Andy Triggs Hodge, Pete Reed, Andy Gregory, Tom James, Sophie Hosking, Katherine Copeland, Laura Trott, Dani King, Jo Rowsell, Greg Rutherford, Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah may have jointly accomplished the greatest day in this fine countries sporting history this last Saturday. Together they made up the rowers, cyclists and athletes who helped haul in a remarkable 6 gold medals in one day’s action at the Olympic Games.
It is widely accepted that the evenings events in the athletics is now Britain’s greatest moment in that sport, but what about all sport, I thought this was the perfect excuse to get all nostalgic.
Football World Cup 1966 – 30th July 1966
Despite being an only English team this still ranks as a great British sporting achievement. Winning the grandest prize in football at Wembley Stadium against the Germans was a truly remarkable achievement. Azeri linesmen, famous commentary moments and a guy called Geoff Hurst all conjured up a historic moment for British sport.
Bradley Wiggins Tour de France victory – 22nd July 2012
You don’t have to go too far back to find one of our best contenders for the thrown as less than a month ago Bradley Wiggins did what few thought was ever possible and won The Tour de France. A gruelling race that pushes the body and mind to its absolute limits the win was made even sweeter by having another Brit, Chris Froome, in second overall. There is no doubting Wiggins bringing the maillot jaune across the Channel is one of our greatest sporting achievements.
Rugby World Cup 2003 – 22nd November 2003
Again England and again it is the sheer magnitude of what was achieved that warrants this lofty accolade. Beating Australia in their backyard in such dramatic fashion was an iconic sporting moment.
Ashes win 2005 – 12th September 2005
England, Wales and a little help from our friends of the Commonwealth South Africa can take the nod for this one. This Ashes triumph was special because of the topsy-turvy nature of victory against one of, if not the greatest Cricket sides ever assembled with McGrath, Warne, Ponting, Gilchrist and co in Australia’s ammunition. Stirring performances from Flintoff, Vaughan, Pietersen and Simon Jones were all a part of this magnificent triumph.
This one should not be belittled. At the time it was quite frankly bewildering that a human being could cover such a distance in such a time and achieving the elusive 4 minute mark became something of a moon landing event. His main rival to the achievement was Australian John Landy and despite both of them coming close many times before it was finally the Brit who ran in at 3:59.4 seconds at Iffley Road, Oxford in 1954. Despite the record being bettered 6 weeks later by his great rival Landy in a time of 3:57.9 Bannister will go down in legend as the first to run the ‘miracle mile’.
Time will tell if the legacy of this glorious August day will make Saturday the 4th of August 2012; Britain’s finest day in sport.