G24 Sport The Guardian by aittalebabdel


More Info
                           | pdf edition | Wednesday March 6 2013                                                         Sport
                                                                                                                          Downloaded 22:01 GMT

Manchester United and Nani charged by
Uefa after stormy European exit
Uefa has opened disciplinary proceedings against Manchester
United and Nani in the wake of their Champions League defeat to
Real Madrid Page 2

Mark Cavendish takes early lead in
Tirreno-Adriatico coast-to-coast race
Mark Cavendish and the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team won the
opening stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico race in Italy Page 2

Italy captain Sergio Parisse cleared to face
England after ban reduced
The Italy captain Sergio Parisse will be available for his country’s
Six Nations clash against England at Twickenham on Sunday
Page 3

Parts of track to be                         Blackhawks extend                            Rory McIlroy admits             MLB declines to
covered as cold snap                         NHL points streak                            toothache did not               fly World Baseball
hits Cheltenham                              Page 5                                       justify quitting                Classic flags at half-
Festival Page 3                                                                           Honda Classic Page 6            staff for Chavez
                                             Graeme Swann to                                                              Page 8
Thunder repel rally                          miss New Zealand                             Michael Jamieson
to beat Lakers Page 4                        Test series with                             targets ‘medals                 Horse racing tips:
                                             elbow injury Page 5                          every year’ to add to           Thursday 7 March
                                                                                          Olympic silver 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 2 G24 Sport                                                                  Wednesday March 6 2013                22:01 GMT

Manchester United and Nani charged by                                 Mark Cavendish takes early lead in
Uefa after stormy European exit                                       Tirreno-Adriatico coast-to-coast race

• Club faces action over Ferguson’s press                             • Manx leader faces challenge from André
conference no-show                                                    Greipel
• Uefa also opens proceedings over Nani’s                             • Chris Froome in contention for general
red card                                                              classification
Jamie Jackson                                                         Agencies

Sir Alex Ferguson berates the fourth official as Nani is sent off.    Mark Cavendish’s Omega Pharma-Quick Step team won the
Photograph: Tom Jenkins for the Guardian                              opening stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico race. Photograph: Bryn
Uefa has charged Manchester United after Sir Alex Ferguson            Lennon/Getty Images
failed to attend the press conference following his side’s            Mark Cavendish was the early leader of the Tirreno-Adriatico
Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid gu.com/             coast-to-coast race as Omega Pharma-Quick Step won the
p/3e8m4 . Nani also faces proceedings due to the red card he          opening stage in Italy.
received during the last-16 second leg at Old Trafford. He will          The Belgium-based team navigated rainy conditions to
receive a minimum of a one-match ban. Rio Ferdinand is still          finish the 16.9km team time trial with a time of 19min 24sec,
waiting to hear if he has any possible sanctions to answer for his    with Cavendish taking the blue jersey for crossing the finish
sarcastic applause of the referee Cuneyt Cakir gu.com/p/3e8zd at      line first. With a time of 19min 35sec, Movistar were 11 seconds
the end of the match.                                                 behind the sprinting team of Cavendish, Tony Martin, Michal
    A Uefa statement said: “Uefa has opened disciplinary              Kwiatkowski, Zdenek Stybar and Niki Terpstra.
proceedings against Manchester United FC for [the] red card of           Cadel Evans, Thor Hushovd and Taylor Phinney were in the
Nani [and] post-match media obligations not fulfilled [under] III     BMC Racing team that finished third with a time of 19min 40sec
2.6 and 2.7 of the competition regulations. The case will be dealt    on a course running from San Vincenzo to Donoratico. After
with by the Uefa control and disciplinary body on Thursday 21         reaching the Tuscan coast, Cavendish said: “Two words, one
March.”                                                               name – Tony Martin. He did the majority [of the work] today. [It
    Ferguson was left “distraught” by the decision to send off        was] the planning they put into it but without putting too much
Nani gu.com/p/3e8n6 and was not “in any fit state to talk”,           pressure on it … We finished with five but everybody had a part
according to his assistant, Mike Phelan. Uefa rules state all         to play.
managers must attend post-match press conferences. While                 “There are no real egos here, except maybe me, but it was all
Ferguson speaks to television after domestic league and cup           about getting eight guys from point A to point B as quickly as
games, the Scot refuses to be present at briefings with the print     possible.”
media.                                                                   The Manx sprinter will defend his lead against André Greipel
    Uefa insisted it had “no problem” with Cakir gu.com/p/3e937       of Lotto Belisol and the 2012 Tour de France green jersey winner
, who has received abuse and death threats via Twitter, and said      Peter Sagan over Thursday’s 232km trek to Indicatore.
he will remain on its list of officials to take charge of Champions      Team Sky, meanwhile, were 25 seconds behind the winners
League matches this season.                                           but a seventh-placed finish leaves their team leader, Chris
                                                                      Froome, in contention for the general classification. Froome
                                                                      earned an early advantage over two of his biggest rivals as Team
                                                                      Sky gained four seconds on Alberto Contador’s Saxo-Tinkoff
                                                                      and 19 seconds on Joaquim Rodríguez’s Katusha.
                                                                         Meanwhile, the American cyclist Andrew Talansky held off
                                                                      six riders in a sprint finish to win the third stage of the Paris-
                                                                      Nice race and take the race leader’s yellow jersey.
                                                                         The small breakaway group attacked late and the Garmin-
                                                                      Sharp rider finished a bike’s length ahead of Davide Malacarne
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                       guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                Wednesday March 6 2013                 22:01 GMT

