"'E a proper pronker", they might be saying in Beijing for poor Liu Xiang who settled himself carefully into his starting blocks for his heat of the 110m hurdles, then, on the start, sprinted off at high speed - straight into the first hurdle! No, no, Liu, old lad, you're supposed to jump the bloody thing not knock it over. Still, he did better than the last Olympics when he only managed two paces before his hamstring parted with a crack that sounded like false-start signal from the pistol. To be fair, at the games before that he actually won the gold medal. Just think, all that training, all that dedication and, no doubt, all that non-stop bullying from the Party's sport commissars - and all for absolutely nothing.
China's Liu Xiang falls onto the track during his men's 110m hurdles round 1 heat at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 7, 2012.
(EDDIE KEOGH/REUTERS) The Globe and Mail
Really, I suppose, that was tragedy rather than comedy but this is definitely giggle-snigger ammo and it is well and truly aimed at those big-mouth Aussies who swaggered about at past Olympics letting us all know that Poms were pathetic at sports, little better than a bunch of 'Sheilas', they kept telling us. Where are they now? 12th, with only four golds, 12 silvers and 9 bronze - oh dear, what a pity, never mind! Where are we? Modesty forbids but only the Yanks and the Chinks are in front of us and if you take it on a population comparison basis we are ahead of both of them.
Sorry for that short pause but overcome with emotion, or stunned with disbelief, I felt moved to sing "God Save the Queen" but not for too long, thank goodness, because I had forgotten most of the words.