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Towering Thanks in Front of the Tennis Arena

Towering Thanks in Front of the Tennis Arena

By Martin Pütter, Photo: Juri Weiss/bs.ch The Swiss Indoors, Basel’s annual indoor tennis tournament, celebrate a special anniversary in 2014. When it comes to sport in Basel, two things tower even more than head and shoulders above the rest: football (aka soccer) and tennis. Football – in the form of FC Basel – does it almost on a daily basis, whereas tennis grabs the limelight just for eight days in autumn. The Swiss Indoors even hit the headlines abroad – check the sports pages of the BBC website during the tournament. And this year the tournament, which has brought (almost)

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Comments Off   |  21/10/2014 Sports, Uncategorized

The second treat

The second treat

The Badminton Team European Championships early February were the starter; now the aficionados of this sport in Basel are looking forward to the main course, the Badminton Swiss Open (11 – 16 March). By Martin Pütter The starter was struggling against another major sporting event; the main course, however, will be almost undisturbed. Early in February the Badminton Team European Championships were facing competition from the Olympic Winter Games being held in Sochi at the same time, and thus played to a largely empty stadium. But the Badminton Swiss Open in Basel, held for the 24th time, will certainly draw

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Comments Off   |  12/03/2014 Sports

Two badminton treats

Two badminton treats

Twice within the space of four weeks, Europe’s and the world’s best badminton players will be competing in Basel: first at the Team European Championships (11 – 16 February), and then in the Swiss Open (11 – 16 March). By Martin Pütter Badminton in Basel has experienced something extraordinary: instead of having to bid to host a major event – which seems to be standard procedure in sport nowadays – the city was actually asked by the European governing body “Badminton Europe” whether it could host the Team European Championships for men and women. The thinking behind this request was:

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Comments Off   |  09/02/2014 Sports, Uncategorized

Oval highlights

Oval highlights

All those locals and expats who follow sports played with the right-shaped ball (i.e. oval not round) are eagerly awaiting this weekend. By Martin Pütter During the last few days, two sporting events have put many sports fans in the Basel area into a state of eager anticipation: “Super Bowl” and “Six Nations”, the annual highlights in American football and in rugby. During the night from Sunday to Monday the Denver Broncos will face the Seattle Seahawks in «Super Bowl XLVIII», but it is rugby that will kick off this first February weekend: On Saturday, Wales start their title defence

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Comments Off   |  29/01/2014 Sports, Uncategorized

Better than London

Better than London

By Martin Pütter (Picture: Hans Dieter Dreher with Colore) The aficionados of showjumping in Switzerland had reason to celebrate in summer 2012: Steve Guerdat had won gold at the Olympic Games in London. Whether the Swiss showjumper will triumph at the CSI Basel from January, 9 to 12, 2014, however, is completely open – the organisers say their field is better than that of the Olympic Summer Games, and thus the competition tougher than in London. The main reason is that the CSI Basel does not restrict the number of competitors per nation – at the Olympic Games each country

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Comments Off   |  05/01/2014 Sports, Uncategorized

Basel’s sporting Christmas celebration

Basel’s sporting Christmas celebration

By Martin Pütter For Brits, but also for Australians, Christmas and sports are inseparable. Football matches on Boxing Day are a much loved tradition in England and Scotland, and lovers of horse-racing flock to Kempton Park Racecourse near London to watch the King George VI Chase (and place a bet as well, of course). And in Australia it is tradition for a cricket test match to start on Boxing Day – and this year Australia are playing for the Ashes (correction, they have already regained them). And the Swiss have been affected by this Christmas sporting bug – the Boxing

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Comments Off   |  23/12/2013 Sports, Uncategorized

Football reaches fever pitch again

Football reaches fever pitch again

By Martin Pütter Last April Andy Hynes was over the moon. The Londoner, now living in Basel, had got a ticket for a match featuring his beloved Chelsea FC. It was not just a ticket to an ordinary match – he had finally got hold of a ticket for the first leg of the semi-final in the Europa League, with Chelsea playing away against FC Basel at the St. Jakob-Park. A major part in his getting a ticket was played by a Telebasel programme called “Heimspiel”. The local TV station had interviewed him four days before the match, and towards

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Comments Off   |  24/11/2013 Sports, Uncategorized

64 boats on the brook

64 boats on the brook

By Martin Pütter The “brook”, as Baslers sometimes lovingly call the Rhine, once again proved how unpredictable it can be. The water level and the related currents meant the course record would not be broken, a regional newspaper had surmised in mid-November prior to the fourth “Basel Head”, the city’s youngest sporting attraction. The winning eight crew in the top category Elite Men, Pole France Aviron Nancy, needed  just 19:09 minutes to finish the 6.4 kilometre long course – seven seconds faster than the previous record notched up by the same boat in 2011. Another record fell as well. After

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Comments Off   |  20/11/2013 Sports, Uncategorized

Basel’s Head of the River Race

Basel’s Head of the River Race

This weekend Basel aims to prove once again that rowing is also very popular outside the Anglo-Saxon countries. For the fourth time, boats will compete in the long-distance race “Basel Head” on the Rhine. The 6.4 kilometres that the crews have to cover is almost identical with the famous “Head of the River Race” in London that takes place on a 6.7 kilometre long stretch of the Thames between Mortlake and Putney. Start and finish for the boats – eights – in the “Basel Head” race is the historical “Mittlere Brücke” – the oldest existing bridge over the Rhine between

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Comments Off   |  11/11/2013 Sports, Uncategorized
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