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Fun Facts - SPORTS

Teams And Competitors

These are the number of players allowed on a pitch at any one time. The full team can also include some substitutes. In American football, for example, there are 45 full-time team members. Different players come on the pitch forr defensive and offensive moves.

Most Competitors

  • The Boston Marathon centenary race in 1996 attracted a record 38,706 competitors, the most ever for a marathon

  • The Athens Olympic Games(2004) had 11,099 competitors, the most of any Olympics

  • The world's biggest road race is the 12 km (7.5 miles) Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco USA. It has been held every year since 1912. The 1988 race held a record 78,769 official entries, but the total number of people taking part was probably about 110,000. many of them in fancy dress.

  • In 1929 the Grand National horse race had a record 66 runners, but only nine reached the finish line


  • Running A Mile
  • For decades athletes struggled to run a mile in less than four minutes.At 6.07 pm on 6 May 1954, British runner Roger Bannister eventually broke the record. He ran a mile in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds at the Iffley Road track in Oxford

    Track And Field Records

        Track Events
    100 9.58 Usain Bolt (Jamaica) Berlin, Germany 8/16/09
    200 19.19 Usain Bolt (Jamaica) Berlin, Germany 8/20/09
    400 43.18 Michael Johnson (US) Seville, Spain 8/26/99
    800 1:41.09p David Rudisha (Kenya) Berlin, Germany 8/22/10
      1:41.01p David Rudisha (Kenya) Rieti, Italy 8/29/10
      1:41.11 Wilson Kipketer (Denmark) Cologne, Germany 8/24/97
    1000 2:11.96 Noah Ngeny (Kenya) Rieti, Italy 9/05/99
    1500 3:26.00 Hicham El Guerrouj (Morocco) Rome, Italy 7/14/98
    Mile 3:43.13 Hicham El Guerrouj (Morocco) Rome, Italy 7/07/99
    2000 4:44.79 Hicham El Guerrouj (Morocco) Berlin, Germany 9/07/99
    Steeplechase 7:53.63 Saïf Shaheen (Qatar) Brussels, Belgium 9/03/04
    3000 7:20.67 Daniel Komen (Kenya) Rieti, Italy 9/01/96
    5000 12:37.35 Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia) Hengelo, Holland 5/31/04
    10,000 26:17.53 Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia) Brussels, Belgium 8/26/05
    20,000 56:25.98 Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) Ostrava, Czech Republic 6/27/07
    Hour 21,101m (13M,193y) Arturo Barrios (Mexico) La Flèche, France 3/30/91
    25,000 1:13:55.8 Toshihiko Seko (Japan) Christchurch, New Zealand 3/22/81
    30,000 1:29:18.8 Toshihiko Seko (Japan) Christchurch, New Zealand 3/22/81
    110 Hurdles 12.87 Dayron Robles (Cuba) Ostrava, Czech Republic 6/12/08
    400 Hurdles 46.78 Kevin Young (US) Barcelona, Spain 8/06/92
        Relay Events
    4 x 100 37.10 Jamaica Beijing, China 8/22/08
      (Nesta Carter 10.4, Michael Frater 9.0, Usain Bolt 9.0, Asafa Powell 8.7)
    4 x 200 1:18.68 Santa Monica TC Walnut, California 4/17/94
      (Mike Marsh 20.0, Leroy Burrell 19.6, Floyd Heard 19.7, Carl Lewis 19.4)
    4 x 400 2:54.29 United States Stuttgart, Germany 8/22/93
      (Quincy Watts 44.5, Andrew Valmon 43.6, Butch Reynolds 43.23, Michael Johnson 42.94)
    4 x 800 7:02.43 Kenya Brussels, Belgium 8/25/06
