Special Sub-Topic: Sporting Firsts
|In 1985, which teenage tennis player became the first unseeded player to win the Men's Singles title at Wimbledon, when he defeated Kevin Curren in the final by three sets to one?|
Boris Becker. Boris Becker became a professional tennis player in 1984, and a year later, aged just 17 took his place in the history books by winning at Wimbledon (he beat 8th seed Kevin Curren in four sets). At that time he was the youngest winner ever of a Grand Slam tennis tournament, though the record lasted only four years, being beaten in 1989 by Michael Chang. In his career Becker won 49 major titles including Wimbledon three times. The Australian Open twice and The US open on one occasion. He retired from competitive tennis in 1999.
|In 1938 in France, which nation's soccer team became the first to retain the FIFA World Cup? |
Italy. The Italians won the World Cup on home soil in 1934, and held on to their title four years later when they defeated Hungary 4-2 in the final at the Stade Olympique de Colombes, Paris. Owing to the occurrence of World War II, Italy kept hold of the crown as world champions until 1950. Rumour has it that the Italian vice-president of FIFA, secreted the trophy under his bed during the war, so that any invading troops should not be able to get their pilfering hands upon it.
|Who, in 1964, became the first man to win the Tour de France cycle race on five different occasions?|
Jacques Anquetil. French road racing cyclist Jacques Anquetil won his first Tour de France in 1957, following up with consecutive wins from 1961 through to 1964. He also holds the tag of being the first French rider to win the Giro d'Italia and, in 1963, the first cyclist to win the three grand tours, (Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espaņa). Much later, Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France a record seven times, and both Hinault and Indurain followed in Anquetil's footsteps/tiretracks winning the race five times.
|March 2, 1962 at Hershey, Pennsylvania - who became the first basketball player in NBA history to score 100 points in a single game?|
Wilt Chamberlain. Wilt Chamberlain holds, or has held any number of NBA all-time records in any number of categories. Undoubtedly his crowning glory is his 100 point game, playing for the Philadelphia Warriors, when they defeated the New York Knicks by 169 to 147 on 2nd March 1962. There was no television coverage or video footage of his feat, and not a single New York press member was there to report on the event. This remarkable performance is an accomplishment which may never be beaten.
|On 29th May 1953, a little over three weeks after Roger Bannister had become the first man to run a mile in under four minutes, who became the first woman to run the same distance in under five minutes? |
Diane Leather. Diane Leather's record-breaking run to crack the five minute barrier, took place at an AAA Championship meeting in Birmingham, England. Her time was 4 minutes 59.6 seconds. She bettered that speed in 1955 by a full fifteen seconds, and though not a fully recognised record on the day, it stood for over seven years. It's safe to say in a more enlightened era, where women were granted the same opportunities and media coverage as men, Diane Leather would today be a household name rather than an obscure sporting statistic.
|London Olympics of 1948 - which track and field athlete became the first woman to win four Olympic gold medals, and the first one to do so in a single games?|
Fanny Blankers-Koen. Francina "Fanny" Elsje Blankers-Koen, nicknamed "The Flying Housewife" was born in Lage Vuursche, a small Dutch village in 1918. She carried all before her in the first post-war Olympics in London, winning gold in the 100m and 200m sprints, the 80m hurdles and the 4 x 100m relay. Beside her Olympic achievments, she won five European titles and 58 Dutch championships. Blankers-Koen was unable to repeat her victorious performances four years later in Helsinki when she was hindered by a skin boil, though she did make the final of the hurdle event. "The Flying Housewife" passed away in 2004 at the age of 85.
|Who was the first world heavyweight boxing champion to hold the title and win every single fight throughout his entire career?|
Rocky Marciano. Rocky Marciano won all of his first sixteen professional fights by knockouts, nine of them in the first round; and the remainder before the fifth round was over. His overall fight statistics were- fought 49, won 49 (of which 43 were KOs). He defeated Jersey Joe Walcott to win his first world championship in 1953 and went on to reatain his crown on six occasions. Marciano's last defence, his last title bout, was against an ageing Archie Moore, who knocked the champion down for a four count in the second round, only for Marciano to recover and dispatch Moore in the ninth. Seven months after that fight the great man announced his retirement. Marciano was killed in a light aircraft accident in 1969, the day before his 46th birthday.
|Which American jockey, in 1985, became the first ever to ride the winners of both the Kentucky Derby and the Epsom Derby?|
Steve Cauthen. Born in Kentucky on 1st May 1960, Steve Cauthen is generally accepted as one of the greatest jockeys of the modern era. In 1978, he became the youngest rider ever in American racing history to win the U.S. Triple Crown, partnering Affirmed to victory in all three events. After some weight issues Cauthen moved to Britain where his star continued to shine. He won the Epsom Derby twice on Slip Anchor (1985) and Reference Point (1987), and rode many other classics race winners around continental Europe.
|What famous first was achieved by Gary Muhrcke on Sunday 13th September 1970 in New York city?|
Winner of the first New York Marathon. A field of 127 competitors (126 men, 1 woman) paid the entry fee of one dollar to run around the loops of Central Park, in the first ever New York marathon back in 1970. Firefighter Gary Muhrcke was the first of the 55 finishers home in a time of 2 hours 31 minutes and 38 seconds. Since that day the New York marathon has gone from strength to strength, having been won by some of the greatest names in distance running, including Bill Rodgers, Alberto Salazar, Paul Tergat and more recently the great Kenyan road racer Geoffrey Mutai.
|Who, in 1980, became the first European to win the US Masters golf tournament at Augusta, Georgia by beating Gibby Gilbert and Jack Newton by four strokes? |
Severiano Ballesteros. Seve Ballesteros was a Spanish golfer with immense charisma and talent. He was one of the sport's leading characters and ambassadors for close on two decades. During his outstanding career he was the world's number one golfer (at the end of the 1988 season), winning five majors (including the US Masters twice) and close to 100 other tournaments on various world circuits. Sadly in May 2011 he passed away, aged just 54 years old after losing his battle against a cancerous brain tumour. RIP Seve.
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