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                           | pdf edition | Tuesday August 14 2012                                                         Sport
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Kevin Pietersen’s World Twenty20 hopes
are fading fast
Kevin Pietersen’s chances of repeating his heroics in the West
Indies of two years ago seem unlikely as the England stand-off
continues Page 2


Lord Moynihan steps down as BOA
chairman more than a year early
Lord Moynihan said he is ‘passing on the baton’ after helping
oversee Britain’s best medal haul for a century Page 3



Jack Butland: ‘England need to be
confident but not arrogant’
England have been urged to learn from the example set by athletes
during the Olympics Page 3




Rory McIlroy can use                         FA will not back a                           London 2012:                    England try to leave
US PGA triumph as a                          Team GB men’s side                           Olympic gold is no              the door open for
springboard for more                         for Rio Olympic                              guarantee to pro                Kevin Pietersen to
major wins Page 4                            Games in 2016 Page 6                        boxing success Page 8           return Page 11

US PGA surge puts                            What you may have                            Olympics chief Lord
Ian Poulter in                               missed while the                             Coe rejects return
automatic berth for                          Olympics were on                             to frontline politics
Ryder Cup Page 5                             Page 7                                       Page 9




guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                                  guardian.co.uk
Registered in England and Wales. No. 908396. Registered office: PO Box 68164, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1P 2AP
Page  G24 Sport                                                                     Tuesday August 14 2012            04:45 GMT

                                                                       approach to the tourists about the texts, although that may
                                                                       depend on the definition of formal – and anyway the ECB has
Kevin Pietersen’s World Twenty20                                       removed any need to conduct an investigation by leaving the
hopes are fading fast                                                  responsibility with Pietersen.
                                                                           Senior ECB officials spent holding further talks with
• England must submit squad for Sri Lanka                              Pietersen’s advisers in a desperate attempt to resolve the
by Saturday                                                            situation, which continues to overshadow England’s build-up
                                                                       to Lord’s – where Strauss will make his 100th Test appearance in
• Row over texts overshadows build-up to
                                                                       a game they must win to avoid being displaced by South Africa
third Test                                                             from the top of the world Test rankings.
Andy Wilson                                                                But Pietersen’s camp have added nothing publicly to
                                                                       the statement they released late on Sunday – in which he
                                                                       described his omission from the Lord’s Test as “demoralising”
                                                                       but said: “None of this constitutes the end of my career as an
                                                                       international cricketer.”
                                                                           England’s selectors – James Whitaker, Ashley Giles and their
                                                                       chairman, Geoff Miller – will have to meet before the end of the
                                                                       week to hit the tournament deadline of Saturday for submitting
                                                                       a final squad. Pietersen was omitted last month from the
                                                                       provisional 30-man squad that all countries were required to
                                                                       announce but there would be nothing to stop him being called
                                                                       in from outside that 30 given the unusual circumstances of
                                                                       the past few weeks. However at this stage there is no sign of
                                                                       that happening, and one well-placed source suggested it must
                                                                       remain “highly unlikely – although you never say never”.
Kevin Pietersen was left out of the provisional Twenty20
                                                                           South Africa’s coach, Gary Kirsten, refused to concede that
squad last month. Photograph: Michael Mayhew/Sportsphoto/
                                                                       Pietersen’s absence would boost his team’s prospects. “We
Sportsphoto Ltd./Allstar
                                                                       don’t focus heavily on individuals,” he said, implausibly, from
Kevin Pietersen’s hopes of making a dramatic England return            Lord’s on Monday. “We look to the team make-up and look at
in their defence of the World Twenty20 title next month are            ways we can exploit that.”
fading as, with the clock ticking, there was no breakthrough in            England’s players will gather at Lord’s on Tuesday morning,
negotiations designed to end his stand-off with his employers.         with one of them due to speak to the media before they practise
    England must submit their 15-man squad for the tournament          in the afternoon. Pietersen will inevitably dominate the agenda,
in Sri Lanka by Saturday – the third day of the third Test against     even in his absence.
South Africa, for which Pietersen has been dropped because of              There were hints of a determined attempt by the other
his refusal to deny allegations that he was critical of his captain,   senior players to stress their unity on Twitter throughout
Andrew Strauss, in texts sent to members of the opposition             Monday as James Anderson led the congratulations for Matt
during the second Test at Headingley.                                  Prior, Stuart Broad and Alastair Cook, who have all been
    Pietersen was man of the tournament when England won               nominated for the world Test cricketer of the year award that
the world T20 title in the West Indies two years ago and made          will be determined next month.
himself eligible again under the terms of his central contract             The West Indies all-rounder Stafanie Taylor, meanwhile,
with the England and Wales Cricket Board by rescinding his             has become the first woman to make the list of nominations for
retirement from 50-over cricket in the statement he issued             world cricketer of the year, an award for which Alastair Cook
through YouTube on Saturday night.                                     and Stuart Broad are also in contention.
    But the ECB has told him that before he is considered for
selection in any form of the game he must address the issue of
the allegedly derogatory texts.