      (Joseph Mutua 1:46.73, William Yiampoy 1:44.38, Ismael Kombich 1:45.92, Wilfred Bungei 1:45.40)
    4 x 1500 14:36.23 Kenya Brussels, Belgium 9/04/09
      (William Biwott 3:38.5, Gideon Gathimba 3:39.5, Geoffrey Rono 3:41.4, Augustine Choge 3:36.9)
    4 x Mile+ 15:49.08 Ireland Dublin, Ireland 8/17/85
      (Eamonn Coghlan 4:00.2, Marcus O’Sullivan 3:55.3, Frank O’Mara 3:56.6, Ray Flynn 3:56.98)
    Distance Medley 9:15.56 Kenya Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 4/29/06
      (Elkanah Angwenyi 2:50.8, Thomas Musembi 45.8, Alfred Kirwa Yego 1:46.2, Alex Kipchirchir 3:52.8) (event not officially recognized by IAAF)
        Field Events
    High Jump 2.45 | 8-0.50 Javier Sotomayor (Cuba) Salamanca, Spain 7/27/93
    Pole Vault 6.13 | 20-1.25 Sergey Bubka (Ukraine) Tokyo, Japan 9/19/92
      (Bubka also has an indoor 20-2¼/6.15 that under current IAAF rules should be the overall World Record)
      6.14 | 20-1.75(A) Sergey Bubka (Ukraine) Sestriere, Italy 7/31/94
    Long Jump 8.95 | 29-4.50 Mike Powell (US) Tokyo, Japan 8/30/91
    Triple Jump 18.29 | 60-0.25 Jonathan Edwards (Great Britain) Göteborg, Sweden 8/07/95
    Shot 23.12 | 75-10.25 Randy Barnes (US) Westwood, California 5/20/90
      (note: Barnes tested positive for steroids later in the year; in keeping with its standard policy, T&FN does not carry any of his ’90 marks on its all-time lists)
    Discus 74.08 | 243-0 Jürgen Schult (East Germany) Neubrandenburg, Germany 6/06/86
    Hammer 86.74 | 284-7 Yuriy Syedikh (Soviet Union) Stuttgart, Germany 8/30/86
    Javelin 98.48 | 323-1 Jan Železný (Czech Republic) Jena, Germany 5/25/96
        Multi Event
    Decathlon 9026 Roman Šebrle (Czech Republic) Götzis, Austria 5/26-27/01
      (10.64, 8.11/26-7¼, 15.33/50-3½, 2.12/6-11½, 47.79 [4675],
    13.92, 47.92/157-3, 4.80/15-9, 70.16/230-2, 4:21.98 [4351])
        Road Events
    10K 27:01 Micah Kogo (Kenya) Brunssum, Holland 3/29/09
    15K 41:29 Felix Limo (Kenya) Nijmegen, Holland 11/11/01
      41:29 Deriba Merga (Ethiopia) Ra’s al Khaymah, United Arab Emirates 5/14/09
    20K 55:21 Zersenay Tadese (Eritrea) Lisbon, Portugal 3/21/10
    Half-Marathon 58:23 Zersenay Tadese (Eritrea) Lisbon, Portugal 3/21/10
    25K 1:11:50 Sammy Kosgei (Kenya) Berlin, Germany 5/09/10
    30K 1:27:44 Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) Berlin, Germany 9/20/09
    Marathon 2:03:59 Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) Berlin, Germany 9/28/08
    100K 6:13:33 Takahiro Sunada (Japan) Lake Saroma, Japan 6/21/98
    Ekiden Relay 1:57:06 Kenya Chiba, Japan 11/17/05
      (Josphat Ndambiri 13:24, Martin Mathathi 27:12, Daniel Mwangi 13:59, Mekubo Mogusu 27:56, Onesmus Nyerre 14:36, John Kariuki 19:59)
        Walk Events
    20,000 1:17:25.6 Bernardo Segura (Mexico) Bergen, Norway 5/07/94
    20K Road 1:17:16 Vladimir Kanyakin (Russia) Saransk, Russia 9/29/07
    30,000 2:01:44.1 Maurizio Damilano (Italy) Cuneo, Italy 10/03/92
    50,000 3:40:57.9 Thierry Toutain (France) Héricourt, France 9/29/96
    50K Road 3:34:14 Denis Nizhegorodov (Russia) Cheboksary, Russia 5/11/08

    Ball Games

  • Gold Majors
  • The four big competitions in golf are known as the majors. They are the US Masters, British Open, US Open and US PGA Championship, and are played in that order every year.

