Tag Archives: television

Ben Ainslie apologises for World Championships row

Ainslie apologises for going overboard at World Championships

There is a story from the Eighties of a Daily Telegraph sailing writer who, having written an article disliked by its subject, was pushed off a pontoon while fully clothed and with his notepad and camera on him.

When he tried to clamber back to dry land, his tormentor stamped on his fingers. That apart, there are few precedents for the extraordinary scenes played out at the World Championships in Perth, Australia, this weekend.

Ben Ainslie, the greatest British Olympian of his era, was so angered by a TV boat hampering his progress by getting too close to him as he raced on Saturday that, after finishing second, he jumped out of his Finn, swam over, climbed aboard their vessel, remonstrated with them, dived off, and swam back.

Angry: Ainslie shouts at the television crew after feeling his Finn had been impeded by their boat

Angry: Ainslie shouts at the television crew after feeling his Finn had been impeded by their boat

The punishment for his aberration wasdisqualification from the competition he was leading. Ainslie called the sanction an “overreaction”. The maximum option open to the jury was atwo-year ban, ruling him out of the Olympics. Now that would really have been an over-reaction.

Nonetheless Ainslie felt a deep disappointment because he would otherwise have taken a lead into Sunday”s final race, thanks to some of the best sailing of his life. A sixth Finn world gold medal of his career was there for the taking.

Instead Giles Scott, one of Sportsmail”sMagnificent Seven, won – a fabulous reward having missed out to Ainsliein the battle for selection as the sole British Finn sailor at London 2012.

I spoke to Ainslie on Sunday from theother side of the world. He began by congratulating Scott, saying: “Giles deserves the victory and nothing that”s happened takes anything away from that.”

Bust-up: The British sailing champion confronts one of the TV crew after climbing aboard his boat

Bust-up: The British sailing champion confronts one of the TV crew after climbing aboard his boat

It was typical of Ainslie, whose off-water demeanour is the epitome of reserve and good manners. That is just one of several reasons why there is no rush here to condemn him.

Another is that his whole story of success is based on an on-water desire bordering on the maniacal: his refusal to be bullied by an opponent, his insistence on fighting for every advantage including pushing the rules to the limit.

It was just what British sport neededwhen he made his Olympic debut at Atlanta in 1996. Steve Redgrave and Matt Pinsent won the one and only British gold medal there. Ainslie, aged 19, took silver in the Laser.

For four years he worked relentlesslytowards the ultimate reward at Sydney 2000 – the first of three Olympictitles so far. He achieved it in controversy by blocking his great rival Robert Scheidt in the final race.

It meant Ainslie”s points lead could not be overhauled. Unsporting, said some. “That”s tactics, that”s racing,” countered Ainslie.

Cooling off: Ainslie dives into the water after making his point and earning a disqualification

Cooling off: Ainslie dives into the water after making his point and earning a disqualification

Speaking on Sunday, he said: “What happened this weekend was one crazy incident. It was over in five seconds. There is no doubt that the TV boat was closer to me than it should have been and having an adverse effect on me. I told them that. They apologised and I apologised to them. Everything was fine.

“I am pleased I sailed fantastically well and dealt with the pressure when I raced. This was a non-racing incident. It”s a shame. Let”s move on.”

He added convincingly: “It will not have any bearing on the Olympics.”

Ben Ainslie left without medal after row with TV boat at sailing World Championships

Ainslie left without medal after row with TV boat at sailing World Championships

Ben Ainslie will return from sailing”s World Championships in Perth without a medal after a confrontation with a television boat saw him disqualified from Saturday”s races.

The three-time Olympic gold medallistfinished race nine second to Holland”s Pieter-Jan Postma, but felt impeded by the media boat”s wake on the downwind leg.

Wading in: Ben Ainslie involved in an incident on course

Wading in: Ben Ainslie involved in an incident on course

After the Finn race ended, Ainslie swum over to the offending boat and hauled himself on board to remonstrate with the crew.

The 34-year-old, who already has an unprecedented five world titles, has been disqualified from races nine and 10 as a result, meaning he can no longer win a medal.

Skandia Team GBR”s official Twitter account posted: “Ben Ainslie disqualified from races nine and 10 for today”s incident with the press boat. He can no longer win a medal at the World Championships.”

Ainslie later apologised for “overreacting” but insisted the situation had been blown out of proportion.

“I overreacted to what I thought was asituation where I felt my performance was being severely hindered,” he said. “I”m very thankful that everyone involved has taken it how it was,as something which was blown out of proportion in terms of what actually happened.

