It’s Olympics time! Once every four years those of us who love women’s sport revel in the fact that it nearly (I said nearly) gets equal coverage at the Olympics. And we should make the most of it because come September we will go back to being very much second-class citizens.
However, I would still suggest that while you enjoy the Olympic coverage, you do keep a close eye on it. Will the women’s 100m enjoy the same profile as the men’s? Will the women’s football be on as much as the men’s? To be fair about it though, there will probably be more about the heptathlon (come on Jess!) than the decathlon…. I don’t want to be a killjoy, but although it will be good, it won’t be equal and there’s no use pretending it will.
Anyway, lecture over. In this week’s column there are stories from golf, tennis, football, cricket, cycling and sailing. The last couple of “And finally” pieces have been positive, so it’s time to redress the balance with one of those stories you have to read twice before you believe it actually happened……
The Women’s British Open ended with a win for Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand. In winning, she became Thailand’s first major champion. Mirim Lee of Korea had been way in front over the first two days, but Jutanugarn played the more consistent golf over the last two rounds. She took a two shot lead into the final round and was never headed, winning by three shots on -16.
Lee finished joint second with USA’s Mo Martin on -13 with Stacy Lewis on -11. Catriona Matthew, who had been right up with the leaders after the second round, finished joint fifth on -10 with Karrie Webb of Australia.
Home favourite, Charley Hull, could only finish on -5, after a disastrous 75 on Saturday put her out of contention.
In tennis, the Rogers Cup was claimed by Simona Halep. She beat Madison Keys in the final, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3. It was her third title of the year so far.
Halep also featured in the doubles final with partner Monica Niculescu, but the Romanian pair were beaten by Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 6-3 7-6 (7-5).
British number one, Johanna Konta was beaten in the quarter-final by qualifier Kristina Kucova, 6-4 6-3. If she had progressed, she would have entered the top 10 rankings, joining Jo Durie, Virginia Wade and Sue Barker as the only British women to have done so. As it is she stands at 13 in the world.
It’s been a busy week in the FAWSL. :
Wednesday 3 Aug
Reading FC Women 1-2 Manchester City Women
Bruton 88 Christiansen 38, Duggan 80
Sunday 31 July
FA WSL 1
Manchester City Women 3-0 Sunderland AFC Ladies
Stanway 17, 55, 82
Reading FC Women 1-1 Notts County Ladies FC
Follis 65 Buet 40
Arsenal Ladies FC 1-2 Liverpool Ladies FC
Williams 9 Van de Sanden 21, Weir 75
FA WSL 2
Durham Women FC 3-0 Watford Ladies FC
Hepple 17, 69
Aston Villa Ladies FC 0-2 Yeovil Town Ladies FC
Short 4,Heatherson 49
Oxford United Women 4-2 London Bees
Umotong 30, 61 Popadinova 36, 54
Saturday 30 July
FA WSL 1
Doncaster Rovers Belles 0-1 Birmingham City Ladies
Everton Ladies FC 1-1 Sheffield FC Ladies
Turner 20 Dale 48
Millwall Lionesses 1-2 Bristol City Women
Babajide 62 Emslie 10, 67
The quarter-finals of the Continental Cup take place from today into the weekend. Here are the fixtures:
Friday 05 August 2016
19:00 Arsenal Ladies FC v Notts County Ladies FC (The Hive)
Sunday 07 August 2016
14:00 Birmingham City Ladies v Liverpool Ladies FC (Solihull Moors)
14:00 Manchester City Women v Doncaster Rovers Belles (Academy Stadium)
14:00 Sheffield FC Ladies v London Bees (Sheffield FC)
In case you hadn’t noticed, and you should have done considering the ECB has gone into overdrive (panic) over the last week or so to promote it, the Kia Super League is up and running.
So far the games have been good and largely tight affairs.
I have, unashamedly done as the ECB has said to do and #showyourcolours, by supporting the Loughborough Lightning, my local team.
The Lightning kicked it all off on Sunday 31 July at Headingley against Yorkshire Diamonds. The away side put in an excellent performance beating the Diamonds by a whopping 43 runs and therefore earning themselves a bonus point.
Loughborough Lightning 128/9 (Devine 52)
Yorkshire Diamonds 85 all out (Grundy 3/21
Lightning win by 43 runs
Western Storm v Lancashire Thunder (Taunton)
Thunder 83 all out (18.3 overs) (Taylor 4/14)
Storm 86/6 (15.3 overs) (Knight 23)
Storm win by 4 wickets
Loughborough Lightning v Lancashire Thunder (Haslegrave Ground, Loughborough)
Thunder 164/8 (Satterthwaite 52, Dottin 42)
Lightning 158 all out (Eccleston 3/23, Matthews 3/25)
Thunder win by 6 runs
I was there to see Lightning’s second match at home against Lancashire Thunder on Wednesday. They lost by six runs after nearly completing an amazing comeback when they needed 91 off the last 10 overs with just four wickets remaining. I wrote a full report of the match for Women’s Sports UK, which you can read here: http://www.womenssportsuk.com/cricket/match-report/lightning-comeback-in-vain-as-thunder-take-the-points-at-haslegrave
Surrey Stars v Yorkshire Diamonds (The Oval)
Diamonds 134/5 (Armitage 43)
Stars 135/4 (Beaumont 47) 18.1 overs
Stars win by 6 wickets
Lancashire Thunder v Southern Vipers (Blackpool)
Vipers 132/4 (McGlashan 54 not out)
Thunder 121/7 (Lamb 34, Satterthwaite 31)
Vipers win by 11 runs
Loughborough Lightning v Western Storm (Haslegrave Ground)
Lightning 158/8 (A Jones 46, Perry 44)
Storm 153/5 (Knight 74)
Lightning win by 5 runs
I was also present for this game. It was a much improved performance from the Lightning. The batting was good, bowling much better (especially Ellyse Perry) and the fielding was tighter. There were also fewer extras given away. It was an excellent game – my nerves were shredded three overs from the end when Heather Knight was going so well. Special mention too for the bowling of Sonia Odedra who took two wickets in a over which possibly changed the course of the game.
