December, 2009  // Posts published in December, 2009

31 Dec 2009 Posted in 2009

Favourite videos of 2009

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Two great “alternative” sports videos One final post for 2009, to bring the curtain down on a great year. These are my two favourite alternative sports videos of the year, for you to enjoy as the curtain comes down on a great (and controversial) year in sport. It’s easy to be bogged down in the detail and to overlook the remarkable, which I hope these videos capture to some extent. Remarkable balance and control – ...

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31 Dec 2009 Posted in 2009/Caster Semenya

Number 1: Caster Semenya’s saga

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Less than a day remains of 2009, and we’ve spent the last week recapping the biggest sports science stories of the year.  And it comes as no surprise that the number 1 science of sport story of the year is that of Caster Semenya. There is little more that can be written about Semenya, so intense was the media spotlight on her during a two month period following her world title in Berlin.  In fact, ...

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30 Dec 2009 Posted in Topical Sports News

2009 news stories

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2009 produced some fascinating sports stories. Below are links to our coverage of those top stories of 2009 Caster Semenya – male or female? The big debate of 2009 The debate begins: Is Caster Semenya male or female? The complexities of sex determination explained The debate takes a racist turn as politicians enter the fray More detailed explanations of the physiology of male and female Media leaks begin as the rumour mill begins to spin ...

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30 Dec 2009 Posted in 2009

Number 2: The cleansing of swimming’s record books

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Swimming went through a frantic year in 2009.  It featured the showpiece of the sport, the 13th FINA World Championships in Rome, but it was dominated by an ongoing pursuit of world records, powered by swimmers wearing high-tech swimsuits that arguably contributed to the biggest rush of records in the history of the sport. And record rushes are nothing new to swimming - because swimming is such an inefficient activity (even for the elite), any changes that ...

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29 Dec 2009 Posted in Caster Semenya

Semenya not suing – reports. The fog thickens

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Two days ago, I interrupted our countdown of the top sports stories of 2009 to comment on a report that Caster Semenya was to sue the IAAF and ASA for $120 million and $18 million respectively. Today, reports in SA are suggesting that the report, which you can read here, is false.  In fact, the latest reports quote Jeffrey Kessler, chairman of the law firm representing Semenya, as saying “I have no idea where this is coming from“.  Another lawyer has ...

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28 Dec 2009 Posted in 2009

Top 9 of 2009: Number 3 – the marathon

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Kibet, Kwambai, Kirui, Wanjiru, Kebede, Gharib, Gebrselassie, Kipruto, Goumri, Makau, Kirwa, Worku, Yegon, Cheruiyot, Kemboi, Tsegay, Keitany, Kisri, Kipkorir, Mutai. 20 names of 20 men who have broken 2:07 in the marathon in 2009.  In what has been an unprecedented explosion of super-fast marathon running, more performances (25) and more men (20) have cracked what was basically the world record only 12 years ago.  2009 thus represents a 56% increase in the number of performances ...

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27 Dec 2009 Posted in Caster Semenya

Semenya to sue for $120 million

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Note: This report was written after news reports emerged that Caster Semenya was suing the IAAF for an extra-ordinary $120 million.  It later emerged that this report was false – that is, it was denied by the law-firm representing Semenya.  You can read that follow up post here. I realise I’m interrupting my series on the Top 9 sports science stories of 2009, and I am bombarding you with posts at a time when you may ...

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27 Dec 2009 Posted in 2009

Top 9 of 2009: 4 to 6

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As mentioned, today is second installment in our Top 9 of ’09 series, looking back at the top sports stories of 2009, as covered here on the Science of Sport. Yesterday we covered stories 7 through 9, looking at sudden death during marathons, Meb Keflezighi’s win in New York and the Tour de France and doping.  Stories 4 through 6 produce a mix of controversial, heated and awe-inspiring. 6.  Usain Bolt does it again – ...

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26 Dec 2009 Posted in 2009

Top 9 of 2009: 7 to 9

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We trust you all had a wonderful Christmas yesterday, and are still enjoying the festive season! As promised, we begin a recap of the year’s top sports stories, as viewed through science, and featured here on The Science of Sport.  Nine stories for 2009, and today, we recap 7 through 9.  That will be followed by brief reports on 4 to 6, and then single posts looking at each of the top 3 stories. 9.  Sudden ...

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