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London 2012: The Paralympics
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issue 270, August 24 2012
06 Grapple fans!
We love these posters celebrating our favourite wrestlers from the 1980s
08 Blade shoes
The first ever running shoe created for prosthetics As a new book of Premier League legends is released, we pit the best against each other
10 Footballing face-offs
oFeatures this coming week
16 Jonnie Peacock
We launch our big Paralympics preview with cover star Jonnie Peacock – the man aiming to dethrone Oscar Pistorius
23 Ellie Simmonds
The youngest ever recipient of an MBE is ready to win more gold medals — don’t bet against her
36 T20 Finals Day
As he leads Somerset into battle, Marcus Trescothick reflects on how T20 has changed the game
A new football season can only mean one thing: a page of football boot porn The surfer girl with the best sporting nickname we’ve come across – this week, at least
54 Sophie Hellyer
56 Grooming 58 Gadgets
It’s the US Open – so we’ve, er, gone all American Psycho Including a remote-controlled plane: you’re very welcome The Walking Dead, Ian McEwan, Clive Owen, Elbow and the ‘less portentous’ Arcade Fire
| August 24 2012 | 03
Cover image: Daniel Lewis
p08 – Blade runner meets Ironman
p09 – Now that’s liquid (sort of) football p10 – Premier League’s best of the best
Acceptable in the 80s
haddya mean, you’re not sure if wrestlers are real athletes, you pencil-necked poindexter? You can argue that The Rock deserves an Olympic gold medal as much as anyone involved in basketball or rhythmic gymnastics. However, it’s the WWF peak of the 1980s that remains the pinnacle for many fans – and it’s that era’s grapplers who are celebrated in this snazzy new range of posters from the US. A minimalist design, plus a special move reference, tells the story of each. But can you name all seven of these wrestlers? For the full range of 12, go to bamitsbernie.com ($20 each print)
06 | August 24 2012 |
Answers (clockwise from top): Macho Man Randy Savage, Legion of Doom, Hulk Hogan, Ravishing Rick Rude, The Undertaker, Ultimate Warrior, Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase
he triathlon isn’t a Paralympic event, but it soon could be if these catch on. A collaboration between Nike and Finnish company Ossur, who make athletics prosthetics for the likes of Oscar Pistorius, these are the first ever shoes created for use on prosthetics. They were made for American Sarah Reinertsen, the first female amputee ever to finish the Ironman triathlon – and, as you can see, they’re as high-tech as any top-end trainer.
1 Plastic tabs clip to the running blade for secure fit and easy removal when finished. 2 A layer of soft plastic helps the sole grip to the blade, and reduces noise while running. 3 Just as in a shoe, this foam layer provides cushioning for comfort and support. 4 Rubber sole for improved traction when running on road surfaces.
Take a bow
f you find yourself screaming obscenities at the TV when Gervinho does the exact opposite of the right thing time and time again, Fluid Football might be of interest. It’s a real-time strategy game for iPhone and iPad, where you can take control of an errant winger, and everyone else on the pitch, for a series of set-piece scenarios. You map out player runs, and can drag defenders out of position to create space for a shot — it’s wholesome addictive fun, and is soundtracked by Andy Gray and Richard Keys (mercifully that’s commentary, not music). If you decide to check it out, here’s a hint for you, and a certain Ivorian — if you’ve got men unmarked in the middle, please don’t just run the ball out of play. Fluid Football, free from the App Store for iPhone and iPad
Legends face off
new book rating the Premier League’s 100 greatest icons celebrates 20 years since this titanic competition was born. The debates and players that have kept us talking go head to head below, alongside a top 100 ‘legend’ rating.
FOX IN THE BOX Robbie Fowler (17) v Ruud van Nistelrooy (40) Fowler still holds the record for the fastest hat-trick in Premier League history (four minutes and 33 seconds for Liverpool against Arsenal in 1994) and was the deadliest striker in the top flight during his first Anfield spell. However, injury problems mean Van Nistelrooy shades this by virtue of a better goalscoring ratio (one goal every 1.6 EPL games compared with Fowler’s 2.3) and the fact that only two of his 95 goals came from outside the area. VERDICT: Van Nistelrooy THAT MUST HAVE HURT Kevin Davies (85) v Duncan Ferguson (52) The most booked player in Premier League history (99), Davies has also committed the most fouls (over 1,100 to date) but escapes
censure here because he is also the most fouled player. Ferguson, however, has been sent off a record eight times, has an actual rap sheet, put a burglar in hospital and is more familiar with the application of blunt force trauma rather than the (admittedly frequent) niggle favoured by Davies. VERDICT: Ferguson THE COMEBACK KID Paul Scholes (29) v Tony Adams (28) Two very different comebacks here. Both to be admired, but one more remarkable than the other. The fact that Scholes could pick up where he left off at Old Trafford with no discernible deterioration after early retirement is testament to his career-long professionalism. Adams’ recovery from alcoholism and a spell in prison to lead his club
and country throughout the 1990s – and his efforts to help others in a similar position – signify a much more profound redemption. VERDICT: Adams MAVERICK GENIUS Paolo Di Canio (14) v Mario Balotelli (89) Both Italian, both strikers, both brilliant on their day. Who will turn up? The Di Canio who assaults a referee or the one who scores an airborne volley against Wimbledon? The Balotelli who stamps on an opponent or the one who sets up a title-clinching winner in injury time? Who knows? Certainly not their managers. Despite the off-the-field fireworks, Di Canio gets the vote here for that goal-ofthe-season scissor-kick volley in March 2000. But Balotelli isn’t finished yet, we suspect. VERDICT: Di Canio
The Talksport Book of Premier League Legends by Bill Borrows is published in hardback (Simon & Schuster), £18.99
Stu Forster/Allsport, Mark Thompson/Getty Images, Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images, Ross Kinnaird/Allsport
our vote counts. And no, we’re not talking X Factor here. The Golden Joystick Awards are upon us again, and the Sports Game of the Year Award will be a hard-fought category as ever. Your opinion will make a difference, so whether you’re a FIFA fanatic, a Madden maniac or a Football Manager addict, you can have your say. Vote online now at goldenjoystick.com.
Madden NFL 12 Tiger Woods PGA 13 Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 NBA 2K12 SSX NHL 12 Football Manager 2012 FIFA Street FIFA 12
10 | August 24 2012 |
Radar Editor’s letter
www.sport-magazine.co.uk @sportmaguk facebook.com/sportmagazine
Free iPad app available on Newsstand
Sport magazine Part of UTV Media plc 18 Hatﬁelds, London SE1 8DJ Telephone: 020 7959 7800 Fax: 020 7959 7942 Email: ﬁrstname.lastname@ sport-magazine.co.uk Editorial Editor-in-chief: Simon Caney (7951) Deputy editor: Tony Hodson (7954) Associate editor: Nick Harper (7897) Art editor: John Mahood (7860) Deputy art editor: William Jack (7861) Digital designer: Chris Firth (7624) Subeditor: Graham Willgoss (7431) Senior writers: Sarah Shephard (7958), Alex Reid (7915) Staff writers: Mark Coughlan (7901), Amit Katwala (7914) Picture editor: Julian Wait (7961) Production manager: Tara Dixon (7963) Contributors: Claire Nash Commercial Agency Sales Director: Iain Duffy (7991) Business Director (Magazine and iPad): Paul Brett (7918) Business Director: Kevin O’Byrne (7832) Advertising Manager: Steve Hare (7930) New Business Sales Executive: Hayley Robertson (7904) Brand Creative Director: Adam Harris (7426) Distribution Manager: Sian George (7852) Distribution Assistant: Makrum Dudgeon Head of Online: Matt Davis (7825) Head of Communications: Laura Wootton (7913) Managing Director: Adam Bullock PA to Managing Director: Sophia Koulle (7826) Colour reproduction: Rival Colour Ltd Printed by: Wyndeham Group Ltd © UTV Media plc 2012 UTV Media plc takes no responsibility for the content of advertisements placed in Sport magazine £1 where sold Hearty thanks this week to: Dan Geneen, Adrian Phillips, James Woodroof, David Lawrenson and ESPN for the very nice selection of pies...
Walking, talking disaster: Pietersen has alienated fans as well as teammates
Sticks and stones...
... aren’t the only things that hurt. A silly insult is one thing, but tactical advice to the opponents?
Editor-in-chief Simon Caney @simoncaney
evin Pietersen is possibly the most gifted England batsman of my lifetime. Very few players — in history — have been quite so destructive or unplayable when at the top of their game. And yet I’d quite happily see him never don the Three Lions again. He’s overstepped the mark. Firstly came his desire to play full time in the Indian Premier League. I don’t have a problem with anyone doing it, but if they do they need to understand that they can’t expect to waltz back into their Test team whenever they feel like it. Chris Gayle, a huge talent himself, doesn’t demand to play for the West Indies whenever he feels like it. Pietersen may have changed his tune on the subject, but by the time he had the damage had been done. Then came those texts to Pietersen’s friends in the South African camp. Now, he
is still to reveal exactly what they said, but reports suggest they were less than complimentary about Andrew Strauss. That’s neither really here nor there, though. Pietersen (naturally) knows the South Africans well and was having a rant about his boss — fairly standard practice. More damaging, though, was his apparent advice to them to bowl around the wicket to Strauss. They probably didn’t need telling that, but that’s not the point. Imagine if England were playing Spain in a crucial World Cup match and Wayne Rooney texted his mate David De Gea to tell him where Steven Gerrard was most likely to put a penalty. He’d be vilified beyond belief. The ECB maybe haven’t handled this well. It should have been dealt with much quicker. But despite that magnificent talent, I can’t help thinking England are indeed better off without Kevin Pietersen.
