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                           | pdf edition | Sunday June 17 2012                                                            Sport
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Euro 2012: Giorgos Karagounis avoids
Greece exit and makes Russia pay
A Giorgos Karagounis goal gave Greece a 1-0 victory over Russia
that took his side into the last eight and eliminated Dick Advocaat’s
team Page 2

Petr Jiracek strike puts Czech Republic
through and Poland out
A Petr Jiracek goal put Czech Republic through as winners of Group
A but the hosts Poland went out of tournament Page 3

Euro 2012: Roy Hodgson says ‘special’
Wayne Rooney ready for Ukraine
Roy Hodgson will restore Wayne Rooney to England’s lineup for
Tuesday’s critical Group D game against Ukraine with no qualms
over the striker’s match sharpness Page 4

JP Pietersen’s try                           IOC to investigate                           News in brief: Rally            London Olympic
helps South Africa to                        ‘black market’                               driver Gareth Roberts           countdown: six weeks
victory over battling                        Olympic tickets Page 7                       is killed in Sicily Page 8      to go Page 10
England Page 5
                                             This much I know:                            London 2012: LaShawn            Lance Armstrong on
Ian Bell century helps                       Usain Bolt Page 7                            Merritt aiming to               the attack as doping
England cruise to                                                                         bury tarnished gold at          controversy enters
win over West Indies                                                                      Olympics Page 8                 final stage Page 11
Page 6 © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                         
Registered in England and Wales. No. 908396. Registered office: PO Box 68164, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1P 2AP
Page 2 G24 Sport                                                                          Sunday June 17 2012 02:00 GMT

                                                                       Greece’s early adventure and once their initial enthusiasm had
                                                                       subsided Russia showed what they were capable of by creating
Euro 2012: Giorgos Karagounis avoids                                   three good chances in as many minutes.
Greece exit and makes Russia pay                                           First Andrey Arshavin reached Alan Dzagoev’s cross, only
                                                                       to direct his effort straight at Michalis Sifakis, then Dzagoev
All the best pictures from the Group A                                 blazed wildly over from a decent shooting position. Aleksandr
climax                                                                 Kerzhakov hit the best shot of the lot moments later but saw the
                                                                       ball drift just beyond Sifakis’s top left corner. Yuri Zhirkov made
Paul Wilson in Warsaw                                                  a surging run down the left as Russia began to force Greece back
                                                                       into their own half, but with team-mates waiting in the middle
                                                                       his cutback was too easily intercepted by Katsouranis.
                                                                           Russia were enjoying huge territorial advantage and by far
                                                                       the greater share of possession, yet their final ball was usually
                                                                       too casual or a patient passing move would result only in a
                                                                       wildly optimistic shot from distance. It was fairly tedious stuff
                                                                       as the interval approached, and when a gilt-edged chance
                                                                       finally fell Russia’s way, with Kerzhakov in a perfect position
                                                                       to accept a knockdown near the penalty spot, he somehow
                                                                       managed an air shot instead of an effort on goal.
                                                                           Zhirkov was only narrowly wide with a rising shot five
                                                                       minutes from half-time, but shooting from outside the box
                                                                       was a sign of Russian frustration When Sergei Ignashevich fell
Giorgos Karagounis of Greece scores the opening goal against           over in possession on the halfway line without an opponent
Russia under pressure from Yuriy Zhirkov at Euro 2012.                 or a team-mate within 20 yards it seemed to sum up Russia’s
Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images                                lackadaisical attitude.
                                                                           Advocaat had described the game as a must-win, insisting
Forecasts of a Greek economic recovery have been taken more
                                                                       Russia needed to make sure of qualifying at the earliest
seriously than Fernando Santos’s prediction that his players
                                                                       opportunity after blowing a chance in their second game
would be the ones celebrating at the end of this game; yet after
                                                                       against Poland, yet his players appeared anything but urgent.
a famous victory, celebrate Greece did. Russia were surprisingly
                                                                           They paid dearly for their slapdash play in the two minutes
sent home from the European Championship by the combined
                                                                       of added time in the first half. First Roman Shirokov wasted a
might of Greece and the Czech Republic, the former pulling off
                                                                       chance in the Greek penalty area with a simply awful shot that
an unexpected yet wholly deserved victory here and the latter
                                                                       merely surrendered possession. A disastrously casual attempt
claiming the other qualification spot with a win against Poland.
                                                                       to clear from a throw down the touchline by Ignashevich
    This was a truly wretched Russian display yet even when
                                                                       gave Karagounis a clear run on goal. The Greek captain boldly
trailing to Giorgos Karagounis’s goal they could have qualified
                                                                       advanced into the penalty area to punch a low shot under
with Greece had Poland held the Czechs goalless. That hope
                                                                       Malafeev. After the first few minutes, Greece had barely had
ran out 20 minutes from the end and despite making three
                                                                       an attack of note, yet they scored with the only chance that
attacking substitutions Russia were unable to get back into the
                                                                       came their way, and Russia had only themselves to blame for
game. This defeat must count as a shock, given that Russia were
                                                                       conceding at such a crucial moment.
talked up as possible tournament winners after their stylish
                                                                           Advocaat sent on Roman Pavlyuchenko for the second
4-1 victory on the first day, though playing this badly they
                                                                       half though the pattern of poor decision-making and general
would have been highly unlikely to progress far in the knockout
                                                                       wastefulness continued, with Shirokov hitting another chance
                                                                       much too high. The useful Igor Denisov did rather better with
    Dick Advocaat, taking his leave as Russian manager, was not
                                                                       another long shot, but at least one that had Russian supporters
in a mood to make excuses. “There was only one team going
                                                                       on their feet before missing by inches.
forward and the other team just defended but we didn’t put
                                                                           As long as the other game remained scoreless Russia could
away our chances,” he said. “You have to score if you are going
                                                                       afford to lose narrowly and still go through. Yet this was a risky
to win and we just weren’t sharp enough. The players were not
                                                                       strategy, especially when Dimitris Salpigidis nearly scored from
aware what was going on in the other game, our performance
                                                                       a corner and Karagounis had a penalty claim turned down. He
here was more important.”
                                                                       was booked for a dive and is out of the next match.
    Santos, the Portuguese coach of Greece, said he was satisfied
                                                                           Zhirkov was booked next for a foul on Salpigidis as the
with his players for the first time. “We deserved this result,” he
                                                                       Russian defence carried on living dangerously, Giorgos
said. “It was a matter of focus and concentration, it is just a pity
                                                                       Tzavellas striking the angle of crossbar and post with the free-
we had to wait until the last match to find it. This match was
                                                                       kick. Rather more significant for Russia at that point was a goal
really difficult for us but the players gave everything.”
                                                                       for the Czechs in the other match, effectively withdrawing their
    Russia began in a surprisingly languid manner, allowing
                                                                       safety net.
the Greeks to come at them as if they did not believe they
                                                                           Advocaat further beefed up his attack with Pavel
represented a serious threat to their qualification hopes.
                                                                       Pogrebnyak, Russia now needing to score or face elimination.
They almost got caught out at an early corner when Kostas
                                                                       Denisov tried his luck again from distance but found Sifakis
Katsouranis flicked on Karagounis’s cross to force Vyacheslav
                                                                       equal to his shot, before Jose Holebas missed a great chance to
Malafeev to make a sharp reaction save. Nothing came of © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                               
Page  G24 Sport                                                                         Sunday June 17 2012 02:00 GMT

