issuE 261, junE 22 2012 Radar 05 Poster boys
A bit of sporty artwork for your wall – we rather like this lot
07 The young ones
They arrived at Euro 2012 with burgeoning reputations: but whose has been enhanced?
08 Tasty dish
The lowdown on Aussie wonder horse Black Caviar
10 Editor’s letter
Roy Hodgson hasn’t worked the oracle, he’s just got the basics right. That’s all we wanted
oFeatures this coming week
14 England march on
We assess the chances of Hodgson’s men as they face Italy in the Euro 2012 quarter finals
23 Wladimir Klitschko
Brotherly love, and what he thinks about Dereck Chisora
The 10 greatest ever matches at the All England Club, just to whet your appetite
39 Ben Ainslie
Our finest sailor on his Olympic dreams with Rita
Extra Time 52 Kit
Who likes short shorts? We like short shorts. And they’re all here
54 Charlotte Dawson
Les Dawson’s daughter. Karma for all those wife gags
Some of these things just keep getting thinner... unlike us
Friday Night Lights, a cult hit in the US, is as smart as it is subtle. Also unlike us | June 22 2012 | 03
Hands on the prize
p07 – Euro 2012’s young guns: rated
p08 – Black Caviar arrives at Ascot
here are few things we like more at Sport than a unique and original sporting print. After all, that poster we have of the tennis player scratching their bare bum can only take up one of the office walls for so long (especially because – weirdly – ours is of Jeremy Bates). So it’s great to discover these snazzy posters from Berlin-based designer Rocco Malatesta, who has immortalised everyone from Michael Jordan to
p09 – The Djoker as a baby (we kid you not)
Diego Maradona to Tommie Smith and John Carlos’ 1968 Black Power salute in his sports prints. He does a few sporting films too – witness the swish Raging Bull and Rocky takes – and shows a fondness for depicting hands and gloves. So, knock us up a quick poster of Steven Gerrard with two hands on the Euro 2012 trophy pronto please, Rocco. Rocco...? Why are you laughing? Prints from $29, roccomalatesta.com
| June 22 2012 | 05
Young guns: hit or miss Plenty of young talent came into Euro 2012 to a backdrop of hype, but who has fulfilled expectations and who has flopped? Miss: Rasmus Elm (Sweden) Did you notice this guy causing England’s midfield all kinds of problems last Friday? No, nor did we. It’s been a quiet tournament for the AZ Alkmaar midfielder, feted as Sweden’s best creative talent since one Zlatan Ibrahimovic (and linked with both Liverpool and Manchester United last season). The big Elm certainly won’t be getting Sir Alex woody after the first two group games generally passed him by – so much so, in fact, that he was dropped for the 2-0 win over France.
Miss: Jetro Willems (Holland) Perhaps it’s harsh to call this 18-year-old left-back ‘hyped’, as he came into Euro 2012 with Dutch fans crossing their fingers that he could hold it together rather than be a breakout star. However, no matter how low expectations were, he’s certainly slid beneath them. Dismal distribution, rarely in position and dispossessed when he galumphed forwards with the ball, Willems gave three poor displays. Let’s hope the PSV youngster isn’t too mentally scarred by his baptism of rubbish.
Hit: Danny Welbeck (England) Started the season with people questioning whether he was good enough to be a Man Utd striker and ended it leading the line for England in a major tournament. His movement and workrate impressed against France despite a lack of service, but Welbeck really came into his own with that deft finish for the winner against Sweden. Innovative, stylish and insouciant, the 20-year-old’s backheel flick gave England fans a moment that they all too rarely get to enjoy.
Hit: Mats Hummels (Germany) Word on this 23-year-old German defender pre-tournament was that he was a class act who had struggled in replicating his Borussia Dortmund form for his country. That turned out to be half-right (the first bit), because the elegant central defender has played like the love child of Matthias Sammer and Franz Beckenbauer. A slight exaggeration, perhaps – but once Hummels has settled into games, he’s shown defensive assurance, supreme composure on the ball and a tasteful beard.
Miss: Christian Eriksen (Denmark) Another who joins Rasmus Elm on the ‘missing in action’ list. Ajax starlet and current Danish player of the year Eriksen was expected to shine at Euro 2012, but the unheralded Michael Krohn-Dehli and the self-heralded Nicklas Bendtner both outperformed the attacking midfielder. He’s still only 20 years old, however, so perhaps this was just one tournament too soon for a player who could still develop into an exceptional talent. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images, Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images, Lars Baron/Getty Images, Scott Heavey/Getty Images, Martin Rose/Getty Images, Joern Pollex/Getty Images, AFP/Getty Images
Hit: Alan Dzagoev (Russia) Russia are home early, but little blame is attached to their rising star, who turned 22 this month. Billed pre-tournament as the best (or rather ‘only’) young Russian in an ageing squad, the CSKA Moscow midfielder caught the eye with his penetrating runs and trio of goals. The only thing that could put watching Premier League clubs off is the pattern of talented Russians disappointing when removed from their home comforts. The fat rear-end of Andrei Arshavin has a lot to answer for.
Eagle eyes ice cream F
ederico Bahamontes was nicknamed ‘The Eagle of Toledo’ for the way he flew up mountains. He was also a climbing cyclist so powerful that he once stopped to eat a mid-race ice cream at the top of a mountain. Well, there’s a little more to the myth than that (though it’s true he ate the ice cream), as this detailed new biography of the six-time Tour de France ‘King of the Mountains’ champion proves. It’s a fascinating insight into a charismatic, temperamental star of the sport. The Eagle of Toledo by Alasdair Fotheringham (Aurum Press), £16.99
| June 22 2012 | 07
Tasty dish M
eet Black Caviar, who this Saturday bids to usurp our own dear Liz in becoming the real queen of Ascot. The six-year-old Aussie wondermare runs in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on the final day of the royal meeting tomorrow, and the bookies are currently offering odds of no better than 1/2 that she makes mincemeat of a top-class field of equine sprinters. But why is she such a big fish? Sport investigates.
Mark Dadswell/Getty Images
Known simply as 'Nelly' in the Melbourne stables of her trainer Peter Moody, Black Caviar's other nicknames include The Black Flash (note: she is actually dark brown) and, understatedly, The World's Greatest Sports Star on Four Legs. This isn't just idle bluster, mind – Nelly has won every single one of her 21 starts down under, amassing more than £3.6m in prize money and establishing her reputation as the world's fastest racehorse.
Baby got back Put bluntly, Black Caviar is a big girl. Most racehorses begin their careers as a two-year-old, but as a youngster her legs struggled to cope with her enormous body
08 | June 22 2012 |
and – how shall we put it – famously super-sized hindquarters. "Look, she is built like a brick shithouse," says Moody. "She is far and away the strongest horse I have ever trained. I call her the Serena Williams of the racing world – big butt, big power."
One-man girl Nelly is owned by a group of eight friends who hire a houseboat every February (who doesn’t?), and who formed a syndicate in 2007 to buy a filly for whom Moody had paid $210,000 AUD... but she belongs to one man only. "We don't let one person get overly close to her, we don't want people to get attached," says her besotted trainer. "I am up pretty early, about 3am, and she is on track by 3.45am at the latest. I then go to see her in the afternoon, and run my hand down her leg."
Rule Britannia? Black Caviar has never yet raced outside her native Australia, but connections reported smooth passage on her flight to the UK last week, during which she sported a speciallymade spandex body suit to help generate blood flow. But can she really transfer her southern-hemisphere form to a stage as grand as Royal Ascot? "We are not here to be beaten," says Moody. Who are we to argue?
Why so serious? Y
ou may recognise this picture – it’s clearly Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic. But who’s the young chap in the photo that The Djoker is flourishing? It is actually an image of him as a wee child, and it is part of an amazing new book that features tennis stars – including Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Kim Clijsters, Boris Becker and more – shot in unique ways, displaying photos of themselves as youngsters. Players also outline why they’ve chosen that particular image and discuss the influences that inspired them. Andy Murray, for example, picks out Michael Johnson as his hero, and there’s a note from Andy to Michael featured within. It’s a pretty incredible project and, while the book is strictly limited edition and not available on general sale, we have five copies to give away exclusively. Download the free Sport magazine iPad app for entry details. These photos are featured in Aspire, Inspire – a new book published by the International Tennis Federation to celebrate tennis at the Olympics. Find out more at 2012.itftennis.com
Radar Editor’s letter
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Managing expectations: Hodgson’s inﬂuence is evident across the team
Editor-in-chief: Simon Caney (7951) Deputy editor: Tony Hodson (7954) Associate editor: Nick Harper (7897) Art editor: John Mahood (7860) Deputy art editor: William Jack (7861) Subeditor: Graham Willgoss (7431) Senior writers: Sarah Shephard (7958), Alex Reid (7915) Staff writers: Mark Coughlan (7901), Amit Katwala (7914) Picture editor: Julian Wait (7961) Production manager: Tara Dixon (7963) Contributors: Claire Nash
Honest endeavour England may not be setting the world alight, but their progress under Roy Hodgson continues
Editor-in-chief Simon Caney @simoncaney
a new girlfriend: the future holds plenty of promise, and for now we’ll forgive them the little things that in future will almost certainly annoy us. We felt like this in the early days of Fabio Capello, remember. But Hodgson is different in that he’s long been a popular figure in English football (apart from among Liverpool fans for a brief spell). We like him, and we want him to succeed. We respect him for his football knowledge and we trust that he knows what he’s doing. When did we last say that about an England manager? It has clearly rubbed off on the players too. There is an endeavour about them, a willingness to run for their teammates that, as fans, we love. It has nothing to do with Messi-esque talent and everything to do with getting the basics right. It’s all pretty simple, and it begs the question of why it took so long.
The United States Golf Association had its revenge, then. After Rory’s romp last year, it made very sure that nobody was going to do the same to its beloved US Open in 2012. The spectacle wasn’t exactly pretty. To begin with, watching the best players in the world struggle over 18 holes was mildly entertaining: it’s nice to see them face the sort of shots the rest of us face every week in the club competition. But by the end, it was practically unwatchable: there was the odd birdie, even an eagle or two, but the course didn’t offer anywhere near enough chances to make anyone want to watch it. The US Open has been done a disservice by its organisers. It has been a dark week in sport. The deaths of young cricketer Tom Maynard and popular football writer Danny Fullbrook put things in perspective. Their combined age was 63.
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10 | June 22 2012 |
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oy Hodgson brings various qualities to a football side. They include organisation, tactical nous (rather than ﬂair) and a lot of hard work. The results have been there for all to see over the first three games of Euro 2012, after which England have improbably topped their group. Who’d have thought it? Come on now, be honest. In fact, there were plenty who insisted that Wayne Rooney should not even travel as England would be knocked out by the time he was eligible to play. But England now move on to a quarter final against Italy – a quarter final they have every chance of winning. True, that would set up a likely semi final against Germany, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. One major difference with this England team is the affection the public at large seems to hold for them. It’s like meeting
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Radar Frozen in time
12 | June 22 2012 |
Taking global warming to exciting new extremes, this shot shows France playing Ukraine in Donetsk last week beneath a mean, brooding sky. Moments later, hell burned clean through the heavens, fire rained down on all humanity and referee Bjรถrn Kuipers was replaced by Beelzebub himself, who booked Samir Nasri for diving. Sadly, by then, the photographer was all out of film.
Ian Walton/Getty Images
Red sky at night
Euro 2012 The Quarter Finals
Still in there ďŹ ghting â€Ś sort of. England weren't exactly convincing against the mighty Ukraine, but they have made it to the last eight as group winners. And yes, you read that correctly
14 | June 22 2012 |
Sunday June 24, Quarter Final
ENGLAND v ITALY
Olympic Stadium, Kiev, BBC 1 7.45pm ho'd have thought it? There were plenty who fervently believed that England would not qualify from Group D, let alone win it. But win it they did, and in so doing avoided world champions Spain in the quarter finals. Already, then, Roy Hodgson's men have exceeded expectations.
Unbeaten, unbowed England may not have dazzled Europe with too many silky skills so far (Danny Welbeck's goal against Sweden apart), but they are unbeaten and will take great heart from that. Hard graft and teamwork have been their stock in trade so far, and could take them yet further in this tournament. Hodgson will surely keep faith in the 4-4-2 and let Italy worry about how they are going to play (see below). And in Theo Walcott, Ashley Young and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Hodgson can call on genuine pace that can trouble Italy. Maybe England's greatest hope will have come from watching Ireland play Italy in Group C: the Irish had a poor
tournament, but still troubled and frustrated Italy with a display of energy and, more importantly, grit. And if there is one thing this England team has in spades, it is grit.
Middlemen The key battle will come in midfield, and it could be one of attrition between players in various states of disarray. Somehow, England's central pairing of Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker have got this far relatively intact â€“ indeed, Gerrard has probably been England's best player so far. For Italy, the imperious Andrea Pirlo (right) started the tournament brightly, but at 33 his fitness is a real concern for boss Cesare Prandelli. Both teams will have had a decent break between their last group games and this quarter final: it really could be a survival of the fittest. The Ukraine tie gave Wayne Rooney some muchneeded game time and, although he looked rusty for much of the time he was on the pitch, Hodgson will hope his talisman can only get better.
The likely line-ups Key Q: What formation will England face on Sunday evening? We all know what formation Hodgson will play against Italy, but how (if at all) will Cesare Prandelli shuffle his own pack? Does he stick with the 4-1-3-2 used to moderate effect against Ireland, or revert to the Juventus-inspired wing-back system he favoured earlier in the tournament? In the likely absence of hamstring victim Giorgio Chiellini at the back, Prandelli's desire to have Daniele De Rossi support a tiring Andrea Pirlo in midfield, coupled with England's use of Young and James Milner out wide, may just tip the balance in favour of the former.
Joe Hart Joleon Lescott
Danny Welbeck Wayne Rooney
Daniele Antonio De Rossi Cassano
Christopher Lee/Getty Images, Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/GettyImages
Euro 2012 Quarter Finals Saturday June 23, Quarter Final
Spain v FrancE
Donbass arena, Donetsk, iTV 1 7.45pm oth these sides picked up four points from their opening two games – draws against tough opponents and then comfortable wins over opposition they were expected to beat. Then came that third group game, and complacency seemed to set in. Just as they had at times in their opener against Italy, the Spanish looked sluggish against Croatia. And France, having convincingly dispatched Ukraine 2-0 in their second game, slumped – incredibly – to defeat against Sweden, who had already booked their flight home.
attack v defence There was steel to Laurent Blanc's France in their opening two games, in which they allowed only two shots on target against them – although admittedly those games were against England and Ukraine. Perhaps the Sweden result is more indicative of how the French defence will cope against a team willing to go at them. Whether Spain are that team is uncertain; they've been far from
fluent, controlling possession but without the sort of incision they need to score freely (except against Ireland, who largely beat themselves with their defending – or lack of it).
Eleven midfielders? Vicente del Bosque has experimented with playing without a recognised striker, starting the opener with no fewer than six midfielders. One of them – Cesc Fabregas – eventually got the goal required to level with Italy. Del Bosque's players complained that their passing game was wrecked by the pitch in that match, and in similar conditions against Croatia they looked equally off the pace. Spain prefer to play centrally and have refused to spread the play, even with Alvaro Arbeloa and Jordi Alba consistently in space on the flanks. France operate in contrast to that, Franck Ribery and Samir Nasri their wide attacking outlets. It's not certain how the teams will line up – but they'll both have to play a lot better than they did in their final group games if they want to go any further.
The likely line-ups Key Q: Will a dry pitch scupper stubborn Spain again? After their first group game in Gdansk, the Spanish complained that a dry pitch had scuppered their passing play, and they certainly looked more fluent in their next game at the same stadium in the rain. Their final game, against Croatia, was in the same venue – but in dry conditions again. And again, Spain struggled, taking an extra touch when they'd normally be playing a pass, and struggling to keep possession for once. The next game is in Donetsk, where the groundsman's sprinklers (or another huge thunderstorm) could be key. 16 | June 22 2012 |
Gerard pique iker casillas Sergio ramos
Sergio Busquets Xavi
Karim Samir Benzema nasri Yohan cabaye
Xabi alonso David Silva
adil rami Hugo Lloris phillippe Mexes
Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images, Franck Fife/AFP/GettyImages
Euro 2012 Quarter Finals Friday June 22, Quarter Final
GErmany v GrEEcE
arena Gdansk, Gdansk, BBc 1 7.45pm ometimes sport throws up delicious twists. The fact that Greece face their great Eurozone creditors Germany gives this tie extra resonance, but in purely football terms, the game looks as imbalanced as the cash disparity between the two nations.
The face of death Germany dealt with the so-called 'group of death' in brisk fashion – by taking a maximum nine points and at times baring their teeth to show why they they're the most fearsome attacking team at this tournament. Their midfield options (including Mesut Ozil, right) are so devastating that they could drop in-form striker Mario Gomez for Angela Merkel and still start this match as favourites. Greece, meanwhile, sneaked through qualifying with an upset win against Russia that has cost them their captain and goal-scorer Giorgos Karagounis after he was wrongly booked for diving, resulting in a one-match suspension. And while Euro 2004
comparisons are rife, the truth is that Greece look less defensively solid than they did eight years ago. Kyriakos Papadopoulos has been immense and, overall, the bus is still parked – but smoke is billowing from its engine.
Greek hope The slim hope for Greece is their spirit. It was incredible to see how much the win against Russia meant to the players as they celebrated on the pitch, and then back at their hotel with unfettered passion. Frankly, this is a group of men with nothing to lose. Several haven't been paid by their clubs in some time. All of them understand the lift they can give their nation with a performance in this game. In talent terms, in tactical terms, you can make no case for them – but this Greek team have a bond, a desire and a glint of desperation in their eyes that make them impossible to totally write off. Will it be enough to win? Probably not. But they will fight to the bitter end with what they have.
