6th-Today in 1966 Kathy Whitworth won the LPGA Amarillo Ladies Gold Open. Serbian tennis player Ana Ivanovic was born on this day in 1987. Competing as a professional from 2003 until 2016, Ivanovic won 14 WTA Tour singles titles, and one Grand Slam singles title, the French Open in 2008. Additionally, during this time, she earned over $15 million in prize money, which is the 20th highest in the all-time rankings. In June 2011, she was named one of the “30 Legends of Women’s Tennis: Past, Present and Future” by Time and was also included on the list of “Top 100 Greatest Players Ever” (male and female combined) by reporter Matthew Cronin. Her first breakthrough came at the 2004 Zurich Open, where she qualified and was narrowly beaten by Venus Williams in the second round in two tiebreak sets. By the age of 18 Ivanovic had already defeated established players such as Svetlana Kuznetsova, Nadia Petrova, Vera Zvonareva and Amélie Mauresmo. She also defeated many other past and present top players including name such as Maria Sharapova, Venus and Serena Williams, Dinara Safina, and Martina Hingis. Ivanovic was known for her aggressive style of play and impressive forehand, described by Petrova as “the best out there.” Ivanovic’s struggles after winning the 2008 French Open were well documented. After that victory, she was overwhelmed by attention and endured an ongoing period of reduced success, failing to make a Grand Slam quarterfinal in her subsequent 17 Grand Slam tournaments, and dropping as low as No. 65 in the rankings during July 2010. In 2014, Ivanovic enjoyed a resurgence, beginning with her victory in the Auckland Open, her first singles title in over two years, before going on to win the Monterrey Open, Aegon Classic and the Pan Pacific Open. Ivanovic qualified for competition in the 2014 WTA Tour Championships in Singapore and secured a year-end ranking of No. 5, signifying her return to the world’s elite. In 2015, Ivanovic made it to the semi-finals of a major for the first time in seven years at the French Open. In late December 2016, a few days out from the beginning of the 2017 tour, she announced her retirement, citing being no longer able to perform to a high standard as a major factor.The 18th New York Women’s Marathon was won by Grete Waitz on this day in 1988 in a time of 2:28:07.Also on the same day in 1988 Patty Sheehan claimed the LPGA Mazda Japan Gold Classic. Paula Kania, Poish tennis player was born in 1992. She began playing tennis at the age of 7 and has won one WTA title in doubles, five ITF titles in singles, and twelve in doubles. On 15 June 2015, she reached her best singles ranking of world number 128, and on 22nd June 2015, she reached her best doubles ranking of world number 62. Tegla Loroupe took the 24th New York Women’s Marathon on this day in 1994 in 2:27:37. The LPGA Toray Japan Queens Gold Cup was won today in 1994 by Woo-Soon Ko. Dutch swimmer and triple Olympic champion Hendrika “Rie” Wilhelmina Mastenbroek died on this day in 2003 aged 84. Born in Rotterdam on 26th Feburary 1919, she started swimming under the eye of “Ma” Braun, who had coached her daughter to an Olympic gold medal in 1928. In 1934, Mastenbroek won three gold medals and a silver at the European Championships. She repeated that performance at the 1936 Olympics, aged only 17, winning the 100m freestyle, 400m freestyle and the 4×100m freestyle. In the 100m backstroke, she finished second behind teammate Nida Senff. (Senff missed a turn and had to swim back before completing the last 50m. She nevertheless beat Mastenbroek thanks to an outstanding last leg.) The following year she became a swimming instructor, thereby losing her amateur status and becoming ineligible for competition. During her career she broke nine world records (six for backstroke and three for freestyle). In 1968 she was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame and in 1997 she received the Olympic Order. After her death, Stichting Aquarius named the Rie Mastenbroek Trophy after her. In 2011 Firehiwot Dado of Ethiopia won the New York marathon in a time of 2:23:15, her first major marathon victory.Coming second, four seconds behind the leader originally from Ethiopia, but now living in the Bronx, was Bizunesh Deba with a time of 2:23:19. The 2011 Fed Cup final came to a close today at the Olympic Stadium Moscow. The Czech Republic defeated the home team, Russia, to win their sixth title and first as an independent nation. In 2016 the NYC Marathon ended in a 1-2 for Kenya with Mary Keitany winning in 2:24:26 and Sally Kipyego four seconds behind with the third spot being claimed by American runner Molly Huddle. The 2016 Fed Cup was the 54th edition of the most important tournament between national teams in women’s tennis. The final took place over two days, started on this day and was won by the Czech Republic for the third year in a row, and for the fifth time in six years.
