Coral’s 15 most dominant sports people in history
15 most dominant sports people in history
As the 2016 PDC World Darts Championship fast approaches, one man who has dominated the game for 25 years will once again take his place on the oche.
Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, now 55, is arguably the greatest ever sportsperson to have dominated over such a long period of time, and despite his advancing years is the second-favourite with Coral at 4/1 to claim the famous crown once more.
So, in light of Taylor’s achievement in darts, having collected an unworldly 70 major titles (including 16 world championships) from 1990 until this present day, we find 15 other sports stars in history who have dominated their respective sport.
Sir Ben Ainslie (sailing)
We start off with a knight of the British realm, who has not only won Gold medals in each of his last four Olympics, but is also the most successful sailor ever. Ainslie also led Oracle Team USA to perhaps one of the greatest ever sporting comebacks in history at the 2013 America’s Cup.
Usain Bolt (athletics)
Once he broke the world records over 100m and 200m at the Beijing Olympics, Jamaican sprinting sensation Bolt has never lost in a major final. He’s only beaten himself, both by bettering his times and jumping the gun in the 100m final at the 2011 World Athletics Championship in Daegu. A medal haul of 18 Commonwealth, Olympic and World Golds make him one of the most decorated athletes of all-time.
Don Bradman (cricket)
Cricketing legend Bradman is perhaps the closest anyone has got to sporting perfection, as he finished his Australia Test career on an average of 99.94. He certainly set a huge benchmark in 1948 for others to beat in the following years, but the closest so far has been South Africa’s Graeme Pollock at a paltry 60.97.
Sir Alex Ferguson (football)
While only mediocre as a football player – although still a prolific scorer for the likes of Rangers and Dunfermline Athletic – Ferguson makes this list due to his dominant record as a manager. With a trophy haul of 50 for clubs Manchester United (including 13 Premier League and two Champions League titles), Aberdeen and St Mirren, the Scot is considered by many to be the greatest ever head coach.
Wayne Gretzky (ice hockey)
Former Canadian ice hockey star Gretzky, nicknamed The Great One, is not only the leading goalscorer and assister in NHL history, but also the only player to get over 200 points in one season – which he incredibly achieved four times.
Stephen Hendry (snooker)
When you win seven World Snooker Championship titles from eight final appearances in a decade, as well as five UK and Masters crowns from seven during the 1990s, it’s fair to say Scottish sensation Hendry dominated the green baize sport. His incredible Crucible achievements saw him surpass the previous generation’s big hitter Steve Davis.
Michael Jordan (basketball)
The name Michael Jordan is not only associated with basketball, but is synonymous with sporting success and even a global brand after the American became the greatest star in the history of the game. Among his many accolades, he boasts five Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards.
Floyd Mayweather Jr (boxing)
Ok, so while Money’s career has been criticised by many for his style of fighting, it is undeniable that he was the boxer of his generation which saw him become the number one pound-for-pound boxer for a number of years. To finish (for now) a career on 49-0 is an incredible feat in any profession, and it is approximated he generated $1,311,000,000 in pay-per-view.
Tony McCoy (horse racing)
Riding over 4300 winners, 19-times Champion Jumps Jockey Tony McCoy won every race worth winning. His 31 Cheltenham Festival victories were sweet, but the 2010 Grand National mount Don’t Push It cemented his status as a horse racing icon. What a toll it all took on McCoy’s body, though, with practically every bone broken in falls.
Heather McKay (squash)
Considered by many as Australia’s greatest ever sportswoman, former squash great McKay was so dominant in her profession, that she won 16 consecutive British Open titles between 1962 and 1977, was undefeated from 1962 until 1981 and lost just twice in her 25-year career! If that wasn’t enough, she was also an field hockey and racquetball player.
Michael Phelps (swimming)
Being the most decorated Olympian in history is no mean feat, having achieved a staggering 22 medals – 18 of which were Gold – in a number of swimming disciplines. On top of that, the American broke a whole host of world records, many of which are still unbeaten.
Sir Steve Redgrave (rowing)
To win five consecutive Gold medals for rowing at the Olympic Games is an incredible achievement. Redgrave’s longevity is legendary, first triumphing in the Coxed Four event at the Los Angeles Games of 1984. Later and most notably partnered by Sir Matthew Pinsent, top honours in Seoul, Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney followed.
Michael Schumacher (motor racing)
As the record Formula 1 Divers’ Championship winner, Schumacher’s feat of seven titles is all the more impressive given that he eclipsed his heroes such as Alain Prost, Jackie Stewart and Ayrton Senna with ease. It is very unlikely his trophy haul will be broken for a number of years, if ever, and his five in a row whilst driving for Ferrari from 2000-2004 is one of the most remarkable sporting achievements in history in an era of such talented drivers.
Tiger Woods (golf)
American Woods redefined golf after bursting onto the scene as a youngster in 1997, when he won the US Masters, as he totally dominated the sport due to his strict fitness regime and obvious outstanding talent. With 14 Majors, he is still four behind compatriot Jack Nicklaus’ record, but at 39-years-old he still has time on his hands, if he can rediscover his previous form.
Esther Vergeer (wheelchair tennis)
Last, and certainly not least in any way shape or form, is the almost invincible Dutchwoman Vergeer. The recently retired wheelchair tennis great won an astonishing 148 titles – including 21 Grand Slams – 700 matches, and went on a 10-year spell without losing a single battle (470 in total) until her final victory in 2013.