Monday, December 29, 2008

Mundo's 2008 Other Sports Review

Anyone who follows this blog will know that there is more to the Albiceleste than football. The year 2008 has also seen plenty of ups and downs in other areas as well. After all there was plenty of expectation in other sports as the Olympic approaches.


Just like in recent years, David NALBANDIAN was still our best hope of winning a Grand Slam. But it was huge disappointing year from him as suffered early exit in all four of them. He still did manage to win two titles in the ATP circuit and almost finished in the Top 10 of the ranking.

However it was Juan Martin DEL POTRO that stole the show for 2008. During the month of July and August he embarked on a 23 match unbeaten run that saw him winning four ATP titles and reaching the US Open last 8. This enable him to finish at No.9 in the World Rankings as well.

Perhaps the saddest news of the year was in the Davis Cup final. Once again, it was DEL POTRO that became the main difference when he was unlucky to suffer an injury during his Day 1 singles tie. It was just unfortunate that after a great run in reaching the final, we had to face some bad luck and losing to Spain on home soil.

At least for now, with NALBANDIAN having a side kick in the form of DEL POTRO, we can say there is a big hope in 2009.


Though it was disappointing to see after great run, Manu GINOBILI was unable to win another NBA Championship ring. But still he never finishes the year empty handed. He lead the San Antonio Spurs in terms scoring and was voted as this year’s 6th Man of the Year for his strong performance from the bench.

Second to him was Luis SCOLA who had a great year in his rookie season with the Houston Rockets. It wasn’t that bad from Carlos DELFINO in which he had plenty of big nights with the Toronto Raptors. While Andres NOCIONI from the Chicago Bulls had to miss the play-offs and Walter HERRMANN did not see much minutes during the first few months in Detroit.

I guess it all comes down to the Tall Abiceleste performance in Beijing 2008. Of course it was a tough proposition from the beginning in retaining the gold medal. In the end, the bronze medal finishing was more than just consolation for this team. It was another strong testament from our basketball’s Golden Generation, in what could be the last time the world could ever see them together (check out this wonderful tribute from VJ Rabid).

Field Hockey

After winning the Champions Trophy, there was a strong sentiment that Las Leonas could finally win gold in Beijing. But that wasn’t to be as we were simply humbled in the semi-final against the Netherlands. Nevertheless they still manage to retain the bronze medal.

A sad ending for Luciana AYMAR, with her age catching up this could probably be her last outing in the Olympic. Nevertheless once again the FIH as named her as the Women’s Player of the Year for the record of five times.

As for the men, the year started off with the disappointment of not being able to qualify for the Olympics. But they did repent themselves with a strong showing in the Champions Trophy, finishing third.

Other Sports

There were no surprises from any of the four majors in Golf. The best player for this year was Andres ROMERO. He did manage to win one PGA title and was awarded as the tour’s Rookie of the Year.

Los Pumas finish the year at fourth place in the IRB Ranking as they finished the year with two wins (against Italy and Scotland) in seven test matches. Still unclear which first tier tournament (tri or six nations) they will compete but major plans are underway to form a professional domestic competition.

Not to forget the rest of the medal winners at Beijing. Paula PARETO became the first medal winner when she took bronze in the Judo Extra Lightweight.

Then we had the surprise gold medal from Juan CURUCHET and Walter PEREZ in the Cycling Madison Event. In the case of CURUCHET, it was something extra ordinary as he won his first Olympic medal after participating in six Games (dating back to 1984).

Last but not least was Santiago LANGE and Carlos ESPINOLA who took bronze in the Sailing Tornado Class.


Yaj Nitsuga said...

Nice to have you drop by again John, I promise to post a Preview of the NFL teams playing this weekend.

You know it's an interesting 4-some of Argentine players in the NBA. Of course there's Ginobili and Oberto for my favorite Spurs, but also Walter Herrmann in Detroit and Andres Nocioni in Chicago. To be honest, I haven't paid much attention to Herrmann and Nocioni before, but I see that Herrmann has put up a couple 16 point games and Nocioni 20 or more 5 times so you can see the potential of these guys.

Because of this blog you can be sure I'll be paying more attention in the future.

Juan y Fer said...

It was the last year of the excellent Agustín Pichot as player of the Rugby National team
(a blog about sport in English and Español)

Anonymous said...

Everybody keep your eyes on Erik Lamela from River Plate. He is going to be on River Plate's first team. Only 16 but is supposed to be the hidden jewel of Argentine football. Barca are on the heels on the kid to swoop him up. Can not wait to see him play in the first divison in Argentine!

Yaj Nitsuga said...

Oops...I should have said 5-some. How could I forget about Scola in Houston? What happened to Carlos Delfino? He doesn't show up on the Raptors' roster this season.