Biggest sporting triumphs in world sport
Biggest sporting triumphs in world sport

The decade’s biggest triumphs in world sport

If this list was US-centric, Leicester City wouldn't get a look in when it comes to iconic moments, but name a bigger upset in the history of sport? Their pre-season odds of 5000/1 to win the English Premier League championship backs up that argument and places them No.1 for me ahead of Tiger and the US Masters earlier this year.

 

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1. Leicester City (2016, Soccer)

Teams such as Leicester just aren't built to beat the big boys, hence their odds of 5000/1 prior to the 2015/16 English Premiers League championship. The Foxes had never won a championship before but under the astute management of Claudio Ranieri, Leicester, who had narrowly avoided relegation the previous season, led from the outset to claim a title that would lead to them being known as "The Unbelievables".

 

2. Tiger Woods (2019, US Masters)

At 43 and with a history of crippling injuries, some had already written the golfing obituary of Tiger Woods, making his one stroke win over Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele all the more remarkable. It was his 15th major, just three short of Jack Nicklaus.

 

A euphoric Tiger Woods after securing the US Masters. Picture: Getty Images
A euphoric Tiger Woods after securing the US Masters. Picture: Getty Images

 

3. Roger Federer (2017, Tennis)

Coming into the 2017 Australian Open, Federer at 35 was viewed by some as a spent force in terms of winning Grand Slam titles, with just one in the past seven years. Across the net was his friend and great rival Rafael Nadal, who went to a 3-1 lead in the fifth set. Federer then wound the clock back with some of the most scintillating tennis ever produced, winning five straight games to signal a comeback that would again take him to No.1.

 

4. Cleveland Cavaliers (2016, Basketball)

Led by "The King" in LeBron James, the Cavs were 1-3 down in the 2016 NBA Championship to red-hot favourites and defending champions Golden State Warriors. Inspired by James and point guard Kyrie Irving, Cleveland then achieved the impossible to take the Warriors in Game 7.

 

LeBron James inspired the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA title against Golden State. Picture: Getty Images
LeBron James inspired the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA title against Golden State. Picture: Getty Images

 

5. New England Patriots (2017, Super Bowl LI)

Played in Houston, Texas, on February 5, 2017, the Tom Brady-led Patriots were down 28-3 during the third quarter to the Atlanta Falcons. They then produced the largest comeback in Super Bowl history, scoring 25 unanswered points to tie the game at 28-28 with 57 seconds left in regulation. New England then drove 75 yards to win with a 2-yard touchdown run by running back James White. Naturally, quarterback Tom Brady was named MVP.

 

6. Mayweather v McGregor (2017, Boxing)

It wasn't the best versus the best, but for sheer theatre the undefeated Floyd Mayweather taking on UFC loudmouth Conor McGregor was reality TV meets Rocky. It generated 4.3 million pay per views, second only to the disappointing Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao bout. Mayweather, who earned a reported $230 million, stopped McGregor in the 10th.

 

 

Floyd Mayweather lands a punch on Conor McGregor. Picture: Getty Images
Floyd Mayweather lands a punch on Conor McGregor. Picture: Getty Images

 

7. Ben Stokes (2019, Cricket)

It's testament to his talent that Stokes twice produced two of cricket's most memorable innings, one in the World Cup final to defeat New Zealand, the other in the third Test of the 2019 Ashes series at Headingley. After being part of an English side that was bowled out for 67 in its first innings, Stokes responded with an unbeaten 135no in a record pursuit of 359.

 

Ben Stokes guided England to a famous Ashes Test win with his unbeaten knock. Picture: Getty Images
Ben Stokes guided England to a famous Ashes Test win with his unbeaten knock. Picture: Getty Images

 

8. Brazil v Germany (2014, Soccer World Cup)

Host nation Brazil played a semi-final against arch rivals Germany, two teams that could lay strong claim to being the best in soccer history with both having won four World Cups. They were undefeated in the tournament, making it all the more unbelievable that eventual champions Germany led 5-0 at halftime, at one stage scoring four goals in six minutes, before winning 7-1.

 

A dejected Oscar about Brazil’s 7-1 World Cup semi-final loss to Germany in front of home fans. Picture: Getty Images
A dejected Oscar about Brazil’s 7-1 World Cup semi-final loss to Germany in front of home fans. Picture: Getty Images

 

9. Eliud Kipchoge (2019, Kenya)

The 35-year-old was already the world marathon record holder (2:01.39 secs) when he attempted "the impossible" in October, 2019, and that was to break two hours for the distance. Running in Vienna's Pater Park, Kipchoge, with the help of pacemakers, ran an amazing 1:59.40 secs, although the IAAF does not count it as a world record due to the set up of the challenge.

 

10. America's Cup (2013)

The 34th America's Cup was held in San Francisco bay between the defender in Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand. It appeared a boring mismatch when Oracle went 1-8 down, before staging a great comeback to win eight straight races and take the Cup 9-8 in what was the longest edition of the famed race in both days and races.

 

The victorious Oracle Team USA.
The victorious Oracle Team USA.

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