14th– American tennis player Frederick Alexander was born in 1880. He won the singles title at the 1908 Australasian Championships and six double titles at Grand Slam events. In 1908 the right-handed Alexander became the first foreigner to win the singles title at the Australasian/Australian Championships, the amateur precursor to the Australian Open. He then teamed with the man he defeated in the final, Alfred Dunlop, to win the doubles. Billiards and snooker player Fred Davis was born in 1913. The younger brother of the famous Joe Davis, Fred came into his own after Joe’s retirement. He was the world professional snooker champion three times and held the Professional Match-Play title (the world title in all but name) for five years, between 1952 and 1956. He captured his first billiards title in 1980, at the age of 67. The Antwerp Olympic Games were opened on this day in 1920. Today in 1932 the 10th Olympic Games, held in Los Angeles came to a finish. Australian batsman Donald Bradman was given a standing ovation as he went to the crease for his last innings in Test cricket at The Oval in 1948. Needing only four runs for a career Test match average of 100, he was dismissed second ball by Eric Hollies. It is said that Bradman had tears in his eyes as he faced the delivery from Hollies and did not see the ball properly. His career ended with a Test average of 99.94. He was knighted in 1949, the year of his retirement from the game. Also on this very day in 1948 the 14th Olympic Games concluded in London. Born on this day in 1952, American swimmer Deborah Meyer also known by her married name Deborah Weber, she is a three-time Olympic champion and a former world record-holder in four events. Meyer won the 200m, 400m, and 800m freestyle in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. While she was still a 16-year-old student at Rio Americano High School in Sacramento, California, she became the first swimmer to win three individual gold medals in one Olympics, Katie Ledecky is the only other female swimmer to have done the same, in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. Fabrizio Donato, Italian triple and occasional long-jumper, was born in 1976. He is known for winning gold medals at the 2001 Mediterranean Games and the 2009 European Indoor Championships, the latter in a new championship record of 17.59m. He is the Italian record holder with 17.60m outdoor and 17.73 indoor. The 1st World Athletics Championships ended in Helsinki on this day in 1983. Ukrainian-born British tennis player Elena Baltacha was born today in 1983. Being a four-time winner of the AEGON Awards, she was also a long-term British No. 1, a position she held intermittently from 2002 to 2012. However, due to her absence from competition because of knee surgery, she dropped down the world rankings and at the time of her retirement on 18 November 2013, she was ranked as the world No. 221 and British No. 6. Her career high ranking of World No. 49 was achieved in September 2010. Over the course of her career she won eleven ITF singles titles and four ITF doubles titles, she was also runner-up in three ITF events in singles and four in doubles. In 2011 Baltacha won her highest ranked tournament on the ITF tour, the 2011 Aegon Nottingham Challenge. Baltacha was diagnosed with liver cancer in January 2014, just a few weeks after her marriage to tennis coach Nino Severino. She died on 4 May 2014, aged 30. Today in 2005 the 10th World Athletics Championships ended in Helsinki, Finland. The 1st Summer Youth Olympic Games opened in Singapore today in 2010. Athletes were aged between 14-18 years old. Serbian and Yugoslav chess grandmaster Svetozar Gligorić died on this day in 2012 aged 89. He won the championship of Yugoslavia a record twelve times, and is considered the best player ever from Serbia. In 1958 he was declared the best athlete of Yugoslavia. In the 1950s and 1960s Gligorić was one of the top players in the world, and also among the world’s most popular, owing to his globe-trotting tournament schedule and a particularly engaging personality, reflected in the title of his autobiography, I Play Against Pieces. (ie-playing without hostility toward the opponent, or playing differently against different players for “psychological” reasons; playing the board and not the man.)
15th– On this day in 1843 the Tivoli Gardens, one of the oldest still intact amusement parks in the world, opened in Copenhagen. The Italian fencer and “father of modern sabre fencing”, Italo Santelli was born in 1866. He studied at famous Italian schools, including the Scuola Magistrale of Rome (Scuola Magistrale Militare di Roma), where he graduated in 1889. In 1896 he was considered an established fencing master, and moved to Budapest together with brother Otello, also a fencer. It was in Hungary that Santelli began to create a new style of sabre fencing. The style involved a much quicker defence than classical training called for, and became known as the “modern style” of Santelli. Santelli displayed this modern style at the 1900 Olympics in Paris on the Italian team. He came in 6th at the foil competition, but took home a silver medal in sabre, his teammate Antonio Conte taking the gold. At the 1924 Olympics, Kovacs, a Hungarian judge, made a controversial call in a fencing match, siding with France over Italy. An Italian fencer, Aldo Boni, verbally attacked the judge for the ruling and refused to apologize when asked. Santelli was called in as a witness to Boni’s outbreak, and the Italian team was forced to resign from the competition. Once in Italy, the Italian team’s captain, Adolfo Cotronei, accused Santelli of speaking out against Boni to remove them from the competition, supposedly fearing they would eliminate his adopted nation of Hungary, who would go on to take the bronze at the 1924 Games. Cotronei challenged Santelli, already past 60 years of age, to a duel. His son, Giorgio Santelli, under the rules of the “code duello”, took his father’s place in the fight, and won the duel with a riposte to Cotronei’s face. Santelli went on to coach numerous notable fencing students over the course of his career and died in 1945, at the age of 78. Today in 1903 New Zealand’s All Blacks played their first Rugby Test Match against Australia’s Wallabies at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, winning 