Monday, June 30, 2008

Back for Good: Euro 2008 in review and Second Week of Wimbledon

So I'm back after last week's test run, and it's time to get serious.

This is the NOW Sports update for Monday, June 30, 2008:

Euro 2008: Spanish Victory Concludes Exciting Tournment
Spain defeated a heavily favored German side in yesterday's final in Vienna, Austria after Fernando Torres scored the game's only in the 33rd minute. This is Spain's first major victory in 44 years, during which Spain had come close but was never able to succeed in winning a European or World Cup championship. This is also the first time since France won in 1984 that a team won all of its group stage matches and went on to win the championship.

The Spanish side totally dominated the game, with many big opportunities and close calls while the Germans, who had previously won three European titles and three World Cups, barely came close to even scoring a goal. For Michael Ballack, it was another opportunity missed and he'll likely have one more chance in two years at the World Cup in South Africa.

The final put to an end a great tournament that was highlighted by the Cinderella-like run of the Turkish team, who always scored late goals to progress through the championship. It's unlikely that we'll forget their epic performance against Czech Republic in their last group match when they scored three late goals to overcome a 2-0 deficit. Nor is it likely that we will forget how they beat Croatia in penalty kicks in the quarterfinals or the scare the Turks gave the Germans in the semifinal.

Amazingly enough, this tournament was at times heartbreaking, occasionally climactic, and never boring. For the occasional fan, it's a wonder how much time we as fans invested in the tournament, even though the English didn't qualify this time around. Much of the thanks here in the United States can be given to ESPN for their coverage that made EURO 2008 more accessible than it ever has been.

So thanks to Austria/Switzerland for being great hosts, and thanks to the European soccer teams for making this a tournament that soccer fans won't soon forget. On to 2012, when Poland/Ukraine will have their turn to host Europe's biggest quadrennial sporting event.

Wimbledon's Second Week:
Today is coined as the greatest day of the year in tennis as ALL Round of 16 matches are being played today at Wimbledon. So theoretically, the top 16 men and women that made it this far will have played today at the All-England Lawn Tennis Club.

At the time that I am writing this, Venus and Serena Williams have already advanced to the quarterfinals of these championships. The Williams sisters seem to be our only hope for a good American showing this year after no American men were able to progress through to the second week of Wimbledon.

Meanwhile, attention continues on a possible Federer/Nadal matchup in the final and Nadal is looking better than ever on these grass courts while Federer continues to succeed on his best surface. Some other men's players to look at: Andy Murray (Britain's only hope for a title), Rainer Shuettler (who seems to be making a comeback of some sort after making it to the Aussie final 5 years ago), and Marat Safin (who defeated Djokovic earlier in the tournament).

Notes on the women's side: Jelena Jankovic was the latest victim of the upset syndrome that seems to have plagued many big stars of this tournment. She lost to Tamarine Tanasugarn, a 30-year-old player from Thailand who will next face Venus Williams. This is the farthest that Tanasugarn has gotten at Wimbledon or any other grand slam.

U.S. Olympic Trials: Gay Runs Fastest 100m Ever (Sort of)
So at the Olympic Trials in Track and Field at Eugene, Oregon, Tyson Gay was able to make the Olympic Team after winning the men's 100m final with a time of 9.68 seconds, the fastest time anyone has ever ran a 100m in any condition.

However, it doesn't count as a world record because he ran with a tail wind of approx. 4 meters per second, two meters over the allowable tailwind. Still, 9.8 seconds is pretty fast.

World records did fall, however, at the Swimming Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska. Michael Phelps swam a world-record time of 4:05.25 in the 400 meter Individual Medley on the opening night of the trials. He outswam his friend Ryan Lochte who kept up with Phelps until the final 50 meters where Phelps won it off of the last turn.

Katie Hoff also broke a world record following her swim in the 400m Individual Medley. She swam a time of 4:31.12, breaking the record set by Australian Stephanie Rice three months ago. At age 19, Hoff will certainly be one to watch in the upcoming Olympic Games. Tonight's finals will feature swimmers in the women's 100m butterfly and 400m Freestyle as well as the men's 100m breaststroke.

That's today's update, I'll update you guys again tomorrow, hopefully bright and early.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Be Back on Monday

So the first two posts were test runs and I was unable to post daily because I had high school graduation and other end-of-year celebrations.

