There were plenty of eye-catching sporting moments from the past week, including an intense badminton doubles match and a certain footballer doing something magical once again. Yahoo Singapore picks out a selection.
Incredible badminton rally between Denmark and Japan
Badminton can be an intense sport, which may come as a surprise to most who have never picked up a racquet.
This rally between Denmark’s Madz Conrad-Peters/Mads Pieler Kolding and Japan’s Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda, which took place in December and recently became a viral sensation on social media this past week, shows exactly just how intense it can be.
The rally starts with simple flicks and smashes, but quickly increases in tempo. Conrad-Peters was then forced into a dive at full stretch to return a flick, then an acrobatic backhand return, and a repeat of the same thing while on the ground twice.
It was certainly a display of fine athleticism. Watch it for yourself from 39:47 onwards.
Here’s another version of the video with more commentary. Warning: it’s NSFW.
Messi’s incredible equaliser in the last minute
We all know what Lionel Messi is capable of, but once again, the Argentinian continues to wow us.
In a La Liga league match between Villarreal and Messi’s Barcelona on Monday, the forward did it again – with a wonderful free-kick that levelled the score in the last minute of the match – and he did all of that under immense pressure.
Defeat in the game would have meant Barcelona will trail league leaders Real Madrid by six points despite having played a game more, but that didn’t seem to affect Messi.
Messi powered his free-kick from the edge of the penalty box into the top corner of the goal. It was hit so ferocious that goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo could not react at all.
Watch the free-kick from the 1:00 onwards below.
Dwight Howard’s little fun with Jeremy Lin
Over Dwight Howard’s 11-year NBA career so far, he has been known to enjoy pranking his team mates.
And on Tuesday, Howard certainly pulled out that fun element once again in a meeting between the Brooklyn Net and Atlanta Hawks.
Howard had walked over to former teammate Jeremy Lin to offer a friendly handshake, which NBA players do on a regular basis. The moment Lin put on his hand to accept it, Howard retracted his hand and did a little dab instead to Lin’s amusement.
It was definitely worth a laugh, but based on the Nets crowd’s reaction, we’re not sure they appreciated it.
Dwight playin' with ex-teammate Jeremy Lin ???? pic.twitter.com/nOX8n4tMDg
— HaWWWWWWWks (@ATLHawks) January 11, 2017
Jason Smith closes out on three-point shot… by taking a dive
Part of the mantra of playing defence right now in the NBA is to restrict opponents from scoring three-pointers, given how frequently teams are now jacking up threes.
And it looks like Washington Wizards forward-centre Jason Smith may have found a new way to stop them – not by using his seven foot height, but by diving to distract them.
Yes, you read that right. That’s exactly what Smith did in the Wizards’ game against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday. In the fourth quarter of the game, the Wizards were trailing by four points with just seven minutes left when Bobby Portis was left wide open for a corner three.
Had Portis converted that, it would have seemingly put the game beyond the reach of the Wizards. However, Smith, in his attempt to close out the three-point shot in desperation, slipped and slid out of bounds.
That distracted Portis from shooting and he had to pass the ball after losing the opportunity for an open three. For good measure, the Wizards completed the comeback in the fourth quarter for a 101-99 win.
Aga Radwanska’s stupendous leaping backhand
What is one way to make sure you earn a point in a game of tennis? A leaping backhand in style of course, as demonstrated by Aga Radwanska in her Apia International Sydney singles match against Barbora Strycova.
Tied at 40-40 in the third game of the second set, there looked to be nothing separating Radwanska and Strycova. That is, until Radwanska decided to leap off one leg into the air to smash the ball with a two-handed backhand.
The move generated so much power that Strycova could not react in time. What a move it was, and it was certainly done in style as well. They don’t call Radwanska ‘The Magician’ for nothing.
— WTA (@WTA) January 12, 2017