22-3. Today in 1939 The Wizard of Oz premiered at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Born on this day in 1963, Jack Russell, retired English international cricketer, now known for his abilities as an artist, as a cricket wicketkeeping coach, and a football goalkeeping coach – in 2007, he was appointed goal-keeping coach for football team Forest Green Rovers who play in the Conference National. On this day in 1964 Fred Trueman takes his 300th Test cricket wicket. Off-spinner Pat Pocock had one of his most prolific spells in first-class cricket while playing for Surrey against Sussex at Eastbourne in 1972. He took five wickets in six balls, six wickets in nine balls and seven in eleven balls. Canadian ballet dancer Jennifer Alexander was born in 1972, who studied at the Alberta Ballet Company and at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, where she danced from 1991 to 1993. She appeared in the Broadway production of The Red Shoes in 1993 and in Carousel in 1994. In 1994, she joined the corps de ballet of the American Ballet Theatre. Her first marriage was to Canadian and former New York City Ballet dancer Andrew Robertson. She married fellow ABT dancer Julio Bragado-Young in 2007. Alexander, Bragado-Young and a third dancer were returning to Manhattan after Bragado-Young had performed in The Nutcracker in Williamsport, Pennsylvania when they came upon a multiple-vehicle collision. Getting out of their car to see if they could help, Bragado-Young then Alexander were each struck by an out-of-control vehicle skidding on the icy road. He suffered a broken leg; she died at the scene. The American Ballet Theatre created The Jennifer Alexander Scholarship to acknowledge an outstanding corps de ballet dancer. Today in 1974 saw the longest team (6 members) trampoline bouncing marathon come to an end after 1,248 hours or 53 days. Kara Wolters, American basketball player was born in 1975. Standing at six feet seven inches (2.01m), she was nicknamed “Big Girl”. She is the tallest player in University of Connecticut women’s basketball history and one of the tallest women to ever play in the WNBA. Sebastian Coe broke his third world record in six weeks at Zurich in 1979 when he set a new best for the 1500m, the other records broken in this extraordinary phase were for the 800m and the mile. On this day in 1981 Ian Botham scored a century in 86 balls against Australia Old Trafford. Brendan Hansen, American breaststroke swimmer was born in 1981 and is a six-time Olympic medallist, and is also a former world record-holder in both the 100m and 200m breaststroke (long course). He won a total of 25 medals in major international competition, eighteen gold, four silver, and three bronze spanning the Olympics, the World, and the Pan Pacific Championships. He was a member of the 2012 United States Olympic team, and won the bronze medal in the 100m breaststroke and a gold medal in the 4×100m medley relay at the 2012 Olympics. Jock Taylor, Scottish World Champion motorcycle sidecar racer, died on this day in 1982 aged 28. He entered his first sidecar race at the age of 19, as the passenger to Kenny Andrews (1974). The following year he took part in his first race as a driver. Taylor died in Finland in a racing incident during the Finnish Grand Prix, held in Imatra in very wet conditions, Taylor and Johansson’s bike aquaplaned and slid off the road and collided with a telephone pole along the closed public road course that was used once a year for the Finnish GP. The emergency services were removing him from the wreckage when a second sidecar team slid off into them. Taylor was sadly killed in the second accident. Dutch professional racing cyclist Michel Kreder was born in 1987who for Aqua Blue Sport. His cousin Wesley, also rides for Roompot–Nederlandse Loterij, as does his younger brother Raymond. Following a four-year stint with Garmin–Sharp, Kreder signed with Wanty–Groupe Gobert for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. However, in September 2014 it was announced that Michael, Raymond and Wesley Kreder would all sign for the new Team Roompot for 2015. In October 2016 Aqua Blue Sport announced that Kreder would be part of their inaugural squad for the 2017 season. Kosuke Hagino, the Japanese competitive swimmer who specializes in the individual medley and 200m freestyle was born in 1994. He is a four-time Olympic medallist, most notably winning gold in the 400m individual medley at the 2016 Olympics. Hagino holds the Asian Records in the 200m and 400m individual medley (long course), the 100m and 200m individual medley (short course). With team Japan, he holds the Asian Records for the 4×10m freestyle relay and the 4×100m medley relay. Kenyan long distance runner Richard Chelimo died on this day in 2001, after a brain tumour. A former world record holder over 10,000m. However, he is best known as the silver medallist in the controversial 10,000m at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. He was also a world junior record holder in the 10,000m. Chelimo, who was born in the Marakwet region of Kenya, was a member of the Kalenjin tribe (known by some as the “running tribe”). He came from a noted athletic family, even amongst the tribesmen, his cousin, Moses Kiptanui, was a three-time steeplechase world champion, whilst his brother, Ismael Kirui, was twice world champion over 5000m. Chelimo retired from athletics in 1996; according to his cousin, Kiptanui, he retired after growing despondent following his failure to rise to the very top of the sport. He returned to his old job in the army and put on a lot of weight and began to drink excessively — a decline quite similar to that of Henry Rono. However, his friends Tanui and William Mutwol encouraged him to return to training and get back into shape. Chelimo eventually got back down to within 5kg of his racing weight, but unfortunately died at the early age of 29. Today in 2004 Bay of Plenty defeated Auckland 33-26 in Rugby Union to win New Zealand’s Ranfurly Shield for the first time in the shield’s 102 year history and after 28 unsuccessful challenges. On this day in 2009 the 12th World Athletics Championships opened in Berlin.