7th-British equestrian Lucinda Green née Prior-Palmer, was born today in 1953. She is the 1982 World Champion and a two-time European Champion (1975–77). She also won World team Gold (1982), three European team golds (1977, 1985, 1987) and an Olympic silver medal in the team event in 1984. Between 1973 and 1984, she won a record six times at the Badminton Horse Trials (on six different horses). She also won the Burghley Horse Trials in 1977 and 1981.German middle-distance athlete Sigrun Grau, née Ludwigs, also known as Wodars, was born in 1965. She started out as a 400m hurdler in Schwerin and finished fourth at the 1981 European Junior Championships. She then switched clubs and changed to the 800m like her new club mate, Christine Wachtel, who would also become her closest rival. Now competing under the name of Wodars, she won her first national title in 1986 and placed second at the European Championships in Stuttgart, behind Nadezhda Olizarenko of the Soviet Union. In 1987, she lost seven out of eight times to Wachtel, but the race she won was the World Championships in Rome, defeating her in a close finish. The two repeated their one-two finish at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. Wodars completed her set of titles by also winning the 1990 European Championships in Split, her last title. She later divorced and competed as Sigrun Grau in the 1991 World Championships and the 1992 Olympics, reaching the semi-finals both times. She retired after the Barcelona Olympics and currently works as a physiotherapist. Today in 1965 Marlene Hagge won the LPGA Tall City Golf Open. A year later in 1966 Kathy Whitworth was victorious in the LPGA Titleholders Golf Championship. María Antonia Sánchez Lorenzo, Spanish tennis player was born in 1977.Her highest WTA ranking has been World No. 33, a position she achieved on 5th April 2004. She played two handed on both sides, and her favourite surface was the hardcourt, being both of this unusual for a Spanish tennis player. At the 2005 French Open, Lorenzo defeated reigning champion Anastasia Myskina in 3 sets in the first round, which became the first time the reigning champ of the French open lost in the first round. Elisabeth “Wiz” Bachman was born today in 1978 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, who played volleyball for the USA and represented her native country at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. There she finished in fifth place with the USA National Team. Born on this day in 1979, Amy Purdy, who as well as being an actress and model, was also a world-class snowboarder and 2014 Paralympic bronze medallist. At age 19, Amy contracted Neisseria meningitis, a form of bacterial meningitis. The disease affected her circulatory system when the infection led to septic shock; both of her legs had to be amputated below the knee, she lost both kidneys, and her spleen had to be removed. Purdy began snowboarding seven months after she received her prosthetic legs. About a year after her legs were amputated, she finished third in a snowboarding competition at Mammoth Mountain. Subsequently, she received a grant from the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), a non-profit organization. Through this grant, she was able to compete in several snowboarding competitions in the U.S. Purdy was a contestant on season 18 of Dancing with the Stars. Paired with five-time champion Derek Hough, Purdy was the first double amputee contestant to ever appear on the show. At the 2016 Paralympics opening ceremony, Purdy made an appearance performing a dance routine with what was promoted as a “surprise partner”: a KUKA robotic arm. On this day in 1982 Nancy Lopez won the Mazda Japan Golf Classic. In 1993 the LPGA Toray Japan Queens Cup Golf Tournament was won by Betsey King. Aino Kukk, Estonian Women’s 1955 Chess Champion died on this day in 2006 aged 76. In 1950 she graduated from secondary school in Tallinn. After World War II Aino Kukk was one of the strongest women chess players in Estonia. She participated in almost 30 Estonian Chess Championships and won gold (1955), 2 silver (1953, 1968) and bronze (1952). She four times won the Estonian Sports Association Chess Championships. From 1959 to 1992 she worked in the Estonian Institute of industrial projects, at first as laboratory assistant, later as chief engineer. The 2010 New York Marathon was won today by Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat ahead of American Shalane Flanagan. New Zealand cricketer Glenys Lynne Page died on this day in 2012 aged 72. Page played in only two Women’s One Day International cricket matches, both at the 1973 Women’s Cricket World Cup held in England. Making her debut in New Zealand’s inaugural ODI match against Trinidad and Tobago, she took six wickets for twenty runs, the best bowling figures by a player on debut in a women’s ODI. She’s also the only woman cricketer to take a 6fer on Women’s ODI debut. She held the record for best bowling figures by a New Zealander in women’s ODIs from 1973 to 1982, surpassed by Jackie Lord’s performance of 6/10 against India at the 1982 Women’s Cricket World Cup.Page played her domestic cricket for Auckland between 1965 and 1982.
8th-Today in 1964 Mickey Wright won the LPGA Tall City Golf Open. Penny Heyns, South African swimmer, was born on this day in 1974. She is best known for being the first woman in the history of the Olympic Games to have won both the 100m and 200m breaststroke events – at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games – making her South Africa’s first post-apartheid Olympic gold medallist following South Africa’s re-admission to the Games in 1992. Along with Australian champion Leisel Jones, Heyns is regarded as one of the greatest breaststroke swimmers. She was the youngest member of the South African Olympic team at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. She was also a member of the South African squad at the 1994 Commonwealth Games, where she won a bronze medal in the 200m breaststroke. She broke her first world record, the 100m breaststroke, in Durban in March 1996. Heyns was again part of the South African Olympic team in Atlanta in 1996, where she won the gold medal for the 100m breaststroke (also breaking the world record for the event) as well as the gold medal for the 200m breaststroke (also breaking the Olympic record for the event). During the 1998 Goodwill Games in New York, Heyns set the 50m breaststroke world record. In 1999, Heyns set a spate of eleven world records in three months, swimming at events on three different continents. This made her the simultaneous holder of five out of the possible six breaststroke world records, a feat that had never been achieved before in the history of swimming. She was named by Swimming World magazine as the Female World Swimmer of the Year in 1996 and 1999. She was also a member of the South African Olympic team at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. She won a bronze medal in the 100m breaststroke. Heyns retired from competitive swimming in 2001. In 2004 she was an athlete’s commission member of the International Swimming Federation (FINA). Heyns was voted 52nd in the Top 100 Great South Africans in 2004. Czech tennis player Alena Vašková, married name Alena Neštická; was born in 1975. Vašková won eight singles and 11 doubles titles on the ITF tour in her career. On 9th July 2001, she reached her best singles ranking of world number 115. On 22nd April 2002, she peaked at world number 135 in the doubles rankings. In 2001, Vašková made two appearances for the Czech Republic in the Fed Cup competition. On this day in 1981 Patty Sheehan won the LPGA Mazda Japan Golf Classic. German javelin thrower and volleyball player, Katharina Molitor was born in 1983. As a javelin thrower, she is a World Champion, having won gold in 2015, and her personal best throw is 67.69m. As a volleyball player, she represents Bayer Leverkusen in the Erste Volleyball-Bundesliga, the highest tier of German volleyball. She is a two-time Olympian, having competed in the javelin for Germany at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. She finished eighth in 2008, and improved to sixth in 2012. She won gold at the 2010 German Championships and has since competed in every European and World Championships. Her best result is first place at the 2015 World Championships. Patricia Mayr-Achleitner, née Mayr; born in 1986, is an Austrian tennis player, who 17 singles and seven doubles titles on the ITF tour in her career. On 4th May 2009, she reached her best singles ranking of world number 70. On 29th September 2014, she peaked at world number 117 in the doubles rankings. Playing for Austria at the Fed Cup, Mayr-Achleitner had