of France, with Gorka Izagirre of Spain in third. All three had     Laurent Cardona, although Parisse vehemently denied he had
the same time of 4hr 6min 15 sec over the undulating 170.5km        insulted the official.
course from Châtel-Guyon to Brioude.                                    His availability is a huge boost for Brunel as Italy look to
   The three moderate climbs proved too much for the Italian        recover from the Wales defeat, when they failed to score a try
sprinter Elia Viviani as the overnight race leader dropped          and were destroyed in the scrums. Although they started their
to 59th place in the standings, nearly three minutes behind         Six Nations campaign by recording a memorable victory over
Talansky, who leads Andriy Grivko of Ukraine by three seconds.      France, the Azzurri then succumbed 34-10 to Scotland gu.com/
                                                                    p/3dkzv before Wales were similarly comprehensive winners in
Italy captain Sergio Parisse cleared to                                 Italy are currently fifth in the Six Nations table, two points
face England after ban reduced                                      above France, and they will head to Twickenham as rank
                                                                    outsiders against an unbeaten England team chasing a first
                                                                    grand slam since 2003.
• Parisse was banned for insulting referee                              Paddy Jackson is in line to start for Ireland in Saturday’s
in league game                                                      match with France following a fitness test on Thursday. The
• Italy No8 denied abuse and appealed                               fly-half had been suffering from a hamstring strain picked up
against decision                                                    in training but came through a kicking routine at the Aviva
Press Association

                                                                    Parts of track to be covered as cold snap
                                                                    hits Cheltenham Festival

                                                                    • Temperatures to drop well below freezing
                                                                    for first day
                                                                    • Whole course may be protected ahead of
                                                                    Greg Wood

Sergio Parisse wil be available to play for Italy against England
after his ban was reduced. Photograph: Lynne Cameron/PA
The Italy captain Sergio Parisse will be available for his
country’s Six Nations encounter against England at
Twickenham on Sunday. Italy’s team manager Luigi Troiani has
confirmed that Parisse’s suspension for insulting the referee in
a French league game last month had been reduced to 20 days
on appeal. And that means he can return to action this weekend
after missing Italy’s 26-9 home loss against Wales gu.com/
p/3e2fa 11 days ago.
   Parisse, 29, was banned for 40 days – 10 days of which were
suspended – after being sent off in a Top 14 fixture between        Cheltenham will cover parts of the track with a cold snap set
his club Stade Français and Bordeaux Bègles. His initial            to hit the course ahead of the Festival. Photograph: David
punishment meant he was sidelined until 18 March, with the          Davies/PA
Leicester prop Martin Castrogiovanni taking over as captain         Cheltenham racecourse will lay frost covers on vulnerable areas
against Wales.                                                      of track this weekend following a forecast that colder weather
   But the Azzurri will now have the 93 times-capped No8            will return to the UK in the early part of next week. The takeoffs
Parisse back in their ranks to face England, and then Ireland in    and landings of fences and hurdles on the Old course, the stage
Rome six days later.                                                for the first two days of the Festival meeting on Tuesday and
   “We learn with satisfaction the news that the disqualification   Wednesday, will be protected, along with some part of the
of Sergio Parisse was reduced to 20 days,” Troiani said.            cross-country course, which is used only on Tuesday.
“Therefore, the player will be available for the next two days of       Cheltenham has already lost one day to the weather his year,
Six Nations. Sergio is an important element for this group, and     when its New Year’s Day meeting was abandoned because of
we could not be happier to be able to make [him] available to       waterlogging, but Simon Claisse, the track’s clerk of the course,
the [head coach] Jacques Brunel for matches against England         stressed on Wednesday that the covers are being deployed “just
and Ireland.”                                                       as a precaution”. Plans are also in place to put down covers on
   Parisse, whose appeal was heard on Wednesday, will now           Friday, or to protect the entire course, if the weather is colder
link up with the Italian squad in Rome. He was suspended by         than expected.
French league chiefs following the incident with the referee            “We’re expecting to get up to 15mm of rain up until
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                      guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                 Wednesday March 6 2013                22:01 GMT

Monday,” Claisse said, “but it will be getting colder at the
start of next week. We have a forecast which says we might be
getting dawn temperatures of minus three and ground of minus
                                                                     Thunder repel rally to beat Lakers
five, with a daytime on Tuesday of plus six.
    “We had a minus four yesterday morning and by 10 o’clock         Oklahoma City Thunder defeat LA Lakers
we were schooling on the cross-country course without any            122-105; Boston Celtics beat Philadelphia
problems. We are taking a cautious approach with the frost           76ers 109-101
covers, including on vulnerable parts of the cross-country           Hunter Felt: Five things we learned this
course. We had a few issues there in December [when it
required three inspections before being passed fit for racing]
and areas where frost was slow to come out will all be covered.”     Associated Press
    Milder weather is forecast to arrive at Cheltenham in time for
the final two days of the Festival on Thursday and Friday, which
are staged on the New course. The going on the Old course is
good to soft, good in places, while the cross-country course is
good to soft, and soft in places.
    The six-day acceptors for the first afternoon at the Festival
were published on Wednesday, with relatively small fields
now almost certain for the principal Grade One events, the
Champion Hurdle and the Arkle Trophy.
    Ten possible runners have been declared for the Champion
Hurdle, including three previous winners of the race in
Binocular, Hurricane Fly and the defending champion, Rock On
Ruby, while the hot favourite Simonsig heads a possible field
of 11 for the Arkle, in which several entries hold at least one
                                                                     Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant takes on Oklahoma City
alternative engagement.
                                                                     Thunder’s Kevin Durant. Photograph: Sue Ogrocki/AP
    There are 19 possible runners in the Supreme Novice
Hurdle, the opening race of the meeting, including Melodic           Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook had 37 points and 10
Rendezvous, the Tolworth Hurdle winner, who still holds an           rebounds, and Kevin Durant scored 26 as the Thunder held off a
entry in the Neptune Novice Hurdle the following afternoon           second-half charge to down the Los Angeles Lakers 122-105.
but is more likely to line up for the Supreme.                          The Thunder led from start to finish, but had their 18-point
    “He has come out of his run at Exeter [when he beat Puffin       lead whittled down to five midway through the fourth quarter.
Billy by nine lengths] very well,” Jeremy Scott, the trainer of         Kobe Bryant ended up with 30 points after leaving the
Melodic Rendezvous, said.                                            game with a right elbow injury in the first quarter. Steve Nash
    “He will still have an entry in the Neptune Investment           matched his season best with 20 points as the Lakers fell back
Management Novice Hurdle but unless something happens                below .500 after reaching the mark for the first time since
between now and then, the William Hill Supreme Novice                December.
Hurdle is the target.                                                   Paul Pierce had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Avery Bradley
    “I think his form is solid enough but the biggest problem        scored 22 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a 109-101 win over
is trying to work out how horses are going to act on slightly        the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.
quicker ground. We always thought he wanted quite good                  Led by Pierce, the Celtics controlled the game and used a 9-0
ground and I have every expectation he will be happy on what         run midway through the fourth quarter to seal the win. Last
is likely to be good, good to soft ground.”                          May, these two teams went to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference
    Dynaste, the favourite for the Festival’s RSA Novice Chase       semifinals. On Wednesday, the Sixers lost for the ninth time in
for several months, was weak in the market on the Betfair            10 games and are well out of the playoff race.
exchange on Wednesday while attracting money in the betting             Jrue Holiday had 18 points and 10 assists for the Sixers, and
for the Jewson Novice Chase next Thursday. A final decision on       Thaddeus Young had 19 points and 10 rebounds.
which race he will contest is expected on Thursday or Friday.           At Sacramento, California, Ty Lawson had 24 points and
                                                                     Danilo Gallinari added 23 as the Denver Nuggets won their sixth
                                                                     straight game 120-113 over the Sacramento Kings.
                                                                        The deep and talented Nuggets used a 36-point third quarter

                                                                     to build a lead against the Kings that they never relinquished in
                                                                     winning their season-best third straight road game. They scored
                                                                     70 second-half points when they shot nearly 64 percent.
                                                                        The streaking Nuggets have won seven of eight games,
                                                                     including 11 in a row at home, where they own a 26-3 record,
  Compare and buy                                                    which ties Miami for the best mark in the NBA.
  Use our free independent comparison                                   Kenneth Faried had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Andre Miller
  services to switch suppliers and save                              scored 16 and Kosta Koufos had 15 points and eight rebounds
  money on all your household bills.                                 for Denver.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                      guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                   Wednesday March 6 2013               22:01 GMT

                                                                           The Islanders’ Radek Martinek scored the tiebreaking goal
                                                                       eight minutes into the third period as New York beat Montreal
Blackhawks extend NHL points streak                                    6-3 for the Canadiens’ first regulation loss in nearly a month.
                                                                           Brian Gionta’s power-play goal at 6:07 of the third the
The Chicago Blackhawks beat Minnesota                                  20,000th goal for the Canadiens since the NHL was formed in
Wild 5-3 to extend points streak to 29 games                           1917 leveled the game at 3-3.
overall, 23 games this season                                              At Raleigh, North Carolina, Alexander Semin had a goal and
Is Blackhawks streak the best ever?                                    two assists, and linemate Eric Staal added three assists as the
                                                                       Carolina Hurricanes beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3.
Associated Press                                                           Jiri Tlusty, Joe Corvo and Jussi Jokinen also scored for
                                                                       Carolina, which was playing for the first time since goalie Cam
                                                                       Ward went on injured reserve.
                                                                           In other games, Sergei Bobrovsky made two spectacular
                                                                       short-handed saves in overtime and stopped both shots he
                                                                       faced in the shootout to lift the Columbus Blue Jackets over the
                                                                       Edmonton Oilers 4-3, while Tomas Kopecky, Shawn Matthias
                                                                       and Mike Santorelli scored for Florida and Jonathan Huberdeau
                                                                       converted a penalty shot in the Panthers’ 4-1 victory over the
                                                                       Winnipeg Jets.
                                                                           The Detroit Red Wings downed the Colorado Avalanche
                                                                       2-1, the San Jose Sharks beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 after a
                                                                       shootout, and the Los Angeles Kings were 6-4 winners over the
                                                                       St. Louis Blues.
Chicago Blackhawks’ Marian Hossa with wife Jana and
daughter Mia during a ceremony to honour his 1,000 career
NHL hockey games in Chicago, Illinois, March 5, 2013.
                                                                       Graeme Swann to miss New Zealand
Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters                                          Test series with elbow injury
The Chicago Blackhawks set a club record with their 10th
consecutive victory and extended their points streak to 29             • Spinner to undergo second operation on
games with a 5-3 win over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.               right elbow
    Bryan Bickell scored twice in the first period and Patrick
                                                                       • James Tredwell called up as his
Kane added a goal in the third as Chicago remained the
only team in the NHL without a loss in regulation time this
season: 23 games. It also broke a tie with the 1977-78 Montreal        Mike Selvey in Dunedin
Canadiens for the second-longest points streak in league
    Washington’s Eric Fehr scored 37 seconds into overtime as
the Capitals rallied from a three-goal, first-period deficit to beat
the Boston Bruins 4-3.
    Pinched by two defenders, Fehr was falling forward as he got
off the shot that hit the upper right post and went in, giving the
Capitals their seventh win in 10 games as they attempt to climb
out of the lower echelons of the NHL standings.
    Wojtek Wolski and Mike Ribeiro also scored, and Tomas
Kundratek got his first NHL goal for the Bruins.
    At New York, Rick Nash snapped a third-period deadlock,
then added an insurance goal as the Rangers held on to beat the
Philadelphia Flyers 4-2 for their third win in a row.
                                                                       The England spinner Graeme Swann said he hopes to be fit in
    Nash fired a shot that sneaked under the right arm of goalie
                                                                       time for the Champions Trophy and the Ashes. Photograph:
Ilya Bryzgalov 2:50 into the third to give New York its second
                                                                       Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images
lead of the game. He doubled the advantage to 4-2 with 8:18
left.                                                                  Graeme Swann is to undergo a second operation on his right
    Wayne Simmonds and Voracek both scored power-play goals            elbow that he hopes will have him fully fit for the back-to-
in the first period for Philadelphia. Bryzgalov stopped 16 shots.      back Ashes series that start this summer, and before that the
    Nate Thompson scored twice and Martin St. Louis and rookie         Champions Trophy.
Alexander Killorn each had a goal and an assist as the Tampa              The off-spinner has been managing an uncomfortable
Bay Lightning downed the New Jersey Devils 5-2 to break a              condition in the joint for some years but it flared up badly
five-game losing streak.                                               during the warm-up match against New Zealand A in
    Cory Conacher and Vincent Lecavalier each had two assists          Queenstown last week. Subsequent scans show that an
as the Lightning won for only the second time in eight games           operation is necessary if he wishes to prolong his career and
and extended the Devils’ winless streak to six games.                  next week he will return to the same Minnesota hospital in
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                       guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                  Wednesday March 6 2013                22:01 GMT

