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I have 9.58sec…
been SMILE
banned FOR THE
for tak- CAM-
ing ERAS
and I still
can’t get

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At 28 years of age, for a couple more days at least, I am finding it

hard to comprehend just how significant the World Athletics 100m
Final run of 9.58 seconds by Usain Bolt really is.

Yes, he won the gold medal, but I have seen him do that before, at
the Olympics in Beijing last year.

Yes, he broke the World Record, but I have seen him do that be-
fore, at the Olympics in Beijing last year.

Yes, he made the second, third, fourth; fifth, sixth and so on fast-
est men in the world look pedestrian. But, again, I have seen that
before, every time he runs.

The numbers highlight just how good this run was, and always will
be. In the past two major finals Bolt has reduced the time and in-
creased the speed at which human beings can move by more than
the previous twenty major championships. So, with a quick bit of
maths, makes him ten times better than everyone else.

The 100m is the blue ribbon event because it’s when the human
race moves at its fastest. Crowds love a fast car, the fastest car,
the fastest planes and crowds are also drawn to the peak of ath-

leticism, the sprint. Usain bolt ran close to 28mph during the final,
if he kept up that pace for a full 100m he is capable of close to 8

In the Olympics the Jamaican slowed down to break the World Re-
cord, this time he seemed to give it his full effort, and by that I
mean he ran for 100m instead of his preferred 60m sprint – 40m
walk combo that he seems to enjoy. So if 9.58 was at full-tilt, can
the lightening bolt go quicker? According to the man himself, yes,
according to his coach, yes, according to me, I am undecided. 9.4
seconds was the figure quoted by Bolt, which would make him, in
distance terms of 10m per second, some 40 meters faster than
anybody on the planet.

I prefer to remain unconvinced by his ability to go faster. Mainly

because his achievements are still, watching them back, on the
fifth or sixth time, unbelievable. So I will stay in the unbelieving
camp thank-you. It makes the reality more enjoyable. Is Usain
Bolt the fastest man I will ever see? If I live for another 40 years,
for another 20 major championships, I will be speechless if I see
someone break the record Usain Bolt will leave us with. Not even
evolution is a fast as Bolt.


Andy Murray began his campaign for Wimbledon success before the tourna-
ment even began. He was crowned champion at Queen’s Club. He became
the first Britain to do so for over seventy years. He was then buoyed by the
news that Raphael Nadal would not be defending his Wimbledon crown due
to injury, meaning Murray would not have to beat anyone seeded higher
than him until the final. He came so close.

Opening Round: Timid and under pressure was the best way to describe
his first round victory over Robert Kendrick of the United States. He beat
him in four sets, losing the second set tie-break before stepping up a gear
at the correct time in each of the last two sets. Something he would do
regularly. Disappointing otherwise. 6 out of 10.

Second Round: Next up for Murray was Ernst Gulbis from Latvia. A natu-
rally talented player who can show brilliance and stupidity within the space
of two shots. He was not given the opportunity to show brilliance, Murray
dominated from the outset, and his serve in particular was outstanding in
its placement and precision. The power element of the serve was there but
not in the same league as Karlovic and Roddick. Murray sailed through 6-2
7-5 6-3. 9/10

Third Round: Andy Murray V Vicktor Troicki (6-2 6-3 6-4) – Another exhi-
bition for the Scot, he never really allowed his opponent to settle and his
opponent Vicktor regularly delivered outbursts of frustration. He needn’t
have, Murray made him look like a club player. 8/10

Fourth Round: Second Week Murray makes history. The Briton becomes
the only player to ever win a full indoor grass court match at Wimbledon.
The costly roof was used for the first time in the match between Safina and
Mauresmo, however, that clash began under the consistent sunshine that
has blessed these Championships. Murray brought the roof down, if you
can pardon the phrase, with a thrilling five-set victory that tested the well
drilled nerves of the British public. Stanislav Wawrinka played his part, and
on form like that could be a player to watch for future events, but you
somehow feel his performance was the top of his game, and his mental
toughness failed him. Wawrinka is a good outside bet in any match up, and
worth the punt. Murray nicked the contest with a late kick for the line, just
at the right time, again. 8/10

Quarter-Final The Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero was the next challenge,
and for the third time in the championships and turned on the style. His
best performance of the tournament. Outstanding in every department.
Raised the hopes of the watching public and punditry

to such an extent that his upcoming semi-final with Andy Roddick was re-

ported as if the result was a mere formality. Not good. Made Ferrero look
not good. The scoreline flatters Ferrero. The rating does not flatter Murray.
He couldn’t have played any better. Shame he didn’t save some of it for
the semi-final! 10/10 (7-5 6-3 6-2)