16th– Bare-knuckle fighter Jack Broughton, known as the “Father of Boxing”, published the first set of boxing rules on this day in 1743. He devised the rules in response to the death of an opponent, Yorkshireman George Stevenson, who had died of injuries suffered in a bout with Broughton two years earlier. Broughton’s rules, which outlawed head-butting, gouging, kicking and similar street-fighting techniques, remained in force under superseded by the London Prize Rules one hundred years later. Désiré Mérchez French Olympic swimmer and water polo player was born in 1882. In 1900 he won the bronze medal with the French team in the 200m team swimming. He also participated in the 1000m freestyle but was eliminated in the first round. As a member of the French water polo team Pupilles de Neptune de Lille No. 2 he won a second bronze medal at the same Olympics. English football player and manager Ted Drake was born in 1912. As a player, he first played for Southampton but made his name playing for Arsenal in the 1930s, winning two league titles and an FA Cup, as well as five caps for England. He was also a cricketer, but only ever played sparingly for Hampshire. After retiring from playing football, he became a manager, and while in charge of Chelsea he took the club to its first league title. Drake holds the record for the most goals scored in a top-flight game in English football, scoring seven against Aston Villa in December 1935. The first British Empire Games opened at Hamilton, Canada, in 1930 by the Governor General of Canada, The Viscount Willingdon. The Games were renamed the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1954 and the British Commonwealth Games in 1970. The idea of an athletics meeting for the nations of the Empire had first been mooted by the Reverend J Astley Cooper in 1891. The 11th Olympic Games came to a close in Berlin on this day in 1936. Lesley Turner Bowrey (née Turner) was born in 1942 is a retired female tennis player from Australia. Her career spanned two decades from the late 1950s until the late 1970s. Turner Bowrey won the singles title at the French Championships, one of the four Grand Slam events, in 1963 and 1965. In addition she won 11 Grand Slam events in doubles and mixed doubles. Turner Bowrey achieved her highest singles ranking of No. 2 in 1964. The legendary baseball player ‘Babe’ Ruth died on this day in 1948 aged 53. One half of the Australian pair of demon bowlers of the 1970s, Jeff Thompson, was born in 1950. Together with Dennis Lillie, he was the scourge of English batsmen in the mid-seventies. Batsmen found Thompson’s strange catapult action difficult to ‘read’ and his very fast pace unsettling. Thompson took 200 wickets in 51 Tests. On this day in 1954 the first issue of Sports Illustrated was published. There had been two other publications with the name prior to the magazine that is currently published. In 1936, Stuart Scheftel had a monthly magazine by the same name which was targeted to the sportsman. It focused on golf, tennis, and skiing with articles on the “major sports” which at the time was baseball, basketball, and boxing. It went out of print two years later and the name was sold to Dell Publications. In 1949, Dell put out a Sports Illustrated magazine which was also a monthly edition which covered the “major sports” listed above. It lasted for six issues. There were some other successful monthly magazines but the market could not support one more. They did not cover current events because publications schedules did not accommodate such things. On this day in 1960 Joseph Kittinger parachuted from a balloon over New Mexico at 102,800 feet (31,300m), setting three records that held until 2012: High-altitude jump, free fall, and highest speed by a human without an aircraft. Mateja Svet, Slovenian alpine skier who debuted in the 1983/1984 season was born in 1968. She won the first Slovenian female skiing victory in 1986. Svet won the World Cup giant slalom title in the 1987/1988 season, won silver medal in giant slalom in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, won three medals in 1987 World Championship in Crans-Montana (bronze in slalom and super G, silver in giant slalom) and two medals in 1989 World Championship in Vail – gold in slalom, later when the bronze winner Christelle Guignard was disqualified due to doping, also bronze in giant slalom. In her rather short career — she quit at the age of 21 due to disagreements with the Ski Association of Slovenia — she achieved seven World cup victories, 22 World Cup podiums and 54 World Cup top tens. From 1985 until 1990 she qualified no lower than 7th in the overall World Cup standings. Hungarian former world record holder and Olympic swimmer Krisztina Egerszegi was born in 1974. She is thought of as one of the greatest Hungarian Olympic champions of the modern era, being three-time Olympian (1988, 1992 and 1996) and five-time Olympic champion; and one of three individuals (Dawn Fraser and Michael Phelps being the other two) to have ever won the same swimming event at three consecutive Summer Olympics. She is the most successful and greatest individual female swimmer ever, having won five individual Olympic gold medals, the only female swimmer to do so. Katie Ledecky of the United States matched her total of 5 Olympic gold medals, winning 1 individual gold in London 2012, 3 individual ones and one team gold in Rio in 2016.Egerszegi held the world record in the long course 200m backstroke for almost 17 years. Pavel Královec, Czech football referee, was born today in 1977. He has been a full international for FIFA since 2005. He was selected on the list of referees for the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico and the 2012 Olympic tournament. He has also officiated in 2010 and 2014 World Cup qualifiers as well as qualifying matches for Euro 2008 and Euro 2012. In March 2013, FIFA named Královec to its list of 52 candidate referees for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The New Zealand football team established a World Cup record score at Auckland in 1981 when they beat Fiji 13-0 in a qualifying match. Two days earlier Fiji had lost 10-0 to Australia. They conceded 35 goals in their eight qualifying matches. Today in 1998, at the 80th edition of the PGA Championship, Vijay Singh takes the title after shooting a 271 at Sahalee Country Club. Karen Chen, American figure skater, was born on this day in 1999. She is a bronze medallist at two ISU Challenger Series events, the 2015 USA