Interesting to hear that a new TV channel is being launched to capitalise on the interest in ‘minority’ sports from the Olympics. London Legacy is its name and it’s from Highﬂyer, the company that recently lost its contract to produce Channel 4’s racing coverage after 28 years. It would be lovely to think such sports didn’t need a specialist channel, but the reality is that they do, especially now the football season has begun. Still, it’s a start. Talking of football, I really wasn’t ready for the start of the season last week. Like so many people, I had an Olympic hangover, and it just didn’t seem right to be tuning into football so quickly. I always claim that, as each season passes, I fall a little more out of love with the game – but, as ever, I found myself absorbed by it all. We can enjoy Olympics, Paralympics and football. They’re not mutually exclusive.
Cover of the Year
Reader comments of the week
Great editor’s column by @simoncaney in today’s @Sportmaguk “a happy country is a more productive country” Fantastic article in @Sportmaguk by @simoncaney this morning. Fingers crossed the decision makers take note! Happy birthday to Felix! X
Don’t forget: Help keep public transport clean
and tidy for everyone by taking your copy of Sport away with you when you leave the bus or train.
12 | August 24 2012 |
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Image Source/Rex Features
@simoncaney Handball is the perfect sport for schoolkids. Yet all funding cut 2 days after Games finish. Govt talk of legacy all hot air.
@Sportmaguk Absolutely loved your Olympic round-up. Shed a tear, laughed my tits off & enjoyed every moment of it! Just like the real thing
Every Friday I get home & the missus has @ Sportmaguk waiting for me! Can you really ask for much more than that!? #marriagematerial
LAUNCH OF THE YEAR
Total Average Distribution: 305,676 Jan-Jun 2012
Frozen in time
Field of dreams, dude
Dispelling the myth that country sport can only mean fox bothering and morris men, here’s a shot of two modern young chaps cutting a dash through a farmer’s field on their bikes. Of course, this being a high-octane Red Bull event, we can only assume they were shifting far quicker than they look to be here, and that the obligatory Massive Drop To Oblivion was positioned just to the left of our shot. Death and destruction straight ahead, chaps.
rutgerpauw.com/Red Bull Content Pool
14 | August 24 2012 |
London 2012 Paralympics
16 | August 24 2012 |
Just four years ago, amputee Jonnie Peacock knew little of the Paralympics and even less about sprinting. Now he’s set to be the quickest sprinter at London 2012
Usain Bolt’s reign as the 100m king may have been under threat going into the London Olympics, but defending 100m Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius must feel he needs to call on the army for help protecting his sprint gold. The man chasing Pistorius down is no Jamaican Beast, though. Jonnie Peacock is a 19-year-old sprinter from Cambridge who lost his right leg at the age of five, after contracting meningococcal septicaemia (whereby toxins are released into the blood and break down the walls of blood vessels). He’s also the current 100m world record holder in amputee sprinting, his 10.85s run at the US trials in June (where he was an invited guest) slicing 0.06s off the previous record held by USA’s 2004 Paralympic champ, Marlon Shirley. But just four years ago, Peacock admits he didn‘t even realise there was a race “just for people like me”. And if it hadn’t been for a well-timed visit to his prosthetist (the woman tasked with making his prosthetic leg), who told him about a Talent ID day being run by the British Paralympic Association (BPA), he might never have done so. “My dad said I couldn’t go because it was a school day,” Peacock reveals with a wry smile. “But I asked my mum and she said ‘definitely’. She and my stepdad took the day off work to drive me to London. So if it wasn’t for them, I don’t think I’d be here today.” Here, being the mostly deserted gym at Lee Valley, a high-performance training centre used by UK Athletics where Peacock has been toiling under the tutelage of worldrenowned athletics coach Dan Pfaff since last November. With most of the centre’s regulars holed up in the Olympic village when we meet, Peacock has been relying on the radio to keep him “pumped up” for his sessions – the only plus side to the loneliness being he has the equipment all to himself. But it’s not for long. Soon, he’ll be roared on by a crowd of thousands eager to see more of the golden moments that lit up the
Olympic Stadium just a few weeks ago. And as the fastest man on the track, Peacock will be among the favourites to deliver... Are you ready to make your Paralympic debut as a gold-medal favourite? [Laughs] “Maybe. But Oscar has got his Paralympic medals to retain and I know he’ll want to do everything he can to help South Africa up the medal table. He’s a bit lacking in power because he’s gone a bit lighter for the 400m, but technically he’s improved tremendously. He’s not gonna come to the Paralympics ready to roll over and give his medals up, I know that. But I know what I’m capable of, and it’s a lot better than 10.85s. I’m looking to shock a few people in London.” Your world record in the USA wasn’t the perfect race, then? “Although it’s a fantastic time, I’m ashamed of myself because the race was atrocious. I came out of the blocks and just stood up straight away, so by my third or fourth step I’m near enough upright. In the 100m, you want to be driving for the first 30 metres, then transition and be upright by about 50. I’m upright by nearly 20 metres. Looking at it now, I had a really bad race and am annoyed at myself. But it makes me confident to know I can run 10.85s with a bad race.” At the World Championships last year, you finished fifth in 11.63s. That’s almost a second slower than you ran in the USA in June. What’s made the difference? “I moved to London to train with Dan Pfaff. He’s one of the best coaches in the world for practically any athletics event, and in the 100m he’s had some pretty good names — Carl Lewis, for example. “I wouldn’t have run sub-11s this year if it wasn’t for Dan and the knowledge he has. He’s helped me move my technique on hugely. Steve Lewis [GB pole vaulter] said I should go down that line-up and apologise to everyone else for having the opportunity to train under someone with the record Dan has – and he’s probably right.” You were only five when you lost your leg. Do you remember what it was like learning to walk with a prosthetic? “I hear all these other amputees >
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David Rose/Rex Features
“I had a really bad race. But it makes me conﬁdent knowing I can run a world record with a bad race”
saying how they had to learn to run again, and how much hard work it was – but in all honesty, as soon as I could walk, I could run. I didn’t really care if it hurt either, I just wanted to go out and run. ”My mum loves telling people that even if I had a sore stump, it was always more painful for me not to join in than to join in and get a sore leg afterwards. I learned to walk pretty quickly; as soon as I was doing that I was playing football and rugby at school.” Pistorius became the first track-and-field athlete to cross over from the Paralympics to the Olympics this summer. Do you see yourself ever doing the same thing? “The 400m [in which Pistorius competed at the Olympics] is hugely competitive, but the 100m has to be the most competitive because every single person who does athletics has tried it. “And if you look at the science behind why Oscar has a disadvantage, everyone knows it’s his first 200m. Well the 100m is half of that, so I’m probably at a disadvantage for 70 metres of the 100m. I can see myself running quick in the future, but I don’t think I could ever bridge the gap to the Olympics.” Some Paralympians are uneasy about athletes crossing over, as they feel it demeans the Paralympics... “Obviously the Paralympics is great for any disabled athlete to get to, but the Olympics is the pinnacle. I know Oscar says he’s never going to forget where he came from, which is the Paralympics, and I know he still really does value it and will always put that up there. But I think he’d be lying if he said the Paralympics is just as important as the Olympics. If I was running 10 seconds flat [for the 100m] and you said to me, ’Jonny, if you could only pick one which would it be?’ then of course it’s gonna be the Olympics.Anyone who denies that and says they’d go to the Paralympics instead is just lying. “But there’s a reason for the Paralympics being there. It’s not there because you’re not good enough to go to the Olympics; it’s there because there‘s a reason you’re
not good enough to go to the Olympics. Because you’ve got to do so much more to get there – and it’s just impossible for most people. There are certain things that roadblock you. For me, I’m never going to say never in the 100m – but it’s just gonna be a lot harder in the 100m than in the 400m, and unfortunately I’m just not made to run the 400m.” Is it true that David Beckham played a part in inspiring you to do sport? “He was one of my favourite sportsmen growing up, and I got the chance to meet him at Euro 2000 when I was seven. He’s
a great man; he came in and spent so much more time with me than any of the other players did. He pulled out a training top that he had and signed it for me – I’ve still got it in my wardrobe today. “I’m sure he didn’t ever think when he sat down that this kid will be a world record holder in the 100m one day. It’d be great to meet him in the future as well... so if anyone could set that up, it would be good!” Sarah Shephard
18 | August 24 2012 |
“Oscar would be lying if he said the Paralympics is as important as the Olympics”
Watch BT Ambassador Jonnie Peacock on Channel 4, the domestic host broadcaster of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. BT is the official communications services partner for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
London 2012 Paralympics
Strokes of genius
Sport sits down with Ellie Simmonds, the precocious 17-year-old swimmer looking to defend double Olympic gold in the Aquatics Centre
Just like its sister event, the Paralympic Games throws up all manner of unlikely success stories. None is more incredible than that of Ellie Simmonds, who became a national icon in 2008 when, aged just 13, she won two gold medals in the pool in Beijing. A whirlwind of attention followed after a tearful poolside interview — Simmonds was named Young Sports Personality of the Year ahead of Laura Robson and Tom Daley, and became the youngest person in history to be awarded an MBE. Simmonds, who has achondroplastic dwarfism, will enter the Aquatics Centre as one of Great Britain’s key Paralympic medal hopes, swimming in the S6 disability category in the 50m, 100m and 400m freestyle, and the 200m individual medley. Meeting her, we’re struck by how young she still seems: last week, she was opening her AS level results in history and world development; this week, she’s one of Britain’s great medal hopes for the Paralympic Games.
