Inside Lines: Bouquets for Bedford but London's transport goes down the Tube

The London Marathon is the greatest pro-am mass participation event in the world, something of which Britain can be justly proud. Simply magnificent, brilliantly staged by Dave Bedford and his team. The way that race director Bedford got every international elite competitor to the starting line this year amid the volcanic ash crisis was a masterpiece of organisation.

The former world 10,000m record holder, 60, has been beavering away on the marathon's behalf for 18 years yet he hasn't received a gong while many lesser (but less rebellious) athletes have been honoured. Let's hope that whoever is sports minister by this time next week will push his case, and consider why the likes of Youth Charter leader Geoff Thompson and Tessa Sanderson (to whom we send our best wishes on her marriage to British judo chief Densign White this weekend) are consistently snubbed by those who select candidates for sport's quangos. It is time some of our more street-wise personalities were brought into play in the administration of British sport, and they don't come any wiser than "Bootsie" Bedford in the streets of London. But there is another aspect to the Marathon which is not as worthy of our applause: the transportation arrangements for the thousands who lined those streets on Sunday. Dangerously overcrowded Tube platforms, cancelled trains, unhelpful station staff and the majority of escalators either not working or closed. At one stage an anguished Aussie voice was heard to yell: "Bloody hell, this is where they're going to hold the Olympics?" That's what concerns me. I have no doubt that London will deliver a spectacular dream Games, but getting to and from them may be a nightmare. Presentation could be London's glory; transportation its nemesis.



Khan's visa break

Because of earlier motoring offences, Amir Khan is apparently having difficulty in obtaining a work visa for his US debut defending his WBA light-welterweight title against Paulie Malignaggi in New York on 15 May. Curiously, on his Facebook page, Khan suggests it may have something to do with his surname. He has had to break training in Los Angeles to fly to Vancouver, where the Khan camp say the problem should be resolved shortly with the US Embassy. Hardly ideal preparation for a scrap which, as we forecast, will be shown live by ITV in the early hours of next Sunday. So anxious are his US promoters for him not to lose touch with his home fans that a token deal may be struck with the BBC for a later transmission. His erstwhile stablemate Kevin Mitchell's Sky-televised interim world lightweight title battle with Michael Katsidis on Saturday looks set for a 15,000 plus crowd at Upton Park.



Spinning for sport

One man keeping a keen eye on the election result is Simon Greenberg, the former Chelsea communications chief now assisting England's 2018 World Cup bid. If the Conservatives win, he is lined up for a plum Government spin doctorate which will embrace sport.



insidelines@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power