which his first operation took place and in which Tim Bresnan         for 23 hours a day.
recently also underwent elbow surgery.                                   Away from Swann, it was a day of appalling weather that
     The US leads in treatment of sporting injuries to shoulders      spoilt the opening of the series, an irony given the five weeks
and elbows, of a kind sustained principally by baseball pitchers.     of virtually unbroken sun experienced by the team since
Swann was immediately withdrawn from the England team for             their arrival, and the drought that pertains in the north of
the first Test with Monty Panesar replacing him on what was           the country. A bright morning was followed by clouds rolling
a dismal and disappointing day of rain, with play abandoned           in and gloom descending even as Alastair Cook lost the toss.
for the day at 4.15pm with not a ball bowled. Some time will be       By the official starting time, the light was already sepulchral
made up with early starts to all remaining days. James Tredwell       and shortly after the rain started, with no let-up until mid-
will join the squad as cover.                                         afternoon.
     Swann has always insisted that he wanted to avoid a                 As expected, England included Nick Compton as Cook’s
second operation. In the first, in 2009, 29 bone fragments were       opening partner and Stuart Broad as third seamer.
removed from the joint, although some in close proximity                 New Zealand have given debuts to Neil Wagner, the left-arm
to nerves had to be left in place. “We were waiting on results        pace bowler who gave the hurry-up to a few England batsmen in
from scans we had the other day which had to be seen by               Queenstown, and Bruce Martin, a 32-year-old left-arm spinner.
the specialist in America,” Swann explained, “so when the
news came back that I did need surgery it’s obviously very
disappointing. I’ve looked forward to this tour for a long time       Rory McIlroy admits toothache did not
as I love New Zealand but it’s not to be. I was trying to go          justify quitting Honda Classic
through my whole career without needing surgery again, but
the specialist came back and said something needed to be done.
So be it. It’s a huge year for English cricket and a huge year
                                                                      • ‘I realised pretty quickly it wasn’t the right
for me so if this means taking a more active part in it then it’s     thing to do’
something I have to do.”                                              • McIlroy returns to action on Thursday
     However, he is confident that far from signalling the            with Tiger Woods
beginning of the end of his career and a last throw of the dice,
the operation will enable him to continue playing – which
might not be the case had it been left. “I know if I don’t have the
surgery it’s more or less curtains,” he admitted. “I’m assured
the surgery is relatively simple so, touch wood, it will be and
I’ll wake up on the other end and everything will be great. I’m
buoyed by the success last time I had it done and my elbow
was in a lot worse shape then than it is now. I’m confident I’ll
bounce back in a short space of time. In layman’s terms it needs
a bit of a clean-out. It doesn’t seem anywhere near as dire as
last time around when it was like a bomb had gone off in there.
I knew something wasn’t right in Queenstown. I couldn’t put an
extra snap on the ball when I was bowling. I like to turn the ball
a lot and I was only 70-80% fit. The whole point of the operation
is that it will extend my career. If it gives me a chance to keep
playing for England for longer than I would have had then it’s        Rory McIlroy talks to the media for the first time since he
great news.”                                                          walked off course citing toothache during last week’s Honda
     Swann’s workload was already being carefully managed, and        Classic. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images
following the successful Test tour of India before Christmas,
                                                                      The world No1 Rory McIlroy acknowledged on Wednesday
he missed the ODI tour of India in January and the Twenty20
                                                                      that he was wrong to walk off mid-round at last week’s Honda
leg of the New Zealand trip, before playing in all three ODIs. In
                                                                      Classic gu.com/p/3e6df and said his toothache was not bad
Queenstown he sent down 42 overs in the match, but required
                                                                      enough to justify quitting the tournament.
treatment throughout and detected a deterioration beyond the
                                                                         Facing the media for the first time since walking off the
discomfort he would normally feel.
                                                                      course after playing the first eight holes seven over par at PGA
     “It all came about quite suddenly. I’ve struggled on and off
                                                                      National, McIlroy said it soon dawned on him that he had made
for the last four years but it never really manifested itself into
                                                                      the wrong decision.
a dire predicament for me. But just before the game, I started
                                                                         “Obviously I’ve had a lot of time to think about it. I realised
to feel an unusual pain that I hadn’t felt since before the last
                                                                      pretty quickly that it wasn’t the right thing to do,” he said
operation and it got worse during that game. I raised my fears
                                                                      before the WGC-Cadillac Championship that starts on Thursday.
with the doctor and Andy Flower, and scans showed there had
                                                                         “No matter how bad I was playing, I should have stayed out
been deterioration.
                                                                      there. I should have tried to shoot the best score possible even
     “But I’ve got every faith in the surgeon Shawn O’Driscoll at
                                                                      though it probably wasn’t going to be good enough to make the
the Mayo Clinic in Rochester because he’s the world leader.”
Following the operation, Swann will undergo a course of
                                                                         McIlroy initially told reporters last week as he was heading
rehabilitation that will include the first fortnight on a CRM
                                                                      to his car that he was not in a “good place mentally” but a later
machine, a device that will keep the joint in continual motion
                                                                      statement cited pain from a wisdom tooth. Asked which version
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                       guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                  Wednesday March 6 2013                  22:01 GMT