                                                                         *
    Pietersen by Monday evening had made no move to
apologise or explain his conduct.
    The issue is complicated by the uncertainty over who
received the texts, let alone the contents. South Africa’s tour
manager, Dr Mohammed Moosajee, confirmed their existence
last week but has denied they were sent to Dale Steyn and
                                                                         From Beirut to Big Brother,
AB de Villiers, and used that as a reason to avoid any further           Murdoch to Millionaire,
comment. Morne Morkel, a team-mate of Pietersen’s at the                 discuss the hot topics in the media
Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League, is now thought            on not one, but two blogs Organ
to have been the most likely recipient.
    Dr Moosajee also described them as “friendly banter”, which
                                                                         Grinder and Greenslade
does not square with reports that they included an offensive             blogs.guardian.co.uk/organgrinder/
description of Strauss in Afrikaans and a prediction that Steyn          blogs.guardian.co.uk/greenslade/
would dismiss the England captain at Headingley.
    South Africa’s manager said England had made no formal
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                       guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                      Tuesday August 14 2012           04:45 GMT

                                                                          Moynihan’s tenure has been underpinned by his desire
                                                                      to overhaul the BOA’s commercial prospects, moving to new
Lord Moynihan steps down as BOA                                       offices in London’s west end and hiring an expensive new
chairman more than a year early                                       executive team in the process. The organisation is facing a
                                                                      £2m black hole unless it can agree a deal with the government,
• Moscow silver medallist says he is                                  though Moynihan has always maintained that the contract
‘passing on baton’                                                    signed with Locog to assign to the Olympic copyright for seven
                                                                      years woefully undervalued them.
• Richard Leman among candidates to
                                                                          There were debilitating rows with the World Anti-Doping
succeed Moynihan                                                      Agency over the BOA’s lifetime drug ban and the London
Owen Gibson                                                           Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
                                                                      over the fate of any post-Games surplus. But he will go out on a
                                                                      high, having helped deliver the best British medal performance
                                                                      in more than a century by overseeing a £13m support operation
                                                                      for the athletes.



                                                                      Jack Butland: ‘England need to be
                                                                      confident but not arrogant’

                                                                      • England urged to learn from the Olympic
                                                                      spirit at London 2012
                                                                      • Butland: ‘We’re not special, we’re not
Lord Moynihan is to step down as chairman of the British
                                                                      better than anyone else’
Olympic Association after seven years in the role. Photograph:        Daniel Taylor
Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images
A day after celebrating Team GB’s best medal haul in over
a century Lord Moynihan revealed plans to step down as
chairman of the British Olympic Association more than a year
early. Moynihan, who has been in the job for seven years, is the
first senior sports administrator to exit in what is likely to be a
period of upheaval amid uncertainty as to the future shape of
the post-Games landscape.
    Over the next year vacancies will arise for the chairmanship
of both the elite funding body UK Sport, where Sue Campbell
is the incumbent, and the grass-roots quango Sport England,
where the Lawn Tennis Association chief executive, Richard
Lewis, has promised to stay on until a successor is found.
    Moynihan’s term had not been due to end until November            Jack Butland was part of the Team GB football squad at the
2013. The election process will be considered at the next BOA         Olympics and is expected to make his England debut on
board meeting in September, with his successor likely to be           Wednesday. Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images
decided in November.
                                                                      Fifty days have passed since England were ushered out of Euro
    The former Tory MP, who won a silver medal at the 1980
                                                                      2012 and so much has happened since then that the third best
Moscow Olympics as a cox for the men’s rowing eight, said he
                                                                      team in the world – copyright: Fifa – may have to forgive their
was “passing on the baton” to his successor early in order to
                                                                      public for viewing them through judgmental eyes going into the
give him or her time to prepare for the Sochi 2014 Winter Games
                                                                      first match of their next rebuilding phase.
and participate in the debate over the BOA’s future role. “I have
                                                                          A friendly international three days before the start of the
given this a great deal of thought and I strongly believe that this
                                                                      season, played at a neutral ground in Switzerland, is always
is the right time: a new chair must have the opportunity to play
                                                                      going to divide opinion, particularly when there are so many
a central role in the future strategy and direction of the BOA,
                                                                      people wondering how Fifa calculated its latest rankings and a
and he or she must be integrally involved in the preparations
                                                                      queue of Premier League managers wait to remind us why this
for Sochi which, after all, is only just over 18 months away,” he
                                                                      is the least popular date in the international calendar.
wrote in a letter to the National Olympic Committee.
                                                                          Hodgson has also convened his new-look squad at a
    “It is for this reason that I have made my decision now to
                                                                      time when the feelgood stories coming out of the Olympics
ensure as long a period as possible for my successor to become
                                                                      have highlighted some of the areas in which football has
established in the role ahead of the next Games.”
                                                                      been heading in the wrong direction. In the coming weeks,
    Among the candidates to succeed Moynihan will be Richard
                                                                      with the full details of John Terry’s alleged racial abuse to
Leman, the president of GB Hockey and a BOA board member.
                                                                      get another airing at an FA hearing, there will be inevitably
David Hemery, the 400m gold medallist in 1968 and also a BOA
                                                                      more unfavourable comparisons. Hodgson has already said
board member, could be another contender.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                      guardian.co.uk
Page 4 G24 Sport                                                                       Tuesday August 14 2012             04:45 GMT