Semi-Final Anti-climax for British fans as Murray does a Henman. He loses

in four thrilling but at times tactically brilliant sets of tennis from Andy Rod-
dick. Murray very rarely gets out thought. He did here. Roddick executed
his plans brilliantly, attacking the second serve, coming into the net suc-
cessfully, power aces when break points down, and brilliant winners at cru-
cial times. The atmosphere was deflated, but in true British style showers
of praise were given to Andy Roddick, he deserved them. Just a side
thought, Roddick is a big serving American former World number one, a bit
like the great Pete Sampras (I really do just mean ‘a bit like’), and maybe
the omens weren’t too good. Let’s hope this is a one off and does not be-
come a trend. The fans could not endure another decade of nearly misses.
Murray will come good, I’m sure-ish. 6/10bh

OH, and Federer won it by beating Roddick in the longest final ever. So
we have decided to do the shortest report, ever. Here goes. He (RF) won.




Saturday 12 Tottenham v Manchester United 5.15pm ESPN

Sunday 13 Birmingham City v Aston Villa 12.00pm Sky

Sunday 13 Fulham v Everton 4.15pm Sky

Saturday 19 Burnley v Sunderland 12.45pm Sky

Saturday 19 West Ham v Liverpool 5.15pm ESPN

Sunday 20 Manchester United v Manchester City 1.30pm


Sunday 20 Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur 4.00pm Sky

Saturday 26 Fulham v Arsenal 5.15pm ESPN

Saturday 26 Portsmouth v Everton 12.45pm Sky

Sunday 27 Sunderland v Wolves 4.00pm Sky


Saturday 3 Manchester United v Sunderland 5.15pm ESPN

Sunday 4 Arsenal v Blackburn Rovers 1.30pm Sky

Sunday 4 Chelsea v Liverpool 4.00pm Sky

Monday 5 Aston Villa v Manchester City 8.00pm ESPN

Saturday 17 Aston Villa v Chelsea 12.45pm Sky

Sunday 18 Blackburn Rovers v Burnley 1.00pm Sky

Sunday 18 Wigan Athletic v Manchester City 4.00pm Sky

Monday 19 Fulham v Hull City 8:00pm ESPN

Saturday 24 Chelsea v Blackburn Rovers 5.15pm ESPN

Sunday 25 Liverpool v Manchester United 2.00pm Sky

Sunday 25 West Ham United v Arsenal 4.15pm Sky

Saturday 31 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur 12.45pm Sky

Saturday 31 Manchester United v Blackburn Rovers 5.15pm



Sunday 1 Birmingham City v Manchester City 4.00pm Sky

Saturday 7 Wolves v Arsenal 5.15pm ESPN

Sunday 8 Hull City v Stoke City 1.30pm Sky

Sunday 8 Chelsea v Manchester United 4.00pm Sky

Monday 9 Liverpool v Birmingham

City8.00pm ESPN

Saturday 21 Liverpool v
Manchester City 12.45pm TV FIXTURES UNITL

Saturday 21 Manchester
United v Everton 5.15pm ESPN

Tiger Woods: On Course Maniac?

Tiger Woods has come under criticism for his sulking antics when crashing
out of the recent British Open in Turnberry. Throwing his clubs, spouting foul
F-bombs, damaging tee-boxes (yes tees must have boxes). Lawrence Done-
gan (who uses the American-phrases above) describes the abuse hurled at
Tiger from American sports-anchor Rick O’Reilly. Here are some of the com-
ments from fans across the world.

Joking apart, Tiger does push the boundaries of what's acceptable. I don't mean the
swearing, because I defy anyone to find a golfer who isn't prone to frequent F-bombs.
But slamming his club into the tee box is a very poor example. Any young golfer that
watches Tiger thinks that kind of behaviour is acceptable will soon find themselves
banned from the course.

While we're at it, can we please clear up the loitering mob of morons who shout "get
in the hole!" every time he hits the ball? This is by far the worst knock-on effect of the
Woods era. It's no wonder he's throwing his club around; I wish he'd hit them some-

People who shout "get in the hole" should be shot. And then buried. so their friends
can also shout "get in the hole".

Also, I've worked out where Tiger is going wrong...look at the picture...he has a bent
club. If i was him I'd get hold of Nike and tell them to sort it out.