was the truer reflection of the reason for his withdrawal,
McIlroy said: “Both. I wasn’t in a good place with my golf game.
I was, you know, mentally – you know, my head was all over the
                                                                      Michael Jamieson targets ‘medals every
place.                                                                year’ to add to Olympic silver
    “But at the same time, I have been struggling with my lower
right wisdom tooth for over a year. So, yeah, look, my tooth was      The British swimmer, who is preparing
bothering me, but it wasn’t bothering me enough to probably,          for this week’s British Gas International
you know, quit, but that’s just the way it is,” said the Northern
                                                                      in Leeds, talks about his future plans and
Irishman, who is paired with Tiger Woods and England’s Luke
Donald at Doral’s Blue Monster course in Miami. McIlroy has
                                                                      the eight years of hard work that led up to
played only four full rounds in three months, missing the cut         London 2012
in the Abu Dhabi Championship in January and suffering a              Andy Bull
surprise first-round exit in the WGC Accenture World Match
Play Championship last month in Arizona.
    The 23-year-old said he had spent 20 hours over the weekend
working on his swing, trying to correct the fault that he blames
for his poor early-season form.
    “I’ve worked my ass off over the last four or five days to
really try and get this right,” he said. “Still, it’s a work in
progress. As I said, there’s no quick fixes in golf but I’m going
to go out there this week and all I care about is my swing, and
I know if I can get my swing back on track, that the results will
    The two-times major championship winner dismissed
any suggestion that his switch to Nike clubs in January in a
multimillion-pound deal was behind his disappointing displays.
    “I know that it’s just purely the swing. The equipment is         Great Britain’s Michael Jamieson smiles after finishing second
fantastic. I have no problems at all. When I make a good swing,       in the men’s 200m breaststroke final at the 2012 Olympics.
the ball goes where I want it and the flight I want it, so I know     Photograph: Joe Toth/BPI/Corbis
that it’s not that. It’s just getting my swing on the right path,”    At night the roars still ring around Michael Jamieson’s head as
he said.                                                              he is drifting off to sleep. Then his thoughts slip back, again, to
    McIlroy also dealt with speculation that he may have off-         that night in August when he won his Olympic silver medal in
the-course issues, perhaps related to his girlfriend, the Danish      front of 17,500 fans. Jamieson, a 200m breaststroker, swam the
tennis player Caroline Wozniacki, hampering his focus on the          best race of his life in that final, and it took the fastest swim in
game.                                                                 history, by Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta, to beat him to the gold.
    “No, not at all. I’ve read what’s been written and just because   Jamieson was one of only three British swimmers, along with
I have a bad day on the golf course and Caroline loses a match in     his fellow breaststrokers Craig Benson and Andrew Willis, to set
Malaysia, it doesn’t mean that we’re breaking up,” he said with       a new personal best in the Games. And unlike the other two, it
a laugh.                                                              won him a medal. He was the one outstanding performer in a
    “It’s sport, and I’d rather keep my private life as private       squad who had a desperately disappointing Olympics.
as possible. Everything on that front is great and I’m looking            Cut back to 2004, when Jamieson was 15. He had a meeting
forward to seeing her next week when she gets to Miami,” he           with his coach, who asked him: “Why are you in this sport, and
added.                                                                what do you want to get from it?” Jamieson wrote down a list of
                                                                      goals. The top target was to win a medal at the 2012 Olympics.
                                                                      His coach asked him what time he thought it would take to do
                                                                      it. “I looked at the progression of Olympic results from Atlanta,

                                                                      Sydney and Athens,” Jamieson says. “And I calculated that
                                                                      it was going to take a swim of 2min 8sec to win a medal.” He
                                                                      wrote it down on a piece of paper, which he kept by his bedside.
                                                                      That was 18 seconds quicker than the kind of times he was
  Eat right                                                           churning out at the time.
  Join the Guardian’s health and                                          Over the next eight years, Jamieson shaved away seconds
                                                                      and fractions of seconds from his personal best, spending
  dieting club, Eat Right and we’ll                                   countless, thankless hours in training, always aiming for that
  design you a personalised healthy                                   magical mark of 2min 8sec. The hardest yards, he says, were
  eating plan from just £2.99 a week.                                 swum in Paris in 2009. He moved there so he could stick with
                                                                      his coach, though his parents could barely afford to pay for
  Membership includes shopping                                        him to go. “I was staying in an attic, with one hob to cook on
  lists, menus, expert advice and 24                                  and a shower cubicle that doubled up as a wardrobe. Looking
  hour support to help you achieve                                    back on it now I am delighted I did it, because it was really
                                                                      character building. It was rough, but it was only ever about the

