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Alex Thomson forced to retire from Vendee Globe due to boat damage

Alex Thomson was bidding to become the first non-French winner of the around-the-world event.

British sailor Alex Thomson admits he is "deeply disappointed" to have been forced to retire from the Vendee Globe yacht race due to boat damage.

Thomson was bidding to become the first non-French winner of the around-the-world event, having finished third and then second on his previous two attempts.

He pulled out after sustaining irreparable damage to the starboard rudder of his £5.5million IMOCA 60 yacht.

The incident occurred on Thomson's 19th day of racing. The 46-year-old is approximately 1,800 nautical miles from Cape Town, South Africa and it is expected to take seven days for him to return to land.

"Unfortunately, a repair is not possible," Thomson said in a statement.

"We therefore accept that this will be the end of the race for us.

"Myself, my team and our partners are of course deeply disappointed. We believe the best was yet to come in this race".

Skipper Thomson, whose yacht is named Hugo Boss after the team's principal partner, had been leading the race when he crossed the equator 10 days ago.

His progress was then temporarily halted by structural damage to the bow area of the boat.

He managed to resume, only for the latest issue to leave him sailing with only one rudder and ultimately ending his bid for glory.

The Vendee Globe takes place every four years, with Gosport-based Thomson competing for the fifth time having departed Les Sables-d'Olonne on France's west coast on November 8.

He also had to abandon his initial two race attempts due to boat damage.

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Today's Olympic highlights header

Monday's key events


ATHLETICS
· There are no Brits in the women's 100m hurdles final, but Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, fresh from breaking the Olympic record in the semis, will hope to pip world record holder Kendra Harrison to gold (3.50am)
· The women's 5000m final also has no Team GB representation, but two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will be looking to add an Olympic gold to her list of honours (1.40pm)

SAILING
· The women's skiff 49er FX (6.33am) and men's skiff 49er (7.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races

FOOTBALL
· A place in the women's gold medal match is up for grabs, starting with an all-North American semi-final between United States and Canada (9am)
· Australia, who edged past Team GB's in a seven-goal quarter-final thriller, take on Sweden in the second semi-final (12pm)

CYCLING
· The track cycling schedule gets underway, with Team GB holding a particular interest in the team pursuit qualifying. Laura Kenny is part of the women's team (7.54am), while the men's team includes Ed Clancy (9.02am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· The Gadirova twins Jessica and Jennifer will both take part in the women's floor final as they look to add to their team bronze (9.57am)

WEIGHTLIFTING
· Newly-crowned European champion Emily Campbell flies the flag for Great Britain in the women's +87kg, but faces stiff competition for medals from China's Li Wenwen and New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard (11.50am)

HOCKEY
· The women's hockey quarter-finals begin, with Team GB last up against Spain (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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