And another thing.... nobody seems to be giving any attention to his recent habit of
knocking the razor out of my hand when I go to shave.... absolutely ridiculous behav-


What I take from this article is that parents around the globe now have yet
another crutch to lean on when their half a**ed parenting produces yet an-
other incident child influenced by Tiger-antics.
I can see it now...

"Well, I don't know what happened to little Johnny to turn him into the
moody-lashing-out type. If I had to guess, it was the time Tiger pushed his 5
iron into the burn on 16, threw his club all the way onto Ailsa Craig, gobbed
all over Lee Westwood's 500 dollar shoes and went on a expletive laced ti-
rade in Japanese just to make sure Ryo Ishikawa was suitably offended as
well. Damn you Tiger, don't you realize that kids are watching. Won't SOME-
BODY please think of the children!!"

Funny Quotes of the Month

Weightlifting commentator: 'This is Gregorieva

from Bulgaria. I saw her snatch this morning
during her warm up and it was amazing.'

Dressage commentator: 'This is really a lovely

horse and I speak from personal experience
since I once
mounted her mother.'

Paul Hamm, Gymnast: 'I owe a lot to my parents,

especially my mother and father.'

Boxing Analyst: 'Sure there have been injuries,

and even some deaths in boxing, but none of
them really that serious.'

Softball announcer: 'If history repeats itself, I

should think we can expect the same thing

Basketball analyst: 'He dribbles a lot and the op-

position doesn't like it. In fact you can see it all
over their faces.'

At the rowing medal ceremony: 'Ah, isn't that

nice, the wife of the IOC president is hugging the
cox of the British crew.'

Soccer commentator: 'Julian Dicks is every-

where. It's like they've got eleven Dicks on the

Olympic offi-
cials promise to
look into Fenc-
ing regulations
after horror


Everything began brilliantly for England... and Wales. Every-
thing ended brilliantly for England... and Wales. Everything
in between was poor. Poor batting, poor bowling, poor shot
selection, poor tactics, poor England.

Australia let England believe that 435 was a competitive to-

tal in the first innings, before coming down on them with a
tonne of bricks. six-hundred and seventy-four for six. It
sounds a lot longer in written rather than numerical form. It
seemed a lot lot longer watching it ball by ball.

Australia lost key pace bowler Brett Lee before the game
began, injured with a side-strain, shame. England won the
toss, and appeared to make the right decision selecting two
spinners for the bunson-burner (turner) of a pitch, they also
batted first and made over 400. A typical score for batting
first. Australia then made nearly 700 and only lost just over
half there total wickets. It was painful. The Australia second
innings was the key innings, the Aussies have the stronger
batting line-up and before the game everyone believed
(apart from the Aussies) that England had the stronger
bowling attack. The baggy greens soon put pay to that
myth, although the pitch played a huge part, offering no se-
rious threat to anyone. It also highlighted the weakness of
England's batting, poor decisions-poor concentration-poor
batting, everything the Australians were not.

It looked like the game was going to be a comfortable vic-

tory for Australia heading in the second session on day five.
England were rocking on 70-5 before lunch and when Flin-
toff and the main hero of the day - Paul Collingwood - came
out to bat, all the commentators agreed it was just a matter
of time before the game would end, another collapse, an-
other loss from the jaws of safety, another example of Eng-
land buckling under the pressure. Paul Collingwood wasn't
listening. He batted, and batted, and batted. Not in the tra-
ditional sense of batting. Not to score runs. Not twenty20.

Not swing-six, swing-four, swing-miss-out. But block-leave-
block-block-leave-block. Everything that was required. Bor-
ing you might say? Not for a real cricket fan. It was tense
and towards the end of the match, was bringing a cheer
from every ball. Especially when Monty and Jimmy Anderson
(both bowlers - not batters - usually) were blocking away
towards the end. Huge cheers. Every ball. No runs, no wick-
ets, no appeals, just blocks or leaves, but still huge cheers.
Brilliant. They survived. England got away with a draw. It
will feel like a win to every player. On we go to Lords, the
home of cricket, it will take some beating to better the show
put on at the home of Welsh cricket.

