2008  // Posts published in 2008

23 Dec 2008 Posted in 2008

Top 8 of ’08: Number 1

It took 9.69 seconds, on 16 August, 2008, for Usain Bolt to blitz his way into the record books. (Some say he’d have run 9.55 seconds had he not celebrated, but that was Number 4 on our list!) Only four days later, on 20 August, he covered 200m in 19.30 seconds, to solidify what was fast […]

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22 Dec 2008 Posted in 2008/Oscar Pistorius

Top 8 of ’08: Number 2

Our number 2 story of 2008 is also our most controversial, at least personally. The discussion around Usain Bolt generated some heated emails, but they were fan mail compared to some of the comments and emails received in response to my position on Oscar Pistorius, South Africa’s Paralympic sprint challenge, who hit the big-time in […]

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21 Dec 2008 Posted in 2008

Top 8 of ’08: Number 3

The Number 3 Sports Science story of 2008 comes from the swimming pools of the world. It is a story we’ve featured heavily this year, perhaps more than any other (so it may even have been deserving of the Number 1 slot), because of the scientific, philosophical and ethical questions it has thrown up. It […]

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16 Dec 2008 Posted in 2008

Top 8 of ’08: Number 4

Michael Phelps has scooped up most of the awards for Athlete of 2008, for his incredible haul of eight golds (7 with world records, though as we’ll see, swimming world records mean very little) in Beijing. But our athlete of the year is not Phelps, but Usain Bolt of Jamaica. The greatest sprinting Olympic Games in […]

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15 Dec 2008 Posted in 2008

Top 8 of ’08: Number 5

There was a time, perhaps 20 years ago, where a positive drug test meant a positive drug test. One of my earliest memories of sport, and specifically of the Olympic Games, was watching the sports news in 1988, and seeing Ben Johnson being hustled out of a press conference in Seoul after returning a positive […]

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12 Dec 2008 Posted in 2008

Top 8 of ’08: Number 6

Number 6 on our Top 8 of ’08 takes us back to Beijing to look a little more closely at Sammy Wanjiru’s remarkable marathon victory in Beijing. If you needed any reminder of it, Wanjiru became Kenya’s first Olympic Marathon champion (in itself an incredible fact given the Kenyan dominance over marathon running) by scorching his […]

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11 Dec 2008 Posted in 2008

Top 8 of ’08: Number 7

Since the 1970’s, the Olympic Games have thrust human performance squarely into the limelight. The margin between Olympic gold and failure is so small, so intangible, that four years of work and training can often be undermined by the length of a fingernail. And so the seventh biggest story of the year, through the sports […]

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09 Dec 2008 Posted in 2008/Beijing 2008

Top 8 of ’08: Number 8

As promised, today begins a short series which also serves as our summary of the year’s sports science news. I’ll be looking at the Top 8 stories of 2008, with a sports science spin (in case you were wondering, eight is the lucky number of the year – just ask the Chinese who started the Games on 8/8/08, […]

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25 Nov 2008 Posted in Beijing 2008/Other sports

Swimsuit controversy

The Beijing Olympic Games have come and gone. And with them, aided by technology including a uniformly deeper pool, improved wash-off areas, and high-tech swimsuits, so have 70 world swimming records this year. In fact, swimming now suffers from such a dramatic credibility crisis that a race in which a world record is NOT broken is a […]

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