“We”ve all apologised to each other and are looking forward to moving on.

“I”m obviously really disappointed with the decision (being disqualified).

Making a splash: Ben Ainslie was disqualified from two races

Making a splash: Ben Ainslie was disqualified from two races

“Unfortunately it”s part and parcel of the sport trying to develop its area within TV and in a number of instances this week that line has been crossed and that”s something which everyone has to accept is a development.

“I”m very sorry that the jury decided to react the way they did over something which really wasn”t as big as it was blown up to be.

“It”s very disappointing that the championship has been decided this way.”

Royal Yachting Association Olympic manager Stephen Park added: “There have been various rumours in the media about Ben having “assaulted” the driver of the boat.

“As far as we”re concerned there wasn”t an assault which took place, and as far as the driver was concerned that was part of his statement to the jury so we”re pretty keen to put that to bed and recognised that that”s a bit of over exaggeration and sensationalism.

“While we accept the penalty from the jury and do not condone Ben”s behaviour, I would hope, on the basis of the jury”s facts found, that it is recognised that lessons need to be learned both from the side of the International Sailing Federation as organising authority as well as the sailors.

“At the moment the sport seems to be fumbling its way into trying to make the sport more appealing for television, but surely there is a better way than trialling new race formats, rule regulations and, specifically in this case, media initiatives, than trialling them at the World Championship which is arguably the most important event in the Olympic cycle outside of the Games themselves.”

Manchester City boring Champions League – Jens Lehmann

“Boring” and “amateur” City slammed over Champions League exit by ex-Gunner Jens

Former Arsenal and Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann claimed the Champions League is better off without Manchester City after they were eliminated from the competition despite beating Bayern Munich 2-0.

Lehmann, working as a pundit for Germany”s Sky television, could not hide his pleasure at seeing City drop into the Europa League as Napoli joined Bayern in qualification from Group A of the competition.

“Man City play very, very boring football,” he said. “They just make their opponents fall asleep with lots of possession.

Eu flops: Manchester City crashed out of the Champions League on Wednesday

Eu flops: Manchester City crashed out of the Champions League on Wednesday

All in vain: A win over Bayern Munich was not enough for City after Napoli won at Villarreal

All in vain: A win over Bayern Munich was not enough for City after Napoli won at Villarreal

“But to be honest, that is not tactically very demanding. The way they play here is the way any amateur team plays, only not on such good grass.

“They just pack men behind the ball, have five against two and just move the ball around. The goal then just comes from a fortunate circumstance.”

Lehmann, who played in the Champions League final for Arsenal against Barcelona in 2006, albeit for only 18 minutes before being sent off, was also unimpressed by the atmosphere at the Etihad Stadium.

“There was no life in the stadium,” he said. “It was dead.

“The fans are so quiet. You have got to say, though, that they have not got anything really to get excited about here.

“They had possession all of the time, albeit in their own half where nothing was happening.

Old boys: (left-right) Jens Lehmann, Franz Beckenbauer and former Manchester City goalkeeper Bert Trautmann prior to the match at the Etihad Stadium

Familiar faces: (left-right) Jens Lehmann, Franz Beckenbauer and former City goalkeeper Bert Trautmann prior to the match at the Etihad Stadium

Night to forget: Roberto Mancini (left) watched his side

Night to forget: Roberto Mancini (left) watched his side”s dream crumble

“It is a shame because it is not typical English football. Napoli have heart and passion and I liked them. It is good that they have gone through.

“We don”t want to see Manchester City in the Champions League.”

Why no-one could accuse Jens of being boring…

The former Germany goalkeeper was famed for his off-the-wall antics as a player, both on and off the pitch. Check out one of his most memorable moments in English football, a clash with Chelsea striker Didier Drogba…

VIDEO: Lehmann v Drogba

Jeff Powell: Amir Khan must cope across the pond as home fight remains far away

Khan must cope across the pond as home fight for Bolton boy remains far, far away

Amir Khan”s quest for wider trans-Atlantic recognition continues apace as he defends his world light-welterweight titles in Washington, where his challenger, Lamont Peterson, resides.

That campaign has acquired even greater urgency as the prospect of Bolton”s former Olympic silver medallist returning to England for a homecoming fight recedes into a very distant future.

Ironically, Khan”s desire to keep in touch with his British fans by fighting once a year in this country is being quashed by the very television deal which ensures him greater exposure here.