Note: The hype and over-reaction to Kevin Pietersen's shot is ri-

diculous. All the England batsmen got starts and got out. They all
played bad shots. They all played badly. On commentary, Michael
Holding gave a fantstic explanation of what the greatest modern
batsmen used to do (Viv Richards) before batting. He used to
watch the first few overs - decide his plans for different shots he
could and could not play against different bowlers - then go and
relax. Simple but hugely effective. And brilliant advice for the Eng-
land team. Monty and Jimmy had plans. They blocked. KP should
have had a plan not to sweep Hauritz when the ball was six foot
outside off stump. But to suggest - like some columists - that Eng-
land should drop the best batsmen they have, is just as stupid as
the shot itself.

LIVE on Twitter


land. Fred Flintoff you LEG-END! Haddin gone in
the 2nd over of the day!

Come on Swanny start turning it square. The

Clarke wicket is crucial and he plays spin so well.
Moving his feet first ball faced.


Not quite turning it square, but that was a great

delivery, especially cause it was only the 2nd
bowled by Swann. Only 3 wickets left...

FLINTOFF AGAIN! Bowled AGAIN! Well left Nathan

(u did a KP)... Can Fred get a 'five-for' at Lords?
Ill say he will!

Australia 363-8. England need two wickets. Aus-

tralia need 159. Flintoff 4-69 bowling with real

Runs still flowing for Australia, Johnson plays a

wonderful off drive for four runs. Can the Austra-
lian tail wag enough for the World Record

Andrew Flintoff: Lords Honours Board: 5-82.
Sounds Fantastic. Writing the Script. Crashed over
Siddles stumps by the way...

Aus 389-9. Johnson moves past fifty, but this has

been the Flintoff show. His 3rd five-wicket haul.
One more wicket left.

I wonder if Glenn McGrath thinks this series is

gonna finish 3-1? I bet his money is on Four-Nil to
Australia? Even NOW!

England win. First time since 1934. Swann bowls

Johnson. England win by 115 runs. Flintoff last
game at Lords.

The Ashes: Fifth Test
All the talk before the decisive fifth and final Ashes test at The Oval
focused on the fragile England middle order, and the growing ex-
pectations of one final fling from Freddie Flintoff.

No-one mentioned the Australian side. They had just delivered a

crucial blow at Headingley by pounding the hosts with an all-pace
attack. No change from the tourists, same team, same result.
Oooops, big mistake, not the same wicket. Australia did not select
a spinner, after two or three hours it became clear to everyone
(and I am including the Australian selectors) the wicket was a
spinner’s delight. Dry and dusty with variable bounce and a top
surface breaking up before our very eyes. Critical error, as it
turned out the England selectors should probably have selected a
second spinner in the young Yorkshire leg-spinning middle order
batsmen who has scored two centuries and taken five wickets
twice in his last two championship games.

The selectors did make the correct call about the middle order
though, picking Warwickshire Jonathan Trott to bat at five, and
promoting Ian Bell to number three. Both scored vital runs at vital
times under incredible pressure. Trott’s second innings 119 de-
serves special mention, and is a great example of picking players
from the domestic game, at the right time, and will surely bring to
an end the test career of Paul Collingwood in the upcoming twelve
months should Kevin Pietersen return and Ravi Bopara settle in at
six if the extra batsmen is required.

When England reached 307-8 at the end of the first days play, the
general feeling was the home side had under-performed. Australia
would be able to bat past 500 and start to dominate the test.
Thankfully for England, and the millions of fans watching and hop-
ing for Ashes victory, it was the crucial second day that would fi-
nally decide the outcome of the 2009 Ashes series. Friday 21 st Au-
gust 2009 will be a day that will live long in the memory of Stuart
Broad. Stuart Broad speaking in The Daily Mail

“I said before the Headingley Test that the bowler I really want to
be like is Glenn McGrath, who probed outside off stump, and that
type of bowling will perhaps be the future for me when the dust
settles on our achievement. I certainly hope so because Friday was
like an absolute dream.”

He scored a useful 30 odd with the bat, and then ran in and
bowled, like Glenn McGrath, aiming at the top of off stump, and
destroyed the Australian top order batsmen. Taking 5 – 19 in 47
balls and blowing away the whole side for a meagre 160 all out. It
gave England a vital lead, and enabled them to set an impossible
target of 547 to win. It looked decidedly and perhaps mind-
blowingly, probable, when Ponting and Hussey were batting on the
fourth day, easing past 200 for the loss of just two wickets.