that footballers need to learn from the Olympic spirit. David              “One of the best players I’ll ever play with,” Cleverley said
Bernstein, the FA chairman, has said the same.                          of his Manchester United team-mate. “Sometimes you need to
    The message has been conveyed to the players preparing              see it first-hand with Michael to realise how good he is. But the
for Wednesday’s game against Italy in Berne and there are               level of players in midfield must be good if he has only 22 caps.”
indications that they recognise the issue. “We’re not special,
we’re not better than anyone else,” Jack Butland, who will
make his debut in place of the injured Joe Hart, said. “I just          Rory McIlroy can use US PGA triumph
think it’s the borderline between confidence and arrogance.             as a springboard for more major wins
Any professional needs to be confident but there is a line
between that and arrogance.
    “You just need to be very careful what you say and how
                                                                        The Northern Irishman has shown that he
things are worded and how things are done. Not a lot of people          learned from his experiences after victory
step over that line but it’s a very careful line because it can         in the US Open and looks set for a period of
taint people’s views of you and, once you’ve lost that, it can be       dominance
very difficult to get it back. It’s a very fine line which, if you do
                                                                        Ewan Murray at Kiawah Island
overstep it, can upset or annoy people.”
    Tom Cleverley, who will also make his first appearance for
the national team, picked up on the same theme. “The way
sport was showcased in the Olympics was an example to every
athlete in every sport. The sportsmanship and the respect
everyone had for another, it was just first class.”
    Cleverley has played only 15 games for Manchester United
but already has his own website, the TC23 brand and, very soon,
a clothing range. Yet here, too, was a man who seemed slightly
embarrassed by the suggestion that someone in his position
could no longer go shopping by himself. “I still go to the local
Co-op and Tesco,” he pointed out. “I still push my trolley
around.”
    Butland, the 19-year-old Birmingham City goalkeeper,
played with Cleverley in the Great Britain Olympics team.               Rory McIlroy celebrates with the Wanamaker Trophy after
“The main thing for us at the Olympics was that it wasn’t just a        winning the US PGA Championship, the second major triumph
football thing. It was so much more than that. It was Team GB           of his career. Photograph: KeystoneUSA-ZUMA / Rex Features
and we were just a small part of that. We were on a level playing
                                                                        It’s 3.30 on Thursday afternoon on the practice ground at
field with the swimmers, the athletes and the divers. We were
                                                                        Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course. In a snapshot scene which
just another part of it. That was a massive thing in not getting
                                                                        turned heads, Tiger Woods approaches Rory McIlroy after
ahead of ourselves.”
                                                                        finishing a post-round range session.
    These are two of the players who stand to gain the most from
                                                                            Woods watches McIlroy hit shots for 15 minutes, with the
the Italy international and, though August friendlies always
                                                                        pair clearly on amicable terms. Woods even has a brief frisk
create controversy, anyone who contests it is a meaningless
                                                                        through the Northern Irishman’s clubs. The exchange was
fixture should consider that England have their first World Cup
                                                                        notable because Woods has never been known for such an
qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine next month, followed
                                                                        interest in others; quite the opposite, in fact.
by two more against San Marino and Poland in October.
                                                                            McIlroy has long featured on the radar of golf’s aristocracy.
    Hodgson is not just preparing for those games but bringing
                                                                        All of that group, including Woods, could only look on in
in younger players with a view to 2014 in Brazil, with the
                                                                        total admiration as the 23-year-old claimed the second major
logistical plans for that tournament accelerating behind the
                                                                        of his career on Sunday evening. McIlroy’s win turned into a
scenes. A delegation of FA officials, including the England
                                                                        procession.
manager, has already been on a fact-finding trip to Brazil, with
                                                                            As McIlroy added the US PGA Championship to last
Rio the preferred base.
                                                                        year’s US Open, two questions arose. Just how many major
    Frank Lampard will captain the side in Berne but Alex-
                                                                        championships can this player win? And is it legitimate to point
Oxlade Chamberlain has suffered an ankle injury and joined
                                                                        out McIlroy should already have aspirations of matching the
Hart and Daniel Sturridge in pulling out. Joleon Lescott has
                                                                        success of Woods – who has 14 majors to his name – or even Jack
been brought in but will not come up against his Manchester
                                                                        Nicklaus?
City team-mate Mario Balotelli, who is out of the Italy squad
                                                                            “I am just looking for my third,” insists McIlroy. “I am not
because of the conjunctivitis that meant he played no part in
                                                                        trying to emulate anyone or try to match anyone. I have got my
the Community Shield.
                                                                        second now which feels unbelievable and I am going to enjoy it
    Otherwise the match represents the first chance for Michael
                                                                        and I will be working towards my third and hopefully when I get
Carrick to resurrect his international career now he and
                                                                        that I will be working towards my fourth and so on. I just have
Hodgson have found common ground over his frustrations
                                                                        to enjoy this moment and enjoy getting that second one.
about the midfielder being restricted to 15 starts and seven
                                                                            “I know I can do it at the biggest stage and there is no reason
substitute appearances in the 11 years since making his England
                                                                        why I can’t do it again. I already put a lot of emphasis on the
debut.
                                                                        majors but I don’t think there is any point in putting any more.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                          guardian.co.uk
Page 5 G24 Sport                                                                     Tuesday August 14 2012              04:45 GMT

