Das Forum für Freunde des SX4 und S-Cross
1 Beitrag • Seite 1 von 1
RIO DE JANEIRO -- Great Britains Katy McLean has already achieved the pinnacle of winning the World Cup in 15s but the sheer magnitude of the Olympics has stopped her in her tracks.Playing in pressure matches is nothing new for McLean -- she captained England to their 2014 World Cup triumph -- but she is expecting pit-of-the-stomach nerves when standing in the tunnel before their first match of the womens sevens tournament against hosts Brazil on Saturday at the Deodoro Stadium.Team GB have been together since October and competed as a group on last seasons World Sevens Series. At the crux of Britains womens sevens side will be the team of England players who won World Cup gold in 2014, and now they have a shot at sevens glory.?I thought they [World Cup and Rio 2016] might be similar but the Olympics is so grand, Mclean told ESPN. Its got so much history and tradition to it and so many great athletes that are part of it and we are now in that same bracket of people who have participated in the Olympics.But there are similarities you can draw with how to deal with the pressure and how to focus on our performance rather than get too carried away with the things going on around you.The Olympics journey started in 2014 for McLean, soon after Englands World Cup win. The Rugby Football Union handed out fulltime sevens contracts to 20 players, effectively ruling them out of 15s availability.It was a controversial move as a number of their 2014 World Cup-winners were unable to play in the 2015 and 2016 Six Nations for England, perhaps passing up the opportunity to build on the spike of interest following their triumph, but it was a statement of intent over their gold-medal aspirations.The team finished fourth on the 2015-16 World Series and Australia will head into the womens sevens competition as favourites but there is a confidence in Great Britains contingent, one formed of 11 England players and Wales Jasmine Joyce.After travelling to Belo Horizonte for their pre-Games training camp they were given a pep talk from Sir Clive Woodward and it was then that it struck home for McLean exactly what it meant to be part of Team GB.Belo Horizonte was amazing for us, McLean said. It was the first experience of being part of the whole Team GB setup. There were other athletes arriving so it got bigger and bigger and it was a really good opportunity for us as a squad to fine tune the last bits of rugby going into Rio so that was a massive success.The facilities were out of this world and to be able to train at the temperatures were going to play will make a massive difference so it really helped.Living in the Olympic Village was an overwhelming experience at first as they had never encountered anything like it, but on a personal level McLean had already overcome her biggest obstacle: to reach Rio, she had to change position.By her own admission, if she had stuck to her 15s fly-half role, she may have missed out on a spot in the squad so instead she switched to playing at hooker in the forwards.The hooker rules suit me more so as I can get hands on the ball a lot more but it means I have to work ridiculously hard in defence as you get stuck in the middle of the pitch, she said. But hopefully Ive transitioned quite well and I love the role Im in.Her on-field goal is simple: to lay the foundations so the backs can set the stage on fire while off-field, she will be using her vast experience to ensure nerves are used to drive performance and hopefully a medal.We have to keep remembering we are here to perform, McLean said. We have just got to make sure that we stick to our planning and processes. There have been so many different winners in the World Series this year.Australia and New Zealand have got to be the favourites -- their consistency of form has been phenomenal this year -- and you have got the likes of us, Canada, USA and the hosts Brazil. We are all looking forward to it. Stars Jerseys China . Brazilian national coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has confirmed that the veteran goalkeeper is set to join Toronto on loan, saying it will help him be ready for the World Cup. Custom Dallas Stars Jerseys . The 29-year-old Baines has established himself as one of the top attacking full backs in the country and was the subject of two bids from United during the last off-season. Everton manager Roberto Martinez says that keeping Baines at the club is a "massive boost and exciting for the future" because he brings "maturity and football knowledge in a very specialized position on the pitch" and an "infectious and positive influence to the rest of the squad. https://www.cheapstarsonline.com/ . -- Josh Sterk scored once and set up two more as the Oshawa Generals edged the visiting Belleville Bulls 3-2 on Friday in Ontario Hockey League action. Dallas Stars Gear . 10 VCU 85-67 on Thursday night at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The Seminoles (4-0) have scored at least 80 points in each of their games. Fake Stars Jerseys .4 million title. Ryan Riess emerged with the title after a session in which he started behind, but used expert skill to gather the chips to his side amid the unpredictability of no-limit Texas Hold em. Riess put his final opponent Jay Farber all-in with an Ace-King. My five weeks in the West Indies turned out to be a grim reminder of all that plagues Test cricket today. Starting first, with the quality of cricket played. Of course, no one expected West Indies to be as formidable in Tests as they are in T20 cricket, but I was still a bit disheartened by them.For the first Test, in Antigua, West Indies picked an opening batsman with a first-class average of less than 25: they basically picked a failed first-class batsman to play international cricket. He predictably failed and was dropped two matches later. You had to feel for him.When it came to bowling, the mindset of the selectors was no different. In Antigua two of their three seamers had average first-class records but still played as pure bowlers. Which means the viewers who watched that Test saw a bunch of average and below-average first-class cricketers play Test cricket. It was a domestic team playing Test cricket. Better sense prevailed in the latter matches and West Indies picked players with better track records, but we only saw Test-standard performance from the side in spurts in the series.In todays world, where you need to package a product attractively to enhance its appeal and create demand for it, Test cricket is uniquely placed as a consumer item. Cricket skills are Test crickets only appeal. And that is why its absolutely imperative that we offer high-quality cricket to the niche audience that comes to watch five-day cricket, because they demand only good cricket and nothing else.Its like a classical music concert, where the audiences focus is only on the performance. There are no frills around it, and the spotlight is singularly on the musicians. When you put a mediocre performer on the stage, these purists leave shaking their heads. In 50-overs cricket and T20 cricket, you can dress up mediocrity and create interest; you cant do that so easily with Test cricket. Its a tough format to sell.Some might say that West Indies are going through a difficult phase and their cricket is in transition and we must give it some time. Well, to that I say, its a transitional phase that has gone on for a bit too long, isnt it? Also, when we showed patience and understanding towards teams like Sri Lanka when they first arrived on the international scene, their players were excelling in domestic cricket. In fact, a number of them showed glimpses of genuine international talent in their first few games at the highest level.Test cricket was in relative good health overall back then and one could afford a few consolation matches to encourage the newcomers on the big stage. And for those initial matches of the new teams, there was sizeable interest from their supporters, who flocked to the grounds to see their players clash with the famous giants of Test cricket.Its difficult to feel sympathetic for the West Indies cricket administration because I am not sure they are thinking right, whether it is overall management or in the matter of selection, to ensure that their Test cricket is back on track. The appointment of Jason Holder as captain, for example. Seems a very nice person, but he bats at No. 8 and is at best the fourth seamer in a weak Test side. So what is he doing leading a Test team? Its like India making Stuart Binny their Test captain. (Binny, though, is a better batsman than Holder.) The other issue that ails Test cricket is attendance, and this again was a glaring problem for all matchhes in this series.dddddddddddd Like in most other countries in the world, no one turns up to watch Test cricket in the West Indies. We know interest in Test cricket is dwindling everywhere, but I saw no effort on the part of the organisers to do something about it. For example, the new Viv Richards stadium in Antigua is a fair distance from the centre of town, where the old ARG stadium still stands. How about free transport for fans from the city centre to the Viv Richards stadium? There is still great interest in Test cricket, and I saw that first-hand this time; we just need to make it easier and economical for people to go and watch Test cricket. Lets at least try.When India hosted South Africa in Delhi late last year, schoolchildren were sent special invitations to come and watch the game at the Feroz Shah Kotla. The kids came, and like kids do, made a lot of noise at the ground. It was like music to my ears; a lot of Test cricket is played in silence these days.The third issue that I feel strongly about is how we cricketers are quite unreasonable in wanting flawless playing conditions for our outdoor sport. With Test cricket struggling to make room for itself in the international schedule in a crowded three-format sport, more and more Test matches are played in the off season, when rain is an expected threat. Test matches are doomed at venues that lack proper drying equipment and covers large enough for the entire ground.Intermittent showers made a few damp patches around the outfield at the Queens Park Oval, and despite long spells of strong sunshine, the last Test match could muster only 22 overs of play.Was the pitch wet? No.Was the area where batsmen run between wickets wet? No.What about the run-up area? Yes, a part of it was wet.Was the Indian captain offered the chance to start the game with the obvious hindrances to his side? I am not sure, but I doubt it.Who knows, if the offer had been made, India, who were desperate to win to retain the No. 1 Test ranking, might have accepted it. Virat Kohli could have bowled his spinners from the end where the run-up area was dodgy for the fast bowlers, and bowled seamers from the other end. Would that not have been better than no play at all?Test cricket is ruled by its conventions and traditions too much for its own good. Few want to think out of the box, and a suggestion like the one above could well be seen as blasphemous. We worry about two damp patches near the boundary where the ball is likely to go five times in the course of a Test match day and decide not to risk it. What about footballers, men from another outdoor sport? Dont they often sprint the length and breadth of the field in heavy rain? Shouldnt they be more worried about injury than cricketers, considering there is, by and large, more money riding on them?Every series that goes by like this, where the quality of cricket is low because one team is barely Test class, where the turnout is low, and the odd shower is enough to ruin an entire five-day match, does immense damage to Test cricket. It would be wrong to look at the exceptional examples of England and Australia and think Test cricket is fine. I have seen cricket all over the world to know that Test cricket today is badly wounded. A series like this drives the knife deeper into it. ' ' '