Archive for ‘Sports’

August 12, 2012

India’s Success at Olympics 2012

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May 24, 2011

Ice Skating at Kallang Leisure Mall

I have always been fond of Ice and Snow capped mountains. I never got to go to those places being in Southeast Asia. Last week Swetha mentioned about Ice skating in Singapore. I was surprised to hear that and thought we have to do that. Last Friday all I & Swetha along with my other regular gang members went to Kallang Leisure Mall where they built an Ice Rink inside the mall.

Even though the mall was not so good, I was impressed with the size of the rink and quality of the rink. It was very cheap and was only 14 dollars for 2 hours of skating. My first Ice Skating Experience was awesome and I loved it.

December 22, 2010

Sports in 2010: Year that was

Cricket

Yet again I cant stop writing without mentioning the greatest batsmen of modern era – Sachin Tendulkar. He had a dream run this year. He became the first person to hit a double hundred in a one day international match. He went on to score 7 hundreds this year in tests to reach his 50 hundreds in test cricket. The immediate next is 11 centuries away from him. The only prize that has been eluding Sachin for past 20 years is the World cup and I hope and wish that India wins this world cup 2011. The other important cricketing events this year are mentioned here.

Common wealth Games 2010

CWG 2010 held in India has been the most controversial and tainted sports event with respect to the amount of corruption that took place in organizing the event. The only icing on the cake for India is that they have won 101 medals which is the highest for India in the Games history. They elbowed out England to clinch second spot in the overall medals table. With cricket generally dominating Indian sport, CWG has brought lot of talent from other sports into limelight.

16th Asian Games


Immediately after CWG India has shown their best ever performance at the Asian Games held in China. India created history by by winning 64 medals which included 14 gold. The last 2 days were crucial for India as the Indian boxers have fared well to increase the medal count. The star boxer Vijender Singh who disappointed India in CWG won a gold medal here on the penultimate day.

Hockey World Cup

Even though it was a forgettable year for Australia in Cricket, their power packed hockey team won the Hockey world cup after 24 years defeating the defending champions Germany. India being the host nation has put up yet another poor show at the Hockey World Cup that was held in New Delhi. India stood at 8th place. Amidst all the politics in Hockey federation, I hope that Indian Hockey will show some sporting spirit and attitude and quality of a champion in 2011.

FIFA World Cup

The worlds most watched event has been FIFA world cup for years and this year was no different. With the much coverage and predictions of the Octopus, Spain secured the World Cup for the first time with Andres Iniesta scoring the only goal. It was an enthralling and nail biting final against the Netherlands which went on into the extra time. It was a blow for a Dutch side for being defeated for the third time in finals. They were so near yet so far from the dream coming true. The biggies like Italy, France and England crashed out in the early stages of the tournament.

NBA

The Los Angeles Lakers defeat the Boston Celtics in seven games in the NBA finals to clinch their 16th NBA title. This was the second straight NBA title for The Lakers. LeBron James, player for the Miami Heat team went on to become the MVP for the season.

F1

2010 has been an exciting year for F1. There has never been a season in the sixty year history of Formula One when four drivers arrived at the ultimate race with a chance to take the title. There was a very tough fight between Alonso and Vettel. Finally Sebastian Vettel emerged the winner for 2010 season leading by just 4 points to Alonso’s 252. For Vijay Mallaya, it was really a good season as his got 68 constructors points and stood 7th in the table losing the 6th position by just 1 point to Williams-Cosworth.

Golf

I am not a vivid follower of golf. But there were two incidents which caught my eye this year. One was the public appearances of Tiger Woods darlings and the second one was, Arjun Atwal became the first Indian to win a PGA Tour event with a one shot victory at the Greensboro Classic in August.

Tennis

I have been a big fan of Federer over the years. This year has been not so good for him and my interest to follow the tournaments has reduced. But I liked Federer’s arch rival Nadal finishing career grand-slam by winning the US Open title. There were some memorable matches this year. The most memorable part was the longest match ever played in the history of tennis between French qualifier Nicolas Mahut and seeded American John Isner during Wimbledon. The scoreboard read 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-3), 70-68. India can be proud of something here. Somdev Devvarman created history by winning the tennis gold in the men’s singles category at the Asian Games, a first by an Indian. He also teamed up with Sanam Singh to win the men’s doubles event. The Indo-Pak tennis pair of Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi reached the finals of US Open and for their message of ‘Stop War, Start Tennis’, the duo also bagged the ‘Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Of The Year’ award.