wrap things up for Greece from Salpigidis’s driven cross. Russia     Czechs. Nobody could have envisaged their progress at the top
failed to step up the pressure, even with five forwards and four     of the pile after they suffered a 4-1 thumping by Russia in their
minutes of stoppage time.                                            opening tie. And they fashioned the result that they needed
    In the end their rowdy fans made more of a mark on the           without their injured talisman, Tomas Rosicky.
tournament than their footballers.                                       For Poland, the equation had been simple. Just win. From
                                                                     the first whistle, there had been an intensity and conviction
                                                                     about them. The Polish anthem sent shivers down the spine
Petr Jiracek strike puts Czech Republic                              and the din in the first half was relentless. It assaulted the
through and Poland out                                               senses. Home advantage felt powerful and the Czechs faced the
                                                                     ultimate test of their nerve.
                                                                         Polish regrets could be located in how they failed to make
All the best pictures from the Group A                               their flying start count. They created five good opportunities
climax                                                               in the opening 22 minutes that ought to have eased them out
David Hytner in Wroclaw                                              of sight. Robert Lewandowski, Poland’s poster boy, snatched
                                                                     his shot wide of the near post when well placed, Sebastian
                                                                     Boenisch blasted off target after Cech had beaten out Ludovic
                                                                     Obraniak’s free-kick and Eugen Polanski was wasteful from
                                                                     Blaszczykowski’s pass.
                                                                         As the rain came down, Polish waves crashed into the Czech
                                                                     defence. Boenisch tried his luck from long-range and forced
                                                                     Cech to turn behind, while even Wasilewski rumbled forward to
                                                                     threaten with a header. The first half flew by. The entertainment
                                                                     was breathless and the elements were in tune: the crashes of
                                                                     thunder were on an epic scale. The Czechs ought to have drawn
                                                                     first blood. Theodor Gebre Selassie, the marauding right-back,
                                                                     got the better of Boenisch and when he cut back a low cross,
                                                                     Vaclav Pilar converged to apply the finish. The winger, though,
                                                                     mis-kicked horribly. The Czechs also finished what was a
Poland’s Robert Lewandowski, left, and Michal Kadlec of the          remarkably open half strongly. Baros stretched but he could
Czech Republic compete for the ball during the Group A match         not control a high ball in front of goal, Jaroslav Plasil went close
at Euro 2012. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images                   with a deflected shot and Przemyslaw Tyton saved from Pilar,
Only the hardest of hearts could not feel for Poland. They had       whose influence grew. Everybody needed the breather at half-
surfed a wave of emotion in the buildup to this tie and they         time. Greece’s first-half goal against Russia raised the stakes
firmly believed that the fairytale script would play out and that    even further. As it stood at the start of the second half, the
on their turf, in front of their passionate supporters, they would   Czechs needed to win, too.
march into their first European Championship quarter-final.              But Michal Bilek’s team could feel that they had drawn
For the opening half hour, as they subjected the Czech Republic      the sting from the early frenzy. Gradually, they established
to a battering and this stadium rocked to a memorable beat, it       their rhythm. Plasil’s technique was easy on the eye. Poland
looked as though it would happen. An almighty party loomed.          struggled to maintain their adrenaline-fuelled energy levels
But football has an unerring capacity to reduce dreams to dust       and, not for the first time at this tournament, they could curse
in the blink of an eye. Here in Wroclaw, the pain was triggered      their profligacy.
by a swing of Petr Jiracek’s boot.                                       The Czechs were happy to call a slower tempo, and seek to
    Rafal Murawski will always remember how he lost                  profit from their more measured approach. They controlled the
possession, allowing the Czechs to break at pace. Milan Baros        second half and Tyton, who had been preferred to Wojciech
found Jiracek who, after jinking inside Marcin Wasilewski,           Szczesny, excelled to keep Poland in contention. From Plasil’s
delivered the killer blow. With Greece beating Russia, the           teasing 65th-minute free-kick, Tomas Sivok connected with
Czechs advanced as Group A winners. The margins, however,            his header at point-blank range, only for Tyton to block and
were excruciatingly fine. Had Michal Kadlec not fashioned a          then palm the ball clear. It was a heart-stopping moment for the
miraculous clearance from in front of the line in virtually the      home crowd.
last act to deny Jakub Blaszczykowski, the Czechs might have             The tide, though, had turned. Baros menaced and Poland
been out. The fairytale was theirs. Petr Cech suggested that         laboured to make inroads. The goal that crushed them did not
Blaszczykowski’s shot was going wide and, as such, he had been       come as a surprise and, for perhaps the first time, the voices
nerveless. Nobody was fooled. This was drama on a grand scale        of the outnumbered Czech fans could be heard. The rain had
and Cech’s joy was undercut by relief. “I’d just say that it’s not   stopped in the second half and the Polish storm passed. They
about how you start a tournament but how you finish,” he said.       knew that it would not be their night when Wasilewski missed a
    It was lovely to see the sportsmanship at full-time. Despite     gilt-edged header. “It’s a bitter pill to swallow,” said Franciszek
the devastation, the Poland fans applauded the Czechs as they        Smuda, who now leaves his post as manager.
lapped the pitch and, in response, the Czech supporters yelled           At full-time, his players slumped to the turf while the Czechs
“Polska, Polska”. The atmosphere had crackled at the outset. It      cavorted in ecstasy. It had been billed as Poland’s biggest game
was hard to believe that there were a little over 41,000 present.    since the 1986 World Cup group tie against England, which was
    This was an “I was there” evening, particularly for the          settled by Gary Lineker’s hat-trick. On that occasion, Poland © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                              
Page  G24 Sport                                                                            Sunday June 17 2012 02:00 GMT