What I am doing is working pretty well.”
    Others are already estimating how far the player from
County Down could go. Nick Faldo, Britain’s greatest major
                                                                      US PGA surge puts Ian Poulter in
champion of the modern era, led the glowing praise of McIlroy         automatic berth for Ryder Cup
after the Kiawah success. “It was just pure perfection,” Faldo
says. “He just outplayed everybody.                                   • Tied-third place puts Poulter within top
    “Rory has a different ability, better than the average bear,      10
when it comes to visualisation, as I always harp on about. You
                                                                      • Johnnie Walker Championship is the last
watch the way he looks at things. You watch the way he lines
up bunker shots. He’s trying to hole them. And he has a special
                                                                      counting event
nerve as well.                                                        Ewan Murray
    “The most important thing is to play one major at a time. He
now knows the most important thing in his life are the majors
and he should do everything to gear his schedule and the rest of
his career for the majors.”
    McIlroy is already being touted as a potential winner – or
holder – of all four majors. “He’s got half of them and he’s right
there,” Faldo adds. “You can’t predict anything but he now
knows and, more importantly, the rest of the field knows that
when he is on they might be playing for second place.”
    McIlroy’s game has unquestionably developed in a short
space of time. At the 2010 Open Championship, he opened up
with a 63 which increased by 17 shots on Friday as the weather
turned rough. Second-round conditions at Kiawah Island also
deteriorated but McIlroy kept himself in contention by scoring
                                                                      Ian Poulter sits within the top 10 slots to qualify for a Ryder
75; there were no signs of the youngster attacking holes when
                                                                      Cup berth. Photograph: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
there was no scope to do so.
    It is in matters of the mind, though, that McIlroy feels he       Ian Poulter has spoken of his relief at moving into an automatic
has undergone an education. Winning last year’s US Open               berth for a Ryder Cup place, despite falling short of winning the
intensified focus on him, as has his relationship with the tennis     US PGA Championship.
star Caroline Wozniacki.                                                  Poulter mounted a strong challenge to eventual winner Rory
    “I definitely needed to deal with the expectations every          McIlroy on Sunday, with the Englishman ultimately stumbling
time I came to one of these tournaments,” he says. “Not just          in the closing holes. Still, Poulter finished in a tie for third and
expectations of other people but expectations of myself.              now sits within the top 10 places of José María Olazábal’s team
They were heightened since congressional and I was getting            after replacing Sergio García on the points list. “This is the last
frustrated I wasn’t living up to them.                                tournament I was going to play for Ryder Cup qualification and I
    “There was a huge learning curve. I think one of the biggest      had to play well,” Poulter said.
things as well was learning to deal with the scrutiny. It was             “I was just outside the points, now I’m just inside the points.
the first time I have ever had to deal with that so that was          I don’t know how that’s going to play out obviously with
something I had to learn and will learn to live with for the rest     Gleneagles [next week’s Johnnie Walker Championship is the
of my career probably. It is all part of what we do and if I am       last counting event], but hopefully that’s good enough to get
getting scrutinised like that it means I am doing something           me an automatic spot.”
right. I don’t mind.”                                                     García and Nicolas Colsaerts could knock Poulter out of
    McIlroy’s eight-shot US PGA win represented a tournament          the automatic reckoning once againat this week’s Wyndham
record margin. He has also returned to the summit of golf’s           Championship in North Carolina. Yet Poulter is expected to be
world rankings.                                                       one of Olazábal’s picks if that scenario occurs.
    “I wasn’t surprised at the way he played because I called it          “I didn’t want to rely on the phone call [for a wildcard],”
at the Open,” says JP Fitzgerald, McIlroy’s caddie. “I said: ‘The     said Poulter. “I’ve been there, albeit it was a nice phone call to
way this guy is hitting the ball he is going to destroy fields.’ He   receive from Nick Faldo because I was on the right side of it.”
was playing that well in practice, I knew if it wasn’t going to be        Poulter ultimately signed for a 69 on Sunday. “It’s just a
that week it would happen soon.                                       shame I couldn’t quite finish it off,” he added. “I guess it was a
    “It’s not a surprise to me to see him playing like that‚ I’m      dream start and it was a great day.”
used to seeing him hit great shots in practice, and on the course.        As things stand McIlroy, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell,
He said to me on the last tee‚ ‘we won our first major by eight,      Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Paul Lawrie, Peter Hanson
let’s do it again’. And he gets the birdie to do it. Incredible.”     and Francesco Molinari have all secured a place in Olazábal’s
    In the past, Woods was being spoken about in such terms.          team. There is hope, too, for David Lynn. The Stoke player is
As Faldo put it: “At one stage, Tiger was supersonic and trying       celebrating the best finish of his professional career, in only
to be an ordinary guy. Now he is an ordinary guy, trying to be        his second major appearance, after finishing second at Kiawah
supersonic.” A more immediate challenge may be fighting off a         Island. Lynn will compete at Gleneagles, as will Colsaerts.
friendly pretender.                                                       “I’m up to 15th on the rankings,” Lynn said. “I would have
                                                                      to qualify automatically and will be trying to win at Gleneagles.
                                                                      “I had a chance once before in 2004. I was leading at halfway
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                         guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                   Tuesday August 14 2012            04:45 GMT

in Germany and someone told me if I won I had of chance of
making it. I didn’t win.
    “I suppose if I did win at Gleneagles and was 11th or
                                                                     FA will not back a Team GB men’s side
something on the rankings I would have a chance of a wildcard.       for Rio Olympic Games in 2016
I’m just glad to be part of the conversation, to be honest.”
    The United States have now confirmed their eight automatic       • FA secretary, Alex Horne, rules out
picks for Medinah as Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner,        continuation of men’s team
Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar
                                                                     • Horne says it is unlikely there will be a
and Phil Mickelson.
    The sense in the States is that Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker and
                                                                     women’s team in Brazil
Hunter Mahan are almost certain to take up three of Davis Love       Agencies
III’s four captain’s picks. The one that remains may be a straight
fight between Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson unless Bo van
Pelt’s impressive showing at Kiawah has handed the captain a
fresh dilemma.
Ryder Cup standingsEurope
   1 Rory McIlroy
   2 Luke Donald
   3 Justin Rose
   4 Lee Westwood
   5 Graeme McDowell
   6 Peter Hanson
   7 Francesco Molinari
   8 Paul Lawrie
   9 Martin Kaymar                                                   Team GB women beat Brazil at Wembley during London 2012
   10 Ian Poulter                                                    but they may not get to meet again at the Rio Olympic Games.
   11 Sergio García                                                  Photograph: Catherine Ivill/AMA
   12 Nicolas Colsaerts
                                                                     Alex Horne, the general secretary of the Football Association,
United States                                                        has said the Team GB men’s team will not play again and that it
   1 Tiger Woods
                                                                     is “unlikely” that the women’s team will be allowed to enter the
   2 Bubba Watson
                                                                     2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
   3 Jason Dufner
                                                                         London 2012 marked the first time a Great Britain women’s
   4 Keegan Bradley
                                                                     team had competed at the Olympics while the men had not
   5 Webb Simpson
                                                                     been involved since 1960.
   6 Zach Johnson
                                                                         Horne’s words will come as a blow to the women’s game
   7 Matt Kuchar
                                                                     which was hoping to build on the exposure it received during
   8 Phil Mickelson
                                                                     the Olympics. A record crowd of 70,584 watched Hope Powell’s
   9 Hunter Mahan
                                                                     GB team beat Brazil 1-0 at Wembley in their final qualifying
   10 Steve Stricker
                                                                     match.
   11 Jim Furyk
                                                                         The FA is reluctant to continue supporting a men’s or
   12 Rickie Fowler
                                                                     women’s Great Britain team as it is concerned their appearance
                                                                     in qualifying for Rio 2016 could harm the footballing
                                                                     sovereignty of the home nations.
                                                                         “Within the men’s game it is not going to happen again,”
                                                                     Horne told the Times. “On the women’s side, I’m going to say
                                                                     it’s unlikely, for the same reason. But you can understand




