Friday, 4 November 2011

What's all the fuss about?

Soon after I finished writing yesterday's story about the Melbourne Cup race at Flemington, Victoria in Australia, I began wondering what all the fuss was about. The mass media seemed to be going on and on about how close the race was, how one horse had just won by a mere nose or whisker, or how it could have been a dead heat.

Melbourne Cup 2011: Dunaden pipping Red Cadeaux by a nose

The way the writers were going on, you'd think that such close finishes had never happened before. Of course, close finishes raise the level of excitement to races, may it be horses running at Flemington or athletes running a 100-metre race anywhere in the world, leading to photo-finishes and the agonising wait for the results to be announced. But please, lah, they are not uncommon at all in the sport world.

Sometimes, I think the professional writers choose to have a short memory. I know that I tend to have a short memory myself but it is excusable because I'm a mere amateur when it comes to writing. I'm far, far from being a professional writer. So for the professionals who write for world renown newspapers, they should have a longer memory than me!

Melbourne Cup 2008: Viewed pipping Bauer by a nose

They would only need to look no further than the 2008 Melbourne Cup race to remember another close finish. Remember how Viewed was almost beaten to the post by a surging Bauer? Viewed just managed to hold off the challenge because the finish post loomed up just too near for Bauer. Given another split second into the race and I'm sure we would have seen a different winner.

Of course, the two races were different, the build-up to the finish was different, but the results were essentially the same. An almost dead heat. A photo-finish. One horse winning  by a whisker.

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