Tennis: National Bank Open | Dan Hamilton


Spain is known as one of the best sports training centres in the world. Excellent facilities coupled with great weather making it a winning combination. If you look around Majorca every town or even village has its own sports centre. The local authorities have invested vast sums over the years to give the island a sporting edge. I suspect that it is a similar state of affairs on the mainland. The problem, I am afraid to say, is that it isn´t working.

Spain won a total of 17 medals at the Tokyo Olympics; Jamaica, Norway and even Cuba won more medals. Spain is far behind the powerhouses of European sports; Britain, Germany and France. Spain should be doing much better. Take Britain which won a total of 65 medals including 22 golds. For years there were complaints about funding and a lack of facilities. Thanks to the National Lottery and other sources British Olympic sports people are relatively well funded but many have to head to Spain for warm weather training.

I think Spain needs to look at the way its Olympic athletes are supported. Something needs to change. Spain has an impressive sporting record but sadly not at the Olympic Games. Perhaps too much emphasis is placed on football but Spain should really be winning big in sports like sailing and cycling and Spain can do it. I remember the impressive medal haul at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. For once perhaps Spain should look at Britain and how it supports its Olympic athletes, the medal haul speaks for itself.