  *
                                                                     why it’s more compelling. Olympic football for women is the
                                                                     pinnacle.”




                                                                       *
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Page  G24 Sport                                                                   Tuesday August 14 2012              04:45 GMT

                                                                     it’s still around. The Olympic football tournament evicted
                                                                     the Community Shield from Wembley to Villa Park where
What you may have missed while the                                   Manchester City unveiled a new kit, formation and a slimmed-
Olympics were on                                                     down Carlos Tevez to cruise to victory over Chelsea 3-2 once
                                                                     Branislav Ivanovic had been sent off for a reckless lunge.
The Kevin Pietersen affair and Rory McIlroy                              The City manager, Roberto Mancini, bagged the first trophy
winning at Kiawah Island are just two                                of the season on the same day the club broke its recruitment
                                                                     fast by signing Jack Rodwell from Everton, a trading hiatus that
stories overshadowed by London 2012
                                                                     piqued him enough to suggest Manchester United were now
Rob Bagchi                                                           favourites for the title and frame Brian Marwood for the blame.
                                                                     The neighbours’ apparent lead in the race to sign Arsenal’s
                                                                     Robin van Persie was the catalyst triggering Mancini’s scorn
                                                                     but United have moved no closer to meeting the Dutchman’s
                                                                     asking price and their executives have instead been focusing
                                                                     on floating 10% of the club’s shares on the New York Stock
                                                                     Exchange. Despite the fanfare on the Wall St trading floor on
                                                                     launch day with two Glazer brothers bedecked in scarves but
                                                                     customarily tight-lipped and a 2% rise early on Monday, the
                                                                     shares have been dismissed by some influential analysts, with
                                                                     PrivCo, the private company financial data authority, saying the
                                                                     $14 price “had no reasonable economic basis”.
                                                                         Which segues neatly into Liverpool’s Andy Carroll and the
                                                                     club’s attempts to offload him. Turning down a loan to West
                                                                     Ham with an £18m transfer to follow, Carroll is holding out for
Rory McIlroy wins at Kiawah Island as the Olympic closing
                                                                     a return to Newcastle or says he will stay put. Liverpool have
ceremony comes to an end. Photograph: Andrew Redington/
                                                                     signed Luis Suárez to a longer contract, paid £15m to buy Joe
Getty Images
                                                                     Allen from Swansea and said goodbye to Craig Bellamy after his
Cricket                                                              second season-long spell but further transfers look dependent
    The saga of Kevin Pietersen’s availability for England in all    on Carroll’s No9 Tyne dreams.
forms of international cricket has rumbled along all summer              Arsenal continue to plan for life without Van Persie, signing
but took a decisive turn during the Games when, his critics          Santi Cazorla from Málaga, even though the captain, for now,
would contest, he made a typical grab for headlines on the two       remains, much to the delight of Arsène Wenger and the disquiet
evenings that the “Mobot” went viral.                                of Stan Kroenke if he stays only to leave for free next summer.
    On the first Saturday at Headingley he played an innings of          Rangers and Portsmouth have survived grave threats to their
such panache and exuberance that he hit everything but the           continued existence, albeit in vastly reduced circumstances,
confectionery stall to post a Bothamesque 149 and haul England       while another toppled giant, the former £6m-a-year England
back from possible defeat to give them a sniff of victory.           manager Fabio Capello, has turned up in Moscow, the birthplace
    But in his post-match interview after the draw he adopted a      of his hero Wassily Kandinsky, to take the Russia job and tell
self-pitying tone, a “poor misunderstood me” approach which          the English: “If I were with your guys during the European
baffled and annoyed his team-mates, some of whom may                 Championship it would have been even better.”
have been behind or at the very least enjoying a spoof Twitter
                                                                     Golf
account that targeted his self-regard with acute contempt.
                                                                         In 2016 golf will be an Olympic sport and the issue of the
    Baffling them is one thing, alienating them quite another, yet
                                                                     season’s fourth major being overshadowed by the hoopla will
that is precisely what he did by failing to apologise for or even
                                                                     not arise. Even the enormous Wanamaker Trophy won by Rory
address allegations that text messages he sent to his friends in
                                                                     McIlroy, his second major by the age of 23, put him slightly in
South Africa’s team during the Test disparaged his colleagues
                                                                     the shade on the last day of the 2012 Games but the Northern
and captain. His PR team’s hastily executed and clumsy reverse
                                                                     Irishman’s performance deserves to resonate through the years.
ferret – sticking him on YouTube on Saturday night safe from
                                                                     He won the US PGA at Kiawah Island by eight strokes, keeping
critical questioning where he asked for understanding with
                                                                     his head after concluding his third round on Sunday morning to
the classic rumbled bullshitter’s excuse that “I am who I am,
                                                                     become the first 54-hole leader to win a major this season.
I shoot from the hip” – ended with the bullet in his own foot
                                                                         From tee to hole, his driver, irons and putter navigated
and dropped for Thursday’s critical third Test in which England
                                                                     treasure island with skill and pluck. “He’s going to be the player
need victory to keep their fingernails clinging on to top spot in
                                                                     that kids look up to – that kids measure their own wannabe
the Test rankings.
                                                                     games by,” said his friend, compatriot and fellow US Open
    Where next for England’s one bar-emptying batsman?
                                                                     champion Graeme McDowell. “With a great attitude and great
Apology and public penance seem the only ways to prevent the
                                                                     charisma and great character he’s great for the game – an
messy separation culminating in divorce.
                                                                     absolute breath of fresh air for the game of golf.”
Football
                                                                     Racing
   Sky Sports sources tell us that the game that never sleeps
                                                                        Frankel began the Sussex Stakes as 1-20 favourite and duly
has been enduring rather than enjoying its fortnight’s
                                                                     demolished the field to win by six lengths and became the
snooze, interrupting it abruptly to announce noisily that
                                                                     race’s only double winner in history and equalled the record
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                       guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                    Tuesday August 14 2012              04:45 GMT

