The History of Sport 1931: The first Alpine World Ski Championships, Helen Wills-Moody wins her seventh US Open, Maria Mednyansky wins her fifth table tennis singles title


Some of the main events in sport in 1931

Inaugural FIS Alpine World Ski Championships are held at Mürren, Switzerland. The events are a downhill and a slalom race in both the men’s and women’s categories. The winners are:Men’s Downhill – Walter Prager (Switzerland)
Men’s Slalom – David Zogg (Switzerland)
Women’s Downhill – Esme Mackinnon (Great Britain)
Women’s Slalom – Esme Mackinnon

In Aussie Rules football Richmond beat South Melbourne’s 12 year record for the highest score when they score 30.19 (199) to North Melbourne’s 4.7 (31).

The baseball Negro National League disbands. St. Louis Stars win the last championship.

The first telecast of a sports event, a baseball game in Tokyo, is made.  The first sports event, The Derby, is televised in Britain by the Baird Co.

Shortly after the 1931 Five Nations Championship is completed, France is banned from the competition due to allegations of professionalism and administrative deficiencies.

The first cross-channel glider flight is made by Lissaint Beardmore in a Professor Sailplane.

Spud Manning pioneers sky-diving using the spreadeagle position.

Rangers win a fifth succesive Scottish League football title.

Arsenal win the English League with a record 66 points.

Sally Lunn (GB) sets a world record of 3 mins 4 2/5 seconds for the 1000m.

The first women’s international cross-country race is held at Douai, France.

The Green Bay Packers win their third straight NFL title.

Marjorie Barrett of England wins her fifth All-England singles badminton title.

Germany win the first two-man bobsleigh world championship.

Jack Thompson (US) wins the boxing world welterweight title for the third time.

The dimensions of the standard Rugby Fives court are approved.

Jack Page wins his tenth successive British figure skating title and with Ethel Muckett wins a ninth successive pairs title.

Clas Thunberg wins a record equalling fifth world overall speed skating title.

Arthur Fulton wins the King’s Prize for shooting at Bisley for the third time.

The British National Trophy knock-out competition at speedway is held for the first time.

Helen Wills-Moody wins her seventh US Open tennis singles title.

Britain’s Shepherd-Barron and Mudford win the women’s doubles title at Wimbledon.

Hungary win their fifth successive Swaythling Cup world team title at table tennis.  Maria Mednyansky (Hungary) wins her fifth consecutive women’s singles title.

The international archery federation (FITA) is founded and the world championships are first held.

At cricket Rubina Humphries takes 10-0 and scores all the runs for Dalton Ladies v Woodfield.


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The Sports History Chronicle Sportsman of the Year 2019 is Nathan Chen. The Greatest Sportsmen of the Decade

Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya – Athletics) – ran the second fastest marathon ever in a race.  In a paced challenge ran the first sub two hour marathon.

Nathan Chen (USA – Figure Skating) – world champion, won all his competitions and set a world record score.

Nikita Kucherov (Russia – Ice Hockey) record for most points in an NHL season during the salary cap era, 128 points

Marc Márquez  (Spain – Moto GP) won 12 races, breaking the single-season points and podium records with 420 points and 18 podium finishes from 19

Caeleb Dressel (USA – Swimming) – won six golds and two silvers at the world championships.  Broke the 100m butterfly world record.

Johannes Høsflot Klæbo (Norway – Nordic Skiing won the overall 2018-19 World Cup and extended his own record of most sprint victories in a single World Cup season, with 8 wins.  Three golds at the world championships.

My runners-up are:

Marc Marquez who continues to dominate the sport and had one of the best seasons seen in Moto GP.

Caeleb Dressel who not only won six golds but broke by a good margin a record that had stood for ten years.

My sportsman of the year is Nathan Chen.  Records in figure skating are broken frequently which caused me to think closely about the merits of Chen’s performances but I decided that Chen did enough.  He won all six individual competitions and set the two highest scores ever an the fifth highest, winning the world title by a huge margin.

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Previous Winners

2018 Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya – Athletics),  Runners-up Oleksandr Usyk (Ukraine) ,Marcel Hirscher (Austria – Skiing)

2017 Brent Lakatos (Canada – Para athletics), Runners-up Nino Schurter (Switzerland – Mountain Biking), Tomoyuki Matsuda (Japan – Shooting), Lasha Talakhadze (Georgia – Weightlifting)

2016 Martin Fourcade (France – Biathlon) Runners-Up: Ihar Boki (Belarus -Para Swimming), Michael Jung, (Germany – Three Day Event), Wayde Van Niekerk (South Africa -Athletics), Peter Prevc (Slovenia – Ski-Jumping)
2015 Novak Djokovic (Serbia – Tennis): Runners-up Ma Long (China – Table Tennis) , Ihar Boki (Belarus – Para Swimming)
2014 Renaud Lavillenie (France – Athletics): Runners-up Sebastian Brendel (Germany – Canoeing), Giles Scott (England – Sailing)
2013 – Teddy Riner (France-Judo) won a 6th world title and unbeaten since 2010:Runners-Up: Peyton Manning (USA – American Football), Sun Yang (China – Swimming)
2012 – Lionel Messi (Argentina -Football) – 91 goals in the year: Runners up: David Rudisha (Kenya – Athletics), Ilya Ilyin (Kazakhstan – Weightlifting) , Sun Yang (China – Swimming), Sergei Martynov (Belarus – Shooting)


Numbers quoted are for the 2010s decade only

Nino Schurter (Switzerland – Mountain Biking) – seven times world champion and seven world cup titlesO

Martin Fourcade (France – Biathlon) 24 world cup titles including 7 overall.  Five Olympic golds and 11 world championships.

Marcel Hirscher (Austria – Skiing) eight overall world titles, plus six each in slalom and giant slalom.  Two Olympic and seven world championship golds

Ihar Boki (Belarus -Para Swimming) – eleven Parlympic golds and eleven world championships plus many world records.

Novak Djokovic (Serbia – Tennis) – fifteen Grand Slam titles (including six Australian and five Wimbledon singles titles.  More than five years ranked world number one.

Rafa Nadal (Spain – Tennis) 13  Grand Slam singles titles including 8 French Opens four US Opens.

Ma Long (China – Table Tennis) held the ranking of number 1 for a total of 64 months, the most by any male player in the history of table tennis.  World champion three times, Olympic gold,twice world cup winner.

Sebastian Brendel (Germany – Canoeing) – three Olympic golds and twelve world championships.

Teddy Riner (France-Judo) – ten World Championships gold medals, the first and only judoka (male or female) to do so, and two Olympic gold medals.

Lionel Messi (Argentina -Football) – five Ballons d’Or in the decade and more than 30 goals in every season

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal – Football) –  five Ballons d’Or, more than 300 goals, four UEFA Champions Leagues and a European Championship with his country.

Tom Brady (USA – American Football) – three Superbowl wins and two other appearances.  Twice league MVP, voted to nine ProBowls

Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya – Athletics) – Regarded as the greatest marathoner ever Kipchoge has won 12 of the 13 marathons he has entered including the Olympics. Set the world record and ranunder two hours.

Peter Sagan (Slovakia – Cycling) – winner of the Green jersey points classification of the Tour de France a record seven times and three times world road race champion

Kohei Uchimura (Japan – Gymnastics) – five times world all-around and twice Olympic champion.  Also won four other world golds.

Marc Marquez (Spain – Moto GP) – six times Moto GP champion

Lewis Hamilton (Great Britain – Formula One) – five time world champion in the decade

Adam Peaty (Great Britain – Swimming) – Olympic champion and eight world golds at 50m and 100m breaststroke and relay.  Set eleven world records

Mikaël Kingsbury (Canada – Freestyle Skiing) – Olympic gold, four world golds and eight world cup title in moguls.  Eight overall world cups.

