Time once again to celebrate another theme week and this time we dedicate a week to those less fortunate sporting stories with our International Remember a Great Sporting Choke Week.
With finals time for Australian footy just around the corner, and glory awaiting the various premiers, it is time to reflect those who almost got there, but couldn’t quite do it.
The sporting choke doesn’t discriminate either, it can affect the long since forgotten sporting memory or a superstar who still went on to win plenty.
So we think it is time we salute those who almost did it, with our International Remember a Great Sporting Choke Week.
OUR FAVOURITE GREAT SPORTING CHOKES
So who do we think need the biggest recognition as part of International Remember a Great Sporting Choke Week? Find out below which are our favourites of all time.
GREG NORMAN – US MASTERS 1996
One of the most famous great sporting choke, and possibly the harshest on the participant of all the ones listed below.
After too many pieces of bad luck when it came to winning a major in the USA, especially the Masters, the most dominant golfer across the late 80’s and early 90’s finally looked likely in 1996.
He led after the first round by 2 shots, the second by 4, and went into the final day 6 shots clear. The stort of that last day is well known as the lead to Nick Faldo slowly reduced ten disappeared. Images of that ball going in the water and that image of him falling on knees when a chip nearly went straight in still hurts as Greg Norman was loved by all and deserved that US Masters title.
JEAN VAN DE VELDE – BRITISH OPEN 1999
Very few will remember Jean Van de Velde the golfer who almost won a British Open, and those that do will remember him as that golfer who almost won a British Open.
The Frenchman needed only a double bogey or better on the last hole to win the British Open title, after a wild tee shot and then finding some wild knee high rough, he then found water, and a bunker before putting in for a triple bogey.
LEWIS HAMILTON – F1 SEASON 2007
Lewis Hamilton announced his arrival into Formula 1 with an outstanding debut year with McLaren. He often showed up his teammate Fernando Alonso and very nearly won a world championship in his first year.
He led the Championship by 17 points with two races to go, how could he be caught?
Easy, in the second last race in China he let a tyre go so bald that you could see canvas as he slid off the track in the pitlane and ended up in gravel. A gearbox problem stuffed him in the final race on lap one as he plummeted through the field, but he did fight back but 7th wasn’t good enough for the title.
The ever excitable Kimi Raikkonen won both of those races and won his only title, plus some extra cash for shrewd punters who took the Kimi bet @$12 with two races to go.
NIGEL MANSELL / WILLIAMS – F1 SEASON 1986
Williams Honda were the all conquering F1 team in 1986, but somehow the Briton and his team threw it all away in the last race.
Mansell need only a few points in the last few races of the 1986 season to grab the title.
In the second last race legend has it he attempted to get off the line in fifth gear, and in the last all he needed was third place to beat Championship rival Alain Prost.
In one of F1’s most infamous scenes Mansell’s tyre exploded on the long back straight in Adelaide, and he could have easily pit as he was a mile in front of fourth. He didn’t do it, and as such has to wait another six years for his one and only title.
SOUTH AFRICA – 1999 CRICKET WORLD CUP
The legend says then captain Steve Waugh telling Hershelle Gibbs “You’ve just dropped the World Cup” when Australia were on the ropes in the World Cup when batting. and Gibbs almost held an important catch but dropped it as he went to celebrate.
More famous was the South African batting and the last ball which Alan Donald forgot to run for. He was run out and Australia won the semi final and thrashed Pakistan in the final to take their first World Cup since 1987.
South Africa are yet to win a Cricket World Cup.
NSW ORIGIN 2017
NSW thrashed Queensland in Game One, and were well on their way to a series clinching win in Game Two.
But after half time they forgot how they did it in the first half, and let their lead be eroded by the comeback specialists Queensland who took the win after a Jonathan Thurston sideline conversion.
They were then spanked in the final game at Lang Park, proving once again a dynasty starts after a few series wins, not at half time in game two.
ENGLISH FOOTBALL TEAM IN ANY PENALTY SHOOT OUT
Is there a worse sporting team under pressure than the English Football team at any major tournament.