|headlinesa marathon focus||
October 2005 Edition
your short stories
home and away
Records are made to be broken. And now that Haile Gebrselassie has switched from track to road races, the Ethiopian is set to extend his illustrious career which includes double Olympic champion in the 10,000 metros. He is now targeting the marathon world record set by his past Kenyan rival, Paul Tergat in Berlin two years ago. And the time to beat in Amsterdam this month is 2 hrs, 4 mins and 45 secs.
Who can forget the many dramas of last year's Olympics. And perhaps the least anticipated, but most damaging was the unseemly behaviour of the Greek sprinters, Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou. Greece was riding on the crest of a wave as winner of the Euro 2004 (soccer) and with the Olympic venues ready on time who could break the spell. Heroes of the imminent Games and top dogs for lighting the Olympic flame, Kenteris and Thanou did just that as their involvement in a motorcycle accident resulted in their withdrawal from the Games. And the drama continues.... despite a ruling by the Greek Federation in March 2005 that cleared the sprinters of any wrongdoing. The IAAF appealed at the Court of Arbitration in Lausanne, Switzerland and the result of the attempt to overturn the March decision will be announced in a few months. We'll keep you posted.
Injury will play a part in every athletes' career. Some never make it off the starting blocks and others have a career which spans into the mature years. Golf is one sport that favours a long career, so it was with great delight that worldclass player Seve Ballesteros returned to the green and played the first round at the Madrid Open. The 48 year-old is planning a return to the 2006 Tour starting with the Abu Dhabi Classic on January 19. His career is a testament to his sport. Few athletes can claim that after a two year injury break (arthritic back problems) that they can return to the professional circuit at the age of 48, with the opportunity to continue into their twilight years. So when you pick a career in sport few would consider bull-fighting as an option; but hats off to retiring 'El Inglis' matador, Frank Evans who made in in a very Spanish world before retiring at respectable age of 63 years.
sidelines...... help at hand
The pressure's on the first time a physiotherapist is asked to walk out in front of a thirty, forty, fifty or more thousand crowd and make the decision whether a player can continue. Assessing an injury and providing a quick fix solution is the ultimate goal of any sports physiotherapist. Veteran Australian, Chris McLean describes his professional colleagues as individuals committed and dedicated to their sport. "Few are full-time employees and get to follow a top tennis player or a winning football team as they compete around the world - and most of these are not well paid. The majority give up their free time (unpaid) and offer their services to local teams, while paying the bills working a professional full-time career as a physiotherapist. Worse still, if you volunteer to work on major athletics events such as the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Melbourne you are stuck in the tunnel and never get to see the action. McLean has no regrets that he gives up his time to help athletes attain peak performance. "Once you have treated someone on a regular basis you are the best person to make a decision whether they continue to compete at a moment in time...... "
fashion icon...... go girl!
Golden girl of golf, Michelle Wie has clocked up around US$10 million in sponsorship. The American may only be sixteen, but if she is successful in winning tournaments she is likely to unleash a massive payback for her investors - such as Sony and Nike. The popularity of a women's sport which has often languished 'in the rough' will become fashionable and should generate an interest in the game equivelent to the impact felt after the meteoric rise in Tiger Woods' career.
home and away
The magic and mysteries of the Internet means that you can never be sure who owns what in the world when it comes to domain names. But the 'swat team' tackling the serious problem of 'ambush marketing' takes no prisoners - just domain names. As a result, a US based travel agent has been forced to hand over 5 domain names including: olympicsinuk.com and london2012beds.com It's all part of IOC (International Olympic Committee) policy to crackdown on opportunistic business practices. ie. you have to pay to profit from anything Olympic.
sport culture........ food fuel
Ginsters were no doubt very pleased with their decision to sponsor the motivational speaker from Cornwall who decided to run 3,000 miles from the Spanish Coast to the Russian Border. Bob Brown ran 55 miles a day and completed his task in 54 days, six hours and 40 minutes. His amazing new world record for the distance was 'powered' by eating 10,000 calories a day mostly in the form of Cornish pasties - supplied by major sponsor Ginsters. This proves that a you don't need to be centrestage to achieve incredible athletic feats. You just need to give credit to the new 'fuel' food the Cornish Pastie.
Future 'sport culture' features include a theatrical insight into the boxing profession as the Tricycle theatre in London revives "Walk Hard" by Abram Hill; and a review of the new hit US movie 'Murderball' and its impact on the Paralympics.
starting blocks.... Wushu
A new sport - Wushu -
will make its first Olympic appearance at the 2008 Games in Beijing. The non-contact
form of Kung Fu will be judged on the basis of the difficulty of the moves performed;
but no medals will be awarded. Perhaps in London in 2012 a similar local
sport will have an opportunity to be showcased as part of the Olympic movement. My
vote goes to snooker - the latest TV rights hot property.
life after..... for Mr Nice-Guy
The Mr Nice-Guy of the soccer world has had the exactly the same charmed life after retirement from football in his media career. Gary Lineker has not put a foot wrong as he beats off the career journalists to win further plaudits as a sports correspondent, TV host, Game Show Team Captain and of course comic celebrity in a series of Walker Crisps commercials. In recent weeks Lineker has been cast in the role of the new face of the BBC's coverage of US Golf Masters and Open in 2006. He is also the BBC's main host for the 2006 World Cup (soccer). But perhaps the culmination of his career to date is his newer role as the voice of Underground Ernie. Fending off competition from world renowned Ivor the Engine, Ernie goes undergound as the lead character of a new children's show coming to your TV screen soon. First stop: the BBC in the UK. Can this boy do no wrong? "Go Gary!" No I mean, "Go Ernie!"
September edition update