The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 17 July 2012


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Idowu takes to Twitter to prove Olympic fitness

Phillips Idowu took to Twitter yesterday in an attempt to prove his hopes of competing in the Olympic Games are realistic. Following the triple-jumper's last-minute withdrawal from the London Grand Prix meeting at Crystal Palace on Saturday – he suffered a hip problem in the warm-up – and a report that he had hired medical help from outside the UK Athletics system in a bid to get fit for the Games, he posted a video of himself lifting weights in the gym appearing to look physically fit. A message accompanied the video stating: "A Lil squat session to start the day. Can U guess the weight?" In the clip, the 33-year-old is seen flexing his hips with no difficulty, squatting with a loaded weightlifting bar resting on his shoulders. UK Athletics refused to comment on the report that Idowu had sought his own medical treatment. Idowu has not competed since he landed awkwardly during a Diamond League meeting in the US on 2 June and insisted last week that he had not been injured. MORE

Clarke bids to 'play like a champion'

Darren Clarke feels he must remain composed as he bids to defend his Open title. He said: "I've certainly fallen into a trap of trying too hard as opposed to just going and playing, getting into a mentality that I've got to go out and play like the Open champion." MORE

Agitated Watson wants to find focus

Bubba Watson has called on himself to put aside his "issues" and focus on this week's Open. "I've got issues. I have a lot going on in my mind. This is a week that my wife is not here, my new son is not here," said Watson. "I've got to calm my mind down and focus on golf." MORE

Wiggins snaps as Fedrigo wins stage

Tour leader Bradley Wiggins was irritated after Pierrick Fedrigo won stage 15, with Mark Cavendish nowhere to be seen on a seemingly sprinter-specialist course. "Have you ever ridden a bike?" snapped Wiggins. "It wasn't flat, there were 2,000 metres of climbing." MORE

Watson heads into Games on a high

Heather Watson is set to go into the Olympics as the British No 1 having won her first WTA title, triumphing in the doubles at the Bank of the West Classic. Watson, who will be playing doubles but not singles at the Games, rose to No 71 in the world singles rankings. MORE

Van Persie wants move to Juventus

The negotiations over Robin van Persie's future have been complicated by him indicating to Arsenal that he would prefer to join Juventus – the Italians may struggle to pay the £20-25m asking price, with his wages being £120,000 a week. MORE

Newcastle to bid again for Carroll

Newcastle will make an improved offer to re-sign Andy Carroll on a season-long loan from Liverpool, who refused the first offer of how big a percentage of his £75,000-a-week salary Newcastle would agree to pay for next season. MORE

Holmes' pep talk enthuses Bellamy

Craig Bellamy was delighted with Dame Kelly Holmes' pep talk to Team GB's football team as they spent their first night in the Olympic village yesterday. "Meeting Kelly Holmes was incredible," he said. "She said enjoy it [the Games]." MORE

Pollock: Smith will carry on as captain

Shaun Pollock believes Graeme Smith will continue as South Africa captain after the England Test series. "No doubt he'll go on beyond this tour," he said of Smith, who by the end of the series will be the most enduring captain in Test history. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Lee Westwood deserves his first major for a consistency of performance which has seen him cement his position around the top of the world rankings after dangerous years of drift. MORE