of seven consecutive wins in European Group One races, set a         can or will turn professional. The Cubans, for instance, have
decade ago by Rock Of Gibraltar. “He is amazing and had all the      to defect to become pros and some medal-winning Ukrainians
others cooked at halfway,” said his jockey, Tom Queally. “It was     are already joining a semi-pro outfit being hosted by the
a nice prep for his next race. He is a class apart from any other    International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA), so we cannot
horse around and does it all very easily.” USA’s men’s basketball    anticipate when they might be facing the professional boxers
team were 1-10 to win gold at London 2012, rank outsiders by         we know, if ever.
Frankel’s standards.                                                 Super Heavyweight – Anthony Joshua
Others                                                                 Anthony Joshua is fast. The Briton bloodied his Olympic
   Lewis Hamilton won the Hungarian Grand Prix from pole             opponents and knocked them down, so he’s got serious power.
on a circuit that makes overtaking as rare as a smile on Ron         He has a punishing jab, he’s fearless and he’s a big boy at 6ft 6in.
Dennis’s face. In rugby league rival bidders, including the city’s   You get the impression he could get much, much better.
football team, replace vultures circling Bradford Bulls while          Honourable mention: Erislandy Savon Cotilla (Cuba)
Warrington move to a point behind Wigan at the top of the            Heavyweight – Oleksandr Usyk
table with a 30-10 victory. In union it has been quiet, too damn         If anyone, it’s Oleksandr Usyk, because the Ukrainian had
quiet Carruthers, with only the retirement of Matt Stevens from      moments of pro-style heavy hitting, but this was the worst
international rugby and Sonny Bill Williams signing off from         weight class for prospective prizefighters in London and Usyk
Super Rugby by helping Chiefs to victory over Sharks in the          is about the beginning and end of heavies even deserving an
final before a lucrative move to Japan and more heavyweight          honorable mention.
boxing bouts to report.
                                                                     Light Heavyweight – Egor Mekhontcev
                                                                         In another weak class Russia’s Egor Mekhontcev may just
                                                                     have been the most destructive light heavyweight when he was
London 2012: Olympic gold is no                                      at his best.
guarantee to pro boxing success                                          Honourable mentions: Oleksandr Gvozdyk (Ukraine), Julio
                                                                     la Cruz Peraza (Cuba)
Pinpointing which boxers will go on from                             Middleweight – Terrell Gaush
the ExCeL to have successful careers as a                               Terrell Gausha scored a rare Olympic stoppage in the round
pro is not easy but it is fun                                        of 32 and it announced his arrival as the best pro prospect on
                                                                     Team USA. Not only is he fundamentally sound but he can
Tim Starks                                                           really hit. He should have made it to the quarter-finals save for
                                                                     some poor judging but his brand of accurate, hard punching
                                                                     could definitely win over pro judges if his opponents make it to
                                                                     the final bell.
                                                                        Honourable mentions: Ryota Murata (Japan), Esquiva Falcao
                                                                     Florentino (Brazil), Adem Kilicci (Turkey)
                                                                     Welterweight – Errol Spence Jr
                                                                        Another relatively weak class, and another member of Team
                                                                     USA – Errol Spence Jr. Spence made it farther than any other US
                                                                     boxer, to the quarter-finals, and he did it with a kind of mini-
                                                                     Gausha style.
                                                                        Honourable mentions: Serik Sapiyev (Kazakhstan), Alexis
                                                                     Vastine (France)
                                                                     Light Welterweight – Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo
Anthony Joshua, left, displayed he has the skills needed to be          It is a tough choice between Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo and
successful as a pro on his way to Olympic gold at London 2012.       the man he defeated in the Olympic final, Ukraine’s Denys
Photograph: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images                               Berinchyk, but Iglesias showed off versatility throughout
Predicting which Olympic boxers will go on to be successful in       the tournament, especially when he engaged the slugging
professional boxing is a dicey affair. There are some amateurs       Berinchyk at his own game and beat him at it. Cuban fighters
whose abilities translate better to the pro ranks. For instance,     who turn pro tend to keep some of their “score when you need
some have big punching power but it is harder to knock out an        to/don’t take risks/just win” training and it makes them less
amateur wearing headgear, and a knockout is a pretty definitive      than thrilling, but Iglesias was willing to duke it out and was
way to win a fight as a pro.                                         adept at it when he did.
   Being a successful pro does not have one magic formula –             Honourable mentions: Denys Berinchyk, Munkh-Erdene
some fighters become successful pros because they are exciting,      Uranchimeg (Mongolia)
some because they are excellent, some because they are both.         Lightweight – Vasyl Lomachenko
   Winning Olympic gold does not guarantee success on the                It’s hard not to go with the amateur god Vasyl Lomachenko.
next level – in fact, the amateur scoring system largely rewards     He’s a phenomenon. It’s unclear how much power he’d have as
making any kind of contact over making meaningful contact,           a lightweight, so he might be a better pro in a lower division.
whereas in the pros, “clean, effective punching” is crucial to the   Lithuania’s Evaldas Petrauskas was more exciting than the
standard used by judges.                                             Ukrainian, though.
   Little consideration is given in the list below to who actually       Honourable mentions: Evaldas Petrauskas, Jose Ramírez
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                        guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                 Tuesday August 14 2012              04:45 GMT