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                         guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                   Wednesday March 6 2013                 22:01 GMT

swimming, and as long as I was swimming fast, I could put up
with anything else.”
    In the first round of the Olympics, he clocked 2min 8.98sec,
                                                                       MLB declines to fly World Baseball
the closest he had come yet. In the semi-finals he went quicker        Classic flags at half-staff for Chavez
still, taking his time down to 2min 8.20sec. And in the final,
finally, he got there, finishing in 2min 7.43sec. “For the first       Venezuelan team request for mark of
time in my career I actually surprised myself,” Jamieson says.         respect for president Hugo Chavez at World
“And I think that was partly down to the crowd. It was such
                                                                       Baseball Classic warm-up is declined by
an amazing atmosphere I don’t think I will ever experience
anything like that again. I know it made the difference.”
                                                                       MLB and Miami Marlins
    Of course Jamieson was far from the only British swimmer           Steve Busfield and AP
to invest so much time and effort in his preparation for the
Olympics. But he was one of the few to be buoyed up by the
raucous support of the crowd when the Games finally came
around. Some of his team-mates seemed to be bowed down
by it. “Everyone’s personality is different,” he says. “But for
me that’s what it is all about. I don’t train for the sake of it, or
because I enjoy it. I train because I want to win medals at major
meets. I see the atmosphere at the big competitions as a reward
for all the hard work I have done.”
    Another difference between Jamieson and his team-mates
was his performance at the Olympic trials, which was so bad
that he only just scraped into the team. “In the end that turned
out to be a blessing in disguise,” he says, “because I went into
the Games as a bit of a dark horse, a bit under the radar.”
                                                                       Venezuela outfielder Gerardo Parra and outfielder Carlos
    Jamieson was sorry to see Michael Scott leave his job as
                                                                       Gonzalez as the Venezuelan national anthem is played before
British Swimming’s performance director. He says he “had a
                                                                       a World Baseball Classic warm-up game against the Miami
great relationship with him” and that “he was a very popular
                                                                       Marlins, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, in Jupiter, Fla. Photograph:
figure within the team”. But then, unlike almost every other
                                                                       Julio Cortez/AP
swimmer in the GB squad, Jamieson was able to say in the post-
Games review that the Olympics really had been the “best two           The Venezuelan World Baseball Classic team were told that the
weeks of my life”. Still, he feels Scott carried the can for some      flags would not be flown at half-staff for Hugo Chavez at their
poor performances that were not really his fault. “It is up to us      game in Miami.
to get our hand to the wall first,” he says. “If results hadn’t gone       The Venezuela team requested a pre-game moment of
the way I wanted, I wouldn’t have turned around and said it was        silence for Chavez and asked that flags be flown at half-mast for
anyone else’s fault except my own. Unfortunately, Michael had          their World Baseball Classic warm-up game against the Miami
to stand up and take responsibility for it.”                           Marlins.
    The British squad were “shocked”, Jamieson says, by the                But a spokesman said the Miami Marlins, Major League
negative coverage they were given after the Games. But now             Baseball and Roger Dean Stadium were not prepared to allow it.
it is time to “dust ourselves off as a team and get ready for the          “There are things we can’t control,” said pitcher Carlos
world championships this year”.                                        Zambrano. “For the respect of Venezuela, they have to do
    That process starts on Thursday, with the British Gas              something before the first game against the Dominican
International in Leeds. “I have four years maximum left in the         Republic (at the WBC in Puerto Rico).”
sport and I want to be winning medals every year until then,”              Venezuela’s baseball team was taking pregame batting
he says. He has an eye on Rio 2016. But he hasn’t written down         practice when players heard the news that president Chavez
the time he thinks it will take to win gold. Yet.                      had died.
    Michael Jamieson is a British Gas ambassador and supports              “He was a baseball man,” manager Luis Sojo said after a
SwimBritain, a campaign to get more people swimming regularly.         6-5 loss to the Miami Marlins in a warm up game for the World
Visit facebook.com/BGSwimming                                          Baseball Classic. “At the World Baseball Classic in 2006 and
                                                                       2009, the first call in the morning was his. And after the game,
                                                                       he used to call me, too. It’s a very sad moment for our country.

                                                                       We wish the best to his family, we know they are going through
                                                                       a tough time right now.”
                                                                           Chavez died Tuesday at age 58 after a nearly two-year fight
                                                                       against cancer.
                                                                           “It’s sad what’s happening to our country,” first baseman
  Fantasy League Classic
                                                                       Miguel Cabrera said. “We send our condolences to his family.
  Manage a squad of 16 players and a budget                            This is something you don’t wish on anybody.
  of £75 million. £75,000 worth of prizes to                               “I don’t know how his family is right now. He’s no longer
  be won in weekly, monthly and overall                                with us it’s very sad. I cannot comment a lot on it because I feel
  competitions. Beat your nearest and                                  a lot of pain, and I’m not there in Venezuela.”
                                                                           Pitcher Carlos Zambrano said he hoped his fellow
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                         guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                              Wednesday March 6 2013               22:01 GMT

Venezuelans would come together.
   “I’m very sad. I ask that the Venezuela people stay calm,”
Zambrano said. “We have to understand that the president
                                                                  Cuba beat defending champions Japan
had a family. He’s a human being and it’s sad. We send him        in World Baseball Classic
the condolences to the Chavez family. We know it’s a difficult
moment. This caught us by surprise.”                              Cuba triumph over Japan for first time in
   Some players did not want to discuss Chavez’s death.           four World Baseball Classic attempts, but
Pitcher Anibal Sanchez and third baseman Pablo Sandoval both
                                                                  both still qualify for next stage
declined when asked to comment.
                                                                  MLB declines Venezuela request for Chavez
                                                                  Associated Press

