Category: Sport

III Charity Race

Torrevieja primary school, Las Culturas, held its third annual charity race last week with children, teachers, parents and friends participating in the race for a good cause.  As always, the race was held to coincide with international Day of Peace and once again, was used to raise money for a local cause. This year, the cause was CDA Torrevieja – the adaptive sports club which helps people with disabilities participate in sporting activities by providing specialised equipment and training.  With the sponsorship of children and their parents, and further collection on the day, over €1000 was raised.
Each class ran in turn, starting with the three year olds, right up to year 6 (12 year olds) with the speed and competitive spirit seeming to rise with each year group.  The crowds of school children, families and friends lining Calle Las Tortolas screamed encouragement and offered ‘high fives’ for the duration of all races ensuring that no participant was short of encouragement.  The beginning and end of each race was accompanied by the hypnotic beat of drums by the school band, under the direction of popular music teacher Vicent.
After running, each of the children was offered a piece of fruit and bottle of water organised by Grupo Scout Las Culturas, and on hand to help with the organisation of the race were Torrevieja Triathlon Club and Puerto Athletics Club.  Offering first aid support was a team from Hospital Torrevieja.
 

Your week in sport

 
Dave, Dave, Dave. Just tell us what was in the package. Why don’t you want to? It’s not often a “jiffy bag” makes sporting headlines, we should make the most of it. Chris Froome, who has no grudge with Brailsford at all, has openly pondered why the contents of this jiffy bad still remain unknown and Sir Bradley Wiggins has retired, choosing to go on some celebrity reality show where everyone will soon forget about him. Great cover Brad, not that you need it of course.
 
Someone who never had his sporting ethics called into question is Sir Mo Farah. He is also pondering a few things via the medium of the British press. Sir Mo wants answers, and the question is “why didn’t I win Sports Personality of the Year?” I can understand anyone losing a title that has the world “personality” in it to Andy Murray being bitter, but let us look at the facts. Murray is a British tennis player that wins things. That doesn’t happen to British tennis players very often. Brilliant middle distance runners? Well, we knocked them out quite a lot in the times where British tennis hopes rested on Jeremy Bates for crying out loud. That’s why Mo, that’s why. And, frankly, it’s a popularity vote and Wimbledon will always be more popular than watching someone run round a track several times.
 
Speaking of Sir Andy Murray, and this column is becoming worryingly like the House of Lords, he has started 2017 in the way some of us cynics suspected he might. Losing to Novak Djokovic. Enjoy it whilst it lasts Muzza, Novak wants the Number One spot back. At least you got your Knighthood, they can’t take that away.
 
Alastair Cook was not knighted in the New Year’s Honours list, and following England’s disappointing tour of India it is not surprising. Cook will chat to Strauss sometime soon to discuss whether it is time for him to hand over the captaincy of the England cricket team. Even cricket has changed. I remember when the press used to hound out a captain they didn’t want anymore. Beefy, Gower, Gatt, even Chris Cowdrey, didn’t get the chance to sit down with their boss and discuss it amicably. No, they were sacked mid series which, clearly, was much more fun to watch. Bring back 1980’s cricket, please. I want to see the West Indies getting the ball to fly past the nose of an unhelmeted batsman. I want to see the Aussies being the Aussies and I want England to back to being the circus act they once were.
 

Tales from the Top Flight

 
Cards on the table. I am as bad at football predictions as Paul Merson. We know this, this isn’t new news. When Everton led against Leicester I saw my FA Cup winning ticket potentially falling short at the 3rd Round stage – just like every season. Yeah, I am saying it loud and proud. Claudio is going to win the cup. Revenge tasted very sweet to Musa has he defied his critics and chewed up the Toffees. Aren’t Everton supposed to be decent and challenging for the top six? I am sure someone said that somewhere. Leicester have had a lot of experience of being behind this season, and this time they turned it round. Leicester for the cup I tell you.
 
Or Arsenal. It could be Arsenal. I mean, something has to go right for Arsene soon if only to shut up the likes of Piers Morgan. The sight of Olivier Giroud leading the troops out to battle at Preston didn’t calm the nerves of many an Arsenal fan but the point that Giroud is actually a very good player shone through yet again. He gets a lot of grief, but he is carrying Arsenal on his beautifully chiseled shoulders currently. And, you are only allowed to win the FA Cup if you have nearly been knocked out by a lower level side.
 
Rooney had been one goal shy of Sir Bob’s record for quite a while. Not because he has been unable to find the net, more because he has been unable to get on the pitch long enough during United’s resurgent run. Still, José trusted Wayne against a Reading side that were, to put it nicely, somewhat open at the back and the England skipper wasted little time in kneeing home the goal that, as a good friend of mine beautifully put it, it meant we can stop seeing obligatory shots of Bobby Charlton in the stands every time Rooney goes close. Mind you, he has only drawn level so we might have to go through the rigmarole at least one more time. United won easily, scoring four in a game yet again this season.
 