a win–loss record of 14–15. On 4th December 2010 she married her coach Michael Achleitner. On 22nd July 2015 after her loss at the 2015 Gastein Ladies, Mayr-Achleitner announced that the 2015 Generali Ladies Linz would be her last tournament, stating chronic back pain as the reason for her retirement from professional tennis. In 1987 Yuko Moriguchi takes the LPGA Mazda Japan Golf Classic title. Slovak heptathlete Lucia Slaničková was born in 1988 and currently holds the national indoor record for the 4×400m relay. The 1992 LPGA Mazda Japan Golf Classic was won by Betsy King. Today at the 2013 World Trampolining Championships held in Sofia, Bulgaria, Great Britian’s team of Emma Smith, Laura Gallagher, Kat Driscoll and Bryony Page won the Team event, ahead of the Canadians and the team from Belorussia.
9th-The first black woman to win a Olympic gold medal, Alice Coachman Davis was born on this day in 1923 . Coachman dominated the AAU outdoor high jump championship from 1939 through tob1948, winning ten national championships in a row. In addition to her high jump accomplishments, she won national championships in the 50m ‘dash’, the 100m and with the 400m relay team as a student at the Tuskegee Institute. During the same period Coachman won three conference championships playing as a guard on the Tuskegee women’s basketball team. Despite being in her prime, Coachman was unable to compete in the 1940 and 1944 Olympic Games as they were cancelled because of World War II. In the opinion of sportswriter Eric Williams, “Had she competed in those cancelled Olympics, we would probably be talking about her as the No. 1 female athlete of all time.” Coachman’s first opportunity to compete on a global stage was during the 1948 Olympic Games in London. She qualified for the US Olympic team with a high jump of 5ft 4in breaking the previous 16-year-old record by ¾ of an inch. In the high jump final of the 1948 Summer Olympics, Coachman leaped 1.68m (5ft 6⅛in) on her first attempt. Her nearest rival, Great Britain’s Dorothy Tyler, matched Coachman’s jump, but only on her second try. Coachman was the only American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in athletics in 1948. Upon her return to the United States after the Olympics, Coachman had become a celebrity. Soon after meeting President Harry Truman and former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, she was honoured with parades from Atlanta to Albany and was thrown a party by Count Basie. In 1952 she became the first African-American woman to endorse an international product when she was signed as a spokesperson by the Coca-Cola Company who featured her prominently on billboards alongside 1936 Olympic winner Jesse Owens And in her hometown, Alice Avenue and Coachman Elementary School were named in her honour. Coachman’s athletic career ended when she was 24. Canadian Snowboarder Dominique Maltais was born in 1980. She is a two-time Olympic medallist, winning a bronze medal at the 2006 Torino Games and a silver medal at the 2014 Sochi Games. She also competed at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, where she failed to reach the final. At the FIS Snowboarding World Championships, she won a bronze medal in 2011 and a silver medal in 2013. She is the 2012 Winter X Games champion, and has won the Crystal Globe as the overall FIS World Cup champion in snowboard cross five times, in 2006, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Jana Pittman-Rawlinson born in 1982, an Australian athlete, who specialises in the 400m and 400m hurdles. She is a two-time world champion in the 400m hurdles, from 2003 and 2007. She also won the gold medal in this event at the 2002 and 2006 Commonwealth Games and was part of Australia’s winning 4x400m relay teams at both events. Pittman is one of a few athletes to win world championships at the youth, junior, and senior level of an athletic event. Pittman also competed in the two-woman bobsleigh at the 2014 Winter Olympics, making her the first Australian female athlete to compete in both the Summer and Winter Olympic games. On this day in 1986 Ai-Yu Tu won the LPGA Mazda Japan Golf Classic. Today in 1997 the LPGA Toray Japan Queens Cup was won by Liselotte Neumann. Today in 2012 Tiffany Zahorski announced that her ice-dance partnership with Alexis Miart was being dissolved. The British Trampolining syncho pair of Kat Driscoll and Amanda Parker won the World Championship title today in 2013. In marathon news today from 2014, the Banque du Liban Beirut Marathon was won by Ethiopian Mulahabt Tsega and the Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes (Nice-Cannes) was claimed by Rose Jepchumba from Kenya. The World Senior Chess Championships began today 2015. Held in Acqui Terme in Italy, victorious in the 65+ category was Georgia’s Nona Gaprindashvili , while the 50+ winner was Galina Strutinskaia from Russia.