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The Sports History Chronicle World Team of the Year 2019 are Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron. The Greatest Teams of the Decade


The shortlist is:

The USA women’s 4×100 m medley relay swimming team (Regan Smith, Lilly King, Kelsi Dahlia, Simone Manuel ) took over a second from the previous world record when winning the world championships.

Olympique Lyonnais Women (France – Football) won their domestic league and cup.  Won the women’s champions league and international cup.20 wins and two in their league, one draw in women’s champions league.  Otherwise won every match.

Liverpool (England – Football) – winners of the Champions League and world club championship. 37 games without defeat in the league.

USA Womens gymnastics team – another domnating win at the world championships but not quite the margin as in 2018.

Győri Audi ETO KC (Hungary – Handball) drew two  but won all other games in the season where they won their home league and cup, and the European Champions Cup.

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (France – Figure Skating) set four world records and won all four competitions in 2018/19 and five this season.


For such consistency over the whole year the three ball sports teams are my runners-up.  They all had similar years in 2019 being unbeaten but being held to a draw on rare occasions.  It is almost impossible to choose between them so I have gone for a pair who were perfect.

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron won all of their ice dance competitions and set four world records.  Records are broken regularly in figure skating but to do so in each competition in a season and to win the world championship by a large margin makes them my team of the year.

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Previous Winners

2018 The Netherlands women’s hockey team Runners-Up Boston Red Sox and the Dublin Gaelic Football team

2017  Zenit Kazan Volleyball Team,  Runners-Up The Netherlands women’s hockey team, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir
2016 The USA Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Team ,Runners-Up: China table tennis team, Mercedes F1 team, Olympique Lyonnais Women’s Football Team
2015 Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (New Zealand – 49er Sailing), Runners-up: Mercedes (Formula One), Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina (Russia – Synchronised Swimming)
2014 Italy’s Women Foil Fencing Team: Runners Up Hamish Bond and Eric Murray (NZ – Rowing), Jennifer Jones’s Canadian Curling Team
2013 Vakıfbank İstanbul Women’s Volleyball Team (Turkey)
Runners-Up: Mat Belcher & Will Ryan (Australia – Sailing), Bayern Munich (Germany- Football)
2012 Hamish Bond and Eric Murray (New Zealand – Rowing) – unbeaten for four years and set world best by six seconds
Runners-Up: USA Women’s 4x100m relay team (athletics), THW Kiel (Germany -Handball)



Only refers to achievements in the 2010s.

New England Patriots (American Football) – three Superbowl wins and two other appearances in a sport where dominance is very hard to achieve.

The USA Women’s Artistic Gymnastics team – seven times world or Olympic champions by big margins.

Hamish Bond and Eric Murray (New Zealand – Rowing) – winners of two Olympic and six world golds together.  Unbeaten for seven years when retiring and set a world best by six seconds.

Mat Belcher & Will Ryan (Australia – Sailing) – won five world championships and six world cups.  Belcher also won three world titles and an Olympic gold with Malcolm Page.

China (Table Tennis) – won every Olympic, world championship and world cup in the 2010s

Olympique Lyonnais Women’s Football Team -six times UEFA women’s champions league winner

New Zealand All Blacks (Rugby Union) – the outstanding team of the decade with two world cup and seven southern hemisphere rugby championship wins

Natalia Ishchenko, Svetlana Kolesnichenko and Svetlana Romashina (Russia – Synchronised Swimming) – the Russians won nearly every gold in the decade in the sport with these ladies involved in most of the duet wins.

Zenit Kazan (Russia – Volleyball) – five times European Club Champions

Dublin Gaelic Football team – seven times all Ireland champions

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The Sports History Chronicle Sportswoman of the Year 2019 is Brigid Kosgei. The Greatest Sportswomen of the Decade

My shortlist for world sportswoman of 2019 is:

Brigid Kosgei (Kenya- Athletics) – unbeaten in eight races on the road including three half-marathons and both marathons.  She smashed the world record.

Tove Alexandersson (Sweden – Orienteering) – won three golds and the world cup at orienteering.  Won two world championships at ski-orienteering.

Mikaela Shiffrin (USA – Alpine Skiing) first skier to win the overall, super-G, giant slalom and slalom World Cup titles in a single season and a record 17 wins.  Two world championship golds.

Panipak WONGPATTANAKIT (Thailand – Taekwondo) – world champion and winner of all five competitions she entered.

Simone Biles (USA – Gymnastics) won a record fourth all-round gymnastics world individual title also won two more apparatus golds and team gold plus silver and bronze in the other apparatus finals.

Katie Taylor  (Ireland – Boxing) – won the WBO junior-welterweight title and previously, the unified WBAWBCIBF, WBO and Ring magazine lightweight titles.

Maren Lundy (Norway – ski-jumping) – twelve wins in the 2018/19 World Cup and the world title.

Alice Tai (Para swimming) – won seven golds at the world champs and set four world records

Deng Wei (China – Weightlifting) – three golds at the world championships.  Won all five competitions she took part in and set world records in all three lifting events.

Janja Garnbret (Slovenia – Climbing) –  won the World Championships in bouldering and combined, became the first athlete to win all six Bouldering World Cup events in a season.

My runners up are

Janja Garnbret who is taking her developing sport to new levels.

Mikaela Shiffrin whose versatility over the 2018/19 season was unprecedented.

Simone Biles has been unbeatable for the last six seasons of competition and seems to be getting more dominant as the years go by.  At the world championships she won golds in floor, vault and beam and the all-round title plus the team gold.

This would often be good enough to win my award but the run of Brigid Kosgei in the Chicago Marathon where she easily beat a world record that had stood for sixteen years and appeared impregnable was amazing.  She also ran an incredibly fast half-marathon and was unbeaten and this means my sportswoman of the year is Brigid Kosgei.

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Previous Winners

2018 Simone Biles (USA – Gymnastics) Runners-Up Ester Ledecka (Czech Republic – skiing and snowboarding), Jessica Fox (Australia – Canoeing)

2017 Evgenia Medvedeva (Russia – Ice Skating), Runners-Up: Bianca Walkden (Great Britain – Taekwondo), Cecilia Brækhus (Norway – Boxing),Kim Rhode (USA – Shooting)

2016 Katie Ledecky (USA – Swimming) Runners-Up: Anita Wlodarczyk (Poland – Athletics), Rachel Atherton (Great Britain – Mountain Bike), Simone Biles (USA – Gymnastics), Katinka Hosszu (Hungary – Swimming)
2015 Gwen Jorgensen (USA – Triathlon), Runners Up: Katie Ledecky (USA – Swimming), Anita Włodarczyk (Poland – Athletics)
2014 Katie Ledecky (USA – Swimming): Runners up Tatiana Kashirina (Russia – Weightlifting), Sandra Perkovic (Croatia – Athletics)
2013 Kaori Icho (Japan – Wrestling) – won her 8th world title and 154th consecutive fight, an all-time record:Runners-Up: Tatyana McFadden (USA – Para athletics), Tora Berger (Norway – Biathlon)
2012 Marianne Vos (Netherlands – Cycling) Olympic and world road race champion, Giro winner and world cyclo-cross champion: Runners-up: Kaori Icho (Japan – Wrestling), Missy Franklin (USA – Swimming), Katie Taylor (Ireland – Boxing), Hannah Kearney (USA – Freestyle Skiing)

My Sportswomen of the Decade

The achievements referred to here are only for the 2010s decade and don’t include earlier titles.

Katie Ledecky (USA – Swimming) -15 individual titles at the Olympics (four) and World Aquatics Championships (11) a record for female swimmers Holds world records at 400m,800m and 1500m freestyle

Anita Wlodarczyk (Poland – Athletics) – three world and two Olympic titles.  Has held the world record for most of the decade and the first woman to throw the hammer over 80m.

