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  • Top five worst sporting disasters in Australian history

    IANHealyreckonsit’stheWAGs’fault。

    WarneyreckonsPeterSiddlewouldhavefixedit。

    WhateveryouthinkoftheAustralians’calamitousperformanceinthefourthAshesTest,everyoneagreesthatitisoneofthebiggestsportingdisastersinthenation’shistory。

    Thefirstinnings60thattheyweredismissedforbeforelunchondayonewasthelowestscoreinanAshessince1936。

    ItwasthefastestcompletedinningsinallofTesthistoryjust111balls,spelledout,makinglesscharactersthanaTweet。

    CloseranalysisrevealsonlyeightoftheEnglish’s111ballswereatthestumps。

    Thatmeanstheycouldhavelefteveryballandstilllastedlonger。

    ItwasthethirdtimeinTesthistoryateamhadbeendismissedbeforelunchontheopeningdayofaTestandthefirsttimethatextras(14)hadtopscoredinanAshesinnings。

    StuartBroad’shaulofeightwicketsincludedtheequalfastestfivewickethaulofalltimeandthe214-runleadthePomsenjoyedattheendofdayonewasthethirdlargestfirstdayadvantageinTesthistory。

    ThetoncrackedbyJoeRootwasonlythethirdeverpostedbyasecondinningsbatsmanondayone。

    IanHealyquestionedtheAussies’tickerandreckonedthewivesandgirlfriendsontourhadcontributedtothepoorperformance。

    “Theirheartsmightnotbethatstrong,”Healysaid。

    “LookattheperformanceinEdgbastonandCardiffbeforethat。

    “Thatwasapoorperformanceandsoisthis。

    “Aretheytogetherasateam?

    Dotheyfragmentfromhere?

    Dotheymeetandtalkaboutittonight?

    Willtheyconfrontit?

    “AlltheirpartnersarehereandsomeofthemostrespectedcricketersIplayedwithhatedthatdistraction。

    “Theyweren’tallowedontouruntilaftertheserieshadbeenwon。

    Yourmindneedstobecompletelyfocusedonit。

    “Cricketisasportthatrequirescompleteconcentration。

    “YouneedeverythinggoingforyouandI’mnotsurethey’repushingforthathardenough。



    Itwasfutile。

    Itwasembarrassing。

    ItwasnotanywherenearthestandardofcricketandsportingfighttheAustralianpublichasbecomeaccustomedto。

    Anditendedinaninningsand78runlossthatwillgodownasoneoftheworstinthenation’shistory。

    Inhonourofthedisgustingeffort,we’vetakenalookatafewothersportingdisastersourbestandbrightestathleteshaveservedupovertheyears。

    InnoparticularorderDon’tenjoyittoomuch。

    TearsforJaneSavilleattheSydney2000Olympics

    IfyouwatchedtheSydney2000Olympics,youdon’tevenhavetobeasportingfantohavetheshatteredfaceofJaneSavilleetchedinyourmindforever,rightasshewasdisqualifiedforliftingherfeetforathirdtimeinthe20kmwalk。

    SavillewasonherwayintotheOlympicStadiumtotakethegoldmedalandthe100,000strongcrowdwasgoingmental。

    ItwentsilentquicklyandSavillewasinconsolable,distraught,shattered,asthemarshallshowedherthedreadedpaddleJustliketheentirenationbehindher。

    “IsawthechiefjudgeandhestartedtouchinghispaddleandIthoughtno,no’,”Savillesaid。

    “Thenhehadtocheckthenumberanditwasme。

    “Whatcanyoudo?

    Nothing。

    “Iwasembarrassedandupset。

    ”Ithasbeenadreamofminetowalkintothestadiumfirst。

    “AsIwasapproachingthetunnel,IwasthinkingIcandothis’。

    “Thiswasadream。

    Icouldhearthecrowd。

    “IknewthatmyfamilyandfriendsIhaventseenforyearswerethere,waitingforme。

    “Iwasgoingtosmileatthemonthefinishline…butitwasnttobe。



    Organisersactuallychangedtherulesaroundhowdisqualifiedwalkerswouldberemovedfromtheraceinfutureevents,asSaville’soffenceoccurredwellbeforeshewasmadeawareofit。

    TheSharkbitesthedustatthe1996Masters

    Golf,liketenniscanbeanunforgivingsport,withonlyyourselftoblameforfailures。

    AndAustralia’smostpopulargolferGregNormanknowsthisonlytoowell。

    TheSharkwasallbuthomeashesteppedoutontotheteeforthefinaldayofthe1996Masters,holdingacommandingsixshotlead。

    Thehopesofanationwereonhisshoulders,whichshouldhavebeenbearingthegreenjacketattheendoftheday。

    Butitwasn’ttobe。

    Augustahasbeenknowntobreakgolfers。

    Andthat’swhathappenedtoNorman。

    Unabletocopewiththepressureofleadingthetournament,hisgamecapitulated,shootingahorrible78onthefinaldaytohandthetournamentwintoNickFaldo。

    “Iscrewedup,”hesaidaftertheround。

    “Itsallonme。

    Iknowthat。

    “ButlosingthisMastersisnottheendoftheworld。

    “Iletthisonegetaway,butIstillhaveaprettygoodlife。

    “Illwakeuptomorrow,stillbreathing,Ihope。

    “AllthesehiccupsIhave,theymustbeforareason。

    “Allthisisjustatest。

    Ijustdontknowwhatthetestisyet。



    ItwastheeighthtimehehadfinishedsecondinamajorandthirdtimeheaddonethatataMasters,butitdidn’tdestroyhiseternaloptimism。

    “Illwinhere,”hesaid。

    “Iwill。

    “Somethinggreatiswaitingformedownthelineingolf。

    “Idontknowwhatitis,butIhavetobelievethat。

    “IfIdont,hell,Imightaswellputmyclubsawayforgood。



    HeneverwouldwinatAugusta。

    LaydownSally

    Forasportthatdoesn’texactlyattracttheattentionoftheAustralianpublic,SallyRobbinsquicklybecamethemostwellknownrowerinthecountryafterabizarreperformanceattheAthensOlympicsin2004。

    Robbinsconsignedherrowingteamtolastplacewhenshegaveupduringthewomen’seightsfinal。

    Robbinsstoppedrowingduringthefinal,muchtothedisgustofherteammates。

    Itearnedherthetitleof‘LayDownSally’。

    ButRobbinsblameditonherinabilitytocopewiththestrainsofthefinalandonherwishtopleasepeople。

    “InmypersonalityIliketopleaseothersandtrytodothingsbeyondmycapabilities,”Robbinssaid。

    “Outsideofsportthisisgenerallyseenasareallygoodtrait,butinrowingithasprovenmyweakness。

    “IntryingtopleaseothersItrytoohardandgobeyondmycapabilities。

    “Ipushmyselfmentallyandphysicallybeyondmylimits。

    “Thereisonlysomuchahumanbodycantake。

    “GoingbeyondmylimitsinthepressureofanOlympicfinalledtothecollapseattheOlympicGames。



    Herteammatesmanagedtoholdtogether,butRobbinsdidnot,leadingtooneofthemostinfamousmomentsinAustraliansportshistoryandleavingherteammatesunderstandablybitter。

    FellowrowerKyeemaDoylewasropablewithRobbinsandwiththewaytheteamhadbeenportrayedinthewakeofRobbinsmeltdown。

    “Iwassoangryatthewaywewerebeingportrayedbackhome…asvillainsandbeingnasty,justallthesesortofthings(whenthis)hashappenedonsomanyoccasionsthatSallyhadstoppedrowing,”Doylesaid。

    “Ijustdidntwanthertohaveopportunitytocoverituporletitslide。

    “IhavebeeninaboatonatleastsevenotheroccasionswherethishadhappenedsoIwasfullyawarewhatSallyRobbinswasgoingthrough。



    OneAustraliasinksintheAmerica’sCupin1995

    AustralianswereonceenamouredwiththeAmerica’sCup。

    In1983,AustraliaIIwonthematchracesofthepopularyachtrace,endingtheUSdominanceoftheevent。

    Itwashypedformanyyears,butmanybelievethedeathknellforAustralia’sinterestintheracewasthesinkingofthepopularyachtin1995。

    In144yearsoftheAmerica’sCup,JohnBertrand’s$3millionbeautybecamethefirstyachttolosebyshipwreck。

    Itsnappedinhalfinheavyseas。

    The17crewmemberswerepickedupbythreeboatsandlefttheAustralianhopesintatters。

    “TheprojectrepresentedtheprideofAustralia,”Bertrandsaid。

    “Wehada$26millionprogram,whichwasabigbudgetbackthen。

    “WehadIainMurray,RodDavis,thebestofthebest。

    “Whentheboatbrokeandsankitwasahorrifyingexperience,somethingthatwe’dnevercontemplated。

    “Wewentthroughthecontingencyplansforamastbreakingorsomeonegettinginjured,butaplanfortheboatbreakingintwoandsinkingwasoffourradarscreen。



    MontrealOlympicGamesdebacle

    SprinterRaeleneBoylewastheprideofAustralia’strackandfieldhopesaheadofthe1976OlympicGames,havingwonsilverinboththe100mand200min1972。

    Butshemissedamedalinthe100m,comingfourthandthensadlyfalsestartedtwiceinthe200msemifinalandwasdisqualified。

    Shatteringly,oneofthefalsestartswaslaterprovedincorrectbyvideoevidence,butitwastoolateanditwasindicativeoftheAustralians’worstOlympicperformanceever。

    Justfivemedalsandnogolditwastheonlytimethey’vecomeawayfromanOlympicGameswithoutcomingfirstinatleastoneevent。

    Toputthatinperspective,bitterrivalsNewZealandwontwogoldmedalsattheevent。

    Itwasprobablyagoodthingthough。


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