10th-On this day in 1963 the LPGA San Antonio Civitian Golf Open was won by Kathy Whitworth. Jacquilyn Louise “Jackie” Fairweather, née Gallagher; Australian world champion triathlete, long-distance runner, coach and Australian Institute of Sport high performance administrator, was born in 1967. Fairweather began competing in triathlons in 1992 and won the elite Australian National Series in her first season. She spent eight years as a professional triathlete. In 1996 she became the world triathlon champion, setting a championship record time of 1 hour 50 minutes 52 seconds in Cleveland, Ohio. She also won the World Duathlon Championships in 1996 to become the only person ever to win both world titles in the same year. Fairweather won the Duathlon World Championships again in 1999, but missed repeating the double when she placed 2nd to Loretta Harrop in the Triathlon World Championship. Gallagher collected further World Championship silver medals in 1995 and 1997. She won the bronze medal in the marathon in the 2002 Commonwealth Games, after finishing 11th in her first ever marathon in Boston. In 2005, she won the Gold Coast Marathon. n 2001, Fairweather was appointed to the position of Head Coach of the newly established Australian Institute of Sport triathlon program. From 2005 to her death on 2014, she held senior sport administration positions with the Australian Sports Commission /Australian Institute of Sport. These positions primarily assisted the high-performance programmes of national sports organisations. Fairweather played a major role in triathlon administration and positions included: Triathlon Australia national elite selector International Triathlon Union (ITU) Athletes Committee (1998-2002) athlete member, ITU Women’s Committee member (1997–98) and Triathlon Australia Board Member (first ever athlete’s representative) (1998 – 2001). On 4th November 2014, it was announced that Fairweather had committed suicide at the age of 46 on 1st November 2014. In 1968 Judy Rankin won the LPGA Corpus Christi Civitan Golf Open. Hungarian tennis player Virág Csurgó was born in 1972. She won six singles and 17 doubles titles on the ITF tour in her career. On 20 November 1995, she reached her best singles ranking of world number 160. On 21st September 1998, she peaked at world number 84 in the doubles rankings. Csurgó reached the second round in both women’s singles and doubles at the 1996 Olympics. She wasn’t originally entered in the singles event but was added when another competitor had to withdraw at the last minute. With only five minutes to take the court, she arrived at the match wearing her practice shorts and a T-shirt, and went on to defeat Aleksandra Olsza before falling to Kimiko Date in the second round. Csurgó also reached the second round in three Grand Slam doubles tournaments. She made 16 appearances for the Hungary Fed Cup team. English squash player Jennifer Duncalf was born in 1982, she reached a career-high world ranking of World No. 2 in December 2009. Duncalf was born in the Netherlands and as a junior won the European Junior Championship title and also won the European Individual Championship title in 2006 and 2007, and the British National Championship title in 2007 and 2009. She was also a member of the England team which won the World Team Squash Championships in 2006. In 2008, she finished runner-up at the British Open losing in the final to Nicol David. In 2009 she won three titles in a row—the Soho Square Open, the US Open and the prestigious Qatar Classic. In the singles final of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Duncalf was defeated by Nicol David 11–3, 11–5, 11–7. Today in 1985 Jane Blalock was victorious in the LPGA Mazda Japan Golf Classic. Sarah Wells, Canadian 400m hurdler, was born today in 1989, she competed in the 2012 Olympic Games and made it in the top 24 in the world. She won the silver medal in the 400m hurdles at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada. Other notable finishes were 24th at the London Olympics in 2012, winner of the 2012 Canadian National championships and she was placed 6th in the 2008 IAAF World Junior championships. Her PB, set in Geneva on 2nd June 2012 is 55.97 and she is the