Jonah Lomu

Jonah Lomu  Jonah Lomu, who died unexpectedly in November, 2015, at the age of just 40, after suffering a heart attack, was hailed as the first international superstar in rugby union. Lomu suffered from a rare kidney condition, known as nephrotic syndrome, which hampered his playing career and, ultimately, contributed to his death.

Lomu made his international debut, playing one the wing, for New Zealand against France at Lancaster Park, Christchurch on June 26, 1994, less than two months after his nineteenth birthday; in so doing, he became the youngest player ever to play for his country, beating the previous record set by inside centre Edward Wrigley in 1905. However, it was at the Rugby World Cup, hosted by South Africa, the following year that Lomu rose to prominence.

Standing 6’5″ tall and weighing in at 18 stone or more, Lomu was well-built, muscular and blessed with exceptional speed and nigh on unstoppable in full flight. He was particularly devastating in the semi-final against England in Cape Town, scoring four tries in a 45-29 victory, which led opposing captain Will Carling to call him ‘a freak’. New Zealand eventually lost the final 15-12 to the hosts at Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg, but Lomu was nonetheless named as ‘Player of the Tournament’.

At the 1999 Rugby World Cup, principally hosted by Wales, he scored eight tries to break the record for the most tries in a single tournament. All told, his 63 international caps yielded 37 tries, 15 of which came at the Rugby World Cup, making Lomu the joint-highest try scorer, alongside South African wing Brian Habana, in the history of the tournament.

Who is Sogelau Tuvalu?

Who is Sogelau Tuvalu?  Sogelau Tuvalu is an American Samoan athlete, who briefly found fame at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea in 2011. Having failed to make the entry standard for the shot put, as the fastest runner in is high school, Tuvalu was chosen by his coach to compete in the 100 metres, for which no such standard existed for his country.

Thus, on August 27, 2011, Tuvalu, lined up in the fourth heat of the preliminary round of the 100 metres at the Daegu Stadium. Aged just 17, not wearing running spikes and, according to the Daily Mail, ‘twice the size of the other six competitors’, the youngster was fighting a losing battle right from the gun. Commensurate with his pre-race odds, of 50,000/1, Tuvalu was always a long way last and trailed in 4.89 seconds behind the winner, Malaysian Mohammed Noor Imran Hadi.

Nevertheless, Tuvalu ran hard all the way to the finish line, even managing a dip finish, and was rewarded with a personal best time of 15.66 seconds. In slightly breathless, but nonetheless enthusiastic, trackside interview with BBC Sports broadcaster Sonja McLaughlan, he said that his first experience of international competition was ‘really fun’ and, despite his obvious limitations, described athletics as a ‘cool sport for me’. Tuvalu later told French television that he had devoted four hours a day for a month to his preparation for the World Championships and described his participation as ‘a dream come true’.

Remarkably, 15.66 seconds is not the slowest time for the 100 metres recorded at the World Athletics Championships. On August 2, 1997 in Athens, Greece, Kim Collins of Saint Kitts and Nevis ‘ran’ his heat in a time of 21.73 seconds alhough, in his defence, he suffered an injury mid-race, slowed to a walk and limped across the line.

Bobby Moore

Bobby Moore  Known in his heyday as the ‘golden boy of English football’, Bobby Moore will always be best remembered for the iconic photograph of him being held aloft by teammates Geoff Hurst and Ray Wilson, Jules Rimet trophy in hand, at the end of the World Cup final at Wembley Stadium on July 30, 1966. Indeed, manager Sir Alf Ramsey later said of Moore, ‘Without him England would never have won the World Cup.’

Born in Barking, Essex on April 12, 1941, Moore was outstanding centre-half, renowned for calmness, composure and intelligence on the pitch and humility, modesty and integrity off it. He made his senior debut for England in a friendly against Peru at Estadio Nacional del PerĂº, Lima on May 20, 1962 and impressed manager Walter Winterbottom sufficiently to play in every game of the 1962 World Cup in Chile, where England reached the quarter-finals.

The following year Sir Alf Ramsey replaced Walter Winterbottom as England manager and, on the first anniversary of his first senior cap, on May 20, 1963, Moore captained England for the first time in a friendly against Czechoslovakia at Tehelne Pole Stadion, Bratislava. All told, Moore made 108 appearances for England, including 90 as captain.

At club level, Moore made his professional debut for West Ham United at Upton Park on September 8, 1958, at the age of 17, against Manchester United. He was appointed captain for the first time on April 20, 1962, having just turned 21, and subsequently led his club to victory in the FA Cup in 1964 and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965. All told, he made a then record 544 league appearances, and 642 in all, for West Ham United, nefore being sold to Fulham in 1974. Thereafter,

he spent short spells in America, with San Atonio Thunder and Seattle Sounders, and in Denmark, with Boldklubben Herning Fremad, before finally hanging up his boots in 1979.

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