Broad deserved to be named man of the match, and was England’s

leading wicket-taker in the series. At 23, if he keeps bowling like
the afternoon session of the second day, he has the potential to
become England’s leading wicket-taker of all time. He is the sec-
ond fastest player, after Sir Ian Botham, to reach 50 test wickets.
However, because of his batting ability, that might just hinder his
durability and longevity to enable him to surpass Sir Beefy’s 379
test victims. He will, without doubt, take more wickets and score
more runs than Andrew Flintoff (Beefy the Second), not in the
same barnstorming style, but with far more substance and consis-
tency. However, Frederick Andrew Champion-of-the-People Flin-
toff, with pure style, delivered the final nail in the Australian coffin.
He let rip with a thunderbolt, from about 22 yards, that smashed
the stumps. Not with a bowling action, but more of a baseball
pitch, that ran out the Aussie Captain on 66 and triggered a col-
lapse, and maybe and end to Ricky Ponting’s last test match in-
nings in England.

England beat Australia by 197 runs, WITH A DAY TO SPARE, to win

the series two-one.

What a sentence. What a summer… for English cricket fans.

*apart from the Murray clan!
Andy Murray has just cruised through to the 3rd round at Wimble-
don, in spectacular style, continuing his brilliant form from the pre-
vious twelve months. Not even one minute has been lost to rain.
The current girls champion, Laura Robson, is British. Jamie Murray,
the lesser known brother, was the first in the family to claim a
Wimbledon singles title (the mixed doubles two years ago). We
have five women in the World's Top 200. Unprecedented. So why
the outcry this year after the dismal performance of the British
wildcard entries?

The Lawn Tennis Asscociation (LTA), according to Sports Minister

Gerry Sutcliffe, recieves huge amounts of financial backing.

"Tennis gets £25m from Wimbledon, £30m from Aegon (as part of
a five-year sponsorship deal) and £27m from Sport England, public
money that goes into grassroots."

However, it is naive to lay all the blame at the doorstep of the LTA.
Jamie Murray, of family name fame and mixed doubles success,
believes the problem is far simpler than funding, Wimbledon wild-
cards or British coaching. The lack of public courts is the problem.
Tennis has plenty of private membership clubs, but hardly any
free, well maintained, tennis courts. I play tennis, very badly. I
play, as 'a visitor', in the local 'private' tennis club. This is usually
busy, and is tarnished by the elitist attitute of its members. I
imagine this to be true across the country. The courts I used as a
youngster, in another part of the country, have now had, ironically,
a school built on them. Plenty of kids, nothing for them to do.

So how do players like Andy Murray develop and others are left

Murray first picked up a tennis racquet when he was two years old,
and was soon playing with his older brother Jamie. Leon Smith,
Murray's tennis coach from 11 to 17, said he'd never seen a five-
year-old like Murray, describing him as "unbelievably competitive".
Murray attributes his abilities to the motivation gained from losing
to Jamie, who had been the second-best junior player in the world.

When playing against Rafael Nadal, who was a year older than
Murray, he found out Nadal was training with Carlos Moya, the
world number one. Murray was angry that he had only his brother
to practice with, so when he was 15 he moved to Barcelona, Spain.
He attended the Schiller Internaional School and trained on the
clay courts of the Sánchez-Casal Academy. Murray described this
as "a big sacrifice to move away from your family, and spend
money training over there when you're not making any back".

So Murray was not a product of the British system, he had to go

elsewhere to learn the edge he appears to have. The desire, the
selfishness, the focus. Nothing to do with the LTA. In fact, when
the LTA did get involved and appointed him with the world class
coach Brad Gillbert, Murray dispensed with his services as soon as
poosible, and appointed his own. He does it his own way, always
has, always will. The LTA has adopted the attitude that IT will do
the hardwork for the players currently in the system, and just let
them play tennis. This just creates losers. Clearly.

We should also all stop measuring the success of British players by

the results they have at Wimbledon. These players play all year
round, all over the world. The results of the British women in the
last twelve months have been a real positive.(5 in top 200). But
the results of the British men continue to disappoint.

The only solution is more public courts (free for kids). Tennis
brought back to schools. Funding to be given to players who pro-
gress. Imagine if the funding and wildcards were removed from
the British players' paths? If they wanted it enough, they would
work harder to qualify and earn sponsorship. Surely? If they didn't
want it enough, they should not recieve the money anyway!

Let us hope Murray claims the title and helps all tennis fans forget
about the lack of depth. British tennis back on the Grand
Slam map. All will be well, till next
year... II was always pretty
shit. but was the best
shit one of my era!

ADVERT A5 (£50)

stage. I didn’t say this cycling lark
was easy to understand.) But this
was a major controversy during one
particular stage when the eventual
winner (Thor Hushvold) made an
official complaint, which resulted in
The Tour de France is the pinnacle Cavendish getting disqualified from
of sporting fitness. Just ask Bradley the whole stage, and in reality his
Wiggins, possibly the greatest total- whole chance of green jersey suc-
tour-de-France-rider in British his- cess.)
tory. He finished fourth in this years
event and claimed after the race that 2009 TOUR DE FRANCE JERSEY WINNERS:
even 4th at the Tour de France is
worth more to him than his three Yellow jersey: Alberto Contador (Spa/Astana)
Green jersey: Thor Hushovd (Nor/Cervelo)
Olympic gold medals. This is open Polka dot jersey: Franco Pellizotti (Ita/
to interpretation, but highlights the Liquigas)
significance placed on it by those White jersey: Andy Schleck (Lux/Saxo Bank)
taking part. Seven-time TdeF (Tour
de France) winner Lance Armstrong MARK CAVENDISH AFTER HIS SIXTH STAGE
finished ahead of Wiggins in third. WIN OF THE 2009 TOUR AND 10TH IN TOTAL:
"It was amazing. I had to win, I said all along
Second went to one of the highly- that I wanted to win on the Champs Elysees
rated Schleck brothers. And victory and the feeling does not disappoint. Every
went to the even higher-rated Span- single sprinter in the world dreams of cross-
iard Alberto Contador. He was bril- ing the line here with their hands in the air - I
wanted it so bad. George went and just
liant and breathtaking when extend- smoked everybody, then Mark went and I
ing his lead over Armstrong heading came past him."
into the final week of racing. He just
held back before that, there was FINAL STANDINGS IN 2009 TOUR DE FRANCE:
never any doubt in most respectable
pre-race predictions as to who the 1. Alberto Contador (Spa/Astana) 85 hrs 48
winner would be, and who will be mins 35 seconds
the man to beat in the future. 2. Andy Schleck (Lux/Saxo Bank) + 4 mins 11
3. Lance Armstrong (USA/Astana) + 5 min 24
If Contador is the new Armstrong secs
capable of excelling at all aspects of 4. Bradley Wiggins (GB/Garmin) + 6 min 01
TdeF racing, then Mark Cavendish is secs
5. Frank Schleck (Lux/Saxo Bank) + 6 mins 04
the new Osain Bolt of cycling. His secs
sprinting was outstanding. He won 6. Andreas Kloden (Ger/Astana) + 6 mins 42
six stages. He set a new British re- secs
cord. He failed to win the green jer-
sey (the one for top sprinter over the
whole tour based on points won at
separate sections of each individual
The photos of mummy with her daugh-
ter, and the US Open trophy, filled the
front pages of all the newspapers and

Her opponent was the women’s version

of Andy Murray or Lleyton Hewitt, a mas-
ter tactician who uses the angles and
tries to work you around the court. The
first Danish women to reach a Grand
Slam final, Caroline Wozniacki, wowed
the crowd, or at least certain parts of
them during the post-match ceremony,
by using the microphone to offer thanks
(or at least I am assuming that’s what she
Kim Clijsters wins US Open as was saying) in her native Danish and
a wildcard, but more impor- finally in Polish; showing her intelligence
tantly to her, as a mum, to as well as her obvious other talents.
complete arguably the great- 5 BRITISH SPORTING COMEBACKS
est comeback victory in ten- (ALTHOUGH NOT QUITE THE SAME
DRIFT... ;@)
1. FA Cup final, Wembley 1953, Blackpool 4
The last time she competed at Flushing Bolton 3. Blackpool, with Stanley Matthews
Meadows, in 2005, she won the tourna- on the wing, come back from 3-1 down after
ment, so maybe we should not be so Stan Mortensen scored a hat-trick for Bolton.
surprised. But being surprised or not 2. US Masters, Augusta, 1996. Nick Faldo goes
into the final round trailing Greg Norman by
should not take away from the triumph, six strokes. Faldo goes on to win as Norman's
especially when her route to the final nerve breaks.
consisted of victories over both Williams 3. Grand National, Aintree, 1973. Red Rum
comes back from 30 lengths or more behind
sisters when usually one victory would to pip Crisp at the finishing post for first of a
usually suffice in winning any grand slam hat-trick of wins in the great race.
title. 4. Embassy World Championships, The Cruci-
ble, 1985. Dennis Taylor comes back from
several frames down to beat Steve Davis on
Throw into the mix she had been off the black in the last frame in the final.
starting a family for the last three years, 5. Champions League final, 1999. Manchester
and complete the astounding picture by United are trailing 1-0 for most of the game
highlighting this was only her third tour- to Bayern Munich, who have dominated.
Then in injury time substitute Teddy Shering-
nament back and only her second grand ham equalises, before setting up a sensa-
slam victory ever! tional winner a minute later for Ole Gunnar