squeezed through among the best third-placed teams. There               is part of being a top, top player in an important national team.
were no consolations this time.                                         If you are Sweden it’s [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, if it’s Ukraine I’m
                                                                        sure it’s [Andriy)]Shevchenko. If it’s England it’s about Rooney
                                                                        and [Steven] Gerrard and if it’s France it’s about [Franck] Ribéry
Euro 2012: Roy Hodgson says ‘special’                                   and [Samir] Nasri. You trust these players who have put up with
Wayne Rooney ready for Ukraine                                          this kind of pressure in their lives for a long time, and that they
                                                                        know how to deal with it.
                                                                            “Wayne won’t need reminding if he plays well on Tuesday
• England manager will start Rooney in                                  everybody will be saying fantastic things about him. If he
Group D decider                                                         misses a chance or two people will say other things. As a coach
• Hodgson plans to use Danny Welbeck                                    you can’t protect him, but the players know their job. I’m not
‘sparingly’ in future                                                   worried about his fitness. He will be raring to go. I’ve been
                                                                        impressed with him around the place. He’s not been like a
Dominic Fifield and Stuart James
                                                                        caged animal, but just a very good professional. His training
                                                                        performances have been first class, and he’s been encouraging
                                                                        all the players and backing them up. But, of course, he wants to
                                                                        play football. The quality and the desire are there for all to see.”
                                                                            Hodgson is still determining whether or not to hand
                                                                        Theo Walcott his first start in a tournament this week after
                                                                        the winger’s introduction as a substitute against Sweden
                                                                        transformed the occasion. James Milner could yet retain
                                                                        his place on the right given England need only avoid defeat
                                                                        in Donetsk to secure their place in the last eight of the
                                                                        competition. The manager’s concerns over Welbeck were
                                                                        expressed more with the long term in mind, and a desire to
                                                                        shield the 21 year old from the spotlight after his cutely taken
                                                                        goal on Friday.
Roy Hodgson, right, says he will have no qualms about                       There is a logic to selecting Welbeck and Rooney, with
bringing Wayne Rooney, right, straight back into the side               Ashley Young as a supply line, given the trio have operated
against Ukraine. Photograph: Eddie Keogh/Reuters                        together at club level last season. “Danny’s had a wonderful
                                                                        season and I’m sure Sir Alex Ferguson has high hopes for him,”
Roy Hodgson will restore Wayne Rooney to England’s lineup
                                                                        said Hodgson.
for Tuesday’s critical Group D game against Ukraine with no
                                                                            “He’s done pretty well to break into a team like United and
qualms over the striker’s match sharpness and confident he is
                                                                        I am happy with the progress he is making. But before we start
in the right frame of mind to propel the national team into the
                                                                        building him up too much, we should remember he has a lot of
quarter-finals of Euro 2012.
                                                                        work to do and a lot of time ahead. Hopefully, with the quality
    The England manager is expected to drop Andy Carroll to the
                                                                        of players we have, I’ll be able to use him in the same way Sir
bench to pair Rooney, who has now served his two-match ban
                                                                        Alex has done, a little bit sparingly, from time to time.”
for kicking out at Miodrag Dzudovic during the qualifying draw
                                                                            There is an acceptance among the Ukraine squad that a
in Montenegro last October, with his Manchester United team-
                                                                        difficult evening awaits in Donetsk, with the co-hosts needing
mate Danny Welbeck. Yet Hodgson suggested he will consider
                                                                        to win to prolong their stay in the tournament.
using Welbeck “more sparingly” in the future, an indication he
                                                                            “England are definitely one of the most dangerous teams
still has a key selection decision to make despite the youngster’s
                                                                        here,” said Shevchenko. “They had a good result against France
fine late winner in Friday’s encouraging victory over Sweden.
                                                                        and they beat Sweden, so they’ve had a great start. We’ll have to
    Hodgson will only finalise his team on the eve of the game
                                                                        play much better than we did against France if we want to beat
in Donetsk, but Rooney will definitely start as he aims to leave
a more positive impression on this tournament than he did in
                                                                            England have announced they will play Italy in Berne
either of the last two World Cups. “Wayne’s a quality player, a
                                                                        in August and, as part of the Football Association’s 150th
world-class player,” he said. “His ability is a bit special. You’re
                                                                        anniversary celebrations, will welcome Scotland to Wembley
lucky if you’re a manager of a national team to have players of
                                                                        next year. The Scots will visit on 14 August, 2013 with the
his quality available. Hopefully, he’ll make life that bit easier for
                                                                        Scotland manager, Craig Levein, describing the fixture as
us going into the next game when we need another result.”
                                                                        “the ultimate contest”. The two nations have not met since
    Rooney has trained fully with the squad since linking up
                                                                        1999, when the visitors won 1-0 at Wembley. The game against
with Hodgson’s party ahead of the pre-tournament friendly
                                                                        the Azzurri, scheduled for 15 August in Switzerland, will be
against Belgium and has recovered from the minor toe injury
                                                                        the national team’s first of next season ahead of World Cup
with which he played over the final few weeks of United’s
                                                                        qualifiers in September against Moldova and Ukraine.
domestic season. Yet the 36 minutes he enjoyed against the
Belgians at Wembley represents his only game-time since the
last day of the Premier League campaign on 13 May, raising
doubts over the player’s match fitness.
    Asked whether it was unfair to expect too much of the
forward on his first outing back in the side, Hodgson said: “This © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                 
Page  G24 Sport                                                                        Sunday June 17 2012 02:00 GMT

