Thursday, May 31, 2012

Track Beauty of the Week has moved to Superb Senora!

All the subsequent Track Beauty of the Week posts from hurdler49 shall now appear on Superb Senora. For the complete listing of previous Track Beauty posts, please refer to the links below:
  1. 2/18/2012 -5/26/2012
  2. 10/31/2011 - 2/13/2012
  3. 7/16/2011 - 10/24/2011
  4. 4/3/2011 - 7/9/2011
  5. 12/11/2010 - 3/27/2011
  6. 9/6/2010 - 12/4/2010
  7. 5/31/2010 - 8/30/2010
The ten most popular posts are the following:
  1. Track Beauty of the Week: Darya Klishina (Дарья Клишина)
  2. Track Beauty of the Week: Alenka Bikar
  3. Track Beauty of the Week: Cathrine Larsåsen
  4. Track Beauty of the Week: Sina Schielke
  5. Track Beauty of the Week: Denisa Rosolová (Denisa Ščerbová)
  6. Track Beauty of the Week: Christina Vukicevic
  7. Track Beauty of the Week: Heli Koivula-Kruger
  8. Track Beauty of the Week: Remona Fransen
  9. Track Beauty of the Week: Jessica Ennis
  10. Track Beauty of the Week: Emma Green-Tregaro        

Monday, May 28, 2012

Ana Ivanovic Ана Ивановић (SRB, Tennis)

Ana Ivanovic Ана Ивановић caught my fancy at the 2006 French Open. She was an exquisite beauty that stood out amongst a sea of lovely faces. Even if she crashed out in the 3rd round, against hometown bet Amélie Mauresmo, I've found my new tennis crush!

Photos from Wikimedia

Ana finally won Roland Garros in 2008, claiming the scalps of Petra Cetkovská, Patty Schnyder, and compatriot Jelena Janković (who was then the world no.3). The Serb brought down Russian Dinara Safina in straight sets at the French Open final. 

Prior to her Roland Garros victory, Ivanovic made it as far as the Wimbledon semifinals in 2007. The 2008 French Open was the culmination of her gradual ascent to the summit of women's tennis. She could not seem to replicate her form in the coming years. A slew of early Grand Slam exits marred her career. 

Ivanovic has regained a semblance of her old self in 2012, as she barged into the world top 15 rankings for the first time in three years. She had notched victories over former world no. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and 2010 French Open Champion Francesca Schiavone.

As the festivities in Roland Garros unfold, I wish the best for Ana Ivanovic!

Ana's WTA Profile

Additional link:
Ana's Official Website

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Rachel and Eve!

Take a look at this fine photo of Rachel Anne Daquis and Areerat "Eve" Sanoorseang!

Rachel Anne Daquis (PHI, Volleyball)

As a testament to the rising popularity of volleyball in the Philippines, local stars have amassed significant fan base. One of the best crowd drawers is Rachel Anne Daquis, a graduate of the Far Eastern University.
Daquis with the UAAP championship trophy. (Photo from Pinoy Exchange)

Daquis competed with distinction during her collegiate days. She won several awards, including back-to-back Best Server honors in UAAP Seasons 68 and 69. She was known for her nerves of steel, especially during crunch time. During her final year of eligibility, Daquis led the formidable FEU spikers as its team captain.

After her University days, Rachel went on to play for the Philippine National Team and the Philippine Army Team. She continues to strut her mean volleyball skills at the Shakey's V-League. The 24-year old was adjudged as the finals MVP during the 7th season of the V-League. She also grabbed Best Attacker honors at the Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) National Open in 2011.


Additional links:

Darya Klishina and Superb Senora

I began to feature notable female athletics stars in my main blog, hurdler49, to promote the mostly underrated sport. In July 2010, I wrote about the upcoming Russian long jumper Darya Klishina Дарья Клишина . In a few months' time, her popularity shot up exponentially - and so did my blog hits. Darya is both tremendously talented and possesses super-model looks. Although she has yet to win a world title or an Olympic title, her popularity has skyrocketed dramatically.

Read: "Track Beauty of the Week - Darya Klishina Дарья Клишина"
Photos from IAAF and Life

I started Superb Senora as an offshoot of the original Track Beauty of the Week feature. This time around, I'll be writing about talented women from sports other than athletics in a tone that's respectful of the fairer sex. Darya, in a sense, started it all. 

Read: "Darya Klishina: The Next Big Track & Field Star

Darya has had a stellar junior and youth career. She topped the World Youth Championships in 2007, registering an impressive mark of 6.47m. She improved dramatically in the subsequent years, as shown by her splendid performance at the 2009 European Junior Championships. Darya flew 6.80m, beating hometown favorite Ivana Spanovic. 

In the junior all-time list, the Russian is second only to the great Heike Dreschler.

