiss Ace and Gai Waterhouse’s Gamble Me.

In the final event at Eagle Farm, Bartley has Sniper’s Bullet’s full-brother Slick Sniper returning from a spell.

"He has improved out of sight," Bartley said. "He goes head and head with Sniper’s on the training track but the penny hasn’t dropped in a race yet. I’m hoping it does up in Queensland."

Bartley’s Frederick Clissold Stakes winner Marchinski was sold to Hong Kong connections through the week.

"It wasn’t a loss because I owned 40 per cent of him," Bartley said. "It’s why we get up early in the morning and the good part is we’ve got the full-brother at home. We’ve also got the dam."

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FOOTBALL Hoffenheim v Hertha Berlin.
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Setanta Sports, 4.30-6.30am. Bundesliga.

GOLF Zurich Classic. Second round.

Fox Sports 1, 5-8am. US PGA Tour.

BASEBALL Boston v NY Yankees.

ESPN, 9am-noon. Major League.

LEAGUE Roosters v Dragons (Toyota Cup) from 12.45. Roosters v Dragons (first grade) from 3. Storm v Warriors from 5.30. Cowboys v Sea Eagles from 7.30.

Fox Sports 2, 12.45-9.30pm. NRL.

RACING Blues v Reds. Hurricanes v Brumbies from 5.30.

Channel Nine, 1.30-4.30pm. Sydney Cup day.

AFL

Channel Ten, 2-5pm. Essendon v Collingwood.

RUGBY

Fox Sports 3, 3.30-7.30pm. Super 14.

AFL Rangers v St Mirren.

Fox Sports 1, 5-11.30pm; Channel Ten, 8.30-11.30pm. Hawthorn v West Coast (Fox only). Fremantle v Sydney from 8.30 (Fox and Ten).

FOOTBALL

Setanta Sports, 9.15-11.15pm. Scottish FA Cup semi-final.

RUGBY Cheetahs v Crusaders. Bulls v Chiefs from 1.

Fox Sports 2, 11pm-3am. Super 14.

FOOTBALL West Ham United v Chelsea, Bolton v Aston Villa, Everton v Manchester City, Fulham v Stoke, or Hull v Liverpool (viewer’s choice). Manchester United v Tottenham from 2.30. Setanta Sports, 2-4am. Italian Serie A. Chievo v Udinese.

Fox Sports 3, midnight-5am. English Premier League.

AND ON RADIO … Racing.

2KY, noon-midnight.

702 ABC, noon-10pm. Grandstand . Includes Roosters v Dragons from 3, Storm v Warriors from 5.30, and Cowboys v Sea Eagles from 7.30. SUNDAY

FOOTBALL Malaga v Deportivo La Coruna.

ESPN, 4-6am. Spanish Primera Division.

GOLF Third round.

Fox Sports 1, 5-8am. Zurich Classic.

BASEBALL Boston v NY Yankees.

Fox Sports 3, 6-9am. US Major League.

BASKETBALL LA Lakers v Utah Jazz.

ESPN, 11am-1.30pm. NBA play-offs.

LEAGUE Raiders v Bulldogs (Toyota Cup) from 11.45. Raiders v Bulldogs (first grade) from 2.

Fox Sports 2, 11.45am-4pm. NRL.

MOTOR SPORT Randwick v Easts.

Fox Sports 3, 12.30-5.30pm. Japanese MotoGP.

AFL

Fox Sports 1, 1-7.30pm. Geelong v Brisbane. Melbourne v Adelaide from 4.30. Channel Seven, 2-5pm. Western Bulldogs v Carlton.

RUGBY

ABC1, 3-5pm. Shute Shield.

