Few things in life are more enjoyable than a perfect sporting weekend! possibly the birth of ones child or your wedding day, if it’s in the off-season of course, could challenge that status, but even that’s unlikely. What was presented to us this weekend, the coldest of the year so far, was a sensory overload! Lets look at the highlights of the weekend:
I guess we will give the national football team the coverage they deserve. They drew. In other football news, one of the greatest football tournaments on the planet got started on Friday as the 15 best Nations, and England, across Europe gathered in the dodgy cauldron of Ukraine and Poland to challenge the Spanish domination. Friday night saw the hosts and the Greeks try their best to give each other the wins but ultimately ended in a draw. There was also a distinct lack of goals with only Russia, who look the real deal, and Croatia scoring more than 1. The ultimate surprise result already out-of-the-way with Denmark beating Holland and the crazy lack of attackers by Spain in their 1-1 draw with Italy. And this all comes before the much anticipated England vs. France game on Monday! My pick for goal of the tournament so far has to go to Pavlyuchenko from Russia as he dinked and doinked and ultimately slammed the ball home passed Peter Cech. Other notable results this weekend saw Messi finally do it for Argentina in a 4-3 and African Champions Zambia beat Ghana 1-0.
Well many were watching Bafana Bafana take the pride that we have in being South African and treat it much like John Terry treats his teammates, with no respect at all. There were a bunch of ladies who were in London and were doing their best to restore that pride. Marsha Maresca’s twelfth ranked South African side were taking on the World No 1 and Olympic champions Holland in the London Cup semi final. Of course they had already done outstandingly well in getting to the semi’s by beating Great Britain, but this was where they would test themselves against the best in the World. And it all started average as Giles Bonnet’s ladies went 2-0 down. This was when Pietie Coetzee, the incredible, took matters into her own hands and first scored a sensational reverse stick shot before firing home a beautiful drag flick from a penalty corner. South Africa eventually lost out in a penalty shoot-out, but the result itself was incredible. SA Hockey are not going to the Olympics to make up numbers, they are a real medal chance!
This weekend was so good that it even started overflowing and the epic finale of the French Open would have to carry on today! Firstly of course was the Women’s final and it was incredible to say the least that Maria “Grunt” Sharapova won her first French Open and with it completed the career grandslam. Only the tenth woman to do this in Tennis history. Of course the mens final attracts more interest in tennis, but that is down to the pure quality of tennis on show. Nadal, the king of clay, was taking on the best tennis player on the planet in their fourth consecutive grand slam final after Djokovic thumped Federer in straight sets. Nadal started with ease, but Djokovic, as he does, fought back and seemed to have turned the momentum until the divine intervention took it into a second day. Today it seemed that there was no match for Nadal as he steamrolled his way to sole ownership of the record for most French Open titles and with it his 11th Grand Slam. I can’t wait for Wimbledon!
After the lengthy debate on the squad that was selected by Heyneke Meyer, 17:00 on Saturday saw a nation combined in our support of the Springboks. The first half was poor, which is probably me being far too nice, but the turnaround for the second half was fantastic. The end result definitely makes England look better than they were, but the Springboks will be very happy with the workmanlike performance. The standout performances from me were from Willem Alberts and Bryan Habana. Our scrum was immense and Coenie had a great debut! One still thinks that Heinrich Brussow was missed at breakdown time, but we were not largely made to pay for it in the end!
While some sites do not regard Formula 1 as a sport, we do. And the 2012 season is proving to be completely predictable. This was the 7th race of the season and it produced the 7th winner of the season. Alonso and Vettel each led for a while but this was to be the day of Lewis Hamilton. At last he Brit converted his amazing qualifying pace to race form! Alonso and Vettel were both left to rue terrible decisions in strategy from their teams that led them to finish off of the podium. If you havent enjoyed Formula 1 in the past, this is the season that could cause your heart to flutter slightly!
So, how do you sum up this weekend? Please sir, my I have some more?