I know "excuses, excuses". Well I'll be back on Monday and we'll officially get started with coverage of the Uefa EURO 2008 final and the second week of Wimbledon.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The New Age of World Sports Begins Now - First Post: U.S. Olympic team and The Championships, Wimbledon

"NOW Sports" News Begins now, welcome to the first of hopefully many editions (aka blog postings) that will inform all of you on the latest issues and sporting events going on around the world.

The Championships, Wimbledon
A typical Day 1 from the All-England Club as Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Ana Ivanovic advanced relatively easily into the second round.

Roger Federer def. Dominik Hrbaty 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
Serena Williams def. Kaia Kanepi 7-5, 6-3
Ana Ivanovic def. Rossana de los Rios 6-1, 6-2

The first round always seems to be a formality at the grand slams and the only headlines that are made are either huge first round upsets or the fashion that the big names are wearing. Serena Williams fashioned a trench coat that would have been useful had the usual London rainy weather been present at the Championships. Still, the attire was very noticable under the bright sunshine that led to a rather normal day of play at the All-England Club.

The only upset was that of David Nalbandian, who lost to Frank Dancevic of Canada in straight sets. Nalbandian made the final back in 2002 and lost to Lleyton Hewitt, who struggled into the second round on Monday, beating Robin Hasse in five sets.

Today's matches feature defending ladies-champion Venus Williams, Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal. My pick to watch is Roddick's opening match, since it has been awhile since he's made it to the semifinals of this grand slam, which used to be his favorite until Roger Federer dominated this tournament for the past five years. Roddick along with James Blake are relatively the only two Americans that has a chance of going very far and possibly winning the tournament if the stars can align in the right away. Blake is also playing today, he'll be last out on Court 2, often known as the graveyard court.

The British will have plenty to root for today. Venus Williams is taking on a British qualifier, Naomi Cavaday. I guarantee that any point that Cavaday can win today over Venus Williams will be greeted by the Brits. But most of the United Kingdom will look at Andy Murray, who plays Fabrice Santoro later today on centre court. Santoro may be a challenger to Murray since he often gives his opponents a long run that may make it not so easy for the Scottish player. But he relatively has an easy road, other than the seeded player Tommy Robredo that he may face in the third round, into the second week here at Wimbledon.

Wimbledon coverage is already underway on ESPN2 so tune in when you can today, coverage is also available on and on Wimbledon LIVE.

U.S. Olympic Team
Some of the mystery regarding who will represent TEAM USA in the Beijing Olympics was revealed on Monday, specifically regarding the basketball, soccer and gymnastics teams.

Kobe Bryant will try for a gold medal after losing in the NBA Finals with his LA Lakers. He joins LeBron James and Dwayne Wade. In total, 12 NBA players were chosen from a pool of 33. From the looks of the present roster, it looks like the United States may have a good shot at capturing the gold medal this year after only capturing the bronze medal in Athens four years ago.

2008 U.S. Olympic Basketball team roster:

In gymnastics, Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin were guaranteed spots on the Olympic team after their performance at the Olympic Trials in Philadelphia this past weekend. The rest of the contenders will go to an Olympic training camp later this summer where team coordinator Martha Karolyi will observe their skills and select the rest of the olympic team. Among those attending the camp are Chelsie Memmel, Ivana Hong, Alicia Sacramone and Jana Bieger.

And finally in soccer, 18 players were named to the U.S. Women's Olympic soccer team. Half of them were on the gold medal-winning Athens Olympic team, including Christie Rampone and Kate Markgraf, co-captains of the Athens 2004 team and wil also be playing in their third Olympic Games.

That's all for now, thanks for reading my first post. This is generally how I envision the rest of my posts to be like, detailing specific world events that are going on each day and also providing some perspective and analysis. But I am always open to suggestions so please feel free to leave comments.

See you back here tomorrow.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Welcome to the Network of Olympic World Sports

Hey, my name is Dave and in my mind, NOW Sports was created a long time ago when I watched the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. Except, I was only like 10 years old. I guess you can figure out my age by now.

Anyway, welcome to NOW Sports Daily, or at least what I hope to be daily. This blog will hopefully cover the world's biggest sports stories and issues in sports and media as well as create a forum for world sports.

This blog is for all general sports fans and seeks to inform the public, especially those here in the U.S. on the latest of what's going on in the sports world, everywhere from Yankee Stadium to the Melbourne Cricket Ground down under in Australia.

I hope this blog will be of service to you and help expose you to some of the world's best sports. Without furtherado, welcome to a new day in sports media: the NOW Sports Daily blog.

BEIJING 2008 Tentative NBC Schedule (BLOG POSTS BELOW...)