All records are made to be broken but some are just never expected to do so. One of those was Michael Johnson's 43.18 set in the 400m in 1999. However, at the Olympic Games in Rio last year, Wayde van Niekerk smashed it out the park with a mind blowing 43.03. The women behind his success, "Tannie Ans" Botha, speaks to CONQA on how that record has changed their relationship, how the pair are striving for more success and what it would take to join the pantheon of greats who claim gold in both the 400m and 200m.
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Rather than look back on the year that was, CONQA Sport is casting an eye on 2017 and calling on the powers that be to make some changes to improve the games we love. In the cutthroat world of top level sport, stagnation is suicide and so, along with some of the leading figures in the industry, we have compiled a 2017 wish list for a happy and elite new year.
Golf is the most popular sport for people 50 years and up. Makes sense right? Golf is mostly taking a pleasant stroll through manicured fields interspersed with the occasional swing of a lightweight stick. Obviously professional golfers are getting more and more athletic but where else do you find a fully professional Senior Tour? Well it turns out that the twilight years come much sooner for female golfers and more and more young women are dominating the game. CONQA Sport examines the societal reasons behind the phenomenon and finds that they are more worrying than first imagined.
Every year, new teams are crowned champions over a wide spectrum of sports, but there are only a handful that will forever echo throughout eternity as conquerors. The Brazilian footballers of the 1960s, the West Indian cricketers of the 1970s and ‘80s, the current New Zealand All Blacks who dominate rugby union; these reigns, as mighty as they appear, pale in comparison to an empire that stretches back to the very beginning. US Swimming has exerted a stranglehold on their sport since the first Olympic Games and haven’t let go since. Thanks to a dominant mindset, they won’t be letting go any time soon.
Caster Semenya is on a course with destiny and controversy at this year's Olympic Games in Rio. Gold in the 800m for the 25 year old South African is as close to a sure thing as you can get in sport. She has obliterated her opposition this season by running the fastest women's 800m in eight years. However, as has been the case since she burst on the scene in 2009 as a prodigal teenager, questions around Semenya's gender-identity and whether or not it is fair that she is competing will be brought up. CONQA Sport unpacks the debate and finds that in this case, there are many more questions than answers.
With less than a week to go to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio, the integrity of sport and competition hangs by a thread. Every day, new information surrounding the developing Russian doping scandal emerges. President Vladimir Putin has remained steadfast in defence of his athletes and government while the whole debacle is getting uglier and more political as it progresses. In light of this, CONQA Sport takes a look at the relationship between sport and politics, and more specifically, war. For make no mistake, this is a 21st century imperial march on sport, and indeed, the world.
With less than a month to go before the world descends on Rio for the 27th Summer Olympic Games, thousands of athletes, coaches and sports practitioners are gearing up for the flagship sporting event of the year. The largest contingent will be representing the red, white and blue of the United States of America and such a big team comes with a host of big challenges. Finbarr Kirwan is a High Performance Director at the United States Olympics Committee (USOC) heading up two of the largest teams at the Games: track and field and swimming. He walks us through some of the obstacles he faces and divulges how he and his team are plotting for gold.
Here’s a question: would you rather have Lionel Messi’s left foot or Cristiano Ronaldo’s right? Tough choice, so why not both? Ambidexterity is a rare ability that few possess. Being able to perform equally well on both sides of the body might be a handy trait in everyday life but is a massive competitive advantage in many sports. Elite athletes who possess this gift stand out. But is it something they are born with, and if not, how can you train it? CONQA Sport explores.
In elite sport winning is hard enough, winning time and time again is almost impossible. And yet some teams manage to do it. Throughout history there have been sporting dynasties that dominate their code with an air of impunity. But how do they do it? What is the secret to sustained success? Great British Cycling Team are establishing themselves as a modern dynasty. Few others have swept all before them in consecutive Olympic Games, and with Rio 2016 just a few months away, this era of dominance shows no sign of stopping.