Not necessarily so

Updated: 2008-01-08 11:16

For many of us, sporting activities traditionally take a back seat to merriment and indulgence at this time of year. But true sports' fans can have their cake and eat it too. On January 8 American football enthusiasts can enjoy a piece of the home turf watching College American Football, a BCS Game Buckeyes v LSU, at Bubba's Texan restaurant and saloon at Hongqiao Lu near Jianhe Lu. The venue hosts regular tailgate parties for such events, so check the venue for more information.

If Father Christmas brought a satellite box this year, well, you needn't go outdoors at all. Indeed, you can do knee squats while viewing football's Af-rican Cup of Nations, (similar to the World Cup but for African countries only), which, starts in Ghana on January 20 and lasts for three weeks. Anyone who's been bored watching the endless draws in the Champions League will enjoy the free flowing, cavalier style of African football.

Meanwhile, snooker fans should note that qualifying matches for this year's China Open will take place from January 25-28 in Wales. Of course, as a seeded player and winner of the 2005 tournament, Chinese snooker sensation Ding Junhui won't be there.

Elsewhere, the Xiamen Internation Marathon will take place in Fujian Province on January 5. Around 20,000 runners from all over the world are ex-pected to participate in a very scenic and perhaps breezy run around the southern coastal city of Xiamen; at least it's warmer there this time of year than it is in Shanghai. Last year, China’s long distance runner Li Zhuhong was the first to cross the line and claim the men's title at two hours 13 minutes and 17 seconds.

Lastly, motorsports fans who missed the A1GP in Zhuhai last month need not fret. Shanghai will once again host the event this April at Shanghai International Circuit, Jiading District. Malaysia, the Czech Republic, Great Britain and New Zealand have all tasted victory at the facility, which con-tinues to receive plaudits as one of the most well-built and modern race tracks in the world. According to the A1GP website, an alternative, 4.6-kilometre version was used for the 2006/07 season, which missed out three corners and introduced a chicane, which had the effect of bunching the field up for longer through the circuit, creating more exciting, closer racing. The one-kilometer straight at the end of the lap also provided for frequent pass-ing, but it is the first corner that has provided the most spectacular manoeuvres. The Czech Republic's Tomas Enge and New Zealand's Jonny Reid both took their victories thanks to superb manoeuvres at this constantly tightening corner.