Capitol gains: Amir Khan stands outside the White House in Washington DC

Capitol gains: Amir Khan stands outside the White House in Washington DC

All smiles: Khan poses at the Tidal Basin

All smiles: Khan poses at the Tidal Basin

Part of the deal by which Sky Sports are bringing Khan back to the TV mainstream from the fringe Primetime cable company in Britain relies on substantial backing from the HBO network in the US.

In return, the American giants expect Khan to fight live at prime broadcasting time over there.

They also want him to build his public profile by maintaining a promotional presence there.

Thus Khan – “I love my British fans and draw so much from their support” – has no option but to keep giving up home advantage for his big fights.

Dream team: Freddie Roach is getting Khan ready to face Lamont Peterson

Dream team: Freddie Roach is getting Khan ready to face Lamont Peterson

Great Briton: Bolton boxer Amir Khan is in action in Washington this weekend

Great Briton: Bolton boxer Amir Khan is in action in Washington this weekend

The same conundrum will apply, of course, if and when he lands his mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather.

Not only is Floyd Jnr hugely reluctant to box outside his adoptive home town of Las Vegas but a US venue would be crucial to HBO”s maximising of the enormous pay-per-view revenue potential.

“I don”t worry about fighting abroad,” says Khan. “I feel I”m good enough to overcome any disadvantage. But I do miss boxing in front of my own supporters and like to give them something back for getting behind me.”

More from Jeff Powell…

Jeff Powell: Pacquiao and Mayweather closer than ever as the world”s richest fight just got even richer
28/11/11

Jeff Powell: Don”t give Haye another Klitschko pay-day, blasts legend Steward
21/11/11

Jeff Powell: PacMan”s search for opponents reopens debate crucial to boxers” safety
14/11/11

Jeff Powell: Pacquiao v Mayweather… the dream fight that shimmers like a Nevada mirage
07/11/11

Jeff Powell: Harrison shimmying his way back into the ring… and the hearts of fight fans everywhere
31/10/11

Jeff Powell: Old stager Hopkins” revival sparks interest… but will it be Cleverly or Froch
24/10/11

Jeff Powell: Haye called it a day but how will our most recent heavyweight champion be remembered
17/10/11

Jeff Powell: The birthday deadline”s up…but will humbled Haye fight on
10/10/11

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Not that he will be short of support in a Washington convention centre on Saturday night, where he will draw backing from a substantial local Muslim community in addition to a strong following from England.

This will be Khan”s third fight in America in his last four bouts. His last home outing was the marginally premature stoppage on cuts of Paul McCloskey in Manchester”s MEN back in April.

That was preceded by America”s Fight of the Year for 2010, the thrilling victory over Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas and, prior to that, the stoppage of Pauli Malignaggi in in his home town of New York.

Sin City was also the setting for this July”s stoppage of former champion Zab Judah.

As well as boxing in America, Khan has to base himself in Los Angeles in order to work at the Wild Card gym of Freddie Roach, master trainer to both himself and Manny Pacquiao.

But while he admits to bouts of home-sickness he is building a settled life there, which includes some new friends.

And Khan, who turns 25 this Thursday, says: “Boxing is a short career and I intend retiring in about three years.

“This game demands sacrifices and if they include having to fight abroad then so be it.”

There has been some criticism here of the growing infrequency of Khan”s appearances in the English ring but the reality is that this is beyond his control.

Home favourite: Lamont Peterson will have the backing of the Washington crowd

Home favourite: Lamont Peterson will have the backing of the Washington crowd

The consolation for his British fans is that his travels are helping Khan”s development into a genuinely world-class boxer with pound-for-pound potential .

He should provide further evidence of that by overcoming Peterson, a worthy challenger, as well as home disadvantage.

Khan v Peterson is live late this Saturday night on Sky Sports 1HD.

——————

Relief over Ali recovery

Thankfully Muhammad Ali is reported to be recovered from his hurried visit to hospital with dehydration.

It looks as if the warmth of his Arizona estate has been just the place to recover from exposure to the cold of Philadelphia, where he attended the funeral of his historic rival Smokin” Joe Frazier.

Farewell to a legend: Muhammad Ali at Joe Frazier

Farewell to a legend: Muhammad Ali at Joe Frazier”s funeral last month

Whether or not reports of his collapse were exaggerated, the fight against Parkinson”s goes on.

We wish The Greatest – and his devoted wife Lonnie – not only a merry Christmas but all the happiness they can muster in the late autumn of this remarkable life.

