In sport, it of course pays to have a competitive spirit. The ‘it’s not the winning, it’s the taking part’ crowd are kept at arms length in a pursuit of achievement and excellence. Of course though, sometimes the will to win can push other laudable qualities out of the frame too, and that looks to have happened here.
“During an open water swimming race (as part of the International Arena Aquamasters Swimming Races held in Marmaris, Turkey), 40-year-old former national swimmer Tolga Öcal charged into 13-year-old Seyfi Diker moments before he was about to cross the finish line in first place. Both swimmers ultimately suffered from the incident, allowing another swimmer to take first place, with Öcal taking second, and a devastated Diker taking third. Of course this incident may have been accidental, but it certainly looks bad based on the footage.
Hopefully young Seyfi Diker won’t be dissuaded from taking part in further events, due to the distasteful incident in this 1.5-kilometer race. A silver lining is that Öcal was disqualified for his unsportsmanlike behavior, with the youngster being awarded the win.
Completing a marathon would surely be a tall order for most of us, but so confident was Maidstone, Kent based Lukas Bates of his athletic abilities that he decided to complete last weekends London Marathon in a Big Ben costume. In what may have ‘seemed like a good idea at the time’ he was attempting to break the rather niche sounding Guinness World Record Marathon time for an individual wearing a landmark based costume (world records are getting pretty niche nowadays!!).
Suffice to say he had some troubles along the way, in part due to the wind picking up. This was much to the delight or alarm of anyone in the vicinity with a camera phone, or indeed eyes. Not one to let the elements get in his way though, Bates pushed on, and although not quite on course to break the record he was set to be a good showing.
Unfortunately, in one final cruel twist of fate, his costume turned out to be slightly too tall to get over the finish line. This resulted in help being required to angle the outfit in such a way that the plucky athlete could actually finish the race. ‘This’ aspect become pretty much the story of his participation, making onto news websityes around the world, but at least it made the nation smile. Maybe next year I’ll enter wearing an especially tall hat and see if I too can experience 15 minutes of Internet fame!
They say never work with animals or children, but some of the finest sporting events of our time have come via a racecourse. Horse racing, especially in the UK, has no shortage of fans and the Grand National is a national hunt racing event that the nation has taken to its heart. Dog racing has its fair share of followers too.
But what of the rest of the Animal Kingdom? Is anyone up for Panda Pool or Salamander Snooker? Jack Russell Rugby? Well, possibly we’ll have to wait a while for those, but I did today read of a Pig Racing event in Norfolk called the Ham National! The event, part of the Royal Norfolk Show sounds like a right royal riot! Where else do you get to see Justin Bieboar take on Elvis Pigsley?