Badminton


After Sania Mirza bringing Hyderabad on to the global map, for the past 2 years Saina has take over the job. The Hyderabadi became the first female Indian shuttler to win three back-to-back titles. She won Indian Open Grand Prix Gold, Singapore Super Series and defended the Indonesian Open. This year golden run did not end there. She went on to win the Gold at the CWG 2010. Even though it was a disappointing show at Asian Games, she didnt stop there and her hunger for success has guided her to win Hong Kong Open in November making it the third Super Series title this year. She was conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Padma Shri awards this year. She also reached the Number 2 spot which is her best ever ranking.

I wish to see more and more excitement in sports in 2011

December 7, 2010

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2010

I have been hearing for 4 years now about the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2010 which is considered as the mother of all marathons in Singapore.

The race was on 5th December 2010 in different categories:

Individual
Full Marathon – 42.195km
Half Marathon – 21.1km
Wheelchair
10km Run

Kids Dash
Between 10-13 Years Old
Between 7-9 Years Old
Between 4-6 Years Old
3 Years and below

Team
Ekiden – 42.195km (Each team must consist of 6 participants)

One fine morning in July’10, Amar inspired (may be motivated .. hmmm may be forced) us to register. Now the question was to which category do we fit into. We felt 10K would be very less for our fitness levels (Yeah we did think that way) and 42 would definitely out of our league. So we registered for the Half Marathon.

Half Marathon Race route started from Sentosa and ended at Padang

We felt we had enough time to get geared up and trained for the run. The time flies and by the time we realised it was October last week. We did train for 10 days and at the end of November for 4 days. We were sure at this point of time that we would finish the race and lets not concentrate on the time. It was definite that if we were able to finish this race then we can achieve Marathoner status. The longest distance I trained for was 10 km and I really hoped that I can handle the distance and finish the race.

You can search for me using this number in SC SG Marathon results website

Encouraging the fellow runners

The D-Day has come and a record-breaking number of 60,000+ runners were ready to flag-off from three different start lines:
Orchard Road (Full Marathon) – Start at 5.30AM
Sentosa (Half Marathon) – Start at 6.30AM
Esplanade Bridge (10km) – Start at 7.45AM

The race start time was so well planned so that the winners of each category would reach the finish line together. The start points were also very well planned. There was lot of excitement in the air. Orchard Road was glittering with the Christmas Lighting and Universal Studios stood tall for the racers starting from Sentosa. There were lot of volunteers who registered for cheering and take snaps and give handshakes and loads of encouragement.

I, Amar & Nagaraj woke up early at 4AM and got ready for the race physically and mentally. We got the initial good wishes from Swetha, Mahesh & Santosh. We took a taxi and got down near Vivo City but a little far from Start Line as most of the roads were closed. At the start line we could see the excitement in all the participants. Everyone was busy preparing them selves for the race by stretching their hands and legs and doing the necessary exercises. I have also observed that there was some percentage of people who came there to just take pictures in that electrifying atmosphere.

Finally the race started at 6.30AM we started our race at 6.54AM. I was very very excited. I had planned my run in such a way that I would run for 16KM out of 21 and speed walk the other 5. As I saw the 1KM mark the excitement in the crowd grew and I was still feeling fresh. The Sentosa track was a bit tough as it had ups and downs all the way for 9KM. I took advantage of all the slopes by running faster and uphills by running slower but not walking anywhere in Sentosa.

The atmosphere in Sentosa was awesome. The track was planned in such a way that we can see all the attractions of Sentosa. Staff were out and they were cheering for all of us and it felt really good. Once I touched the 9KM mark, I started walking and took my first energy gel at the 10KM mark which I reached in just 1 hour 5 mins. My confidence was very very high at this point of time. At this point the Sun came out and then the challenges were thrown in from there. The rest of the journey was a typical for Singapore race. It was hot. It was humid. Worst part of the race, it was very crowded which made people slow down at certain points.

Near the finish line

I finished the Singapore Half Marathon in 2:49:28. I felt I could have done better. Next race, I will try to beat this time.

Finishers Medal

 

At the end of the race we were given Finishers medal and free leg massage (Thanks to OSIM).

The main races were dominated by Kenyans. Kenneth Mburu Mungara & Irene Jerotich Koskei won the full marathon in Men & Women’s category with a time of 2:14:6 & 2:35:22 respectively.