holder of the Canadian Youth under-17 record of 59.48. German track cyclist Kristina Vogel was born on this day in 1990. Vogel was actually born in Leninskoye, a district of Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, and moved to Germany with her parents when she was six months old. In 2007 and 2008 she competed at the Junior European and World Championships and became a six-time junior world champion and two-time junior European champion. In April 2009, she was seriously injured after a collision with a minibus when riding on the roads near her home in Erfurt. She was in an artificial coma for two days. She competed at the 2010 UCI Track Cycling World Championships, where she finished fifth in the individual sprint and sixth in the team sprint alongside Miriam Welte. She also competed at the 2011 UCI Track Cycling World Championships. At the 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Melbourne, Vogel and Welte won the gold medal in the team sprint. They set a world record in qualifying which they broke again in the final. Vogel and Welte would go on to win the first ever Olympic gold medal in women’s team sprint later that year in London, benefiting from competitors being relegated in both the semi-final and final. In addition to her track cycling career, Vogel also works as a part-time police officer. Liselotte Neumann won the LPGA Mazda Japan Golf Classic today in 1991. On the same day in 1991 Martina Navratilova tied with Chris Evert with 157 pro tennis tournament wins.
11th-Born on this day in 1886, Alice Huyler Ramsey, the first woman to drive across the United States from coast to coast. She was an avid driver, and in September 1908 she drove one of the three Maxwells which were entered in that year’s American Automobile Association’s (AAA) Montauk Point endurance race, being one of only two women to participate. One of the other Maxwell drivers was Carl Kelsey, who did publicity for Maxwell-Briscoe. It was during this event that Kelsey proposed that she attempt a transcontinental journey, with Maxwell-Briscoe’s backing. The company would supply a 1909 touring car for the journey, and would also provide assistance and parts as needed. The drive was originally meant as a publicity stunt for Maxwell-Briscoe, and would also prove to be part of Maxwell’s ongoing strategy of specifically marketing to women. At that time, women were not often encouraged to drive cars. On 9th June 1909, the 22-year-old housewife and mother from Hackensack, New Jersey, began a 3,800-mile journey from Hell Gate in Manhattan, New York, to San Francisco, California, in a green Maxwell 30. On her 59-day trek she was accompanied by two older sisters-in-law and 16-year-old friend Hermine Jahns, none of whom could drive a car. They arrived amid great fanfare on 7th August 7 although about three weeks later than originally planned. Over the course of the drive, Ramsey changed 11tyres, cleaned the spark plugs, repaired a broken brake pedal and had to sleep in the car when it was stuck in mud. The women mostly navigated by using telephone poles, following the poles with more wires in hopes that they would lead to a town. In San Francisco, crowds awaited them at the St. James Hotel. Ramsey was named the “Woman Motorist of the Century” by AAA in 1960.In 1961 she wrote and published the story of her journey Veil, Duster, and Tire Iron. Between 1909 and 1975, Ramsey drove across the country more than 30 times. She died in 1983, in Covina, California. Another female driver, Italian Maria Teresa de Filippis was born in 1926, the first woman to race in Formula One. She participated in five World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 18th May 1958, but scored no championship points. Though her Formula One racing career was brief, she won races in other series and is remembered as a pioneer in the sport. The death of Porsche team leader Jean Behra in a racing accident on 1st August 1959 while driving in the sports car support race for the 1959 German Grand Prix at AVUS. De Filippis was supposed to drive at that event and was devastated by his death, as well as those of several friends during her time in the sport. She left the circuit and turned her back on motor racing for 20 years.De Filippis married in 1960 and started a family. She kept away from all forms of motor racing until 1979 when she joined the International Club of Former F1 Grand Prix Drivers, going on to take the role of Vice-President in 1997. She was also a founding member of the Maserati Club in 2004 and went on to become its