                                                                     some doing, even if you happen to be leading in the final
                                                                     seconds. If, as England did, you concede two tries inside the
JP Pietersen’s try helps South Africa to                             first eight minutes, it becomes an impossible assignment.
victory over battling England                                        There was, to be fair, some debate about both scores. Not a
                                                                     single front-rower touched the ball that shot out beneath Tom
• South Africa 36-27 England                                         Johnson on the far side of a third-minute scrum, permitting
                                                                     Willem Alberts a free run to the line. Rolland might have
Robert Kitson at Ellis Park
                                                                     ordered a rescrum, but, on the advice of his touch judge, opted
                                                                     not to. The second try, awarded to Bismarck du Plessis by the
                                                                     television match official, was also not clear-cut, with Jonathan
                                                                     Joseph feeling he had held up the ball.
                                                                         A massacre looked inevitable when Francois Hougaard
                                                                     darted over in the 19th minute to reward yet more sustained
                                                                     pressure. Only when a quick tap from Youngs caught the
                                                                     Springboks defence napping was the torrent of points reversed,
                                                                     Ashton putting the supporting Flood over to prompt a rare
                                                                     smile in an otherwise funereal England coaching box.
                                                                         Irrelevant? It felt that way when Morne Steyn popped over
                                                                     a drop goal and the Boks trotted in 25-10 ahead at the break.
                                                                     They should have had another try shortly after the interval, but
                                                                     Morne Steyn greedily hung on with men outside. A subsequent
South African captain Jean de Villiers stops England’s               penalty still took the Boks into a 28-10 lead, but, briefly, the
Jonathan Joseph in his tracks at Ellis Park. Photograph:             momentum slackened. An overthrown home lineout landed in
Themba Hadebe/AP                                                     Youngs’ arms and his lunge for the line was ruled good by the
                                                                     television match official.
Sometimes in life there are days when absolutely nothing goes
                                                                         Suddenly it was a different game. The�Boks were blowing,
to plan. England endured one of them on Saturday in losing not
                                                                     the Du Plessis brothers were nowhere to be seen and Juandre
only the second Test but the series as well. While a second-half
                                                                     Kruger was taken off on the medical cart. Youngs scored again
fightback from 28-10 down restored some dignity, the first 40
                                                                     and Flood’s conversion and penalty narrowed the deficit to four
minutes were horrendous. A team that had appeared to have
healed itself after the sickly World Cup debacle is wobbling once
                                                                         The introduction of Alex Corbisiero and Thomas Waldrom
                                                                     seemed to help, as did Morne Steyn’s penalty attempt
    In some ways England’s abject start was their salvation. The
                                                                     bouncing away off an upright. Had England gone on to win,
Springboks, clearly convinced they were heading for a 50-point
                                                                     the Springboks coach, Heyneke Meyer, would have gone potty.
victory, removed many of their best forwards and were guilty
                                                                     Perhaps sensing that scenario, his team pulled themselves
of flagrant glory hunting, butchering two or three further tries.
                                                                     together, Pietersen surging 50 metres downfield and�popping
Amid the confusion, Ben Youngs slipped over for two close-
                                                                     up again to take Jean De Villiers’ scoring pass. The home side
range scores and, crazily, the Boks entered the final 10 minutes
                                                                     have now won nine of their past 10 Tests in Johannesburg.
leading only 31-27. It took a sweeping try, started and finished
                                                                         It leaves the touring team with more thinking to do. For the
by JP Pietersen, to dismiss the prospect of a truly staggering
                                                                     past decade England have been able to limp home after�two
                                                                     Tests, but this time there is no�respite. Two more games await,
    At 22-3 down, it was a very different story. Imagine being
                                                                     including the third Test in Port Elizabeth on�Saturday 23 June,
strapped to a railroad and watching locomotive smoke
                                                                     against opponents who do not believe in taking their foot off
approaching in the distance. England’s players must have
                                                                     the throats of their victims.
experienced similar emotions as they stood beneath their posts
                                                                         Three-Test series allow the screen-staring analysts to earn
awaiting a conversion for the third time inside the first quarter.
                                                                     their popcorn, plugging holes from the week before and subtly
If there is one team to whom you do not want to donate a hefty
                                                                     shifting their chess pieces around, but the tape of the first half
start, it is South Africa in their high-altitude citadel.
                                                                     is probably best ignored. The best bet would be to show the
    To their credit, England declined to buckle, but the
                                                                     players the second half and remind them the Boks reserves are
Springbok’s largesse was a significant contributory factor. Until
                                                                     far from world-beaters. This series, though, has disappeared
the final quarter, Stuart Lancaster’s bold selection did not so
                                                                     into thin air.
much backfire as self-destruct. The experiment of playing
Manu Tuilagi at inside centre did not�pay�off, albeit behind

a pack that came a distant second in the loose. The referee,
Alain Rolland, took charge of England’s breathless win over
France in Paris in March, but he would have barely recognised
these as the same players. Playing in ones and twos, physically
outgunned, pedestrian with ball in hand and lacking intensity          Compare and buy
in defence, the opening 40 minutes were nothing short of a             Use our free independent comparison
Rocky-proportioned horror show.                                        services to switch suppliers and save
    As Wales and Ireland discovered earlier in the day, beating
                                                                       money on all your household bills.
southern-hemisphere opposition on their own patch takes © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                             
Page  G24 Sport                                                                         Sunday June 17 2012 02:00 GMT

