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Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Spain’s sporting reign continues

Spain honours its sporting starsJust when it didn’t seem possible that Spain’s run of sporting success could improve (for what could be better than winning the World Cup?) along comes yet more good news.

The German Grand Prix belonged to Ferrari as teammates Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso jockeyed for position. With the help of some poorly disguised instructions from a Ferrari engineer, Alonso overtook Massa and sped to victory. The team has already received a hefty fine and it will be some weeks before Alonso’s win is secure, but there is no doubt that the Spaniard dominated the race. In fifth spot and currently trailing Lewis Hamilton by 34 points, Alonso will have to keep up the pressure to win another championship but, as F1 fanatics say, nothing is certain until the final race is over.

The phenomenon that is Jorge LorenzoThe situation on two wheels is just as exciting, thanks to Jorge Lorenzo’s extraordinary Moto GP season. Currently leading the Driver’s Championship with a truly inspired six wins from nine races, Lorenzo has dominated the season for the Yamaha team, managing runner-up position on the three occasions that he missed out on the top spot. If he finishes the season the way he started it, his place in the history books is guaranteed.

Spain has an honourable history of success in the Tour de France; only Belgium and France have produced more winners. In five-times winner Miguel Indurain they also produced one of the sport’s all-time greats and only the most pessimistic cycling fan would bet against this year’s winner, Alberto Contador, at least equalling Indurain’s magnificent record. Despite going into the time trial with only an eight second lead over runner-up Andy Schleck, Contador managed to stretch this to 39 seconds by the time he crossed the finishing line in Paris.

Rafael Nadal; Number 1 in every senseAfter a difficult year, marked by a nagging knee injury and domestic trauma, Rafael Nadal has made a magnificent comeback. Despite the opinion of many sports journalists who predicted that his glory days were behind him, Nadal has shown that he can still play better tennis than anyone else in the world. His return to No.1 status in the ATP rankings offers definitive proof that the man from Manacor can still achieve anything that he sets his mind to.

Basketball enjoys almost as fanatical a following as football in Spain and at the moment all thoughts are focused on the FIBA World Championship, which takes place in Turkey this September. The Spanish team is ranked a very creditable third in the world by FIBA, conceding form only to Argentina and the USA and it would be a very reckless gambler who would think of betting against them winning the tournament this year.

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