Belfast Telegraph

Heaven and Helen as Adam is first man

By Billy Weir

Four years on and people still waffle on about Super Saturday when Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis-Hill and the ginger jumpy fella who nobody can remember won gold medals on a memorable night in London.

For large parts of Sunday there was a bit of head-scratching for another word beginning with 'S' that would sum things up as not everything was going just according to plan for Team GB.

Fencer Richard Kruse was the first hope for a medal, taking on one of those pesky Russians in the bronze poke-off (I think that's what they call it) but, despite the best efforts of the BBC's Graham Bell, let's face it no-one has the first idea of what is going on.

"They say in fencing the 15th hit is the hardest," explained the former skier, although no mention of the first cut being the deepest, but it didn't matter as 52 years of hurt without a fencing medal were destined to continue as Timur Safin got that crucial 15th poke of the pointy thing.

At least Andy Murray could keep Team GB flying, he's the captain and flag bearer after all and had his big brother with him just in case their Brazilian opponents started picking on him in the first round.

It was a thrilling match, the first set going one way and then another like a Samba dancer's wobbly bits and, locked at six games apiece, we were all set for the tie-break.

Night shift presenter Jason Mohammad set the scene for us.

"That match is on a knife-edge now, if you want to keep watching Jamie and Andy Murray hopefully beating the Brazilians then press your red button now," he said.

Can you imagine the scenes if they did that at Wimbledon? They'd be drenching Sue Barker in Pimms and lashing strawberries at her but there was something even wetter with potential for success to go to so the Beeb set sail for the pool.

I wasn't overly disappointed as, the previous night, swimming presenter Helen Skelton - famous for the wind showing us her under-garments at London 2012 - was wearing about as much as your average swimmer. The mind boggles as to what she will turn up in at Tokyo in four years' time.

"I wish I had a motorbike," she began, as pundits Rebecca Adlington and Mark Foster stopped flirting with eachother just long enough to raise their eyebrows as to where this was going.

"Because if I had a motorbike I would go and get Jason Mohammad and bring him here because it's going to be an epic night in the pool." Okay…

The man we had all come to see was Adam Peaty, world champion and a man who had smashed the 100m breaststroke world record in qualifying and the hottest favourite since the Murrays in a first round doubles match. No news as yet.

We had a few semi-finals to get out of the way first before the 2.53am start for Peaty, fellow Brit James Guy facing an anxious wait to see if he'd made the final.

"You want to sing a song," said Skelton who, adding to her Santa wishlist, added: "if only I had a karaoke machine." Adlington, replied 'Danger Zone', but beside a pool the last thing you want are Loggins floating about.

The good news is a Japanese competitor called Suzuki turned up, not sure if she had a karaoke machine with her, but we were whisked away to the tennis for what Mohammad told us was 'unbelievable stuff.'

If only I'd had a DeLorean to go back and press the red button because I had recorded the coverage and got up early on Monday to watch, rather than sit through to 2.53am and a deluge of toe-curling, stomach-churning BBC guff in red, white and blue tinted glasses.

It was a close shave but those two Scottish lads lost to the Brazilians, with a Team GB official heard asking for their flag back as it was needed at the pool, where every member of the Peaty family, except his nan back home, was being interviewed by Skelton, going round and round on that swivel chair like the Tasmanian Devil stuck in a revolving door.

And for once, a Brit lived up to the hype, at 2.53 and a bit, Peaty set off like a shark in a speedboat, neither of which were on Skelton's wishlist, to win in style, breaking the world record again.

"Unlike you guys, I've been watching these games my whole life knowing I'll never get anywhere near it," she told Adlington and Foster, who were having none of it, pointing out that she'd climbed Everest and paddled the Amazon, but of course, she got a big prize for that - a Blue Peter badge, not a daft medal like Peady.

"Sometimes in my job it is easy to make wishy-washy statements," she concluded and for the first time we nodded in agreement, followed closely be a second nod as she added Peaty 'is an inspiration.' He is that. And now only 20 gold medals behind Michael Phelps.

If only we had a time machine to take us back to 1775 and claim the USA back, just imagine how excited the BBC would be then. We could watch it on the red button.

The good, the bad and the ugly

The good: The countdown to the new Premier League season is ticking along nicely and forget about Paul Pogba or John Stones, Sky announced its big summer signings with a returning United man of its own in Gary Neville and the arrival of Rachel Riley. Not sure who I’m more excited about, Nev or the Countdown numbers magician – it’s a conundrum.

The bad: A twist on a classic line as Rio meets Wayne Rooney hit the screens on BT Sport with Ferdinand’s opening gambit rekindling memories of a proper Man Utd legend, George Best. “Five Premier League titles, Champions League, World Club Championship, FA Cup – where did it all go wrong?” he asked. I’ll answer that – David Moyes.

The ugly: The Scottish Premiership kicked off at the weekend with controversy on Sunday as Hearts’ Jamie Walker had a wee tumble to win a penalty against Celtic. Namesake Andy, co-commentator on Sky, tried to justify the unjustifiable, saying: “I’ve always said cheating is part of the game. A lot of people find it unpleasant and distasteful, I was capable of winning the odd penalty so I’m not going to start to call him all sorts”. Jamie has since picked up a two-match ban, but still no word of any punishment for Andy or Bertie Bassett as yet.

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