chairperson. De Filippis died in January 2016 at the age of 89. She was a pioneer in motor racing, a sport dominated by men, and no woman would race in Formula One for a further 15 years. Fellow Italian Lella Lombardi competed between 1974 and 1976 and remains the only female to have finished a World Championship Formula One race in a point-scoring position. Four other women have since competed in the sport, most recently Giovanna Amati in 1992. Kathy Postlewait, American golfer, was born today in 1949, she won four times on the LPGA Tour between 1983 and 1989. Today in 1990 Monica Seles beat Gabriela Sabatini 6-4, 5-7, 3-6, 6-4 6-2, in the final of the Virginia Slims Championship in New York. It was the first five-set match in a major women’s event since the 1901 Us Championship doubles. Argentinian tennis player Sofía Luini was born in1992 in Buenos Aires. She has won one singles and seven doubles titles on the ITF tour during her career. On 22nd September 2014, she reached her best singles ranking of world number 492. On 24th November 2014, she peaked at world number 308 in the doubles rankings. Partnering Guadalupe Pérez Rojas, Luini won her first $50,000 ITF tournament at the CIT Paraguay Open, defeating Anastasia Pivovarova and Patricia Maria Țig in the 2014 final. Eleanor May Simmonds, British Paralympian swimmer, was born today in 1994. She came to national attention when she competed in the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, winning two gold medals, despite being the youngest member of the team, at the age of 13. On 1st September 2012, she repeated her gold performance to win the 400m freestyle at the 2012 Paralympics in London, in which she took five seconds off the World Record time. Two days later, on the evening of 3rd September, she took gold in the 200m Individual Medley, breaking the World Record that she had set in the qualifying round that morning. On 12th September 2016, at the Rio Paralympics, Ellie defended her gold medal for the 200m individual medley setting a new world record, the first below 3 minutes at 2:59.81. Simmonds also won a bronze medal in the 400m freestyle at the 2016 paralympics. In addition, Simmonds has won ten gold World Championship titles. Furthermore, she won the 2008 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award. Simmonds was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours. At 14 years old, she became the youngest person ever to have received this honour. In March 2012, in the 200m individual medley, she became the first swimmer to break a world record at London’s Aquatics Centre. Her victory in a time of 3:08.14 broke her own previous best time by over half a second. In 2011, Simmonds won the award for ‘Best British Sporting Performance for an Athlete with Disability’ at the Jaguar Academy of Sport Annual Awards again with a new world record; silver in the S6 100m and a bronze in the S6 50m. In celebration of her two gold medals, two Royal Mail postboxes were painted gold in her honour, one in Aldridge and one in Swansea. Simmonds was elevated to Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to Paralympic sport. Tragically German freestyle skier Sandra Schmitt died in the mountain railway fire at the Kitzsteinhorn near Kaprun, Austria today in 2000 at the age of just 19. In 1998, she was in the German team for the Nagano Winter Olympics, finishing ninth. The following year, with a gold medal in the European Youth Championship moguls as well as in the World Cup, 12th in moguls and fifth in the duals, including her first victory, at Steamboat Springs, Colorado, 1999 was a good year for Schmitt. Then, to some surprise, but not her own, she won the world championship dual moguls, fifth in the moguls itself. In 1999-2000 season, her promise came to further fruition. In moguls she won Deer Valley, Colorado, Madarao, Japan, and Livigno, Italy. In duals, she won again in Madarao, and, overall, was third in each discipline. More than 5,000 Japanese fans cheered her double in Madarao.”Yes, it’s a steep course, but I feel that I am never skiing too fast,” she said. “I am always in control.” On the day of her fatal ascent, she told Tatjana Mittermayer, a former German Olympic freestyle champion, that she would be joining her after some free skiing with her parents. On her way up to the piste, she and her parents boarded the ascending funicular train but a fire in the tunnel of the Gletscherbahn Kaprun. The disaster claimed the lives of 155 people (150 on the ascending train, 2 on the descending train and 3 in the mountain station). There were 12 survivors all from the burning ascending train.
