Posts Tagged “sport”
by Matt Wharton on August 15, 2008
They said that the Laoshan Velodrome in Beijing was quick but I don’t think anyone was expecting this.
Great Britain’s men’s team sprint trio in the qualifying heat break the world record with a time of 42.950 seconds. The favourites for the Gold medal in this event France cycled in the following heat and could not match the mark set down by Team GB and were in fact a half second slower.
They set down a mark that the favourites for the gold medal France who cycled in the following heat couldn’t match and were half a second slower.
With a time of 17.19 seconds Jamie Staff cycled the fastest ever opening lap.
Edit 11.25 GMT Team GB have raced their way through to the final against France with yet another fast time but it seemed to me that they weren’t even pushing it as hard as they did in the heat. I can’t wait for the final.
Edit 12.12 GMT 43.128 seconds and Great Britain are the Olympic champions in the Men’s Team Sprint.
by Matt Wharton on August 8, 2008
Beijing 2008 has begun and I’m surprised to discover that sprint swimmer Mark Foster is the flag-bearer for Great Britain as I can’t believe that he’s still competing at nearly 40 years of age. Most swimmers have limited longevity for example Ian Thorpe retired in his early 20s and that Foster is still able to compete at an Olympic standard is astonishing.
The BBC’s Monkey animation for the opening of their TV coverage is very cool.
by Matt Wharton on November 22, 2007
After the England football team’s abysmal performance against Croatia last night resulted in them failing to qualify for the Euro 2008 the coach Steve McClaren has been sacked.
Croatia played for and got the win even though it was irrelevant as they were guaranteed to qualify and to top the group unless convincingly beaten by England.
A series of defensive errors cost England the match and apart from a short spell of good play at the start of the second half the players’ underperformed.
England shouldn’t have really been in the position of needing a draw from last night’s match but failing to win matches against lowly ranked Israel and Macedonia earlier in qualifying set them up for the possibility of failure.
by Matt Wharton on April 28, 2007
I’ve not caught a whole lot of the 2007 Cricket World Cup but I just watched the final and it was a really extraordinary match in more ways than one.
Adam Gilchrist put in a truly astounding performance and scored 149 off 104 balls and broke two records in the process not only the highest total in a World Cup Final but also the quickest century too.
Thanks to Gilchrist the Australian team set a daunting total for Sri Lanka of 282 from 38 overs to win (due to rain the number of overs was reduced to 38).
The Sri Lankans to their credit didn’t seem too fazed by this and when Sanath Jayasuriya and Kumar Sangakkara got into their flow they looked to be on target to get the required runs. The loss of Sangakkara’s wicket came as a bit of a blow but that did mean that their captain Jayawardene would be coming to the crease and if he could pull off yet another great innings as he did in the semi-final against New Zealand there was still some hope.
It wasn’t to be though as firstly Jayasuriya’s wicket fell, the weather stopped play yet again and on the return Jayawardene suffered a bad LBW decision.
With the light fading and the run rate rising to unattainable levels the match descended into farce when with three overs to go the umpires offered the light to the batsmen. Everyone then assumed the match was over and Australia were declared the winners of the tournament followed by the organisers bringing out the stanchions onto the pitch for the award ceremony only for the umpires to order them off and to restart the match again.
The foregone conclusion now reached it’s actual conclusion with the end of the 36 over and Australia were now officially the champions of the 2007 Cricket World Cup, their third in a row.
by Matt Wharton on August 16, 2006
England have made a fine start under new boss Steve McClaren with a comfortable win over Greece by four goals to nil.
The Chelsea player John Terry made an auspicious start to his tenure as England captain by scoring the opening goal.
by Matt Wharton on August 11, 2006
Steve McClaren admits he chose John Terry as the next England captain because of the inspirational qualities he has shown in leading Chelsea to two Premiership titles. “I’m certain I’ve got the right man in John Terry,” McClaren said yesterday. “I’m convinced he will prove to be one of the best captains England has ever had.”
McClaren favoured Terry over Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard, who was also strongly linked with the candidacy. Though both are captains at their respective clubs, there had been a fierce internal debate among McClaren’s closest confidants over who should be handed the responsibility at international level. In McClaren’s opinion the qualities Terry has shown at Stamford Bridge, where he has worn the captain’s armband since the age of 22, marked him out as being the most capable candidate.
