Review of the week: 30 November – 6 December 2015
Winter has truly begun, in the more northerly parts of the world at least, and many sports have started their seasonal break. But the action continues in sunnier climes.
European Short Course Swimming Championships
In Israel, Sarah Sjoestroem of Sweden (above) won three gold medals, to add to her two at the World Championships earlier in the year, and to cap a week in which she won the Bragdguldet, a prestigious award for the year’s most significant sporting achievement.
Hungary topped the medal table by a huge margin. Katinka Hosszu won 6 of its 11 golds and Laszlo Cseh won 3. Finland’s Jenna Laukannen won 2 surprising breaststroke golds.
Men’s World League Hockey
In India, the host nation had a hot streak to finish with a bronze medal. A first Olympic medal since 1980 remains unlikely for the 8-times champions but it could still happen.
Overall victory went to Australia, which recovered from a defeat by Great Britain in the pool matches to beat Belgium in the final. Belgium has waited even longer than India for an Olympic hockey medal. If it manages to claim one in Rio, it will be the first since 1920.
Para World Sailing Championships
The sun also shone on the Australians on home water in Melbourne, and they had the wind behind them too. Daniel Fitzgibbon (above) won the mixed SKUD19 class with Liesl Tesch, with one day to spare. In the Sonar event, Australia lost to Great Britain by a single point, after unsuccessfully appealing a jury decision from earlier in the week.
Wheelchair Tennis Masters
The Masters venue had also hosted wheelchair tennis at the London 2012 Paralympics, but fortunately it was now indoors instead of outdoors, as Storm Desmond hit the city.
Jiske Griffioen won the women’s event to maintain the almost perfect Dutch record, and Joachim Gerard of Belgium surprised triple champion Shingo Kuneida of Japan, to steal the men’s title. David Wagner of the United States claimed an 8th victory in quad tennis.
Pan American Surfing Games
Back in the snug cosiness of the Southern Hemisphere, surfers hit the beaches of Peru.
Contrary to the claims of Polynesians, especially in Hawaii, many Peruvians argue that surfing was invented in their country, and that it then spread westwards Kon-Tiki style.
If these Games are considered to be a kind of State of Origin contest, we might have to start believing the claims. Peru finished first in 10 of the 12 events and two Peruvians, Alonso Correa and Anali Gomez, won the prestigious men’s and women’s open titles.
Next week: Women’s hockey, bowling, European cross country and the Duel in the Pool