I may have got it wrong. I tweeted it took James Evans, the president of Athletics South Africa, all of five seconds to blame the media for the confusion around the Soweto Marathon on Talk Radio 702 yesterday morning. Joe Kirsten, a Blue Bulls fan, said he timed it at two seconds.
But then, the media, as Evans told Brad Brown, the broadcaster, on his podcast (runtalksa.co.za) this week, must get their “act together”. He said this several times. He then tried to say the same thing on the John Robbie Show yesterday morning.
On the wall of the La Torre del Oro bar on the Plaza Mayor in Madrid is a picture of a matador being gored in the throat by a bull. Sometimes, the bull wins, but he still loses. The bull, whose horn pierced through the throat of Julio Aparicio and exited through his mouth during the Festival of Saint Isidro at the Plaza de Toros las Ventas bullring in Madrid in 2010, was quickly killed by the other bullfighters.
Aparicio survived, with two operations needed to save his life. It’s a heck of a photograph to look at with a glass of beer and some free olives forced upon you in this famous bar. It is something of a tourist trap, but on the walls, hammered up around the mounted heads of seven massive bulls, are pictures of local celebrities and royalty. The locals like it, too. But, then, the locals also like seeing 500kg animals teased with a cape, stabbed with swords and then put to death.
When Mark West received a phone call from a man with a South African accent asking for his banking details a little while back, he was a little wary. Seth Hulley from Oakley was on the other end of the line. He and the people at Oakley had heard that the Lesotho national team did not have enough money to send their entire team to the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Pietermaritzburg last weekend.
Oakley offered to contribute and make up the shortfall so that West, the secretary general of Lesotho Cycling, could bring his full seven-man team to Pietermaritzburg. “I could hear that this oke wasn’t too sure about someone asking him for his account number on a phone,” said Hulley. “I don’t blame him. There are some dodgy people out there. I told him to check me out and then get back to me.”
Jose Hermida put one hand over his heart and raised the other, a finger pointing to the sky as he crossed the line to win the bronze medal in the men’s cross country race at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships on Saturday. Chests swelled, eyes watered up and emotions swung between the warm glow of pride, and the darkness and confusion of loss.
“For sure it was for Burry,” said Hermida when I asked him the question after the race. “It was for Burry and for Inaki (Lejarreta) as well as Erwin (Wildhaber), for the three guys who have passed away this season and for all those cyclists who pass away in the whole world, training, doing their hobby. It was a tribute for all of them.”
There is a two-metre long gouge near the bottom of the final straight of the Cascades Mountain Bike Park in Pietermaritzburg. It was put there by Jaroslav Kulhavy, the Czech rider.
Kulhavy was the last to start for the Czech Republic in the four-rider relay race, the first medal event of the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Maritzburg. He needed to catch up to the Italians, who had scampered into the lead thanks to Marco Fontana, the bronze medallist from the London Olympics.