October 19, 2010

CWG 2010

14th October 2010 was the day when 19th Commonwealth games in Delhi came to an end. The closing ceremony was spectacular with events featuring school children, stars from film industry, military service men, tribes from all over India and the most important people, the volunteers. It was a huge celebration time for everyone in India. It was indeed a feast for the eyes and ears, with a full of color and endless fireworks and music which showed India at its best. The best of all was the school children dancing to the music of the Indian National Song, Vande Matram and the Laser show. At the end of the closing ceremony, the Commonwealth Games Federation’s flag was officially handed over to representatives of 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Exactly 30 days back, who would have thought that these games would be a huge success. Amidst of chaos, confusion and controversies the whole WORLD was bowled over right from the opening ceremony till the closing cermony. Media all over the world was showing all the possible negative aspects about the games, right from bathroom stains to the bridge collapse. After lots of negative publicity for the games with the help of our military and hundreds of volunteers, India was able to make them all wrong and gave one of the best CW games people have ever witnessed.

On 3rd of October, 2010 at the Indian Capital New Delhi the opening ceremony unfolded without any hitch or glitch. The nineteenth Commonwealth Games got off to an inspiring and magnificent start. It was a brilliant show for more than two hours at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The ceremony was beautifully portrayed and have showcased India’s ability to host games of much larger scale (Olympics).

It was like a rollercoaster ride for India. 12 Days Sporting Activities after a spectacular opening, every body was now looking at all the Indian athletes with high hopes to get more medals than ever. At the end, India have won 38 golds which is one more than England and stood at 2nd rank. India took part in all the 17 games which were being competed for and have won one more than a century of medals. Below is the final Medal Tally

The games which started off with booing of Kalmadi, ended with cheers all over the ground as Kalmadi was giving his vote of thanks. Over all after the games everyone was proud of India for keeping the games and respect for India alive.

March 3, 2009

The darkest day in Pakistan’s cricket history

I went for lunch in the afternoon and I got a call from my colleague. I was shocked by hearing the news of attack on Sri Lankan cricketers. This is a obnoxious act from the Pakistani terrorists. Any game will have some ethics and most important of them would be nobody should lose their life over a game. This is such a cheap act and this would not fulfill any purpose for the terrorists. I hope this would be the start of their downfall. This will definitely affect both Pakistani cricket as well as the Pakistani government very badly.

After India opting out of the series, Sri Lanka was the team who filled this gap. But I would not call them a brave team to go there. They just went there to get the money into their board. They should have been more cautious before taking such a decision. As there are no causalities this doesn’t seem as bad as it looks, but what if there was a causality of a big name? As Indians know about these issues in Pakistan they have taken a wise decision of opting out of this series. After this incident the Sri Lankan team would deserve some sympathy.

As Pakistan government has promised security measures for the players, after such and incident questions will inevitably be asked about their security arrangements. This tour was a high profile one and many were following this because of the controversy of not going to Pakistan. I did not understand how they could simply ruin away this chance of proving their country to be safe. Now the main question would be what do Pakistani security guarantees count for?

After this incident no international team will visit Pakistan for any sort of series or tournament. The PCB can only use some neutral venues to play or arrange all their future tours. This day is definitely the darkest day in the history of Pakistan cricket. I would say this is the end of any international cricket in Pakistan for next many years.

September 5, 2008

Paes win US Open mixed doubles title

Finally after 2 years an Indian player have again shown some talent in Grand slam. The last I saw was the 2006 US and Australian Open Mixed doubles titles that Paes and Bhupati have won respectively. Hope next year we see more of these.

August 27, 2008

A Tribute to Sir Donald Bradman

1. Best ever batting performance in a test

During 2001, Wisden came out with a list of the 100 best Test innings of all time. Don Bradman’s 270 played at Melbourne in 1937 was adjudged the best ever test innings. This was closely follwed by Lara’s match-winning 153* and Gooch’s 154*.

Playing on a gluepot, Bradman declared at 200 for 9 and Gubby Allen countered by declaring at 76 for 9. The wicket was still very difficult and Bradman sent his tailenders in. Soon they were 97 for 5. Then Bradman and Fingleton added 346 for the sixth wicket, . Bradman continued on and was ninth out at 270. England fought gamely but lost by a big margin. A tactical battle which was won by Bradman, the captain and he also led from the front. A potted summary of the match is given below.