The likely line-ups Key Q: Can Greece be lightning from kick off? The sluggish starts of Greece have been a pattern throughout Euro 2012. They conceded after 17 minutes against Poland, were 2-0 down after just six minutes to the Czech Republic and, while they kept a clean sheet against Russia, they were battered mercilessly for the first 40 minutes. Against Germany, Greece simply cannot afford to concede early on. If they're facing a deficit (no pun intended) and forced to chase the game, Germany will likely destroy them on the break. It's vital Greece hit the ground running in this match. 18 | June 22 2012 |
Holger Badstuber manuel neuer mats Hummels
Sami Khedira mesut Ozil
Georgios Fotakis Giannis maniatis
Bastian Schweinsteiger Thomas muller
Kyriakos Papadopoulos michalis Sifakis Sokratis Papastathopoulos
Alex Livesey/Getty Images, Gabriel Bouys/AFP/GettyImages
NEVER GIVE UP JASON GARDENER (MBE) OLYMPIC CHAMPION SPRINTER
PORTR AIT BY WILLEM JASPERT
Euro 2012 The Story So Far
He is the Messiah!
ccording to Greek mythology, Sport’s most favourite kind of mythology of all, King Midas was an old fool driven to the edge of destruction by greed. Odd then, that this was the week in which that important FA suit Sir Dave Richards took a break from falling into water fountains to compare old Midas with loveable England manager Roy Hodgson. Unlike Midas, Roy does not have a beard or a crown, so we can only assume Sir Dave was drawing a loose parallel with the way both men have a habit of turning average tat into gold – which in Roy’s case means the England football team. When you consider the evidence – topping Group D and avoiding Spain with only half an hour to pick his squad and prepare before the tournament began – Dave might actually have a point. In terms of performances, it may be the type of gold Gerald Ratner used to peddle – but it’s gold nonetheless. The manager’s secret formula for success is simple enough – indeed, it’s no secret at all any more because he keeps leaving the curtains open at Camp England so that the whole world can stick its head in on team meetings. Sir Dave calls it “the comradeship behind the scenes”, which sounds more complicated than it actually is. Because all he really means is that Mr Hodgson has taken to hosting a regular, at ease Quiz Night for the players. (The first event was reportedly a roaring success, won by Glen Johnson, who spelled ‘cat’ correctly on a tie-break – or at least with the fewest mistakes.)
20 | June 22 2012 |
This refreshingly simple approach of treating children like adults has helped relax the squad ahead of tomorrow’s quarter-final defeat to Spain Italy, replacing the scowls of the Capello era with a feel-good factor. The camp is happy and confidence has returned, we’re told, but inevitably there’s always one who gets carried away. “I think we’re good enough to win it,” blabbed Wayne Rooney, even before the Ukraine game, making him the first player to lose his head and mutter the words we prayed they wouldn’t ever dare speak again. (JT would inevitably have got there first, only he’s bound and gagged and bundled into a back room after every game to save him from himself and save the FA any further embarrassment.) “We’ve got the squad, we’re more organised than ever and etc and so on,” wheezed Wazza. And while we’d love to believe him and dare to dream, the sad truth of the matter is that, had young Wayne spent a bit more time watching any of these Euros and a little less allowing himself to be painted as the moody Messiah by his sponsors and the BBC, he’d have noted almost every team (in fact, every team) left in the competition is even better organised than England. They certainly have more etc and so on about them. Elsewhere, tearing ourselves away from England, we vaguely recall that arses featured prominently during week two – and not just on the BBC sofa (look, if Lineker can engage in insultingly laboured
one-liners, why can’t we?). First, the Sweden squad engaged in an innocent game of ‘playing pig’, wherein they booted balls at the bare buttocks of their goalkeeper as an act of punishment for something or other. They were quickly accused of bullying by Sweden’s moral moderators, even though he was only the reserve keeper. Then the Greek squad celebrated reaching the quarters by inviting matchwinner Giorgios Karagounis’ three small children on to the pitch and then parading around them in a traditional Greek celebratory circle dance thing. This was a genuinely heartwarming sight, until one of the players kicked one of the kiddies up the arse a few times and the authorities had to intervene. The other arse of note last week was Ronaldo, who repeated (but cleverly reversed) his hair-of-two-halves trick of week one; stepping out with a frisky tousle top in the first half against Holland, then greasing it down with pig pomade for the second. He scored with both styles, so it clearly worked. Inevitably, though, the most notable news of the past seven days was that The Capello Index somehow remains open for business. The biggest surprise here is not so much that Denmark’s Michael Krohn-Dehli is ‘statistically’ the most impressive player at these Euros (at the time of writing, according to TCI’s complicated model of guesswork and speculation), but that The Don hasn’t just lost interest and walked off with his cash. But there’s still time.
Carl De Souza/AFP/GettyImages, Encyclopaedia Britannica/UIG Via Getty Images, Shaun Botterill/ Getty Images, Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images, ImageBroker/Rex Features, iStockphoto
Week two of the Euros is over and we’re finding it’s not the despair. We can stand the despair. It’s the hope...
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Wladimir Klitschko on being competitive with his brother — and how Dereck Chisora made him sick for three days
hen we were younger, we were like knuckleheads,” says Wladimir Klitschko, bashing his fists into each other as he speaks. “We went really tough on one another.” He’s talking about his relationship with his older brother and fellow heavyweight boxer, Vitali, dismissing the belief that the pair are both interchangeable and always on the same page. “We are not cloned,” he adds. “We are brothers, but there’s a five-year age gap. Even though we have the same parents, we don’t have the same character. Sometimes we have the same opinion, but often it’s different.” Wladimir also confirms that despite the closeness that exists between boxing’s most famous brothers, a traditional sibling rivalry does exist. “We are totally competitive. Both of us want to do the same thing better than the other does. It’s a competition between us, but it’s a healthy
competition. And you know what? We’re actually more supportive of each other now. We never had a bad relationship, but it’s improving with time.”
Feel the love One difference between them that Wladimir has long openly pointed out is that he sees his brother as the one with the natural fighter’s instinct that he himself does not possess. “Fighting is in Vitali’s blood,” is how he puts it in the feature-length documentary Klitschko that he’s in London to promote. So if Vitali is the one who took to boxing like a giant Ukrainian duck to water, when was it that Wladimir began to love the sport enough to stay active in it from his teens until the age of 35? “You’ll be surprised, but I did not fall in love with boxing in the beginning when I started to box,” he says. “I started to box because I wanted to get out of the Soviet Union in order to travel, to see
different countries — and I was following in the footsteps of my older brother. I really never used to love boxing at all, to be honest with you.” It’s easy to believe Wladimir as he says this. Despite his broad, 6ft 5in frame and the fact that we’re sat talking in an old boxing gym under London Bridge, he doesn’t immediately strike you as a boxer. His face is free from any marks or scar tissue, he’s tanned, wearing a well-cut but low-key suit and sipping a large coffee. There’s not even a Chris Eubank monocle to give a hint to his profession. So what — if anything — has changed? “I actually fell in love with boxing when I lost two fights [in 2003 and 2004]. It showed me that life in sport is such an exciting thing — and that I was about to lose it. You can work all your life and the way up is very long, but the way back down is just one step. So I had to come back. I had to find it in myself to do things right, to reorganise
| June 22 2012 | 23
myself — that’s when suddenly I loved boxing. And when you’re in love with what you do, you’re going to have success. But those two losses made it happen.” Since those two defeats, over eight years ago, Wladimir has known only victory. His run of 15 wins (11 knockouts) have left him and Vitali bossing the heavyweight division, despite the efforts of David Haye and Dereck Chisora, who infamously brawled at a press conference following the latter’s points loss to Vitali. I’m told pre-interview that Wladimir is happy to talk about his or his brother’s lives, but he’d rather not comment on the careers of other boxers. So it comes as a surprise when Wladimir voluntarily shares his feelings on the British pair’s upcoming bout. After listing “Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali and Lennox Lewis” as examples of what make boxing a classy sport, he adds, “You have some bad examples, like Dereck Chisora, but it doesn’t mean you can judge a sport — or a nation — on one man. In a big family, there are always some bad kids. But we have to not be supportive of such behaviour — we have to punish it. “I’m not saying Chisora shouldn’t get a second chance,” he continues, “but he has to do it in the proper way. Sneaking a licence from Luxembourg — what kind of message are we sending to young people with that? It looks that the worse you behave, the more notorious you are, the more money you’re going to make. So I’m not supportive of what’s going on with this fight. If they got a licence from Luxembourg, they should fight in Luxembourg.”