Horse racing tips: Thursday 7 March

Royal Bajan at Southwell is the best bet of
the day
Greg Wood

                                                                  Cuba’s Erisbel Arruebarruena turns a double play as Japan’s
                                                                  runner Sho Nakata tags out during the sixth inning of
                                                                  their first-round Pool A game in the World Baseball Classic
                                                                  tournament in Fukuoka on March 6, 2013. Photograph:
                                                                  Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images
                                                                  Alfredo Despaigne hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning as
                                                                  Cuba beat two-time defending champion Japan 6-3 to finish first
                                                                  in Group A of the World Baseball Classic on Wednesday.
They race on Thursday at Wincanton, above, where Key To
                                                                      Despaigne’s home run off reliever Takeru Imamura at
Milan is fancied to win the opening race. Photograph: Julian
                                                                  Fukuoka Dome put the game out of reach and allowed Cuba to
Herbert/Action Images
                                                                  set up a second-round showdown with Group B runner-up the
Southwell                                                         Netherlands on Friday.
   2.20 Jack Dawkins 2.50 Pull The Pin 3.25 Naughtybychoice           Yasmany Tomas hit a solo homer to left in the bottom of
3.55 On With The Dance 4.30 Flying Pickets 5.00 Royal Bajan       the third to give Cuba a 1-0 lead. Frederich Cepeda doubled in
(nap) 5.30 Dewala                                                 another run in the fourth and Jose Abreu made it 3-0 on a single
   Carlisle                                                       to left in the sixth that scored Luis Rivera from third.
   2.10 Knight Valliant 2.40 Rudemeister 3.15 Big Water 3.45          Japan, which scored three runs in the ninth, will face Group
Mister Philson 4.20 Red Tyke 4.50 Gleann Na Ndochais 5.20         B winner Taiwan in the second round at Tokyo Dome.
Bob’s Lady Tara                                                       Japan continues to struggle for offense without its top
   Wincanton                                                      players from Major League Baseball. The three runs in the ninth
   2.00 Key To Milan 2.30 Ruben Cotter 3.00 If In Doubt 3.35      were more a result of poor pitching by Cuba’s relievers, who
Don’t Be Late 4.05 Karinga Dancer 4.40 Sawpit Supreme 5.10        issued three walks in the final inning.
Sulpius 5.45 Pure Oxygen                                              Cuba, which routed China 12-0 on Monday, continued to
   Wolverhampton                                                  display the type of offensive power that makes the 2006 runner-
   5.40 Top Boy 6.10 Proper Charlie 6.40 Media Jury 7.10          up a title contender this year.
Misleading Promise 7.40 Big Sylv (nb) 8.10 Sennockian Star 8.40       The win was Cuba’s first in four WBC games against Japan.
Sinchirocka                                                       Cuba starter Wilber Perez picked up the win after holding Japan
                                                                  scoreless over three innings. Japan starter Kenji Otonari gave up
                                                                  one run on two hits in three innings to take the loss.
                                                                  World Baseball Classic schedule and scores

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                   guardian.co.uk
Page 10 G24 Sport                                                                 Wednesday March 6 2013                  22:01 GMT

Leyton Orient contest West Ham’s                                     Marcus Hahnemann on curry, cider,
Olympic Stadium sole tenancy rights                                  snowboarding and Seattle Sounders

• ‘LLDC have not stuck by their own rules,’                          The oldest player in Major League Soccer
says Hearn                                                           is relishing retirement, but before that he
• Orient want West Ham to share Olympic                              is schooling a new generation of players at
Stadium                                                              Seattle Sounders, his first and, probably, last
Press Association                                                    club
                                                                     Tom Dart

Leyton Orient have started a legal fight to have the decision to
allow West Ham to move into the Olympic Stadium struck out.          Marcus Hahnemann in action for Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/PA                                        Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
The Leyton Orient chairman, Barry Hearn, has launched                Arsene Wenger was once asked what he did in his spare time.
proceedings for a judicial review over the decision to allow West    “I watch football,” the Arsenal manager replied. Ask Marcus
Ham to seek sole tenancy rights to the Olympic Stadium.              Hahnemann what he does in his spare time and you’ll get a
   Hearn believes the London Legacy Development                      longer, and much different, answer.
Corporation has broken its own rules in now allowing the                 “Being a professional goalkeeper has never really defined
League One club to be “teamed” with the Hammers in the               me. It’s always been other stuff. I’ve got so many different
bidding process. Hearn, who wants his own club and the               hobbies. I fly airplanes, I fly-fish, mountain bike all the time, I’m
Hammers to become joint tenants of the £429m stadium,                really looking forward to getting back on skis and snowboards,”
has repeated his claim that the O’s will have no future if the       the Seattle Sounders player said.
Hammers move in.                                                         “I’ve had so many other things that I’ve been interested
   Hearn told his club’s official website: “I was concerned that     in. [Sounders defender Leo Gonzalez,] he’s always watching
this was a done deal for West Ham before the bidding began,          soccer. He’ll grab his iPhone and he’s watching games, and
but the fact that both clubs had to commit to teaming made           I’m like, ‘you’re nuts. What are you doing?’ And he’s like, ‘I
me believe that we were getting involved in a fair process.          love soccer’. He loves it, he just wants to watch it. Different
However, the LLDC have not stuck by their own rules and have         countries, anything, he watches it. I walk in a room, I see soccer
left Orient with no option but to challenge their decision in the    on the TV and OK, I’m out. I’m going somewhere else.
Courts.                                                                  “Maybe I have played a long time and seen lots of game film
   “We don’t intend to interfere with West Ham’s residency at        and been bored out of my mind watching stuff and maybe you
the stadium, but maintain the position that if they are going        get a little bit cynical. But I don’t particularly want to go and
to be there, then we need to be there too. As I have said many       watch games now. And then I have a day off and guess what’s
times before, if West Ham move to the stadium and we are left a      I’m doing? Going to my kids’ games. So I’m sitting in the hotel
mile up the road, Leyton Orient will not survive.”                   and I want to think about something completely different than
   Hearn was also part of a judicial review in 2011, which           soccer.”
included Tottenham and resulted in the process of awarding               The last time I met Hahnemann, in 2008, he was making
tenancy rights to the stadium being abandoned. The LLDC              dessert pies in a cooking contest and thinking about opening a
board, which is tasked with sorting out the stadium’s future,        pizza restaurant; a dream as yet unrealised.
named West Ham as the number one choice to move into the                 “I have lots of ideas,” he said. “I want to do a hard cider
Olympic Stadium in December.                                         company as well. Think how popular it is in England. We don’t
   An LLDC spokesman said: “We have been notified that               have a lot of choices in America. And then we have Washington
Leyton Orient have made the decision to issue proceedings for        which is basically the capital for apples in the US. In Eastern
judicial review. Whilst this is disappointing, we believe that our   Washington, I’ve got a cabin out there. And I’m thinking .�.�.
processes have been robust, fair and transparent and that the        Hmm, I don’t know. We keep talking to a couple of people about
challenge is misconceived.”                                          doing it.”

