Archive for the ‘Sport’ Category

Baseball comes to London

Posted: July 26, 2019 in Sport
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A couple of weekends ago Sue and I went to see the New York Yankees play the Boston Red Sox at the London Stadium.

We arrived in time to see the Yankees at batting practice and the pre-game show.

Then it was time for the game. The Yankees scored 6 in the first innings and we thought it was all over but then the Red Sox scored 6 in their first innings. The Yankees pulled ahead again but the Red Sox came back again but they couldn’t quite make it and the final score was 17-13 to the Yankees.

There was a mascot race with a British theme – Winston Churchill; Henry VII; Freddy Mercury and the Loch Ness Monster. The winner was Freddy Mercury who just beat Henry VIII

UCI World Cup London: Day 3

Posted: December 19, 2018 in London, Sport, UK

Sue and I were back at the Lea Valley Velodrome for Day 3 of the UCI World Cup meeting.

The first event was the Men’s Sprint Semifinals

Jack Carlin (UK) preparing to race  Harri Lavreysen (Netherlands) in the semi final
Lavreysen would win 2 races to 1 and go onto win the Gold medal

After that there was the Woman’s Keiran; the Men’s Omnium Elimination race (in which Matt Walls from the UK came second to lead overall) and the Women’s Madison, where Laura Kenny and Katie Archibald, two of the UK’s top riders rode to Gold.

Kenny and Archibald await their medals
Laura Kenny recieves her Gold medal for the Madison

After the final of the men’s sprint, it was the points race in the Men’s Omnium. Matt Walls leading the competition rode superbly to ensure his Gold medal was secure.

Matt Walls with his Gold medal

 

UCI World Cup London

Posted: December 18, 2018 in London, Sport, UK

One of the things I love about track cycling is there is always plenty to see with all the activity going on in the centre of the track.

Each bike is weighed and checked before a race to ensure it conforms to regulations.

UCI World Cup, London : Day 2

Posted: December 17, 2018 in London, Sport, UK
Lea Valley Velodrome
(Photo by Peter O’Connor -https://www.flickr.com/photos/anemoneprojectors/)

Sur and I were at the Lea Valley Velodrome for Day 2 of the UCI Cycling World Cup in London.

Waiting for the start of the first race

The Omnium is cycling’s equivalent of the Pentahlon. It comprises 4 races over a single day. Race 3 is the elimination race, where there is a sprint every 2 laps and the last one to cross the line is out. This continues until 2 riders are left and they contest the final sprint.

Riders wait for start of Womens Omnium Elimination Race
Tatics are all about getting in the right position as you approach the line

The next event was the Mens Keiren which is a paced event where the riders are paced by a Derny bike until they reach a certain speed and then its a sprint to the line.

Derny Bike
The contestants start as the Derny passes them
Building up speed

Following this was the Women’s sprint, which although the shortest and quickest race starts off with a lot of tactics on the first lap with the riders sometimes coming to a complete stop as they manoeuvre for position and try to catch out their opponent, before a final 2 lap all out sprint for the finishing line.

Stephanie Morton (Australia) and Emma Hinze (Germany) manoeuvre for prime position on the track in the Women’s Sprint

Then there was the Men’s Madison which s a two-person team race where one rider is active at a time and points are scored by winning sprints or lapping the field. The riders in each team change status by tagging the other. The Silver medal was won by Fred Wright and Matt Walls of UK.

Walls and Wright wait for their medal ceremony
Matt Walls recieves his Silver medal

The final event was the points race in the Womens Omnium. The scoring is like the Maddison with points for winning sprints (every 10 laps) and for lapping the field, but this is an individual race.

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.