Who was the first female gymnast to score a perfect 10 at the Olympic Games?

As far as women are concerned, gymnastics officially became an Olympic sport at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, albeit that, unlike their male counterparts, female gymnasts just participated in a team competition, without individual classification. Indeed, it was not until 1958 that the Women’s Technical Committee of the body governing competition in gymnastics, the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG), published its first official scoring system, or ‘Code of Points’.

The Code of Points was based on a ‘theoretical’ maximum score of 10.00 points but, prior to 1976, a ‘perfect 10’ was considered impossible in any discipline of gymnastics, especially at the Olympic Games. Readers of a certain age may recall that even Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut, who became the darling of 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, only achieved scores of 9.90 on her way to individual gold medals in the balance beam and floor competitions.

In fact, such was the belief in the implausibility of a ‘perfect’ score that the Olympic scoreboards of the day were programmed to display just one digit before the decimal point, so could only display scores up to and including 9.99. However, at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, 14-year-old Romanian gymnast Nadia Comăneci made history when she was award 10.00 – confusingly, displayed as ‘1.00’ on the scoreboard – in the team compulsory round of the uneven bars competition. It was no fluke, either; all told, she would receive seven scores of 10.00, three more on the uneven bars and three on the balance bar, winning gold medals in both those disciplines and the all-around competition.

Where, and what, was White City Stadium?

Not many stadia have songs written to commemorate their demolition but, in August, 1989, Anglo-Irish Celtic punk band The Pogues released the single ‘White City’, in which they lamented,’Oh, sweet city of my dreams, of speed and skill and schemes. Like Atlantis you just disappeared from view.’ Speed, skill and schemes, of course, refers to the use of White City Stadium for greyhound racing, which it was between June 20, 1927 and September 22, 1984, shortly before demolition work began.

Officially opened by King Edward VII on April 27, 1908, White City Stadium, or the Great Stadium, as it was originally known, was situated in the north-western part of Shepherd’s Bush, in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. The White City, or Great White City, from which the district takes its name was a 200-acre complex of exhibition buildings constructed, uniformly white, according to the creative vision of Hungarian émigré, Imre Kiralfy, for the

Franco-British Exhibition in 1908. The 150,000-capacity White City Stadium was only added as an afterthought, once London, rather than Rome, was confirmed as the host city for the 1908 Summer Olympics.

White City Stadium continued to be used for athletics until the start of World War I and, again, from 1931 onwards, following the installation of a 440-yard running track. However, the stadium was purchased by the Greyhound Racing Association (GRA) in 1927 and thereafter became the pre-eminent venue for greyhound racing in the country, hosting the English Greyhound Derby every year until its closure. Demolition work was completed in 1985 to make way for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) White City building, but original plans for the building to replace Broadcasting House as the home of BBC Radio were scrapped, the Corporation vacated the premises in 2013 and sold them to property developers.

Which was the longest recorded Test match in cricket history?

According to Guinness World Records, the longest recorded Test match in cricket history was the fifth and final Test of the England tour of South Africa played at Kingsmead, Durban in March, 1939. With England leading the five-match series 1-0, the final Test was, by prior agreement, to be ‘timeless’ or, in other words, played to a conclusion.

Nevertheless, the match still expected to be completed within five days, with England scheduled to play a final tour match against Western Province in Cape Town – 1,000 miles, and two days, away by train – four days after the anticipated finish. However, the final Test lasted from Friday, March 3 until Tuesday, March 14, or a total of twelve days, including rest days on both Sundays and a whole day lost to rain on the second Saturday, before being abandoned as a draw.

In a total of 43 hours and 16 minutes playing time, 5,447 balls were bowled, the new ball was taken twelve times and 1,981 runs were scored. In near perfect batting conditions, prolonged by heavy rain and rolling to prevent deterioration of the pitch, six players – Pieter van der Bijl, Dudley Nourse, Alan Melville, Paul Gibb, Bill Edrich and Wally Hammond – scored individual centuries, with Edrich top scoring on 219.

South Africa won the toss and elected to bat, scoring 530 in the first innings, with England scoring 316 in reply. The hosts added a further 481 runs in the second innings, leaving the visitors with an eye-watering fourth-innings chase of 696. Agonisingly, England were 645-5, or just 42 runs short of an unlikely victory, when rain returned to Kingsmead, removing the prospect of further play.

Who has the most heavyweight title defences in boxing history?

In the dynamic world of heavyweight boxing, a record stands tall, towering above the rest, capturing the imagination and admiration of fight fans worldwide. It belongs to the legendary Joe Louis, a name that resonates through the annals of boxing history like a thunderous left hook. With an awe-inspiring display of skill, resilience, and unwavering determination, Louis carved his place in the tapestry of the sport by achieving an astonishing record of 26 successful heavyweight title defences.

From the late 1930s to the late 1940s, Joe Louis reigned supreme, a pugilistic force to be reckoned with. He faced a relentless onslaught of challengers, each aspiring to etch their own name in the annals of greatness. Yet, time and again, Louis emerged victorious, his gloves etching a symphony of precise punches, his footwork painting a masterpiece of ring craft. With every successful defence, he added another brushstroke to his illustrious career, solidifying his status as an immortal boxing legend.

The magnitude of Louis’ accomplishment cannot be overstated. To defend the heavyweight title 26 times requires not just raw talent, but an unwavering resolve that burns like an eternal flame. It demands the ability to adapt to the shifting rhythms of the ring, to weather storms of physical and mental challenges, and to thrive amidst the deafening roars of a crowd hungry for upsets. Joe Louis possessed these qualities in abundance, his fists blazing a trail of triumph that reverberates through the corridors of boxing lore.

Joe Louis, the man whose name became synonymous with greatness, remains an enduring symbol of boxing excellence. His record of 26 successful heavyweight title defences stands as a testament to his explosive power, lightning-fast reflexes, and unwavering resolve. It is a beacon of inspiration, shining brightly for aspiring champions who dare to dream of etching their own mark in the unforgiving world of heavyweight boxing.