Simone Biles (USA – Gymnastics) -the greatest woman gymnast ever. 19 world and four Olympic golds.  A record five-time World all-around champion.

Katie Taylor (Ireland – Boxing) – three world and an Olympic gold as an amateur.  a two-weight world champion in an unbeaten professional career

Tatyana McFadden (USA – Para athletics) seven Paralympic gold medals and twelve world titles.

Mikaela Shiffrin (USA – Alpine Skiing) three-time reigning Overall World Cup champion, the four-time reigning world champion in slalom, and a six-time winner of the World Cup discipline title in that event. Two Olympic golds.

Lindsey Vonn (USA – Alpine Skiing) – sixWorld Cup season titles in the downhill discipline, four titles in super-G  and three consecutive titles in the combined one Olympic gold

Serena Williams (USA – Tennis) – the dominant female player of the decade with twelve more Grand Slam singles titles.

Lisa Carrington (New Zealand – Canoeing) – two Olympic and ten world golds in rand sprint kayaking including every global title since 2011 at 200m K1.

Marit Bjørgen (Norway – Biathlon) – eight Olympic and fourteen world championship golds.  Five world cup titles.

Natalie Geisenberger (Germany – Luge) four Olympic and nine world championships.  Seven times world cup champion.

Marina Sablikova (Czech Republic – Speed Skating) three Olympic and sixteen world championships

Jia Fangfang (China – Tumbling) – five times world champion 

Cecilia Brækhus (Norway – Boxing) – first ever boxer to hold five world titles from sanctioning bodies simultaneously.  Winner of all 23 of her bouts in the decade and remains undefeated as a professional

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Sports History Chronicle British Sportsman of the Year 2019: Adam Peaty and The Greatest British Sportsmen of the Decade

Some of the names I considered for 2019 British sportsman were:

Callum Smith (Boxing) – retained the WBA title twice and is ranked as the world’s best active super-middleweight by several independent authorities.

Josh Taylor (Boxing) – won the IBF and WBA super-lightweight titles and Ring magazine.

Jonathan Rea -won his fifth consecutive world superbike title.

Six time world Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton. Another dominant season with eleven wins and seventeen podiums in 21 races.

Adam Peaty – the swimmer won three gold medals at the world championships.  He broke the world record for the 100m breaststroke and became the first man to swim under 57 seconds in the event.

Max Whitlock (Gymnastics) -won his third world title on Pommel Horse

Joe Fraser (Gymnastics) – became the first Briton to win a world title on parallel bars

Ben Stokes (Cricket) – vital contributions to England’s world cup triumph and Test match victory

Liam Heath (Canoeing) – world champion again at 200m in K1

James Woods (Freestyle Skiing) – world champion at slopestyle

Bradly Sinden (Taewondo) – world featherweight champion


Stokes is the popular choice and he produced some spectacular performances at important moments.  However, he wasn’t consistent enough for me.  Others on the list have to do something special to win if they have few competitions or back up a world championship with other titles.

My runners-up are:

Liam Heath who won both the world cup 200m K1 sprint races held as well as retaining his world title.

Lewis Hamilton, who does have the best car but also is now without doubt the best driver as well.  His year was at a similar level to 2018, perhaps slightly better, and for the length of his domination of the sport I was tempted to make him sportsman of the year.  However, one man continues to set new standards.

For the third time my sportsman of the year is Adam Peaty.  He won the world championship gold medals at 50m and 100m breaststroke, where he swam below 57 seconds for the first time when nobody else has ever been under 58.  He added a third gold in the 4x100m medley relay where he was a second quicker than anyone else.

