Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Well, it looks like we won't be seeing Beth Tweddle at the Commonwealth Games next year.  And it is not because of injury, schedule or sheer laziness!  No, this time it is due to one of the most bizarre (but quite understandable) cases of star treatment I have ever heard of.

It seems the British gymnastics federation- in an act of what i like to think of as colonial paranoia(!) have decided Beth Tweddle, Daniel Keatings and Louis Smith are not to attend The Commonwealth Games in Dehli next year because of the federations fear they will be exposed to the dreaded "Dehli Belly", a stomach upset that can be caused by eating Indian food or being exposed to bad sanitation too close to the World Championshsips.

British gymnastics performance director, Eddie Van Hoof told the Times of India newpaper;

"It's not just the travel and jet lag but the potential for tummy bugs and diarrhoea that exists in making the trip.  We just cannot afford to take the risk when so much is at stake."

The Commonwealth Games has historically been a great games, and the gymnastics competition a fun fight between GB, Australia and Canada for gymnastics medals.  It will be far less fun without British big guns.  A second string team, however, is free to get as sick as they like while competing for GB at the Games while the first string train for the impending worlds safe, away from the danger of exposure to travelers diarrhea!

It's quite an extreme decision, as Dehli Belly usually hits travelers when they arrive and clears up pretty quickly. But at the same time, Britain is very intent  on making team  finals at the London Olympics because, as Australia well knows, it's a bit sad when the home team don't make finals, so the Worlds are vital to them for the next few years.

I wonder if this too will stop Peggy Liddick putting our best on a plane to India.  I'd be really, really very surprised if she let the fear of a brief stomach upset stop Australia's run at a team gold and AA gold from Lozza Mitchell.  But who knows?  I never thought it would have stopped anyone, even those whacky Brits!
(add: the more I think about it, though, the more I think its possible she might do something like  use the second team she took to London Worlds for CWG. I wonder.)

Best bit was the ridiculous pun headline "Dehli belly scare makes Brit CWG gymnasts run"  Ha dee ha.  Get it?



  1. I don't think it's safe for a gymnast to have 2 big meets back to back like CWG and Worlds would be. It seems it would be exhausting both physically and mentally.

  2. True, Marcus. Which of course leads me to the question, if US dominance was at stake, would Martha K send 'em?

  3. Wow. That is hilarious. I expect it will actually work out for the best as younger and less experienced gymnasts will be able to compete and our main stars will not be too tired/ burnt out to do well at Worlds.

  4. it is a shame.
    i don't think the Delhi CWG are being given much precedence by a lot of different sporting bodies. for example i do know that the qualification event for Aussie swimmers for the CWG is actually being held overseas at a swimming meet and some aren't keen to have to travel twice - once to qualify and secondly to compete (I don't think it ties in very well with the training schedule for the annual swimming calendar). Also the whispers of Delhi not being ready in terms of infrastructure built is a cause for concern. I read an article that said they were thinking about changing locations to Melbourne if Delhi weren't ready in time - but many of the Melbourne venues are already booked and/or have been transformed from the sporting venue condition of the 2006 Games. All of this is a tangent of course from your topic - would anyone suggest that this is typicl of whinging poms? ;)