Read: "Darya Klishina Дарья Клишина on Trans World Sport"

  Photos from and EAA
Klishina was propelled into the mainstream in 2011, when the Russian topped the high profile European Indoor Championships in Paris. Darya added the European U23 title for good measure, setting a personal best of 7.05m. Unfortunately, Klishina was hobbled by an ankle injury at the latter parts of 2011. She only managed a sub-par 6.50m best leap at the Daegu World Championships, way below her personal best of 7.05m.

Read: Darya Klishina Дарья Клишина leaps 6.80m, wins European Indoor Long Jump gold

Darya underwent ankle surgery after the world championships. Her strong showing at the 2012 World Indoors, where she finished in fourth place (6.85m), is a strong signal that Klishina is on the fast track towards full recovery - and further forays beyond seven meters.

Read: London Olympics Long Jump Preview

The battle for the London Olympics gold medal will be a tough one, especially with the classy Brittney Reese in the field. A healthy Darya, however, would be a sight to behold. Despite her injury, Klishina has shown signs of maturity as she moves up the senior ranks.

A podium finish is a strong certainty, but Darya Klishina might just snag the Olympic gold!

Alena Zavarzina Алёна Игоревна Заварзина (RUS, Snowboarding)

Alena Zavarzina Алёна Игоревна Заварзина is a world-class snowboarder. She is at the forefront of the gradual rise of Russia in the exciting discipline. The Russian won gold at the 2011 FIS Snowboarding World Championship, topping the parallel giant slalom competition. She improved considerably from her performance at the 2010 Winter Olympics, where she finished in 17th place.

 Photo from Wikimedia

  The 22-year old Alena, despite her youth, is an experienced competitor. Since her World Cup debut in 2006, the Russian has had 31 starts in the top notch competition. Zavarzina has reached the World Cup podium four times, since her 2009 victory in Telluride, Colorado. 

Alena was only the second Russian to win a World Championship title. After her landmark victory in January 2011, however, Zavarzina succumbed to a knee injury. It took months for the Russian to recover, but she eventually made a return to World Cup competition in October 2011, notching a respectable 12th place in the parallel slalom in Landgraaf.

At the vanguard of her nation's snowboarding hopes, Zavarzina will still be only 25-years old when the Winter Olympics comes to Sochi, Russia in 2014.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Alex Morgan (USA, Football)

Alex Morgan was the youngest member of the 2011 U.S. Women's World Cup team, which finished runners-up behind Japan. Morgan is a striker and plays her club football for the Seattle Sounders Women. Morgan earned her college degree at the University of Southern California, leading the Golden Bears in goals scored in her freshman and sophomore years.

Photo from Fifa
She made her international debut for the United States for the U20 team in 2008. She had a total of 10 appearances for the youth team, scoring five goals in international competition. Barely out of her teens, Morgan was called up for the senior team in 2010. To date, she has 38 apps and 22 goals in senior competition.

Morgan found the back of the net twice during last year's World Cup in Germany, scoring in the semis against France and in the finals against Japan.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Areerat Sanorseang (THA, Volleyball)

Women's volleyball has been gradually increasing in popularity in the Philippines. This new found love affair probably started in the late nineties, when Brazilian Leila Barros caught Filipino hearts. The Shakey's V-League is the Philippines premiere commercial competition, featuring mostly collegiate talents. The teams, however, are allowed a certain number of foreigners to beef up their ranks. 

The prolific Thai volleybelles have made an impact in local shores, raising the game of play at the fledging league. The 26-year old Areerat "Eve" Sanorseang is one such example. Sanorseang first came to the Philippines as an import for De La Salle University back in 2007, where she teamed up with the explosive Manilla Santos.

In the 9th season of the V-League, Sanorseang is with the resurgent Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws. The 5'7 Thai can man the middle, open and utility positions, according to her Facebook fan page. In Thailand, she plays for the Chaiyaphum Volleyball Club.  

Additional Link:
Areerat's Facebook Fan Page

Friday, May 11, 2012

Kaori Kodaira 小平 花織 (JPN, Volleyball)

Kaori Kodaira 小平 花織 plays the wing position for Japanese volleyball club Toray Arrows 東レ・アローズ. The Arrows, a many-time V-League champion, lost a tightly-contested match against Tianjin at the recently concluded Asian Women's Club Volleyball Championship. Kodaira played magnificently in that five-setter, with her timely daredevil spikes against the taller Chinese defense.

 Kaori in Action (Photo from Toray Arrows website)

The 22-year old first took up volleyball in her elementary school days. She attended the Saki Minemura junior high school. As a high school student in Tokai University, she competed at the 2008 Asian Junior Championships. 

Kaori joined Toray in 2009, bolstering the club's offensive arsenal.