What Now? The Morning After The Greatest Sporting Afternoon Of Them All

What Now? The Morning After The Greatest Sporting Afternoon Of Them All
10:52, 15 Jul 2019

This was drama unlike any other. After hours of passion, fight and drama, the next 20 seconds would decide the fate of a nation. We had witnessed a complete spectacle featuring skills of the highest ability and it had all come down to this one moment. The stars aligned, the pieces fell into place and the crowd went absolutely berserk. 

That winning feeling swept over the nation and brought tears to the eyes of young and old. Ricky Wilson, frontman of the Kaiser Chiefs, had just won the jackpot on Celebrity Tipping Point. Love Island provided the icing on the cake of a Sunday that, for pure viewing pleasure, may never be beaten. 

It is now the morning after the night before. Bleary-eyed, people all over the country have woken up wondering if yesterday was nothing more than a wild and crazy dream. Sunday’s sporting drama was unlike anything we have seen before and it ended in the most fitting way.

Lewis Hamilton winning the British Grand Prix ahead of Mercedes’ teammate Valtteri Bottas did not come at a surprise, but he wrote his name into the history books; breaking the record for the most wins at Silverstone. The chequered flag, waved by Stormzy, sparked jubilant scenes as a packed out crowd of 140,000 roared home their hero, who now looks certain to win another Drivers’ Championship.

As he crossed the line in Northamptonshire, the drama was heating up in the capital. At Wimbledon, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were playing out one of the finest Grand Slam finals ever as the top two players in the world dug their heels in and exchanged some of their greatest shots.

It was the longest Gentlemen’s Singles final in Wimbledon history and could have been longer if the new fifth set tie-break rule had not been introduced this year. Federer had two Championship points but could not get over the line as Djokovic roared back to secure his fifth Wimbledon title. 

Over at Lord’s, the Cricket World Cup Final somehow surpassed that for drama. A Super Over was needed to decide who would win the World Cup for the very first time between the hosts and New Zealand. Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler produced at the crease before Jofra Archer and Jason Roy somehow held it together to dismiss Martin Guptill with the final action of the game. England were World Champions.  

Nick Friend summed this up with the perfect sentence in thecricketer

“This transcended cricket. It may well have transcended sport. It was just about the most dramatic piece of live entertainment imaginable.”

Where do we go from here? Sport, in essence, was completed yesterday. It simply does not get better than that. Three sports, whipping the entire nation into a frenzy and, refreshingly, not a football in sight. 

Things may be looking bleak for those of us looking for our next sporting fix but there is still loads to come. Let’s hope England can make it a perfect treble this summer, with Netball and Rugby Union World Cups still up for grabs. 

One thing is for sure, this late July afternoon will go down in sporting folklore as one of the greatest. The only thing that comes close in recent years is Super Saturday at the 2012 Olympics but for sheer drama, this may be insurmountable. This is why we love sport.

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