Five finish line f***-ups
In our free time at JOE we sometimes like to trawl the inter-web for, you know, stuff. John Treacy, Steve Ovett, Crystal Palace, 1980… ring any bells?
Not everyone here at JOE Towers had seen the footage of one of Ireland’s finest athletes, John Treacy, sticking it to cocky Brit and what a treat it was for first-timers.
This blast from the past had so great an afect on us here that we decided to stick our heads together and come up with four more finish line f***-ups, although topping this fooage aptly coined ‘Arrogance Personified’ is an arduous task.
John Treacy pips Steve Ovett (1980)
Roger Loughran on board Central House (2005)
With all runners and riders virtually out of sight Roger Loughran stood up in his stirrups, saluted the crowd with his whip and exulted his first professional win. And not just in any old race either, it was a Grade One at the Christmas Festival at Leopardstown. But there was one over-riding, for the want of a better word, factor – he had another 80 yards to go before celebrating and had mistaken the end of a running rail for the winning post.
Five weeks later Loughran redeemed himself somewhat by winning the Grade Two Tied Cottage Chase at Punchestown on Central House but until he wins a Gold Cup or Grand National, he’ll be forever remember as an ultimate cock-up artist.
Australian women’s swimming team (2001)
Another dose of premature celebration, these Aussie swimmers paid dearly for jumping into the pool in celebration before all teams had finished the race – and this was for a World medal.
This footage is from a Channel 9 Australia broadcast. Worth watching it all, but check it out from 5:10 onwards to see the look of sheer disbelief on the four girls’ faces. Harsh call.
Padraig Harrington’s scorecard blunder (2000)
If there is any finish line f***-up to better Steve Ovett’s it’s surely Harrington’s horrendous mistake at the Benson and Hedges International at The Belfry in 2000.
Five strokes ahead of the field with just one round left to play in one of the biggest events of the year, Harrington was automatically disqualified for not signing his scorecard after his opening round on the Thursday. He lost out on a £166,000 pay-day as a result but, as he said himself at the time, he didn’t give a toss about the money.
“The money does matter very much but the tournament is more important. I’m more worried about the fact that I had a chance to win a good tournament and haven’t done it. By playing well, I even lost world ranking points. It’s a shock and, obviously, I am very disappointed.”
Red Rum and Crisp (1973)
Back to the sport of kings and the 1973 Aintree Grand National where arch rivals Red Rum and Crisp were left clear a long way out. In fact, two fences from home there was 20 lengths separating the two, with Crisp way out in front. Fair enough, conceding 23lbs to his rival and a two-mile specialist, Crisp had some excuse but it did look as though his rider, Richard Pitman, was as weary as the animal underneath him and couldn’t muster up the energy to push him over the line on front.