Pep admitted to the media over the weekend that he has made mistakes since coming to England. I’d agree, that flat cap the other week was a shocker. City made no mistakes in dispatching West Ham on Friday night. 5-0 flattered Bilic’s side who will no doubt console themselves by trying to buy another well known name for a fraction of their true value. Fans, even West Ham ones, are not stupid enough to fall for that lame attempt at PR Lady Brady. They are not Apprentice contestants.
 
Surely by now someone has made a banner saying “Hughes Out?” No? Let me get my sewing machine out. I am no Stoke fan, but he is ruining that club. They used to have an identity, something about going there on a windy Tuesday night was supposed to turn even the likes of a primetime Roy Keane weak at the knees. Now they roll over at home to Wolves and have their tummy tickled. Stoke could have had a run in the FA Cup and it’s not as if they have any interest in qualifying for the Europa League via the Premier League. For a man who won the cup many times, it was a poor show from Hughes and Stoke.
 
Mind you, WBA were also a surprise. I know of at least one person that tipped them as the dark horses to lift the trophy at Wembley and they contrived to lose to a team managed by Steve Mc. That is never a good sign. Though it was refreshing to see, once again, the complete lack of impartiality from Paul Ince on live TV when he heard his son’s free kick had gone in. Incey has had more to smile about from his kid’s lower level career than from his own managerial one, that’s for sure.
 
Could we all be wrong about Marco Silva? “Who?” some of you might still be asking. The new man at Hull, the one who was nailed on to fail before he even turned up. Well, they beat Swansea on his debut. Mind you, imagine his relief when he saw he was playing Swansea in his first game, a team that would really rather not leave Wales if possible.
 
Big Sam is still looking at the bottom of a pint of wine for his first win as Palace manager. In fact, might there be another vacancy at a different Palace before Sam gets a victory? He went to Bolton, his old haunt, and gave his old crowd a reminder of how dire the football was under him at times in a 0-0 draw.
 
A week is a long time in football, as Eddie Howe will now testify. With 20 minutes to go against Arsenal he was riding on the crest of a wave and was about to be the new Arsenal, England and PSG manager combined before the season was out. Days later, having thrown away a 3-0 lead to the Arsenal, he was getting dumped out of the FA Cup 3-0 by Millwall. Ouch.
 
Norwich have been terrible recently. Yes, a little Championship knowledge on show for you there. Mind you, Southampton have been a little ropey themselves so a 2-2 draw was probably about right all in all.
 
Social media went into a brief little meltdown as Liverpool’s youth team failed to beat an experienced, in form League Two side in Plymouth. Kloppo will not have wanted an evening trip to the south coast, but his youngsters have rarely failed him so you can understand the gamble. The same people were criticising Plymouth for turning up playing for a point and celebrating getting it. Hang on, isn’t that what United did?
 
Conte also rolled the dice, giving Michy Batshuyai a very rare start. He repaid his manager with a goal. Conte also gave John Terry a rare start. He repaid his manager with a red card. Is that it for JT? Probably. Still, with Costa, Hazard and Moses on the bench Chelsea eased past Peterborough 4-1.
 
Spurs defender Ben Davies managed to do what Vincent Janssen looked very unlikely to achieve all day, and that was head the ball past the Villa goalkeeper. It was just like last season for Villa, as they failed to win away from home against Premier League opposition.
 
Can you imagine how bad the nil-nil between Sunderland and Burnley must have been?
 

