Belfast Telegraph

It's a gift for Gabby but Tom is left high and dry

By Billy Weir

For those of us who thought that the Olympic legacy was a burnt-out Subaru smouldering beside the velodrome in east London, we were put right at the weekend by Gabby Logan and guests.

One year on from 2012 and all that, it was time to dig out all the footage again as the Anniversary Games took centre stage with two days of cracking action.

Obviously this was just the athletics as quite a few of the other Olympic venues have long since disappeared.

This may be a tad controversial but Gabby was stirring the pot this week too when she slammed Sky Sports' policy of parading their female presenters as mere 'window dressing' with tight frocks, killer heels and plenty of leg on show as the unacceptable norm.

So, Gabby appeared on track on Friday evening in a tight frock, killer heels and plenty of leg on show and was later joined by Paula Radcliffe and Denise Lewis who went against society's exploitative nature by dressing in a tight frock, killer heels and with plenty of leg on show.

Thankfully Brendan Foster didn't follow suit. He wore slingbacks.

Personally I couldn't give a monkeys what the presenter wears or looks like, or even how many chromosomes they possess, as long as they know what they're talking about and shut up long enough to let us watch some sport.

This message didn't really get through though to Gabby who set about proving she knows more than anyone who has ever lived by showing that she has the gift of the gab.

You'd almost think she has a new TV show coming up on Saturday...

"It's the hottest ticket in town, some of them dying to see world class athletics," she told us on Friday evening as thousands crammed into the stadium, but 20 minutes in and there hadn't been any live action, just constant reminders of last summer and chats to those who had been there.

It was to be even worse on Saturday as 39 minutes passed before anything happened and there was a definite feel in the air that the Anniversary Games were being stretched out more that Charlotte Jackson's presenting frocks.

Back to Friday and in typical Beeb fashion we switched from BBC2 to BBC1 and Usain Bolt appeared riding a big rocket.

"The fastest man in history, of course I don't need to tell you his name," said Gabby and then told us it was Usain Bolt.

"It looks like he might have one of those in his trainers," she added as a huge sigh of relief settled over the stadium that she'd said 'trainers' as a wee clock appeared beside her as the 'Boltdown' continued.

By now it was becoming pretty clear what was going on, more padding than Kirsty Gallagher's shoulders, before Bolt ran and the same on Saturday before Mo Farah appeared.

At least on Saturday there was the always entertaining interlude of Boris Johnson, or BoJo as Andrew Cotter christened him, in yet another interview with Gabby.

I don't know why so much airtime is given to a babbling blonde with far too much to say for themselves. Boris got a few words in too ...

Anyhow, Mo won a made-up race for him, the man who needs no introduction (Mr Bolt of Jamaica) won another made-up race for him and Jessica Ennis-Hill didn't win because she had a sore leg.

No further comment will be made about any of her other body parts, I shall leave that to Colin Murray. No such qualms for another Olympic hero and Gabby's Splash colleague, Tom Daley, who was over in Barcelona for the World Diving Championships.

Unlike Jessica, he had a sore arm but as commentator Bob Ballard told us Daley took to the board for his final jump it was 'our last glimpse of the world's sexiest man, according to Attitude magazine.'

In reality it was our last glimpse of the world's sixth best diver, according to Diving with Attitude magazine, although co-commentator Leon Taylor, last seen as a judge on Splash, insisted you were 'watching the Daley v Qiu Bo Show'.

Clearly no-one told the four divers who finished between Tom (below) and the Chinese World Champion.

It was worth watching just for the venue, the board position with the incredible backdrop of Barcelona behind them, although having to dive through a Ford B-Max was always going to make it difficult for Tom, and unlike in London, he wasn't allowed to take his dive again when he wasn't happy.

But, as Bob said at the end, 'he can now start to concentrate on the Commonwealth Games,' and I can't wait to see him dive off the board against the backdrop of Glasgow tenement buildings as he looks to hold off the challenge of Dom Joly and Eddie the Eagle.

Belfast Telegraph


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