(USA), Félix Verdejo (Puerto Rico), Yasniel Toledo Lopez (Cuba)
Bantamweight – Oscar Valdez Fierro                                Olympics chief Lord Coe rejects return
   Oscar Valdez Fierro of Mexico displayed the aggressive,
body-attacking, boxer-puncher pro stylings of his compatriots
                                                                  to frontline politics
that have made boxers from that nation so popular not just with
the big Hispanic fan base but hardcore fans everywhere.           After London 2012 success, former Tory
   Honourable mentions: John Joe Nevin (Ireland), Lázaro          MP could take path towards becoming
Alvarez (Cuba), Joseph Diaz Jr (USA).                             International Olympic Committee president
Flyweight – Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana
                                                                  Owen Gibson, Olympics editor
    Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana makes every punch count.
When he launches an attack, it’s a hurting kind. He’s also just
all-around skilled – very hard to hit on defence and capable of
doing it all in the ring. He’s young enough that maybe some of
the appropriate-for-amateur/inappropriate-for-pro Cuban traits
have not set in yet.
    Honourable mentions: Tugstsogt Nyambayar (Mongolia),
Nordine Oubaali (France)
Light Flyweight – Kaeo Pongprayoon
    Little to choose from here but Thailand’s Kaeo Pongprayoon
slightly mimics the “little guy darting in-and-out/landing big,
hard combos” style of Manny Pacquiao. It’s not clear if the 32-
year-old wants to go pro or would have enough time to make
much of it.
    Honourable mention: Devendro Singh Laishram (India)           Sebastian Coe with Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson at a post-
                                                                  London 2012 Olympic press conference. Photograph: Sang
                                                                  Tan/AP
                                                                  After delivering what has been hailed at home and abroad as
                                                                  a triumph – one Italian newspaper on Monday called it “the
                                                                  miracle of London” – Lord Coe was short and to the point when
                                                                  he was asked if he fancied a return to frontline politics. “Politics
                                                                  left me in a very big way in 1997,” he said.
                                                                      Instead, after ensuring that his team “runs through the line”
                                                                  to deliver the Paralympic Games with the same precision and
                                                                  passion as they oversaw the Olympics, Coe would be forgiven
                                                                  for taking some time out to spend with his family (he recently
                                                                  remarried), write a book, indulge his love of Chelsea Football
                                                                  Club and review his options.
                                                                      But with the same rigour that he brought to his athletic
                                                                  career and the Locog role, he is likely to have already planned
                                                                  his next move with precision.




  *
                                                                      He will do so from a position of strength, surfing a level of
                                                                  public approval he has not known since his track days. It has
                                                                  been a long journey, from being crashed onto the judo mat by
                                                                  the now foreign secretary when he was William Hague’s chief
                                                                  of staff to receiving the heartfelt cheers of 80,000 people in
                                                                  recognition of a Games that had been delivered to his own
  Fantasy League Classic                                          design but succeeded beyond even his expectations.
                                                                      No other Olympic Games has been so umbilically linked with
  Manage a squad of 16 players                                    one man.
  and a budget of £75 million.                                        For nine years, since he took over as leader of the bid from
                                                                  Barbara Cassani until Sunday’s closing ceremony, he has
  £75,000 worth of prizes to be                                   steadfastly refused to engage in any debate about what he
  won in weekly, monthly and                                      might do afterwards.

  overall competitions. Beat your                                     But as the opening ceremony loomed, he confirmed in public
                                                                  what has been an open secret in the sports administration
  nearest and dearest in a friends                                world for some time and said he would like to become the

  league.                                                         next president of the International Association of Athletics
                                                                  Federations.
  guardian.co.uk/fantasyleague                                        With the automatic International Olympic Committee
                                                                  membership that would confer, he would have a path to getting
                                                                  on to the executive board of the most powerful body in world
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                     guardian.co.uk
Page 10 G24 Sport                                                                   Tuesday August 14 2012             04:45 GMT