She’s understandably nervous. “It’s good to have nerves,” she tells us. “It’d be weird if I didn’t – it makes it more exciting, you get an adrenaline rush and it just gets you more pumped up for racing. I’m gonna be really nervous — it’s scary thinking about it, but when the starting buzzer goes and I’m in the water my nerves will go. Everyone gets nervous for the biggest event of their life.” Training days Preparation has been increasing in intensity as that event approaches — Simmonds fits in 18 hours a week around school, in nine two-hour sessions. “It’s definitely getting harder and more focused,” she says. “I have a schedule that I’ve got to hit — I train from 6am to 8am, and then I have school and then train from 3pm until 5pm. It’s all balanced. My coach knows what he’s got to do and has everything sorted, so we just roll with him.” The 17-year-old is undertaking that schedule with the guidance of Swansea-
based coach Billy Pye, who was awarded an MBE alongside his protege after the Games in China. They’ve now been working together for seven years, but their collaboration was initially confined to the school holidays until four years ago, when Simmonds moved to South Wales with her mum so she could train full time with Pye — leaving her father up in Birmingham to run the family business. “It’s a good move and I’m happy I made it,“ she says. “I don’t think I would have been able to go to Beijing and do what I did without going to Swansea. I’m there from Monday to Saturday morning, and then go back home to Birmingham. It is quite hard but you just get used to it – I’ve been doing it for four years now.” That’s a sentiment echoed by her mother, Val. “It was tough to start with,” she tells us. “But I think we were at the stage where it worked for us as a family. The club at home had closed for repairs and ended up being shut for two years, and she needed more >
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Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
“I’m gonna go out, swim the best I can and hope it’s the best in the world”
time in the water to develop. Birmingham is not very good for pools, and we just couldn’t get enough pool time.” Wiser with experience It was a gamble that paid dividends, with two unexpected golds in Beijing – but what can Simmonds remember of the flurry of attention that followed? “It’s a bit of a blur, really,“ she admits. “It was a great experience, but I didn’t take any photos. In London I’m gonna take loads of photos, and I’ve got a video camera so I can look back on all my experiences after. For three months after Beijing, the phone didn’t stop ringing — I got to do a lot of great things, like Blue Peter and meeting the Queen. Walking through Buckingham Palace, there’s all these people at the gates and you can see them thinking: ‘Why is she going in
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images, Clive Rose/Getty Images
there?’ It was all a bonus really.” One by-product of her success she didn’t enjoy quite so much was the fuss made on her return to school in Swansea. “I just wanted to go back to normal, because I think of school as a normal place,” she recalls. “But they did this thing where people could say congratulations and stuff; which was good, but it would have been better for me just to get back normally. Everyone got a day off, though; they liked that.“ Her classmates might get another one if Simmonds can replicate her success, or even better, at the Aquatics Centre. “I’m not really giving myself a target at the moment,“ she insists. “I‘m just gonna go out there and have fun, swim the best I can on the day and hope that that’s the best in the world.” It was good enough in Beijing, despite her youth — but that’s not something Simmonds pays much attention to: “If you want to do something you just go and do it — age doesn‘t have an effect. I had a good support group by me, and I coped with it all quite well.”
The same applies to her disability — she doesn’t attribute her competitive edge to having to overcome adversity in any way. “It’s just the way I am,“ she says. “I’m always trying to be the best I can be and trying to get everything out of myself — I don’t think it’s because of my disability.” Simmonds doesn’t want to be singled out for her youth, her condition, or even her achievements. Instead, we talk about school life, her recently passed driving test, shopping and going to the cinema – “normal teenager things”, as she puts it. Because she is just that — a normal teenager with extraordinary drive and an incredible talent. Amit Katwala @amitkatwala Ellie Simmonds is an Active Kids and Paralympic Games ambassador for Sainsbury’s. For more information, go to sainsburys.co.uk/paralympics
Looking up: ‘If you want to do something you should just go and do it,’ says Simmonds
24 | August 24 2012 |
London 2012 Paralympics
Why you should watch the Paralympics
Channel 4 presenter and national treasure Clare Balding on why the Paralympics will be a festival of must-see sport
26 | August 24 2012 |
The Paralympics is really top-class international sport, and we’re very good at it. We ﬁnished second in the medals table in Beijing (behind China), with 42 gold medals, so the chances are that we’re going to go even better than that at home. So you have the chance of following British athletes, and possibly seeing them win. There is a deeper and broader and wider message with the Paralympic Games. I think it touches people in a different way than the Olympics, and in many ways its legacy is more profound and longer-term, because the legacy of a Paralympic Games is all about strengths of the human mind and strengths of the human body. It’s about practical things like building sports venues that are wheelchair-accessible, thinking about transport and changing the way we design our transport system so that wheelchair users or the visually impaired can get around easily – and that, I think, is a really important part of the Paralympic message. Inspiring a generation It really means something to everybody, and I don’t think it’s just if you are disabled. Anyone watching Oscar Pistorius or Ellie Simmonds or David Weir... you look at that and you think: ’Right, I need to look at myself — am I pushing myself enough? Am I achieving everything that my body is capable of doing?’ It is all about not having limitations, not putting limitations on yourself. And I do think the Paralympics has a great power to
send that message, and I think it will have a particular effect on anyone under about the age of 14 watching it. It’s to do with kids connecting with somebody. Inspiration works if you see someone who is like you; you think ’Gosh, if they can do it, I can do it.’ Ellie Simmonds, for example, is like a lot of young teenagers. Spoiled for choice There are so many sports we’re good at: cycling, swimming, athletics. We’re very good at judo as well, and powerlifting. Wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby — that’s a brutal sport. That’s one you watch, and after about five minutes you go: ’Oh my god, they’re going to kill each other — he’s fallen out of his chair!’ But this is what happens when men play sport. They batter each other. It stops you being overprotective, and I think that’s another virtue of the Paralympics. Although it teaches you to be aware of the needs of people who might use wheelchairs, it also teaches you not to be overprotective. Having worked at the Paralympic Games before, I know from the response I get from viewers how much of a difference it makes. I have always felt that the Olympic Games changes the way you feel in a very positive way, but the Paralympic Games changes the way you think. Very few sports can do that, and that to me is huge — it has this enormous power, and I just hope it will be a lasting power and I will do my best to make sure that it is. You can’t fail to be enthralled and moved by the Paralympics, and that’s what good sport should do.
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Who to watch from Team GB
Lee Pearson (left) Equestrian “Lee is the most extraordinary rider. He talks about how you can put him on legs and he can’t really move, but put him on a horse and he suddenly has freedom. He has nine gold medals already, a 100 per cent record at the Paralympic Games. He is outstanding as a rider, and I think he’s the star of a very, very capable equestrian team.” David Weir (middle) Athletics “He’s competing in four different wheelchair races, including the marathon and the 1,500m. Now he could do a clean sweep of gold medals, and that would be exceptional. Dave’s been through a fair bit — he nearly went out of the sport altogether, but he has come back. He’s very strong physically, and I think he’s really worked on his mental strength now as well.” Sarah Storey (right) Cycling “She very nearly made the Olympic team — she is outstanding and so fast. The Paralympic cycling team train with the Olympic cycling team; they use all of the same facilities and I think it’s really showing in their performances. And the Velodrome is such a fabulous place, so we should be very strong in that.” Turn over the page for our interview with Sarah Storey
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Storey of six
She competed as a swimmer at four Paralympics before swapping pool for velodrome in Beijing. Now Sarah Storey aims to add ﬁve more golds at London 2012
You started training as a cyclist only in 2005, yet you won two gold medals at the Paralympics three years later, taking your overall tally to 18. Were you a natural when it came to the track? “Well, within six months of learning to ride on the track I’d broken a world record. There’s lots of development programmes working with people who’ve ridden a bike all their life, and they still haven’t managed to go very quick. But I picked it up relatively quick. That’s just down to me as an individual.” You’ve been an elite athlete for 20 years, having gone to your first Paralympics at 14. Does it feel like it’s all you’ve ever known? “Definitely. When you’ve known no different, you’re constantly working to make sure your body’s in the right state for the next training session or next race, because the next race is the one you’re going to be judged on. People always want to know: can you do it again? Can you go faster? Are you gonna beat this person or that person? It’s constant, but it’s great because it’s always pushing me to be better.”
How much have you seen the attitude to the Paralympics change since you started competing? “It’s just the realisation from people outside of our world what’s going on. Athletes at the Paralympics are competing at the highest level, they just happen to have a disability. People are realising it is sports footage and, just like in boxing where you don’t keep mentioning the weight of the boxer, you don’t keep mentioning the disability of the athlete. You’re just talking about athletes. That change of perception has been massive.” You’re 34, an age when people might expect you to slow down, but your times keep improving. Is age no factor on the track? “In cycling, the older you are, in some ways, the better. The strength you need on the road or track develops with age, so for me there is no age barrier the way there perhaps is in swimming. There’s no reason to think I have to retire after London; Rio is a distinct possibility, and while I’m still improving and winning gold medals it would be rude to retire.”
