• February 24 down the years

Hands of Stone beats Barkley

Roberto Duran was a warrior of the ring © Getty Images
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1989
Iran Barkley won the WBC middleweight title by stopping scary Tommy Hearns in the third round. Ring Magazine called it their upset of the year. Barkley's next bout was their fight of the year. Today in New Jersey, he faced the legendary Roberto Duran, a natural lightweight who was now hunting higher up. He had taken Marvin Hagler 15 rounds in an attempt on the middleweight title, but then Hearns had poleaxed him at light-middleweight - and if you take a fight against the man who beat up your beater-up, you must like hospital food. But boxing's always a question of styles.

Duran, known simply as Hands of Stone, was 37 but still a warrior. Although Barkley had a reach about as long as Hearns', Duran was able to get inside and bully him as he once bullied Sugar Ray Leonard. He floored Barkley in the 11th on his way to winning by a controversial split decision. Insatiable as always, he went after the super-middleweight title next, but Leonard beat him on points. Barkley lost his next two fights, to Michael Nunn and Nigel Benn, but beat Hearns again to win the WBA light heavyweight title, this time finishing on the right end of a split verdict.

1955
Alain Prost was born in France and became one of the best Formula One drivers of all time. His style was smooth to the point of appearing effortless. Very few hand movements and no bullying of the car. It brought him four world titles, the first in 1985, a year after losing to Niki Lauda by just half a point. He was also runner-up the year before that and four times in all, twice to Ayrton Senna. Prost retained the title in 1986 then had his great rivalry with Senna, succeeding him as champion in 1989 and winning the title again in 1993. Two proud men, they took it in turns to win the title by barging each other off the track in the final race. Prost won 51 Grands Prix, easily the pre-Michael Schumacher record and still the second highest total. His 33 pole positions and 106 podium finishes are also way up there.

1951
France had been playing at Twickenham for 40 years. This was their 11th match there - and their first win. A little luck set them on their way. Brian Boobbyer gave England the lead with a try just before the half-hour. But George Rittson-Thomas was off the pitch injured when France's captain Guy Basquet scored an equalising try. Flanker Jean Prat put them in front with a touchline conversion, then added a try and drop goal in the second half to win the match 11-3.

2007
Herman Brix died at the age of 100. A nearly man in and out of the shot putt circle, he won silver at the 1928 Olympics, narrowly beaten by a world record throw. He set two world bests himself, the second in 1932, but missed those Olympics through injury. Using the name Bruce Bennett, he acted in a number of major films such as Mildred Pierce with Joan Crawford and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre with Humphrey Bogart - but that same injury robbed him of the role of Tarzan, which went to Johnny Weissmuller instead. Brix eventually played the apeman in a film a few years later. He went skydiving for the last time when he was 96.

1973
In his 54th match for Ireland, veteran full-back and captain Tom Kiernan scored only his second try in international rugby, 11 years and 287 days after his first, a record gap for any player. But it was not a happy day out at Murrayfield. Scotland fly-half Colin Telfer found him wanting with a selection of kicks, Ireland lost at Murrayfield for the first time in ten years, and Kiernan did not get another cap.

Sachin Tendulkar acknowledged his double century in typically modest fashion © Associated Press
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2010
Sachin Tendulkar - who else? - became the first person to knock a double-century in a one-day international. The 36-year-old stayed in from first ball to last in an historic innings in Gwalior, finishing 200 not out as the South African bowling attack had simply no answer for his array of attacking shots. Test cricket's all-time leading run scorer never looked like giving up his wicket, eventually scoring 25 fours and three sixes in the 147 balls he faced. India, unsurprisingly, went on to win the match by 153 runs.

1872
Jack Jarvis was born in Leicester. He won five medals in swimming, including two gold, in two rather ersatz Olympic Games. In 1906, they were slipped into the normal four-year cycle and taken back to Athens to try and rekindle them after the lukewarm events of 1900 and 1904, when they were merely part of major exhibitions. Still, a gold medal is a gold medal and two are two. Jarvis was visibly flabby all over, but the body fat kept him warm in the River Seine in Paris, where the 1900 events were held. He won the 1,000 metres by well over a minute, and the 4,000 metres by more than ten from the famous Hungarian Zoltán Halmaj. In 1906, Jarvis won silver in the one mile and bronze in the 400 metres and 4x250 relay. He also played water polo for Britain.

1866
Hubert Van Innis was born in Belgium. Back to those 1900 Olympics. The archery events are regarded as unofficial by some, but they seem to have been as legit as anything else in those Games. Van Innis won two golds and a silver in archery, at distances of 33 and 50 metres. After a gap of 20 years, on home ground in Antwerp, he won four golds and two silvers. Same two distances as in 1900, but also at 28 metres this time. No other archer has come close to his haul of Olympic medals.

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