The finals have arrived in the AFL, there's plenty of International Cricket being played, the MLB season is nearing play-offs and much more… It's been another massive week in sport! Let's see who's performed well and who hasn't;
Sally Pearson – Another big win for the bightest star in Australian athletics, this time in the 100m Hurdles Final at the World Championships. Pearson completed the race in just 12.28 seconds and in doing so, broke her PB, the Australian record and recorded the 4th fastest time in history. Bring on London 2012!!
Geelong FC – Despite it being the final round, a 96-point thumping over Minor Premiers Collingwood is still a 96-point thumping. The cats applied more pressure on the Pies, they were quicker than the Pies and had a far superior level of skill than the Pies. Next week's match against West Coast will give more of an indication as to where Collingwood is at, however nothing can be taken away from Geelong.
Tino Mawoyo – Who you ask? The young opener from Zimbabwe who averages just 28 in First Class cricket, became just the third Zimbabwean ever to carry his bat in a Test Match this week, against Pakistan. In total, Mawoyo faced a staggering 453 balls as he helped guide his side to 412, a fantastic achievement.
Nathan Lyon – 6 wickets on debut for the young Aussie who just 12 months ago was a Groundskeeper at the Adelaide Oval. A truly remarkable rise to fame and one which was topped off by a fantastic win by the Australians in the First Test against Sri Lanka. Despite the great debut, it's important to note that Jason Krejza took 12 wickets in his debut match (8 and 4 in each innings) and has taken just 1 more wicket since. Let's wait and see how Lyon progresses…
Michael Clarke – Scores of 53*, 58*, 46, 38*, 47, 104* 23 and 60 has ensured Clarke has made an impressive start to his first tour as Captain and whilst doing so, he has proved many people wrong once again. Despite being one of the best cricketers Australia has ever produced, Clarke is unlikely to receive the credit he deserves because the media are too focused on his social life and what he does away from the field. It's time people paid this man the respect he deserves.
Mitchell Watt – Thus far, Watt is one of just three Australian medalists at the Athletics World Championships after winning Silver in the Men's Long Jump Final. If it wasn't for a calf strain, it's more than likely Watt would have won the Gold… Watch out for this man at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Detroit Lions & St Louis Rams – The pre-season is over in the NFL and the real action Starts next week. The only two teams to achieve a 100% winning record in the pre-season matches were the Lions and Rams, going 4 from 4 each. Certainly two teams to look out for in the 2011/12 season.
Sam Stosur – The last remaining Aussie in the US Open has progressed into the 4th Round after beating Nadia Petrova 7-6, 6-7, 7-5 in a thrilling 3rd Round contest this weekend. Stosur, who is currently ranked 10th in the world, will face Russian Maria Kirilenko for a spot in the Quarter-Finals.
Barry Hall – Talk about going out in style! Big Bad Barry kicked 40 goals in his last 8 games of AFL football, extending his career tally to 746 from 289 games. A fantastic career has come to and end… Now let's see how he goes in the Boxing Ring!
Anisa Mohammed – Not many people would know of this lady, however she has achieved some amazing things this week. Playing for the West Indian Women's team, Mohammed took 14 wickets at an average of just 3.57 (14 for 50) in the 4 match One Day International series. At just 23 years of age, Mohammed has already taken 57 ODI wickets (at 16.89) and 38 T20I wickets (at 10.63), and in doing so, she has proven herself to be one of the best bowlers in women's cricket.
Melbourne Ice – Australian Ice Hockey Champions for the second year in a row after defeating the Newcastle North Stars 3-2 this afternoon, a fantastic achievement. The Ice have a core group of supporters and are starting to gain in popularity and whilst this very exciting sport doesn't have a huge following at the moment, improved facilities like the Icehouse in Melbourne will ensure growth in years to come.
Collingwood FC – They can claim they were resting blokes, or not going 100%… Either way, that's still no excuse. If you want to rest blokes, do what Hawthorn did and keep 8 key players off the field for the week. Personally, I don't buy it. Collingwood are front-runners and go to water as soon as things get tough. If my beloved Bombers don't reach the Grand Final, I hope Geelong do… And I hope they thump the Pies!
San Diego Padres – 9 losses in a row now and still sitting on the bottom of the NL West table. It was only a month ago when this team was being talked about as a chance to reach the play-offs… Where did it all go wrong? On a brighter note, young Aussie pitcher Josh Spence has now played 35 games and has an ERA of just 1.93, with 30 strike outs… Impressive figures for the rookie from Geelong.
Australian Socceroos – Some may say that a win is a win… However a 2-1 win over Thailand, with the winner coming in the 86th minute, is hardly convincing. When Aussie Goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer was interviewed after the match, he responded with, "It felt like a loss… We were all over the place. We just didn't have any real good shape. We were chasing things rather than playing with our head. The positive is we got three points and that's it." Thankfully, the Aussies did get the 3 points in their quest to qualify for Brazil 2014.
Atlanta Falcons, Oakland Raiders & Kansas City Chiefs – Oakland aside, after good seasons last year it's been a surprise to see both Atlanta and Kansas City record 0 wins and 4 losses during the pre-season matches. It's easy to think that both teams are in for a tough 2011/12 season, despite the Chiefs winning the AFC West Divison last season and the Falcons winning the NFC South Divison. Of course, these are just pre-season matches and only time will tell whether or not there's anything to be concerned about.
Melbourne Storm – 2 losses to finish the home and away season, including tonight's 40-8 thumping to the Roosters, is not the ideal preparation for a finals campaign. However, they still won the minor premiership and will head into finals as favourites. After the drama of last season, the hunger must surely be there.
Melbourne FC – The Dees, who just a month ago were a big chance to play finals, have stumbled through the last quarter of the season and find themselves finishing in 13th place. After years of poor performances, the Club secured numerous talented youngsters however they simply aren't developing into champions. Whatever the underlying issue is (there's probably a few) it's likely to be ingrained in the Club's culture and more hardship awaits.
As always, feel free to share your thoughts by commenting below!