                                                                          Yet it is conceivable that Bell’s accident on Friday when he
                                                                      top-edged a pull into his chin in the indoor nets worked in his
Ian Bell century helps England cruise to                              favour. Perhaps it was a distraction that liberated his mind,
win over West Indies                                                  helping him to bat with such carefree serenity. Or maybe his
                                                                      time has eventually come. Whatever the reason this innings will
• England 288-6; West Indies 172                                      be a relief to Bell and to the England management, still taken
• England win by 114 runs (D/L)                                       aback by Pietersen’s premature retirement.
                                                                          The rest of England’s batsmen were little more than extras
Vic Marks at the Rose Bowl                                            in the story of Bell’s renaissance. Cook was out third ball;
                                                                      Jonathan Trott was Trott for an hour; Ravi Bopara squandered a
                                                                      fine opportunity; Eoin Morgan, no longer bobbing at the crease,
                                                                      only flickered, while the lower order ensured a formidable total
                                                                      without causing too much mayhem. For West Indies, Sunil
                                                                      Narine impressed, taking responsibility at the start and the
                                                                      finish of the innings.
                                                                          The West Indies reply inconvenienced England only when
                                                                      Dwayne Smith was on strike. Required to open the batting
                                                                      because of Chris Gayle’s late withdrawal with a foot injury,
                                                                      Smith hit a swashbuckling 56 from 44 balls.
                                                                          Twice he flicked his wrists against Steven Finn and Stuart
                                                                      Broad and the ball disappeared over the square-leg boundary.
                                                                      With strokeplay like this it seemed inexplicable that Smith
England’s Ian Bell drives Andre Russell for four in his innings       averages a mere 16 in ODIs. Maybe his time is coming as well.
of 126 in the first one-day international against West Indies.            Otherwise, there was a catalogue of calamities for the
Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images                                  tourists. Already weakened by Gayle’s absence – the wait for
                                                                      Godot was only marginally more frustrating than for Gayle to
To the delight of his predecessor and his agent down in South
                                                                      return to the West Indies team – they were hindered by a groin
Africa, Ian Bell played the most significant one-day innings of
                                                                      strain to Darren Bravo. He could bat only at No9 and under
his life, which was the cornerstone of a messy, yet emphatic
                                                                      the new ICC regulations he was not entitled to a runner. So he
Duckworth-Lewis victory for Alastair Cook’s side. For Kevin
                                                                      hobbled up and down in a valiant, yet futile manner. Russell,
Pietersen England may have been out of sight, but not out of
                                                                      slipping on the wet turf, was also splayed out in agony at the
                                                                      non-striker’s end for a while, though he seemed to recover.
    Soon after Bell’s dismissal for 126, his second century in this
                                                                          At one point West Indies were 95 for one but then England’s
form of the game on this ground, Pietersen tweeted “BELLY,
                                                                      pace attack took charge. Tim Bresnan took two important
YOU BEAUTY. Please pick up the MOM award”, which he duly
                                                                      wickets, dismissing Smith with his slow bouncer and the
did at the end of a cold, damp, blustery day.
                                                                      elevated Denesh Ramdin with a faster nip-backer. Finn’s second
    Thanks to Bell England posted a challenging 288 for
                                                                      spell was much better than his first as Dwayne Bravo, stuck on
six. Then, under ever-darkening skies, their pacemen
                                                                      the crease, was lbw. England’s out-cricket was sure and after a
imposed themselves on a West Indies batting line-up that is
                                                                      rain delay of 70 minutes West Indies folded in the gloaming.
mouthwateringly watchable but none too reliable.
                                                                          So it was a bleak day for Sammy’s side. They started it in the
    This was the sort of innings that Bell’s supporters have been
                                                                      belief that they could seriously challenge England in this form
anticipating for years. He has rarely imposed himself in this
                                                                      of the game. By the end of it they were casting around for 11 fit
form of the game; since his debut in 2004 he has yo-yoed in
                                                                      men to take to the field at The Oval on Tuesday.
and out of the side so that this was reckoned to be his fourth
coming as an ODI player. During a career of 109 matches he has
batted in almost every position in the top half of the order. Yet
here he produced a classical one-day innings, sprinkled with

pure cricket shots, a rare treat since there was a touch of magic
without any muscle.
    Bell may have had one major slice of luck. When he was on
23 there was a vehement appeal from the bowler Ravi Rampaul
– and all his colleagues – for a catch behind the wicket. This
was rejected. Eventually the technology suggested this was              The Guardian digital edition
the incorrect decision. While Hot Spot was not much help, the           Read the Guardian on the web
Snickometer hinted at an edge.
                                                                        exactly the way it was printed.
    Otherwise there was barely a false shot. Bell’s innings was
triggered by an effortlessly driven straight six off Andre Russell.     With award-winning Guardian
Three more boundaries followed in that over and Bell suddenly           photography accessible from
looked at home in his latest role. He cut the spinners deftly and       anywhere in the world.
drove easily on both sides of the wicket. Only the 10 stitches
in his chin prevented the broadest of smiles when he reached
three figures. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                             
Page  G24 Sport                                                                       Sunday June 17 2012 02:00 GMT

IOC to investigate ‘black market’                                   This much I know: Usain Bolt
Olympic tickets
                                                                    The athlete, 25, on the spirit of Bob Marley,
Olympic officials and agents accused of                             being romantic, and sitting under trees
offering tickets in breach of the rules                             Mark Bailey
Cass Jones