sport and, perhaps, a tilt at becoming president.                        “I don’t see this as being inside the tent or outside the
    Although the incumbent, Lamine Diack, is unlikely to step        tent. I was asked by the prime minister if I would play my part
down until his term ends in 2015, and the Ukrainian former           alongside others about how we can maximally leverage every
pole vaulter Sergey Bubka would be an obstacle in his path, Coe      ounce of legacy. I’m very happy to play my part. The basis
would be the favourite to succeed the Ivorian at the IAAF.           of what we said in Singapore was not simply the successful
    The 55-year-old remains passionate about his sport and amid      delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, but there had to
the punishing schedule of the Games seemed to only really            be a follow up story to that,” he said on Monday.
come alive in discussing the athletic achievements of Mo Farah,          But without the glue of a huge single project with £9.3bn and
Usain Bolt or David Rudisha. As he sat alongside Diack at a press    Britain’s international reputation at stake, it will be hard.
conference on Saturday night, shortly before Farah stormed to            Longer term, his eyes are on the IAAF and the IOC. Reedie
gold, he wore the air of a man who had delivered for his sport.      and Coe in harness have never lost an election, and are
    He sees in London an opportunity now to reconnect the            confident he can land the IAAF presidency in time to be in post
British public with track and field and restore the sport to its     for the 2017 world athletics championships in London. By then,
1980s heyday when he, Steve Cram, Steve Ovett and Peter              there will be a new IOC president: Tthe incumbent, Jacques
Elliott had the country rapt and it was considered on a par with     Rogge, will step down next year at the end of a 12 year term.
football, rugby and cricket in terms of popularity.                      The favourite to replace him, the German Thomas Bach,
    Since his time as a double Olympic hero, the intervening         would be likely to serve for a further eight or 12 years.
years had not necessarily been kind to perceptions of Coe                There is a chance that Coe, who will be 68 by then, could
among the public at large. A successful businessman then a           look to challenge for presidency then. Bach is considered a clear
Tory MP, there was a prevailing impression that he was a bit too     favourite but other names in the frame include Puerto Rican
clever for his own good. Even up until the eve of the Games,         Richard Carrion, the Swiss Denis Oswald and the Moroccan
his achievements as Locog chair seemed to inspire grudging           former 400m gold medallist Nawal El Moutawakel, who would
respect rather than warm appreciation. The successful delivery       be the first female IOC president.
of a feelgood Games to a giddy nation has changed all that.              Coe knows the IOC corridors of power well, having chaired
    Where he sometimes seemed a fish out of water in                 its first ever athletes’ commission, but succession to the top
Westminster, he has proved himself a hugely effective operator       table requires years if not decades of networking and power-
in the sometimes arcane world of international sports politics.      broking. It is a slow-moving but cut-throat world and the desire
    In league with an effective team including chief executive Sir   to have a non-European president may count against him.
Keith Mills, and Sir Craig Reedie, then BOA chairman and now             IOC insiders think it more likely he will have to ultimately
IOC executive board member, he did what many others had              settle for an influential place on the executive board, combined
failed to do before him and got London’s bid over the winning        with the role of overseeing international track and field.
line in Singapore.                                                       With his own legacy assured after delivering a Games that
    Those networking skills were also in evidence last year as       will live long in the memory, Rogge said that having delivered
London beat Doha to the 2017 world athletics championships.          London’s “happy and glorious” Games Coe could effectively do
Sealing that deal was crucial for Coe if he was to secure an         whatever he wanted to at their joint closing press conference.
athletics legacy for the £428m Olympic Stadium that had                  “He is a man with his heart in the right place, he thinks about
become a political hot potato amid a botched process to find a       the athletes first. He has a lot of skills. He should have a great
football club to move in.                                            future not only in sport but in society. I have a high esteem for
    Given Coe’s instinctive recoil from going back into party        Sebastian,” said Rogge in the manner of a kindly elder brother.
politics, accepting David Cameron’s offer to take up an as yet           Rogge also paid tribute to Coe’s ability to build a team and
ill-defined role as a “legacy ambassador” could yet come back to     much of his success can be attributed to his luck and judgment
bite him.                                                            in hiring well.
    He had previously endlessly spoken of “passing the baton”            That can be seen most clearly in his choice of former banker
when he faced searching questions on delivering the legacy           Paul Deighton as chief executive, but also in Jean Tomlin, the
promises he made in Singapore that helped secure the Games,          HR director who oversaw volunteer recruitment, and Debbie
intimating that he preferred to keep up the pressure on              Jevans, his director of sport, who delivered innovative and
politicians from outside the tent.                                   engaging stages for the athletes to perform on.
    Coe may think that the part time, unpaid role will mean              The most telling example, though, was the warmth and
lending his name to drives for overseas investment, but there is     mutual respect between Coe and Danny Boyle, the left-leaning
a danger he will now be made answerable for the government’s         film director who delivered London’s spectacular opening
increasingly confused sports policy. Rather than being able to       ceremony and set the tone for what was to come. It was Coe
put pressure on politicians from above the fray, he may find         who protected Boyle from political interference and allowed
himself dragged down into squabbles over school sport and            him to pursue his vision.
grassroots investment.                                                   Cameron, who has clearly enjoyed basking in the success
    On the other hand, he may feel that he can help draw             of Team GB’s athletes but has seemed less sure footed on
together the sort of cross-party consensus that pretty much          capitalising on the sporting legacy, might do well to listen to his
held for the duration of the London 2012 project. Given the          new “legacy ambassador” on the need to approach a complex
potential jeopardy of getting it wrong, and the potential            topic with sensitivity and care.
upside of getting it right, mortal political enemies such as Ken         “That cross-party debate I hope is a grown-up debate. The
Livingstone and Boris Johnson, or Tessa Jowell and Jeremy            one thing that politicians of any hue now recognise is there is an
Hunt, stood side by side.                                            appetite for that,” said Coe.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                       guardian.co.uk

				
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