Archive for the ‘Sport’ Category

On Saturday Keith and I went to see The Barbarians (an invitational international side) play Argentina at Twickenham.

The Barbarians warmed up for the game in front of us going through their pre-match drills.

Down below us was the BBC TV crew with the expert analysts

And then the match began. Barabarians score first but then Argentina score 4 tries and at the quarter the score is 28-7 to Argentina and we are thinking this is going to be a whitewash with Argentina possibly scoring 100 points if it carries on at this rate. But the Barbarians fight back and get a penalty try just before half-time.

Now the game is really boiling and both sides are trying to play fast, attractive rugby. Barbarians score another try and get within 7 points. 

Argentina replies with a try of their own and gets a 14 point cushion but back came the Barbarians and score 2 tries to even the score with 2 minutes to go.

Then Barbarians get the ball near the Argentina line and then it is shipped back to the fly-half who kicks for goal. The ground erupts as the kick flies between the posts! Now all Barbarians have to do is hold onto the ball until the clock runs out and this they do. A Great game of rugby.

The afternoon at the London Anniversary Games continued with a para-athletic 200 metres for men and a Women’s 400m Hurdles. The Women’s Javelin competition was partially hidden from our sight by a scoreboard and all we really saw was the Javelins appearing from behind it to arc into the centre of the field.

Then followed the heats of the 100 metres, first for the women and then the men.

In front of us was the Women’s Long Jump, which included the UK’s talented trio of jumpers, Lorraine Ugen, Shara Proctor and Jazmin Sawyers, who are all currently in the world top-10 this year, plus the World Indoor Pentathlon Champion, Katarina Johnson-Thompson.

Shara Proctor (top), Jazmin Sawyers (bottom left), Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Bottom centre) and Lorraine Ugen (Bottom right)

The competition was won by Shara Proctor with Lorraine Ugen in second and only a few centimetres between them.

The Men’s 400 metres followed and was won by Abdalleleh Haroun of Qatar, who came from no-where on the last straight to storm past the leaders. After this was the slightly more sedate pace of the Men’s 5000 metres.

In the Men’s 400m hurdles Karsten Warholm of Norway won, but worryingly from a UK perspective Jack King landed badly from a hurdle and appeared to injure himself. Not what you need a few weeks before a major championship.

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Jack King clears a barrier in front of us 

The final events of the afternoon were the Men’s and Woman’s 100-metre finals.

A great afternoon of athletics.

 

 

 

 

On Saturday Sue and I had tickets for the first day of the London Anniversary Games, an Athletics meeting which forms part of the Diamond League, held on the anniversary (approx) of the 2012 Olympics in the stadium. Our seats were close to the Long Jump runway (perhaps too close for getting the best photographs)

The first event was a men’s 400 metres race for UK runners which was interesting in that the runners were competing for places in the 400m relay team at the European Championships to be held n Berlin in 3 weeks time.

Dwayne Cowan leads Martyn Rooney all the way to the finish line

The next event was the T44/47/T64 Women’s Long Jump for jumpers using a single leg blade. The winner was the British World Champion in this event, Stef Reid.

Stef Reid prepares for her jump and in flight

Back on the track, another UK athlete was winning, this time in the 3000m walking race. Tom Bosworth set a new world record in winning this event.

Tom Bosworth leads the field on his way to a world record

The events were coming thick and fast now and our attention was drawn away repeatedly to the Men’s Pole Vault at the end of the stadium, where a truly world-class field was competing including Sam Kendricks (World Champion), Renaud Lavillenie (World Record holder and Olympic Champion 2012) and Thiago Braz (Olympic Champion 2016).

Sam Kendricks (USA) [top left], Renaud Lavillenie (France)[bottom left] and Thiago Braz (Brazil) [right]

Who said that man can’t fly?

In the end, it came down to Lavillenie, who had led throughout, and Sam Kendricks, who eventually beat him by clearing their final height on his first jump.

Sam Kendricks, having won the competition attempts a new US national record, but is unsuccessful

The next event on the track also was intriguing, if for a strange reason. The women’s 3000m was going along as expected until the last lap when the leader, Fantu Worku, stopped running with half a lap to go and then looked on bewildered as everyone else kept running past her. Watching it back on TV later, the commentators thought she had lost track of her position and believed that she had already crossed the finish line (see  https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/44912045)!

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Worku passes Rengeruk on the back straight shortly before she stopped running.

 

 

I have been to Twickenham a number of times to watch England play rugby, but never been to the museum. One of those things to go on the list I think.

Sue and I were back at the IAAF World Athletics Championships over the weekend.

