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  • November 26 down the years

Hail the Vaulting Vicar

The sporting events of November 26 down the years
Bob Richards was known as the Vaulting Vicar © Getty Images
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1956
Bob Richards, 'the Vaulting Vicar' from America, became the only man to retain the Olympic pole vault title. He also won the bronze in 1948.

At the same Games, American weightlifter Paul Anderson won the super-heavyweight gold medal because he was lighter than silver medallist Humberto Selvetti of Argentina, who tied his overall score. 'Lighter' isn't quite the word here: Anderson weighed 21 stone 9, Selvetti 22 stone 8.

And poor Jack Davis won his second successive silver medal in the 110 metres hurdles despite again sharing the same time as the winner, this time his American team-mate Lee Calhoun, who retained the title four years later.

1994
Huddersfield racked up the highest score in any first-class rugby league match, thrashing Blackpool Gladiators 142-4 in the Regal Trophy. Their record margin was equalled the following day when Barrow beat Nottingham City 138-0 in the same competition.

2000
In rugby union, Dave Walder equalled a Premiership record by scoring all of Newcastle Falcons' points in a 32-27 win over Saracens.

2000
Britain's Richard Burns won the Rally of Great Britain, Marcus Grönholm the overall world title.

1992
Jansher Khan won the World Open squash title for the fourth time. His opponent in the final, Australia's Chris Dittmar, had no luck. Around at the same time as Jansher and Jahangir Khan, two of the greatest players of all time, Dittmar reached five World finals and lost the lot, the first to Jahangir, the rest to Jansher. Compensation of sorts came in the form of the world team title in 1989 and 1991.

1948
Peter Wheeler was born. The best hooker of his generation, he was scandalously left out of the 1983 Lions party because its captain played in the same position - and wasn't fit to lace Wheeler's boots. After the tour, which the Lions lost 4-0 in New Zealand, Wheeler rubbed salt in by captaining England to victory over the All Blacks. A quick striker in the scrum, a good thrower into the lineout, mobile in the loose, he'd been a star on the Lions tours of 1977 and 1980. He won 48 England caps and helped win the Grand Slam at long last on March 15 1980.

1974
Roman Šebrle was born in what was still Czechoslovakia. In 2001 he became the only athlete to score 9,000 points in the decathlon. He was Olympic champion in 2004, world champion in 2007, and European champion in 2002 and 2006.

2005
Man of the match Ruben Wiki became the first rugby league player to win 50 caps as his New Zealand team took the Tri-Nations by thrashing Australia 24-0 at Elland Road, Leeds. It was the first series the Kangaroos had lost since December 10 1978 and the first they'd lost to New Zealand since 1953.

1964
Vreni Schneider was born in Switzerland. One of the greatest slalom skiers of all time, she won two Olympic golds in 1988, another in 1994, and three world titles. No other skier, male or female, has matched her 14 World Cup race wins in a season (1988-89).

1908
Stanley Ketchel regained the world middleweight title from Billy Papke. Ketchel was known as the Michigan Assassin, and Papke didn't stand on ceremonies himself: in their previous fight, when Ketchel went to touch gloves at the start, Gentleman Billy nearly knocked him unconscious with a punch, then hammered him for the next 12 rounds before the referee stepped in. Although this return bout was staged only two months later, Ketchel had recovered enough to give Papke such a beating it's said his own wife didn't recognise him. In a sad and eerie postscript, Papke committed suicide in 1936 - on the anniversary of this defeat.

1948
Galina Prozumenshchikova was born in the Ukraine. She was only 15 when she won gold in the Olympic 200 metres breaststroke in 1964, and she picked up silvers and bronzes at the next two Games as well as setting five world records. It's got to be said: one of the biggest names in swimming.

1954
In only his eighth pro fight, just eight months after his first, Pascual Pérez outpointed the accomplished Yoshio Shirai to win the world flyweight title and become Argentina's first world pro boxing champion. One of the all-time greats, Olympic champion in 1948, Pérez held the world title for over five years. He was only 4 foot 11½ inches tall and weighed 7 stone 8.

1922
Étienne Gailly was born in Belgium. His first ever Marathon was at the 1948 Olympics in London - and he very nearly won it. Leading as he reached the stadium, he was so exhausted that he slowed to a wobble and was passed by Argentina's Delfo Cabrera then Tom Richards of Britain. Despite falling more than once, Gailly staggered over the line to win one of the most famous bronze medals in any sport - and a standing ovation from the Wembley crowd.

1994
Four penalties by Neil Jenkins put Wales 12-10 ahead with 20 minutes to go, but South Africa pulled away to win 20-12 in Cardiff. It took another five years for Wales to beat the Springboks for the first time.

1874 Fred Herd was born. A Scottish golfer who won the US Open in 1898 at a course called Myopia. His brother Sandy won the British Open four years later.

1977
Ivan Basso was born in Italy. Winner of the 2006 Giro d'Italia, he was banned from that year's Tour de France on suspicion of blood doping. He later admitted 'an intention to dope' and was suspended for two years. He came back to finish fifth in the 2009 Giro.

1954
Colin Cowdrey's 20-year Test career began today. One of the great slip fielders, he took the first of his 120 Test catches - but Australia reached 208-2 in the first Test at Brisbane. Having been put in to bat by England captain Len Hutton, they declared at 601-8 and won by an innings. But it got better for England. They won the series 3-1 and Cowdrey made the first of his 22 Test hundreds. On November 29 many years later, he broke the record for most Test runs.

1984
Kim Hughes made his famous televised tearful resignation as Australia's Test cricket captain.

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