The Reuters global sports blog
from Photographers' Blog:
By Swoan Parker
Gold in Haiti should no longer be just a dream. Even before prospective mining begins in the country's northern hills, the realization of it all could be little more than one month away. Without investing millions and weighing only 52 kg (114 pounds), 21-year-old Linouse Desravines, the country’s only judoka to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics, is all it might take for Haiti to acquire gold.
Being a fan of the martial arts with secret fantasies of being a Ninja when I was a young child, I wanted to meet the country’s only athlete who is also female and would represent them in judo. I made a few calls and was put in touch with coaches Ulrick Louis-Charles and Andres Ramos Franco, both former Olympians at the 1992 Barcelona Games. Louis-Charles returned to the Games more recently as coach in Beijing.
Linouse, who is ranked #28 in the world in her weight class, is from Haiti’s north coast where she lives and regularly trains. In preparation for the games, Linouse was scheduled to stay in the capital for a few days and train with the two coaches, before traveling to France to continue training for seven more weeks before arriving in London.
I made arrangements to meet her during a daily five-hour practice session. It was an early morning call; I arrived at the sports center at 6am and the athletes were already running wind sprints. As I walked nearer to the group I noticed one female athlete in particular that just exuded a commanding presence in spite of being petite. It was Linouse.
from Photographers' Blog:
By Maxim Shemetov
Photographing a soccer match for the first time, I realized that shooting the fans can be more interesting than covering the game itself.
We all keep up with the destinies of football clubs and the careers of soccer players. There are many parts to soccer life, however, that rarely appear on TV and on the front pages of newspapers. It's the life of people absorbed by the game - those inspiring exciting games, TV translations, as well as the construction of new stadiums.
But recent events echo the words of William Shakespeare in Hamlet - all is not well in the state of Denmark. Especially between the posts.
Luke Donald’s complete dominance of Wentworth’s brutal West Course has led the world to sit up and take notice, while his chanting fans have also made their mark.
Not that people were not aware of Donald before, just that his latest victory and the fashion in which he won Europe´s PGA have raised his profile in his native England and made him the golfer to beat again.
from Photographers' Blog:
By Peter Andrews
When asked which Polish athlete has a chance at the London Olympics I immediately thought of the shot put champion Tomasz Majewski.
For those who have never seen Tomasz in real life, it can be a bit intimidating. I have always considered myself tall at 192cm (6 feet, 3 inches), but when I first met Tomasz I suddenly felt very small. With a height of 2.4 meters (7 feet 10 inches) and weighing 140 kg (308 pounds), Tomasz is overpowering. He reminded me of Hercules with his long dark hair up in a pony tail. He also has a nice warm smile he puts on easily, so being around him is relaxed and easy right from the first handshake.
Celebrations down London´s King’s Road would have been matched for fervour and passion by those in Abidjan on Saturday night as Didier Drogba delivered for Chelsea.
The pride of an African striking the decisive blow on one of world football’s biggest stages has been reflected across the continent in the post UEFA Champions League final coverage.
Despite all the bling, the big watches and fast cars, the brand management and media training, there is still one thing that, without fail, can expose the true nature of soccer players.
As Didier Drogba stroked home the winning penalty against Bayern Munich in Saturday’s Champions league final and the blue-clad parts of the stadium exploded, the studied cool of the young Chelsea millionaires went out the window.
Frank Lampard said he never doubted Chelsea would win the penalty shootout against Bayern Munich in Saturday’s enthralling 2012 Champions League final, although they trailed in the spot kicks after Juan Mata’s early miss, while the hero of their astonishing victory Didier Drogba firmly believes it was Chelsea’s destiny to cover themselves in glory.
And rightly so one might add, having suffered an exact reverse four years ago on a rainy night in Moscow, which ended in agony for Chelsea after they were ahead in the penalty shootout against Manchester United only to see the elusive trophy snatched away by their Premier League rivals after John Terry’s barely believable miss.
Roberto Di Matteo can now claim the title of “Mr Chelsea” with as much justification as any of the club’s great players of the past or indeed some of the players who on Saturday helped Chelsea become European champions for the first time.
The 41-year-old interim manager has transformed their season which ended with the most glorious success in their 107-year history as Chelsea became the first London club ever to lift the European Cup following their 4-3 penalty shootout victory over Bayern Munich.