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Previous Winners

2018 is Tai Woffinden(Speedway) Runners-up: Adam Peaty (Swimming) Lewis Hamilton (Motor Racing)

2017 Aled Davies (Para-athletics), Runners-up: Adam Peaty (Swimming), Liam Heath (Canoeing)

2016 Adam Peaty (Swimming) Runners Up: Jason Kenny, Mo Farah, Max Whitlock, Ollie Hynd, Adam Peaty and Andy Murray
2015 Adam Peaty (Swimming), Runners-up: Giles Scott (Sailing), Aled Davies (Para Athletics)
2014 Giles Scott (Sailing): Runners-up Rory McIlroy (Golf), Adam Peaty (Swimming)
2013 Mo Farah (Athletics) – winner of the 5000m and 10,000m world titles: Runners-Up: Andy Murray (Tennis), Chris Froome (Cycling)
2012 Bradley Wiggins (Cycling) – winner of the Tour de France and Olympic time trial gold: Runners-up: Ben Ainslie (Sailing),Andy Murray (Tennis), Rory McIlroy (Golf), David Weir (Para Athletics), Mo Farah (Athletics)

My choices as the best fifteen British Sportsmen of the Decade

Liam Heath (Canoeing) -Olympic and twice world champion with eight world cup wins at 200m K1 kayaking.

Jason Kenny (Cycling) – holds the record jointly for most Olympic golds by a Briton with six in sprint and keirin events.  Won three world titles as well.

Chris Hoy (Cycling) – much success in the  previous decade but in the 2010s won two Olympic and two world titles in keirin and team sprint.

Lewis Hamilton (Motor Racing) – won five of his six world Formula One titles in the 2010s.

Alistair Cook (Cricket) – played Test cricket from 2006 to 2018 and broke the record for most test runs by an England batsman.  Captained and played for the team a record number of times.

Max Whitlock (Gymnastics) – two Olympic golds and three world titles, specialising on pommel horse.

Giles Scott (Sailing) – Olympic gold and four world championships in the Finn class.

Rory McIlroy (Golf) – four major championship wins and world number one for nearly two years.

Adam Peaty (Swimming) – Olympic champion and eight world golds at 50m and 100m breaststroke and relay.  Set eleven world records

Mo Farah (Athletics) – winner of three 5000m and 10,000m world titles and did doubl es at the distances in two Olympics.

Andy Murray (Tennis) – winner of three Grand Slams (two Wimbledons), the Davis Cup and two Olympic golds in the greatest era of men’s tennis.

Chris Froome (Cycling) – winner of four editions of the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia in 2018 and the Vuelta a España twice.

David Weir (Para Athletics) – four Olympic and three world golds, eight London marathon wins

Aled Davies (Para Athletics) – two paralympic and six world titles at shot and discus.  Many world records.

Tai Woffinden (Speedway) – three times world individual champion.

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Sports History Chronicle British Team of the Year 2019: Liverpool Football Club, and The Greatest British Teams of the Decade

My choices came from these champion teams

The England men’s fifty overs cricket team – won the World Cup for the first time

World Tumbling Gymnastics teams – both men and women won world team titles

Liverpool FC – winners of the Champions League and world club championship. 37 games without defeat in the league.

Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre – world champions in the 470 class at sailing

GB women’s K1 canoe slalom team were world champions.

The British Men’s 4 × 100 metre medley relay swimming team were world champions in a European record time.

Luke Greenbank
Adam Peaty
James Guy
Duncan Scott


The cricket team were rightly celebrated for their historic win but it must be said  that they were lucky to get across the line so my top three are the Tumbling team (men and women taken together), Liverpool and the swimmers.

Tumbling isn’t yet an Olympic sport so re tend to be as strong in depth as swimming where the British beat strong American and Australian teams.  Adam Peaty took a second out of every one else to set up the gold and it was Duncan Scott’s final leg that secured the title.

