Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

The Perils of Paula


Pressure from the British public to win an elusive Olympic title on the streets of London three years hence may explain some atypical public emotion from world marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe.

Radcliffe, unfailingly gracious and an athlete who refuses to indulge in self-pity or to rail against the caprices of fate, is statistically the best woman marathoner ever.

However, illness forced her to withdraw from the 2004 Athens Games marathon and injury thwarted her bid in Beijing last year.

Radcliffe will be 38 in 2012 and, although she has talked of running in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, the injuries mount and time slips away.

Bolt v Gay to light up Berlin


boltUsain Bolt versus Tyson Gay is the sort of showdown that would grace any era of athletics and with a bit of luck the world championships in Berlin should give us two takes – in the 100 and 200 metres. 

The match-up between the Jamaican and the American was supposed to be the highlight of the Beijing Olympics but it wasn’t meant to be. Bolt stole the show with three golds and three world records while Gay failed even to make the 100 final. Bolt was in such crowd-pleasing form that in truth you hardly noticed the other seven runners on the track.

Does golf really deserve a place in the Olympics?


roggePierre de Coubertin must be turning in his grave at the news that golf, surely the globe’s ultimate consumerist, exclusive sport, is set to be played at the 2016 Olympics.

The Frenchman revived the ancient Olympic Games at the end of the 19th century to embrace the spirit of sportsmanship and amateur ideals of a bygone era.

Merritt unfazed by Bolt’s 400 metres talk



Jamaican 100 and 200 metres world record holder Usain Bolt’s talk of the running the 400 metres competitively, maybe even in the 2012 London Olympics, is not causing current Games champion LaShawn Merritt a lot of concern.

“I am not going to lose any sleep over it,” Merritt told Reuters. “If he moves up, he moves up. “If he does, he will have a lane and I will have a lane, and we are going to go at it,” the 22-year-old Merritt said.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

British Olympic soccer team becomes right royal farce

There has not been one since 1960, the Scottish don’t want its return, neither do the Welsh, nor the Northern Irish and yet the prospect of a British soccer team at the 2012 London Olympics remains.

The English Football Association is refusing to relinquish an idea that nobody else seems to care about.