You were in contention for competing in both the Olympics and Paralympics at one point, having won gold for GB in the team pursuit at a World Cup event in 2011. Was it a shock when you were dropped from the squad just a week later? “As a road rider who has a turn of speed on the track, it looked like it was going to be a good option for me. But they decided I wasn’t needed. It’s a shame, but you have to have those tough decisions made. I just hope that while I’ve been the victim of a very tough and hard decision, every person who’s made the team is there having had the tough decision made. We’ve got great talent in British Cycling. It’s tough to think I would be able to make the team in any other nation in the world, but we are so good in this country that I was the one deemed surplus to requirements.” Sarah Shephard @sarahsportmag Sarah Storey is an ambassador for Links of London, who are the official jewellery designers for London 2012. The Team GB Band is available in Links of London stores and at linksoflondon.com/2012
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28 | August 24 2012 |
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On track for gold
Six golds, three silvers, one bronze and two world records. It’s safe to say Jon-Allan Butterworth has been busy since taking up cycling in 2009, and the Team GB star is nowhere near ﬁnished
Talk us through your injury. “It happened in Iraq in 2007, when a bit of shrapnel from a rocket attack lacerated my left arm. I got my first prosthetic arm within three weeks and was only in rehab for three months. The prosthetic arm doesn’t have a huge effect on track cycling — I have a special arm that clips into the handlebars — but the road bike and team sprint bike need to be customised for right-hand operation.” Was cycling always something you were into? “I’d never cycled before I got injured, but was sent to a Paralympics taster day towards the end of my time at Headley Court [the military rehab centre], and they said I had a chance to make it in cycling. They basically said I had no chance in anything else! I watched the cycling in Beijing, thought it looked exciting and decided to give it a go. Six months later I was tested again, and I’ve been in the British team since mid-2009.”
And you’ve been winning golds and breaking records ever since. Expecting to do the same in London? “I’m pretty confident, but a lot depends on the day as Jody Cundy is the champion in the C4 category and I’m the best in C5. We’ll compete at the same level in London. It will be a GB one-two, I just don’t know which way. He’s all about a strong start while I ride consistently and have a big finish, so if I’m close at the halfway point there’s a good chance I can reel him in. That’s in the sprint, then I have the pursuit and the team sprint.” Do you think you could make Olympic standard one day? “We share facilities with the Olympic cyclists. Obviously they’re better, so you just concentrate on doing what you can do, but we’re getting closer. I don’t see why a Paralympic cyclist can’t be in the Olympics, but it won’t be for Team GB because the British squad is just so strong. If I was
another nationality, you never know what might have happened.” How much are you looking forward to a home Games? “The best thing about competing at home is there’s no travel. I suffered from jetlag at the World Championships, but still finished sixth in the pursuit and won the sprint. With home advantage — and a home crowd cheering us — I’m going for gold in all three events. I don’t want to walk away with three silvers, but I've only been cycling for three years and am still only 26. Realistically, Rio is when I’m going to be in the best shape.” Mark Coughlan @coffers83 The British Paralympic Association's 'Front Line to Start Line' is an initiative working to get injured servicemen and women back into competitive sport. To show your support, buy the exclusive t-shirt at adidas.com. All proceeds go towards FL2SL
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36 | August 24 2012 |
Banger & SmaSh
Somerset skipper Marcus ‘Banger’ Trescothick tells us why there’s now a lot more brains behind Twenty20 – but then adds that he still wants to see a cricket ball in a car park
It’s 10 years since Twenty20 cricket was introduced. Did you take to the format from the off, or were you one of the cynics? “Well I was brought up on the concept back in my younger days, when I used to play 20-over games, and I always thought it was great fun. But it was a slog, more a bit of entertainment than a game you really tried to win. That’s where [top-level] Twenty20 cricket has changed things. It’s still a dynamic game, but very structured and thought through.” So is the strategy more important now than it was when it started? “Massively — it’s so complex. It is short and sharp, but so much goes on. Planning and preparation are key. I’m talking about teams, but then there are also individual players who practise certain shots. We’ve seen the introduction of the slog sweeps, the reverse sweeps, all these different things. That’s come about because people have realised what they can achieve with this game.” How has Twenty20 had an impact on the other forms of cricket? “Now, in 40 or 50-over matches, you’re getting 300 or 350+ on good pitches, whereas back in the day you were looking at 250. Teams are making scores like 220 to 240 in a 20-over match, so players now realise they can chase 10 an over for 15 overs and win games. That’s helped cricket move on. It’s a better spectacle in all formats.” Some people are concerned that Twenty20 cricket is threatening the longer formats of the game. Is that a worry you share? “It’s something you’re always aware of. We’ve got a situation where some players can earn millions of dollars playing Twenty20 cricket in different parts of the world. Is it a worry? I’m of the opinion that we need to see more before we know exactly what’s going to happen. It might just be a flash in the pan. We know that it’s there — let’s just keep an eye on it for a bit, then we can judge. Until the next generation have come through, we don’t know what’s going to happen.” About those young players: do you see differences in cricketers coming through the system today due to the introduction of Twenty20 at the highest levels? “Yes, one part of it is that fitness levels have moved on. Players are stronger, fitter and work harder than before. To be a good Twenty20 cricketer, you’ve got to be physically dynamic. Also, a lot more players are good at all three aspects in that they bat, field and can bowl a few overs if needed.” You’ve always been an attack-minded batsman, so how much did you have to alter your own approach? “I did have to adjust. Batting in the power plays, you have to work out a method of scoring. You’re now looking to score 60 or 70 in the first six overs. How are you going to do that? You’re not going to do that by batting for three or four overs and then trying to slog it: you’ve got to be very dominant from the first or second over. You have to let the inhibitions of the game go without trying to worry too much about the outcome.” There’s been a lot of debate over how much 20-over cricket is played at domestic level. Some critics have suggested there’s too much next season. “Well, we need the Twenty20 structure because it’s so important in generating money for each county. At Somerset, we are greatly in need of as many games as possible, because we sell out every week. Even when we have the three games in a week, we get amazing crowds. I might be slightly biased, because I realise the importance of the situation here for the club. Other counties might disagree, but I don’t see how much we play it as a problem at all.” How have Somerset turned their home games into a success, where other counties have struggled a bit more? “We play on good pitches, that helps. People want to see the ball flying. They want to see Kieron Pollard smashing it out the ground and landing it in the river. They wanted to see Chris Gayle come here and whack it to all parts. You’re hoping he’ll hit it into the car park across the road. That brings people through the gates when you get those sort of players. People also want to see a successful side and we’re managing to produce that, getting through to the Friends Life t20 Finals Day four years in a row now.” You mention Pollard and Gayle. Is it frustrating that it’s getting harder for counties to pick up the best overseas players due to the IPL, the Big Bash and international cricket? “Well, we’ve always managed to pick up people we’ve wanted. We just missed out on Chris Gayle this year as he came back into the international game, which was a disappointment for the club. Everybody has their own way of approaching it, but if you want the big guns, you can pick them up — if you’re willing to pay them the money.” Some people say that a franchise system of 10 or so English Twenty20 teams might help. What do you think of that? “I don’t know if we need to go to a franchise. The IPL, the competitions in Australia and South Africa... we have to understand that they’re very different to the English set-up. Having 18 first-class counties is unique compared to the rest of the world. If we have a different product, then I think we have to try and work with it. We’ve got probably the biggest day of the county season this weekend. In my opinion, the current situation works nicely.” Alex Reid @otheralexreid
Follow the Friends Life t20 Finals Day on August 25 via ecb.co.uk/flt20 and live on Sky Sports 1
“PeoPle want to See the Ball flying. they want to See Kieron Pollard SmaShing it out the ground and landing it in the river”
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Four teams: one trophy
We look at how the counties are shaping up for the Friends Life t20 Finals Day
he Sharks home in on Finals Day as narrow favourites, and if Yorkshire’s bowlers can hear the Jaws music score playing in their heads, it’s with good reason. Even if you can get through the Sussex openers of Chris Nash and Luke Wright (no mean feat, as the pair have more than 500 runs between them in the competition so far), Matt Prior, Murray Goodwin and Scott Styris lurk just after. As well as the awesome batting firepower, the Sussex bowling attack is rich in variety. In left-arm seamer Chris Liddle, the Sharks have the highest wicket-taker (15) of any of the bowlers likely to play in Finals Day. This is the team to beat.
Friends Life t20 Finals Day
t might be a first ever appearance at Finals Day for this famed old cricket county, but you wouldn’t have guessed that from the serene progress so far, topping their group before easing past Worcestershire in the quarter finals. The highlight of that match was a fluid 65 by the talented 21-year-old Joe Root; Michael Vaughan comparisons abound for the England Lion, who is joined by big hitters in 23-year-old South African David Miller and Gary Ballance, 22. If Yorkshire can gain revenge for their final-ball defeat to Sussex in last Saturday’s CB40 loss, a lot rests on that gifted, youthful trio of batsmen matching the opposition big guns.
Key man: scott styris
Produced the individual highlight of an excellent set of quarter finals as he boomed nine sixes in smiting 100 not out from 37 balls (the third-fastest Twenty20 century ever) to destroy Gloucestershire’s attack. Yorkshire’s tight bowling has been a strength throughout the 2012 Friends Life t20 so far, but the crisp striking of the veteran former New Zealand international can rip the game away from any attack. Fast.
Key man: ryan sidebottom
Tim Bresnan being allowed to play in Finals Day is welcome news for Yorkshire, particularly as the competition’s top wicket-snaffler, Mitchell Starc, is unavailable. Given this, the experience of Ryan Sidebottom is crucial. He knows how to perform on the biggest stage, bowling superbly in the final when England won the World Twenty20 in 2010 (pictured). The Krusty the Clown lookalike has some big shoes to fill, but has the class to do it.