My choice as team of the year is Liverpool Football Club.  It does go slightly against my rules of using only the season that finished in 2019, where they were second in the league, but in the calendar year Liverpool were amazing.  They would have won the league in any other year because their form was so good but Man City were brilliant too.  The start of this season has been even better with just one league game they haven’t won making a ful year unbeaten.  Liverpool’s other achievements clinch my award.  They won the UEFA Champions League and the World Club title and are currently the best team in the world and have to be my winners.

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Previous Winners

2018 GB Women C1 canoe slalom team (Bethan Forrow, Mallory Franklin, Kimberley Woods).  Runners-up England netball team, The men’s 4x100m relay athletics team

2017 GB men’s 4x100m relay athletics team (C.J.Ujah, Adam Gemili, Danny Talbot and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake)  Runners-up the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay swimming team, Engladn women’s cricket team.
2016 Saracens Rugby Union Team Runners-up: the England rugby team, Louis Rolfe, Jon-Allan Butterworth and Jody Cundy (Paralympic cycling Team Sprint).
2015 Great Britain Davis Cup Tennis Team Runners-up: Helen Glover and Heather Stanning (Rowing), the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay swimming team
2014 Helen Glover and Heather Stanning (Rowing): Runners-up England women’s rugby union team, GB women 4×100 relay team (athletics)
2013 Great Britain Women’s Cycling Team Pursuit Squad world champions and world record setters again: Runners-Up: Sprinter Sacre (Horse Racing), GB Men’s Squash Team
2012 Frankel (Horse Racing) – winner of all five races to finish his career unbeaten and achieved the highest rating in history. Runners-Up: Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins (Rowing), Women’s team pursuit cycling, England women’s rugby union team, Paul Foster and Alex Marshall (Bowls)



The Greatest British Teams of the Decade

Helen Glover and Heather Stanning (Rowing) won two Olympic and two world championships together and were unbeaten for four seasons.

Great Britain Women’s Cycling Team Pursuit Squad – the team which was largely the same for the dominant years won two Olympic and four world titles

The Great Britain and Sky cycling teams – at the start of the decade the GB track team dominated the world and at the 2016 Olympics reemerged to take lots more medals.  The team was connected to the Sky team which came to prominence on the road racing scene and won seven Tours de France in the decade along with many other events.

Frankel and his training team (Horse Racing) unbeaten in his career in fourteen races and achieved the highest rating in history.

Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre/ Saskia Clark (Sailing) –  Mills won two world cups and a world championship with McIntyre and an Olympic, world championship and world cup with Clark in the 470 class.

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Sports History Chronicle British Sportswoman of the Year 2019: Alice Tai – @alice__tai and The Greatest British Sportswomen of the Decade

As I have done for the previous seven years I have decided on my choices as the outstanding British and world sportsman, sportswoman and team in the year 2019.  This year I have also made my choices in the same categories for the 2010s decade.

Firstly my choice as the British sportswoman of the year.

Some of the most notable performances were:

Lucy Bronze (Football) – winner of the Champions League with her club and one of the outstanding defenders in women’s football.  She was second in the vote for the best player in the game and was part of the England team that reached the world cup semi-finals.

Ellen White (Football) – at the World Cup was joint top goalscorer with six.

Dina Asher-Smith (Athletics) won the 200m gold medal at the world athletics championships.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Athletics) – won world championship gold at the heptathlon and broke the British record.

Seonaid McIntosh  (Shooting) –  won three World Cup medals (including the first World Cup Gold to be won by a British Woman), becoming the first British Woman to rank World  number 1 for the 50m Rifle Three Position event and was European Champion in the 300m Rifle Prone event with an equal World Record score.

Alice Tai (Para swimming) – won seven golds at the world champs and set four world records

Hannah Cockroft (Para athletics) – double world champion and two world records

Sophie Hahn (Para athletics) – two gold medals and world records in sprints.

Bianca Walkden and Jade Jones (Taekwondo) – both won world titles.  This was Walkden’s third and Jones’s first to add to her two Olympic golds.

Elinor Barker (Cycling) – winner of the scratch race at the world championships.

Hollie Doyle (Horse Racing) – set a record for a woman in Britiain of 116 winners in a calendar year

Emily Scarratt (Rugby Union) – voted world rugby women’s player of the year in the fifteen a side game.

Lauren Price (Boxing) – won the middleweight title at the world  amateur championships and European Games.

Emily Benham Kvåle (MTB Orienteering) – won  Long Distance, Midle Distance and the Sprint at the  World Cup final in Germany.  Victories in six of eight World Cup races this season.

The three I have shortlisted are Katarina Johnson-Thompson,Seonaid McIntosh and Alice Tai.  I have KJT ahead of Dina this year because she broke the British record and got close to 7000 points which would have put her in the most elite company in history.  She had to beat an outstanding champion in Nafi Thiam whereas Dina didn’t have to face the athlete who was fastest in the world.

Seonid made British history in a sport which is really competitive with many countries taking part.  To be number one and equal a world record was an outstanding achievement.

Alice Tai produced something truly exceptional with her performances at the world championships.  Winning seven golds is remarkable but sometimes in para sport the depth of competition isn’t strong in every class.  Alice was facing one of the greatest para swimmers, Jessica Long, but came out on top.  The quality and number of Alice’s great swims in 2019 make her my choice as British sportswoman of the year.

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Alice Tai




2018 Dina Asher-Smith (Athletics). Runners-up Kara Adenegan (Para-athletics), Rachel Atherton (Mountain Bike), Vicky Holland (Triathlon)

2017 Bianca Walkden (Taekwondo) Runners-up Elise Christie (Short track speed skating), Hannah Cockroft (Para athletics)

2016 Rachel Atherton (Mountain Bike): Runners-Up Nicola Adams, Laura Kenny, Kadeena Cox, Jade Jones

2015 Lizzie Armitstead (Cycling): Runners-up Rachel Atherton (Mountain Bike), Hannah Cockroft (Para Athletics)

2014 Hannah Cockroft (Para athletics): Runners-up Lizzy Yarnold (Skeleton), Charlotte Dujardin (Dressage)

2013 Charlotte Dujardin (Dressage) – unbeaten on Valegro, set a world best score and was European Champion Runners-Up: Hannah Cockroft (Para athletics), Becky James (Cycling)

2012 Sarah Storey (Para Cycling) – four golds at the Paralympics: Runners-Up: Charlotte Dujardin (Dressage), Jessica Ennis (Athletics), Ellie Simmonds (Para Swimming), Laura Trott (Cycling)


My twelve British Sportswomen of the decade are:

Hannah Cockroft (Para athletics) – 5 paralympic golds and 12 world titles setting numerous world records.

Elise Christie (Short track speed skating) – the first British woman to win a speed skating world title.  She won three  including the overall title in 2017.

Lizzy Yarnold (Skeleton) – the first British woman to ever win two Winter Olympic gold medals.  She also won a world championship gold and world cup title.

Bianca Walkden (Taekwondo) – Three world titles in the heavyweight division and one of the greatest years in the history of taekwondo in 2017 when winning every Grand Prix event.

Jade Jones (Taekwondo) – winner of two Olympic golds and a world title

Rachel Atherton (Mountain Bike) – the best downhill biker of the decade winning four world championships and five world cups.

Nicola Adams (Boxing) – won two Olympic gold medals and held the WBO female flyweight title.

Laura Trott/Kenny (Cycling) – became the most successful British woman in Olympic history with four golds in team pursuit and omnium.  She also won seven world titles.  Five of her global titles came in individual events.

Charlotte Dujardin (Dressage) – with her outstanding horse Valegro won three Olympic golds and two world titles.

Jessica Ennis (Athletics) – won two world golds and the Olympic title at heptathlon.

Helen Glover (Rowing) – won 3 world titles and 2 Olympic golds as one half of the coxless pair with two different partners.

Sarah Storey (Para Cycling)  – won fifteen world and seven Olympic titles

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