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                         guardian.co.uk
Page 11 G24 Sport                                                                  Wednesday March 6 2013                  22:01 GMT

    It is no great shock that his preferred post-game meal is         back with the Sounders, which was great. But [my family]
not chicken and pasta. Asked what he misses about England,            hadn’t made any decisions on what we were doing,” he said.
he said: “Indian food for sure. My king prawn vindaloo post-              “The only thing we decided was if we were going to live
match. Definitely.”                                                   in our cabin with a town of 2,000 people which is a little bit
    In the UK he sounded as distinctive as he looked, with his        difficult for schooling. And then the kids wanted to play soccer,
head hairless but for the arrow-shaped tuft pointing from his         that’s all down the mountain. And then you’d be driving back
chin to his chest and his short-sleeved jerseys showing off arms      and forth every day no matter how you do it. So we ended up,
as thick as barrels.                                                  let’s just move into our house. We kicked our renters out and
    The sense that Hahnemann was a three-dimensional being            that all worked pretty well.
amid cardboard cut-outs made him a popular interview for                  “We’d already decided we’d live down in Bellevue [east of
reporters in England, where interests that might seem typical         central Seattle] and then it was, do I want to fish every day, go
in and around his native Seattle — hunting, mountain biking, a        skiing every day, or do I still want to play?”
car collection, alternative rock, flying gu.com/p/2zx47 — looked          He sees hanging up his boots not as a disaster to be delayed
exotic.                                                               as long as possible, but an opportunity. “You’re not ‘retiring’,
    It was almost an afterthought that, selected for two World        you’ve just kind of stopped doing what you’re doing. What else
Cup squads and with a dozen years in England, Hahnemann is            are you going to do? What’s the next phase of your life?” he said.
one of the most successful American players since the birth of            “Maybe when you get to that age of retirement people are
MLS in 1996. You can’t say “one of the most successful of his         always kind of freaking out, ‘what am I going to do?’ Obviously
generation”, since his career spans two: nineteen years and           there’s money issues, identity issues. Who you are, what you
counting.                                                             are. But if you have other interests then you won’t be bored,
    He moved to England from the Colorado Rapids in 1999,             you’ve got tons of stuff to do.”
made over 300 league appearances for Fulham, Reading                      Treating the sport like a job, not a drug? Like a part of real
and Wolves and was at Everton in a reserve role in 2011-12.           life, not an escape from it? And still proving it is possible to play
He rejoined Seattle as a back-up to Michael Gspurning last            at an elite level? Hahnemann is an accidental iconoclast, the
September, 20 months after he was last spotted between the            strangest regular guy in soccer.
posts in England during an FA Cup game between Wolves and
Stoke City.
    At Reading he was one of the elements in a golden era for
American goalkeepers. Some weekends during the 2007-
08 season, there were four starting in the Premier League:
Hahnemann, Tim Howard, Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller.
    Hahnemann was on the bench last Saturday as the Sounders
began their 2013 MLS campaign with a 1-0 defeat by the
Montreal Impact. He is also in the stands at CenturyLink Field
in super-sized form as one of the faces on the “Decades of
Dominance” tifo tinyurl.com/bo6tacb .

    He was a Sounder from 1994-96, long before the city joined
MLS. So the return of a local hero emits a nostalgic glow, but
teams do not operate on sentiment and it was clear from
Hahnemann’s impressive performances in the pre-season
Desert Diamond Cup tournament in Arizona, where we spoke,
that he could be a useful asset this season if Gspurning is
injured. And even if the Austrian is fit.
    Hahnemann is developing his coaching skills. “What’s great
with the Sounders is that I can go talk to outfield guys and
tell them some things that I think would help them. And they
actually listen. Because my viewpoint is different than theirs,”
he said.
    “And I’m seeing what I don’t like them to do, so when they’re
bombing balls past me they’re doing certain things and when I
save stuff I’m like, ‘if you would have done this I don’t think I’d
have had any chance’. And they really take it on board. We’ve
got a great group of young kids here, guys who really want to
    MLS’ oldest player tinyurl.com/bv27uj3 will be 41 in June.
Until the Sounders called he was facing the end of his career,
but found the prospect more intriguing than alarming. He was
unafraid to pop the bubble.
    “I was hoping to take a year off and do nothing. And to see
kind of what happened. It seemed like within weeks I came

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

To top