LEAGUE Tigers v Knights. There’s been a lot of irrational hoopla, a lot of loose talk if you will, over the past week surrounding the fact that Rabbitohs halfback Chris Sandow is on track to become the eighth player in the history of the NRL to rack up 100 missed tackles in a single season. Apparently, the last tackle Sandow successfully executed was in pre-season training, a couple of months ago: Jason Taylor threw a tackling bag on him while he was enjoying a mid-session drinks break, and Sandow tripped over the bag, thereby forcing it to the ground, where it remained stationary for the remainder of the training session. Extraordinary stuff. It is, of course, as this column has successfully demonstrated over the course of its glorious, Walkley-deserving four-year history, only right and good and proper and healthy to snigger at the misfortune of others. But much of the sniggering about Sandow has rested on the assumption that tackling in the modern game of rugby league is some kind of idealised, 1930s vintage, one-on-one pursuit between ball-runner and tackler, where a wispy, moustachioed gentleman in long shorts worn up around the armpits gallops gazelle-like away from his pursuer, before eventually being cut down around his bootlaces in a sweeping, poetic arc that will later furnish the main scene for an advertising poster for some salty, Depression-era, family-run business by the name of "Tooth and Co" or "Cobbs Hams". As we all know, tackling today is nothing of the sort. No one gets tackled in the NRL today unless it’s by 23 opposition players. Seriously, there are nations in Central America that have fewer people in them than the average NRL tackle. On the most minimal model, the modern tackle will need, at the very least , eight players to come even close to being successful. First, a guy charges in and attacks the ball carrier’s midriff. Next, another guy comes in and attacks the shoulders. Then a third team member jumps in and attacks the ball carrier’s neck, twisting it hither and thither as the rest of his body is held in lock and shouting, "How does that make you feel, mate? Feel good?" The fourth tackler, whose sole function is to sit on the ball runner’s head once he’s been pinned down by his three teammates, occupies a pivotal role in the architecture of modern tackling, ensuring that the opposition player rises from the tackle with the imprint of at least one pair of buttock cheeks neatly creased into his face. The fifth and sixth tacklers come in and just, like, flick the ball carrier’s ears and stuff. It’s ineffective and ultimately has little impact on the course of the game, but it makes for highly entertaining television. Finally, two tacklers are introduced at the end, first, to press the ball runner’s head into the ground as he’s trying to get up to play the ball, and finally, once he’s on his feet and in a position to roll the ball under his legs, to give him the obligatory sarcastic little ruffle of the hair. When people criticise Sandow for missing so many tackles, what they are really pointing to is a chronic weakness in the broader collective tackling culture at the Rabbitohs. There are faces to be sat on and ears to be flicked. Get it right, Souths.

Channel Nine, 4-6pm. NRL.

MOTOR SPORT Round four from the Netherlands.

Fox Sports 3, 7.30pm-12.30am. World superbike championship.

FOOTBALL Arsenal v Middlesbrough. Blackburn v Wigan from 1. Setanta Sports, midnight-2am. Scottish FA Cup semi-final. Falkirk v Dunfermline. ESPN, 11pm-5am. Italian Serie A. Milan v Palermo. Spanish Primera Division from 1. Getafe v Villarreal. Sevilla v Real Madrid from 3.

Fox Sports 2, 10.30pm-3am. English Premier League.

AND ON RADIO … Grandstand . Includes Raiders v Bulldogs (first half only) from 2 and Tigers v Knights from 3.

702 ABC, noon-6pm. MONDAY

GOLF Final round.

Fox Sports 1, 3-8am. Zurich Classic.

MOTOR SPORT Aaron’s 499.

Fox Sports 3, 3-8am. NASCAR Sprint Cup.

FOOTBALL Napoli v Inter.

Setanta Sports, 4.30-6.30am. Italian Serie A.

BASEBALL NY Yankees v Boston.

ESPN, 10am-1pm. Major League.

LEAGUE Panthers v Titans.

Fox Sports 2, 7-9pm. NRL.

CRICKET Pakistan v Australia.

Fox Sports 3, 9pm-5am. One-day international.

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AUSTRALIA’S premier jockey Damien Oliver is out to break a feature-race drought at Randwick today, with the former Caulfield Cup winner Master O’Reilly awaiting in the Sydney Cup.
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The stayer heads weights and is one of four group 1 rides for Oliver. He rides emerging Victorian talent Zedi Knight in the last event.

"I started the carnival off well but it hasn’t been so great since," Oliver said yesterday.

The Victoria-based champ arrived in Sydney for the Rosehill meeting on March 21 when he carted off a feature-race double. All Silent took out the Canterbury Stakes, and Heart Of Dreams was victorious in the Phar Lap Stakes.

At the following four Saturdays of the Sydney autumn carnival, Oliver has had 20 mounts without returning to the winners’ list. On Golden Slipper day, he had six rides and was beaten on three favourites.

On AJC Australian Derby day at Randwick, Oliver failed to ride a winner from six starts but not one of the mounts headed markets, which wasn’t the case last weekend when Apache Cat was beaten as favourite in the TJ Smith as was All Silent in the Doncaster Mile.

"I’ve had a lot of good rides on paper but it hasn’t quite worked out that well," Oliver said. "I’ve been thwarted a little bit by soft tracks and luck in running. I haven’t got the winners on the board but it’s swings and roundabouts in this business.

"The favourites don’t always win, it would be pretty boring if they did."

In today’s All Aged Stakes, Oliver rides Danleigh, having committed to the galloper after his first-up second in The Galaxy. It opened the way for fellow Victorian Craig Williams to link up with All Silent, which is coming off a 10th in the Doncaster.

"I may have erred a little going back to the inside on him [All Silent]," Oliver said. "But he is going to be better on a drier track, on that track last Saturday he didn’t quite let go like he can on a dry track."

Oliver described Danleigh’s effort in The Galaxy as "a great run", and "I had to wait and follow the winner through".

A member of the elite jockeys’ grand slam-winning club, Oliver, who claimed the Sydney Cup on No Wine No Song last year, admitted the task facing Master O’Reilly was a worry.

"He has the visitors’ draw [19]. It is going to make it hard," he said. "It is not the best start; you jump straight on a turn. It hasn’t made the task any easier but the horse is going well."

Master O’Reilly has been winless since scoring in the Caulfield Cup two years ago but the Danny O’Brien-trained six-year-old has competed at the highest level, including another Caulfield Cup outing, two appearances in the Melbourne Cup, and last year’s Cox Plate.

"If the horse was going well, this was an option," Oliver said. "He is getting a bit older, and there is not that many staying races around for him. The spring is always a lot tougher with the internationals coming.

"This is not the strongest Cup but they say that every year and they are still not easy to win."

Oliver fears former AJC Australian Derby winner Fiumicino, which goes into the Cup as a last-start winner of the weight-for-age The BMW at Rosehill.

"The BMW is always strong form, and the wet track doesn’t seem to bother him," Oliver said. "I thought Ista Kareem was well in. He has been carrying the top weight for a long time and he is down on a good weight tomorrow."

In the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, which is headed by the Doncaster and George Ryder Stakes winner, Vision And Power, Oliver rides Master O’Reilly’s stablemate Douro Valley.

"He is one that is on the way up," Oliver said. "Second-up going to 2000 metres but he is the kind of horse that needs that. Anything shorter and they are probably too nippy for him. He is a group 1 performer at the distance and weight-for-age."

As for Zedi Knight, which has won five from six, Oliver is a fan. "I’ve only had one sit on him, last start, and he won well," he said. "He is one of those horses that just does what he has to."

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WEIGHTS and measures, once the doctrine by which successful horse players operated, will be put to the test by Whobegotyou in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick today.
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These days, alas, horses are less educated to mathematics, and the rule doesn’t get the same results.

Only a week ago, Whobegotyou was beaten a length when third to Vision And Power, his major rival again, and even Racing NSW chief steward Ray Murrihy maintained it was a "tragedy" to see him beaten. The Melbourne three-year-old just couldn’t get clear running in the long Randwick straight.

Even if Whobegotyou had every chance, the weight-for-age conditions swing the balance well in his favour over Vision And Power because he meets him six kilos better.

Maybe Whobegotyou isn’t the best-placed horse on the Randwick program either as another Victorian invader, Ortensia, looks an old-fashioned bank teller’s dream – they had easy access to a short-term loan that could be parlayed into a result with seemingly little risk – in the James HB Carr Stakes. Ortensia basically clashes with the same opposition, with the exception of Yesterday, which she beat comfortably last start and on superior terms.