————————-

http://sportsboundguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/cdc7616eroes_308x76.png

Tommy Watson

In the wake of Manny Pacquaio”s hotly disputed points victory over Juan Manuel Marquez in the third fight of their epic trilogy, British boxing continues to claim that its men are being robbed abroad.

Martin Murray – like Matthew Macklin only a few months before him – believes he beat world super-middleweight champion Felix Sturm in Germany this weekend.

Murray went even closer than Macklin on the official cards by scoring a draw – as opposed to split decision defeat – but that still left the WBA belt in the German”s increasingly shaky possession.

The 29-year-old from St Helens says: “I”m sure I won but this is what you have to expect in Germany.”

Gutted: Martin Murray (right) is convinced he beat Felix Sturm in Germany

Gutted: Martin Murray (right) is convinced he beat Felix Sturm in Germany

Dereck Chisora felt even more aggrieved by the Saturday night split decision in Finland which awarded the vacant European heavyweight title to local favourite Robert Helenius.

A lot of British fans cried foul, too, although cleaner punching would have helped the Londoner.

Right or wrong, however, Murray and Chisora have reignited a controversy as old as prize-fighting itself, as one of our readers reminds us by recalling an event from yesteryear.

In May 1933 British champion Seaman Tommy Watson set sail from Tyneside to challenge Cuban legend Kid Chocolate for the world super-featherweight title in New York”s Madison Square Garden.

Unhappy Finn-ish: Dereck Chisora (left)lost to Robert Helenius in Helsinki

Unhappy Finn-ish: Dereck Chisora (left) lost to Robert Helenius in Helsinki

After 15 bruising rounds Watson found himself on the wrong end of a unanimous decision which was challenged by most of the American sportswriters at ringside and described by heavyweight great Jack Dempsey as ” the robbery of an Englishman.”

Watson – nicknamed Seaman because to achieve his ring ambitions he had to buy himself out of the Royal Navy, in which he acquired a strange boxing gait by training on the decks of battleships at sea – was promised a rematch in England which never materialised.

Watson won a remarkable 112 of his 123 fights, losing nine and drawing twice. Kid Chocolate – a society playboy whose real name was Eligio Sardinas y Montalvo – built up an even more phenomenal record, winning 167 bouts before the legendary Jack Berg inflicted his first defeat.

Seaman Tommy was before even my time but he sounds to me like the hero still revered by the Geordie nation.

———————-

Miguel Cotto”s bloody revenge over the one-eyed Antonio Margarito – on the Madison Square Garden bill which saw English lightweight John Murray predictably overwhelmed by scandalously overweight world champion Brandon Rios – brought to a climax the first action-packed weekend of a bumper December for boxing.

Sky Sports and BoxNation, as Frank Warren”s dedicated fight channel goes from free to 10 a month subscription, are screening between them a host of British stars – Amir Khan, Carl Froch and James DeGale among them.

But Wladimir Klitschko”s championship defence against Jean-Marc Mormeck in Germany this Saturday night has been postponed after the Ukrainian had emergency surgery ton a kidney stone.

Pound-for-pound ratingsWORLD POUND-FOR-POUND TOP 10

No 1 MANNY PACQUIAO
Born: 17/12/1978
Kibawe, Bukidnon, Philippines
Current titles: WBO welterweight world champion
Jeff”s verdict: Still the best despite almost coming undone his his third installment with Marquez.

No 2 FLOYD MAYWEATHER JNR
Born: 24/02/1977
Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Current titles: None
Jeff”s verdict: Hates being second best.

No 3 SERGIO MARTINEZ
Born: 21/02/1975
Quilmes, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Current titles: WBC Diamond and Ring World middleweight champion
Jeff”s verdict: Showed his class to dispatch Darren Barker recently.

No 4 JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ
Born: 23/08/1973
Mexico City, Distrito Federal
Current titles: WBA, WBO and The Ring lightweight world champion
Jeff”s verdict: Classic Mexican warrior who took Manny to the wire in another epic contest.

No 5 NONITO DONAIRE
Born: 16/11/1982
Talibon, Bohol, Philippines
Current titles: WBC and WBO bantamweight champion
Jeff”s verdict: The next Pacquiao.

No 6 WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO
Born: 25/03/1976
Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan
Current titles: IBF, IBO, WBO and WBA heavyweight champion
Jeff”s verdict: Longest reigning champion, completely commanded Haye in a one-sided fight in Germany.

No 6 VITALI KLITSCHKO
Born: 19/07/1971
Belovodsk, Kirghiz SSR (now Kyrgyzstan)
Current titles: WBC Heavyweight champion
Jeff”s verdict: It is now time Vitali gets the recognition he deserves

No 8 CARL FROCH
Born: 02/07/1977
Nottingham, England
Current titles: WBC super middleweight
Jeff”s verdict: Fantastic run against five consecutive world class opponents.

No 9 ANDRE WARD
Born: 23/02/1984
Oakland, California, USA
Current titles: WBA world super middleweight champion
Jeff”s verdict: Super-slick Olympic gold medallist but come on Carl.

No 10 BERNARD HOPKINS

Born: 15/01/1965
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Current titles: WBC and The Ring Light Heavyweight champion.

Jeff”s verdict: The 4Os phenomenon.

BRITISH POUND-FOR-POUND TOP 10

No 1 CARL FROCH
Born: 02/07/1977
Nottingham, England
Current titles: WBC super middleweight
Jeff”s verdict: Fantastic run against five consecutive world class opponents

No 2 AMIR KHAN
Born: 08/12/1986
Bolton, England
Current titles: WBA world super lightweight
Jeff”s verdict: Won world fight of the year against Marcos Maidana

No 3 NATHAN CLEVERLY
Born: 17/02/1987
Caerphilly, Wales
Current titles: WBO light heavyweight world champion
Jeff”s verdict: Thinking man”s world champion.

No 4 RICKY BURNS
Born: 13/04/1983
Bellshill, Scotland
Current titles: WBO world super featherweight
Jeff”s verdict: Scotland”s finest and exceptional in points win over Katsidis.

No 5 KEVIN MITCHELL
Born: 29/10/1984
Romford, England
Current titles: WBO intercontinental lightweight champion
Jeff”s verdict: A focused, dedicated Mitchell is world class.

No 6 KELL BROOK
Born: 03/05/1986
Sheffield, England
Current titles: British welterweight title and the WBO Inter-continental title
Jeff”s verdict: Rising as fast as Haye punches.

No 7 DARREN BARKER
Born: 19/05/1982
Barnet, England
Current titles: British and European middleweight champion
Jeff”s verdict: Class boxer who almost made Martinez think twice.

No 8 GEORGE GROVES
Born: 26/03/1988
Hammersmith, England
Current titles: Commonwealth and British Super Middleweight
Jeff”s verdict: On the up, great win over Smith at Wembley.

No 9 MATTHEW MACKLIN*
Born: 14/05/1982
Birmingham, England
Current titles: None
Jeff”s verdict: Just fell short against Felix Sturm in what may be his best world title chance.

No 10 TYSON FURY
Born: 01/06/1988
Manchester, England
Current titles: British and Commonwealth heavyweight

Jeff”s verdict: Showed great character to climb off the canvas and stop Neven Pajkic.

*Macklin fights under the Irish flag but was born in Birmingham.

Joao Havelange resigns from International Olympic Committee

Ex-FIFA president Havelange resigns from IOC following 6m bribe scandal

Joao Havelange has resigned from the International Olympic Committee, just days before facing suspension over allegations that he accepted 6million in bribes.

Havelange – the IOC”s longest-serving member with 48 years of service – submitted his resignation in a letter Thursday night.

The move came a few days before the IOC’s ethics commission was due to recommend heavy sanctions against Havelange in the case involving FIFA”s former marketing agency ISL.

Resigned: Havelange has relinquished his role with the IOC

Resigned: Havelange has relinquished his role with the IOC

Havelange, 93, an IOC member since 1963, has been under investigation by the ethics commission for allegedly receiving a $1million (640,000) payment from ISL.

Two other IOC members, IAAF President Lamine Diack and African football official Issa Hayatou, are also under investigation but face much lesser penalties.

A two-year suspension, or even possible expulsion, for Havelange was expected to be considered at Thursday”s IOC executive board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Taking the reins: Blatter replaced Havelange at FIFA

Taking the reins: Blatter replaced Havelange at FIFA

With his resignation, the ethics case against him is expected to be dropped.

Havelange served as FIFA president for 24 years before being succeeded by Sepp Blatter in 1998. He remains honorary president of FIFA.

The ethics case stems from a BBC documentary last year into kickbacks allegedly paid by ISL, which owned World Cup television rights and collapsed with debts of $300m (192m) in 2001.