Test # 257. Australia vs England.
Played on 1,2,4,5,6,7 January 1937
at Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Australia won by 365 runs.
Australia: 200 for 9 wkt(s)
England: 76 for 9 wkt(s)
Australia: 564 all out (Bradman 270, Fingleton 136)
England: 323 all out

2. The best 10-innings stretch

Bradman’s best 10-innings stretch was during 1937-46, when he scored 1236 runs at an average of 154.50

The scores were 212, 169, 51, 144*, 18, 102*, 103, 16, 187 and 234.

Also relevant here is “Alex”‘s comment, reproduced below.

Also, regarding the ‘best 10-innings stretch’. Bradman scored 1370 runs in 10 innings during 1930 and 1931: 131, 254, 1, 334, 14, 232, 4, 25, 223, 152. There were no not-outs during this period however, so his average was ‘only’ 137.0.

3. The worst 10-innings stretch

Bradman’s worst 10-innings stretch started during the second body line test during 1932-33 and continued until 1934 when he scored 426 runs (in 11 innings) at an average of 38.72. He finished this streak with his monumental 304 at Headingley during 1934.

The scores were 8, 66, 76, 24, 48, 71, 29, 25, 36, 13 and 30.

4. Highest average reached (after 10 innings)

Bradman reached his highest career average of 112.29 after the Adelaide Test against South Africa, in which he scored 299*.

5. Lowest average reached (after 10 innings)

Bradman reached his lowest career average, after passing the initial period of 10 tests, of 89.56 after the Old Trafford Test against England during 1934. Not surprisingly this was the end of his worst streak, referred to elsewhere in this article.

6. When the average of 100.00 was reached

Surprisingly Bradman did not have a great start to his career. He reached an average of 100.00 (agreed very few have ever touched this milestone) only after 15 innings

7. Quality of opposition bowling

Surprisingly the bowling Bradman faced in his career was slightly below all time average. 29.62 against 29.50. However it must be noted that he faced this level of bowling almost all the time. The all-time average arrived consists of 40s and 20s scattered across the 1800 odd Test matches.

8. Runs scored in each batting position

Batting Position      3      4      5       6      7
Runs scored 5078 485 427 681 325
Batting Average 103.63 53.89 142.33 97.29 162.50

The No. 7 total is bolstered by that amazing innings of 270 referred to elsewhere in this article.

9. Analysis by batting position

Bradman’s Batting Position Average is 3.65, indicating that he batted at No. 3 most of the time. For the record he batted at No. 3 a total of 56 times (70%).

10. Analysis of 100s

This is the one measure where he has yielded to a contemporary batsman. The average of the 29 hundreds Bradman has scored in Test cricket is a very high 185.97. Till a few weeks back, he was the No.1 batsman in this regard. Sehwag overtook this figure with his 319 at Chennai. However Bradman’s 100s frequency of 1.8 Tests per hundred is way ahead of any one else.

11. Home/Away runs scored

Not so surprisingly, considering his success in England, Bradman’s away performance is superior to his Australian performances. He has scored 2674 runs away at an average of 102.85 while in Australia, he has scored 4322 runs at an average of 98.22.

12. How far ahead of the next

Just to show how far ahead Bradman is of the other batsmen, a relative scale table is shown below.

Measure          Bradman     %    Next Best    %     Difference

Batting Avge 99.96 100.0 68.38 68.47 31.53 (Hussey)
Runs per test 134.53 100.0 99.54 74.00 26.00 (Headley)
Tests per 100 1.79 100.0 2.20 81.00 19.00 (Headley)
Inns per 100 2.76 100.0 4.00 69.00 31.00 (Headley)

13. Man of the Match awards

Hey what is this, no Man of the Match awards were given when Bradman played. True. So I have gone through the scorecards and using the Innings Rating points, determined which player could have got the MOM awards, if these were given. Bradman would have got no less than 16 MOM awards in the 52 tests played, a frequency of 3.25 tests per award. Compare this with the current leaders. The best is a frequency of 6.00.

Kallis         123     20    6.15
Muralitharan 123 19 6.47
Wasim Akram 104 17 6.12
Shane Warne 145 17 8.52
Ambrose 84 14 6.00

14. Movement of averages

Finally a footnote. I am not sure whether I would jump with joy if someone, as reported recently, conclusively proved that Bradman scored those elusive four runs, by mistake credited to Jack Ryder, during 1929. The figure of 99.94 is etched into the memory of people and sounds far better than 100.00. It also confirms a nice human element to one pervceived to be a super-human.