It’s smiles all round for British sport

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THE fact we once got our salopettes in to a twist about Eddie the Eagle Edwards suggests sporting success is pretty rare in this country.

It’s not.

But we do have a habit of excelling in disciplines that, to be totally frank, nobody gives a stuff about until the Olympic Games come around.

Then, despite all the evidence to the contrary, those excitable boys and girls at the Beeb will spend weeks trying to pretend that we’re a nation of handball, modern pentathlon and 30 metre free pistol shooting lovers.

Maybe in places like Virginia Water and Eton.

But I’m not so sure the good people of Swinton, Rossington and Mexborough spend too much time, with all due respect to the athletes concerned, sweating over whether Merlin Braithwaite and Nick Woodbridge will be fit for 2012.

Or that the likes of Richard Faulds and Charlotte Kerwood can keep their trigger fingers out of trouble until the first clay bursts out of the traps at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich.

But Talking Sport’s miserable mood should not be allowed to distract from the fact it’s been a remarkable weekend for those of us who follow events that folk other than Sue Barker, Claire Balding and John Inverdale have actually heard of.

Amir Khan’s clinical demolition of Zab Judah to claim another version of the world light welterweight crown.

Mark Cavendish becoming the first person from these shores ever to win the green jersey in the Tour de France.

England’s cricket team excelling, at the time of writing at least, against mighty India.

And Lewis Hamilton beating all-comers in the German Grand Prix.

Oh, and the darts at Blackpool was also pretty damn entertaining.

A reminder to miserable s***s like myself that, despite the fact that Fabio Capello’s players would probably get beaten on penalties by Papua New Guinea if they ever met in the semi-finals of a major competition, we’ve still got plenty to shout about in Blighty.

Well, until next year’s European Championships in Ukraine and Poland at least.

Make the most of it while you can.