In a new feature that will be up and running on All Things Jabu, we will review the month that has passed in sport. In the monthly review we will look at the best and the worst and dish out a few awards. It will also deal with only action from that month, nothing pre or post of the month. So here is the January review.
The Month in Review
The CHAN competition took the attention in January where little fancied Libya, who should have been the hosts of this competition, romped to a victory by winning only one game. The annoying distraction to normal league football did not distract Kaizer Chiefs as they continued their march to the title. In Europe it was a three way race in La Liga and the EPL as action continued. And of course Roger De Sa left Orlando Pirates
The Dakar Rally is the first premier sporting event of the calendar year. And once again it produced some great excitement. As South Africans we get to be excited as the race goes on and this year was no exception as Ginel de Villiers finished fourth in the cars and Riaan van Niekerk finished 12th in the bikes. There were a host of other Saffa’s that featured, but ultimately no one could derail the mini domination and Coma in the bikes. In other motorsport related news, the world continued to hold its collective breath for the future of Michael Schumacher.
Australia completed the ashes whitewash, then a T20 whitewash and almost an ODI whitewash. England were left with the scattered pieces. In South Africa the festival of cricket left a good laugh, but ultimately it was all about the RAM Slam T20 and building towards the arrival of the Aussies.
The only rugby to write about in January was the imperious form of the Blitzbokke as they followed up their PE title with a victory in Las Vegas to move to the lead of the IRB Sevens series. (This was before New Zealand)
The Australian Open saw absolute brilliance as Li Na and Stanislas Wawrinka both upset the bookies to win this years edition. Stan of course was the talk of the town when he beat both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal to win the title, the first man ever to beat both these giants at a grand slam. In the doubles, Raven Klaasen of South Africa made the final but like Lucas Sithole in the wheelchair final, fell short of the ultimate crown.
Team of the Month
Blitzbokke – Their victory in USA was built on excellent defence and exceptional attack. Neil Powell has put together a good blend of youth and experience in his rebuilding phase.
Individual Sports Star of the Month
Stanislas Wawrinka – 35 attempts at the Grand Slams and he finally managed to break through. The fact that he beat the top 2 in the world made it that little bit better!
Chump of the Month
Fikile Mbalula – Listen, Bafana were poor and honestly did not make the country proud, but when your sports ministers questions your respect of your own families he deserves to be the chump of the year, let alone the month. Mr Mbalula, shame on you.
What were your standout events in January?