Doi Saket students break 31-leg race record
Part of the Cholaphatan Phatak School 31-leg
race team pose for photographers while their coach holds the champions
trophy at a press call in Chiang Mai.
Students from Chiang Mai’s Cholaphatan Phatak School displayed
outstanding, foot-speed, teamwork and co-ordination to break the Thai
national record in the final round of the 5th annual Honda 31-Legs
United Race competition held on Jan. 23 at the Hua Mak Sports Complex in
The Honda 31 Legs United Race is a challenging sport that requires 30
runners having their legs fastened together, similar to a 3-legged race,
and running abreast for 50 meters as fast as possible. They must
demonstrate unity, teamwork and dedication to be successful. It doesn’t
require complicated equipment or expensive facilities so all types of
schools can enter, with teamwork, a challenging spirit and unity of
purpose being the keys to success.
The competition is open every year to students in Grades 5 or 6, aged
between 10-12 years old and teams can be comprised of only male
students, female students or both genders, but the students on each team
have to study at the same school. For safety reasons, every racer has to
wear the proper racing gear including a breakaway ankle strap, knee pads
and elbow pads.
The competition was first introduced to Thailand in 2005 as a pilot
project in the Bangkok area, but following its huge success it was
expanded to a nationwide event from 2006 with over 1,000 sets of
equipment, competition manuals and VCDs on safety and technique being
distributed by the Honda Group of Companies and the Sports Authority of
Thailand to schools up and down the country.
The previous Thai record of 8.63 seconds was set by the Sueksaa San
School from Samutprakarn, but the Cholaphatan Phatak students blew this
time out of the water with a stunning run of 8.53 seconds in their final
attempt to win this year’s competition.
The current world record for this event, recognized by the Guinness Book
of Records, is 8.41 seconds achieved by the Shao Lin Tagou Martial Arts
School from China. The Cholaphatan Phatak School coach said his boys had
already beaten this time in practice, but there was nobody official in
attendance to ratify their achievement. They will try again for the
world record later this year, he said.
Sublime Federer wins
16th major title
Melbourne (AP) - Roger Federer dismantled Andy Murray in the
Australian Open final Sunday to extend his own record to 16 Grand Slam
titles and prolong the British drought.
Federer collected his fourth Australian Open title with a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (11)
win at Rod Laver Arena that, apart from the tiebreaker, lacked the drama and
raw emotion of his five-set loss here last year to then No. 1-ranked Rafael
Federer holds the Australian Open trophy after beating Andy Murray in
straight sets in the men’s singles final, Sunday, Jan. 31. (AP Photo/Andy
Federer saved five set points and wasted two match points in the tiebreaker
with some uncharacteristic shot selection before clinching it when Murray
netted a backhand after 2 hours, 41 minutes.
Murray was desperate to become the first British man since Fred Perry in
1936 to win one of the four tennis majors, but seldom had the answers to
Federer’s unrivaled finals experience. The 22-year-old Scot had set a record
for British men just by reaching two major finals in the Open era.
Federer was playing in his 22nd Grand Slam final and 18th of the last 19. He
also beat Murray in straight sets in the 2008 U.S. Open final, the only
previous meeting between the pair at a Grand Slam.
Murray still holds a 6-5 advantage over Federer in career head-to-heads —
one of only four players who can boast that — but has lost the last three.
Williams returns to Justine Henin on her way to winning the women’s singles
final. (AP Photo/Mark Kolbe, Pool)
Federer ensured no recurrence of his loss here in the final last year and
added the 2010 title to his wins at Melbourne Park in 2004, 2006 and ’07,
becoming only the fifth man to win four Australian titles. American Andre
Agassi, who won the last of his four in 2003, was also the last father to
win a Grand Slam title.
Federer got on top early, breaking Murray’s opening service game when he
leaped onto a second serve and fired a forehand down the line to lead 2-0.
Murray rallied immediately, breaking Federer’s serve to huge cheers from the
crowd with consecutive passing shots — one which the Swiss star even had to
Federer had to save three break points in the fifth game before holding with
back-to-back aces. He then broke Murray in the eighth game, lifting his
intensity in perfect time so that he could serve for the set. He had no
trouble closing with a forehand winner down the line.
