Northern Ireland to miss out on another 2012 Olympics opportunity?

Not satisfied with ensuring that Northern Ireland doesn’t have a stadium in place to host football matches or any other sporting discipline during the 2012 Olympics, it seems Belfast is now also out of the running as a potential venue for training camps ahead of the world’s largest sporting event after the city’s bid arrived too late to be considered.

It seems funding bids for a cycling velodrome and an upgrade to an already existing athletics track were refused after arriving at the funding bodies three minutes after a deadline. Naturally, legal action is being taken, with one of the grounds being a claim that the application wasn’t late at all. What will Dame Mary Peters, the Queen’s representative in Belfast and Lord Lieutenant of the County Borough of the city, think when she hears the news.

“We’re trying very hard to get teams to come here to do their pre-Olympic training, their final splash as it were. And I hope that will inspire a lot of youngsters to see people coming, but you know every city in the UK is trying to entice teams so I’m going to have to play a very big role in trying to get them here.”

Maybe not as big a role as you thought, Mary.