Key man: dimitri mascarenhas
As with Yorkshire, Hampshire’s side have a hole in it thanks to an absent Aussie. Glenn Maxwell is on international duty, so responsibility will fall on the shoulders of all-rounder and Twenty20 specialist Dimitri Mascarenhas. The piratical IPL regular will do his utmost to restrict with the ball and provide lower-order smashing. He’s a big-game player — and this is his perfect setting. Sussex v Yorkshire 11am, Hampshire v Somerset 2.30pm, Final 7pm | SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff | Sky Sports 1 10.30am
Key man: Jos buttler
Most dangerous of all could be the aggressive, cleanhitting Jos Buttler. He did not excel when given an early England chance, but the 21-year-old is a glorious talent capable of shining at the highest levels.
38 | August 24 2012 |
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ven Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier gave each other a year or two off before finishing their trilogy. Yet Hampshire meet Somerset for a third consecutive Finals Day to hit seven bells out of each other again. The Royals won by the tightest of margins in 2010, before losing in a Super Over to Somerset in 2011. The gap between the pair is narrower than Victoria Beckham, and Hampshire will be hoping that South African Neil McKenzie — who finally burst into Twenty20 form with a terrific 79 knock in the quarter finals — can give them batting impetus, ably assisted by another overseas veteran in Australia’s Simon Katich.
t’s the fourth time in a row that Somerset have made it to the final day of the major Twenty20 domestic cup in county cricket, and the team are heartily sick of being the bridesmaid. They have injury worries ahead of Saturday, however – in particular South African paceman Alfonso Thomas, struggling with a hamstring niggle. The batting remains as deep as it is excellent though, with Marcus Trescothick, six-blaster Richard Levi and James Hildreth among many danger men.
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Saturday Carnegie Challenge Cup Final: Leeds Rhinos v Warrington Wolves | Wembley Stadium | BBC One 2.30pm
Old wOlf , new tricks
40 | August 24 2012 |
Adrian Morley may be the oldest man running out at Wembley for tomorrow’s Challenge Cup final against Leeds Rhinos — but, as the Warrington legend told Sport, the game won’t be seeing the back of this particular hardman any time soon
hen Leeds and Warrington step on to the Wembley turf to face off in a repeat of the 2010 Challenge Cup final tomorrow, one man will be able to look beyond his modern surroundings, to a time when the skyline was interrupted by the iconic twin towers of yesteryear. That man is Adrian Morley, 35-year-old Warrington forward and the last Super League survivor of the Leeds Rhinos team that won the Challenge Cup back in 1999. “That was the very last final at the old Wembley before she got demolished,” he recalls. “I have great memories of that day though, it’s still very vivid. The old ground had had its day, but it still had a really nostalgic feel about it and I was really pleased to play there. The final was against the London Broncos, but it had been hard enough getting there; we’d had to beat Wigan, St Helens and Bradford along the way, and when London went 10-0 up we feared we’d done all the hard work only to then throw it away in the final. But we fought back to lead 12-10 at half time, and then in the second half we went on to really put a score [52-16] on them. I remember it like it were yesterday.” Morley has since gone on to feature in three more Challenge Cup finals: he was still part of the Leeds team that failed to retain the cup against Bradford Bulls at Murrayfield in 2000, before captaining his current club to successive victories at the new Wembley in 2009 and 2010. He would dearly love to make it a hat-trick in 2012, but understands just how badly the Rhinos want to end their own run of cup final defeats. “Yeah, Leeds will be desperate,” he says. “I mean, the team I played for in 1999 was the last Rhinos side to win the cup. I think they’ve had five attempts since then and they’ve not won one. This will be their third trip to Wembley in as many years, though, so they have plenty of experience and will be going down desperate for the win.”
“Players don’t think like that at all,” he stresses. “These guys are your peers, and everyone knows what it’s like to be injured; it’s not very nice at all, and I know Danny personally from international duty. He’s a great lad, and we would rather play against the strongest Leeds side anyway. You don’t go around wishing anyone an injury, because the stronger the side you face the more satisfaction you get if you do get the victory. My heart goes out to Danny — it’s really unfortunate for him.”
Despite their recent run of losses in Challenge Cup finals, Leeds can find inspiration from a whole host of big-game performances in recent Super League campaigns — not least last season’s shock semi-final win over tomorrow’s opponents in their own back yard. That result deprived Warrington of a maiden appearance in the Grand Final — something Morley, a veteran of Bradford Bulls’ 2005 championship-winning side, felt as keenly as any. “Yeah, that really hurt,” he admits. “We had the best attack in the league, and the best defence, and we’d been blowing teams away all season really. We were totally on top of our game, had won the league leaders’ shield and thought it was going to be our year. But that’s sport — if you don’t get it right on the night, you’ll be found out. Leeds came with a great gameplan and did a job on us. It was disappointing to fail at the final hurdle, and not getting to [the Grand Final at] Old Trafford was pretty heartbreaking, but I think it’s given us a little bit more resolve and desire to go one better this year. “We’ve had a lot of success in the Challenge Cup over the last few years, and that’s been an absolute pleasure and whirlwind to be involved with. But we think we have the squad to compete for all the major trophies now. The Challenge Cup is an incredible tournament in its own right, but I think the boys want the Grand Final now as well. We definitely have the desire to go and do both.” Having signed a contract extension that will see him playing at least another year at Warrington, Morley has committed to facing the intense physical demands of Super League rugby at the venerable age of 36. He is quick to point out that Steve Menzies of the Catalan Dragons is still going at 38, and that
Adrian Morley’s autobiography, Moz, will be released in November 2012, published by Vision Sports Publishing
SHorn of Maguire
If the Rhinos are to get that win, however, they will have to do so without the talismanic Danny McGuire. The half-back misses tomorrow’s showpiece with a knee injury suffered in a recent Super League win over Widnes, but Morley rejects any notion that Warrington welcomed the news with a smile.
Seconds played when Morley was sent off in a 2003 Ashes game against Australia, after forearming Robbie Kearns in the face. “I’m afraid Adrian Morley has started with a negative!” screamed Mike ‘Stevo’ Stephenson up in the commentary box. “Robbie Kearns is in Disneyland!” Definitely worth a YouTube.
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his Leeds counterpart Jamie Peacock (35 in December) is no spring chicken either — but it is impossible not to notice the enthusiasm that makes him sound like a kid half his age. “This year I’ve had a bad back, some nerve pains down my arm and then another problem with my eye that needed a small operation,” he reveals. “But I still absolutely love the game. I love the collision, the thrill of the challenge, so I’m going to carry on as long as my body’s allowing me to. That’s half the battle, getting your body right for the week after, because it does take a bit of a bashing. But the sport is now as professional as it’s ever been, and a lot of strides have been made in terms of recovery...” By ‘recovery’, Morley is partly referring to the dreaded ice bath — five minutes up to your neck in a wheelie bin full of ice-cold water, which brings down your body temperature and soothes your bumps and bruises. We ask one of rugby league’s most notorious hardmen what such an experience feels like. “Not very nice,” he smiles. “It absolutely takes your breath away when you get in. And yeah, I’m pretty much used to them now; I know it helps so I brave it, but when they first came on the scene I always used to hide away, to be honest. I’d run away like a scared cat.” After a couple of Morley specials at Wembley tomorrow afternoon, don’t be surprised if one or two Leeds Rhinos are doing much the same thing. Tony Hodson @tonyhodson1
Monday > TENNIS | US OPEN | FLUSHING MEADOWS, NEW YORK | SKY SPORTS 2 4PM
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And then there were three
If the absence of Rafael Nadal from the Olympic tennis tournament was disappointing, the announcement that his knees are to keep him away from the final Grand Slam event of the year in New York was altogether more worrying. Despite the insistence of Uncle Toni (also his coach) that he’s optimistic of a return for Spain’s Davis Cup tie against the USA in September, it’s clear the tendonitis in
Nadal’s knee joints is becoming increasingly difficult to manage. So the big four become three at Flushing Meadows, with Andy Murray arriving as the tournament’s third seed. Although, unless he’s taken his Team GB kit with him to New York, there might not be too much hope for that first Grand Slam title coming next month — for the Olympic champ seems to have lost a little of his verve. After recording an emotional victory over world number one Roger Federer to win gold, Murray flew straight to Canada to begin his US Open preparations at the Toronto Masters. He got as far as the third round before pulling out with a sore knee, but looked to have recovered in Cincinnati last week. Until the third round again, where he lost to Frenchman Jeremy Chardy — a player he’d beaten in all
four of their previous meetings. While Murray was licking his wounds, Federer was quietly winning his fifth Cincinnati title by beating Novak Djokovic last Sunday. He might have turned 31 earlier this month, but Federer has won six ATP Tour titles this year and is guaranteed to stay top of the rankings beyond the US Open, no matter how events transpire. The women’s tournament will once again revolve around Serena Williams, whose 19-match winning streak, which included title wins at Wimbledon and London 2012, was finally broken in Cincinnati last week. The 30-year-old world number four lost in the quarter finals to eventual runner-up Angelique Kerber, but brushed the defeat off. Should they meet again in New York, she added, she would “try to be ready for her”.
42 | August 24 2012 |
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Week two of the new season, and already it’s bubbling up rather nicely – not for everyone though, eh Brendan?
Sunday liverpool v Man City | anfield | Sky SportS 1 4pM
Saturday ChelSea v newCaStle | StaMford bridge | eSpn 5.30pM
Anyone remember this fixture from last season? A Wednesday evening in early May, and it looked to be the night when Chelsea’s Champions League qualification dream died at the hands of party poopers Newcastle United. It was also the night on which Papiss Cisse scored the most remarkable goal of a remarkable season, smashing a swerving, scything shot past the helpless and helmeted Petr Cech. The Senegalese striker (above, left) hasn’t actually scored for the Magpies since, so arrives at the scene of his spectacular crime on a three-game (that’s right, three-game) goal drought. As for Chelsea... well, they managed Champions League qualification in the end (right through the Rafa Benitez Back Door) — and, assuming they avoided defeat to Reading on Wednesday (we went to press before that game), go into this game top. Five months is a long time in football.
