sports in general

Le Tour de Langkawi 2012 (Stage 5): Ayer Keroh–Pandan Indah

image from

I was at Pandan Indah to witness the finish of the Stage 5. It was a carnival at Pandan Indah that day. I was fortunate to find a space to position myself to shoot some images. Luckily, most of the riders has arrived by the time the rain started to pour. I enjoyed the experience. Didn’t know so many people came out to support the event. Looking forward to LdTL 2013. Hopefully it will come to this part of KL again. Last year, it passed by the MRR2, on its way to Putrajaya.

Jose Serpa of Colombia (in white) leads Darren Lapthorne of Australia (in red)in the finishing line sprint

more photos are available at google+

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The demise of American Sporting Heroes

With the departure of the Williams sisters and Mardy Fish from the Wimbledon this week, the demise of American domination in the individual sports has never been more vivid (and painful for the New World).

Andy Roddick has never lived up to the hype of champions replacement of Pete Sampras. In men’s tennis, the change of guard did not occur. Days of Jimbo and JohnMc, Pistol Pete and Agassi, Jim Courier are long in the memory. Way too long time ago. For the Williams sisters, they no longer dominate with their power plays. The eastern european girls are taller, stronger, faster and louder. Melanie Oudin and Mattek-Sands are still unable to break into the Top 20. For every American, there are more than 20 Europeans coming out to take over the tennis world. Ironically, most of them train in Florida.

In the PGA and LPGA, the outlook isn’t that bright either. Since the disgraceful exit of Tiger and non-performing Lefty, the mantel of best golfers was handed over to some Brits- McIlroy and Westwood. After Annika’a domination and Ochoa’s brief spell at the top, there’s a Korean golfer shining through. Where are you, Americans?

In the track events, especially in the sprints, the Jamaicans have replaced Uncle Sam as the dominant force in both men and women’s events. In indiividual road cycling where Americans seldom do well, nobody is seen to take over where LeMond and Armstrong left.

No wonder I have not seen the US flag flying in any big tournaments on the cable. But it is not to say that we are short of new sporting heroes to idolize. Just that they no longer come from Texas, New York or Florida.

Your new sporting heroes are most like come from Spain, some eastern European countries or East Asia. Hail to Nadal (king of Grand Slam tennis) and Contador (disputable king of cycling stage road races).

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Day 7: BMW Malaysian Open 2011

Finally, we have reached the final day of the week-long WTA tournament at Bukit Kiara. I hope all tennis fans in Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia had a chance to watch the tennis action, if not from court side, at least on Astro Sports.

Sunday's order of play

Today, I invited Mr. Siow and his wife, Carol to watch live tennis at Bukit Kiara. And what better way to watch tennis, than to watch the finals. Due to light drizzling (again), the finals was delayed again, although only by 45 minutes this time.

here I am at Bukit Kiara, wearing somebody's red RF cap!

We arrived around 5.30pm, and was greeted shortly by these two POCC girls (Power Over Cervical Cancer). We signed up to support the cause and got a bookmark and a discount voucher for something (for lady only).

Pink - color of the day (auspicious sign for Lucie?)

Because we were early, I got to peek at the Center Court, and found out that semifinals nemeses, Jarmila Groth and Lucie Safarova were hitting partners! Both are from the country formerly known as “Czechoslovakia“.

Jarmila - love the Lacoste shirt

Lucie and Jarmila

The finals opened with the doubles final. It was the match up between Thailand’s Noppawan Lertcheewakarn & Australia’s Jessica Moore, and Russia’s Dinara Safina & Kazakhstan’s Galina Voskoboeva. Anyway, Noppawan is another tennis player who hits her forehand double-handed (the other being Marion Bartoli) .

guess who's whom

Everyone in the crowd wanted Dinara Safina to win. I wanted the match to end early. LOL! In the end, it was a long 3-set match, and Safina and Voskoboeva won in 7-5, 2-6, 10-5. During the trophy presentation, all very diplomatic, but Voskoboeva stole the limelight with her infectious laughter.

Then came the main event, the ladies singles final. Australia’s Jelena Dokic against Czech’s Lucie Safarova.

Lucie in pink/white, Jelena in black/white

It was indeed a very intriguing match. First set was all Lucie. Dokic fought hard in the second set. Lucie had 2 match points in the tiebreak, but she failed to convert them. Dokic won the tiebreak eventually after the 4th try. Lucky escape for Dokic, who changed into a lucky red attire in the 3rd set. And she finally won the hard fought match in the 3rd set with 2-6, 7-6, 6-4. Everyone got what they wished for – a long match. More than 2 hours and 45 minutes.

lucky red attire for Dokic

By the time we left the venue, it was already 11:15pm. We’d been at Bukit Kiara for almost 6 hours! We detoured to Damansara Uptown for supper (hokkien mee) and by the time I reached home it was already after 12:30 midnight. I was so EXHAUSTED!!! IMHO, it was mainly due to 3 consecutive days (and nights) of LIVE tennis action! Great job and many thanks to BMW, Bukit Kiara Equestrian & Country Resort, WTA and Kronenbourg 1664 for organizing and sponsoring this tournament in Malaysia. See you next year!

Related post:

Day 6: BMW Malaysian Open 2011

Day 5: BMW Malaysian Open 2011

Day 2: BMW Malaysian Open 2011

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Day 6: BMW Malaysian Open 2011

It was a wet, wet, wet day 6 at Bukit Kiara. The ladies’ singles matches were delayed 90 minutes by the rain.

raining for more than 1 hour

hiding under my raincoat

wet seats all over

crew drying up the court

The match resumed at 7.30pm.

the match resumed at 7.30pm with Dokic vs Krajicek

much better crowd than yesterday, despite the rain

The matches ended at 11pm. What a night!

Dokic won her match 6-2, 6-3 dispatching Krajicek in the first semifinal. Safarova just managed to book her place in the final with an exciting victory over Groth 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. No all-Aussie finals then.

We’ll let’s hope that there will not be rain on Sunday. Ladies singles final starts at 8pm. Man Utd-Liverpool match starts at 9.30pm.

Let’s just hope everything goes according to plans. Fingers crossed!

Related Post:

Day 5: BMW Malaysian Open 2011

Day 2: BMW Malaysian Open 2011


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5 complimentary season tickets

I have 5 tickets.
2 from Lancome.
2 from Kronenbourg 1664.
1 from BMW Malaysian Open.

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