I’m still struggling to believe what I saw yesterday.
The Roger Federer versus Novak Djokovic Wimbledon men’s final was an all-time classic, and I had one eye on the match throughout the day.
For sheer drama, though, you cannot beat the Cricket World Cup final.
The result will be debated for decades to come (those overthrows, the boundary count decider, and so on), and it’s only a matter of time until Ben Stokes is knighted and a statue erected in his honour.
In all of the madness of those two dramatic finishes, you might have missed three very feelgood stories of South African sporting triumphs.
First of all, the Proteas stunned Jamaica at the Netball World Cup yesterday evening, beating the world’s second-ranked team 55-52 to top their group.
This from IOL:
The match ended in a nail biter against the world despite South Africa enjoying a 32-21 lead going into the half-time break. South Africa dropped in intensity in the third quarter allowing Jamaicans a sniff in the final 15 minutes of the match.
The Proteas showed immense composure to prevail in the end and give themselves a shot in the arm and a chance at reaching the playoffs after winning all three of their group matches…
South Africa’s worst nightmare looked like it would be realised with the Jamaicans looking to claim the 13th victory over the Proteas.
The Proteas managed to get their noses in front again as they regathered and found their composure again to go three points up for a nail-biting victory.
Splendid stuff. Let’s check out those highlights:
Next up we head to the Tour de France, where Daryl Impey sprinted to a Bastille Day victory.
Reporting here from BusinessLIVE:
Impey roared as he thumped the SA flag on his chest when he crossed the line to win the ninth stage of the Tour de France on Sunday.
His win, crafted from canny tactics and finished by a short and powerful sprint, was a rare thing for the country of his birth.
Impey became just the second South African to win an individual stage at the Tour de France, coming 12 years after his close friend, Robbie Hunter, won the 11th stage of the 2007 race.
It had been, said Impey, a long time between drinks for SA.
“[This win] was something, from a Tour de France perspective, something that was missing. I’ve been in quite a few breakaways down the years and to finally nail it today was a dream come true. I don’t really have many words,” said the 34-year-old Impey, who rides for the Australian Mitchelton-Scott team.
His first win, South Africa’s first win since 2007, and on Bastille Day – bloody brilliant.
Here’s a great video his team put out to celebrate the stage nine win:
We finish with our third and final South African sporting standout, golfer Dylan Frittelli, who claimed his first-ever PGA Tour title when he won the John Deere Classic last night.
To say this is a huge accomplishment in the life of a pro golfer is an understatement, as the PGA Tour’s official site will tell you:
Maintaining his composure from start to finish in the biggest round of his life, first-year PGA TOUR member Frittelli shot a final-round 64 to win the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run, dramatically altering his summer plans, and beyond. FedExCup No. 153 at the start of the week, he shot up to 48th in the FedExCup and secured his job on TOUR through the 2020-21 season.
He also gate-crashed The Open Championship, and also earned invitations to next year’s Masters Tournament and THE PLAYERS Championship, among other select events.
He also took home a cool $1,08 million payday, which is around R15 million.
When you consider the pressure he was under, it’s all the more remarkable:
With his attention divided and his career flagging, the 29-year-old with the prescription glasses found himself feeling stressed as this season wore on. His European Tour membership was running out, and he found himself in danger of losing his PGA TOUR card, too. That would mean going back to the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, where nothing is guaranteed except for the fact that it would preclude his playing in some big overseas events…
Nevertheless, Frittelli kept it light at the Deere, as life-changing as it might be. He said of his 5 o’clock shadow after the third round that he’d seen pictures of Spieth looking similarly scruffy winning his first TOUR title at the 2013 Deere, and figured he would try the same thing.
And then, for the final round, Frittelli shaved. When it was all over, and he’d won and was about to go on TV for his media obligations, he asked [his caddie, John] Curtis, “Do I look pretty?”
I would imagine that Curtis said yes, given that he will take home somewhere around 10% of that winner’s cheque.
Let’s have a look at his round four highlights, including the moment he drained the winning putt:
Dylan, you bloody ripper.
Netball, cycling, golf – South African sport has plenty to be proud of.
[imagesource: BBC] First, the older folk came for Facebook, and there were likes and co...
[imagesource:here] At the start of the month, the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill w...
If you're looking for a way to beef up your home security system, how about aeronautic sur...
[imagesource:here] In 39 days, the US will vote for their next president, and the rest ...
[imagesource: Matt Curnock / MOUA] When South Africa went into lockdown all those years...