After possibly the worst weekend ever in Australian sport I was reminiscing this morning about 10 years ago when we were on top of the world.
There were 2 of the great sporting moments against South Africa in the cricket and rugby world cup semi finals. Stephen Larkham's 50m drop goal secured an extra time win against the Boks and Allan Donald being run out to tie the cricket semi up after Lance Klusener's onslaught was possibly even more exciting. Australia went on to win both finals comfortably. We also retained the Bledisloe.
We won the 98-99 Ashes series 3-1.
Pat Rafter was world number 1 in tennis (well, for one week ayway).
We also managed a win in the Netball World Championship.
The 1999 Pan Pacs saw Australia win 13 events and included wins to Ian Thorpe, Grant Hackett, Michael Klim and Susie O'Neill.
10 years later we have lose the Rugby World Cup and the Bledisloe. We retain the cricket world cup but have lost the ashes TWICE, and are no longer at the top of world cricket. Lleyton Hewitt is our highest ranking tennis player at no 32 but isn't much chance of winning another grand slam, according to wiki we are still no 1 in netball but I have a feeling NZ might have won last time we played them. And we have slipped from 2nd to 4th in the swimming rankings.
Why were we so good 10 years ago and why have we fallen off in so many sports?
More importantly how do we get back to the top?