Rule Britannia: The best of British champs

James Sproston, Lynsey Brownlee, Joe Parry, Harry Musson and Matt Larkin look over some of the best British champions and their achievements

James Sproston
2nd November 2015
In a spin: Lewis Hamilton celebrates in smoky style | Image: Jake Archibald, Flickr

Lewis Hamilton recently won his third F1 world championship, cementing his reputation as a true British sporting legend. He joins an elite group of Brits who can boast becoming the very best on the planet.

Lewis Hamilton

The greatest British racing driver ever? Securing his third world title in Texas made Lewis Hamilton the most successful British driver in history, alongside Jackie Stewart. Hamilton emerged through the McLaren driver development programme, which he joined aged 13 as a kart racer. In his debut F1 season Hamilton agonisingly missed out on the world title by one point, but managed to overcome a challenge by Felipe Massa to claim his first championship the following year.

After a number of frustrating years looking at the back side of Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull, Hamilton clinched his second title last year. Making the most of the superior Mercedes engine, he repeated the feat earlier this month, once again bettering long term rival, teammate and sore loser Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton’s race success has always been accompanied by scrutiny of his private life. In 2007 he moved to Switzerland to avoid ‘media scrutiny’, definitely not to avoid tax. He then moved to Monaco in 2012, also definitely not to avoid tax.

Soon after starting out in F1, he started dating Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, who regularly appeared at races from the 2007 season onwards. Their incessant splitting up and reuniting was heavily focused on by the media, specifically as the reason for his struggles during the 2010 season. Most recently they broke up this year, which may or may not be the reason Hamilton showed off a bright blonde shlid after the summer break. Whether this was the case or not, his racing was on point this year, wrapping up the title with three races to spare.

James Sproston

Ronnie O'Sullivan

O’Sullivan is regarded by many as the most naturally gifted snooker player to ever play the game. He currently holds the record for the most competitive century breaks (794), the most maximum breaks in professional competition (13) and for the three fastest maximum breaks of all time. He is also a five-time World Champion and is third on the all-time ranking victories (27). The rocket’s fast and attacking style of play has led him to be one of the most popular players on the circuit. Often outspoken, O’Sullivan isn’t scared of controversy, once stating that he played better with his left hand than his opponent could do with his right.

"no one can question his ability"

However, life hasn’t always been easy for the reigning British Champion. In 1992 his father was jailed for murder and O’Sullivan has suffered with clinical depression and drug-related problems during his illustrious career. Nevertheless, no one can question his ability. The best example of this was winning the 2013 World Championships after apparently “only playing snooker ten days in the previous nine months” prior to the event. When he does finally decide to call time on his career, snooker will lose one of its greatest icons.

Joe Parry

Christine Ohuruogu

After winning Olympic Gold in Beijing (2008), World Championship Gold in Osaka (2007) and Moscow (2013), Christine Ohuruogu has cemented herself as one of the best 400m runners of her generation. She is renowned for her strong finishes, seemingly coming from nowhere to medal. Arguably her greatest performance was in the 2013 World Championship final where she managed to break Kathy Cook’s 29 year old British record and win gold by 0.004 seconds. Ohuruogu has also been a vital member of the GB 4x400m relay team, becoming a four-time World Championship Bronze Medallist in the 4x400m

"Arguably her greatest performance was in the 2013 World Championship final where she managed to break Kathy Cook’s 29 year old British record"

Ohuruogu breaks the stereotype that athletes are stupid, having written the “Camp Gold” children’s books as well as attaining a linguistics degree from UCL. The veteran runner was raised less than a mile away from where she would eventually win a silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games. Another trait of Ohuruogu is to perform at her best on the biggest stages, running her four fastest times in either World or Olympic Finals, which is what matters in sport; winning when it counts.

Joe Parry

Phil Taylor

Who is the greatest of all time?  It’s a question that often dominates the airwaves and provokes fiery arguments on the tele for pundits or between pals down the pub. In football: Messi or Ronaldo?   Golf: Tiger or Nichlaus? For Rugby:  Wilkinson or Carter?  Funnily enough when the topic of darts comes up, it’s an automatic answer.  Phil Taylor.

‘The Power’ has dominated his sport for over 20 years.  He’s won 16 World Championships, a feat most likely to never be matched; the next closest player has 5.  He’s scored 11 televised 9-darters and his lifetime average is over 100.  The most telling indication of his greatness?  No other player has a winning record against him.  Not bad for a lad from Stoke who started his working life making toilet roll handles.

Harry Musson

Victoria Pendleton

Victoria Pendleton is the reigning Olympic Champion in the Keirin event. The track specialist demonstrated her hard work and dedication to the sport even whilst still being a student, gaining a ‘degree’ in Sports and Exercise Science at Northumbria University. The Bedfordshire born rider went on to compete in competitions worldwide, immediately having success by winning a collection of medals throughout her early career in the sport.

"In total she has collected a staggering nine world titles, including an impressive and undefeated record of 6 titles in the individual sprint event."

Pendleton had her most significant breakthrough in the 2005 Cycling World Championships, becoming the 3rd woman in 40 years to win a gold medal in the Sprint event, spearheading the rest of her success to date. In total she has collected a staggering nine world titles, including an impressive and undefeated record of 6 titles in the individual sprint event.

The former team Sky member not only achieved Olympic gold but has also been former European and Commonwealth Champion, covering all bases and forcing herself to the top in all aspects of competition in cycling. Pendleton’s achievement at the London Olympics, with her two gold medals and one silver has added the title of Great Britain’s most successful female Olympian to her repertoire.

Lynsey Brownlee

Greg Rutherford

Gregory James Rutherford is the current Olympic, Commonwealth, European and World Champion at long jump. Yes, you did hear that correctly, that tall ginger lad from Milton Keynes is currently holding the titles of all of the major competitions simultaneously. He is only the fifth British athlete of all time to do this truly remarkable feat. He is also the British record holder jumping 8.51m.

"that tall ginger lad from Milton Keynes is currently holding the titles of all of the major competitions simultaneously."

Rutherford has still fallen victim to his fair share of criticism throughout his career, with allegations that he has been ‘lucky’ to win. His modest jump of 8.31m in the 2012 Olympics to take the gold seems very pale in comparison the world record of 8.95m, but as the saying goes you can only beat what is put in front of you and Rutherford has proved this time and time again on the world stage. He finally silenced many of his critics with his World Championship victory this year, jumping 8.41m which made him one of only six athletes to ever jump over 8.40m. Thus showing Greg Rutherford to be a true champion.

Matt Larkin

(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ReLated Articles
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap