Inside Lines: Time for young talent to take a bow

Yes, Britain's got talent, though judging from recent TV offerings of performing dogs and rain dancers there is more of it in sport than showbiz. It may have gone unnoticed that across the globe in recent weeks young Brits have been cleaning up the medals in sports as diverse as taekwondo and triathlon, modern pentathlon and BMX biking, canoeing, diving and gymnastics. The latest big hit came last week when the welterweight boxer Bradley Saunders, already a World Championship bronze medallist and one of Britain's eight Olympic qualifiers, won the gold medal in the prestigious President's Cup in Taiwan, defeating the Olympic champion in the process. Few British prospects have made as big a splash as phenomenal water babe Tom Daley, of course, but such is the current rate of achievement in the less glamorous Olympic sports – which is where most of the medals will come from – that it all bodes well for Beijing, but more so for 2012. The one fear about the upcoming Games is that some prospects may be peaking too early, as has happened in the past. But at least there is firm evidence of star quality in the class of 2008.

Football's rejects offered a new goal

Talking of talent, what happens to all the young footballers who fail to graduate from club academies? Most disappear into the relative obscurity of minor leagues, but there is now another avenue for them to utilise their sporting ability. UK Sport are co-ordinating an initiative, Pitch2Podium, where 1,000 released players can have their potential to switch to Olympic sports tested. And this week Olympians Vicky Pendleton and Shelley Rudman will spearhead a talent hunt for "young athletic women" to have their potential similarly assessed.

Floyd farewell ends Hitman's hopes

Floyd Mayweather's decision to quit as an unbeaten world champion after 39 fights in which he won titles at five different weights may have robbed Ricky Hatton of a few more millions, but it has surely saved him another painful beating. Their return fight was never a certainty, but there has to be relief that it will not happen. The Pretty Boy, 31, says he no longer "has the joy or desire" to continue as the world's best boxer, adding: "There comes a time when money doesn't matter any more." He's said it twice before, but this time we think he means it. No doubt in time he will be joining boxing's Hall of Fame, into which Frank Warren is being inducted today in New York, alongside the ex-heavyweight champ Larry Holmes. A rare honour for a Brit, and a promoter.

Mapp takes up the fight again

Sport England have announced their new gameplan, in a worthy if wordy tome which basically tells us that "sport comes first", but still await a figurehead to implement it. The chair has been vacant since Derek Mapp quit six months ago over a policy disagreement with the quango's Government paymasters. But it is good tosee him back in the ring, using his commercial expertise as a new council member with the Amateur Boxing Association, whose admirable Gloves not Guns, Gangs or Knives campaign to get kids off the streets and into the nation's 750 boxing clubs was launched last week.

Murray favourite for men's singles

The assertively heterosexual Andy Murray may be amused (or not) to know that he is the player most gay males would like to date. A website dating agency poll names him and Mark Philippoussis as top gay tennis icons, while most lesbians hanker after Maria Sharapova and Anna Kournikova. Murray has a date this week. At Queen's.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Executive

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians - Fixed Wire Testing

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£16575 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity is ava...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?