                                                                    “I get challenged to races every day. I’ll race the kids, but
The aquatics centre at the Olympic Park. It is alleged that         grown-up people need to get real”: triple Olympic champion
Olympic officials have been selling tickets to the Games on the     Usain Bolt. Photograph: Mark Zibert for the Observer
black market. Photograph: Rex Features                              Children, adults, old people, Prince Harry… everybody wants
The International Olympic Committee has launched an inquiry         to race me. I get challenged to races every day. I met Mickey
into allegations that Olympic officials and agents have been        Rourke in a London club and we had a race in the street. I’ll race
caught selling tickets for the London 2012 Games on the black       the kids, but grown-up people need to get real.
market.                                                                 I am an athlete and a doctor. I have received lots of honorary
    The IOC has held an emergency meeting of its ruling             awards, so my full official title is something like Dr The
executive following an undercover newspaper investigation.          Honourable Ambassador Usain Saint Leo Bolt. I have tried to
It has referred the allegations to its independent ethics           make my friends call me it, but nobody does.
commission, which could lead to a review of how Olympic                 My father was my hero. He always worked so hard. People
tickets are distributed among member countries in the future.       think I don’t train hard, but I really do – and it’s all because of
    Sunday Times reporters posing as envoys of a Middle             him.
Eastern ticket tout claim to have found 27 officials and agents         My earliest memory is playing in my yard. I’d play cricket,
representing 54 countries who were willing to breach the rules      football and basketball or just run around. As long as I was
on selling tickets. One, from Serbia, offered 1,500 tickets for     outside in the sun I was happy.
£80,000, while China’s official ticket agency agreed to sell the        Your environment definitely changes your personality. I am
best seats in the stadiums for up to £6,000 each, according         similar to my sister. We are relaxed because we grew up in the
to the newspaper. It also alleges that Spyros Capralos,             countryside [in Jamaica], but my brother is different because he
the president of Greece’s Olympic committee, breached               grew up in Kingston. He likes to be cool.
regulations.                                                            Talent is worthless without commitment. The first thing
    The IOC said it has moved “quickly” to deal with the            my coach Glen Mills ever said to me was: “Everybody has talent
allegations. “After claims that several NOCs [National Olympic      – it’s what you do with that talent that counts.” I will always
Committees] and ATRs [authorised ticket resellers] were             remember that.
reportedly willing to break the rules by offering to buy or sell        Jamaican people are very proud. Whatever we are doing,
tickets outside their territory, sell tickets at inflated prices,   we always try to push ourselves. Whether we are running a race
or sell tickets to unauthorised resellers, the IOC has ordered      or working in a shop, we want to be number one. I think that is
an immediate inquiry and referred the allegations to its            wonderful.
independent ethics commission,” it said.                                Ladies all enjoy different things, so you have to understand
    “The IOC takes these allegations very seriously and has         their personality to get their mind going. If a lady needs me to
immediately taken the first steps to investigate. Should any        be romantic I will be romantic. But I am more of a real man most
irregularities be proven, the organisation will deal with those     of the time.
involved in an appropriate manner. The NOCs are autonomous              Sleep is beautiful. I live with my brother Sadiki and my best
organisations, but if any of the cases are confirmed the IOC will   friend NJ in Kingston, and my only house rule is: never wake
not hesitate to impose the strongest sanctions.”                    me up early.
    The IOC said it will take on board any recommendations              I can’t cook. I just know that vegetables are good for you.
from the inquiry to improve the way tickets are allocated and           What I enjoy most about my house isn’t the big TV or the
sold internationally.                                               swimming pool but the fruit trees in my garden. They remind
                                                                    me of my childhood. When I sit and stare at them I feel happy. I © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                            
Page  G24 Sport                                                                           Sunday June 17 2012 02:00 GMT

like to sit under trees.                                               Co-driver killed in Sicily
   Snakes and spiders terrify me. That’s why I don’t go to                Welsh rally co-driver Gareth Roberts has been killed
Africa very often. I also used to believe in ghosts when I was a       following a crash in the Targa Florio rally in Sicily. The 24-year-
kid and I would get scared, but not any more.                          old, from Carmarthen, was navigator in a Peugeot 207 being
   I am not proud of my toes. They are not very pretty. Other          driven by Irishman Craig Breen, which crashed on the eighth
than my toes, I feel good about my body. My arms and my abs            stage of the event. Emergency crews attended the scene but
are particularly nice.                                                 Roberts died as a result of his injuries, the series organisers, the
   Bob Marley is a legend. I have all his old albums, and he did a     Intercontinental Rally Challenge, reported on its website. As a
great job of bringing Jamaica to the world. His daughter Cedella       mark of respect the IRC called off the remainder of the event.
designed Jamaica’s Olympic kit, so his spirit will be with me this     PA
                                                                       Davidson in hospital
   I can be emotional. I cried at a movie last year – but don’t tell
                                                                          The British driver Anthony Davidson was taken to hospital
                                                                       suffering from shock and back pains after a heavy crash
   I have always been young and fast, so the idea of being old
                                                                       just before the five-hour mark of the Le Mans 24-hour race.
feels weird. I do worry about it. My friend NJ is a couple of
                                                                       Davidson’s Toyota tangled with a Ferrari sportscar he was
months older than me, so I will always be younger than him.
                                                                       trying to lap, hitting the rear and twisting through the air
That makes me feel better.
                                                                       before plunging into the barriers at the entry to the Mulsanne
   Usain Bolt is launching the new Puma fragrance range. For
                                                                       straight. Toyota said Davidson would go to a local hospital for
details, go to
                                                                       precautionary checks although he did not appear to be injured.

News in brief: Rally driver Gareth
Roberts is killed in Sicily                                            London 2012: LaShawn Merritt aiming
                                                                       to bury tarnished gold at Olympics

                                                                       The American Olympic 400m champion
                                                                       is determined to defend his title at London
                                                                       2012 after his ban for a failed drug test
                                                                       Kevin Mitchell