24 | June 22 2012 |
Spitting image As Chisora is the topic, I ask Wladimir the obvious question: how hard was it to hold himself back when Dereck spat water in his face in the ring the night that Chisora fought Vitali in February. “I am glad that I...” he stops and shakes his head. “You can imagine the kind of qualities I have to give an answer to Chisora after his behaviour,” he says, clearly not referring to a verbal response. “I was sick for three days, psychologically, afterwards... but I’m glad that I held myself back, because that was the night of Vitali. If I had done something [physically reacted], everything would be blamed on me. But I truly believe Wladimir goes faceto-phlegm with Dereck Chisora
that Chisora needs psychological help. He needs treatment. Two days later, when he’s saying, ‘I apologise for what I’ve done...’ you don’t really mean it. Someone has told you to say that.” Wladimir seems to feel more strongly about Chisora than he does his own one-time tormentor David Haye (who he describes simply as “technically good, incredibly fast”), possibly because he feels more dislike for his brother’s opponents than his own. “I‘m absolutely more nervous when Vitali is in the ring and I’m standing outside as a cornerman,” he admits, despite being well aware that Vitali can take care of himself. “When I’m in the ring, my pulse is about 55 or 60. I’m totally cool and I know what to do. But when my brother fights, I’m a nervous wreck.” Clearly the pair are close, far too close to ever fight in the ring for real. However, as my time with the big fellow is almost up, I can’t resist one last test of the sibling bond. I point out that Chris Byrd, one of the few boxers who’s fought both Klitschko brothers, is adamant that Wladimir hits the harder of the two. I’m interested to see whether he’ll be the modest little brother and play it down. Wladimir cocks his head and pauses before responding. “Hey — I know that I hit harder than my brother,” he eventually replies. “There’s no need to hear it from someone else.” Then he lets out a loud laugh. Alex Reid @otheralexreid The feature-length documentary Klitschko is now available on Blu-ray and DVD from Universal Pictures (UK)
Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images
“When I’m in the ring, I’m totally cool — when my brother fights, I’m a nervous wreck”
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Banned for a year. Two more wrecked By injury. disqualified from The world championships. BuT chrisTine ohuruogu remains deTermined To defend her olympic TiTle. ahead of The uk aThleTics Trials, Sport meeTs The local girl longing To show london jusT whaT she can do
or many Team GB athletes, that first visit to the Olympic Park has come on an official tour or when passing through London. It's been just a fleeting glimpse of the arena where they will compete in the biggest events of their lives. Not so for Christine Ohuruogu, who lives just down the road from the Olympic development in Newham, and has seen the stadium and sporting infrastructure spring up around her as she's been preparing for the Games. That preparation is entering its final stages, and the UK Athletics Trials this weekend will be Ohuruogu's last competitive outing before the Games. Despite the event being staged at Crystal Palace, the focus is firmly on Stratford. “I think the trials for me are about preparing for the summer," says Ohuruogu. "So we're going to run a three-day competition cycle – we'll run the day before
the trial starts, and then the two days at the trials. It's more about me running and getting up to speed with competitions again.” It will be just domestic competition facing Ohuruogu when she lines up for the first heats today. The reigning Olympic 400m champion is streets ahead of her nearest UK competitors, but remains relatively modest when we ask whether any of her compatriots are even capable of getting near her at the trials. “I think in the 400m we have got some depth, so it should be good competition for everyone and hopefully everybody can get the qualifying times they need to make it to the Olympics,” she says. There's no danger of Ohuruogu missing out on that mark. She's had a fine season so far, with times well below those required for qualification – and improving as the year goes on. So, with qualification a virtual formality, what's her goal for the trials? >
Stu Forster/Getty Images
Trial by fire
| June 22 2012 | 27
Stu Forster/Getty Images, Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images, Michael Steele/Getty Images
Christine Ohuruogu “A season's best would be good,” Ohuruogu replies. The time to beat, then, is 50.69 – attained at a Diamond League meeting in New York a fortnight ago. It is also her best time for a number of years, for it has not been an easy ride for Ohuruogu since her gold medal win. She's been plagued by injuries since 2009, and when it finally looked as if she had recovered in time to compete strongly at last year's World Championships in Daegu, she suffered the ignominy of disqualification after a baffling false start in the heats. She was, of course, not the only high-profile instant disqualification at those championships – Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt also fell foul of the same rule. Surprisingly, Ohuruogu does not believe the rules should be changed. “I don't really care, to be honest,” she says. “Even though I did false start, it's not really something I thought about. We just have to try and discipline ourselves a bit more and keep within the rules.”
Highs and lows
2003 Wins a 400m bronze at the European Junior Championships Season's best: 54.21
Although she was clearly distressed, Ohuruogu identifies her improved mental resilience as one of the ways she's changed in the past four years – and she quickly got over the disappointment to resume training. “I false started on the Monday and I was back in training the next day,” she explains. That mental steel was evident in the self-belief she showed during the injury hit years of 2009 and 2010. “It wasn't lifethreatening, it wasn't career ending," says Ohuruogu. "I just needed time to get over it and get in the right shape. I never doubted I'd be alright.” Now Ohuruogu is heading into the London Games injury-free – “for once” – and in the best form she's been in since 2008. A storming third leg of the 4x400m relaywinning team at the Indoor World Championships in Istanbul in March – in which she picked up the baton in third place, hunted down the Russians and Americans,
2004 Reaches semi finals in Olympic 400m, and is part of fourth place 4x400m relay team SB: 50.50
and handed it over to Perri Shakes-Drayton in first – highlighted her capabilities. Still, competition is fierce, and Ohuruogu has been monitoring her rivals as she eyes a second Olympic gold. “You have to keep an eye on what's going on and what kind of progression people are making – what kind of times they're running. You can't be completely blind as to what's going on outside.”
2005 Reaches World Championships semis, and bags a bronze medal in the relay SB: 50.73
2006 Wins Commonwealth Gold medal in Melbourne, but is banned in June from competing for a year after missing three drugs tests. Initially banned from all future Olympics by the BOA SB:50.28
2007 Ban expires in June, and she wins gold at World Championships in Osaka (and a relay bronze). Her Olympic ban is overturned in November after a lengthy legal battle SB: 49.61
She refuses, however, to single out any particular runners whom she sees as her main rivals, pointing out that people have a habit of raising their game for the big occasions. Ohuruogu herself is a prime example, with her Olympic gold coming a year after her lengthy ban for missing drugs tests. “I try not to focus on any one runner,” she says. “They're all just as good as each other. I really don't go in for singling anyone out because everybody wants exactly the same thing – and, you once you put them in an Olympic setting, you don't know what they're gonna do. So, as far as I'm concerned, everyone's a rival.” So, what has it been like for Ohuruogu preparing for the Games in the growing shadow of the Olympic Park? “It's been a challenge I think, living around the area – just having it thrown in your face all the time," she says. "Other athletes can go home and not have to pass the stadium 2008 Wins Olympic gold in Beijing – Britain's only track and field gold of the Games SB: 49.62
2009 Struggles with injuries, including a hamstring problem, and is unable to successfully defend her world title SB: 50.21
2010 Misses several months of the season with more injury problems, including a torn quadricep SB: 50.88
2011 Injury-free leading up to the World Championships, but false starts in the heats and is disqualified SB: 50.85
all the time. I kind of wish I didn't have to see it, to be honest. But I think I'm quite good at kind of distancing myself from it – even though I see it every day, I don't really see it as the Olympic Stadium. “The fact that it's in my home town is not gonna help me run well. For me it's about trying to keep myself as calm as possible going into the Games. If you're too hyped up, your brain doesn't operate in the way it's supposed to – I need to keep a calm head.” If she can do that as the hype builds, and continue her strong preparation for the Games at this week's trials, the local girl has a real chance of giving the whole country something to shout about. Amit Katwala @amitkatwala Christine Ohuruogu is a wellness ambassador for Technogym, Official Fitness Equipment Supplier for London 2012. Visit www.technogym.com 2012 Posts her best time for four years, and wins gold in 4x400m indoor relay in Istanbul SB: 50.69
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Best of British
Friendships are on hold at the Olympic trials this weekend, as teammates go head to head to qualify for London 2012. We asked Paul Dickenson, the BBC's voice of athletics, which battles to keep an eye on...
Saturday BBC Two 4.45pm Sunday BBC Two 5pm
“All the fuss that was made about Dwain Chambers (below, second from left) and he hasn't qualified. Only two Brits have the qualifying standard so far, one of whom is 18-year-old Adam Gemili. He is top of the British rankings at the moment – running 10.08 earlier this month in Germany – and he's the fastest man in the country this year. He had planned to go to the World Junior Championships this summer rather than the Olympics. Now he will compete at the Olympic trials, but is yet to decide [at time of going to press] whether he will run in London. There's also James Dasaolu, who ran 10.18 in May. As well as Chambers, there are a number of guys who have run the qualifying time in the past: Mark Lewis-Francis, James Alaka and Tyrone Edgar. But everyone will watch to see if Chambers can pull something out the bag.” (Final: Saturday 6.17pm)
Women's 800m (A standard 1:59.90) “We've got a wealth of talent here. Former World and European bronze medalist Jenny
Meadows is coming back from injury and illness, but Emma Jackson has run under two minutes this year already – as has Marilyn Okoro. There's also Jemma Simpson and a phenomenal young athlete called Jessica Judd, who are close to two minutes. Judd is just 17 years old, and may concentrate on the World Juniors. But she's run 2.01 this year. Okoro might be satisfied just to win the race, but the odds are that someone will take the pace up quickly and as many athletes as possible will try to dip under two minutes.” (Final: Saturday 5.23pm)
Men's 400m hurdles (A standard: 49.50s) “This is going to be an absolute cracker. You've got the two 'Greens' – Dai Greene and Jack Green – who have certainly run the qualifying time this year. Providing Dai lands safely over the last hurdle, he's an automatic qualifier for the Olympics. But the other two spots are up for grabs, and we've got five guys who've run the A standard already this year, so that's five guys fighting for just three spots. And there's a sixth guy – Ben
Sumner, who's got the B standard. It will be a brilliant final and, who knows, someone could spring a surprise. This young kid Jack Green is a phenomenal athlete and both he and Dai share the same coach, so maybe he has something up his sleeve.” (Final: Saturday 5.13pm)
Men's 110m hurdles (A standard 13.52s) “We've only seen glimpses of former European champion Andy Turner this year. He's got exactly the same problem he had last year, which is a slight Achilles issue, and you don't know how much the heats will take out of him. He's a class athlete, but he's got these two youngsters pushing him – Lawrence Clarke and Andy Pozzi. Clarke is from the landed gentry – a former Eton schoolboy whose father is a baron – and a former European junior champion. Pozzi was a silver medalist in the European Juniors and both of them have run faster than Turner this year. I suspect we'll have three athletes going to the Olympics in the sprint hurdles.” (Final: Sunday 3.35pm)
BBC Pictures/Scott Heavey/Getty Images
Men's 100m (A standard: 10.18s)
| June 22 2012 | 31
The Top 10.. Wimbledon matches AheAd of Wimbledon fortnight, Which begins on mondAy, We bring you the most memorAble mAtches of All time At the All englAnd club Give us a (Tie-) break
gonzAles beAts PAsArell, 1969
The World WepT WiTh her
Chris Cole/Allsport, Dennis Oulds/Central Press/Getty Images Hamish Blair/Getty Images
grAf beAts novotnA, 1993
It is now almost 20 years since one of the great sporting breakdowns of all time, when the hard-hitting Czech Jana Novotna fell apart not once but twice in the space of half an hour on an emotionally charged Centre Court. Leading Steffi Graf 4-1 in the deciding set of the women's singles final, the then 24-year-old Novotna suddenly appeared struck down with fear. Was it the prospect of capturing her maiden Grand Slam title that so paralysed her, or was it simply the sight of a Teutonic goddess who had lost only one match at Wimbledon in five years standing on the other side of the net? Either way, Novotna capitulated, losing five games in a row to see the championship slip from her grasp, then promptly wept like a baby on the shoulder of the Duchess of Kent (above) when picking up her loser's (sorry, 'runnersup') shield. Thankfully, the Czech was no Jimmy White – five years later, on the very same court, she swept aside Nathalie Tauziat to win her one and only Grand Slam title.
Back in 1969, Pancho Gonzales was a 41-year-old who looked 61 and in all probability shouldn't have been doing anything for five hours and 12 minutes, let alone playing tennis. He had a touch of pedigree, though, having won the US Open as an amateur in both 1948 and 1949 – so, when faced with this marathon five-setter against the much younger Puerto Rican Charlie Pasarell, class (and a good night’s sleep after he convinced the match umpire to suspend play for bad light when two sets down) just about saw the wily old dog through. To the second round. It proved a seminal moment in the history of tennis, though; a match that included a 46-game first set, 30-game third set and 20-game decider led to the introduction of the modern tie-break system. No game could ever last as long again… or could it?
Monday The Championships, Wimbledon All England Club BBC Two 11.30am
The eTernal seT
isner beAts mAhut, 2010 It bloody well could, actually – and then some. Only two years ago, a match featuring American John Isner and Nicolas Mahut of France started life as a low-profile first-round clash between two unfancied outsiders – but ended up a titanic struggle that will go down as one of the great sporting epics. Eleven hours and five minutes of compellingly average tennis, spread over three days, climaxed in a fifth and deciding set comprising no fewer than 138 games, and which itself lasted more than eight hours. Exhausted, emotionally spent and very possibly believing they were hallucinating, the victorious Isner and his vanquished adversary each found themselves presented with a crystal bowl and some champagne flutes for their troubles. Mahut wept, they both slept… and then a spent Isner took an absolute pounding – losing 6-0, 6-3, 6-2 – by some lad whose name we forget in the second round.
| June 22 2012 | 33
Venus flies the trap
Williams beats Davenport, 2005 Hard to believe it’s now seven years since two giants of the modern women’s game thrashed it out in the longest ladies’ final in the history of Wimbledon. Lasting a full two hours and 45 minutes, this was a brutal meeting of two of the hardest hitters ever to grace women’s tennis. Lindsay Davenport, the 1999 champion and baseline slugger par excellence, took the opening set and looked to be on her way to victory when enjoying matchpoint in the second. But Venus Williams, a two-time Wimbledon winner looking for a first Grand Slam title in four years, was not to be denied; she fought back to level in a tie-break before prevailing 9-7 in the third – thus becoming the first woman since 1935 to claim victory after facing championship point. Helen Jacobs in the 1935 US Open, in case you were wondering.
Changing of the guard Federer beats sampras, 2001
Heading into this fourth-round meeting, Pete Sampras was a seven-time Wimbledon champion widely recognised as the greatest player ever to compete on the grass of the All England Club; Roger Federer, a decade the American’s junior, was a Swiss teenager with a ponytail. Three hours and 41 minutes of scintillating and gladiatorial tennis later, Sampras stood defeated by the man who would inherit his crown as the undisputed king of SW19. It was the only time the two most
successful players in the history of men’s tennis would ever face off in an ATP tournament. There was no trophy at stake, and Federer would have to wait two more years for his maiden Wimbledon title (his 2001 run being ended by – wait for it – Tim Henman), when he beat Mark Philippoussis in three sets; but this match represented the end of an era, and the first throes of what many believe is the greatest age the men’s game has ever seen. Momentous stuff.
Martina raises the Bar Billie Jean King started the ball rolling for women’s tennis to be taken seriously in the 1960s, but it was the Czech-born Martina Navratilova who took that ball and hammered it home for the best part of two decades after her. And it all started with this, her first Grand Slam title, achieved with a captivating three-set win over the darling of the crowd, Chris Evert, in 1978. Where Evert was all elegance and deftness of touch, Navratilova wielded her racket with a hammer of a left arm, displaying power never before seen but which informed many of the great female players (Graf, Davenport, the Williams sisters) who succeeded her. It was a contrast that beguiled the watching world across a staggering 60 finals for Navratilova – but this one set the tone.
Best of three
eDberg beats becker, 1990 Back in the days when grass-court tennis was still ruled by the serve-and-volleyers, few rivalries could match that enjoyed by the implacable Swede Stefan Edberg and his more explosive German counterpart Boris Becker. Their respective styles were the same and yet intriguingly contrasting, so the three consecutive finals they played out between 1988 and 1990 made for fascinating viewing. Edberg won the first in four sets with the minimum of fuss, but was blown away by Becker’s sheer power 12
34 | June 22 2012 |
months later; so the third was to act as something of a decider – and, appropriately, it was by some way the best of the three. Edberg, all class and precision, coasted into a two-set lead; but no sooner had he done so than Becker bounced back with sets three and four. The momentum was going in only one direction, but nobody had told the ice-cool Swede. Edberg struck the final blow and took his second Wimbledon title – the last time that either great man would lift the trophy on Centre Court.
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images, Clive Brunskill/Allsport, Bob Martin/Getty Images, Central Press/Getty Images
navratilova beats evert, 1978
Wimbledon The wildcard
IvanIsevIc beats RafteR, 2001
Bongarts/Getty Images, Rob Taggart/Central Press/Getty Images, Julian Finney/Getty Images
The first Wimbledon men’s final to be played on a Monday, due to even more inclement weather than usual in SW19, became known as ‘the people’s final’ – and in the bigserving, big-hearted Croatian Goran Ivanisevic, it threw up a winner as appropriate as he was unlikely. Three times a beaten finalist in the previous nine years, Ivanisevic rocked up in 2001 as a wildcard, a likeable veteran whose imposing frame had
started to fail him – but as other more fancied figures fell, the Croat rediscovered his best form and (with a little help from the weather) managed to see off Tim Henman on his way to a final against the popular Australian Pat Rafter. Ivanisevic’s creaking back held out for for five gruelling sets; he took the decider 9-7, thus etching his name into the history books… and on to the heart For Tim Henman’s of every man, woman and child there. expert insight into Wimbledon 2012, including yet more thoughts on what Andy Murray has to do to win a Grand Slam event, download the iPad version of Sport magazine now
BorG BeATS Mcenroe, 1980 Few envisaged four-time champion Bjorn Borg having any trouble in securing a fifth straight All England title when he showed up for the 1980 tournament, but then few had taken into account a certain combustible 21-year-old American. There was little sign of the pleasingly sardonic pundit he was to become, because John McEnroe was all attitude, emotion and, let’s not forget, raw talent. The American raced through the first set and then, having dropped sets two and three, prevailed 18-16 in the most famous tie-break in Wimbledon history. The experienced Bjorg had been there, done it and invested in every T-shirt and pair of overpriced designer kecks going, however – and when the going got tough in the decider, the Swede got going. McEnroe succumbed 8-6 in the fifth, but would have his revenge a year later.
