sport: September 2010 Archives

If this video of the All Blacks training is genuine, there will be more than a few terrified rugby teams around the world.

Similar to videos of stars like Kobe Bryant and Roger Federer it show the sports stars displaying superhuman like skills.

All Blacks players Piri Weepu, Cory Jane and Rene Ranger are seen in the video pulling off a series of unlikely kicks, throws and catches.

At one point balls are being thrown with such precision they are able to hit others at distance, this is quickly followed by balls being kicking into bins half a pitch away.

We're tempted to call fake, but this is only based on having watched the England team… and in comparison to them, most people look to display unfathomable skills.

275x250.jpg The world's biggest game of dodgeball has taken place in the California with more than 1,700 students hurling rubber balls at each other.

Students came up with the idea for the game because they wanted to organise a mass-participation event and thought they may as well break a record while they were at it.

After looking at the record books, the student from the University of California decided the dodgeball record - which stood at just 1,198 - was easily beatable.

For anyone who wasn't subjected to ritual humiliation by dodgeball, the aim of the game is to hit all the members of the opposing  team by throwing the ball at them.

Remember the weird Dutch accent Steve McClaren developed while managing FC Twente? Well now he's started speaking in a German accent.

The former England boss - commonly known as 'the wally with the brolly' - has spent the past five months managing German Bundesliga team Wolfsburg.

But while the Yorkshireman is still giving his press conferences in English and through a translator he appears to have adopted a German twang.

During a recent outing he started of by saying "Ya, ya, ya" and then then followed it up by pronouncing 'we' and 've' and sounding like a right plonker.

And remember, this is even when compared to the average football manager who is not exactly know for his verbal eloquence, is he?

Ronnie O'Sullivan makes a reluctant 147 break

Snooker ace Ronnie O'Sullivan had to be convinced by the referee to pot the final black in a World Open match and score a 147 break.

Despite having otherwise cleared the table O'Sullivan initially said he didn't want to make the shot on the final black -- because there wasn't enough prize money.

While some competition offer a £25,000 payout for players scoring a maximum break of 147 there was only a prize of £4,000 for the highest break at the Glasgow World Cup.

However, after shaking the hand of Mark King, who he'd just beaten, Ronnie was eventually convinced to make the shot by ref Jan Verhaas.

As the ball went in the crowd cheered… but not as much as they would have done if he'd missed after staging his little protest.

A 21ft speedboat has been converted into a pool table at a cost of £40,000… as a memorial to a dead waterskier.

Peter McKee, of Master Billiards in Australia was commissioned to make the table in memory of waterskier Brian Rix who died in 1999.

McKee says the job was incredibly difficult because he had to cut the slate to match the curve of the boat.

There was also the little matter of where to put the pockets, in the end he went with seven, six in a traditional pattern and then an extra at the end of the table.

This should make it easier for even bad players to sink the balls… which we guess is a particularly appropriate term.

69 Mexican cowboys have set a new world record for simultaneous lassoing, by all swinging their ropes for three minutes.

The charros (Mexican cowboys) made the record bid during the 17th annual International Mariachi and Charreria festival in Guadalajara.

Each with a marked-out area of the stadium they twirled and swung their lassos as best they could while  an adjudicator from Guinness World Records watched on.

At the end he verified they had beaten the previous record of of a meagre  23 simultaneous lassos.

Organisers hope the record will encourage more people to take up the rope-swinging activity… though you may want to check you have room first.

275x250.jpgSo Andy Murray is out of the US Open, at least British tennis fans still have one thing to celebrate… having the world's oldest working tennis court.

Bosses at the Edgbaston Archery and Lawn Tennis Society in Birmingham say their lawn playing surface of six courts is now 137 years old.

It was initially laid out in 1873 - 13 years after the club was founded - and officials at the society claim the courts are still in the same positions, to within a few inches.

This means the lawn courts have been in longer continuous use than other courts anywhere in the world.

Admittedly British tennis fans would rather celebrate seeing a Brit win Wimbledon (or anything for that matter) … but they've got to take what they can.

275x250.jpgScientists say they've finally discovered science behind why men are able to kick a football harder than women.

Using 10 video cameras, 21 retroreflective markers and 16 electrodes researchers monitored what happens when men and women kick a ball.

They discovered significant differences in knee alignment and muscle activation between men and women, giving men more power.

Male players apparently activate the hip flexors in their kicking leg and the hip abductors in their supporting leg more than females.

Next up the researchers will study throwing like a girl and investigate whether their dad can indeed beat up your dad.

Boffins say they have finally explained the science behind Roberto Carlos' amazing free kick goal against France in 1997.

The goal scored by the Brazilian in the Tournoi de France is widely regarded as one of football's best ever free-kicks.

Some commentators joked it "defied physics" and keeper Fabian Barthez was embarrassingly left standing still and red-faced by the strike.

But while some thought it was a fluke, physicists have now computed the trajectory equation and shown that Carlos' goal was all skill… and science, obviously.

They claim any ball kicked hard enough, with the right spin and from far enough away will follow the 'spinning ball spiral' -- so prepare to see lots of dodgy long range attempts this weekend.

275x250.jpgA golfer accidentally started a 12-acre fire when he hit his club on a rock in California causing sparks and the resulting blaze.

The hapless golfer had been playing at the Shady Canyon golf course in Irvine, when the accident happened.

It's said he'd taken a swing at the ball but that his club struck a rock causing a small spark.

But this was enough to start a fire in the parched area and the blaze soon covered a massive 12 acres of the densely wooded hill.

Almost 200 firefighters attended the scene and the fire burnt for over seven hours… and we thought our golfing endeavours had been embarrassing.

275x250.jpg A new speed record has been set at the World Bog Snorkelling Championships... after the bogs were cleaned for the first time in ten years.

More than 150 competitors from around the world had attended the event - now in it's 25th year - near Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales, to take part.

Once there they had to see how long it took to complete the 110 metre course by swimming two lengths of the murky - and still very muddy - trench.

Organisers said they'd anticipated fast times as the trenches had recently been cleaned but couldn't believe how much faster it was… we can't believe how murky the bog must have been last year.

275x250.jpgUEFA, European football's governing body, has ruled that vuvuzelas should be banned from their matches.

This means the irksome plastic trumpet, which became infamous at the World Cup, will not be heard at Euro 2012 qualifiers or Champions League games.

Bosses say they came to the conclusion the instrument should not be taken into stadiums at matches in UEFA competitions after consultation with 53 member associations.

It was decided the noise could drown-out the singing and chanting of fans andthat "for reasons related to Europe's football culture and tradition" they should be banned.

However, we can think of the odd player who'd probably prefer the constant drone of a vuvuzela to fans chants… Yes Heskey, we're thinking of you.

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