Sport Vote: Moment of Genius

Vote for your favourite sporting moments of the decade
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The Independent Online

The Noughties have been a momentous decade for sport, with contests that will live long in the memory, tears and triumph, heroes and villains.

An Independent panel has shortlisted their Moment of Genius for the decade - check out the list below and vote in our poll to let us know what your Moment of Genius is...

Tiger Woods

Chipping on to the 16th green at Augusta, his favourite course, in 2005, Woods would have done well to get close to the pin. A difficult lie, a green like an ice rink, playing uphill and yet... the ball changes direction and starts to roll towards the hole, it seems to stop for a moment, for dramatic impact, before going in. A shot that deserved to help him don the Green Jacket.

Jonny Wilkinson

It is the moment just before he kicks the most famous drop goal of all, which won England the 2003 World Cup, that sums Wilkinson up. He receives the ball and with 20 seconds of the final left and the scores level, everyone in Sydney's Telstra Stadium and on the pitch knows what is coming. There is no hint of doubt, and when the kick is converted, no suggestion from Wilkinson that it is anything out of the ordinary.

David Beckham

In 2001, the Germans were already celebrating qualification for the World Cup finals when, with seconds remaining at Old Trafford and 2-1 down against Greece, England were awarded a free-kick that Teddy Sheringham offered to take. Happily, Beckham delivered a wonderful, curling shot that found the top corner of the Greek net. Given the pressure, it was a remarkable moment and perhaps Beckham's last great contribution to England.

Roger Federer

Even when you know what's coming, watching the "hot dog" winner struck between his legs in the US Open semi-final this year still makes you laugh. Genius does that sometimes. Novak Djokovic had dominated the rally and, having sent Federer out wide, lobbed him to win the point. Until Federer chases after it and swings his racket low between his legs to produce a return so unexpected that Djokovic simply stands there beaten.

Sea The Stars

Six furlongs out in the 2009 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, there is no suggestion that Sea the Stars can win. But as if to justify the words of his trainer, John Oxx, that he is the "horse of a lifetime" he not only overhauls the two early leaders, he sees off Youmzain's challenge. His reward is to have sex 2,000 times and earn £100m doing so.

Gary Pratt

He now manages a self-storage firm in the Durham town of Bishop Auckland, and never reached the greatest heights as a cricketer, but in one moment, as substitute fielder at Trent Bridge in 2005, he turned the Ashes England's way. Ricky Ponting was on 48 when he responded to Damien Martyn's call for a quick single. In one movement, Pratt picks the ball up, looks and then hurls it on to the base of the stumps. For which he was given a place on the open-topped bus parade around London.

Zinedine Zidane

Only once did the galacticos really deliver, but when they did, it made all the money seem worthwhile. The volley at Hampden Park that sealed Real Madrid's ninth European Cup, in 2002, against Bayer Leverkusen was a work of inspiration. The cross from Roberto Carlos was high and difficult even to control, but Zidane turned his shoulder and produced an unsaveable drive from the edge of the area that his manager, Vicente del Bosque, described as "so athletic, so beautiful".

Usain Bolt

For 9.58 thrilling seconds this year, in the Berlin arena in which Jesse Owens stunned the Nazi hierarchy, the Jamaican confirmed his status as the greatest of all sprinters with a display in the 100m world final that bordered on arrogance. Nobody has ever broken a world record looking so at ease. He then did the same in the 200m, beating Alonso Edward by 0.62 of a second, which is akin to lapping your opponent. "Come and get me," he mouthed. Nobody came close.





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