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miércoles, 31 de diciembre de 2008

THE BEST ATHLETES OF 2008 (article in English and Español)

After the article about our particular football´s Dream team, it's time to look at other sports to emphasize the more important athletes during this year 2008. In alphabetical order, our Top 10 are:

1 – CHRISSIE WELLINGTON-Ironman-: If last year her victory in the World Championship in Hawaii, being a rookie, was amazing, she has impressed all the world again during this year, showing that her first world championship was not caused to the luck of the beginners and during this year, she has competed with an excellent and incredible level, showing a vast superiority over the rest of her rival and being the main star of this sport. She was successful during this year, since she won: the 2008 Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Hawaii, the ITU Long Distance World Championship in Almere, the Timberman Ironman 70.3, the Alpe d 'Huez long distance triathlon, the Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt and the Ironman of Australia. So, spectacular results and now Wellington should have as her objective to get the world record, whose holder is the Dutch Yvonne van Vlerken and therefore we will have a nice battle between them during this 2009 to be the best of the world.

2-ELISHA "ELI" NELSON MANNING-quarterback of the New York Giants-: The top players always appear in the decisive moments of the championships and a clear case is Eli Manning, whose play was criticized many times by the medias and even by the Giants´s owner, John Mara-he said that he was not sure about the Manning´s abilities few months before the last Super Bowl-.Eli decided to shut up the criticisms and he looked for the best day to show to all the world that he has the quality of his father (Archie Manning is one of the legends of the NFL) and his brother (Peyton Manning won the Super Bowl in 2007 with the Indianapolis Colts)- both Quarterbacks too-, since his performance during the last Super Bowl was memorable, because he was the leader of the team and the main responsible of this unexpected victory-it was unexpected because the rival was the powerful New England Patriots, whose season was incredible and it arrived to the Super Bowl with a wonderful record of 18-0-, since he made memorable last minutes of the final-to remember when Giants was in 3rd and 13 and Eli avoided several near-sacks and he connected with David Tyree to move 45 yards or the decisive pass to Plaxico Burress, who scored the final 17-14 whit only 35 seconds remaining-.So, excellent and amazing sport´s moments, led by the MVP of this Super Bowl, Eli Manning.

3 – MICHAEL FRED PHELPS-swimmer-: he is simply brilliant, huge, amazing as well as his quality as his great mental strength, because if it is always difficult to win an Olympic title, what we can say about his summer´s feat in Beijing, where he surpassed the legendary Mark Spitz and he won 8 gold medals-he already has 14 Olympic titles-, and besides he showed an incredible level, since he broke many world records at Beijing (he won the 200 meters individual medley, 1:54.23, the 200 meters butterfly,1: 52.03, the 400 meters individual medley, 4:03.84, the 4x100 meters medley relay,3: 29.34, the 4x100 meters freestyle relay, 3:08,24 and the 4x200 meters freestyle relay, 6:58 56) ... So, "The Baltimore Bullet" is one of those superb athlete, whose existence is not very frequent and now we are fortunate to enjoy with him..

4 – PAMELA JELIMO-athlete: This young-she is 19 year´s old- Kenyan is the new sensation of athleticism, since her results during her first professional year can be only achieved by super class like Jelimo, whose first 800 metres was last 18 of April and since this moment she knows only one word: the victory and the besides with authority, since she won all the races and it did not matter the rivals-she beat in her second 800 metres the legendary Maria Mutola- or the competition-she won all the Golden League meeting and the Olympic Games-and besides she won getting excellent times: 1:58.70 in the African Championship; 1:55,76 in Hengelo on 25 May; 1:54, 99 in Berlin on 1 June; 1:54, 97 in Paris on 18 July; 1, 54.87 in the Olympic final on 18 August and finally she improved her personal best to 1:54.01 in Zurich on 29 August, which means that she is very near to get a new World record-the holder is the Czech Jarmila Kratochvilová (the time is 1:53.28-in Munich in 1983-)-, which must be her objective for this 2009.

5-PAUL PIERCE-Boston Celtics´s player-: After 20 years, Boston smiled again with its team´s basketball, since, after many unfortunate season, the Massachusetts´s team built a competitive team and it was a serious candidate to become the NBA champion, which finally succeeded thanks to the incredible level showed by its "Big Three" and especially thanks to the work of the super star Paul Pierce, who assumed the leadership during the final and he appeared when the team needed somebody to counteract the Lakers´s play, showed an incredible level throughout the final(he played very well during all the Final-except in the third game-, being the key player and designed the MVP of the final, where we watched amazing moment as for example during the first game, when the Lakers dominated the game and "The Truth" had an injury´s problem and was carried off the court in serious pain, which produced desolation to the fans of TD Banknorth Garden, until they saw that Pierce came back to the court and he started to play in amazing way, without mistakes and scoring 15 points in the 3 quarter-his 2 first actions after the return to the court were 2 consecutive 3 PM).

6-RAFAEL NADAL-tennis player-:After 237 consecutive weeks with the reign of the elegant Roger Federer, a Spanish player achieved the ATP number 1 thanks to an incredible season, since he won 2 Grand Slams- Roland Garros (it beat Roger Federer in the final: 6-1,6-3,6-0 and he became the second tennis´s player- the legendary Björn Borg was the first- to win this tournament in 4 consecutive times) and Wimbledon (he beat again Roger Federer: 6-4 ,6-4 ,6-7 ,6-7 ,9-7 after 4 hours and 48 minutes, being the longest final in the Wimbledon´s history and it is considered as the best game in the tennis history, according the Sports Illustrated)- the Olympic title and other important tournaments like Monte Carlo, Hamburg or Toronto .... Anyway, majestic and endless season that caused an injury in his right knee which impeded his presence in the Davis Cup final and in the Masters Cup at Shanghai.

7 – SÉBASTIEN LOEB –Rally driver-: The French Rally driver achieved during this 2008 something very complicated, since he won again the World Championship and now he is the driver with more World Championship´s titles, since he broke the Juha Kankkunen, Tommi Mäkinen´s and his own record of four titles and became the only rally driver with 5 titles. He returned to show that he has not any rival at this moment, because he won the title with authority, winning, alongside his co-driver Daniel Elena, 11 of the 15 rallies of the World Championship-included the Rally of Finland, being the 4th driver non- Nordic (joins Carlos Sainz, Didier Auriol and Markko Martin) able to win it-and becoming the driver with more Rally´s wins (47). Finally, he finished the year winning a prestigious race, the Race of Champions.
8 - USAIN BOLT-athlete-: He is certainly one of the celebrity of the year, because what can we say about a guy who in his fifth 100 m race (on 31 May 2008 in New York) is able to break the world record and to establish a new record, running the 100 m in 9.72 (with a tail wind of 1.7 m / s) and since then he "only" has done amazing things, because their actions can be described as outstanding, showing mastery and an insulting superiority, as we could see during the Olympic Games, where he had not any rival and he finished the competition being 3 times Olympic champion and besides getting 3 world records- he won the 100 meters with a new world record, 9.69(he could get better time but he slowed down during the last metres of the final), the 200 meters with a new world record, 19.30 and the 4x100 meters, with another world record, 37.10- ... So, he is a pure spectacle... and we hope that "Lightning Bolt" continues in this way and we can enjoy many year with his feats.
9- VALENTINO ROSSI(Moto GP driver): "Il Dottore" has again shown who is the number one in the world and he delighted us with another spectacular season, showing an insulting superiority over the rest, since it won 9 races and he got nearly 100 points more than the second driver (Rossi got 373 points and Casey Stoner got 280 points).So, the authentic Rossi, this driver who is capable to abandon the powerful Honda to compete with a worse bike like Yamaha to continue with his romance with the victories and the world championships... It is always a privilege to see a race in which the 8 times world champion takes place and now his main objective must be to try to break the legendary Giacomo Agostini´s record as driver with more victories (Rossi has 97 Agostini and 122). We'll see if the "46" achieves this objective during the following years.

10- YELENA ISINBAYEVA-athlete-: What can we say about an athlete, whose competitions start when all her rivals have already finished and she has beaten 24 times the world record in pole vault. Perhaps we can only thank her for being so professional and serious on the track, because in her situation it would be easy to adapt, but Yelena has not this mentality and she always wants to win and if it is possible with a new world record, as for example during the last Olympic games, where after to win the gold medal, she showed great mental strength and generosity to the fans, since she tried to achieve a new record-the athletes did not receive more money for a world record during the Olympic Games-and finally she could clear 5.05 meters, which was the best final of the successful season, in which Isinbayeva was Olympic Champion, World indoor champion and she won the Super Grand Prix in Monaco and she broke 3 times the world record.

Cheers and we whish a prosperous 2009 for all,
J&F

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