Saturday SwanSea v weSt haM | liberty StadiuM | Sky SportS 2 12.45pM
Title-winning teams, history tells us, have a very useful habit of winning games when they don’t play very well. Teams who haven’t won any league titles for 20 years or more, by contrast, seem to be able to play well for half-hour spells before imploding miserably in front of their new manager. Which brings us to the final game of this Premier League weekend — and also the most interesting, not least because if results elsewhere go against them, Liverpool could kick off their home campaign looking up at every other team in the division. Welcome to Anfield indeed, Brendan. In truth, the success or failure of Brendan Rodgers’ reign at Liverpool will be judged on much more than last Saturday’s disastrous capitulation at the Hawthorns (a ground on which the Reds had won on 10 of their previous 11 visits). But the Northern Irishman, who spoke particularly well in the aftermath of said defeat, would surely have preferred a slightly gentler fixture from which to seek a maiden Premier League win with his new club. On the evidence of his side’s shaky display without him, Rodgers would also have liked to have Dan Agger available at the heart of his defence for Sunday’s visit of Manchester City. The Dane, an alleged target for City manager Roberto Mancini over the summer, was the recipient of a softish red card against West Brom and will miss the game through suspension. Rodgers has a decision to make over who to start alongside Martin Skrtel (who committed to a new deal earlier in the week), with Jamie Carragher starting to look considerably older than his age and the giant Sebastian Coates still representing something of a risk. Whoever gets the nod probably won’t have to deal with Sergio Aguero, who hobbled off early against Southampton last week, but they will have to cope with a fitter-looking Carlos Tevez, the rampaging Yaya Toure and the guileful probings of Samir Nasri. The Frenchman (above) rarely impressed in his first season at the Etihad and had a fraught summer with his national side, but one very tidy assist and the winner in City’s 3-2 victory last week suggest better things are on the horizon this time round. Mancini will expect better in general from his side at Anfield, where a potentially nervous crowd may not help Luis Suarez’s ongoing quest to put away even a fraction of the chances he creates, or indeed Stewart Downing’s continued search for any kind of quality at all. The Sky cameras could be in for an interesting afternoon.
There were some standout performances on the first weekend of the new Premier League season, but right at the top of that impressive tree sat Michael Laudrup. He may remain one of the game’s greatest ever players, but football is all about the here and now — and the Dane’s spectacular first competitive game in charge of Swansea, that 5-0 stoving in of a desperate QPR, couldn’t really have gone any better. That Laudrup’s stylish barnet moved not an inch, and his forehead displayed not a bead of sweat, in 35-degree heat on the Loftus Road touchline only added to the legend of his team’s display, in which new signing Michu (above) gave an indication of why Joe Allen won’t be overly missed at the Liberty Stadium this term. The Spaniard will receive a rapturous reception in south Wales tomorrow, where the Swans host West Ham — another 100 per cent team, lest we forget.
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saturday norWich v qpr | carroW road | 3pm
saturday aston villa v everton | villa park | 3pm
saturday man utd v fulham | old trafford | 3pm
Shots taken by QPR against Swansea last weekend — the same as Man City managed against Southampton and more than any other team in the Premier League
“Not a good day for us,” was tyro Norwich manager Chris Hughton’s assessment of his side’s 5-0 humping away at Fulham last week — which, in terms of stating the bloody obvious, proves he very much belongs at the top table of English football. Thankfully for Hughton, Holt, Hoolahan and Co, the Canaries have swift opportunity for redemption on their own patch this week — against the only Premier League side that managed to outperform them last weekend. That means QPR, about whom Mark Hughes wasn’t glowing with praise after their own 5-0 drubbing at home to Swansea on Saturday. Defensive frailties abounded at Loftus Road, where early-season optimism lasted approximately eight minutes. They just can’t be as bad again... can they?
Bad news for Aston Villa ahead of their first home game of the new season tomorrow — Everton have gone against the habits of a Premier League lifetime and hit the ground running. David Moyes’ men were excellent in seeing off a soft-centred Manchester United on Monday, Marouane Fellaini (above) a huge-haired monster playing off Nikica Jelavic up front. Expect more of the same against Villa, who looked as toothless as they were tidy in defeat to West Ham a week ago.
Expect a home debut for Robin van Persie after his new United teammates drew a blank at Goodison on Monday night. The Dutchman (above) made little impact as a second-half substitute against Everton, but should start alongside Wayne Rooney against a Fulham team buoyed by their cruel dismantling of Norwich last week. With in-form Cottagers striker Mladen Petric on the prowl for more goals, Fergie will also be hoping to start an actual centre half alongside rusty captain Nemanja Vidic.
saturday southampton v Wigan | st mary’s | 3pm
saturday sunderland v reading | stadium of light | 3pm
saturday tottenham v West brom | White hart lane | 3pm
sunday stoke v arsenal | britannia stadium | sky sports 1 1.30pm
Southampton were so good in defeat against Manchester City last Sunday that many will fancy them to get off the Premier League mark at home to Wigan tomorrow. Football’s a funny old game though, so the common wisdom goes, and Wigan were better in defeat at home to Chelsea than a 2-0 reversal suggested. Assuming Roberto Martinez has taught new recruit Ivan Ramis (above) how to defend in the first five minutes of a game, the visitors may just fancy their chances here.
Two sides that will look back on their Premier League openers with a measure of satisfaction clash in one of the more low-key fixtures of the weekend. Sunderland were resolute in earning a point from a difficult trip to the Emirates on Saturday, but back on home turf the likes of James McClean (above) and Stephane Sessegnon can expect more freedom to attack. Reading deserved the late point they rescued at home to Stoke, but won’t find life easy away from the Madejski.
An early end to the honeymoon for Andre Villas-Boas (above) at Tottenham, beaten as they were by pushy Alan Pardew and Newcastle in the late game last Saturday. The new Spurs chief can now call upon the services of Emmanuel Adebayor, signed for £5m on Tuesday, and will be eager to notch a first win as soon as possible. Steve Clarke’s reign at West Brom started much more promisingly, much as they were helped by shambolic Liverpool defending and a generous referee, but this will be tougher.
Just what Arsene Wenger wanted after a frustrating goalless draw at the Emirates to begin the season — an away game against a team managed by his old mate Tony Pulis. The Stoke boss won’t have been happy at letting two points slip away at Reading last weekend, but he loves nothing more than getting his men wound up for a fixture such as this. We give it five minutes max before Robert Huth (above) is ‘welcoming’ Santi Cazorla to Premier League life away from north London.
All pictures Getty Images
With the Bundesliga and Serie A seasons both kicking off this weekend, we asked two European experts for their views on the seasons to come in Germany and Italy
FRIDAY FOOTBALL | BundesLigA: BOrussiA dOrTmund v Werder Bremen | WesTFALensTAdiOn | esPn 7.45Pm SATURDAY FOOTBALL | serie A: JuVenTus v PArmA | JuVenTus sTAdium | esPn 7.45Pm
Derek Rae, ESPN’s European football expert “We’ve learned over the last couple of years not to doubt Dortmund. They have a very functional squad with one of the best coaches in Europe in Jurgen Klopp. He’s young, dynamic and he gets Dortmund playing the way he wants, with a high tempo and the emphasis on youth. Most of us would be very surprised if Dortmund are not there or thereabouts come the end of the year. “Bayern were very unlucky last season — we could have been talking about a Bayern Munich treble, but they didn’t end up winning anything. They’re still strong on paper — I don’t think there’s an awful lot that has to be done. “It’s hard to separate the two of them — Dortmund have got the wind at their backs because they know they can do it and there’s a winning
46 | August 24 2012 |
ESPN has live and exclusive coverage of the Bundesliga this season. Visit ESPNFC.com
ESPN has live and exclusive coverage of Serie A this season. Visit ESPNFC.com
Download the free Sport iPad app from the Apple Newsstand
Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images, Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
mentality about the squad. Also, players like Robert Lewandowski, Lukasz Piszczek and especially Jakub Blaszczykowski have got better – and they’ve added Marco Reus, who is probably one of the most gifted players in German football. Bayern still represent a threat and they will always have the spending power that other clubs in Germany don’t have, so it promises to be a fascinating competition between those two... and then we’ll see if anybody can get in on the action as well. “Sometimes we can be surprised with somebody coming from nowhere. Borussia Monchengladbach were the surprise package last season, but I’m not sure they can do it again. Schalke are good to watch and might be in touch for a little while, and Bayer Leverkusen have steadied the ship under Sami Hyypia. I do think Dortmund and Bayern will have the edge though.”
Gabriele Marcotti, world football correspondent for The Times and a contributor to ESPN “Antonio Conte (suspended for a year due to the latest matchfixing scandal) will still be able to work during the week, but he won’t manage Juventus on game day and that’s bound to affect them. They’re still waiting to make that big signing up front that they promised, but I still think Juve are ahead. “AC Milan need to strengthen — they need a central defender, having effectively lost two in Alessandro Nesta and Thiago Silva. They’ll be competitive, but in terms of quality they’re not at the level they were last season. Whoever they choose to bring in will be telling. They’re saying they’re going with youth and cutting costs and so on, but then they’re being linked with Kaka – which simply doesn’t make any sense.
