The Agenda: Australia warm up for Ashes in Caribbean and footballing nuns

Michael Clarke

WOMEN’S WORLD CUP …

The tournament begins in Canada on Saturday (Canada v China, BBC3, 10.30pm) and the BBC will, across various platforms, be covering every game. It is also offering a decent spot of build-up too, opening with Heroes: The story of the Fifa Women’s World Cup on Friday (BBC2, 11.05pm) in which Jacqui Oatley tells the story of the tournament’s history. Featured are Brazil’s Marta, who will compete in her fourth finals in Canada, Mia Hamm, twice a World Cup winner with the USA, and England’s top scorer Kelly Smith. It is followed on Saturday by a Football Focus special previewing the event (BBC1, 1.10pm) and taking a look at England’s chances as they prepare for their first game against France.

SOCCER NUNS …

A lovely little addendum to the Women’s World Cup comes in another of those fascinating documentaries too often buried away on the World Service. Soccer Nuns (Tuesday, 5.30pm) tells the story of Tibet’s women’s team who go under the brilliant moniker of the Snow Lionesses. The programme follows the refugees who live in exile in India, as they struggle with Chinese opposition, Fifa disapproval (of course), sexism and the more usual issues of training as they prepare to play three of India’s strongest teams.

HURDLES SHOWDOWN …

The Diamond League heads to Rome on Thursday for what it calls the “Golden Gala”, clearly having nowhere to go from “Diamond” and not willing to settle for “big athletics meeting” (Eurosport, 7pm, highlights Saturday, BBC1, 1pm). However, in this case the hyperbole is justified in the case of the women’s 100m hurdles. The event already featured the last two Olympic champions, Dawn Harper-Nelson, who won in Beijing in 2008, and Sally Pearson, victor in London, lining up against the reigning world champion, Brianna Rollins. But organisers have also added Jasmin Stowers to the mix. She won the event at the Diamond League meeting in Doha in 12.35sec, a series record and the seventh-fastest recorded. Her addition mean that, for the first time, the four fastest women from the past decade will go head to head.

SENNA SPECIAL …

With the Canadian Grand Prix next Sunday, a race that should be every bit the antithesis to the Lewis Hamilton-pit-error-not-withstanding snore-fest that was the trawl round Monaco, there’s a chance to look back on one of the real gems from the principality, Ayrton Senna’s run in 1992. The race when he brilliantly held off Nigel Mansell who was in the quicker Williams. A masterclass of defensive driving, celebrated alongside the elation and despair of Japan in 1989 and the whirlwind in the wet of Donington 1993, in a Senna special edition of F1 Rewind (Saturday, BBC2, 4pm).

AUSSIE FORM GUIDE …

Australia’s build-up to the Ashes continues with their final Test matches before heading to England for the sporting event of the summer. They play two Tests against West Indies (first Test, begins Wednesday, Sky Sports 2, 2.55pm) and will be looking to come into the Ashes confident from a 2-0 win, especially since England managed only a draw in the Caribbean. But the Aussies’ last tour to the Windies was not plain sailing – they drew one and their two wins were by three wickets and 75 runs – which makes this a good chance to gauge the threat.

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