Falls and failures: Remarkable sports bloopers of 2017

Falls and failures: Remarkable sports bloopers of 2017
While the world’s best athletes were lauded for their achievements in the past year, some of their rivals attracted attention for the wrong reasons, by being involved in comical situations which will long be remembered by fans.

RT Sport recalls some of the most hilarious and bizarre moments of 2017 in five different sports.

Football

Mainz goalkeeper Robin Zentner was widely ridiculed by football fans following his hilarious mistake during a clash with Borussia Mönchengladbach in the German Bundesliga in November. The 23-year old 'keeper tried to make a pass out of his own penalty area, but mistook the penalty spot for the ball, resulting in a zany air kick over the penalty spot. It nearly cost his side a goal.

When he was asked about the mistake, Zentner explained: “The ball was passed back to me with a bit of backspin. ‘In the corner of my eye, I could see something white and I thought it was the ball — but it was the penalty spot and the ball was somewhere else.”

Ice hockey

Toronto Maple Leafs center-forward Nazem Kadri slammed his stick down as he entered the penalty box, accidentally hitting an off-ice NHL official directly in the face with its butt end. The incident happened during the third period of the game with the Florida Panthers in November.

The player was lucky enough to avoid any additional punishment, having served only his two minute cross-checking penalty he was initially sent to the box for.

Tennis

The 2017 Davis Cup tie between Great Britain and Canada ended prematurely after Denis Shapovalov was instantly defaulted for smashing an umpire with a ball.

The 17-year old Canadian was trailing Britain’s Kyle Edmund by two sets in the decisive 5th match when he hurled the ball in anger, unintentionally hitting the chair umpire in the eye.

Shapovalov was automatically disqualified in addition to a $7,000 fine by the International Tennis Federation for his imprudent actions on court.

Cross country-skiing

Adrian Solano of Venezuela, who made his international debut at the 2017 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Finland, was dubbed “the world’s worst skier” following his catastrophic performance in the men’s 10km race.

This was the athlete’s first encounter with snow, as he has only trained on roller ski back in his home country.

Having struggled on all the uphills and curves, he exited the race crossing just 3.5 km in almost 40 minutes.

Despite numerous crashes and a broken pole, the Venezuelan athlete won the hearts of the crowd who eagerly supported him during the race.

Videos of Solano constantly falling during the 10km race went rival, making him the standout “hero” of the world championship.

He is now going to represent Venezuela at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

Basketball

A referee who served at an NBA game between the Denver Nuggets and the Brooklyn Nets unexpectedly became the 'victim' of Nuggets forward Paul Millsap, who accidentally hit him with the ball.

Millsap threw the ball up in the air after the whistle and it crashed directly onto the referee’s head.