12th -Lily Kronberger or Lili Kronberger, Hungarian figure skater and Hungary’s first World Champion, was born on this day in 1890. Kronberger won a World bronze medal in 1906, at the first official World Championships to include a ladies’ event. She won bronze again in 1907, and four gold medals from 1908 to 1911. She was the first athlete to win a world championship gold for Hungary.In 1911, Kronberger became the first skater to use musical accompaniment during her entire free program. She did this at the suggestion of Zoltán Kodály. She died in Budapest in 1974, at the age of 83. Iris Louise McPhetridge Thaden, born today in 1905, was an American aviation pioneer, holder of numerous aviation records, and the first woman to win the Bendix trophy, alongside Blanche Noyes. She was inducted into the Arkansas Aviation Historical Society’s Hall of Fame in 1980. Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci was born today in 1961. The star of the 1976 Montreal Olympics, she became the first gymnast in history to score a maximum 10 points in international competition. She followed that with six more maximums and, not surprisingly, won three gold medals, a silver, and a bronze. She won two more golds at the 1980 Olympics and collected 11 World and European championship gold medals. She defeated to the West in 1989. See the Playing Pasts Where Are They Now? article on Nadia for more about her life. Today in 1967 Margie Masters won the LPGA Quality Chekd Golf Classic. American figure skater Tonya Harding was born in 1970. She is the 1991 US.Champion and 1991 World Championship silver medallist. Harding was also a two-time Olympian and a two-time Skate America Champion.In 1994, she was banned for life from the US Figure Skating Association after pleading guilty to hindering the prosecution following the attack on fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan. The LPGA Colgate Far East Golf Open was won today by Nancy Lopez on this day in 1978. German pole-vaulter Annika Becker was born in 1981 in Rotenburg an der Fulda. Her personal best is 4.77m, achieved in July 2002 in Wattenscheid. This was the German national record until 12th July 2011. Born today in 1984 – Yan Zi, Chinese-born Hong Kong tennis player. In 2005, at the age of 20, she won her only WTA Tour singles title at the Guangzhou Tier III tournament. In singles, she first reached the world top 100 in January 2006, achieving a then career-high of world No. 72 that March before failing to defend her breakthrough run of results the previous year and dropping back outside the top 100 that October. Her ranking had slumped to 262 by February 2007 after a year of disappointing results, but her results then picked up again over the rest of 2007; and she regained the top 100 for the first time in ten months after a spectacular run at Canada’s Tier I Rogers Cup in August, reaching the semi-finals before finally being defeated by world No. 1 Justine Henin. In doubles, Yan Zi’s highest ranking is No. 4; she has won two Grand Slam titles partnering with Zheng Jie. While she has been good at doubles, her singles performance has been inconsistent as her form fluctuates. She has winning records against top 10 stars Jelena Janković 2–0, Ana Ivanovic 1–0, and Marion Bartoli 1–0. In 2014 Yan received Hong Kong citizenship. In April 2016, she became captain of the Hong Kong Fed Cup team. She announced her retirement that year. Anna Yuriivna Khnychenkova, Ukrainian figure skater, was born today in 1994. As a single skater, she is the 2016 Ice Star champion, 2017 International Cup of Nice bronze medallist, and 2017 Ukrainian national champion. She has competed in the free skate at five ISU Championships and qualified a spot for Ukraine at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Earlier in her career, Khnychenkova competed in pair skating for Ukraine and Hungary. In 1995 the 25th NYC Women’s Marathon was won by Tegla Loroupe in 2:28:06. The 2nd Women’s World Team Squash Championships started today in 2012. Held in Nîmes, France the tournament was won by Egypt beating the England in the final.In Volleyball news the FIVB Women’s World Grand Champions Cup started today in 2013 in was held in Nagoya and Tokyo. Brazil won the tournament, their second title, with Brazilian Fabiana Claudino selected the Most Valuable Player. The Fed Cup finals started today in 2016 in Strasbourg, where the Czech Republic beat France 3-2, to win their third consecutive and tenth overall Fed Cup title.