national bronze medallist, and the 2017 USA. national champion. She placed fourth at the 2017 World Championships. International Boxing Federation Super-flyweight champion (1990-1993), Robert Quiroga, died today in 2004, after being stabbed following a disagreement with a gangland member. Quiroga successfully defended his title five times and retired in 1995. He finished with 20–2 with 11 KO’s. Quiroga made his professional debut on March 16, 1987, at the age of 17. In his 12th professional fight, he defeated former WBA light flyweight champion Joey Olivo. Two fights later, he claimed the IBF Super Flyweight title with a decision win over champion Juan Polo Perez. Later that year, he defended his title with victories over Vuyani Nene and Vincenzo Belcastro. On 15 June 1991, at the Hemisfair Arena in San Antonio, Quiroga defended his IBF Super Flyweight Title for the third time with a brutal and bloody twelve-round unanimous decision over undefeated “Kid” Akeem Anifowoshe. Anifowoshe collapsed after the fight with a blood clot on the brain, and never fought again. The fight was named 1991 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year. The following year, he defeated undefeated challenger Carlos Mercado and former WBO Super Flyweight champion Jose Ruiz.In 1993, his championship reign came to an end with a tko loss to Julio Cesar Borboa. He returned to the ring in 1995, but lost by majority decision. Usain Bolt set a new 100m world record of 9.69 seconds at the Beijing Olympics on this day in 2008. Jason Day wins the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Kohler today in 2015, setting a new major championship record of 20-under-par.
17th– On this day in 1771 Ben Nevis was first climbed. James Robertson, a botanist from Edinburgh, was in the area to collect specimens when he scaled the mountain. John Keats, the poet, climbed the peak in 1818 and compared the climb to “mounting ten St. Pauls without the convenience of a staircase”. The next year, William MacGillvray climbed to the top only to find it littered with the detritus of former climbers. He would go on to become a distinguished naturalist. In 1847, Ben Nevis was finally confirmed as the highest peak in the British Isles. American golfer and tennis player Ralph McKittrick was born on this day in 1877. In the 1904 Olympics McKittrick was part of the American team which won the silver medal in the team golf event. He finished eleventh in this competition. In the individual competition he finished first in the qualification but was eliminated in the second round of the match play. McKittrick also competed in the single tennis competition but was eliminated in the second round. With his partner Dwight F. Davis he also participated in the tennis doubles tournament, where they were eliminated in the quarter-finals. Oscar Alfredo Gálvez, the Argentinan racing driver was born today in 1913. He participated in one Formula One World Championship Grand Prix, on 18 January 1953, in which he scored two championship points. He was a very popular driver, and a regular entrant and champion in the Turismo Carretera series, like his brother Juan. He died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 76. The Buenos Aires circuit was renamed after him. In 1919 Gertrude Ederle became the youngest world record holder in any sport when, at the age of 12 years and 298 days, she broke the world record in the 880 yards freestyle in Indianapolis. Seven years later Ederle would become the first woman to swim the English Channel. In 1928 England and Gloucestershire cricketer Walter Hammond took ten catches against Surrey at Cheltenham, a then record by an outfielder in a first-class match. Henry Armstrong beat Lou Ambers on points to win the world lightweight title at New York in 1938 and to become the first man to hold three world titles simultaneously. Hugh Baiocchi, South African professional golfer who won more than 20 professional tournaments around the world, was born today in 1946. He turned professional in 1971 and spent his regular career playing mainly in Europe. He was a member of the European Tour from its first season in 1972 until 1993 and made the top one hundred on the Order of Merit for the Tour’s first nineteen seasons, including three top ten placings: 1973 (3rd); 1975 (6th) and 1977 (2nd). He won six official money events on the tour. He also competed regularly on the Southern Africa Tour during the Northern Hemisphere winter, winning several tournaments there and winning the Order of Merit in 1973/74 and 1978/79. As a senior golfer, Baiocchi played mainly on the USA-based Champions Tour, where he has three wins. He also designed many golf courses such as the Legend Course at the Constance Belle Mare Plage Resort in Mauritius, venue of the 2011 MCB Tour Championship. The former middleweight boxing champion Alan Minter was born in 1951. He was the first Briton to win the title since Terry Downes in 1961. Minter outpointed Italian-born Vito Antuofermo for the crown in 1980, only to lose it to ‘Marvellous’ Marvin Hagler six months later. Brazilian racing driver Nelson Piquet was born in 1952. He was world champion in 1981, 1983 and 1987. Ice skater Robin Cousins was born in 1957. He won both the Olympic and European figure-staking titles in 1980. On this day in 1957 Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn hit the same spectator twice, during a game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Giants. The spectator was Alice Roth, the wife of Earl Roth who was an editor for Philadelphia’s Bulletin newspaper, which Ashburn himself would later write for, along with the Philadelphia Daily News. During the at bat, Ashburn hit a foul ball that struck Roth squarely in the face, breaking her nose. The game was then paused as medics came in to tend to Roth. As they were carrying her away on a stretcher, play was resumed and Ashburn fouled off the first pitch thrown to him. This foul subsequently struck Roth as she was being carried off by the medics. On this day in 1964 Geoff Boycott scored his first Test Cricket century, 113 against Australia at The Oval. Today in 1978, Double Eagle II set down in a barley field. The feat was the first successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in a balloon. Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson, and Larry Newman left Presque Isle, Maine and 137 hours and 6 minutes later they landed in Miserey, France. This was the fourteenth attempt to cross the Atlantic using a balloon. The first try came in 1873 with the trip ending after 45 miles. By try number 13, the two pilots were only 110 miles short of their goal when the gas bag ripped. Two flights vanished over the ocean (numbers 4 in 1970 and 6 in 1974) killing the four balloonists. In 1974 with attempt number 7, the balloon burst, killing the lone occupant. In 1988 Butch Reynolds broke Lee Evans 20-year-old world 400m record with a time of 43.29 seconds. Swedish swimmer Sarah Sjöström was born in 1993, she is the current world record holder in the 50m freestyle (long course), the 100m freestyle (long course and short course), the 200m freestyle (short course), the 50m butterfly (long course), and the 100m butterfly (long course and short course). She is the first Swedish woman to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming. Grace Elizabeth “Gracie” Gold, American figure skater was born today in 1995. She is the 2012 World Junior silver medallist and a two-time US national champion (2014 and 2016). At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Gold received a bronze medal in the team event and placed fourth in the ladies’ single skating competition. Her highest place at a World Championship is fourth, achieved consecutively in 2015 and 2016. 1976 Olympic pole vault gold medallist and 1980 silver medallist, Tadeusz Ślusarski died on this day in 1998, in a car crash on the E65 road near Ostromice together with Polish 1972 Olympic shot-put gold medallist Władysław Komar. Today in 2008, American swimmer Michael Phelps, became the first person to win eight gold medals at one Olympic Games. In 2015, the 2012 Olympic 1500m champion, Turkey’s Asli Cakir Alptekin was stripped of her gold medal for doping by the IAAF.
18th– Sidney Hatch, American athlete who competed in the 1904 Olympics, winning a silver medal in the Four-mile team race, was born on this day in 1883. A well-known marathon runner in his time, he ran more than 45 marathons with a score of victories including the Chicago Marathon in 1909 and the Yonkers Marathon in 1911, competing as a member of the Illinois State Gaelic AA. In 1910, he finished in 5th in the Yonkers Marathon, competing as a member of the Chicago Irish American Athletic Club. He never failed to finish a marathon. He was a six-time (1906, 1907, 1908, 1911, 1914, and 1915) winner of the Missouri Athletic Club’s All Western Marathon in St Louis including the 1908 marathon that qualified him for the 1908 Olympics. He competed in the marathon in two Olympics, placing 8th in 1904 at St Louis and 14th in 1908 in London. He served as an US Army messenger in World War I and was decorated for “extraordinary heroism” under fire at near Brieulles, France, 11 October 1918. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Distinguished Service Cross as well as the French Croix de Guerre. After World War I he returned to run two more Boston marathons before retiring from marathon running. One of England’s best-known wicketkeepers, Godfrey Evans, was born in 1920. The Kent ‘keeper dismissed 269 batsmen in 95 Test matches, and was the first to claim 200 Test victims. Jockey Lester Piggott enjoyed the sweet smell of success for the first time in 1948. He piloted The Chase, his seventh ride in public, to victory in the Wigan Lane Selling Handicap over one mile at Haydock. The 10-1 winner was trained by Lester’s father, Keith. Today in 1958 Brojen Das from Bangladesh swam across the English Channel in a competition, as the first Bengali and the first Asian to do so. He came first among 39 competitors. On this day in 1964 South Africa was banned from the Olympic Games because of its apartheid policies. Inge Dekker, Dutch swimmer, was born in 1985 who won the bronze medal with the Dutch women’s 4×100m freestyle relay team at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Dekker became Olympic champion in the 4×100m freestyle, setting a then Olympic record. At the 2012 Olympics, she was part of the Dutch 4x100m freestyle team that won the silver medal, behind the Australian team who set a new Olympic record. Polish mixed martial artist and former Muay Thai kickboxer Joanna Jędrzejczyk was born in 1987. She competed in the women’s straw-weight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. She is the current UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion and the third European (and only Polish) champion in UFC history after Bas Rutten in 1999 and Andrei Arlovski in 2005. As of May 2017, she is the consensus number 1 female straw-weight, and number 1 pound-for-pound female MMA fighter in the world. She is also currently the number 8 pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC mixed gender rankings, making her the top female on the list. Due to her surname being difficult to pronounce for English speakers, fans and the media have given her unofficial nicknames, such as “Joanna Champion” and “Joanna Violence”. In 1990 New Zealand’s All Blacks suffered their first defeat in nearly four years, losing 21-9 to Australia at Wellington. Their run of 23 successive wins in rugby union internationals stretched back to 22nd May 1987 when they beat Italy in the World Cup. Alīna Fjodorova, three-time Latvian national figure skating champion was born on this day in 1995. She competed in the free skate at three ISU Championships; 2010 Junior Worlds in The Hague, Netherlands; 2012 Junior Worlds in Minsk, Belarus; and 2012 Europeans in Sheffield, England. In England, she ranked 18th in the short program, 14th in the free skate, and 16th overall. She finished 5th at the 2011 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival. Hal Connolly, American hammer thrower died at the age of 79 on this day in 2010. He won Gold in the hammer throw at the 1956 Olympics and became the first American to throw hammer more than 200 feet. He set his first of six world records just prior to the 1956 Olympics, and held the world record for nearly 10 years. After his gold medal, Connolly competed in three more Olympics, finishing eighth in 1960, sixth in 1964 and not qualifying for the final in 1968. In 1972, he finished fifth in the United States trials and failed to make the team. Connolly sustained severe nerve damage to his left arm during birth, prohibiting the limb from ever developing properly. He fractured it 13 times as a child. His left arm grew to be four and a half inches shorter than his right and his left hand two-thirds the size of his right.The New York Times noted, “When he won his Olympic gold medal, photographers yelled at him to raise his arms in triumph. He lifted only his right arm.” Both during and after his athletic career, Connolly worked as a teacher in the Santa Monica school system. In 1988, he retired and accepted a position as an executive director of Special Olympics, where he would serve for the next 11 years. Until his death, he coached youth athletes and served as the Junior Hammer Development Chairmen for US Track and Field Association. He was one of the leading promoters for the next generation of hammer throwers. Dezső Gyarmati, Hungarian water polo player and three times Olympic champion died today in 2013 at the age of 85. He later became the coach of the Hungarian national water polo team. Widely regarded as a “legendary player”, Gyarmati was the most decorated player in the history of the sport. He participated in five different Summer Olympics, winning gold medals with the Hungarian team at the 1952 Olympics, the 1956 Olympics and the 1964 Olympics. His team received silver medals at the 1948 Olympics and bronze medals at the 1960 Olympics. He became European Champion twice, in 1954 and in 1962. He played a total of 108 matches with the Hungary national team and was among the fastest water polo players of his time, with a personal record of 58.5 seconds for 100 meters. Gyarmati played in the famous Blood in the Water match between Hungary and the Soviet Union at the 1956 Olympics, which occurred weeks after the Soviet invasion of Hungary. FINA stated that while it is usually “remembered as the ‘Blood bath of Melbourne’ after the scenes of the dying minutes, it was team captain Gyarmati who opened the scoring and set up the other three goals Hungary netted while winning 4-0 en route to the title.” The 14th World Athletics Championships came to an end today in Moscow in 2013.
19th -The Weisshorn was first climbed today in 1861 by the Irish physicist John Tyndall, accompanied by the guides JJ Bennen and Ulrich Wenger. Thomas Wentworth Wills, the sportsman who is credited with being Australia’s first cricketer of significance and a founder of Australian rules football was born today in 1835. At the age of 14, Wills was sent to England to attend Rugby School, where he became captain of its cricket team, and played an early version of rugby football. After Rugby, Wills represented the Cambridge University Cricket Club in the annual match against Oxford, and played at first-class level for Kent and the Marylebone Cricket Club. An athletic all-rounder with exceptional bowling skills, he was regarded as one of the finest young cricketers in England. Returning to Victoria in 1856, Wills achieved Australia-wide stardom as a cricketer, captaining the Victorian team to repeated victories in intercolonial matches. He played for, and was secretary of the Melbourne Cricket Club, in 1858 he called for the formation of a “foot-ball club” with a “code of laws” to keep cricketers fit during winter. After founding the Melbourne Football Club in 1859, Wills co-wrote the first laws of Australian rules football. He and his cousin HCA. Harrison spearheaded the sport’s development as captains, umpires and administrators. In 1861, at the height of his fame, Wills joined his father on an eight-month trek into the Queensland outback to establish a family property. Two weeks after their arrival, Wills’ father and 18 others were murdered in the largest massacre of settlers by Aborigines in Australian history. Wills survived and resumed playing sport upon his return to Victoria in 1864, and in 1866–67, led an Aboriginal cricket team on an Australian tour as its captain-coach. In a career marked by controversy, Wills challenged cricket’s amateur-professional divide, and was frequently accused of bending rules to the point of cheating. An admitted “chucker”, Wills was no-balled out of top-class cricket in 1872. He failed in an 1876 comeback attempt, by which time his glory years belonged to a colonial past that seemed “like a distant land” The rest of his life was characterised by social isolation, flights from creditors, and heavy drinking, in 1880, suffering from delirium tremens, he committed suicide by stabbing himself in the heart. Wills fell into obscurity after his death, but has undergone a revival in Australian culture since the 1990s. He was an inaugural inductee into the Australian Football Hall of Fame, and today he is described as the archetypal tragic sports hero, and as a symbol of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Controversy surrounds a theory that Wills incorporated features of an Aboriginal game into early Australian football. According to biographer Greg de Moore, Wills “stands alone in all his absurdity, his cracked egalitarian heroism and his fatal self-destructiveness—the finest cricketer and footballer of the age”. On this day in 1900 in Paris the first and only Olympic cricket match took place, it finished the following day, Great Britain beating France to take the title. On this day in 1909 the first car race took place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Carl Graham Fisher was an Indianapolis businessman who made car parts as well as developed highways for America. He visited France in 1905 and helped with friends who were racing their cars. He noticed the cars were of better design and craftsmanship. He wanted to make it possible to improve American cars and that took testing grounds. At the time, races were held at horse tracks or on public roads, but that was dangerous. The races were also ineffective for testing the abilities of the cars. The spectators were also not given much for their money as they could only see a short portion of the entire race. He proposed a racetrack be built for cars, with a circular track with a smooth surface between 3 and 5 miles long and 100 to 150 feet wide. Manufacturers could use the track to test their cars when races were not held. America’s most successful jockey, Willie Shoemaker, was born in 1931. Known as “The Shoe”, he won 11 US Triple Crown races, including four Kentucky Derbys. He