Whobegotyou has a more demanding assignment. Apart from Vision And Power, which now holds two decisions over him, Whobegotyou will strike opposition from the proven wfa horse Pompeii Ruler and a bevy of his age group, including AJC Australian Derby winner Roman Emperor, which will have the benefit of Jim Cassidy aboard. Still Roman Emperor, Metal Bender, Sousa and Predatory Pricer, the unluckiest runner in the AJC Derby, are coming back from the 2400 metres to the 2000m. Maybe Sousa, best leading, will improve if ridden more aggressively.

The anticipated slow ground is another query regarding Whobegotyou, considering his 4.2-length ninth to Vision And Power in the George Ryder Stakes over the Rosehill 1500m on the heavy two starts back. Murrihy, however, has no doubt that the casing used to keep the three-year-old’s shoes in place filled with mud that day and played a role in the finishing position. The substance is now barred.

Beware of another axiom relating to Vision And Power: the more they win, the better the price.

VERDICT: Whobegotyou in the Queen Elizabeth. Try Ortensia and Yesterday in a quinella for the first. The great uncertainty of racing played havoc with bank tellers. For the quadrella, start with Whobegotyou and Vision And Power.

BART’S BEST: Tried-and-tested two-mile trainers litter the honour roll for the Sydney Cup, and while Bart Cummings hasn’t won the Randwick staying test since Trissaro (1984), he has a certain notoriety in the category. Possibly his candidate, Dandaad, is dour more than brilliant but he will prove hard to beat. "I would say this is a horse whose preparation has been timed to the minute," Craig Tompson, Racenet’s Randwick clocker, reported. Dandaad was responsible for an excellent Sydney Cup trial when a 2.1-length sixth to Divine Rebel after being wide throughout. Fiumicino, under Darren Beadman, returned to his best in taking The BMW at Rosehill on a very heavy track, and Jim Cassidy will be out to prove anything Beadman can do, he can do better. Some good judges are querying The BMW form. Fiumicino beat a non-stayer, Theseo, with Viewed third. Mr Tipsy was fifth behind them, and is not a wfa horse but a two-miler, a point he will be out to confirm today. Tangalooma, prepared by Kim Waugh, appeals as the best outsider. Waugh captured the Sydney Cup with Mahtoum in 2005, and Tangalooma was downed only three lengths in the Chairman’s, a strong pointer for a $35 chance today.

VERDICT: Dandaad to win but also take Mr Tipsy and Tangalooma in the quaddie.

HOT STUFF: All Silent, Solo Flyer or Hot Danish? Which will back up best from the Doncaster in the All Aged Stakes today? Yes, All Silent, beaten three lengths in the Doncaster, has won on consecutive Saturdays, at Flemington in the spring, but it was part of the master plan. Solo Flyer went down by only 1.8 lengths last Saturday, and will be suited by the 1400m. Also the gelding has had only four races this campaign so he should still be primed. Hot Danish was 3.2 lengths astern of the winner in the metric mile; at her best, she would be too good but has the mare had enough this campaign? Racing To Win, winner of the All Aged last year, will be improved by two runs back but just didn’t do enough last Saturday in the T.J. Smith. Under the circumstances, it’s open and Gai Waterhouse, with four previous All Aged successes, could again figure with Royal Discretion.

VERDICT: Hot Danish is hopefully still on the boil so take her, Solo Flyer and All Silent in the quaddie.

STAR TURN: The improvement factor promises to kick in for Starring To Win in the Kokoda Handicap, a minor event on an excellent program but major for quadrella and Big6 players. Starring To Win rises in class but still looked above herself in condition when taking a one-metropolitan-win sprint over the Canterbury 1200m on April 8. Obviously, the Melbourne speedster Zedi Knight will be backed with five wins from six attempts down south. On face value, Without Compromise’s last-start Randwick triumph resuming after a break was very good indeed but the strength of the race is suspect.

VERDICT: Starring To Win on top but also Zedi Knight for the quaddie. For the first two legs of the BIG6: (race 3) Pravana and Visit The Queen. (Race 4) Tickets and Onemorenomore.

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