Dr. McKinnon and the Paralympics

We have the Paralympics. Which have complicated classes for disability. Cognitive lacks play over here in one class, limb lacks over here in another, sight there and so on. There are even classes within classes to that we get swims where everyone is called Bob.

We already classify by the exigencies and happenstances of genetics and accident. Because it is entirely obvious to all that those without the brain to tie their own shoelaces aren’t going to do all that well against Magic Johnson. That those with the one and only functioning limb will, by the very nature of these things, paddle slower than Duncan Goodhew. Even at the ages of those two sportsmen.

There will, in fact, be no sport unless we do classify.

None of this is about righteous nor just. It’s about this simple point that sport requires uncertainty. It must be possible for there to be the race.

Male musculature as against female? What race? Therefore we should indeed distinguish and classify.

And don’t forget that by drawing a line there will always be some unfairly on the one side of it. Internal testicles making one not a woman for the purposes of racing? High testosterone levels in an Indian sprinter?

OK. The alternative being the demolition of women’s sport as a category as the male physique conquers.

Someone’s going to get screwed, sure, but who should it be? Probably the few, right? Not the all?

Bravo gentlemen, bravo

There was no such reprieve for the northeastern town of Kamaishi, where flooding had left the organisers with no choice but to cancel the lunchtime game between Canada and Namibia.
With their match at the Recovery Memorial Stadium cancelled, Canadian players grabbed shovels and helped clear the mud from Kamaishi’s streets.

Nowt larger than that, just well done, vry well done those men.

Tee hee

England cricket: an apology from The Times
We may have given the impression in Saturday’s Times that Joe Root’s England side had “No fight, no idea, no hope” after they were bowled out for a dismal 67 in their first innings.

We now recognise that they are among the finest, battling sides this country has ever produced. We are happy to make this clear.

Not really, no

Two face jail after watching footage of Emiliano Sala’s post-mortem

They face jail for stealing the footage, not watching it.

Sherry Bray, 49, and Christopher Ashford, 62, appeared at Swindon Crown Court on Friday where they admitted accessing CCTV footage of Sala’s post-mortem examination.

Ashford, of Calne, admitted three counts of securing unauthorised access to computer material between February 9 and 11 this year.

Bray, of Corsham, admitted three counts of securing unauthorised access to computer material between April last year and February this year.

Tiger at Augusta

Yesterday’s man is today’s Masters champion. Impossibly, ridiculously, Tiger Woods is back on top in golf again, with his fused back, his pile of lost years and his talent somehow back from the dead.

I guess we could say he’s back….

This man sounds rather dim

A former football club chairman is suing his divorce lawyers claiming they failed to warn him that promotion to the Premier League would result in an extra £2.25 million pay off to his ex-wife.

Huw Jenkins OBE, 56, the former Swansea City boss, claims he was told by solicitors that his finances were “not stable enough” to reach a financial settlement with his wife Sian, 50, while the club was in the lower league.

However just three months later Swansea City won promotion from the Championship in 2011 to play the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal.

This resulted in his personal wealth massively increasing and when the divorce was finally settled in 2017, Mr Jenkins was ordered to pay his ex-wife a £2.25 million lump sum.

Divorce involves the settlement of the marital finances. If there’s more of them then there’ll be a bigger amount paid over. And, even if we take the more restrictive view of only those assets created or accumulated during the marriage itself this is still going to apply here, isn’t it?

Thus, how could the outcome be otherwise?

Whether his lawyers should have told him is another thing. But that he didn’t instinctively grasp this is showing a certain lack of nous, eh? Or, possibly, a certain amount of trying it on. As anyone who makes enough to then be able to buy into a football club has a certain amount of financial nouse, nu?

A camel weighing contest?

Sorta Galton’s Ox without the slaughter and dressing?

A British man who won the world camel weighing championships found himself embroiled in an animal rights row after the competition was deemed ‘barbaric’.

Can’t be much of a spectator sport really. Then I find out that’s not what they mean:

Qasim Hussain, 20, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, traveled to Pakistan to compete in the Kharack Mirpur annual event where the animals are weighed down with rocks before standing to prove their strength.

Mr Hussain’s four-year-old camel, Sheezada Kathreela, was loaded up with bags of stones weighing 1,800kg on his humps and back before getting to its feet and walking around in front of 20,000 spectators.

Perhaps camel weighting contest is more apt?

Not quite a smoking gun

The state of Qatar secretly offered $400m to Fifa just 21 days before they were awarded the 2022 World Cup, leaked files appear to show.

The documents, seen by The Sunday Times, reportedly reveal that executives from the Qatari state-run broadcaster Al Jazeera – that was owned and controlled by Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani – signed a television contract making the huge offer.

The contract is said to have also included an unprecedented success fee of $100m that would be paid to Fifa only if Qatar was successful in the 2010 World Cup ballot.

The documents allegedly read: “In the event that the 2022 competition is awarded to the state of Qatar, Al Jazeera shall, in addition to the . . . rights fee, pay to Fifa into the designated account the monetary amount of $100m.”

Fifa sells the broadcast rights. That the broadcast rights are sold comes as less than a surprise therefore.

If Al Jazeera was going to hire the idiot nephews of every Fifa board member on $million contracts for advice over the broadcast rights then we’d have something. To the extent that we don’t already think they didn’t.

Note the word completed

CARDIFF City footballer Emiliano Sala is feared dead after his plane went missing over the Channel Islands last night.

Sala, 28, was onboard the Piper Malibu plane with one other person, when it lost contact at 8.30pm near the Casquets lighthouse, off Alderney.

Air Traffic Control confirmed the plane was travelling from Nantes in Western France to Cardiff when it vanished.

It followed severe weather warnings about snow and ice issued across France.

The Argentine footballer was believed to be travelling back from France after completing his £15million club-record transfer from Nantes to Premier League strugglers Cardiff City FC.

Cardiff’s out that £15 million then.

Well, yes, that’s about right

England’s hopes of training in hot conditions during their eight-day camp in Portugal were dashed today as heavy fell in the Algarve during their first session – with more rain forecast next week.

Conditions at England’s training camp in Vilamoura were more akin to an autumnal day at their normal base at Pennyhill Park in Bagshot as the players underwent a fitness session, which included speed work with sprint specialist Jonas Dodoo.

Weather down here is generally better, not always.

To an extent it always was

This isn’t strong enough to be a fact but there’s a tendency all the same:

West Country powerhouse – why the South West has become English rugby’s dominant region

Soccer was, largely enough, the game of the industrial proletariat. The West Country didn’t have a lot of that. It’s for this reason that there have been, at times, no Premiership teams south west of a Bristol to, erm, Southampton? line. One of the poorest areas of the country from the 1830s onwards, as that industrial prole thing first began, was Dorset. That old North South divide on poverty etc worked the other way a century and more back.

As I say, this isn’t true enough to be absolute fact but there’s a trend there, definitely.

Welcome to the real world

She dazzled the nation at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, taking home two gold medals.

But now Hannah Cockroft MBE, the world record-breaking wheelchair racer who has won five gold medals for Britain, fears she will become trapped in a cycle of unemployment once she is too old to compete professionally, joining the ranks of Britain’s 800,000 young people who are not in employment or training.

Her comments come amid wider concern that the champions of London’s 2012 Games are falling into uncertain futures, with many having little work experience outside athletics.

This is rather what happens to all professional athletes, isn’t it?