rode a record 8833 winners from 40,350 starts between 1949 and his retirement in 1990. A year later he suffered horrific injuries in a car accident that left him severely paralysed. He continued to train horses despite his disability. Renée Richards, American tennis player, who had some success in the 1970s, was born today in 1934.In 1975 Richards underwent male-to-female sex reassignment surgery. She was then denied entry into the 1976 US Open by the United States Tennis Association, which began that year requiring genetic screening for female players. She disputed this policy, and the New York Supreme Court ruled in her favour in 1977 in a decision in favour of transsexual rights. As one of the first professional athletes to identify as such, she became a spokesperson for the transgender community. After a gap of 19 years England recaptured The Ashes at The Oval in 1953 to end Australia’s dominance of them. Denis Compton hit the deciding stroke to give Len Hutton’s team an eight-wicket victory in the fifth and final Test, the only win after four drawn matches in the series. Belgian high-jumper Maria-Christine Soetewey was born on this day in 1957. She became Belgian champion in 1979, 1980 and from 1982 to 1987. Her personal best was 1.94m, achieved in July 1983 in Brussels. Mary Joe Fernández Godsick who was born María José Fernández today in 1971 is a former American tennis player. She reached a career-high ranking of world Number.4 in both singles and doubles. Fernández was the runner-up in three Grand Slam singles tournaments and won two Grand Slam women’s doubles titles and two Olympic gold medals. Iban Mayo Diez Spainish cyclist was born in 1977. Renowned as a climber, Mayo turned pro with Euskaltel–Euskadi in 2000, and became one of the Basque Country’s prospects for glory. He stayed with Euskaltel-Euskadi throughout 2000–2006. The biggest result came in the 2003 Tour de France, when he won a stage up Alpe d’Huez and finished the Tour in sixth place. In 2004 Mayo won the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré, regarded as preparation for the Tour de France. He beat Lance Armstrong by two minutes in a time trial on Mont Ventoux, breaking the record. Mayo won the 19th stage of the 2007 Giro d’Italia. On July 30, 2007, the UCIconfirmed he had failed a test for EPO during the Tour de France, in which he finished 16th. On October 22, the Spanish federation cleared Mayo after a second test proved negative.The UCI president Pat McQuaid stopped short of clearing the rider, pending further tests. On December 19, a French laboratory confirmed the positive test.In 2008, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld Mayo’s two-year ban, which ended on 31 July 2009. On 13 September 2009, Mayo decided not to make a comeback to professional cycling, thus effectively ending his career. Belgian pole-vaulter Kevin Rans was born in 1982, he finished eighth at the 2000 World Junior Championships and tenth at the 2005 World Championships. He also competed at the 2006 World Indoor Championships and the 2006 European Championships without reaching the final round. His personal best jump is 5.70m, achieved in July 2007. With this performance, he equalled the national record of Thibault Duval, Rans does hold the national junior record with 5.60m, and is also a former Belgian junior record holder in the 200m with 20.82 seconds.In March 2009 he tested positive for Corticosteroids. He was first cleared by the Flemish Doping Tribunal,but it was overturned by IAAF and he was handed a 3-month ban. Today in 1993 Sally Gunnell set a 400m hurdles world record at 52.74 seconds. Norwegian sprint canoeist of the late 1930s and 40s, Ivar Iversen died today, aged a few days short of his 98th birthday, in 2012. He won a gold medal in the K-1 4x500m at the 1948 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in London. Iversen also competed at the 1936 Olympics finishing eighth in the K-1 1000m. The K-1 4×500 m was separate from the canoeing competitions at the 1948 Olympics. The K-1 4x500m was only held once at the 1960 Games in Rome.
20th -American tennis player Ellen Crosby Roosevelt was born on this day in 1868. She won the women’s singles title at the 1890 US Championships defeating the 1888 and 1889 champion Bertha Townsend in the final in two straight sets. That year she also won the doubles title with her sister, Grace. They were the first pair of sisters to win the US Championships and remained the only pair to do so until the Williams sisters equalled their achievement in 1999. At the 1893 US Championships she won the mixed doubles title partnering Oliver Campbell. A first cousin of Franklin D. Roosevelt, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1975. Today in 1882 Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture in E Flat Major Opus 49 premiered at the 1882 Moscow Exhibition. The piece was commissioned for the consecration of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour which was built to give thanks for a Russian victory over Napoleon. Indian professional footballer Gostha Pal was born on this day in 1896. Nicknamed as “Chiner Pracheer” (The Wall of China) he was one of the best defenders of contemporary Indian football. He started playing for Kumartuli AC at the age of 11, and joined Mohun Bagan when he was 16. In 1921, Gostho Paul was honoured with the captaincy of the Mohun Bagan football team, and he remained as the club captain for next 5 years. In 1924, he was also appointed as the captain of the Indian national football team. He retired in 1935. One of the early greats of British Lawn Tennis, H W ‘Bunny’ Austin, was born in 1906. He was four times a member of the successful British Davis Cup team in the 1930s. On this day in 1922 the first World Championships in athletics for women was held in Paris. Irish Gaelic footballer and manager Kevin Heffernan was born in 1929. Regarded as one of the greatest Gaelic footballers of all-time, Heffernan made his debut during the 1948 championship and was a regular member of the starting fifteen until his retirement after the 1962 championship. During that time he won one All-Ireland medal, four Leinster medals and three National League medals. An All-Ireland runner-up on one occasion, Heffernan captained the team to the All-Ireland title in 1958. At club level Heffernan enjoyed a lengthy