Inside Lines: Boris commissions a new look for 2012
Sunday 18 May 2008
Becker he isn't, but the other Boris displayed a mean backhand when he knocked up last week with his freshly installed commissioner for sport, Kate Hoey, the first here of the US-style breed. The new London mayor revealed an innovative sporting hand when he opened refurbished tennis facilities at one of Hoey's "action zone" projects in her Vauxhall constituency. Sport, they both emphasised, should cross all political divides. Johnson then hotfooted it for his first meeting as co-chair of the Olympic board alongwith Tessa Jowell, who had organised the Ken Livingstone campaign. 2012 leader Lord Coe says: "It was quite harmonious. This is a very complex project and Boris will take his time to get to grips with it. But he is very supportive." Hoey will not sit on the Olympic board but will spearhead the drive for a legacy of greater investment in grass-roots sport. She will brief Johnson on this before his initial 15-minute presentation to the IOC evaluation commission this week, when he will stress that 2012 must benefit all London, not just regeneration of the East End.
Hitman Hatton at home, but not alone
You have to go back to the Thirties for a bigger British boxing crowd than the 55,000 who will roll up at the City of Manchester Stadium for the homecoming of Ricky Hatton on Saturday (page 80). "When I made my pro debut in Widnes it was more like 55 than 55,000," recalls the Hitman, "and most of those my dad brought over from his pub in the back of his van." Times change, but Hatton hasn't, which is why he is still idolised despite the mauling by Floyd Mayweather. He opens his door– and his heart – in 'At Home with the Hattons' on Sky 1 tonight at 10pm.
Stage set as lawyers win Oscar
Reluctant as we are to bracket Oscar Pistorius and Dwain Chambers in the same sentence, it is now quite possible that both the courageous amputee and the serial drugs cheat will be competing in the Beijing Olympics, though thankfully not against each other. After winning his legal battle to stretch his bionic legs against the able-bodied, Pistorius must slice a second off his 400m personal best to qualify; whereas Chambers should stroll into the 100m if given the nod by the High Court when he appeals his life-time Olympics ban, which, much as it is to be regretted, looks inevitable. The presence of either, or both, in Beijing would be a further indication of how sport is no longer judged by thewell-meaning in blazers, but the well-heeled in wigs.
Coe on standby for another Moscow flyer
Long-time Chelsea fan Seb Coe is facing a dilemma over whether to make a dash to Moscow for the Champions' League final on Wednesday. If so he will have to move as nippily as he did at the same Luzhniki Stadium in 1980, sandwiching it between meetings with the IOC evaluation committee on Wednesday and Thursday morning. "As a supporter for 40 years I'd love to be there, but I'll have to see how the land lies with the IOC," he says. "It may mean a late fitness test." If he goes, Coe's overnight bag will contain his Moscow gold medal, which he hopes will bring Chelsea luck.
Caborn steps in to referee infighting as ABA get warning
He may no longer carry the sportfolio but ex-minister Richard Caborn is still busy in the corridors of power. Tomorrow, as the new president of the Amateur Boxing Association, he will meet the body's officials to try to sort out administrative problems which have put the ABA under threat of a "takeover" by UK Sport.
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