Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from Photographers' Blog:

It’s been a hard day’s night… and I’ve been working like a ‘tog

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By Darren Staples

You off again?" people say. "Ukraine? The Euros? You've got the best job in the world haven't you?"

So here I am, the man with 'the best job in the world', about to have a needle stuck in my backside by one half of the Mario brothers.

It wasn't meant to be like this.

As a day, it started like many others; up at 5am to catch my fourth of eleven flights during this tournament, bleary-eyed and grey I helped fellow photographers Eddie Keogh, Alexander Demianchuk and technician Magnus Storm load the taxi to the roof with our equipment.

But by the time I reached Kiev airport, something was wrong. I was doubled up in pain: a kidney infection, brought on by the 30 degree Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) heat and not drinking enough water I guess.
I never drink enough water. Rule #1 in this job is that toilets are often scarce. The worry of finding a convenient bush puts you off drinking.

from Photographers' Blog:

Shooting practice

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By Petr Josek

Yeah, yeah, yeah 4-1 loss for the Czechs against Russia in Wroclaw. The Russian fans left the city for Warsaw after that and ended up fighting Polish supporters. Wroclaw is calm and quiet. Here the fans like each other and the city center is calm and full of friendly faces. The spotlight moves on, but there is still work to be done.


After the next round the Czechs became a decisive opponent for Poland in advancing from Group A. Its a championship and the teams need to keep sharp, away from the headlines, and for photographers there are images to be made that tell the story. Eyes on the prize.

Twitter tells Sweden’s Lustig to “hold the post”

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By Phil O’Connor

Sweden defender Mikael Lustig will have no excuse for forgetting to hold his position against England in Euro 2012 - his mistake on the post for Ukraine’s second goal in Kiev has sparked a tactical Twitter meme that will take a long time to live down.

With the scores level at 1-1, Ukraine won a corner and Lustig took his place on the goal-line defending the near post. 

Gred Rusedski: Nadal the best record breaker of them all

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This year’s French Open was all about making history and breaking records. Roger Federer broke Jimmy Connors’ previous record of most Grand Slam match wins, which was 233 wins. Federer broke Connors’ record when he won his 2nd round match and will continue to extend this record.

Novak Djokovic was trying to be the first man in The Open era to hold all four majors at the same time and win his first French Open title; the last man to do this was the great Rod Laver in 1969.

from Photographers' Blog:

A different approach to Euro 2012

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By Kai Pfaffenbach


Being a Reuters photographer means you travel a lot. War zones, disasters or political visits are on your list. By far the most exiting events - for me - are still the big sports events. 2012 offers a nice variety and the Euro 2012 soccer tournament will be an excellent warm up for the Olympic games to follow shortly in London.

Although I've followed the German team in previous tournaments this time it's a different approach for me to cover the tournament. With my colleagues Pascal Lauener from Switzerland, Austria's chief photographer Leo Foeger and our technician Gilles de Queiros from France I'm covering the games in Warsaw and Gdansk. With the complicated history of Poland's and Germany's relationship in mind I started this trip with different expectations and was wondering if our Polish hosts had any prejudices against Germans. Let's not forget the first shots of World War II were fired at Gdansk (then Danzig) in September, 1939.

from Photographers' Blog:

A game of two other halves

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By Eddie Keogh

As part of our photographic coverage of Euro 2012, Darren Staples and myself from England and Michael Dalder from Germany are covering all the group games in Kiev and Lviv in Ukraine. Our first game was between Germany and Portugal last Saturday in Lviv and proved to be a very interesting day.

Saturday is a busy day to get married in Ukraine and as the city was also packed with fans it was only time before both parties would meet.

Ukrainian protesters stand up for their four-legged friends

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By Phil O’Connor

Ukraine has been getting a lot of stick in the run-up to Euro 2012 as protesters hop on the football bandwagon to try to make their point.

On Saturday, it was the turn of Kiev’s dog-lovers to call for a boycott of the soccer tournament as they stood up for the interests of their four-legged friends.

from Photographers' Blog:

Finding Funtik

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By Will Webster

Who could have foreseen what the late Paul the Octopus started when he began picking the winning teams at the 2010 World Cup? Presumably he could have, he was clairvoyant. But he may have struggled to predict the psychic circus that has appeared in the last week before the opening of the EURO2012 championship:  Fred the ferret, an elephant called Chitta and Kiev’s very own Funtik the pig.

Animals predicting the outcomes of sporting events are all part of various big competitions now, Sonny Wool the sheep had a good run during the rugby world cup in 2011, so it’s easy to take it all with a pinch of salt (we’ll talk about local eating habits later.) However, using animals to predict the future goes back to biblical times, doves landing on the arc gave Noah a hint of better times.
Sitting in Moscow, my first view of Funtik was Gleb’s picture of a rabid and vaguely scary looking beast. Fred the Ferret from Kharkiv has a much more furry and cheeky appeal, so why did Kiev go for a pig? 

from Photographers' Blog:

The Cuban gazelle

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By Desmond Boylan

A mixture of gazelle and human is the impression Dayron gave me when he took off from where I was standing on the training grounds and jumped the first hurdle. He became tiny in the lens very fast, and when he was running towards me there wasn't much time to shoot until he filled the frame.

Dayron Robles is the main sporting figure of the moment in Cuba. In his specialty event of the men's 110m hurdles, he won gold at the Beijing Olympics and is the current world record-holder.

Who will win Euro 2012? It is anyone’s guess

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The bookmakers might say Spain again and people who think they are in the know might say Germany, but really no one is sure who will triumph in the finals in Ukraine and Poland.

Netherlands reached the World Cup final but with Germany in their group, could they become a cropper early doors? France are on a good run but have they got the firepower and defensive stability needed?

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