career with St. Vincent’s. He won fifteen county football championship medals and six county hurling championship medals. In retirement from playing Heffernan became involved in coaching and team management. As Dublin manager he revived the county team and steered them to three All-Ireland titles between 1974 and 1983. Heffernan has a number of personal achievements. In 1974 he became the only non-player to be honoured as the Texaco Footballer of the Year. In 1984 he was named in the left corner-forward position on the GAA’s Team of the Century. He was moved to the opposite corner when he was named on the Team of the Millennium in 1999. Australian cricketer Charles Bannerman died on this day in 1930 at the age of 79.a right-handed batsman, he represented Australia in three Test matches between 1877 and 1879. At the domestic level, he played for the New South Wales cricket team. He is most famous for facing the first ball ever bowled in Test cricket, scoring the first run in Test cricket and making the first Test century. This innings of 165 remains the highest individual share of a completed team innings in Test cricket history, despite over 2,000 Test matches being played since that first Test. One of the most colourful characters in boxing, promoter Don King, was born in 1931. His first major promotion was Muhammed Ali’s comeback fight against Jerry Quarry in 1970. King virtually controlled all world heavyweight title bouts during the reigns of champions Larry Holmes and Mike Tyson. He once served four years in prison for manslaughter (1967-70) and in 1984 was cleared of tax evasion. Today in 1938 Lou Gehrig hit his 23rd career grand slam, a record that stood for 75 years until it was broken by Alex Rodriguez. Middlesex and England off-spinner John Emburey was born in 1952. He captained England against the West Indian tourists in 1988, replacing the disgraced Mike Gatting. He played in over 60 Tests. Abdelatif Benazzi, French-Moroccan rugby union player who represented both Morocco and France was born today in 1968. He started out with his homeland Morocco, but his ability was quickly spotted by France’s selectors. He won his first France cap in 1990 against Australia and went on to make 78 appearances and score nine tries for Les Bleus. He played in three World Cups and was a member of the France team that reached the 1999 Rugby World Cup final. He was twice a Grand Slam winner and led Les Bleus in the 1997 tournament. His last international appearance was on 7 April 2001 against England. He finished his club career with Saracens in England, retiring in 2003 ahead of his 35th birthday. Cuban Greco-Roman wrestler Mijaín López Núñez was born in 1982, a three-time Olympic gold medallist, five-time World Champion, and four-time Champion of Pan American Games, he represented Cuba at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Games, and was his country’s flag bearer during the opening ceremonies, winning the gold medal in the men’s Greco-Roman 120 kg category. At the 2016 Rio Games, López won Gold in the 130kg category. In October2010 he was rumoured to have defected and be training in Miami for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), however, Eric Castanos, the coach he was rumoured to be training with, contradicted this stating that Mijaín López was still in Cuba and had never mentioned anything to him about defecting. On this day in 1988 Jack Nicklaus tied for 34th place in The International at Castle Pines, Colorado, and became the first man to take his career earnings over the $5 million mark on the US PGA Tour. English professional snooker player Judd Trump was born in 1989, a former world number one, he enjoyed considerable success in youth tournaments before turning professional in 2005. On 3 April 2011, Trump won his first ranking title, beating Mark Selby 10–8 in the final of the China Open. Following this success in China, he reached the final of the 2011 World Snooker Championship where he was defeated by John Higgins. He then went on to win the 2011 UK Championship where he defeated Mark Allen 10–8 in the final. In November 2012, Trump won the inaugural International Championship and in doing so became world number one, a position he held for five weeks. On 18 February 2013, he reclaimed the top spot. In July 2014, Trump won his 4th ranking title at the Australian Goldfields Open after defeating Neil Robertson 9–5. He won the inaugural 2015 World Grand Prix beating Ronnie O’Sullivan 10–7 in the final. In October 2016, he again defeated O’Sullivan 9–8 to claim the European Masters title. A prolific break-builder, he has compiled more than 450 century breaks during his career. Having lost 7-4 at home to Crewe on their Football League debut three days earlier in 1991, Barnet engaged in another goal glut on their League Cup debut, drawing 5-5 with Brentford. British track cyclist Callum Skinner was born in 1992. He won silver in the individual sprint at the 2016 Olympics, and was a member of the British team that won gold in the team sprint. Today in 1993 at the World Athletics Championships in Stuttgart Colin Jackson set a 110m hurdles world record of 12.91 seconds. This mark proved unbeatable as a world record for almost thirteen years, it was equalled by China’s Liu Xiangat the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and surpassed by the same athlete in July 2006 in Lausanne when Liu lowered the mark to 12.88 seconds. Jackson’s 1993 time however still remains the world championship record. On this day in 2012 South Africa became the top-ranked Test Cricket nation after defeating England. The founder of the style of yoga known as “Iyengar Yoga” Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar, also referred to as B.K.S. Iyengar, died at the age of 95 on this day in 2014. He was considered one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world. and the author of many books on yoga practice and philosophy including Light on Yoga, Light on Pranayama, Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and Light on Life. Iyengar was one of the earliest students of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who is often referred to as “the father of modern yoga”. He has been credited with popularizing yoga, first in India and then around the world and in 2004 was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine.