March 26, 2007

It seems appropriate to mention Australia's 2-0 victory over China in a soccer international this weekend. And no need to mention the cricket, especially to our previously cocky Indian and Pakistani friends.

Meanwhile in results that were known before the event, Donald Tsang won the "election" for Hong Kong Chief Executive. It boggles the mind why The Don was overcome with emotion when the result was announced, given the result has been know for 2 years or so. It also boggles the mind how the TV news last night, and today's papers (including the redesigned SCMP) can spill so much ink and wasting so much hot breath analysing a result that hardly needs it. The most interesting point they could find so far was The Don managed 6 votes more than he expected. In other words the voting intentions were so well flagged the camps had the expectations down to an exact number. The North Koreas would be proud to run such elections.


Check out the election coverage over at Asia Sentinel, which looks at the Hong Kong media's self-censorship.

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[boomerang] Posted by Simon at 10:18
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September 26, 2006
Carn the swans

Things may be a bit light here for a while...I will be travelling to Melbourne this weekend to watch the mighty Sydney Swans defend their premiership from last year.


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[boomerang] Posted by Simon at 10:53
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June 28, 2006
Having a go

China's foremost sports commentator, Huang Jianxiang, is in trouble after getting a little carried away with Italy's last gasp, controversial win over Australia in the World Cup. What did he say?

"Grosso done it! He done it! Great Italian left back! Grosso alone represents the long history and tradition of Italian soccer! He is not fighting alone at the moment!" he continued. "Totti! He is about to take the shot! He shoulders the expectations of the whole world! It's a goal! Game over! Italy didn't fall to Hiddink's team this time! (Hiddink led South Korea to knock out Italy in the 2002 World Cup). Happy birthday to Paolo Maldini (born on July 26)! Long Live Italy!"

Huang then turned to the Socceroos and yelled,"Go home! Go home! But they don't need to fly back to Australia. It's too far away. Most of them live in Europe anyway. Bye-bye!"

Huang was not repentant for his controversial comments in the satellite linkup with the Beijing live program after match. "I am a human being, not a machine, and I can't be impartial all the time," he explained while being interviewed. "Australia reminded me of a lousy team which eliminated China in the 1981 World Cup qualifiers. Australia is just like New Zealand team that beat us in 1981," he explained. "It (Australia) is full of neutralized Australians who play and live in Britain. I don't care about the Australian team and don't want to see Australia have good results."

"Australia (which has joined the Asian Football Confederation) will fight for an Asian World Cup berth and it may not be good enough to contend with South Korea and Japan. But it will very likely take advantage of the Chinese team. So I don't like it."

Neutralized Australians? With Prime Minister John Howard currently shopping in Shenzhen, that doesn't bode well for my compatriots. Huang has now apologized. If he is so passionate about Italy, one shudders to think what he would be like if China had actually made the finals.

Meanwhile, in the interests of bringing you the finest from the China Daily, a NSFW gallery of nude photography in Hunan. Good to see the clampdown on "indecent" websites is paying off.

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[boomerang] Posted by Simon at 08:29
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November 03, 2005
Soft tennis

Put this in the "sports I never knew existed category": soft tennis, now being played at the Almost Complete Waste of Time East Asia Games in Macau:

Tennis had traveled to Japan by the late 19th century, but there was one problem - there were not enough furry tennis balls. So the Japanese improvised, creating an alternative rubber, furless ball. The game of soft tennis was born.

Rallies appear to have less pace than regular tennis, but the balls still zing - perhaps due to the skidding. The rallies can be just as long as clay-court tennis. It is harder to overpower your opponent than in tennis because the game is slower. Aces are rare. Soft tennis athletes serve overhead, but also underhanded. Spin is a key technique. The appropriately spun ball can just drop dead and catch your opponent flat-footed.

Incredibly, Wikipedia doesn't have a page on soft tennis. You learn something new every day.

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[boomerang] Posted by Simon at 11:13
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