The wreckage of the Peugeot 207 of Gareth Roberts and
Irish driver Craig Breen. Roberts was killed in the accident.
Photograph: Alessandro Fucarini/AP
Crutchlow a major injury doubt for British GP
    Cal Crutchlow suffered an injury blow on the eve of the
British Grand Prix at Silverstone for the second year running          LaShawn Merritt says he is running for his older brother, who
after spraining an ankle in a crash during practice. The home          died in mysterious circumstances at college 13 years ago.
favourite fell heavily after losing control of his Yamaha at high      Photograph: Nick Laham/Getty Images
speed in turn 13 in cold and wet conditions and missed the             LaShawn Merritt could not have known when he bought penis
afternoon qualifying session, in which Alvaro Bautista claimed         enhancement pills over the counter from a local convenience
pole. Crutchlow was taken to hospital for an examination               store in Bradenton, Florida, that his embarrassment would
that revealed a sprained ankle rather than a fracture, meaning         go global. “It was more energy-wise,” the American Olympic
he could still start today’s race, albeit from the back of the         400 metres champion says, suppressing a guilty smile when
grid. Last year, Crutchlow, who lies fifth in the standings,           explaining his purchase of a product that contained the banned
missed the race after breaking his left collarbone in qualifying.      substance Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and which led to
Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini) clocked 2min 3.303sec               his suspension for 21 months.
to top qualifying ahead of Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory) and                  “[There] was a condom and right beside it was [ExtenZe].
the defending champion Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda). The                It was a ‘boom boom’, went-home-type deal. It was a poor
championship leader Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), who leads the              judgment call from me. If I’d looked on the back and saw that
standings by 20 points from Stoner, was the fourth fastest. PA         the label [said] DHEA, I definitely wouldn’t have taken it. I’d
                                                                       never think in a million years that I could buy something from a
                                                                       7/11 and test positive for track and field.” © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                 
Page  G24 Sport                                                                            Sunday June 17 2012 02:00 GMT

    Nor be asked to explain why he bought it in the first place.        was on the ninth floor, and he ended up out of the window. It
“Embarrassment was an initial reaction for a minute,” he said,          was three big guys. He’d just turned 18 and was smaller than
“but, when I thought about it, I’m pretty sure there’s more than        what I am now.
a couple of men here who’ve taken it. But I’m a pro athlete so I            “He died a little bit later but the guys shouldn’t even have
just forgot that part. When I was picking it up, I wasn’t thinking      got through security. There was a camera pointing right [at] the
about anything. It was just ‘boom boom’, to the house.”                 window but it wasn’t working. Whoever thought that could
    And now it’s “boom boom” to the Olympics and Merritt is             happen? They were charged [with manslaughter] but there was
back in the big time. He is the first banned gold medallist to          some law which meant they couldn’t prove that they [were
defend his title, a dubious distinction that does not sit well          responsible for his death]. One got a little bit of time and others
with Dai Greene, who says he will make his displeasure known            got community service, so I don’t think justice was served.
if they meet in London. “If I’m in the relay team and we reach              “It gave my life perspective. I learned when terrible things
the final then there’s every chance we’ll be lining up against          like that happen you just have to keep moving forward, because
Merritt,” the Welsh hurdler says. “I’ll tell you now, I’ll happily      nothing else is going to stop. The more you sit there in your
go and find him at the start and tell him to his face, ‘You’re a        misery, it’s not going to help. If I sit here and do nothing, then
cheat and you shouldn’t be here’.”                                      I’m only hurting myself. So I kept training. That’s what I did
    Merritt is cool about that. “I have read [what Greene said]         during the drug stuff. I went back to school. I didn’t finish my
and I put it down and kept on about my business,” he says. “I           degree but I’m majoring in business management. I talked to a
just looked at it as somebody else’s opinion – it was, honestly,        couple of local schools on how things in life may happen.”
just nothing.”                                                              When Merritt failed his drugs test, he became a non-athlete.
    Was he interested in replying to Greene? “You know what,            He always thought he would be reinstated but says it was tough
not really but, if we line up, we’ll go at it like anyone else. If we   to stay focused on a sport that had rejected him. “For two years
get together in the four by four, I’m gonna do my job and he’s          I didn’t get any money. With the help of some friends, I could
going to do his job and USA are gonna bring the gold home. It           pay my bills but not much more than that.”
is a little motivating but I’ve always been motivated without               And, if his accountant had something to do with looking
saying anything to anyone. This is what I love to do. If I didn’t       after his finances, it was his dead brother who provided the
say a word all year I’d still be as confident.”                         underlying motivation to return to athletics. “I think about my
    You tend to believe him. Merritt has a quiet aura, one              brother before every race because he never got the chance to
derived from natural talent and an admirable work ethic                 see me run. He saw me play baseball, basketball and football
– although there are plenty of people in his sport who side with        when I was young but never at track. So I’m doing this for the
Greene. “There may be people here who think the same thing,”            both of us.
he said at the US Olympic team media summit in Dallas. “People              “Me and my brother were really close. He was five years
think what they think, but I have nothing to do with it. I have to      older than me, and I was hanging with him and his friends
continue to do what I do and that’s work hard and show up.”             some time. When I was a youngster he would tell all his friends
    He certainly showed up at the Prefontaine Classic in                that I was fast and I would race older guys in the street. He
Eugene, Oregon, two weeks ago when he ran 44.91 seconds to              would come to all of my sports events and be the big brother,
beat a field that included the rising Grenadian Kirani James.           supporting me. He would give me money; he’d say if I hit two
The teenager, who beat Merritt on his return to international           home runs, he’d give me 20 dollars, or whatever. He definitely
athletics at the world championships in Daegu last year in              played a big part when I was growing up.
44.60, false-started in the Prefontaine race but ran it anyway              “He was always a hard worker and I can remember him being
– and finished just a stride behind Merritt. Merritt also beat his      in the house at high school, writing music for the whole band.
fellow American Jeremy Wariner, the 2004 Olympic champion,              He was a guy who had this talent for music. Even before I step
as well as the twice Olympic 400m hurdling gold medallist               on the track, I say a prayer which he’s in and it just gives me
Angelo Taylor and the Jamaican Chris Brown.                             strength. I know he’s watching over me. I kiss my two fingers,
    Wariner and Merritt will meet in the final US trials, starting      I raise them as high as I can and then, after that, it’s time to do
on Friday. “He’s a threat every time he steps on the track,”            what I was blessed to do. If he was here he would have loved to
Merritt says. “You respect your co-workers because you know             see me do it.”
how hard it is. But we’re fighting for the same position.”                  If Merritt does not keep his title, if James rediscovers that
    It would, nonetheless, be a major shock if Merritt does not         extra stride to beat him again – he maintains: “I really feel I beat
make it to London – although he wishes there was one other              myself in that race” – he might turn to American football as a
member of his family there to see him run. His older brother,           second sporting career, having flirted with the option during
Antwan, died in mysterious circumstances at college 13 years            his enforced exile, as a wide receiver. “It’s still a possibility,”
ago, and LaShawn to this day is not satisfied that justice has          he says. “It was serious in my mind. I was thinking I have to do
been done. “He never got the chance to see me run track,”               something and I think I may still try out. I think am I going to
he says. “I’m here and able to do something and I have to               regret it if I never tried it.”
maximise my potential. He was a musician who wanted to be an                Americans love their goals and dreams. Merritt’s fulfilment
architect and he passed away at his first semester at college. He       of his talent in Beijing four years ago has been tarnished but he
never even got a chance to start his dream.                             is hanging on to it, regardless. And London, he says, will neither
    “He went to Shaw University in North Carolina. Evidently he         prove him guilty nor innocent.
got into an altercation with a guy on a basketball court and the            “Gold wouldn’t be redemption for me. I continue to train, to
guy was part of this off-campus fraternity. That same night, the        work hard, just as I’ve done ever since I was 18. If I win – when I
guy’s frat brothers ended up coming to his dorm room, which             do win – I won’t think about what went on. It will just be a case © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                 
Page 10 G24 Sport                                                                      Sunday June 17 2012 02:00 GMT

