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Martin Kaymer looks ahead to "very positive" vice-captain challenge

Martin Kaymer looks ahead to
© Reuters
Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell were appointed vice-captains on Wednesday.

Martin Kaymer will use his spell as a vice-captain at this year's Ryder Cup to help decide if he wants to captain the European side in the future.

Kaymer and Graeme McDowell were appointed vice-captains on Wednesday, joining Luke Donald and Robert Karlsson in captain Padraig Harrington's backroom staff for the contest against the United States at Whistling Straits from September 24-26.

McDowell was also a vice-captain under Thomas Bjorn for Europe's victory at Le Golf National in Paris in 2018, while Kaymer will take on the role for the first time after four appearances as a player.

"When Padraig approached me at the (US) PGA Championship, I was a little surprised at that stage because it's such a huge honour that I really didn't know how to take it," Kaymer said.

"We spoke a little bit about it at the champions dinner and I went back to my room. I must admit, I struggled a little bit to sleep because once I decide to do something, I would like to do it properly and in the right way.

"I wasn't really sure if I would be up for that task because I don't really know what it is about. The vice-captain is a very special role.

"It will be a challenge, a very positive challenge that I've never experienced before. And hopefully it will tell me something also about myself, if I would be up for the task one day to be the captain myself."

Kaymer has also not entirely given up hope of qualifying for the team for Whistling Straits, where he won his first major title in the 2010 US PGA Championship.

The former world number one followed an opening 77 in the US Open with rounds of 68 and 69 on his way to a tie for 26th and Harrington insists he would welcome the headache of having to find another vice-captain if Kaymer, McDowell or Donald suddenly found form.

"I'd be thrilled," Harrington said. "Of course you want experienced players playing great and playing their way on to the team. And if Martin plays like he did for most of the US Open he can do it and I'd be delighted to see him there having won at Whistling Straits.

"But at the moment, selfishly, I need vice-captains. I needed to start that conversation behind the scenes and start working on that and cover certain areas."

Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell celebrates on the 16th hole after going 2up during his singles match in the 2010 Ryder Cup (David Davies/PA)

Harrington will name his fifth vice-captain much closer to the start of the contest and then select three wild cards following the final qualifying event, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

"It is tight for the three picks because you've got maybe half a dozen rookies vying for those positions and you've got five or six experienced players also vying to get in as a pick," Harrington said.

United States captain Steve Stricker has more options with six wild cards at his disposal, but also has to deal with the simmering feud between two players set to qualify for the team, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka.

"It's of interest," Harrington said with a smile. "But (it) doesn't really make a difference to how the players play the week of the Ryder Cup. I certainly wouldn't be relying on that.

Brooks Koepka has an ongoing feud with Bryson DeChambeau
Brooks Koepka has an ongoing feud with Bryson DeChambeau (Gregory Bull/PA)

"I'd be relying more on getting the most out of my team. The worst possible thought you can have going out in match play is hoping that your opposition isn't at their best.

"The best way you can go is 'Let's hope they play well and we play better', and that will be what I'll be trying to instil into my team. We are not going to focus on them because you just don't know.

"You don't know how much of it is real. You don't know how much they come together in the actual matches."

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina22131247
United StatesUnited States19201352
JapanJapan175830
AustraliaAustralia1331430
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia11151238
Great BritainGreat Britain9101231
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events


GOLF
· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

CYCLING - BMX
· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

SWIMMING
· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

TENNIS
· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

SAILING
· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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