“Inter have also made deep cuts in terms of wages. The main thing is going to be this experiment with Andrea Stramaccioni [new head coach] – he’s still very young, only 36. How will he cope with things when they don’t work? “There’s a lot of uncertainty there, and a lot will depend on what kind of Wesley Sneijder shows up, because he is the game-changer. The challenge for them is going to be to tap Sneijder’s enthusiasm and get him to believe that they can still be competitive. “Napoli have only lost Ezequiel Lavezzi, but you feel like they moved him on at the right time. They probably could have done more to strengthen the back line, but I think they’re definitely in the running for Champions League qualification. “I think Juve will win it, but if you’re looking at it from a betting perspective there’s tremendous value in backing either Napoli or Roma.”
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IN CINEMAS NOW
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© 2012 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS
Sunday athletiCs | diamond league: biRmingham | alexandeR stadium | bbC one 1.30pm
It’s on Sunday afternoon as opposed to Saturday evening, and it’s in the Midlands rather than east London, but the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix is set to bring that gold rush feeling flooding back this weekend. They might have been all over your TV since leaving the Olympic village behind, but Team GB’s athletes have apparently still been in some sort of training. And so, at the Alexander Stadium this weekend, Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford (pictured) will compete for the first time since taking gold on Super Saturday. He’ll face stiff competition from triple jump Olympic champ Christian Taylor, whose personal best in the long jump is an impressive 8.19m. With a capacity of around 12,700, the crowd noise at Alexander Stadium won’t quite match up to the Olympic Stadium – which perhaps explains why double Olympic gold-medallist Mo Farah is just running a quick two-miler on Sunday. Those members of Team GB who didn’t come away with a
medal will still arrive in Birmingham looking for a lift, however. And for the likes of Christine Ohuruogu, who came so close to glory in Stratford, a good run in the last Diamond League meet of the season on home soil will help ease her disappointment at leaving London with only silver. Elsewhere, high jump bronze-medallist Robbie Grabarz will come face to face with the crazy Russian who won gold at London 2012 (once he found his competition vest, that is), Ivan Ukhov. Back on the track, Adam Gemili puts his raw pace to the test over 200m, while Perri Shakes-Drayton will be doing her best to put the disappointment of not making the Olympic final far behind her in the 400m hurdles.
Saturday Rugby union | Rugby Championship: new Zealand v austRalia | eden paRk, auCkland | sky spoRts 1 8.35am
Week two of the Rugby Championship, and it’s time for the Aussies and the Pumas to get their own back in the return fixtures from week one. At least, that’s the plan. In reality, the Aussies face an even tougher task this week, with injury victim David Pocock missing from a squad which, having been turned over 27-19 on home turf last week, must now travel to the world champions’ back yard. The Wallabies huffed and puffed in Sydney last week, but each time a door opened, they proceeded to slam it in their own face with a dropped ball or misjudged kick — see Scott Higginbotham’s fumble with the try line at his mercy. The good
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news is that Will Genia looked lively, the pack caused problems when they upped the pace, and Quade Cooper could be back — could he provide the X factor to beat the All Blacks? The problem for Australia, though, is New Zealand barely got out of second gear. While the pack were exposed once or twice — and Pocock’s absence could see an end to that — Dan Carter was imperious, while Cory Jane and Israel Dagg (pictured) cut the Aussies to pieces. All eyes were on Sonny Bill Williams and Ma’a Nonu, but the All Blacks used them as dummy runners to glorious effect. Expect the centres to be more involved this week. Later in the day, history will be made (again!) when Argentina welcome South Africa to Mendosa for their first Rugby Championship home game (Sky Sports 4, 8.10pm). The Pumas will rely heavily on home advantage as they seek to avenge last week’s 27-6 defeat, when they focused too much on the boot and were blown away by Springbok power.
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Friday CriCket | england v South afriCa: 1St odi | Sophia gardenS, Cardiff | Sky SportS 1 10.15aM
England lead South Africa at the top of the ICC one-day international rankings by a tiny margin (one sixth of a point, fraction fans), but it won’t be this stat that gives the home nation’s cricketers renewed confidence as the five-match ODI series starts today. Rather, that would be the 10 consecutive ODI matches England have won in 2012. It’s a remarkable run and a sign of how captain Alastair Cook has gone about his task with quiet assurance. Even the hullabaloo over the absence of his former opening partner Kevin Pietersen has been dealt with, so far, with Ian Bell impressing as a replacement. The smarting sixth-of-a-point inferiority notwithstanding, South Africa will be buoyed by their Test series victory. The
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same qualities that make them a formidable Test side — a hostile yet accurate pace attack, faultless batting and sharp fielding — also mark out AB de Villiers’ team as a superb one-day unit. Their confidence will make them doubly difficult to beat. To do so, England will have to be at their best, and that means the onus is once again on the batsmen to prove they can perform as well as their bowlers – something they have failed to do this summer. Cook may not be a destructive shotmaker in the style of the deliciously promising Jonny Bairstow, but he does have mental strength in abundance. If his team can feed off that, then this series should be far, far closer than the Tests turned out to be.
SeCond odi: Tuesday auguSt 28 (Sky SportS 1 12.30pM) third odi: Friday auguSt 31 (Sky SportS 1 12.30pM) fourth odi: sunday SepteMber 2 (Sky SportS 2 10aM) fifth odi: Wednesday SepteMber 5 (Sky SportS 2 1.30pM)
Full ODI FIxtures
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images, Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images
England’s highest ODI total against South Africa, recorded during the 2009 Champions Trophy – when they beat Graeme Smith’s side by 22 runs to reach the semi finals and send South Africa crashing out
SUNDAY MOTOGP | ROUND 12: BRNO, CzECH REPUBLIC | BBC TWO 12.30PM
Helly Hansen catwalk
Or at least it should be. Last weekend’s race in Indianapolis confirmed our longstanding suspicion that MotoGP riders are clinically insane. Dani Pedrosa eased to a comfortable win ahead of championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, which should have heralded the start of a two-horse race after Casey Stoner’s qualifying crash. In his own words: “I looked down and saw my foot was at a strange angle to my leg. I had a shooting pain in my lower leg, then I felt a crack as my ankle popped back in.” Still, nothing too serious if you’re a MotoGP rider – the Australian was on his bike the next day, with his injured foot encased in a specially constructed boot. His fourth-place finish means he’s still in touching distance of the top two as the series returns to Europe, and Brno in the Czech Republic. It’s a high-speed circuit, with plenty of elevation changes to challenge the riders, and it should make for another thrilling race.
HORSE RACING CoolmoreNunthorpe Stakes, York Racecourse, Channel 4 3.40pm FOOTBALL Championship: Bolton v Nottingham Forest, Reebok Stadium, Sky Sports 1 7.30pm FOOTBALL MLS: Philadelphia Union v Real Salt Lake, PPL Park, ESPN 12.30am
BEST OF THE REST
FOOTBALL La Liga: Malaga v Mallorca, LaRosaledaStadium,SkySports410pm
MOTORSPORT World Superbikes: Moscow, Moscow Raceway, British Eurosport 2 8.30am GOLF Johnnie Walker Championship: Day 4, Gleneagles, Sky Sports 2 12pm CYCLING Vuelta a Espana: Stage 9, Andorra – Barcelona, British Eurosport 3.15pm GOLF The Barclays: Day 4, Bethpage Black, New York,Sky Sports 2 5pm FOOTBALL La Liga: Getafe v Real Madrid, Coliseum Alfonso Perez, Sky Sports 1 8pm CRICKET ICC U19 World Cup: Final, Tony Ireland Stadium, Townsville, Sky Sports 1 12.30am
FOOTBALL La Liga: Atletico Madrid v Athletic Bilbao, Vicente Calderon, Sky Sports 1 9pm BASEBALL MLB: Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays, Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, ESPN 1am
FOOTBALL Champions League: Celtic v Helsingborgs, Celtic Park, Sky Sports 2 7.45pm FOOTBALL Super Copa: Real Madrid v Barcelona, Bernabeu, Sky Sports 3 9pm
TRIATHLON ITU World Series: Stockholm, BBC Red Button 11.30am FOOTBALL SPL: Inverness v Celtic, Caledonian Stadium, Sky Sports 4 12.45pm FOOTBALL Championship: Watford v Birmingham, Vicarage Road, Sky Sports 2 5.20pm TENNIS WTA New Haven: Final, Yale University, British Eurosport 8.30pm
GOLF Omega Masters: Day 1, Crans Montana, Switzerland, Sky Sports 1 10.30am FOOTBALL Europa League: Liverpool v Hearts, Anfield, ESPN 7.30pm FOOTBALL Capital One Cup: Northampton v Wolves, Sixfields Stadium, Sky Sports 1 7.45pm
Helly Hansen beauty and tHe beast
a 26.2 mulit-lap trail maratHon cHallenge for induviduals and teams 22nd september 2012, stonor park, Henley-on-tHames. sign up and join us on tHe Helly Hansen catwalk at www. HellyHansenbeautyandtHebeast.co.uk
MOTORSPORT British Superbikes: Round 8, Cadwell Park, British Eurosport 2 12.30pm
Download the free Sport iPad app from the Apple Newsstand | 51
Extra time Kit
P58 Flight of fancy: when that fancy is owning your very own remote-control spycraft
Making the most of your time and money
Strap on a pair
New signings, new shirts, new beginnings — no, the best thing about the new season is these. Go ahead, fill your, er, boots!
