Seven sporting reasons to be cheerful

It’s fair to say most of the drama at Euro 2016 has so far occurred off the pitch.

Images of the violence surrounding England’s match with Russia on Saturday, along with trouble from other fans elsewhere in France, has dominated news coverage of the tournament.

It’s left a lot of people feeling a bit embarrassed to be football supporters.

And then there England’s disappointing one-all draw with Russia in their first group match.

You’d be forgiven for not knowing it was actually a great weekend of British sporting achievement.

So forget this for a moment…

England fan arrested in Marseille

And have a look at these seven reasons to be proud of British sport…

Welsh football fans got the perfect start to Euro 2016.

A moment of brilliance from the world’s most expensive footballer, Gareth Bale, helped settle any nerves in the opening match at Wales’ first major tournament in 58 years.

Brilliant Bale’s gorgeous free kick

Gareth Bale

Bale’s stunning free kick, inside the first 10 minutes, set them on their way to a famous 2-1 victory over Slovakia and sparked wild celebrations from the players and fans.

Next up for Chris Coleman’s side – it’s England in Lens on Thursday and after this performance, Roy’s boys will be worried.

Lewis Hamilton won and paid tribute to Muhammad Ali

Lewis Hamilton and Michael Douglas

Image caption Lewis Hamilton was interviewed by Hollywood actor Michael Douglas after his win

Less than a month ago Nico Rosberg looked seemingly uncatchable in the Formula 1 drivers’ standings.

The German had racked up a massive 43-point lead over teammate Lewis Hamilton after winning the first four races of the season.

But, two races and two Hamilton victories later and the British driver is right back in the mix thanks to his win at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis clearly loves Montreal. He’s won five of the last nine races there and he’s cut Nico Rosberg’s lead to nine points.

In a nice touch he also dedicated his win to his idol, the late Muhammad Ali, who’s funeral was held in the US on Friday.

England walloped the Wallabies

Marland Yarde

You may have still been in bed at 11am on Saturday but England’s rugby union players were busy making history.

Tries from Jonathan Joseph, Marland Yarde and Jack Nowell saw them come from behind to beat Australia 28-39 in Brisbane.

The hugely impressive win was only their fourth ever victory in Australia and their biggest points tally home or away against the Wallabies.

Eddie Jones’s men have now set their sights on clinching the three-match series in Melbourne this weekend.

Ireland beat the Springboks for the first time in… ages

Irish rugby union team

Meanwhile over in Cape Town, after more than 50 years of trying, Ireland secured their first ever victory in South Africa.

They beat the Springboks 26-20.

What made the result even more special was that they did it virtually with a 14-man team after CJ Stander was sent off after 20 minutes.

Like England, Ireland can also now win their series with another win on Saturday.

Murray and Lendl are back together

Ivan Lendl and Andy Murray

With Wimbledon now less than two weeks away you can almost feel the weight of expectation increase on Andy Murray’s shoulders with every passing hour.

So with the pressure on once again, Andy has called for the services of an old friend, someone who knows him very well… his old coach Ivan Lendl.

The eight-time Grand Slam winning Czech helped Murray win Olympic Gold in 2012, his first major at the US Open later the same year.

Then in 2013, the 77 year wait was finally ended when Murray, guided by Lendl, won Wimbledon.

Here’s hoping the dream team can deliver again this summer.

Jonny be good… (at batting)

Jonny Bairstow

Jonny Bairstow’s third century in six tests for England rescued the home side at the start of the third test with Sri Lanka at Lords.

The Yorkshire batsman finished England’s first innings on 167 not out and had looked to have put them on track for a victory that would have secured a 3-0 series whitewash (before the rain came down).

Looks like Tom is going to Rio…

Tom Daley

Image caption Sheffield also delivered some garage flowers to competitors…

It looks certain Tom Daley will be making a splash at the Olympics this summer.

The 2012 bronze medallist all but secured his place at the Rio games with victory at the British diving trials in Sheffield.

The Plymouth diver is still only 22 but incredibly this will be his third Olympic Games.

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