Category: Sports

Roger: into the pink

Because one does not need a reason to post a video of Roger Federer, other than to say that pink suits the man. I wish Nike had given him a pink kit for the Aussie Open instead of that meh!-inducing gray garb. At least the fans were involved in selecting his shoes for this year’s AO.

Enjoy!

Nike We Run Manila 10K 2011

I ran my first 10K last Saturday at the Nike Run Manila 10K event held at Bonifacio Global City. I didn’t have as much fun as I had in the previous two runs that I joined, and it wasn’t due to the longer distance that I had to finish. I wish it was as organized as both Rexona and Unilab since all running events were staged by Run Rio.

For one, there should have been lighting fixtures installed along the race route, as there were few stretches that were in nearly total darkness and one had to use a torch or a phone’s flashlight app to see the track. Claiming baggage was a total mess, and it took me nearly an hour after the race to get back my bag, afraid that it might end up with someone else and along with it some precious possessions.

 On the plus side, I like the running shirt that Nike provided. I wish, however, that the finisher’s kit would be really distributed by the sponsor. Joining the event wasn’t cheap, so to make fees really sulit, getting the finisher’s kit would be really nice.

Nike We Run Manila 10K

A mini-rock concert was held after the race, featuring Parokya ni Edgar, Chicosci, and some other band, but  we were all too tired, aching and famished, so instead of watching, we proceeded to Seafood Island at nearby Market! Market! for a huge meal.

Nike We Run Manila 10K

UPDATE: More than two weeks after the run, I still have to receive my finisher’s kit from either Nike or its organizer.  

Scenes from Run United 2 2011

I joined my second 5k run with the Unilab-sponsored Run United 2 at the Bonifacio Global City last Sunday.  The event was grander than the recently held Rexona Adventure Run, with more runners participating and lots of fun games and loot stalls set up at the venue, I believe. Our gun time was 5:50 AM, and I guess I managed to finish earlier this time.

Here are some photos that I took of us lining up at the many booths that were set up around the venue. Suffice it to say, our P650 joining fee was well worth the fun, singlet, and loot bags that contained medicine samples, vitamins, energy drinks, supplements, tumblers, juice and chocolate powder, Globe Tattoo sun visor, and a tube of Myra-e tinted moisturizer.

Run United 2 2011
Lining up at a game booth with Sandra.

Run United 2 2011
Awww… how cute!

Run United 2 2011
Event grounds at BGC

Run United 2011
He looked so out of place 🙁

Run United 2


The best way to end a fun Sunday morning: pigging out on seafood and loads of rice.

Unilab Run United 2011 Leg 2 loot bag
What’s in the loot bag.

John le Carré has been Federised

Federer makes an appearance on John le Carré’s new novel, Our Kind of Traitor.

le Carré, author of numerous espionage thrillers, rehashes the historic 2009 French Open finals between Le Fed and the Swede Robin Soderling, and in this snippet from the upcoming novel’s extract, Perry and Gail, two Oxford academics, go to Paris to watch the French Open championship match. Does it mean that he has been a fan of the Swiss all along?

Note: Pictures were added for dramatic effect 🙂

“The stadium is erupting.
First Robin Soderling, then Roger Federer looking as becomingly modest and self-assured as only God can. Perry is craning forward, lips pressed tensely together. He’s in the presence.

Warm-up time. Federer mis-hits a couple of backhands; Soderling’s forehand returns are a little too waspish for a friendly exchange. Federer practises a couple of serves, alone. Soderling does the same, alone.
Source: Rolandgarros.com

Practice over. Their jackets fall off them like sheaths from swords. In the pale blue corner, Federer, with a flash of red inside his collar and a matching red tick on his headband. In the white corner, Soderling, with phosphorescent yellow flashes on his sleeves and shorts….

… the match has begun and to the joy of the crowd, but too suddenly for Gail, Federer has broken Soderling’s serve and won his own. Now it’s Soderling to serve again. A pretty blonde ballgirl with a ponytail hands him a ball, drops a bob, and canters off again. The linesman howls as if he’s been stung. The rain’s coming on again.

Soderling has double-faulted; Federer’s triumphal march to victory has begun. Perry’s face is lit with simple awe and Gail discovers she is loving him all over again from scratch: his unaffected courage, his determination to do the right thing even if it’s wrong, his need to be loyal and his refusal to be sorry for himself. She’s his sister, friend, protector. A similar feeling must have overtaken Perry, for he grasps her hand and keeps it. Soderling is going for the French Open. Federer is going for history and Perry is going with him. Federer has won the first set 6-1. It took him just under half an hour.

The manners of the French crowd are truly beautiful, Gail decides. Federer is their hero as well as Perry’s. But they are meticulous in awarding praise to Soderling wherever praise is due. And Soderling is grateful, and shows it. He’s taking risks, which means he is also forcing errors and Federer has just committed one. To make up for it he delivers a lethal drop shot from 10 feet behind the baseline…
… But suddenly Perry isn’t watching the game any more. He isn’t watching the smoked windows either. He has leapt to his feet and barged in front of her, apparently to shield her, and he’s yelling: ‘What the hell!’ with no hope of an answer.
Rising with him, which isn’t easy because now everyone is standing too and yelling ‘What the hell’ in French, Swiss German, English or whatever language comes naturally to them, her first expectation is that she is about to see a brace of dead pheasant at Roger Federer’s feet: a left and a right. This is because she confuses the clatter of everybody leaping up with the din of panicked birds clambering into the air like out-of-date aeroplanes, to be shot down by her brother and his rich friends. Her second equally wild thought is that it is Dima who has been shot, probably by Niki, and tossed out of the smoked-glass windows.
Source: TheGuardian.co.uk
But the spindly man who has appeared like a ragged red bird at Federer’s end of the tennis court is not Dima, and he is anything but dead. He wears the red hat favoured by Madame Guillotine and long, blood-red socks. He has a blood-red robe draped over his shoulders and he’s standing chatting to Federer just behind the baseline that Federer has been serving from.

Federer is a bit perplexed about what to say – they clearly haven’t met before – but he preserves his on-court nice manners, although he looks a tad irritated in a grouchy, Swiss sort of way that reminds us that his celebrated armour has its chinks. After all, he’s here to make history, not waste the time of day with a spindly man in a red dress who’s burst onto the court and introduced himself.

But whatever has passed between them is over, and the man in the red dress is scampering for the net, skirts and elbows flying. A bunch of tardy, black-suited gentlemen are in comic pursuit and the crowd isn’t uttering a word any more: it’s a sporting crowd and this is sport, if not of a high order. The man in the red dress vaults the net, but not cleanly: a bit of net-cord there. The dress is no longer a dress. It never was. It’s a flag. Two more black-suits have appeared on the other side of the net. The flag is the flag of Spain – L’Espagne – but that’s only according to the woman who sang La Marseillaise, and her opinion is contested by a hoarse-voiced man several rows up from her who insists it belongs to le Club Football de Barcelona.

A black-suit has finally brought the man with the flag down with a rugger tackle. Two more pounce on him and drag him into the darkness of a tunnel. Gail is staring into Perry’s face, which is paler than she has ever seen it before.
God does not sweat. Federer’s pale blue shirt is unstained except for a single skid-mark between the shoulder blades. His movements seem a trifle less fluid, but whether that’s the rain or the clotting clay or the nervous impact of the flagman is anybody’s guess. The sun has gone in, umbrellas are opening around the court, somehow it’s 3-4 in the second set, Soderling is rallying and Federer looks a bit depressed.
He just wants to make history and go home to his beloved Switzerland. And, oh dear, it’s a tiebreak – except it hardly is, because Federer’s first serves are flying in one after the other, the way Perry’s do sometimes, but twice as fast. It’s the third set and Federer has broken Soderling’s serve, he’s back in perfect rhythm and the flagman has lost after all. Is Federer weeping even before he’s won? Never mind. He’s won now. It’s as simple and uneventful as that.

Federer has won and he can weep his heart out, and Perry, too, is blinking away a manly tear. His idol has made the history that he came to make and the crowd is on its feet for the history-maker, and Niki the baby-faced bodyguard is edging his way towards them along the row of happy people; the handclapping has become a coordinated drumbeat.”

Read the rest on The Telegraph.

Love means doing something for nothing

Much like badminton, which has its roots in British India, tennis did not originate in Europe, but most likely in ancient Egypt.  CNN’s A Short History of Tennis: Henry VIII to Federer the great sheds light on the funny/bittersweet scoring term wherein to not win a point or a game is to “love.”

The love has its origins from the French word for egg ‘l’oeuf’, symbolizing ‘nothing’ as Lesley Ronaldson, a Real Tennis professional, who lives at Hampton Court, told Open Court.

“In lawn tennis it’s 15-30-40 games, abbreviated from 45 in 1800,” she said. …And love for instance, love was something you did for nothing, you did something for nothing, it comes from there,” she added.

And if to love is “to lose one’s head,” then the idea was served up to Anne Boleyn quite literally:

Henry’s second wife Ann Boleyn was watching a game of Real Tennis in Whitehall when she was arrested, and according to the official Web site of Hampton Court, legend has it he was playing when told she had been executed.

“That was clearly not a ‘love’ match but from Real Tennis it is generally accepted the modern tennis scoring system and terminology evolved.

Would Federer have fared better if tennis was still being played the “real” way.