On This Day

  • August 11 down the years

Daly stuns the golfing world

John Daly was a surprise winner at Crooked Stick © Getty Images
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1991
One of golf's great fairytales. John Daly wasn't just virtually unknown but unbelievably lucky to be playing the US PGA at all. He was only 9th reserve, but so many dropped out that he got his chance. And suddenly the length of his driving took everyone's breath away. His nickname 'Wild Thing' didn't do him justice in this event. No-one had ever hit the ball consistently longer in the history of the Majors. Longer and accurately, with some tremendous putting under pressure. Without a practice round, he shot 69 in the first and 67 in the second and was never overtaken, achieving a shock victory by three strokes. Daly survived a 60-foot scare at the British Open four years later (July 23).

2008
British swimmer Rebecca Adlington won her first Olympic gold. It didn't look likely when she was fourth with only a length to go in the 400 metres freestyle, 1.46 seconds behind America's Katie Hoff. But her strength took her through. She beat Hoff into second place by 0.07 of a second. Adlington's team mate Jo Jackson won the bronze, while French world champion Laure Manaudou finished eighth. Italy's world record holder Federica Pellegrini finished fifth but would have won gold if she'd matched the Olympic record she set the previous day. After this 400 final, Pellegrini broke the world record in the heats of the 200 free on the way to winning gold in that event. Adlington was the first British woman to win an Olympic title in the pool since Anita Lonsbrough in 1960 ( September 27). She won her second gold on August 16.

1984
Seb Coe retained the Olympic 1500 metres title. After beating Steve Ovett into third place in 1980 (August 1), he left him behind again - but it wasn't a fair fight this time. And there was another British runner in between. Down the back straight of the last lap, a sweep of the medals looked possible. But Ovett was crippled by bronchitis in the LA smog. It left him last in the 800 metres, where Coe picked up his second silver medal in a row (August 6), and now it forced him to step off the track and onto a stretcher. Meanwhile Steve Cram needed to be ahead of Coe at the final bend. But he'd been injured that season and wasn't up to full fitness. Coe led into the finishing straight and ran away with it. He was the first man to win the event twice since Jim Lightbody in 1906.

America's sprint relay men set the only world record of these Games. More significantly, Carl Lewis brought home the baton to become the first athlete since 1948 (August 7) to win four gold medals at the same Olympics. He'd won his third three days earlier.

Big news for Italy as they won two Olympic golds in athletics on the same day. In the shot putt, Alessandro Andrei beat Michael Carter, later a Super Bowl winner. And Gabriella Dorio surprised the Romanian favourites with her sprint in the 1500 metres.

1966
The man who won a Commonwealth Games Marathon after running the wrong way. Scotland's Jim Alder adapted better than anyone to the 35°C heat of Kingston. With five miles to go, he moved away from England's Bill Adcocks, deciding 'I'd better not leave it to a toss-up between two of us by the stadium.' Ironic words, for when Alder reached the entrance to the tunnel, he was misdirected by Jamaican officials and had to retrace his steps and chase Adcocks, who was suddenly 30 yards in front. Luckily for Alder, the knotted handkerchief on Adcocks's head hadn't done much good: he was so groggy he didn't know anyone was near him until Alder went past with 250 to go. Relief all round at the right result.

1948
The Hollywood star who won an Olympic medal. Light-heavyweight weightlifter Harold Sakata, born in Hawaii of Japanese parents, finished second to fellow American Stanley Stanczyk, who set Games records in all three categories and lifted a total of 37.5 kilos more than Sakata, the widest winning margin in Olympic history. Sakata became a professional wrestler and played villainous sidekick Oddjob in the James Bond film Goldfinger

1936
The youngest Olympic medallist in an individual event. Inge Sørensen of Denmark was only 24 days past her 12th birthday when she finished a distant third in the 200 metres breaststroke. Japanese world record holder Hideko Maehata, who won silver in 1932, became the first Asian woman to win Olympic gold.

1932
India's hockey team won gold at six Olympics in a row, from 1928 (May 26) to 1956 inclusive. Today in LA, they beat their American hosts by the preposterous score of 24-1, still the record for any international match. Roop Singh scored ten goals, Dhyan Chand eight. Chand scored another six in the 1936 final against Germany - playing barefoot. .

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