Editors Blogs

McGregor’s Big Statement, A Huge Coat, and Forming Alli-ances: Blog #13

The Weekend Summary by Kai Chappell, Sports Editor

Hello! Here’s where the content starts to become a little less interesting as seasons start ending, and clubs begin packing away for the end of the season.

This week though, we still had champions Leicester City lift the trophy for the fLCFCirst time, and we also saw our second, third and fourth tier come to an end. You can see exactly what has happened across the football leagues on June 1st, on our Special End of Season blog.

This week I write an extended piece on Olympic athlete Georgia Coates who is off to Rio at just 17 years old, Lewis has his say on the Conor McGregor fiasco, and we also hear from Olivia in the build up to Euro 2016 and have a special comment on this Saturday’s show…

But first, for the penultimate time, here’s the Weekend Round-up:

In the Barclays Premier League, Chelsea have been key in what happens at both ends of the table this week, drawing 2-2 against Spurs on Monday to hand the Premiership title to Leicester City, whilst also suffering defeat on Saturday at the hands of relegation-threatened Sunderland, who came from behind to beat the Blues 3-2. It may have also been captain John Terry’s last game after a late red-card sees him suspended for the rest of the season, with no contract extension at present. Crystal Palace’s eyes might well be fixed on the FA Cup final but managed to beat Stoke City 2-1 at Selhurst Park – they’re at Wembley on 21st May.

In the Sky Bet Championship, MiddlesbroughBoro secured promotion to the Premier League on goal difference as they drew 1-1 at home to promotion hopefuls Brighton and Hove Albion, who are now confined to a play-off place. Tom Cairney’s eigth goal of the season meant Fulham beat already relegated Bolton 1-0 to end what has been a poor season for the Cottagers. QPR finished 12th thanks to Karl Henry’s first goal since January 2014, which helped the Hoops to a 1-0 win at home to Bristol City. Brentford ended the season on a high thanks to a 5-1 win away to Huddersfield – Brentford led from the 21st second!

In the Sky Bet Football League 2, AFC Wimbledon youngster Toyosi Olusanya scored his first ever professional goal to make his mark on the Dons’ first team, but they were looking forward to their play-off against Accrington Stanley next Saturday evening (14th).

Enjoy the blog!

 

LREA cheesy Tweet by Lewis Reece, Assistant Sports Editor and UFC Correspondent

“I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya’s later.” Conor McGregor, 19th April 2016 via Twitter.

I’d like to hear an argument of any fighter to enter the UFC octagon who made as fast an impact as the reigning Irish-born Featherweight Champion. Not only has he excited fans with his fast knockouts and tremendous technique but outside of the cage his charisma and trash talking (Conor cites Muhammad Ali as a big influence) has made him a personality who’s always worth paying attention to. His record breaking PPV numbers for UFC have backed this up too.

 

But after seven successive victories for the World’s biggest MMA promotion McGregor lost his first fight for UFC

Conor McGregor reacts after defeating Jose Aldo during a featherweight championship mixed martial arts bout at UFC 194, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Conor McGregor reacts after defeating Jose Aldo during a featherweight championship mixed martial arts bout at UFC 194, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

when Nate Diaz submitted him with a rear-naked choke in the second round of his Welterweight debut. Conor wanted to immediately bounce back though and the rematch between him and Diaz was set for the huge UFC 200 card this July. It was a perfect fit, having the company’s highest grossing name main event their top event of the year. But unfortunately in April McGregor refused to attend a promotional event for UFC 200 held in Las Vegas, causing the UFC president Dana White to cut Conor from the card. Many believe this was due to accusations that the Irishman as the biggest name was receiving preferential treatment, including Nate Diaz who joked that the ‘C’ in UFC stood for “Conor” so the president had to make an example and prove no single competitor was bigger than the brand.

 

Two days later Conor posted a heartfelt statement on his Facebook page explaining that through all the countless tours and press conferences the art of fighting had started to become lost to him, that he needed to get back to what made him such a big name in the first place. He also confirmed that he is not retiring and that he is still ready to go for UFC 200, although since then it has been confirmed that Daniel Cormier versus Jon Jones 2 for

McGregor tweeted about his retirement earlier this year.

McGregor tweeted about his retirement earlier this year.

the undisputed Light Heavyweight Title will be the main event instead, which is huge in its own right.

 

Since then McGregor put out a Tweet claiming he was back on 200, which Dana White promptly confirmed is not true. But after this whole rollercoaster fortunately for us fans the Featherweight Champ is still an active fighter and I’m sure we’ll see him in action again before the year is out. If anything, this whole story just proves that MMA is an intriguing sport unlike any other.

 

CoatShe won’t need her Coat: Road to Rio by Kai Chappell, Sports Editor

With less than 100 days between now and the start of the Olympics in Rio this summer, Team GB’s athletes are starting to take shape, with household names like Alastair Brownlee and Tom Daley having already booked their places on the plane to Brazil.

 

Team GB’s youngest competitor, dubbed the Rising Star of British Swimming, Georgia Coates, qualified for Rio 2016 at the age of just 17 this year, and it has sent shockwaves through the swimming community as, despite Coates’ clear talent, the debate as to whether or not education is more important than pursuing a career as a professional athlete rages on as a result of Coates’ inclusion in the swimming team for this year’s event.

 

There is, however, no doubt that the 17-year-old has raw talent. A silver medal in the World Junior Championships 400m individual medley was accompanied by a bronze medal in the 200m version of the same event, whilst also basking in no less than five medals at the European Games in what turned out to be a fantastic 2015 for the teenager, who completed her GCSEs last year.

 

Coates currently trains at the City of Leeds Swimming Club in Leeds, and the youngster was a part in an extremely successful Baku European Games last year, when she told SportsMole that she went into the Games last year “aiming to get medals”, a clear signal of Coates’ level of ambition.

 

The major worry with this is the balance between education and a career. Coates was educated at Prince Henry’s Grammar School, and has managed to balance both her education and career well thus far. The real pressure will come hereforth, where Coates looks to train hard and perform at the Olympics in Rio which raises the question – is there too much pressure on the youngsters of today, like Coates, to find this balance?Coats

 

It isn’t just Coates that has been affected too, and she is not the youngest athlete to compete. The Leeds-based swimmer, born in 1999, is infact one of the older professionals, and follows in the footsteps of another young medallist – in the 1960 Olympics, USA swimmer Donna Elizabeth de Varona competed in the relay heats for the 4x100m freestyle and was presented with a gold medal. She was just 13 years and 129 days old at the time of receiving the medal, and although times have changed now and there is a larger education focus, it is still surprising to see how young de Varona was at the time – it is a record still to be beaten.

 

Coates however is in great hands, and Team GB Swimming team leader Chris Spice told the Yorkshire Post, “What we have is a focused, well-balanced team with some very exciting young prospects.”RIO

 

“The team has been refreshed as a result of a series of great performances from some of our Podium Potential youngsters – Chloe Tutton, Cameron Kurle, Molly Renshaw, Craig Benson, Georgia Coates and Max Litchfield, who all produced stunning performances to upset their more senior rivals and make the Olympic team.”

Whatever happens in Rio and whatever decision Coates makes on her education and career, she and the rest of Team GB will most certainly be out there competing to the best of their standard and the 17-year-old’s ambition could take her far. Watch this space.

The Rio Olympics begin on August 5th with the Opening Ceremony at the Maracana Stadium, with Swimming having 34 gold medal events up for grabs.

From Wandsworth to Wembley by Kai Chappell, Sports Editor

Asse small intermission from me, as I must announce that our very own Nigel Wallace will be LIVE from Wembley Stadium on Saturday 14th May 2016 to report on Chelsea vs Arsenal in the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final.

He will be recording a full commentary which will be truncated into a highlights package, which’ll be shown on Wandsworth Radio during some of the more quiet periods of the Sports Show!

This would’ve been the ideal birthday present for me – to commentate from Wembley! However, the show is LIVE from 3pm, and with Andrew in studio and Nigel at Wembley, we also have Tom Curwen as our Road to Rio guest.

This is all I could have asked for when I took over as Sports Editor; a live reporter at Wembley Stadium for a major cup final. This is the best thing we’ve had on the show and hopefully in future we’ll be back at Wembley in the 2016/17 season.

 

Dele on your tele? by Olivia Buzaglo, Sports CorrespondentOBU

Dele Alli – 6 caps

Dele Alli has come on the most remarkable journey, from playing in League One with MK Dons up until the end of last season, to making his International debut for England against Estonia on the 9th October, just 5 months later. It’s pretty impressive anyway, but for a 19-year-old to jump 2 leagues and then get recognised on an International Level so soon after is something that happens to very few footballers. Mauricio Pochettino had obviously been very impressed by the midfielder during pre-season, giving him his debut on the first game of the season, coming on as a substitute against Manchester United. He started the first couple of games on the bench, including the Leicester game 3 weeks in, which saw him come on for Christian Eriksen and score his first goal for the North London club. On the 13th September, he started his first game for tdelehe club and has since started the following 7 games, however Tottenham’s number 20 has already been carded 4 times but if discipline is the only thing he’s got to worry about whilst playing in the Premier League, then he’s not going far wrong. His 10 goals should mean that there is no doubt that it will be difficult for the England manager to turn a blind eye to the Tottenham youngster.

This is the third part of Olivia’s 5-part series regarding who should go to the Euros. Send in your England XI in the comments or via email, kai@wandsworthradio.com.

Featured Image: Leicester City lift the Premier League trophy for the first time in their history, with Ranieri being the main man. (Photo: Getty Images)

FACTS AND STATISTICS CORRECT AS AT 9 MAY 2016.

Missed Saturday’s show with Andrew and Harry? Listen here:

May 9th, 2016

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