On Wednesday night last week the footballing world was sent into shock after Manchester’s finest were both dumped out of the Champions league. United and City fell through the trap door of the group stages and will have to continue their European adventures in the Europa League this season, a task that Alex Ferguson has described as ‘punishment’.

For United it was the first time that they have failed to emerge from the group stage in 6 years after making it to 3 of the last 4 Champion’s League finals but this has not been the only shock in 2011. In a year which held the Rugby World Cup competition, the annual Tour de France and the Athletics World Championships, we take a look back at some of the most shocking and surprising sporting exits.

5 Bradley Wiggins

…expected to do something special.

The summer seems an age ago, but in those few months of sunshine, Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky battled hard in the famous Tour de France to no avail. Wiggins was a man in the form of his life, leading his team successfully and generally expected to do something special. But 25 miles from the end of the 7th stage, he crashed out of the race. Sprawled out on the tarmac with carnage all around him, he had shattered his collar bone and the public were left stunned. We had all hoped for great things but it wasn’t to be. A truly unpredictable and heartbreaking withdrawal.

4 Usain Bolt

…a super fast time…

The world’s most famous sprinter was also hit hard by events in the summer when he was disqualified from the 100m final at the World Championships in Daegu. Bolt had typically looked in brilliant form in the previous rounds and the world was expecting a super fast time in the final. However, the Jamaican crashed out in spectacular fashion with an irrefutable false start. It must have been even more sickening to see his fellow countryman and training partner, Yohan Blake eventually go on to take gold in a tepid time of 9.92s. The biggest shock was that the officials actually kicked him out of the race. He is Usain Bolt after all.

Image courtesy of Bradley Wiggins and Usain Bolt


About The Author

I am currently in my first year at UCL studying French and History of Art but my real passion lies in sport. I play netball for the university and am an keen follower of rugby and football.

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