Sport on TV: Britain's home-made appliance of science

It's been said before, Brian, but sport is all about producing it on the day, and in 2012 there's going to be a few on-the-days when some domestic metalware production will be in order. Host nations who do not storm Olympic podiums en masse are just embarrassing.

So what are we to do? Apparently, the answer lies in biomechanics. And what are we doing about it? The answer to that, according to Horizon: Winning Gold in 2012 (BBC1, Saturday), could almost be encouraging, except for one fact - those 2012 Games are simply coming too soon.

Scene: a sports lab near Canberra. A swimmer trains. A magnet in her cap links up with sensors on the blocks. Cameras in the pool scrutinise every move in a relentless quest for maximum efficiency (that's the biomechanics bit).

The Australian Institute of Sport was modelled - minus the pharmaceuticals, presumably - on the East German machine. And they're determined, we are told, "to win the sports technology arms race". Portable lactate analysers, pulse oximeters, instrument shoes, oxygen enrichers, a pill developed by the military that transmits medical signals from inside the body - it's sport for the space age.

And what have we got? It's all in the editing, but according to Horizon this is what we've got. Scene: a swimming pool in Bolton. The Paralympian hopeful Rachel Latham is at one end of a fishing line. At the other is Dr Carl Payton's home-made velocimeter. It's Apollo 13. To be fair, if I must, it is wired up to a laptop, and it did help young Latham lop three seconds off the 100 metres butterfly junior world record.

In swimming, of course, we're already applying a bit of Aussie backbone in the spherical shape of Bill Sweetenham, and in cycling, the system has been up and running for a while. But elsewhere, it's panic stations. Peter Keen, performance advisor to UK Sport, says it's a 20-year process, and we're halfway there. He thinks we can squeeze the rest into six years. It might prove a long jump too far.

I've no idea how India selects and moulds its cricketing talent. Indeed, a bit of research would have made this link rather more convincing. But whatever they do, it counted for nothing when their on-the-day became a day to forget on Wednesday (Sky Sports 1).

Just after lunch, at 75 for 3, they could still hope. "They don't want to win the series one-zero, they want to win it two-zero," the ever-upbeat Aussie Dean Jones said. A few seconds later Freddie Flintoff dismissed Rahul Dravid and Jones went into overdrive: "Captain Flintoff, take a bow! You have led from the front from the beginning of this series!"

Bizarrely, given that he'd just been leading the boys in a Johnny Cash singalong, you could hear someone bawling, "Burn, burn, burn, burning ring of fire." Had he been earwigging at the dressing room door? And has Fab Freddie hit upon a secret weapon in the run-up to 2012?

When Footballers Wives lost its way, its secret weapon was obvious: bring back Tanya, its malicious heart and twisted soul. On Thursday (ITV1), the Lady Macbeth of Earls Park duly flew in from exile - a lucrative marriage to some fat Brazilian - draped round the Sparks' new himbo import. However, the acid queen of prime time had a shock when pretty boy's squeeze turned up, setting in motion a clash of the soap eons that promises some top rucks. She's publisher Eva de Wolffe, played to within an inch of her acting ability by that 103-year-old glamourpuss, Joan Collins.

"Maybe he's got a fetish for support tights," Tanya said as she watched pretty boy play the lapdog.

This took place at midfielder Tremaine and secret lesbian Liberty's Ancient Egyptian-themed wedding, which evoked in its folie de grandeur Kyle and Chardonnay's do, the principal memories of which involve massed ranks of dwarves. Ah, they were great days, and I thought we'd seen the last of them. But Tanya and Eva have every chance of dragging Footballers Wives back to tawdry, tacky greatness.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones