Sports Diary
by Patrick O’Connor

THE British media is already getting its knickers in a twist over Andy Murray.

They got wildly excited when the country’s only genuine tennis star reached the semi-finals of the French Open but then sank back into the usual frenzy of over-analysis when he succumbed to Rafael Nadal.




This, of course, is in preparation for Wimbledon which starts on June 20 and signals the start of a sudden interest in the sport of tennis. For the rest of the year tennis is way behind football, cricket and rugby in terms of public enthusiasm.

And because only Murray has any chance of making any real progress in the competition all the attention and hype focuses on him.

Murray-mania will take over and the poor fellow will have to cope with all this unreal expectation.

Maybe a first round shock exit will bring us all back to reality!

It was nice to read last week that the wise people who form the Badminton World Federation have got their finger on the pulse.

They have ditched a new rule which would force women players to wear skirts or dresses during the competition. Apparently they thought it would ‘glamorise’ the sport.

But the move did not go down well with players and now in a statement, the authority said: “The Badminton World Federation have accepted a recommendation from the Women In Badminton committee to further study on the general clothing regulations and thereby not to introduce the regulations as currently drafted regarding the mandatory use of skirts or dresses.”

Worrying news of one of our top athletes ahead of the Olympic Games.

Paula Radcliffe could only finish third in the Bupa London 10,000 on her comeback from an 18 month absence. She described her performance as “a bit of disaster.”

Radcliffe, the marathon world record-holder, had been recovering from injuries and giving birth to her second child last year.

She told BBC Radio 5 live: “I think my fourth to fifth kilometre was terrible and then I stopped looking so I don’t know what the time was after that, but it wasn’t good.

“I’ve got a tear in one of the discs in my back which has meant I can’t go on the track, but I thought I was going to be fine on the road. It wasn’t particular sore in the race, it just felt like I didn’t have any power out there.”

She added: “I hoping this isn’t a big setback ahead of the 2012 Olympics.

“If I’m still feeling like this in two months then I’ll be panicking, but if it is just a month then hopefully I will be alright.

“But it is not nice and I’m certainly not proud of the way I ran today. At this stage all I can do is just try my best.”

Temper, temper!

Top racing driver Lewis Hamilton has  apologised for his verbal attack on stewards after twice being penalised for incidents during the Monaco Grand Prix in which he finished sixth,

“It’s an absolute frickin’ joke,” he said. “I’ve been to see the stewards five times out of six this season. Maybe it’s because I’m black. That’s what Ali G says.”

However, he calmed down and later commented on Twitter: “Hey guys, I wanted to apologise for my performance and my comments after. I never meant to offend anyone.”

Shock, horror!

Apparently England and Manchester United soccer  star Wayne Rooney has come out with some sensational news on his Twitter account.

He’s confirmed that he has had a hair transplant.

“I was going bald at 25 why not.”

Football fans of a certain age will know that that never bothered a United hero of a bygone era, the great Sir Bobby Charlton.

The British sporting summer has already had two memorable moments and both are due to competitors from overseas with very similar sounding names.

Last week Barcelona thrilled everyone with their footballing skills as they overpowered Manchester United in the Champions League final at Wembley.

And on Saturday, one of the top horse-racing events of the calendar produced a stunning finish as the French-trained Pour Moi, ridden by Mickael Barzalona came from first to last to win The Derby and Epsom Downs.

Damn foreigners!!