to win. But after, when I lost the
third set, going to break up, I start
to think bad things, you know. It
was so difficult to keep trying to
keep fighting. But one more time
the crowd and the fans helped me
a lot to fight until last point. I
think I have to say thank you to
everyone for that."

On building a Grand Slam legacy:

"I don't know, I just want to live
this moment. Of course I will be
THE PLAYERS REACTION: in the history of this tourna-
ment. That's amazing for me. I
have new opportunities in the
Juan Martin Del Potro other Grand Slams to win, be-
cause if I did here, if I beat Nadal,
"It's difficult to explain this mo- Federer and many good players,
ment," he said. "Since [I was] maybe I can do one more time.
young, I dream with this and take But of course, will be difficult, be-
trophy with me. I did my dream, cause I was so close to lose today."
and it's unbelievable moment. It's
amazing match, amazing people. Roger Federer
Everything is perfect."
"This one I think is easy to get over just
"The beginning of the match I was because I've had the most amazing sum-
so nervous, I can't sleep last night. mer. I tried everything, you know. Didn't
work. I missed chances. He played well
I don't take a breakfast today. and in the end it was a tough fifth set. It's
That's part of the final, you know. acceptable. But life goes on. No prob-
But Roger start very good. I start lem."
little down. Was bad with my
serve, and that's important
weapon of my game. When I
broke his serve for first time, I
start to believe in my game."

"Well, when I won the second set,

I think if I continuing playing
same way, maybe I have chance

Fabio Capello has the perfect Terry). That was all they got. They
qualification record. Eight also got reminded after the game
that they have achieved nothing and
games, eight wins. Is the suc- won nothing, apart from every single
cess down to the Italian or meaningful qualification game, and
the players? in style, with more goals than any
other European nation.
Capello came to the helm after the He has solved the perceived problem
FA was rejected by Jose Morinho. The of playing Frank Lampard and Steven
options of Redknapp and…erm… Gerrard in the same team, with the
well Redknapp anyway, were re- help of Gareth Barry, with devastat-
jected. There was no English boss ing effect. He has got Wayne Rooney
good enough to fit the criteria laid scoring goals (he is the top goal
out by the Football Association. They scorer in Europe), with the help of
wanted a manager with a successful, Emile Heskey. The Italian has even
winning record. Capello had that, he solved the problem of who replaces
didn’t speak the lingo, but hey, why David Beckham, with plenty of com-
let a small matter of communication petition between Walcott and Len-
affect the decision. He also wanted to non. He might not have solved the
bring over a full Italian coaching problem of who to play in goal, but
staff. He got his request, he got his he might be good but he unless he
English lessons and he gets a stag- can have a quiet word with his native
gering £6 million a year. But he also compatriot Buffon, he can only pick
gets results. from the talent available, and at the
moment this is an area of real con-
The FA has spent a fortune trying to cern for England.
promote its respect campaign.
Thankfully they also spent a fortune The most critical game played under
on a manager who has managed the Capello regime so far, under the
something I have never seen before, name of international friendly, was
respect from the players. Proper re- versus Spain. This game was a foot-
spect, not respect for his achieve- balling lesson, similar to that given to
ments and previous success, al- Manchester United when they played
though I am positive that helped, but Barcelona in the Champions League
respect that you have for an old Final. The English players were left
school master or a wise old professor. chasing shadows. They couldn’t get
They don’t know him as person; they the ball, and when England were
know him as a manager. three nil up versus Croatia, he was
still shouting furious instructions
All the players got the congratulatory about keeping possession.
handshake after qualification was
secured (unlike The Special One who His meticulous approach hides the
used to hug and cuddle his captain obvious threat he must see in Spain.

The only other European nation he
must fear. So Capello has made his
mark, and justified his huge contract.
But this is an England side that has
grown over the last few years, and
for many of the individuals involved,
represents the last real chance of
international honors. Terry and Ferdi-
nand are two of the worlds best, as
are Lamps and Gerrard, and Wayne
Rooney is fast becoming the best
striker in the world in Ronaldo’s ab- Influential Welsh midfielder
sence. Many of the players are at Jason Koumas, who plays for
there peak, last chance saloon. Hope-
fully the mix of manager and players Premiership side Wigan Ath-
has finally clicked for England. letic, has decided to retire
from international football
My instinct just says we, or anybody
else, have not got a game plan good with immediate effect.
enough to beat the Spanish.
The 29 year-old who has won 34 caps for
Wales, has suffered for several months
with hamstring injury problems, and
believes the only way to extend his do-
mestic career is to give himself maxi-
mum recovery time between matches.

Koumas was born in Wrexham, and in-

formed manager John Toshack of his
decision after withdrawing from the
qualifier against Russia with injury. Al-
though a number of senior Welsh inter-
nationals have retired early under the
Toshack regime, Koumas was always a
big favorite of the current manager.

Because Wales now have a seemingly

impossible task to qualify for next years
World Cup in South Africa, this decision
will give invaluable qualifying experi-
ence for some of the younger, upcoming
players who have played in the recent

Chris Hoy DIARY. flight of stairs without worrying
whether my legs feel tired.

20 Aug 08, 07:23 AM To finally get it all finished is a

wonderful feeling. For five days
I've been battling to keep my
Courtesy of the BBC dur- head above water
ing there coverage of the
Olympics… I was going I can pinpoint times in the last
to write a tribute to Hoy, four years when I've gone through
but found this to be the real suffering.
Certain sessions I've done have
best tribute to the work been simply horrendous. The only
and effort of champions, thing that gets you through is the
and Hoy in particular. A thought of the Olympics and the
brilliant read. gold medal.

Out here I would visualise those

Athlete's Village, Beijing sessions and remind myself of
everything I've gone through.

If I'd even missed one session, I

would have lined up with doubt
and fear in my mind. What would
happen if I lost the gold by one
thousandth of a second, because
there was a training session I
skipped or didn't give my all to?

Instead, I lined up here knowing

I am physically and mentally no-one had trained harder than
drained. me, and that gave me enormous
The main emotion this morning is It's a really strange feeling today.
less exhilaration and more a mix Every day for as long as I can re-
of relief and exhaustion. member I've woken up thinking
about nothing else but the Olym-
For the first time in months and pics. It feels so weird telling my-
months I'll be able to walk up a self that I don't have to any more.
I should be able to switch off, now it's how our team was riding, everyone
all down, but of course I can't. The else just started to crack.
habits are too ingrained. The emotional side of it is almost
I've got the three gold medals next to tougher than the physical part.
me now. Before each race you think about
what you're going to do, your plan
They come in a presentation box, but and execution. Then you have the
I'm still waiting for the ones from the race itself, and afterwards the exami-
keirin and sprint so they're all to- nation of what you did and how you
gether in one at the moment. You might improve, and how you should
also get a spare ribbon for each plan for the next one.
medal, which as it turns out is quite
handy. That absolutely drains you.

The top of the medals is quite a sharp To be honest what's happened out
edge, and the ribbon is getting here hasn't really sunk in. I think it'll
frayed already, even though I've only be when I get back home and
barely started wearing them. get the chance to relax and reflect
that I'll appreciate what we've done.
While the competition is underway, Last night I went out with the team
you don't let yourself imagine how it pursuit team, Vicky Pendleton and
would feel to win gold. You're so my girlfriend for a few beers, but it
focused on each individual race, be- wasn't a big night.
cause otherwise there's no way of We were just too tired - Jason Kenny
getting through it. Our team com- didn't even make it out - but tonight
pare it to running the hurdles - you will be a bigger night, and the one
have to take one at a time. after that bigger still.

It makes it all the sweeter when it I'm so looking forward to going

finally comes together. When I home and being able to do normal
crossed the line for the final time in things - to be able to see friends, to
the sprint it just all came out. In the have a beer without worrying about
velodrome, we battered the other it. I'm going to take a big break now
teams into submission. You could see before I decide what to do next. I've
their morale was completely dented got a holiday booked in November,
by the first few days. I was almost and I won't start discussing the fu-
surprised at how badly some of them ture until then.
performed. Some of them didn't
even reach the levels they had at the
For now, I'm just going to enjoy
World Championships in March. what's happened here in Beijing. It's
an unbelievable feeling to achieve
The lower your morale, the more you the absolute maximum you possibly
feel the pain. And when they saw can.