Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Aussie Sports Stars Did Us Proud in 2010

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Aussie Sports Stars Did Us Proud in 2010

Article excerpt

By GERARD WALSH

AFTER covering the year in local sport in my Sportsview column on the back page last Thursday, I look at the year in international sport in this week's column.

The year was highlighted by the Australian's success at the Commonwealth Games.

I love the Commonwealth Games; perhaps I like winning too much.

We heard all about England putting a lot of money into sport in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics in London.

Canada is a much bigger country than Australia but when it comes to games supremacy, we are way out in front.

There is not just one reason.

Our climate, particularly for swimming, is a bonus. The Australian Institute of Sport and state academies have played a part but a lot has to do with the coaching at grassroots level. It is easy to count medals when determining the sports star of the year but how can one go past Geoff Huegill who came back from a real retirement. One where fitness, eating the right food, and drinking the right drinks had gone right out the window.

What was impressive was how Huegill had no regrets when he missed gold in the 50-metre butterfly by .05 of a second. He was just over the moon with silver and later won two golds.

THE build-up to the Ashes Tests were amazing, particularly the selection of the Australian team.

There didn't seem to be any close selections for England in the First Test but there were plenty of possibilities for Australia.

The selectors got a lot of flak but full credit to them and pace bowling coach Troy Cooley for turning Mitchell Johnson from an erratic bowler to one of the best pacemen in the world in the space of a fortnight.

They made the right decisions to stick with Mike Hussey and bring in Ryan Harris a although neither performed in Melbourne.

I did advocate the selection of second wicketkeeper Tim Paine as a batsman. When it comes to bringing new players into the Test arena, what about David Hussey? He is averaging 55 in first-class cricket; more than enough to get a run at Test level.

While it could be an advantage to have a brother in the Test team, I am not sure it worked for David.

He has plenty of national opportunities in the shorter forms of the game but not at Test level. …

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