Federer dominated the second set after breaking Murray’s serve in the third
game. The Scot did fend off seven break points across two service games to
ensure Federer had to serve it out.
When Federer’s intensity dropped slightly in the third, Murray pounced. He
broke in the sixth game, roaring “C’Mon” after rifling a forehand past
Federer at the net.
He didn’t face a break point until he was serving to take the match into a
fourth set, when Federer pounced again. He got his first break-point chance
of the third set with an angled forehand service return and clinched it two
points later when Murray netted a forehand.
Federer rallied from 5-2 down in the third to force the tiebreaker and,
after saving three set points, missed his first chance to finish it off when
his forehand just missed the line.
His unusual decision to try a drop shot at 10-9 backfired when Murray surged
to the net and put a winner over Federer’s head.
After saving another set point, Federer made no mistake with the third match
In Saturday’s women’s singles final, the number one seed Serena Williams
overcame Belgium’s Justine Henin in three sets, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, to win her
fifth Australian Open title and 12th Grand Slam singles championship
overall. Williams’ five Australian titles is the most by any woman in the
Open Era, since 1968, surpassing the four each held by Margaret Court,
Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles.
Colts face big Super Bowl challenge from sentimental Saints
Indianapolis (AP) - With the New Orleans Saints in their first Super
Bowl, memories of Hurricane Katrina still lingering and close ties between
the team and the city’s rebuilding effort, they are this year’s sentimental
The rival Indianapolis Colts understand. They just want to play the role of
spoiler this coming weekend.
Sun Life Stadium in Miami will host the Super Bowl XLIV game between the
Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, February 7. (AP
Photo/J Pat Carter)
“There’s a reason America is pulling for New Orleans, and why wouldn’t they?
They’ve been through a lot,” Colts safety Antoine Bethea said last week.
“Sports tends to pull people together, so it’s commendable for New Orleans
to be, as I guess you’d say, America’s team right now. But at the same time,
we’re going to go out there as the Indianapolis Colts and play ball.”
The reach of New Orleans’ fans goes all the way to the highest levels of the
“You know, I think both teams are terrific,” President Barack Obama told ABC
News. “I guess I am rooting a little bit for the Saints as the underdog,
partly just because when I think about what’s happened in New Orleans over
the last several years and how much that team means to them. You know, I’m
The Colts know they’re still the favorite in at least one state, Indiana,
and one city, Las Vegas. Bookmakers have installed them as a 5½-point
favorite, prompting Obama and others to hope for an upset on Feb. 7 in
“He’s entitled to his opinion and why wouldn’t he be cheering for them?”
Bethea said of Obama’s decision to support the Saints. “Like I said, the
city has been through a lot. But the Colts, man, we’re going to go down
there and give them a show.”
NFL scraps plan for 2nd game in Britain in 2010
Meanwhile the NFL has said it has scrapped plans to play a second
regular-season NFL game in Britain next season.
Two weeks ago, the league announced that the San Francisco 49ers and Denver
Broncos would play at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 31. That will mark the fourth
straight season in which the NFL has played a regular-season game in the
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said last year that the league was
considering adding a second game. But the NFL said on its Web site that
uncertainty related to collective bargaining talks and the current economic
climate “were critical factors in our decision not to play a second game in
“Playing one game in the UK is a significant investment. Playing a second
game in the UK is an even bigger investment,” the NFL said. “Our ambition to
bring a second game to the UK is as strong as ever. Once the current
uncertainty is resolved, we will be in a strong position to bring multiple
games to our UK fan base.”
The NFL has played games at Wembley for the last three seasons, with more
than 80,000 fans at each game. The first game featured the eventual Super
Bowl champion New York Giants beating the Miami Dolphins 13-10. In 2008, the
New Orleans Saints beat the San Diego Chargers 37-32. And this season, the
New England Patriots defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35-7 in October.
Aside from Wembley Stadium, Manchester and Glasgow, Scotland, are being
looked at as potential venues to host NFL games in the future.
In October, before the New England-Tampa Bay game, Goodell said the idea of
eventually putting an expansion team in London was of “tremendous interest”
to the NFL. He gave no timeline when such a decision might be taken.
Note: Super Bowl XLIV will kick off at approx. 6 a.m. on Monday
morning, February 8 (Thai Time). The game will be shown live on Truevisions
(ASN) channel 108.