Couldn’t agree more, I’ve been wishing John Terry to be the England Captain for quite a long while now.
by Matt Wharton on July 10, 2006
The head of Zinedine Zidane could have brought a sense of triumph to France in the final of the World Cup yesterday instead it brought a sense of disbelief and despair.
It could have been the perfect finish to the career of the greatest European footballer of his generation and after France had taken the lead from Zidane’s penalty it looked as if it would hold true.
But Italy’s Materazzi soon equalised and the two teams were deadlocked and neither seemed likely to score until the perfect chance fell to the head of Zidane but a heroic save by the Italian goalkeeper Buffon denied him.
Then in the second period of extra time came incident that will be forever remembered as the defining moment of this World Cup, Zidane seemed to lose his head and headbutted Materazzi in the chest, which after the intervention of the fourth offical caused the French captain to be sent off.
Who can say whether losing their talismanic leader cost France the match? I don’t think it’s true, the Italian penalty takers were flawless and France seemed fairly composed and unaffected, so I think it just simply came down to the awful nature that is the lottery of the penalty shootout.
Interestingly Zidane will be the only French player to leave the tournament with a trophy. He was awarded the Golden Ball for the best player of the tournament, an award that was voted on by the press during halftime of the final. It’s likely that had the voting taken place after the match then he probably would not have won this award.
by Matt Wharton on July 1, 2006
The bane of the England football team in major tournaments the penalty shootout did for us yet again and we lost to Portugal. Was the loss of Rooney who got sent off for what seemed a quite vicious stamp on an opponents groin the deciding factor in the match?
Who can really say but I’m sure it will be much discussed in the days to come. Down to ten men England upped their performance and held Portugal at bay and though the real chances were few both teams looked like they could score. But it was not to be and the Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo repeated his performance from two years agao and made the crucial saves in the penalty shootout.
I hope Portugal go on to win as it is slightly less crushing in retrospect to go out to the eventual winners but I think that the winner might just prove to be the resurgent force that is France.
A great match, much better than the England-Portugal one, saw the favourites Brazil put out by a French team that most people thought were over the hill. Perhaps they have secretly discovered the fountain of youth because they were back to their best form in their previous match against Spain after spending years in a state of relative mediocrity and they kept that form up here against Brazil.
It’s not as if they have replaced their aging stars with new young talent like Argentina, this team still features the players such as Zidane and Barthez the world champions of 1998 and the laughing stock of 2002.
This will be the first time since 1982 that we’ve had all European semi-finals with neither Brazil nor Argentina making it to that stage here. I think that we will probably see a final between the hosts Germany and the comeback kings of France.
by Matt Wharton on June 22, 2006
Now that was without doubt the worst performance of any Englishman on the football pitch this World Cup and no I’m not talking about the team this time I’m talking about the referee of the Australia v Croatia match Mr. Graham Poll.
I think that’s saying something given the dire fucking shite that our team has been at times in their matches that I consider his performance that bad but it really was. I’m so glad that Australia were able to come back and equalise again and finish the match 2-2 and thus proceed to the next stage as they came close to being robbed due to the incompetence of Poll.
Two clear penalties were not given one for a deliberate handball which seemed more obvious to me than the handball that he gave a penalty for earlier. Plus one awful tackle that was appropriate for a rugby match that he missed also.
Not to mention his fucking up of carding Simunic who ended the game with three yellow cards and a red card. Apparently Poll explains this as the first card we think given to Simunic was actually given to the player Simic but I think he’s compounded his mistake there by trying to cover his ass and actually just ends up looking an ass. That’s because he forgets that Simic actually did pick up two yellow cards from Poll in the match and thus a red so either way Poll has given three yellow cards to one of them.
by Matt Wharton on June 17, 2006
Two really outstanding matches in Group E today.
Ghana v Czech Republic
Bloody hell what a hell of a match that was. Following the Czech’s first game I thought they would beat their African opponents relatively easily. How wrong could I have been? I had underestimated Ghana totally and they were simply wonderful on the pitch today and ripped open the Czech defence in a way that the US just simply didn’t manage in the first match.
USA v Italy
The US really held it together with only 9 men and deserved the draw for definite and I was hoping one of their attacks would result in a goal and they won it.
The effort they put in today was great.
The group really is wide open which is rare and anyone can qualify. Unfortunately no chance of both USAS and Ghana going through though as based on their respective matches today they both deserve to.