The greaTesT maTch of all Time nadal beats fedeReR, 2008
Those who remember Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall at their best may dispute our assertion that we are living through the greatest era of tennis the men’s game has ever known, but not many others would want to argue the toss. And, while Novak Djokovic continues his one-man assault on the standards and records set by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal over the past eight or nine years, we are left to look back on what remains widely regarded as the greatest single tennis match ever. It was the Wimbledon men’s singles final of 2008 – and, after two previous failed attempts to rob Federer of the title that meant most to
36 | June 22 2012 |
him, Nadal finally saw off the Swiss lion in his own personal, grassy den. It took him four hours and 48 minutes to do so, through five sets of rain-interrupted but spectacular tennis that ended in near darkness. The scoreboard read 9.15pm when Federer slammed his final shot into the net to gift his great rival a 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7 victory; the champion defeated, Nadal fell exhausted, but jubilant, to the ground, leaving the rest of us to marvel at one of the greatest battles tennis – nay, sport as a whole – had ever served up. Before putting the kettle on and turning over for Downton Abbey. Probably.
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You were the first person to carry the Olympic torch on British soil. Did that help you get a feel of the support that’s starting to build across the country? “Absolutely. The atmosphere was incredible. The number of people that turned out so early in the morning, and the excitement on people’s faces, was great to see. I’ve never paid that much attention to the Olympic torch in previous Games, but to see how it gave everybody the opportunity to feel close to the Games and part of it was fantastic.” How big can having a home Olympics be for raising interest in sailing? “Yeah, it’s such a great opportunity for all sports. For us, we’ve seen some fantastic facilities come about and we’ve also seen some great initiatives to get the youngsters out on the water. It’s all part of the legacy based around the Games, and hopefully that will continue and encourage many more youngsters into the sport.” Do you sense that interest levels are rising already? “Yeah, you definitely notice more younger people at events — although that could just be because I’m getting older! We train at one of the national training academies at Weymouth, and they have one of these initiatives where you can sail for a fiver. Every weekday, we see the school kids out on the water — it’s something that’s nice to be a part of, and to see.”
How are the facilities in Weymouth looking? “The sailing venue’s fantastic and it’s a very challenging place to sail, which is exactly what we want. On the shoreside, the facilities are second to none in terms of what you need to get the boat prepared and all the rest of it, so I think it’s going to be a great venue for the games.” Does home advantage help in sailing? “Yes, to a certain extent. The more you sail in a particular area, the better acquainted you are with the wind patterns and so on, so it undoubtedly helps being at home. Having said that, all the teams have been around the area and training here for the last three or four years, so they’ve been getting used to the conditions too.” You had an operation earlier this year on your back. How’s it feeling? “Yeah, it’s good. It was a bit of a stressful period going for such an operation so close to the Olympics, but it seems to have gone well and I’ve recovered okay and am back racing well. I’m feeling ready to go, which is the most important thing.” London’s successful bid was announced in 2005. Has it been a goal to compete here ever since? “Definitely. To be perfectly honest, I was considering my Olympic future and competitive plans after Athens in 2004, but then I was involved in the process for the 2012 bid, and I was in Trafalgar Square when it was announced that London had won the Games. It was one of those occasions when the atmosphere was absolutely electric, and at that moment, I just said to myself that this is going to be incredible and I want to be a part of it, so I started training for Beijing with an eye on continuing through to 2012.” >
| June 22 2012 | 39
Mark Dadswell/Getty Images
BE, OBE, CBE and three-time Olympic gold medalist. Life on the water has been pretty good to British sailing star Ben Ainslie. But, with 35 days to go until the home Games gets under way, he tells Sport why he’s hungry for more...
There are a lot of good British sailors right now. How hard was it to qualify? “Yeah, it’s incredibly tough in sailing because there’s only one spot [in each individual class] per nation. This was almost the hardest qualification so far, because there are five Finn class [the class Ainslie competes in] guys in the UK who are in the top 10 in the world. In any Olympic sport, that's unbelievable, so to be the one out of those five to qualify was a huge hurdle and it was a massive focus of my last year to achieve that.” Does a home Games mean more pressure? “Definitely. At the Olympics, you’re normally away from home and in your own bubble, away from what’s going on back in the UK. You don’t necessarily see how much interest there is or the level of support. We will see all that this time, so we want to perform well and don’t want to let anyone down.” You were disqualified at the World Championships last October for gross misconduct. Talk us through the incident. “It was a problem with a media boat that repeatedly got in the way and blocked me off the course. I was extremely upset to get
40 | June 22 2012 |
impeded at such a high-pressure moment, and unfortunately I overreacted slightly and let the guys on the media boat know I wasn’t happy. I was disqualified for two races because of it, which was a mistake. Everyone acknowledged mistakes were made in lots of areas, and I think we’ve learned lessons and moved on.”
Flame on: Ainslie, our Mr Fantastic, with the Olympic torch
stay the same for very long periods. It is about balancing those two things and getting the set-up right and getting the feel of the boat right, which takes a long time. All my boats have been called Rita, but this particular one is the same one I used at the last two Olympics, so it’s a very old boat, which is quite unusual. Most people use a new one every year.”
Media interest will obviously be huge at the Olympics. Is there any worry that something like that could happen again? “I don’t think so. I’m not saying it won’t but it’s definitely unlikely. Whatever happens, I have no intentions of getting back on board a media boat again!”
Why won’t you change to a modern boat? “It’s just a special boat and it gives me a lot of confidence. I’m comfortable with that boat. You know, it might not help me be that much quicker all the time, but I feel comfortable in it and I’ve won a lot of events in it, so I know the equipment is right and I know the boat will look after me. Rita and I have been through a lot together!”
You had to gain almost two stone when you changed sailing class from Laser to Finn ahead of the 2004 Olympics. How important is keeping the right weight? “Very important. It’s something I have to work very hard on with diet and training. Weight is critical in terms of the physics of the boat and keeping it flat. Too light and you don’t have enough impact on the boat’s physics to control it, too heavy and you’ll start sinking. It’s a real skill to keep the right level.”
Can you tell us your favourite thing about sailing? “I think it’s the diversity of the sport. It’s so challenging in so many different ways — strategically with the weather, technically with the opposition, keeping the right weight and fitness levels — so there’s always something new to learn. You’re always developing, which means no two days are the same and it’s always interesting.” Mark Coughlan @coffers83
You’ve been racing your boat, Rita, for almost 10 years. How important is it to know the boat inside out? “It’s very important. Some parts of the equipment we change a lot, while others
J.P. Morgan Asset Management is the title sponsor of Ben Ainslie’s Olympic campaign. Go to www.facebook.com/benainslie1977 for updates or show your support for Ben and his boat Rita on twitter #benandrita
Matt Cardy/Getty Images
“RITA AND I HAVE BEEN THROUGH A LOT. I KNOW THE EQUIPMENT IS RIGHT AND I KNOW SHE WILL LOOK AFTER ME”
35 Days to go
THE VENUE The wrestling at London 2012 will take place in the largest competition venue at London 2012, London’s ExCel. THE EVENT Bearing little resemblance to its professional counterpart, Olympic wrestling is serious business. There are no ring ropes to bounce an opponent off or handily-positioned folding chairs for a quick crack over the head when the ref’s back is turned, just two athletes battling it out inside a combat circle measuring nine metres wide. First held at the ancient Olympics in 708 BC, wrestling is one of the world’s oldest sports, with women’s wrestling belatedly arriving on the Olympic programme in 2004. There are two distinct disciplines — Greco Roman and freestyle wrestling — and each has their own weight divisions. Women only compete in freestyle and in four divisions ranging from 48kg to 72kg. Greco Roman wrestlers are only allowed to use their upper bodies and arms in a bout while in freestyle bouts wrestlers can use any part of their body to pin or throw down an opponent. Bouts last for a maximum of three periods, each lasting two minutes with a 30-second break in between each period. Points are awarded for various throws and holds with
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the more spectacular throws generally earning the most points. The athlete who wins two periods or pins his/her opponent (forcing the back of their shoulders to the mat) wins the bout. In freestyle bouts there’s a ‘golden goal’ style period of extra time if a contest is level on points at the end of the third period. The first athlete to score a point wins. TEAM GB’S PROGRESS Ah. Well. Despite being provisionally awarded three host nation berths for the wrestling in April 2011, Team GB will only have one wrestler at the Games after failing to achieve agreed performance targets. ”Obviously we’re disappointed by their [BOA’s] decision,” said British Wrestling chief executive Colin Nicholson. “Money has been invested in the programme, but we have used that money positively to build an elite performance culture at Manchester in the British Wrestling academy and that remains. That’s a platform upon which to build our programme for Rio 2016.”
WRESTLING AT LONDON 2012 DATES August 5 - 12 CAPACITY 6-10,000 HOW TO GET THERE DLR
She only received her British passport in February but Olga Butkevych is likely to be Team GB’s only hope of a wrestling medal... Ukraine-born Butkevych has been competing for GB for five years after coming to the UK among a group of Eastern Europeans bought over to train with GB wrestlers in 2007. Ineligible for the recent World Championships and qualifying tournaments as she was still awaiting her UK passport Butkevych hasn’t strictly achieved the eligibility criteria British Wrestling set for itself. But she is considered an outside bet for a medal in the -55kg division after strong performances at the Europeans and the Olympic test event. Should Butkevych take that sole GB place it would mean Bristol-born Leon Rattigan misses out. He finished seventh in an Olympic qualifying tournament in May — just one place shy of the top-six placing deemed by the selection panel to be worthy of securing a host nation place.