South Africa played Ireland this week in a two-match T20 series. The tourists are without some of their best players, including Marizanne Kapp, Shabnim Ismail and Dane van Niekerk, who are currently playing in the Kia Super League.
However, Ireland played well in both games, and bowled South Africa out in a low-scoring second match to win and draw the series.
First T20 International
Ireland 140/4 (Shillington 30, Joyce 31)
South Africa 144 off 20 overs (du Preez 55)
South Africa win by 4 wickets.
Second T20 International
Ireland 115/7 (Shillington 48)
South Africa 95 all out 19.3 overs (4 run outs)
Ireland win by 20 runs
A series of four One-Day Internationals began on 5 Aug
South Africa 283/7 (Tryon 92, Wolvaardt 55)
Ireland 194 all out 44.5 overs (Luus 6/36)
South Africa win by 89 runs
In other cricket news, Harmanpreet Kaur has become the first Indian woman cricketer to be signed up by the Australian Big Bash. She will play for reigning champions Sydney Thunder in the next tournament which begins in December.
Lizzie Armitstead has admitted that people will doubt she is clean after missing three drug tests. She was suspended and could have missed the Olympics if the first test had not been declared void.
She took her case to the Court of Arbitration for sport, which ruled that the official
“didn’t do what was reasonable and necessary” to find her and complete the test.
If she had not won her case she could have been banned for two years.
The 2016 Ride London Classique was won by Dutch cyclist Kirsten Wild. She outsprinted fellow Netherlander Nina Kessler, with Canada’s Leah Kirchmann finishing third. She had already won the Tour de Yorkshire in April.
Sailing with Abby Ehler
In sailing this week Dee Caffari has been leading an all female team, with a mixture of girls from Oman and from the UK competing in the Farr 30 International’s in Barstad, Sweden. Dee has worked with the women’s program within Oman Sail for a number of years with the aim of encouraging the sport of sailing in Oman and providing opportunities for women to excel through sport. This week’s event in Sweden has been a fantastic training opportunity for the Omani girls to gain exposure to different conditions and to learn from the professionals working with them who include Libby Greenhalgh, Abby Ehler, Kate MacGregor and Liz Wardley.
Next week is the Uk’s largest Sailing event; Cowes Week. This year for the first time The Magenta Project will be at Cowes Week aligning with Slingsby’s Ladies Day providing the opportunity for people to meet the Magenta team, for upcoming female UK talent to experience the high performance M32 catamaran. Several members of The Magenta Project will be there including Sam Davies (skipper of Team SCA and Vendee Globe competitor), Dee Caffari (5 times Round the World Sailor and World Record holder) and Libby Greenhalgh who are also all past winners of the Ladies Day Trophy as well as former Team SCA members Abby Ehler (2x Volvo Ocean Race sailor) and Annie Lush (2012 Olympian) will be on hand to share their experiences about the road to becoming professional sailors, balancing families and careers, the dedication and the challenges.
And finally, (American) football assistant coaches Jeff Banks and Jim Turner held a female fan event at Texas A&M University recently. There were 700 attendees. Part of the event was a slide show, meant to be educating the audience on various dos and don’ts of the game. But, oh dear. These are the four slides they came up with:
Pass – Blocking rules – the don’ts
- Don’t let him inside
- Keep your hips down
- Don’t go down
Pass – Blocking rules – the dos
- Spread them again
- Get erect
- Stay erect
- Bang him hard
Run – Blocking rules – the don’ts
- No penetration
- Never bend over
- Don’t end up on your back
Run – Blocking rules – the dos
- Spread your legs
- Enter front/not behind
- Push hard
- Finish on top
Yes, well. No doubt they thought it humorous at the time, but in retrospect how they must be regretting it. Head coach, Kevin Sumlin was not amused and has suspended the pair for a fortnight. In a statement he said,
“There is absolutely no place in our program or in our University community for inappropriate conduct or degrading comments towards women, or anyone, regardless of intent.”
I think we can all agree with that.
The Column will be back next week, although I know I won’t be able to keep up with all the Olympic news. It will, therefore, be a mixture of Olympic and non-Olympic stories, which I hope you will all find interesting. Enjoy the Games