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Network Front | The Guardian
Latest news, sport, business, comment, analysis and reviews from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice

Network Front | The Guardian
  • Commonwealth Games: day two - live!

    Flower of Scotland rings out at the velodrome. It's the medal ceremony for Fachie and McLean, and there were tears, but now there are big grins and loud voices.

    Laura Coles of Australia has beaten Elena Allen of Wales to win skeet gold.

    The weightlifting has been proceeding all the while, and the two favourites - the two Indians - are in a fight, Amalaha laying the smack down in no uncertain terms.

    How many times can BBC refer to the "Sir Chris Hoy velodrome" in Sir Chris Hoy's face? He must think he's got a double-barrelled name.

    And Dawkins steps off because he knows he's beaten. That was brilliant from Webster.

    Dawkins goes to the front again, then feints outside, takes inside, and Webster takes the height. At the bell, Webster pulls in front...

    Aaaaanyway, here come Dawkins and Webster, Webster one-up from the first contretemps.

    So, Chris Hoy was right and I was unright. But hwo many Test wickets does he have?

    Kenny is behind and on the outside, Lewis leading him on the inside, but he times his move beautifully, bousting hard down the home straight to win going away.

    Elsewhere, here goes Jason Kenny...

    Commonwealth record! Swati Singh, 83kg.

    Amalaha of Nigeria, only 16, racks up 82kg with her first lift.

    Billy Connolly is pleased.

    Back at the velodrome, there's a road and Fachie and McLean get going on their tandem, and their absolutely pasting round, this is amazing!

    Wow, Dika Toua of Papua New Guinea deigns to enter, and rousts 80kg just like that.

    But what's this? The judges are being consulted, which has not gone down well in the commentary box, on the basis that it puts doubt in their minds - but they rule that as a no lift.

    Great lift from Phillipa Hale of New Zealand, 78kg - she sits down on it for a while, but always looks likely to get it handled.

    But - or then - Fadzil of Malaysia comes in at 77kg, and takes it after a wobble.

    And a personal best for Ropati-Frost, belting 76kg first shy.

    They've started failing in the weightlifting, Jessica Ruel of Canad - nickname "Fox" - failing at 71kg.

    Jason Kenny is peddling away before the next race, which Hoy reckons he'll win. I reckon he'll lose, and how many Test wickets has Hoy taken anyway?

    Meanwhile, in the weightlifting, we're up to 74kg, and Ropati-Frost of Australia nails it with little apparent effort.

    Webster leads at the bell, and holds off Dawkins' surge easily enough - that was very well done.

    Off they go, Webster leading but turned round to check out his pal.

    Now we have Dawkins and Webster of New Zealand...

    This home straight is long as, which suits Lewis - he lunges to the line, and wins! It's close, but there's no doubt. 1-0 Lewis.

    ...but Peter Lewis is gaining on him!

    And Kenny is ahead all the way, sprinting like billy-o...

    Kenny is in front, and lower, then hugs the inside as they speed up.

    And off they go...

    Meanwhile, we're also back at the velodrome, as Jason Kenny gets ready for his semi.

    Baffoe is back, and having a shy at 71, taken off the set.

    Interesting - apparently you can hurt yourself lifting too light, because your power isn't balanced with weight. That explains a few aches and pains for us all, I'm sure.

    And back she comes, to slide up 68kg. "Gooooood lift", offers the announcer, and she thanks him kindly for the privilege of his haskamah.

    "She needs to put some weight on that bar" - Ruth Baffoeof Ghana absolutely annihilates 65kg.

    And then she bangs - I believe this is what one does with weights, after overhearing a conversation in the gym - 61kg. Easily.

    Now we have weightlifting, Jessica Edge of Malta opening with 57kg.

    But still no actual weightlifting.

    We have weightlifting!

    I'll level with you. I'm upset that the final of the women's 53kg weightlifting hasn't started as advertised.

    Squash is not an Olympic sport. Rugby sevens and tennis are.

    Dan Rivers has snatched bronze in the 10m air rifle - while BBC show squash from earlier. Cheers, lads.

    Elsewhere, in the netball, South Africa and T&T are drawing 9-9 at the bottom of the first quarter.

    "No mas" is what Wales must be thinking - they've sixteen minutes left to play and are losing 9-0.

    Another news story: Azizulhasni Awang, a Malaysian cyclist, has been reprimanded for competing with "Save Gaza" on his gloves. You can read about it here.

    "Bands like Primal Scream, Franz Ferdinand and Travis." I'm telling Bobby Gillespie of Hazel.

    And one more. Visiting Ibrox for the first time, when they played Manchester United in 2003, I feathered the car next door when opening the one I was in. Naturally, I squeaked an immediate and sincere apology.

    "Nae expletive point expletive apologising after ye've done it, ya expletive!"

    Kirsty Wark is talking us through Glasgow. She's not yet said anything about bampots, so an anecdote: on a stag there, with the aforementioned reclining in the gutter, a kind passer-by refreshed him with a warm shower.

    Uh-oh - now it's six, Emily Smith robbing a Wales defender in the semi-circle and and tapping towards goal, only for one of her mates to chup it off her on the line.

    It's not going well for Wales' women, now 5-0 down to the brilliant Australia, and with 32 minutes in which it can get worse.

    That's the first stoppage of the games. Very nice indeed.

    And Fitzgerald lands an overhand right to the side of the heid, followed by a left hooke - and the fight is stopped!

    Good exchange here - Bastian takes a few, but bites down on his mouthpiece and unfurls some lumps to the body.

    Another round to Fitzgerlald, whose mates are giving him plenty of backing - though at the same time, controlling themselves remarkably well.

    Fitzgerald is pouring it on here, catching Bastian with a left hooke to the body - and the arm comes down to protect the midsection, opening it up upstairs.

    Another boxing scoring thing - they've all these criteria you're meant to look for, but how about reducing those to one: who would you rather be?

    Somewhat surprisingly, given the standing count, Fitzgerald is only awarded a 10-9.

    Fitzgerald is showing good ring generalship here, keeping Bastian on the ropes and then catching him with a straight left just after the bell. Whoops.

    Some live welterweight boxing, now - England's Scott Fitzgerald versus Ron Bastian of St Lucia. And Fitzgerald races out to shepherd Bastian into a crushing left hook that staggers him, then again when he doubles it up. Standing count, and what a start!

    Boxing: Michael Conlon fancies himself for a medal, apparently. Meanwhile, John Inverdale reckons that amateur boxing might suffer from "an image problem" on account of the missing headguards, as it's meant to be about guile, not power. He doesn't mention whether or not it's about protecting fighters from head trauma.

    Squash is such a game, but doesanae translate to telly all that well. Maybe it's just because there are no characters in the game these days, since the retirement of Jansher and Jahangir.

    And now it's three, Jodie Kenny megging the keeper from a penalty corner.

    Back in the hockey, Australia are now 2-0 up on Wales, with fifteen minutes left in the first half.

    Barry McGuigan, what a hero. He's apparently a rarity for a fighter in having enormous hands - usually, boxers' hands are small, as that concentrates power. Anyway, he's telling the story of his Commonwealth experience. "I fought back very bravely and won it on a split decision. I got very emotional because I was 17."

    Okwiri wins. A bit more ringcraft and smarts, pretty much,

    Another close round, and really, I wonder about how they score boxing and combat sports. When the rounds are close, does it not make more sense just to score the fight? Because the round breaks are arbitrary anyway, and you don't want a circumstance where two close rounds go one way, one dominant round the other, and the fight goes with the one who nicked the tight ones.

    Clair is coming back into this now, using his length better to dominate the centre of the ring - but Okwiri raises his hands at the end of the round, getting the nod on two of three cards.

    In the boxing, there's a pleasing welterweight scrap developing between Clair of Mauritius and and Okwiri of Kenya - Okwiri won the first round unanimously.

    Dipping into the women's hockey, Australia and Wales are still 0-0 with 30 minutes to go in the first half.

    Edmonson gets second, and will race Bobridge - the defending champion - for gold. Ryan will face Owain Doull for the bronze.

    Edmonson is second, Ryan is fourth, with a kilometre to go...

    This is close, both only just behind Bobridge...

    So, to go we have Edmonson of Australia, the world champion, and Ryan of New Zealand. Owain Doull is sat in the centre of the track, platzing.

    Main and annoying news of the day: Rhys Williams has been suspended for a doping offence. You can read about that here.

    Yourman Scotson is lagging, only good enough for fourth, Bevin fifth - so it's Doull and Kennett still at one and two, with just one ride remaining.

    Now we've an antipodean derby - Bevin of New Zealand with Scotson of Australia. This the penultimate heat.

    Tennant is tying up as Bobridge gets stronger - he sets a new fastest time, and Tennant gets himself into third.

    Good race at the moment between Tennant, of England, and Bobridge - his nickname John Wayne, I trust.

    Owain Doull allows himself a chest tap - when did that become a thing? - but he's earned it, if such things are ever earned.

    Great ride from Doull, that's the fastest time so far.

    "Arguably the greatest/worst nickname in cycling on track now. Steven Burke - The Colne Cyclone", tweets Dan Rawlinson. Ha, a parody of Barry McGuigan - and better than Chris Foy, I guess.

    But Owain Doull, of Wales, is looking stronger, and actually close to catching him.

    Now "taking to the track" - is there anything else, other than Twitter, which is "taken to"? - we have England's Steven Burke.

    Back in the pursuit, Dylan Kennett of New Zealand is about to go top of the leaderboard - though there are plenty of thunderthighses still in the hutch.

    Flicking across to some boxing, it seems that they've dispensed with headguards. I imagine this is a safety issue - though it sounds counter-intuitive, what's especially damaging for the brain is repeated blows, rather than a couple of hard ones that lead to a kayo. For the same reason, MMA, which uses four ounce gloves, is thought to be safer than boxing, where they were ten ouncers.

    Following on from yesterday's Burrito fascination, a question: is burrito guacamole the planet's most expensive substance?

    At the bell, this is the fastest time so far, Pelletier keeping it up to go into the lead.

    While the main BBC channel shows catch-up, there is some live pursuit cycling - the men's qualifiers, at 4,000m. It's Singh of India and Pelletier of Canada.

    "The scoreboard now makes very interesting reading." Your friendly local announcer, there - wonder what he thinks about Ed Miliband's speech.

    Shooting: Coral Kennerley of yer Wales will compete in the final of the women's 10m air pistol. She is very pleased by this development.

    Morning update: Jason Kenny is through to the semi-finals of the men's sprint - but he is the only home nation rider to make it.

    Netball: England have beaten Wales at netball, 65-25. Also today, a thriller - New Zealand, one of the favourites for the gold, beat Malawi 50-47.

    Preamble. Following sport, though one of the principal pleasures of life, is also something of a grind - one thing after another that you actually care about. Which is why events such as the Commonwealth Games are such a joy: you still get to watch people competing, hurting, suffering and succeeding, but at different things to usual, with no real investment in the outcome beyond your viewing ease. Excellent.


    Continue reading...

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    • How do the events affect you in Israel and Palestine?
    • Read the latest blog summary
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    'It's the kind of jean Marilyn Monroe wore, with a white shirt and a megawatt smile, in the 1950s: womanly at the waist, but rugged and cowgirl-ish round the legs'

    I'm not even going to try to argue that skinny jeans are over. That would be pointless, because you'd only have to look around you, or quite possibly just down at your own legs, to know I was talking rubbish. Skinny jeans have put down roots that go deeper than fashion; something about the narrow neatness of the silhouette has become a shorthand squiggle for modern life. But the skinny stopped being at the cutting edge of fashion a long time ago, and now and again a new jean shape breaks out of hipsterville and tempts us to try it.

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    The Weekend fashion team picks their five favourite high-street finds each week. So whatever you're looking for be that a new coat, some swanky shoes or an on-trend top check out their wish list. This week, their choice includes a dress, t shirt and bag Continue reading...

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