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Cheltenham Festival 2024: Cross Country Chase abandoned

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Wednesday’s Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival has been called off and will not be rescheduled after parts of the track were waterlogged.

Officials said 11mm of rain fell at the course on Tuesday.

Six races will still take place on the Old Course with the start of racing put back by 15 minutes to 13:45 GMT.

Willie Mullins runs favourite El Fabiolo in the Queen Mother Champion Chase (now 16:00 GMT) as he nears a historic 100 Cheltenham Festival wins.

A Tuesday treble led by Champion Hurdle victor State Man put the Irishman on 97 victories.

Last year’s Arkle Chase winner El Fabiolo had been due to renew rivalry with runner-up Jonbon but trainer Nicky Henderson has withdrawn his contender.

Henderson, whose stable star Constitution Hill was ruled out of the Champion Hurdle after a poor workout, has also pulled First Street and Kingston Pride from other races on Wednesday.

He has also taken Shishkin out of Friday’s Gold Cup and Champ from the Stayers’ Hurdle on Thursday.

“I’m afraid we have had to make some very tough decisions following the very disappointing performances of all bar one of our horses yesterday,” he said.

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Paris Olympics 2024: ‘Unprecedented’ security operation will be in place, says Games chief

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Paris 2024 chief Tony Estanguet says the Games will protected by an “unprecedented” security operation, and that preparations are “in good shape”.

But with 100 days until the start of the Olympics, he said organisers will “keep some humility, because we know in this kind of event anything can happen in the last stretch”.

Estanguet added he was “very satisfied with where we stand at this moment”.

He told BBC Sport: “My message is you can have confidence with this event.”

Amid mounting concerns over safety, Estanguet said “I would like to reassure that it’s non-negotiable. Security is the priority.”

“It’s the biggest event that France has ever organised, and we want to showcase the best of France. So definitely we are determined to be ready.

“We are looking forward to welcoming the world in Paris.”

“When I discussed this with [London 2012 chief] Seb Coe, he told me…in the last 100 days, there will be more criticism, more people worried. It’s exactly what is happening. My role is to remain calm, remain focused on what is very important to deliver.

“The venues are ready, the budget is balanced. We have very good ticket sales, the level of ambition is very high.”

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Deontay Wilder: Ex-WBC world champion confident of Anthony Joshua fight

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Former WBC world champion Deontay Wilder tells BBC Sport he is “90%” sure a fight with Anthony Joshua will happen in the future, as he prepares to face Zhilei Zhang on 1 June.

READ MORE: Wilder says Joshua fight will be revived with big win over Zhang

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Taulupe Faletau: Wales number eight set for Cardiff return

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Taulupe Faletau back in training with Cardiff
Taulupe Faletau has played 14 games for Cardiff after joining from Bath in 2022

Cardiff and Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau is set to return to action after a six-month injury lay-off.

Faletau, 33, suffered a broken arm in Wales’ World Cup victory against Georgia in Nantes in October 2023 before missing this year’s Six Nations with a calf injury.

The British and Irish Lions Test star has since returned to Cardiff training.

Faletau is available for the United Rugby Championship (URC) trip to face Ulster on Friday night.

Faletau, who has played 104 times for Wales, returns to action with the summer tour to Australia on the horizon.

Head coach Warren Gatland has lost senior figures in Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric, George North, Dan Biggar, Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb to international retirement in the last 12 months.

In Faletau’s absence, Cardiff back-row duo Alex Mann and Mackenzie Martin have been capped by Wales, while Aaron Wainwright has filled the national number eight role.

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