Games next dish in sports feast

THERE'S just 25 days until the Commonwealth Games open in Glasgow with a ceremony sure to be high on pageantry and traditional entertainment befitting Scotland as the host country.

The 12 days of the Games will cap off a massive six weeks of international events and insomnia for Australian sports fans.

Both Wimbledon and the World Cup will be over by the time the Queen reads her own message to get things under way.

But the Tour de France will still have four days to go - no doubt encouraging some dexterity on the channel changer for that period.

Surely all that will be enough to wean everyone, including the media, off the Essendon saga for the time being.

And they should because that little drama still has a long way to go, with the various protagonists and their legal counsel each determined to have their day in court - indeed perhaps, many of them.

In the meantime, even with the goings on in Brazil and London to occupy us, we should doubt that we will be so lucky.

So hooked are we on footy and matters related to it that for sure we will be treated in advance to just about all the material that will be placed before those adjudicating each of them.

Thankfully there are no juries involved - we would never get a panel chosen or be serious in telling them to ignore anything they had heard beforehand.

This sort of detail rarely meets the public eye in advance of any legal proceeding, civil or criminal.

It should be left to the judges - not just as it is the right thing to do but mostly because it will drive everyone to the depths of despair in trying to make head or tail of it.

Even the ABC stopped telecasting its much-hyped coverage of Friday's directions hearing when it all clearly got too legalistic.

Perhaps we could call in the United Nations to call a truce on coverage of the whole thing until its actually before the courts again.

By then hopefully Australians will have been enthusiastically diverted by their two-yearly obsession with an Olympic or Commonwealth Games.

Australia will be represented in all 14 individual and the three team sports in Glasgow.

We have a massive team that will compete in almost every discipline offered within each of those sports.

The overall team aim will be to maintain Australia's number one status at the Commonwealth Games.

As it happens we have topped the medal table at every Games since they were last hosted in Scotland - the boycotted edition in Edinburgh in 1986.

Since then Australia's margin on both overall medals and golds over the second-placed nation, usually England but once each for Canada and India, has been significant.

But things have changed dramatically in recent years, especially in Britain where funding for sport in the home countries rose dramatically in the lead up to the London Olympics.

Always in our favour has been that our own athletes place huge importance on success at the Games.

That hasn't changed, but what has is that their counterparts in many other Commonwealth nations are beginning to do the same thing.

This is going to be a huge challenge but one worth being very much on board for.


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