Sign up for half marathon

Sign up for the Torrevieja Half Marathon
Get fit in 2017

If you’re looking for a goal to achieve after the excesses of the festive period why not sign up for Torrevieja’s half marathon or its 10K run? This is the 34th time the run has taken place and it continues to be a popular event in Torrevieja’s calendar. The race will take place on 26th February 2017 and starts at 10am.
Those who want to go the full distance and run the half marathon of 21Kdo two laps of the course. It extends all the way from Cala del Gambote at the northern point of the town, down to past the Muelle de la Sal in the south. As the organisers point out, it’s a good way to get to know a little more about your local town. If not perhaps the easiest.
Those who opt for the 10K only have one lap to do. It’s a good run as there are few hills and, in most years, the weather has been kind to participants. There are regular water stops on the way which are staffed by volunteers.
Registration takes place in the port area and the event has been well organised in the past. It is a competitive race rather than a fun run and many people take it very seriously. However, people of all different nationalities and levels of fitness take part including a few in fancy dress.
If you show your runner’s number then you will also receive a discount of €1 from your parking fee if you park by the port.At the end of the race you are given a snack and refreshments to help bring your energy levels back up to normal.
Your registration fee includes civil liability and accident insurance and first aid facilities line the route. There is usually a good turn out from local people to cheer the runners on, even those bringing up the rear.
The results are published on the website and all the runners will be sent an email with their results. You can also see the pictures of runners as they cross the finishing line on the website.
There are different categories for the prizes including veteran groups and trophies are given to the top three athletes in each category witheveryone getting a commemorative medal and goody bag for taking part.
You can register up to the 23rd February but pay more the later you leave it. Until the 24th January the cost of registration for the half marathon is €18. Following this date you will pay €22. The 10K is slightly cheaper at €13 until the 24th January and €16 until the 23rd February. You register online and can pay directly online too. Once the transaction has been made you will receive a justificante de inscripción which you should bring to the event.
It’s easy to sign up as the website has an English version and there is a Facebook page too. If you‘like’ this, you will be kept up-to-date as the event approaches. It’s a good opportunity to blow away the cobwebs whether you are participating or simply there to offer your support.
http://www.mediomaratontorrevieja.es/?lang=en
Suzanne O’Connell
 
 

Your week in sport

Your week in Sport
by Chris Darwen

So, Russia doped over 1000 athletes and cheated their way through London 2012.  That’s ok then, they are bound to have been the only country doing it, aren’t they.  I mean, god forbid any country that isn’t Russia gets dragged into the scandal.  Or has anything swept under the carpet.  As long as they have the appropriate doctor’s note and ride a bike everything is ok.  But hey, it means a few Team GB athletes might move up the medal table.
 
In a totally unrelated demonstration of British Cycling being able to make things go away, Jess Varnish’s complaints against Shane Sutton got narrowed down to one small thing being upheld and several other big things being refuted.  The PR machine had suggested back in October that Sutton had been found to have used “inappropriate language and behaviour” but last week’s leak on the actual report suggested that of all the instances claimed, only one was found to be “true” in the eyes of the “independent” committee.  That press release seems fair then.
 
England will just about want to pack up and come home following being led another merry dance in the 4th Test in India.  We might have found another good batsman in South African Keaton Jennings.  Well, if we forget his ridiculous name and focus on the first innings ton and not the second innings duck we might have found another good batsman.  Other than that, same old same old.  India score more runs than us and their spinners take more wickets than ours.  Come home boys, the game is up.
 
Anthony Joshua danced around Eric Molina in Manchester on Saturday night to defend his IBF title.  Joshua will be rewarded with a date with Klitschko in April 2017.  The best fight of the night saw Chisora beaten by Whyte in 12 rounds.  Following the press conference pantomime that saw Whyte throw an actual table at Chisora there were no titles on the line, just a bucket load of pride.
 

Tales from the Top Flight

Tales from the Top Flight
By Chris Darwen

 
Goals!  Goals everywhere!  Well, on Saturday anyway.  Watford and Everton showed Manchester City the way forward, the way forward being how to defend like complete schoolboys.  Not even schoolboys that have played football, the schoolboys that used to stay inside at lunchtime and play  on the BBC computers.  And goalkeepers?  Don’t get me started on goalkeepers this weekend.
 
Watford and Everton very much set the tone of day, sharing five goals between them and easing Ronald Koeman towards a press release where his owners say something like, “yeah we don’t trust you with that whopping January transfer budget we were talking about when you were winning matches.”  My prediction of Everton finishing top six looks as well guided as most of my predictions.
 
People thought Arsene was mad for not playing Xhaka earlier in the season.  Arsene had suggested he had question marks over Granit’s discipline during a game, and following his elbow to the face of Joe Allen in the area I cannot see what Wenger was worried about.  Stoke momentarily looked like they might finally get something out of a trip to the Emirates until Theo earned himself that coffee machine he has been dreaming about.  You would imagine if Tony Pulis’s Stoke had ever conceded a header to Mesut Ozil that the current WBA manager would have done quite a lot of naked headbutting after the match.  Not under Mark Hughes, he is too busy trying to get Stoke playing all pretty.  Ozil floated a header over Lee Grant to add at least another £100k a week to his contract demands as he will suggest that he can now score all types of goals.  A little side note.  I’m running a sweepstake on how many hours will pass between you reading this and José commenting on how Arsene is allowed to put his hands on the 4th official without getting into trouble and he gets a one-match ban for toe punting a water bottle.  Who wants to play?
 