A full crowd as there has been for each Session

Men’s 110m Hurdles race in the Decathlon

Men’s 110m Hurdles race in the Decathlon

Alyson Felix (USA) – one of the worlds best sprinters over the past decade prepares for the sprint relay heats

Changeover for USA and GB teams in women’s 4x100m relay heat – both qualified for the final.

Good to see Adam Gemili back in GB team after injury

Men’s 4x100m relay heat

Usain Bolt preparing for a 4x100m relay heat

Jamacia leads out in men’s 4x400m relay heat.

Kevin Meyer of France in the Discus section of the men’s decathlon.

I imagine this is not what the organisers had in mind for the Long Jump pit. Hero the Hedgehog and friend enjoy the sand.

Sue and I went to the World Athletics Championships last night at London’s Olympic Park.

The Stadium packed for an evening of Athletics on day 8 of the Championships

Leading out in a women’s 5000m heat

Ruth Beitia of Spain, the Olympic Champion, clears 1.85 in Woman’s High Jump Qualifier

Peacock of Australia in the Men’s Javelin launches it out to 82.19m

Caster Semenya (South Africa) rounds the bend in the Women’s 800m on her way to winning her heat

Christian Taylor (USA) jumps out to 16.97m to win Gold in the Triple Jump

Men’s 1500m heat

Women’s 200m semi-final gets under way

Wayde van Niekerk (South Africa) ready for the start of Men’s 200m final – he would claim the Silver medal

Hero the Hedgehog joins the fanfare band.

Anyone for Cricket again?

Posted: August 9, 2017 in Sport
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For our second cricket trip of the summer Keith and I chose to go to Canterbury to see Kent play the West Indies international side in a preparation match for the test series against England. It would be fair to say the weather was very different to our recent trip to Beckenham!

The Canterbury Ground at the time for play to start.

Will there be play? The Umpires and groundsman discuss

Will there be play? A West Indian cricketer contemplates whether he will get to bat.

The rain stops and the groundsman remove water from the covers

Removing the pitch covers

We are going to get play!

Matt Hunn of Kent at full speed

The West Indies batsman waits and so do the close fielders

Safely pouched by Rouse, the Kent Wicketkeeper

Shai Hope dispatches a ball to the boundary.

The rain did return a couple of times during the day, but we did get to see about 3 hours of entertaining cricket before the game was called off at 5 pm. Keith and I wondered why as the weather didn’t seem that bad at the time. We started the walk back to the station – about 20 minutes- and only just made it before a tremendous storm with thunder and lighting broke. Obviously, they had been warned this was on its way and we were grateful we left when we did rather than get caught in it!

Here are some pictures from the second Visit Sue and I made to the World Para-Athletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium in London on Friday night.

London turns out to watch the Para-Athletics

On the line in a wheelchair 100m

Marcel Hug of Switzerland leads round the final bend in the 800m

Steve Morris of Great Britain leads in the 880m

Off! in the 100m

Greg Rutherford, World and Olympic Long Jump champion doing a stint for Channel 4

Whizz-Bee the championship mascot.

Following the unprecedented success of para-athletics at the 2012 Olympic games in London, when 80,000 filled the stadium each night to cheer on the athletes, many of the Gold medalists have become household names in the UK.

Jonnie Peacock, Paralympic champion at 100m (T44)

Richard Whitehead, multiple champion at 200m (T42). In 2013 he ran from Lands End to John O’Groats (c1000 miles)

David Weir – winner of 4 Gold medals at the 2012 Paralympics and also a 7-time winner of the London Marathon. Now retired he is part of the TV commentary team

Hannah Cockcroft – Multiple Gold medalist and so far double gold medalist at these championships. She has broken T34 world records at 100m and 1500m!

The medalists in the T44 Long Jump celebrate. Marcus Rehm of Germany is a 4 time World Champion and a 2 time Paralympic Champion.

Marlou van Rhijn, world record holder at 100 and 200m (T43). She also holds a number of Dutch national swimming records.

Richard Whitehead prepares for a race

Jonnie Peacock and David Weir prepare for a TV session

The Olympic Stadium

Sue and I spent Monday evening at the World Para-athletics championships which are being held at the Olympic Stadium in London. One of the people interviewed in the stadium said ‘you focus on the disability for about 10 minutes and then you realise what extraordinary athletes these are!’ It’s true!

 

Preparing for the race -focus

500m to go in a 1500m and 6 athletes contest the medals

A close race to the line in a wheelchair 800m

Entering the final straight in a 200m

Martins of Brazil leads around the final bend

medals up for grabs in a wheelchair race