GB HOPEFUL OLGA BUTKEVYCH AGE IN 2012 26 MEDAL RECORD European Championships bronze 2011, Olympic test event silver 2011
Julian Finney/Getty Images
The final sport in Sport’s Focus series involves grappling, takedowns and leotards. It’s our personal favourite...
JUNE HIGHLIGHTS 22-JUNE 28 » Rugby Union: South Africa v England » p46 » European Athletics Championships » p48 » Formula 1: European Grand Prix » p50 » Best of the Rest » p50
OUR PICK OF THE ACTION FROM THE SPORTING WEEK AHEAD
Snooker’s Far East revolution continues with the Wuxi Classic, which begins on Monday, becoming the fifth major ranking event held in China Previously a minor event, the Wuxi Classic has been upgraded to ranking status and is the first major tournament on the snooker calendar. And, with £75,000 on offer to the winner, many of the game’s top players will open their season in the city known as Little Shanghai. Holder and world number one Mark Selby begins his title defence against Barry Hawkins – the same player to whom he lost 10-3 while
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struggling with a neck injury in the first round of the World Championships in April. On the same side of the draw, Ding Junhui – playing in his home town – will be confident of overcoming Mark Davis to set up a likely second round meeting with Neil Robertson. The winner there would be en route to a possible semi final with Selby. In the lower half of the draw, Judd Trump faces the same opponent as he did in his own World Championship opener in Dominic Dale. He should, however, find dispatching the Spaceman a far easier task without having to overcome food poisoning, as he did at the Cr ucible. That could mean Trump meets Ali Carter in the quarters – a re-run of their bad-tempered second round tie in Sheffield that Carter fought back from 9-12 down to dramatically steal in the final frame. The Captain marched on to the final in May, where he lost in something of a one-sided battle 11-18 to
Ronnie O’Sullivan. No possibility of a repeat here in Sunday’s final, however, with world champion O’Sullivan having declined to sign the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association players’ contract ahead of the Wuxi entry deadline. That same deadline applied to the Australian Open, which begins on July 9 – meaning The Rocket will miss the first two ranking events of the season. O’Sullivan remains free to sign at any point in the season, but has said the contract is “too onerous”. WPBSA chair Jason Ferguson is standing firm, insisting snooker’s governing body will not make an exception for one player. The Rocket’s absence from the season’s curtain-raiser will be a blow to a tournament that will also be without John Higgins’ participation. But with The Ace, The Jester, The Thunder and The Dragon – all among the favourites for the title – there is plenty of star power to fuel snooker’s eastern expansion.
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
MONDAY > SNOOKER | WUxI ClASSIC | WUxI, CHINA | BRITISH EUROSPORT 1 12.30PM
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7 Days Saturday | Rugby union | South AfRicA v EnglAnd | nElSon MAndElA bAy StAdiuM, PoRt ElizAbEth | Sky SPoRtS 1 4PM
And so it’s off to Port Elizabeth for the third and final Test of England’s summer tour, and it hasn’t made for pretty viewing thus far. The Springboks are currently on their record run of victories against England, with that Johannesburg win taking them to nine in a row. And they’re in no mood to stop. With Chris Robshaw’s injury ruling him out, Dylan Hartley takes the captaincy for the final Test, and his experience will be key in keeping England in the game. It means a reshuffled back row loses a little balance, while Robshaw was single-handedly responsible for most of England’s turnover ball in the past two weeks. Having been blown away
VIRGIN ACTIVE CLASSIC HEALTH CLUB 200 ALDERSGATE 46 | June 22 2012 |
David Rogers/Getty Images
Playing for pride
by the Springboks’ power last week, England’s newlook pack need to front up fast. In the backs, meanwhile, there’s a glimmer of hope in the knowledge that Francois Steyn will miss the game for his wedding, and the uncapped Joe Pietersen might make an appearance at 15. With Toby Flood (left) at 10, England look more solid in attack, and Flood’s creativity outside Danny Care’s quick service should be able to see the ball moved wide a bit earlier. Without Steyn, the Springboks will be weakened in defence, so expect Chris Ashton, Manu Tuilagi, Ben Foden et al to get a bit more space to create. Another defeat to the Boks here is not the end of the world. Another defeat with no visible gameplan, however, and the myth of Stuart Lancaster’s infallibility will start to become exposed.
7 Days WEDNESDAY > ATHLETICS | EUROPEAN ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS | HELSINKI, FINLAND | BRITISH EUROSPORT 7AM
Holding a European Championships just four weeks out from an Olympic Games is an interesting move by the IAAF. This is the first year the two events have clashed, with the decision being made in 2010 to switch the Europeans from a four-year cycle to a two-year one — on the understanding that when the championships are held in an Olympic year they will include no marathon or race walking events. But with the UK Olympic trials coming just days before events get underway in Helsinki, UK Athletics head coach Charles van
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Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images
Last chance saloon
Commenee has made it clear that his team selection will be made extremely carefully. “We will use the European Championships as preparation for London,” he says. “That means we will not necessarily select the strongest possible team to win as many medals as possible, it| will also mean that we will not only select young athletes to gain experience.” Helsinki is the final opportunity for athletes who are still chasing Olympic qualification to achieve the required ‘A’ standard, meaning there could be a few late additions to the squad after this weekend’s trials. Britain’s sprint relay squads have been told their presence is also required in Helsinki — with the aim of perfecting the baton exchanges which could raise the medal count this summer. Any droppers could well find themselves short of a return ticket from Finland.
7 Days SUNDAY FORMULA 1 | EUROPEAN GRAND PRIX | VALENCIA | SKY SPORTS F1 AND BBC ONE 1PM
BEST OF THE REST
FRIDAY CRICKET England v West Indies: 3rd ODI, Headingley Carnegie, Sky Sports 1 10.30am
RUGBY UNION Junior World Championship: Final, Newlands Stadium, Cape Town, Sky Sports 2 5.30pm RUGBY LEAGUE Super League: Hull KR v Catalans Dragons, New Craven Park, Sky Sports 1 8pm UFC Maynard v Guida, Atlantic City, ESPN 2am
SATURDAY RUGBY UNION Australia v Wales, Sydney, Sky Sports 1 6am
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problem with this circuit is that the straights aren’t straight, and therefore you get cars brushing the apexes on the straights to join the dots and create a straight line through the curves. So trying to get in a position where you can overtake – or at least go alongside another car – is really incredible dangerous, and you never see the cars really fully confident to make use of their momentum in a racing situation.” The numbers back that up – until the introduction of DRS last year, Valencia had the lowest average overtakes per race – and in 2009 there was not a single successful move. The new regulations have improved that to a certain extent: there were 42 overtakes last year.
And there’s a world of possibilities, with 17 drivers who haven’t won a race this season. Sauber’s Sergio Perez picked up another impressive podium in Canada, joined by Lotus’ Romain Grosjean –who could easily have won. Lewis Hamilton (pictured) who crossed the line first, though, thanks partly to his pit crew making it through without any screw-ups. His teammate, Jenson Button, will however want to improve on a Montreal display he said was his worst for many years. Sebastian Vettel’s pole-to-flag win last year was the perfect precis of a turgid season, so there is hope – if Valencia again reflects the season so far, we should be in for a cracker. Seven races, seven winners – the eighth has to be worth a watch, wherever it takes place.
RUGBY UNION New Zealand v Ireland, Hamilton, Sky Sports 1 8.35am
MOTORSPORT British Superbikes: Round 5, Knockhill, Scotland, British Eurosport 2 12pm
CRICKET Ireland v Australia: ODI, Belfast, Sky Sports 2 10.30am
FOOTBALL WSL: Arsenal v Birmingham City, Meadow Park, ESPN 1.30pm
TENNIS AEGON International: Final, Eastbourne, British Eurosport, 12pm
CRICKET England v West Indies: T20, Trent Bridge, Sky Sports 1 2pm
BOXING Victor Ortiz v Josesito Lopez, Staples Center, Los Angeles, Sky Sports 1 2am
GOLF Travelers Championship: Day 4, TPC River Highlands, Connecticut, Sky Sports 2 6pm
SUNDAY MOTORSPORT European Touring Cars, Imola, Italy, British Eurosport 10.15am GOLF BMW International: Day 4, Cologne, Germany, Sky Sports 2 12pm
NBA Finals Game 6 (if needed): Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat, Chesapeake Energy Arena, ESPN 1am
MONDAY RUGBY LEAGUE Super League: Wigan v Widnes, DW Stadium, Sky Sports 1 8pm
TUESDAY CRICKET England v India: 1st Women’s T20, Canterbury, Sky Sports 1 3pm NBA Finals Game 7 (if needed): Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat, Chesapeake Energy Arena, ESPN 2am
THURSDAY CRICKET England v India: 2nd Women’s T20, Chelmsford, Sky Sports 1 3pm CRICKET Friends Life T20: Essex v Sussex, Ford County Ground, Sky Sports 1 7pm GOLF AT & T National: Day 1, Congressional Country Club, Maryland, Sky Sports 3 8pm BASEBALL MLB: Baltimore Orioles v Cleveland Indians, Oriole Park, ESPN 12am
Paul Gilham/Getty Images
One of the things that makes the Monaco Grand Prix so special is that its narrow twists and turns and lack of run-off areas would never be allowed to happen today. This weekend’s European Grand Prix in Valencia is the modern equivalent of Monte Carlo’s harbour-side street circuit, but is often criticised for being, well, boring. “It’s the equivalent of having the ‘London Grand Prix’ and then just building the track in the docklands,” says Sky Sports F1 presenter Anthony Davidson. “The biggest
LE MANS 24 HOURS. THE LESS YOU CHANGE YOUR TYRES, THE MORE YOU CAN WIN THE RACE.
