Monday, April 10, 2006

Is it time for a new national sport?

It would seem that way. One has to concede that we're just not as good as the best in cricket, rugby and soccer. We might console ourselves that we have the innate talent and that it is just a matter of execution, but results are what count.
Top guns: Ryk Neethling, Slovenia's Peter Mankoc, left, and Sweden's Stefan Nystrand, right, show their medals during the award ceremony for the Men's 100m Individual Medley. Photo: IoL

So I vote we adopt athletics (look at the outstanding Commonwealth Games performance - and this with minimal cash investment compared to rugby, cricket and soccer), swimming (Viva Ryk and Roland, Viva!) and golf (look at the number of contenders we have for our size).

Well done to Ryk Neethling for another stellar performance at the FINA world Championships in Shanghai - three golds and a championship record!
Splashing out: South African swim star Ryk Neethling celebrates after winning the Men's 100m Individual Medley at the World Short Course Swimming Championships in Shanghai, China. Neethling later won the 100m medley in record time. Photo: IoL

Well done to Tim Clark (2nd) and Retief Goosen (joint 3rd) in the US Masters. Tim Clark blew a -7 lead in the third round, dropping back to -2 going into the fourth. After that, he did well to steady himself and post a -5 for the tournament on the trickiest greens on the circuit.
Good showing: South Africa's Tim Clark acknowledges the applause from the gallery after making a birdie on the eighth hole during final round of the Masters at Augusta National in Georgia. Photo: IoL
I wonder if we shouldn't be having a ticker-tape parade for these guys (especially the swimmers) as a way of kicking things off. Considering their achievements, it would not be out of place.
The only problem with our new national sports is that it is going to be bloody difficult to build a pub / spectator culture around them.

No comments: