Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Motor Racing: Thoughts of Future Can Lift Gloom; TUESDAY Commentary

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Motor Racing: Thoughts of Future Can Lift Gloom; TUESDAY Commentary

Article excerpt

Byline: Luke Edwards

IT has not been a good week for English sport, but if immediate dreams have been shattered in Moscow, Paris and Sao Paulo, there are plenty of reasons to suggest the future is a bright one.

We have become used to valiant failures and gallant near-misses when it comes to English and British sporting endeavour, normally with a nagging sense of injustice to comfort us during our gloomy days and dark nights of regret.

Whether it was a television referee's decision to rule out Mark Cueto's 'try' against South Africa or the fuel infringement committed by BMW Sauber and Williams in the Brazilian Grand Prix, where Lewis Hamilton missed out on becoming the first man to win the driver s' championship in his rookie season, the weekend's defeats were in keeping with our sporting tradition. Ultimately, for all of the ifs and what-might-have-beens, while there is pride in what both Hamilton has achieved and the dramatic change in fortunes of the rugby team in France, there will be no open-top bus parades to crown our new world champions.

The week had begun in buoyant mood. Seven days later and the national football team are almost certainly not going to qualify for Euro 2008, the World Cup final ended in despair for our rugby team and Hamilton, partly because of poor judgement and partly because of unforeseen mechanical problems, managed to lose the Grand Prix Drivers' Championship.

The national flags which flapped so proudly in the breeze as we celebrated our new-found sporting excellence should now be hung at half-mast for a week of national mourning. But out of every funeral should come appreciation of what has come before and a willingness to look forward at what can still be achieved. While new trophies may have proven frustratingly elusive over a disappointing weekend it is worth pointing out that plenty of rival nations around the world would like to be in our position.

Having been written off as the worst team to have ever defended the world title, England's rugby team almost pulled off one of the greatest comebacks of all time. …

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