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P58 Wear these Nokia Purity headphones by Monster – no one will notice
Extra time Kit
Making the most of your time and money 1
They’re like tiny trousers Wimbledon’s around the corner, which no doubt means torrential rain. Still, you’ll need these shorts if the sun does appear 1. Paul Smith Jeans Patch pocket chinos A name you can trust, Mr Smith – not the Men In Black one – has come up trumps with these beauties. £75 | houseoffraser.co.uk
2. Percival shorts Available in a variety of colours, these cotton shorts offer something different thanks to their turn-ups. £65 | percivalclo.com
3. Duffer Of St George Longboard shorts Distract attention from your ever-growing beach belly (or is that just us?) with these bad boys. £30 | jdsports.co.uk
4. G-Star Navy 5620 loose tapered shorts The perfect option for the more understated man, and those who simply can’t pull off purple/baby blue. £99 | g-star.com
5. Criminal Brighton shorts Would go great with a pink polo. And your mum would no doubt approve of you being such a smarty-bean. £40 | houseoffraser.co.uk
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Extra time Charlotte Dawson
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es Dawson, the gurning comedian, tinkler, Blankety Blank host and persistent peddler of wife and mother-in-law jokes, would be turning in his grave if he could see these pages today. Because, after a career built on jokes about “the old battle-axe”, it turns out her bloodline offered considerable strength, judging by Dawson’s daughter – Charlotte. And we’re pretty confident Dawson can’t have brought much to the party from his own gene pool. Not to say we’re that shallow (clearly, neither was Dawson). Shallow is, however, exactly what Charlotte has been portraying in her role as Charmaine in Wag! The Musical at Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre Pub in Walthamstow. We’re reliably informed Dawson senior would approve of the jokes, and that Charlotte can gurn like her old man. Be quick if you want to find out for yourself – its run comes to an end tomorrow. And just be grateful we didn’t feature Dawson himself dressed in drag.
Dawson’s chic L
Extra time Grooming
The Olympian’s kitbag Ever wondered what an Olympian keeps in his kitbag, apart from his kit? We asked ace Team GB swimmer Liam Tancock... 2 1. Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power
When the cameras look down on Tancock swimming backstroke very fast, they will pick up his babysmooth chops. “It gives me the smoothest and most comfortable shave,” he says of this, his chosen razor. £15.49 | boots.com
2. Gillette Series 3 in 1 Instant Hydration Moisturiser SPF15 “The chlorine from swimming can dry out my skin, but this rehydrates it and helps prevent it getting red and itchy,” says the 27-year-old. “I always apply after a thorough shower.” £8.99 for 50ml | boots.com
3. head & shoulders Anti-Dandruff Shampoo Active Sport “I need a good shampoo to get the chlorine off and keep my scalp in good condition,” he says. His choice: this limited-edition design bottle of cooling shampoo from head & shoulders. £3.00 for 500ml | asda.com
4. iPad “I use it for analysing races and my technique,” he says. “But also to download books and films for when I’m travelling.” £199 on 24-month contract | vodafone.co.uk
5. For Goodness Shakes Milk Choc
6. Beats by Dr Dre Pro Headphones
What modern sportsman doesn’t carry round a hefty pair of cans? “They are noise-cancelling, so great before a big race, and for travelling,” he explains. “I like all kinds of music, from Jay Z to Michael Jackson.” £349.99 | beatsbydre.com/uk
7. Blackberry Curve 9320 “I use my Blackberry for updating my Twitter account on the move,” he says. What a thoroughly modern sports star. £135 pay as you go | vodafone.co.uk See next week’s issue of Sport for a full interview with Liam Tancock
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Fullum & Holt Masters iPad case, £75; Fullum & Holt The Club Junior Travel Bag, £400. Both available from harveynichols.com James Lincoln, jameslincoln.co.uk
A recovery drink featuring Tancock himself on the bottle. “I always have a couple of For Goodness Shakes for straight after training,” he says. “My favourite flavours? Chocolate and vanilla.” £1.69 | sainsburys.com
C ett elli GehT121©02012 The Gillette Company.
MANY ROADS LEAD TO THE MEDAL, BUT ALL BEGIN WITH A GREAT START. SIR CHRIS HOY, 4X OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALLIST
NOTHING BEATS A GREAT START. facebook.com/GilletteUK
Extra time Gadgets
Display your talents
MacBook Pro with Retina display
You’ll find this redesigned gadgets page is sleeker, lighter, and more powerful — just like the new MacBook Pro.
Tablets are great for watching videos, reading magazines and carrying hot drinks, but if you want a bit more processing power and the ability to create and not just consume, you might need a more traditional device. Not that there’s too much traditional in the new MacBook, which has been completely redesigned from scratch, according to Apple, although it looks rather too similar to their previous MacBooks for that to be
massively believable — hard to stray too far from the keyboard and screen combo, we guess. Still, inside it’s a different story. It’s available in two base configurations, both featuring the luscious Retina display that graces the new iPad, and has so much detail that you can’t see individual pixels anymore. It’s thinner, lighter and thanks to a unique fan design and flash only data storage (256-768GB), even quieter than before. From £1,799 | apple.com/uk
2 1 4 3
1. Orbitsound T9
2. Mio Cyclo 305 HC
If your other half thinks getting a fully-fledged surround sound system for the bedroom TV is probably a bit much — then this could be for you. It promises room-filling sound perfect for the gaming room, in a small and affordable unit that also doubles as an iPod dock. £200 from July | johnlewis.com
A sat-nav for cycling aficionados, the Cyclo 305 HC clips to your handlebars. Our favourite feature is the ‘Surprise Me’ button, which generates a novel route between two points so you can spice up your journey home. ‘Spice up’ is probably overstating it. It’s nice though. From £310 | mio.com/cyclo
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3. EchoStar Freeview+ HD HDT-610R Ultra Slim Box
4. Nokia Monster Purity headphones
This Freeview box touts itself as the ‘world’s slimmest,’ and it is, at just 14mm. It shouldn’t go around shouting about it though — other boxes might be upset, especially when they realise it’s also got 500GB storage and Internet. £260 | amazon.co.uk
Bundled with Nokia’s new Lumia smartphone, but also available on their own, these super-stylish phone compatible headphones come in cyan and black in addition to the magenta pictured above. Colourful, certainly. £105 | amazon.co.uk
Extra time Entertainment
A manly guide to motoring, a US TV series with brains and balls, plus Batman and Superman join forces in Lego form
Tally-ho, gents – this witty new book by the founder of that fine periodical The Chap has the stated aim of putting the vim back into driving. It’s full of helpful tips on everything from how to purchase a car, what to wear while you drive and, most importantly, etiquette (such as “gaily toot-tooting at your neighbourhood postman as you inadvertently mow down his mail cart for the third time that week”). Frankly, you shouldn’t be allowed out on the road without it.
Friday Night Lights Season One Imagine an American football high school drama and you’re probably visualising a TV show with bleachtoothed cheerleaders, men yelling numbers and a star player named ‘Smash’. Well, Friday Night Lights has all those things, but it’s also as smart as it is subtle. A cult hit in the US, the show focuses on the
insane pressure that students and a new head coach are put under in a Texan town as residents demand their beloved Panthers claim a state championship. The intensity is palpable, the characters have depth and the gridiron action crunches convincingly. Out on Monday and well worth picking up.
BP Portrait Award
King of New York
Always a highlight of the summer arts scene (and not just because it’s free), this National Portrait Gallery 2012 exhibition is now open, displaying the best in contemporary art. Go along and stare at some faces that aren’t Roy Hodgson’s wobbly mug – just for a change.
Christopher Walken is at his creepy best in this 1990 classic, released on special edition DVD and Blu-ray on Monday. He plays drug kingpin Frank White, just out of jail and trying to turn over a new leaf (but not very hard). It’s stylish, violent and features a dead cool Schoolly D hip-hop soundtrack.
Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes
The House That Jack Built Jesca Hoop
So what if Lego games are for kids? So’s eating Wham Bars and daydreaming about Miss Dearden from English class, but you still do that – right? This new Lego Batman game lets you explore the full, funny DC universe as a range of characters. Hell, you can even fly around as Superman with John Williams’ film score playing. Don’t pretend that isn’t awesome. Out today on PC, PS3, Wii or Xbox 360.
She has cheerleaders such as Elbow’s Guy Garvey (her pal) and Tom Waits (she was nanny to his kids), but Jesca Hoop’s richly textured voice and sublime alt-folk songs are enough testament to her talent. The Californian third album (out on Monday) sounds her most accessible yet, replete with uplifting hooks and passionate vocals. Check out Born To and let your toes tap wildly. Go on.
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Alan Coulson/National Portrait Gallery
The Gentleman’s Guide to Motoring Vic Darkwood
Sport magazine 261