Tom Daley – and his blubbing dad – have been hogging the headlines in Rome but elsewhere in Europe more British kids were brilliantly emphasising that the nation's got real talent.
The BOA-backed Team GB finished third again in the European Youth Olympic Festival in Tampere, Finland, behind Russia but with the same number of golds (10) as Germany. Among these were double golds for gymnast Sam Oldham and one for swimming's 400 metres freestyler Myles Crouch-Anderson, both only 16 and featured in our Going for Gold series. "What was really pleasing was to see how the medals were spread across all sports," said team leader Mark England. Great stuff.
En garde for old guard
At the other end of the age scale the other Tom – Watson – may have shown at 59 that old golfers never die but he may be upstaged this weekend by 62-year-old Richard Cohen, still one of Britain's foremost fencers who is competing in the British Championships in Sheffield for the 43rd time. A three-times world sabre champion, New York-based Cohen's other claim to fame is that he edits Jeffrey Archer's books, suggesting that his pen might need to be as mighty as his sword.
Mind games with Gazza
There was no one better placed than Lawrie McMenemy to mark Alan Pardew's card when the former West Ham and Charlton boss became the latest of a depressingly long line of Southampton managers last week. They were together in the directors' box for the pre-season friendly with Ajax, but afterwards Big Mac was told by the new regime, headed by the Swiss industrialist Marcus Liebherr, that from now on there will no longer be a regular place for him as a guest – a rather unsaintly act. Luckily McMenemy has his record, his memories and a fund of stories to fall back on. Like the one he told us over lunch in the Hampshire hotel where he signed Kevin Keegan, recalling how, during his spell as England's number two, manager Graham Taylor brought in a psychologist to help sort out Paul Gascoigne. "When we saw this bloke walk off with Gazza, Stuart Pearce said to me, 'By the time they get back it will be him who needs the bleedin' psychologist'." I would have thought that with Pearce in the camp, one "pyscho" was enough anyway.
Motty on the move?
With new BBC sports chief Barbara Slater currently considering who will assume the Motty mantle next season – Jonathan Pearce is said to be favourite – the great man himself is currently busy with his memoirs. Will he kick and tell? Motty isn't saying but he may not be hanging up his mic and sheepskin yet as we hear ESPN have him in mind for their Premier League coverage alongside former Setanta man Jon Champion.
Greasing the Olympic pole
We kid you not. Pole dancing is the latest "sport" hoping to get in on the Olympic act. A British instructor in the art, one KT Coates, argues that recognition is deserved as it "requires the same technical skills as rhythmic gymnastics." Knowing certain prurient gentlemen on the International Olympic Committee, no doubt they will give it their earnest consideration, which will mean fact-finding visits to Spearmint Rhino.
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