2011 in Review – The Best Sports Moments of the Year

Yesterday we had a look at the success stories of 2011, if you missed it you can find it here. Today we want to highlight the best sports moments of 2011.  Today we take a look at the ten best moments of 2011.

10. Adam Scott and KJ Choi vs Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker – Presidents Cup

Everyone was excited about this matchup with all the buildup relating to Tiger and Steve Williams and of course their high-profile fall out with one another. Steve the unashamed, unclassy New Zealander was now on the bag of Adam Scott. And although this would be the last real highlight for the Internationals side, a huge highlight it was. Scott and Choi went about dismantling Woods and Stricker in a fashion akin to school yard bullying and rallied home with a 7 and 6 win.

9. Masters Sunday

Golf is not much of a tv viewing dream. It does not have the end to end action of a world-class rugby game or the hustle and flow of an English premiership game. It did however on Masters Sunday. As many as 8 different players held the lead, Tiger was charging, McIlroy was floundering and the Aussie charge was on. The crowd was rewarded with one of the greatest finishes in many a year, which for South Africans ended very well of course!

8. Cadel Evans wins the Tour de France

The Tour de France has quite often been referred to as the Tour de Farce due to the implications of the doping and the lack of class shown by many top athletes. Of course in amongst the Contadors and Landis’ comes the Evans. A consummate professional who has avoided all the rubbish in the sport and in racing against an opponent not juiced up, he rode all the way to victory.

7. Ireland vs Wales, Rugby World Cup

The Rugby World Cup was finally won by the All Blacks, but it is not their victory that left a lasting impression, but rather the Welsh vs Irish game. The Irish had marched to the Quarter Finals on the back of an incredible win against the Aussies while the Welsh were unlucky to finish second in the group after a narrow defeat to the Springboks. The Welsh and Irish played in a storming game and ultimately left the Irish heartbroken. Wales were then controversially knocked out of the cup to France in a tournament that they deserved to be in the final of.

6. South Africa vs Australia, 1st Sunfoil Test

When it comes to remarkable results in cricket and South Africa are involved your mind will probably swing straight to that word “Choke”. But in this case that would not happen. Rather, what happened was truly remarkable and the fight back by Biff and the boys was incredible. 21 for 9 the Aussies were eventually bowled out for 47 and South Africa after a shocking collapse in the first innings were able to romp home with time and energy to spare.

5. Usain Bolt

In eight days of competition nobody had broken a world record in Daegu. The closest thing the World Championships had come to a single defining moment was Usain Bolt’s disqualification for a false start in the 100m final. But Bolt wanted to deliver something special for the public. In the very last race he and his team-mates Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Yohan Blake broke Jamaica’s own world record mark in the 4x100m relay, and did it in style. When Blake handed the baton to Bolt on the final bend, chaos erupted in the lanes around them. Britain’s Harry Aikines-Aryeetey collided with the USA’s Darvis Patton, who tumbled, causing Trinidad and Tobago’s Aaron Armstrong to leap up and out of his lane. Jamaica cruised serenely on. Bolt seemed to have the track to himself, but ran hard regardless. His split was clocked at 8.7 seconds, Jamaica finished in 37.04sec

4. Man United 1-6 Man City

Yes Man United supporters will point to the 8-2 victory over Arsenal, but what made this one so much more remarkable. This was a Manchester derby, this was at Old Trafford, this was where the noisy neighbours were going to be silenced. It didn’t work out that way and instead one of the most surprising results was had. Sir Alex spoke about it as his most embarrassing moment in football. Neutrals world-wide enjoyed it.

3. Japan vs USA, Womens World Cup Football

In a year where Japan as a country was plagued by so much devastation, the country was at last given some happiness as their Womens World Cup team emerged victorious over the much favoured United States. The game itself was a classic with end to end action. Alex Morgan scored for USA, before Miyama levelled and we would head to extra time. Wambach then scored for USA and with just minutes to go before lifting the trophy, Japan equalised through the brilliant Sawa. The ensuing penalty shootout still seemed to be in favour of USA having Hope Solo in goals, but it was ultimately the Japanese who emerged victorious 3-1. A great game of football and even better moment for Japan.

2. England vs Ireland, Cricket World Cup

It ended up not meaning much in terms of the cup itself, but England arrived with their embarrassing moment of 2011. Having sent Ireland in to chase down 327,  Kevin O’Brien smashed the fastest ever World Cup century off just 50 balls to secure a scintillating win for the land of Guinness. England may have moved on to the knock out stages, but the lasting memory of the World Cup will not be the Indian victory, but rather the joy as the ginger inspired nation romped home to a classic victory.

1. Roger Federer vs Novak Djokovic, US Open Semi Final

In the semi-final of the 2011 US Open, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer met in what would be a classic brawl. This year it was the Swiss’s turn to go for the knockout. He led 7-6, 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 5-3 and serving at 40-15. He could not believe what happened next. He put his first serve wide and underdone, it sat up – and the Serb belted a hit-and-hope cross-court forehand from heaven. Djokovic held his arms wide with a “What can I say?” shrug. Federer netted the next point for deuce and the match was gone. For the second year in a row, he had blown two match points against Djokovic. The greatest sporting moment of 2011 for All Things Jabu!

About Jabu

Tyron "Jabu" Barnard, the founder of All Things Jabu, is also the site editor and main writer. The reigning top blogger at the SAB Media Awards, Jabu is a regular sports analyst for ETV Sunrise. He has had work published in Deelish Life ‘n Style, The South African and Yes Magazine

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