Sport

Sunday 16 December 2018

Around the World - No pulling the G-strings in British squash

AROUND THE WORLD by CLIONA FOLEY

ENGLAND: The British Squash Open got its best publicity in years when it banned a competitor from wearing a G-string.

ENGLAND: The British Squash Open got its best publicity in years when it banned a competitor from wearing a G-string.

Vicky Botwright (for real!) shocked some of the game's traditionalists by attempting to wear a black sports-bra and matching thong for competition.

Vicky (23), the number 16 seed from Lancashire, said it would be more comfortable to play in and would also attract publicity.

"I know it might raise a few spectators' blood pressure but I am sure that if we were allowed to wear things like this, a lot of players would. It would look great on TV and would certainly help us to promote the game to a wider audience," she insisted.

But organisers WISPA (the women's international federation) refused. Its director Andrew Shelley said: "We don't have a strict rule on this sort of thing, but we are concerned that referees might find it difficult to concentrate on the squash.

"Our members are fine athletes and it is understandable that they should want to show off their assets. We will discuss it more fully at our next board meeting."

If you think this sounds suspiciously opportune you might be right.

The international squash association (WSF) has rules governing this kind of thing. Under Rule 3/Clothing it states that: "All clothing shall conform to the accepted standards of decency and cultural/religious tradition of the country in which the competition is taking place, as adjudged by the Championship Referee."

And after Botwright was splashed all over the tabloids, the tournament organisers weren't averse to plastering photos of her in a bikini all on their official website.

Miss Botwright beat Ireland's Madeline Perry in the first round but succumbed to Natalie Grainger in the next round.

AUSTRALIA: Local tennis star Lleyton Hewitt got in deep do-do of the Mary Ellen Synon kind back at home when he used a most inappropriate word in a derogatory fashion during his ill-fated French Open bid.

After his dismal 6-4 6-2 6-1 loss to fourth seed Juan Carlos Ferrero in Tuesday's quarter-finals, Hewitt (20) conceded he had erred by twice calling umpires 'spastics' in the first two rounds at Roland Garros.

Hewitt had earlier insisted he hadn't said it but had to admit defeat when his comments were captured on courtside microphones.

The second occasion not only drew a $1,000 fine but prompted fury from the Spastic Centre of Australia who have invited Hewitt to see at first-hand what cerebral palsy sufferers can achieve.

KENYA: A contrasting role-model is cross-country hero and new marathon convertee Paul Tergat who has just received an appropriate ambassadorial role from the World Food Programme (WFP).

The five-time world champion who finished second in this year's London Marathon was selected not only because he's a world famous athlete.

He has been specifically chosen to help publicise and fundraise for the WFP's special school feeding programme which provides school meals to undernourished children in third world countries because he was a direct beneficiary 20 years ago.

"I benefited from the school feeding programme in my early days at Riwo Primary school (1983-1985) in Baringo," Tergat (32) revealed.

ITALY: A Sunday league soccer team conceded 31 goals in two tour matches after they were mistaken as a professional club! The 'Red Lion' team, from Hampshire, lost 15-2 to AC Villafranca and 16-0 to Prosettimo Calcio, two Turin teams.

The confusion arose when Villafranca, who play in Italy's equivalent of the Vauxhall Conference, contacted their own FA looking for details of clubs willing to play end-of-season friendlies.

The English Sunday league team, who had been billed as 'FC Petersfield Lions', first became suspicious when they saw posters for their match against Villafranca declaring 'Arrivano Gli Inglesi' or 'The English Are Coming'. Captain Richard Kates said: "It was only when we took a second look that we realised they meant us!"

Spectators, however, took the English team to their heart. When the Red Lions got a shot at goal in the 85th minute of one match against Prosettimo Calcio, they got a standing ovation!

AND FINALLY . . . In a week in which tonight's boxing match between Laila Ali and Jacqui Fraziera will attract massive attention to women in sport, a contradictory value has emerged.

The International Skating Union has decided to penalise pairs and ice dancers when women perform certain moves like upside-down splits and backward spread eagles.

Referees and judges will deduct 0.1 from the second (artistic) mark for each movement from next season because they're considered to be "undignified".

Surely it's not a case of undignified poses but undignified minds!

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