Pep, Pep, Pep.  When you have been 4-0 down to a team barely bothered about defending their title and you have pretty much given their two out of form stars a free pass to regain their confidence you cannot come out in the post-match press conference and say “we defended well.”  You didn’t.  You really didn’t.  Your defending was as shocking as Michael Oliver’s tramlines.  I’ve deliberately not jumped on the “Bravo isn’t very good, is he?” bandwagon up until now.  The guy has got more chance of saving Private Ryan than anything heading in the direction of his goal and as for John Stones, well I’d stick Mick Jagger and the rest of the Rolling Stones at the back and they would probably make better decisions.  Jamie Vardy could not believe the amount of space he was allowed to sprint into and Mahrez’s 6th successful pass to his striker this season was a beauty.  Sure, City put some kind of spin on the final result but they were tortured by the team I am still refusing to call “league champions.”  Pep spent more than José in the summer and, arguably, his signings are having a worse time than the likes of Pogba and Mhki.  Though, admittedly, there is not as much humour in pointing that out.
 
One thing WBA can do is make a game bad to watch but one thing Conte’s Chelsea appear to be able to do even better than that is nick a win.  Just when 0-0 was looking like the result Pulis dreamed of, Diego Costa scored yet another goal to send Chelsea back to the top of the table clean sheet in tact once more.  David Luiz won’t be inviting Rondon round for Christmas lunch as the big striker would probably make the defender look silly at the table.  The clamour for Chelsea to be deducted points is more daft than likely, but could be the only way the chasing pack could bring Conte’s men back down to earth.
 
I’m just going to put this out there.  United are on the way back.  José has brainwashed me, they are unlucky.  Mou “superbly man manages” Mhkitaryan into being so hungry to play he is brilliant when given a chance and he gets stretchered off with ankle ligament damage near the end of the win over an abject Spurs side who look lost when they are not given a penalty.  All United need to do is start scoring some of the multitude of chances they create and they are going to start closing gaps.  Am I saying this to give them the Costa Blanca Chris curse?  You can decide, but adding in Carrick, Herrera and Mkhitaryan has suddenly given United the look of a team you don’t want to play, although the Armenian is unlikely to be seen again anytime soon.  Dammit José, I was enjoying myself.  Smug Al doesn’t need any competition.  By the time I next appear on FANTV in the new year I will have to be saying nice things about Mourinho and Pogba as the French midfielder ran the show at Old Trafford.  Even Phil Jones looked good.
 
Liverpool’s custodian Karius hit back at his critics following his injury time blunder that gifted Bournemouth all three points last weekend.  Gary Neville was the main man in his sights and Jamie Carragher didn’t escape unscathed.  The best way for any goalkeeper to get people off his back is to, as Carragher eloquently put it on Sky, “shut up and do your job.”  The job of the goalkeeper is, after all, to keep the ball out of their net and anyone who saw Karius’ attempt to stop Payet’s free kick would suggest he needs reminding of that advice.  West Ham escaped from Anfield with a 2-2 draw, showing a rare bit of back bone and bottle.
 
The relegation battle between Hull and Palace gave full marks for entertainment but zero marks for what the “experts” like to call “game management.”  Spurs have won some dubious spot kicks in recent weeks, but nothing compares to the one Snodgrass managed to gain for Hull.  Laughable is the word, especially if you are in the anti-Al group.  A little nod to Gareth Southgate.  Wilf Zaha was full of tricks, skills and end product.  He scored one of the goals of the weekend.  Andros Townsend, however, mooched his way through 45 minutes of his appearance bonus and was hooked at the break.  Guess which one is currently in the England squad.  Yeah.  That.  Straight after Zaha’s wonder strike Smug Al removed his one decent defensive midfielder and put on the creative force that is Cabaye.  90 seconds later Hull had equalised.  Another tactical masterclass from Pardew there.  Not that he would like us to forget that it was his other sub, Campbell, that scored the injury time equaliser that denied Hull from a much needed win.  You might need to work on defending again Al, like every week.
 
Saints beat Boro 1-0 in a match that everyone would forget far quicker if it wasn’t for the quality of Boufal’s goal.
 
David Moyes had said in the week that he hoped Swansea gave Bob Bradley time to sort out Sunderland.  I had presumed that was big because Moysey knew that if BB stayed there was a good chance Sunderland would not finish bottom.  Also in the week I asked Sunderland to go back to being complete rubbish as it is more fun for me to mock David Moyes.  Boy did they deliver for me.  Not only did they wear the worst kit I have seen since Scotland played at Wembley, but they put in one of their worst performances of the season – and that is saying something.  Swansea pulled them apart, and their second goal was right out of the Darren Anderton/Teddy Sheringham playbook.  These American’s coming over with their rehearsed plays.  It will never catch on.  Who’d have thought it Bob, keep crossing the ball to your big man up front and he will score goals, just like he did for Juventus.
 
 
 
 

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