    The Masters, founded in 1934, is the only one of the four played on the same course each year, at Augusta National in Georgia, USA. The oldest of the majors is the British Open, which was first held in 1860. It is also the only one played outside the USA. The US Open was first played in 1895 and the US PGA in 1916

    Players with most professional major wins

    Jack Nicklaus (USA) 18: 3 British Open; 4 US Open; 5 US PGA; 6 Masters.

    Tiger Woods(USA) 13: 3 British Open; 2 US Open; 4 US PGA; 4 Master.

    Walter Hagen (USA) 11: 4 British Open; 2 US Open; 5 US PGA.

    Ben Hogan (USA) 9: 1 British Open; 4 US Open; 2 US PGA; 2 Masters.

    Gary Player (S.Africa) 9: 3 British Open; 1 US Open; 2 US PGA ; 3 Masters.

    Tom Watson (USA) 8: 5 British Open; 1 US Open; 3 US Masters.


    Baseball is one of the most popular sports in the USA and is also played in Japan, Mexico, Cuba and a number of South American countries. It is played by two teams on nine players each

    Medieval manuscripts show ball games with bats and a game called "base-ball" appears in a picture published in London in 1744.The game of rounders was first described in 1828, and this or a similar game was known among British settlers in America. The first rules were drawn up in 1845 by Alexander Joy Cartwright Jr and the first match under these rules played on 19 Jume 1846.


    The game of rugby probably started in 1823 at Rugby School in England, when William Webb Ellis picked up a football and ran with it. The first rules were drawn up in 1848 and the Rugby Football Union(RFU) was formed by Edwin Ash in 1871.

    Today;s game of Rugby Union is played between two teams of 15 players. The two biggest events are the International Championship and the World Cup. The International Championship began in 1884 and was originally played by four teams: England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales. France joined in 1910 and Italy in 2000, making it s six-nation tournament. The Rugby World Cup was launched in 1987 and has been held every four years since then. In 2007, 20 teams took part and over 2.25 million people watched the 48 live matches at an average of 47,150 per game.

    Rugby League

    Rugby League dates from 29 August 1895, when 21 major clubs in the north of England formed a league outside the RFU. They were protesting against the RFU's resusal to pay players who had to take time off work. To make Rugby League less like Rugby Union they changed various rules, including reducing the team size from 15 to 13. Rugby League is now played in Australia, New Zealand, France, Russia, and some Pecific nations, as well as in Britain. One of the major events in Rugby League is the Challenge Cup, open to British, French and Russian teams. There is also a Rugby League World Cup, which is in Australia in 2008 and in coming 2013 in England and Wales.


    The first soccer World Cup was played in 1930 in Uruguay. Thirteen teams took part and the host beat Argentina 4-2 in the final in Montevideo.

    They wont the Jules Rimet trophy, named after the president of FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association ) when the competition began. Brazil were allowed to keep the trophy after winning it for third time in 1970 and it was replaced by the FIFA World Cup trophy. The World Cup final takes place every four years.

    World Cup Facts

    The first World Cup goal was scored by Lucien Laurent of France. The goal came 19 minutes into the first World Cup game on 13 July 1930.

    The first player to score four goals in a World Cup match was Ireland's Paddy Moore in a qualifying match against Belgium in 1934. It was the Republic's first ever World Cup match

    Most World Cup Wins
    Brazil 5
    Italy 4
    West Germany 3
    Uruguay 2
    Argentina 2

    Brazil - 5
    Italy - 4
    West Germany - 3
    Uruguay - 2
    Argentina - 2