It comes as no surprise that different sports require unique skill sets. Yet, determining the world’s toughest sport can be difficult. What exactly does tough mean?
We’ve gone through what we think are 8 of the most gruelling and physically taxing sports and ranked them out of 10 based endurance, speed, strength, agility, skill and physicality.
Here’s our list. Do you agree?
Pure maths will tell you Ironman Triathlon has to rank up there as one of the toughest sports in the world. It combines swimming, cycling and running and if you consider Ironman as an example, it consists of an open water swim, a stage of the Tour de France and a marathon. Pure steel.
Total = 26 tough points
As Malaysia’s most popular sport, we all know how gruelling Football is. Athletes are required to have blistering speed, sublime skill and the agility to dribble, evade and hold possession. Not to mention the sheer number of matches the pro’s play. It gets 32 on the Tough-O-Metre
Total = 32 tough points
Gymnastics also gets on our list. Given each athlete needs to be versatile enough to excel on each apparatus — floor, rings, beam, bar, vault — the stamina and toughness required to succeed is high.
Total = 33 tough points
You may think Basketball is perhaps not that hardcore, but considering the dexterity and strength needed to constantly jump, slam dunk and shoot three-pointers under pressure, it’s no wonder basketball ranks near the top.
Total = 35 tough points
Ice Hockey perhaps isn’t the most common sport in Malaysia, but watch a game or two and you’ll be wondering how the players aren’t a gooey mess by the end. It tests all aspects of a player’s repertoire.
Total = 39 tough points
Rugby (Union and League) is immediately recognised as a brutal sport and not just because of the immense levels of physicality involved, but also the deft skills, pace and strategies required to defeat the opposition.
Total = 40 tough points
It takes a lot of courage to step inside the Boxing ring or MMA cage. Punching, grappling, wrestling, defending, footwork — you need it all. Thus, core skills such as power and flexibility combined with speed and agility is essential. Serious injuries and sometimes death can occur, so naturally you need to be pretty tough.
Total = 40 tough points
And finally Water Polo. Water Polo has been officially declared the most difficult sport as the players have to be at peak physical capacity just to survive a game. Treading water, evading vicious blows, wrestling, grappling, swimming up to 2km and powering the ball in the back of the net with a rocket arm. It’s no wonder it ranks on top on our tough list.
Total = 44 tough points
Other sports considered “Tough” include American Football, Australian Rules Football, Rowing, Tennis and in more modern times CrossFit.
If you compete in a sport you think is tougher, let us know on Facebook