Nike CTR 360 Maestri III
These are the boots worn by Mario Balotelli. Oh, you want more? Fine. Nike’s latest bright beauties come with a 3D control pad and asymmetrical lacing to enlarge the control area. Oh, and did we mention they’re worn by Mario Balotelli? Well, it’s worth repeating. £145 | nikestore.com
Adidas adiPure 11 ProSL
Weighing in at a ridiculously light 180g, this is the lightest K-leather boot going. Even better, the ultra-thin material means your feel of the ball is unparalleled, while the boot comes miCoach-compatible so you can track how far you’ve run. If you really want to. £175 | prodirectsoccer.com
Pantofola d’Oro Lazzarini Puma evoSPEED 1
The Italian brand continues to make a mark in the footballing world, and they’re back with another classy-looking boot. They’re probably not bright enough for Cashley and pals, but the handmade calf leather beauties feel great on the foot and are easy on the eye. We like! £120 | prodirectsoccer.com The latest from Puma’s speedfocused range. A microfibre upper ensures the lightest boot possible, while GripTex Print ensures maximum control in the wettest conditions. That rainy Tuesday in Stoke suddenly seems much more appealing! On second thoughts, no it doesn’t. £120 | puma.com
Adidas f50 adizero XTRX
Lightness is the name of the game once again here, as a restricted use of leather keeps the weight down, while adidas’ patented Sprint Web design provides increased stability on the upper. They’re bloody bright, though, so be ready to back it up on the pitch. £136 | prodirectsoccer.com
Umbro Speciali 3 Pro
Available in a variety of colours, Umbro’s offering is at the cheaper end of the price scale (£66 is cheap now? Honestly! – ed) and boasts a stylish look. Twelve forefoot blades and four rear offer optimum traction, while memory-foam inserts ensure a comfy run about. £66 | prodirectsoccer.com
52 | August 24 2012 |
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Extra time Sophie Hellyer
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h! ea y
ith one of the best nicknames in surfing, sport and, perhaps, ever, Sophie ‘Hell Yeah’ Hellyer is already right up there on our list of favourite boardriders – along with Kelly Slater and, of course, Gary Busey in Point Break. “It’s from Stone Cold Steve Austin – it was one of his catchphrases when I was at school, and it’s just stuck,” Hellyer tells Sport by way of explanation, before excitedly delivering a rousing “Hell YEAH!” of her own for emphasis. The 25-year-old former British Schools Surfing champion also happens to be a big fan of Call of Duty and Alan Partridge, as well as playing right-back for
AFC Bideford Ladies in the Evo-Stik League Southern. But surely our perfect girl has a dark side? Well, the UK Pro Surf Tour website does feature a picture of Hellyer with devils horns on her head. And there’s a similar picture on her Twitter feed. Is this a trademark, Sport wondered? Hellyer assures us it’s not. “No!” she protests. “I’m an angel!” Do we believe her? Hell, yeah we do. And that’s the, er, bottom line. Why? Because Sport said so. Sophie Hellyer stars in Lynx’s first surf video, ‘Ride With Me’, and launched its online treasure hunt for tickets to the Caribbean’s Chaos Island. Facebook.com/lynxeffect
Extra time Grooming
Moving to New York
The US Open begins on Monday at Flushing Meadows, so get your hands on this lot and mix it with NYC’s finest. Have a nice day!
Patrick Bateman, Bret Easton Ellis’ fictional serial killer and grooming obsessive, lived in the American Gardens building on West 81st street in American Psycho. Unfortunately, that building doesn’t exist. Sport’s checked. What does exist, however, is the Elemis freshskin range — a collection Bateman himself would have been proud to use. The Skin Clear Purifying Face Wash’s antiseptic properties detox your skin while promoting healthy cell growth to repair damaged tissue. White willow bark provides gentle exfoliation, and cedarwood and cucumber soothe the skin for an extreme clean. The Skin Clear Treatment Gel reduces blemishes without overdrying skin (because, as Bateman would tell you, that can make you look older). It’s formulated with salicylic acid, zinc and vitamin A to cleanse pores and balance the skin. The Overnight Serum, meanwhile, helps minimise breakouts while you sleep. Now, do you like Phil Collins? timetospa.co.uk
£1 8 fo r3 0m l
l 0m 10 or 2f £1
l 15m for £12
Superdry Orange and Superdry Blue
A trendy bar Bateman would approve of is the Gaslight Lounge in the city’s Meatpacking District. He could do worse than rock up there wearing one of these new scents from Superdry, with bottles designed to look and feel like oversized lighters. Orange is a spicy cluster of black pepper, frankincense and sandalwood crowned with the sweetness of blood orange, making for a distinctive, exotic scent. The slightly subtler Blue features blended notes of bergamot, pear, clary sage and moss. Super. superdry.com
The MoiSTURiSeR SpRaY
Carolina Herrera 212 Men NYC
This body spray was, we are assured, born from the “perfect chemistry of combining the essence of a young and urban New York with the elegance from the 212 universe”. And, on this evidence, the 212 universe provides only good things. The spray mixes pink grapefruit and fresh mint for a soft yet masculine scent that will leave you with a fresh, warm glow beneath that crisply ironed shirt and jumper draped over your shoulders — and smelling classy enough to hang out at the New York Yacht Club. Like Bateman’s professional nemesis, Paul Allen, you don’t need to own a yacht. You can just hang out there. houseoffraser.co.uk
£16.50 for 250ml
Both £39 for 75ml
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Violate the terms of your restraining order from the skies without the police finding out, plus the hottest Android gear
1. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2
They’re locked in battle with Apple in the courts, but Samsung’s latest offering sees them close the gap on the shelves as well. The latest Galaxy Tab has a 10.1” screen, dual core processor, and runs a tweaked version of Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich flavour. It could blow the iPad out of the water — don’t tell the judge. From £300 | pcworld.co.uk
2. Spy Hawk
This remote-control plane is almost as high-tech as a real one, featuring a video system that sends pictures back to the remote, and an autopilot mode that will keep the plane level in the breeze throughout its 600m range. Which is good, because accuracy is all important when you’re divebombing the neighbours’ cat. £250 | red5.co.uk
3. Fujifilm FinePix S4200
This is a ‘bridge‘ camera, which means it‘s better than a compact but not quite as good as a DSLR. On the plus side, it‘s a lot cheaper and doesn’t skimp on features either, with a 14megapixel sensor, 24x optical zoom and the ability to upload pictures and videos to Facebook straight from the camera. (Who does this?) £149 | fujifilm.eu/uk
4. LG Optimus 4X HD
Announced earlier this year, LG’s quad-core phone finally hits the shops on Monday. Like Samsung’s tablet (left), it runs Android’s latest OS and boasts plenty of processing power – which you can put to use through apps like SmartShare, which allows you to easily stream content to your TV. Free on £26pm contract | phones4u.co.uk
5. BeBook Pure eReader
Basically a slightly cheaper version of Amazon’s Kindle, it’s actually thinner and lighter too, and has the added advantage of being able to open all popular e-book formats. It can store thousands of tomes and has an SD slot for even more – and the battery lasts for 12,000 page views, meaning everything save Dostoevsky should be fine. £69 | mybebook.com
58 | August 24 2012 |
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Extra time Entertainment
Spies, zombies and chameleonic conmen abound – thankfully, our entertainment preview has got your back covered DVD
The Walking Dead Season 2
So, you’re stuck in a zombie-infested world, your tiny band of survivors is splintering into factions and your pal Shane keeps on giving your wife Lori the pervert stare when your back is turned. Life isn’t easy for Rick Grimes (Brit Andrew Lincoln, donning his deputy sheriff’s hat and US accent to excel again), but it makes for a high-quality horrordrama. It’s a tad slower paced than the first season, but is still gripping – and the boxset arrives this Monday, loaded with meaty extras.
When a Texan family were told that their boy Nicholas had been found after being missing for three long years, it sounds like a real-life feelgood story. The title of this layered docu-drama gives you a big clue that it really isn’t. The fact that their returning child isn’t blonde, blue-eyed Nicholas but a swarthy young man with a foreign accent is just the tip of this murky iceberg. Were the family who accepted Nicholas 2.0 deluded by their desperation to have ‘their’ boy back? Or is there a shadier motive? An almost unbelievable tale made into an unbelievably mesmerising film, in cinemas now.
Dead in the Boot Elbow
One band to escape the steaming cowpat that was the London 2012 closing ceremony with reputation intact, Elbow release a collection of their finest B-sides on Monday. Our pick is the gently melodic Lucky With Disease, but the 13 tracks blend superbly o create a harmonious whole, held together ably by Guy Garvey’s rich, plaintive vocals.
Sweet Tooth Ian McEwan
A beautiful university student is recruited by the intelligence service and sent undercover to charm an author in Ian Atonement McEwan’s new piece of wish fulfillment. Sorry, we mean his new novel. Expect suspense, wit and more going on than first meets the eye.
My Head is an Animal Of Monsters and Men
If you told Sport that your band combined fairytale imagery and indie-folk tunes, we’d turn you upside down over the toilet to deliver the mother of all swirlies – but Icelandic six-piece Of Monsters and Men have given us a fearsomely catchy debut album. The dozen songs are packed with crashing drums, horns and sweeping pop melodies. It’s like Arcade Fire, but less portentous. Smashing.
An IRA agent who’s also a young single mother is coerced into spying on her family by MI5 operative Clive ‘can I play James Bond yet?’ Owen in this 1993-set drama. Danger closes in from both sides as Owen realises that – despite his efforts to keep her safe – his informer is potentially a pawn in a far murkier MI5 plan. A taut, twisting thriller (out now).
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