of all the hard work I’ve done paying off. I don’t feel I’ve got    understated and far less controversial formal wear made by
anything to prove. No pressure. I’ll take it round for round. Now   Next.
I’m here I’m just going to get the job done.                           Andy Hunt, the Team GB chef de mission, has set out why
   “I feel the drug testing itself was nothing. Something           the process will take so long. “The operation of kitting out
happened, I didn’t read a label. To some people, it may be a        Team GB is a major one,” he said. “In total 175,000 units of kit
cloud but, to me, I just made a mistake and I’m moving forward      across 23 sizes and 349 items will be delivered. Each athlete
from it. I feel my case was unique.”                                will receive approximately 70 items of Adidas kit, not including
   Drug-taking in sport has long been an art and a science. It is   their competition or formal wear.”
wrong and it is widespread, but those who are good at it often         Each athlete will require more luggage than Steve Cram
profit. They risk their health and their credibility because they   needed 32 years ago, as he told the BBC about his embarrassing
think it is a price worth paying, a delusion that is sadder even    experience on his Olympic debut in Moscow: “We were given a
than their fall from grace. Merritt’s is yet another case of an     suitcase [of] kit and clothes. I was into punk and was wearing
athlete claiming ignorance as a defence. It is pretty much the      drainpipe jeans. And there was this red crinkly flared leisure
default position of anyone careless enough to get caught – and      tracksuit; flares had gone out two or three years before. I was
this one had the added piquancy of embarrassment.                   told I had to wear this to travel in, and of course I accidentally
   “I was laying in bed, my agent told me, ‘We got the letter and   forgot mine.”
they’re not letting you compete.’ At first it was like when the        It is not just a logistical exercise, of course, but part of a
police pull up behind you on the road and your heart just drops     wider goal of galvanising the separate sports into one collective
… oh, no. My agent thought it was funny … “                         unit, module one of which is “clothes maketh the team”.
   True. But how could an athlete be stupid enough to risk          Athletics Crunch time
universal derision by using a product such as Merritt did in the        The crunch meet for Great Britain’s track and field
pursuit of a possibly marginal advantage? Perhaps he is telling     athletes starts on Friday at the Aviva 2012 Trials, taking
the truth, after all.                                               place at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium. The trials are the
                                                                    biggest British qualification event of any sport and the most
                                                                    competitive since the 1992 Barcelona Olympic trials with more
London Olympic countdown: six weeks                                 than 750 athletes – including Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and
to go                                                               Dai Greene – taking part. Those who have opted to miss out,
                                                                    including sprint sensation Adam Gemili who is focusing on the
                                                                    World Junior Championships in Barcelona which start on 10
Team GB travel to Loughborough to get
                                                                    July, will be left hoping to be awarded the one discretionary
their kit on and it’s crunch time for track and                     place available to the selectors.
field atheletes                                                         For the swimmers who were not among the 38 to make the
Rob Bagchi                                                          grade for London 2012 at the first national trials at the Aquatics
                                                                    Centre in March, a second opportunity comes at the British
                                                                    Gas ASA National Championships in Sheffield, beginning on
                                                                    Wednesday. Up to six more places are available for those such as
                                                                    Sasha Matthews, the 200m freestyle specialist, who missed out
                                                                    in the spring.
                                                                    Torch relay Day 30
                                                                        Beginning in the cathedral city of Durham, where the
                                                                    2000 triple-jump gold medallist Jonathan Edwards went to
                                                                    university, the route progresses through the towns and villages
                                                                    of the county on to Teesside and ends in Middlesbrough.
                                                                    Details: route/

Team GB will be given their kit at Loughborough University at
the Team GTB Experience beginning on Monday. Photograph:

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images for adidas
Jimi Hendrix left a remarkable legacy, not the least of which
is the purloining of the name of his band for any number
of attractions and events ranging from the Wookey Hole
Experience to the Scotch Whisky Experience. On Monday, at             Fantasy League Classic
Loughborough University, the Team GB Experience begins,               Manage a squad of 16 players and a budget
running for 37 days as part of the Team GB Preparation Camp.          of £75 million. £75,000 worth of prizes to
    The British Olympic Association expects every team                be won in weekly, monthly and overall
member (approximately 550 athletes, 450 support staff and             competitions. Beat your nearest and
300 volunteers) to visit Leicestershire and go through the
                                                                      dearest in a friends league.
process, which includes the handing out of the official Adidas
kit, designed by Stella McCartney, and the significantly more
                                                             © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                            

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