A select group of athletes come to define their sport. But for the truly transcending, an impression is felt far beyond the confines of mere competition.
For Muhammad Ali, who was born on this day in 1942, the latter scenario was at play. The loquacious American died last June with a reputation secured as the 20th century’s most significant and celebrated sports figure.
This imposing and polarising competitor first came to attention by winning gold in boxing at the 1960 Olympics.
His graceful ability lifted him to world heavyweight glory, before a conversion to Islam and subsequent stand against the war in Vietnam saw him waylaid.
An outstanding comeback followed with the “Fight of the Century”, “Thrilla in Manilla” and “Rumble in the Jungle”, before his greatest personal fight came with the dehabilitating Parkinson’s disease.
More sport stars born on this day:
1940: Kipchoge Keino, Kenyan two-time middle-distance Olympic gold medallist (77).
1974: Derrick Mason, a retired 15-season veteran of the NFL who was a two-time Pro Bowler (43).
1982: Dwyane Wade, shooting guard who claimed three NBA championships with Miami Heat (35).
1988: Will Genia, outstanding Australia rugby union scrum-half who now plays for Stade Francais (29).
New Zealand were not wasting any time a year ago as they thrashed their way into history during the Twenty20 against Pakistan.
The visitors to Hamilton set a target of 169 from their innings.
Up stepped Martin Guptil, at the time in exceptional form with the bat, and Kane Williamson. What followed was a battering of the Pakistani bowlers.
The pair hit a record 171 in 17.4 overs to make it the largest stand for any wicket in the annals of T20 international cricket.
Gutpil’s 87 and Williamson’s 72 also made it the largest successful chase ever seen in T20s. Shahid Afridi was hit for 38 runs, Mohammad Amir for 34 and Imad Wasim for 32 in an awful day for Pakistan.
More memorable moments on this day:
1933: MCC received a telegram from the Australian Cricket Board complaining about ‘bodyline’ bowling.
1963: Wilt Chamberlain scored 67 points in NBA against the Lakers.
2004: England Rugby World Cupwinning captain Martin Johnson announced his retirement
2013: Cyclist Lance Armstrong was stripped of his Olympic bronze medal from Sydney 2000.
England won their first series against South Africa in 11 years after fast bowler Stuart Broad’s devastating 6-17 helped dismiss the hosts for 83 in 33.1 overs to set up victory in the third Test in Johannesburg on this day last year.
England had taken a slender 10-run first innings lead and Broad’s quick wickets at the start of South Africa’s second innings set the visiting batsmen an easy target of 74.
England took a winning 2-0 series lead, wrapping up the game with two days to spare. It was South Africa’s second two-digit total in three months. To make matters worse for the Proteas, they lost their No1 Test ranking to India following the defeat.
Here’s some more memorable moments on this day:
1982: Ivan Lendl tanks a match, losing intentionally to Jimmy Connors at the Volvo Masters because it was late and he didn’t want to face Bjorn Borg the next day unrested.
2007: The NFL announces London will host a regular-season game – the first competitive game to be staged outside North America.
2013: Bayern Munich confirm Pep Guardiola will become their new coach from the start of the 2013/14 season, replacing Jupp Heynckes.