SPORTS AGENDA: Doctor Swann flies back to the front line… and the transport is worse than Rio!


SPORTS AGENDA: Junior doctor Polly Swann straight flies back to the front line with the NHS after finishing fourth in the women’s pair final… while the transport around Tokyo has been even worse than in Rio!

  • Polly Swann finished fourth with Helen Glover in the women’s pair final
  • She flew straight home the next day to return to work as a junior NHS doctor 
  • Transport at the Olympics in Tokyo has been nothing short of a shambles

Athletes in Tokyo are given 48 hours after their final event before they have to return home as part of the Covid restrictions. Many take the first day to rest and then fly back on the second.

Not Polly Swann. The 33-year-old Lancastrian, who finished fourth with rowing partner Helen Glover in the women’s pair final, came back on the first day. 

She is an NHS junior doctor, who worked in the thick of the pandemic crisis and was keen to get back to the wards.

Polly Swann was keen to get back to the wards with the NHS after the women's pair final

Polly Swann was keen to get back to the wards with the NHS after the women’s pair final

Ticket re-seller facing lawsuit 

A tale of two ticket agencies. CoSport, the authorised re-seller of Olympics tickets in the United States, is facing a lawsuit from five customers who are fighting for full refunds for their tickets, accusing the firm of breach of contract and fraud.

However, the British re-seller, Team GB Live, last week sent full refunds including booking fees back to those in this country who had paid out, making them one of the first to do so.

British cycling’s Shriever mission 

The world’s BMX racers now know how hard it is to catch Beth Shriever after the brilliant Essex girl won gold on Friday.

British Cycling were faced with a similar assignment in December 2016 when officials were left with just an hour to track down the rider, 16 at the time, before news that her funding had been pulled by UK Sport was made public. 

They managed to get hold of her mum, Kate, who was left to break the devastating news. Thankfully, funding returned in 2019 when performance director Stephen Park argued Shriever’s case. 

Bethany Shriever collects her gold medal for the BMX Racing at the Ariake Urban Sports Park

Bethany Shriever collects her gold medal for the BMX Racing at the Ariake Urban Sports Park

Team GB winning on social media 

Team GB have enjoyed success away from the arenas, too. In the first week of competition more than 400,000 new followers flocked to their social media channels, which include Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. 

The buzz around sports predominantly viewed by youngsters, including BMX, will have done them no harm.

Brownlee awaits IOC decision 

There could be another victory at the Olympics for a member of the Brownlee family. 

Following Jonny’s gold in the triathlon mixed relay, brother Alistair will find out whether he has been elected to the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission on Monday. 

Greek pole vaulter Katerina Stefanidi and Spanish basketball star Pau Gasol are among those in contention.

Alistair Brownlee will find out whether he has been elected to the IOC's Athletes’ Commission

Alistair Brownlee will find out whether he has been elected to the IOC’s Athletes’ Commission

Lack of halal offerings frustrates Muslim journalists 

Lack of Journalists from Muslim countries have complained that there are no halal options in the main press centre. 

Others have bemoaned the fact that, in Olympic tradition, restaurants will only accept cards from Games sponsor Visa. 

Meanwhile, signs outside press conference rooms asking for those involved to ‘refrain from unnecessary conversations’ have raised some smiles.

Transport worse than Rio! 

Transport at the Olympics has been nothing short of a shambles. IOC insiders have disclosed the situation is worse than it was in Rio 2016, something they, at the time, did not believe was possible.

In what some believe is a deliberate ploy to stop them from travelling, journalists have been told buses to venues outside Tokyo are full. 

That includes reporters who wanted to go to Team GB’s women’s footballers’ quarter-final with Australia in Kashima. The bus contained four passengers.

Transport at the Olympic Games in Tokyo has been nothing short of a shambles so far

Transport at the Olympic Games in Tokyo has been nothing short of a shambles so far

Volleyball coming back to London

International volleyball is set to return to London. 

The beach version of the sport was a hit in 2012 and the international federation is in talks to stage its Club World Championship in the capital. 

The presence of large Polish and Brazilian communities in the city stands London in good stead with officials. 

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