For The Ages

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THERE is much chatter and hyperbole regarding age in sport. Just as darts begins to, once more, worship at the alter of youth, featuring he remarkable rise of 17-year old Luke Littler, other sports seem to be focusing on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Whilst we are all aware of the age defying efforts of Ronnie O’Sullivan, on the green baise, its not only the more sedate indoor accuracy sports that are witnessing such efforts.

Tennis has entered a new age, as India’s Rohan Bopanna becomes the sport’s oldest world number one at the age of 43. Bopanna reached the top of the men’s doubles rankings after reaching the semi-final of the Australian Open doubles event.

With this in mind, the team at betting.com have taken a look through the sporting history books, to reveal the oldest ever winners of some of the sporting world’s biggest events.

  1. Linford Christie, Aged 32 – Athletics

SOURCE: INSTAGRAM

32 may not seem like such an old age, but in the world of Olympic level athletics, it is ancient. However, representing Great Britain at that age during 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Linford Christie surpassed all expectations to collect a gold medal for a 100m run that took him just 9.97 seconds.

Not only was Christie the oldest athlete to ever win the Olympic 100m sprint – a record he still holds to this day – he also set a then European record for fastest 100m sprint, as well as a record for fastest British sprint – a record which he also still holds.

  1. Roger Federer, Aged 35 – Tennis

SOURCE: INSTAGRAM 

Switzerland’s Roger Federer is synonymous with the sport of tennis, so it will come as no surprise that he is the oldest ever champion of tennis’ prestigious Wimbledon event.

Winning his eighth Wimbledon title in 2017 against Croatia’s Marin Cilic, at the age of 35, the victory was simply another crest in an already staggering career, which already boasts 20 Grand Slam titles. Even at the age of 40, Federer is still competing at the highest level – can he add a ninth Wimbledon title this summer and break his own record again?.

  1. Dino Zoff, Aged 40 – Football

SOURCE: INSTAGRAM

There have been older players to feature at the World Cup, there have even been older players to have starred in a World Cup final, but the oldest man to ever get his hands on the Jules Rimet trophy is legendary Italian goalkeeper, Dino Zoff.

Zoff played between the sticks as Italy beat West Germany 3-1 in the 1982 World Cup final. If that was not impressive enough, the then 40-year-old Zoff also captained the Italian side during the game and went on to be named goalkeeper of the tournament, to go with his World Cup winner’s medal.

  1. Tom Brady, Aged 41 – American Football

SOURCE: INSTAGRAM

It makes sense that the most famous and most decorated player in the history of American Football should also hold the title of oldest player to ever win the Super Bowl, and the legendary quarterback achieved just that in 2019.

Representing his beloved New England Patriots and facing off against a charged-up Los Angeles Rams side, Brady marked his ninth Super Bowl appearance with a sixth Super Bowl win, at the astonishing age of 41. Incidentally, this game was the only Super Bowl in which Brady failed to make a touchdown, but that will not have taken away from his record-breaking glory.

  1. Ronnie O’Sullivan, Aged 46 – Snooker

SOURCE: INSTAGRAM

Recent years have seen the record for the oldest world champion in snooker’s modern era smashed, time and time again by Ronnie O’Sullivan, who won his seventh world championship in 2022 at the age of 46. He beat his own record set in 2020 when he won it aged 44. Just two years earlier, Mark Williams had broken the record by winning the World Championship at the age of 43.

  1. Juan Manuel Fangio, Aged 46 – Formula 1

SOURCE: INSTAGRAM

Nicknamed El Chueco, the Argentine holds the record as the oldest Formula 1 Championship winner of all time. He won the 1957 edition of the racing car event at the ripe age of 46.

Fangio had held another impressive Formula 1 record, being the five-time winner of the World Championship of Drivers. This record stood for 46 years until it was beaten by Michael Schumacher.

  1. Jack Nicklaus, Aged 46 – Golf

SOURCE: INSTAGRAM

The Masters is arguably the most prestigious event in golf, and the oldest player to ever win it is USA’s Jack Nicklaus, who staked his claim to the coveted green jacket in 1986 at the impressive age of 46.

Nicknamed ‘the Golden Bear’, Nicklaus is considered to be one of the greatest golfers of all time, winning a record 18 major championships during his career – by comparison, that’s three more than the great Tiger Woods.

  1. Kelly Slater, Aged 47 – Surfing

SOURCE: INSTAGRAM

Florida-born Kelly Slater is widely regarded as the greatest professional surfer of all time. In his long career riding the waves he has staked his claim to 11 World Championships, 3 Triple Crown of Surfing Champion titles and 56 WSL Championship Tour event wins.

Currently aged 50, Slater is still surfing to this day. However, he won his last event back in 2019 – bagging the prestigious Triple Crown of Surfing title at the age of 47.

  1. Dick Saunders, Aged 48 – Horse Racing

SOURCE: INSTAGRAM

The 48-year-old jockey became the oldest ever winner of the prestigious Grand National event in 1982, when he was partnered with the racehorse, Grittar.

Although Grittar went into the race with favourable 7/1 odds, Dick Saunders entered as an amateur jockey, making his record-breaking win all the more incredible.

  1. Phil Taylor, Aged 52 – Darts

SOURCE: INSTAGRAM

Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor won his sixteenth and final PDC World Championship in 2013, seeing off Michael van Gerwen at the age of 52 to make him the oldest darts world champion of all time and cap off a glittering career in darts.

Taylor’s sixteen World Championship wins are the most won by any single darts player. Factor in a further 70 PDC Pro Tour events, and Taylor is the most decorated darts player of all time.

In addition The Power claimed a final major trophy at the age of 56. The Stoke legend claimed his sixteenth World Matchplay title in 2017 defeating Gerwyn Price, Raymond van Barneveld, MVG, Adrian Lewis and Peter Wright all of who were or became World champion in their own right.

 ——ENDS—–

Additional words: JR Lott

Main Image: PDC

Original piece assembled at betting.com 

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