8 of the biggest upsets in sport

A Thai supporter of Leicester City reacts as people watch the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City and Manchester United. Photo / AP.
A Thai supporter of Leicester City reacts as people watch the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City and Manchester United. Photo / AP.

Leicester City's stunning English Premier League is being lauded as one of the biggest upsets in world sport.

Here's ... rivals to that claim.

JAPAN BEAT THE BOKS

Japan pulled off one of the biggest shocks the sporting world has ever seen when they claimed a late 34-32 against South Africa.

The Springboks were 500-1 on before the Rugby World Cup clash last year between two sides at totally different ends of the rugby spectrum.

Even Eddie Jones, the half-Japanese Tasmanian coach, who said he had been preparing his team for three years, couldn't believe the result his side earned.

BUSTER DOUGLAS Kos MIKE TYSON

As we walked into the giant egg of an arena in 1990 Buster Douglas was a 30-1 underdog. Mike Tyson was the undisputed, undefeated, youngest-ever world heavyweight champion.

Douglas was expected to be overawed by the menace of The Baddest Man On The Planet, then crushed by Tyson's murderous punching power.

The upset factor in the mix was that Douglas, before leaving home in Columbus, Ohio, had promised his mother on her death-bed that he would win the world title.

So when he was flattened by Tyson in the eighth, he steeled himself to beat a suspiciously long count. Emboldened by his emotions, he decked a complacent Iron Mike in the 10th with a vicious four-punch combination climaxed by a massive uppercut.

The closest Tyson came to recovering was groping, on his knees, to retrieve his mouth-guard. Another earthquake later that night shook the hotel in which Tyson and the rest of us were staying. It was not as seismic as the one we had witnessed in that ring.

LEWIS HAMILTON BEATS FERNANDO ALONSO IN 2007

It is easy to view Lewis Hamilton as most know him now: a three-time world F1 champion. But back in 2007 he was just a rookie, albeit an excitingly talented one.

In that first year at McLaren he raced alongside Fernando Alonso, the reigning double world champion and the man Michael Schumacher acknowledged as his successor as the world's greatest driver.

Hamilton, though, beat Alonso over the course of an astonishing season. Alonso could not believe it, flounced out of McLaren and has never won another title, and probably never will.

BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS 29 AUSTRALIA 13, 2001

Martin Johnson's men had been decimated by injuries in the build-up to the series while the world champion Wallabies, captained by John Eales, were regarded as one of the greatest international rugby teams of all time.

In front of a sea of red support, Johnson's men didn't just beat their opponents, they destroyed them, playing some of the finest rugby ever witnessed in the process.

GREECE WIN THE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS, 2004

Euro 2004 remains one of the most inspiring tournaments played. What many still can't work out, however, is how the hell a distinctly ordinary Greece team landed the big prize.
This year in France will mark 50 years since England won a major tournament. For Greece it's little more than a decade. Nuts.

CAMEROON 1 ARGENTINA 0, World Cup 1990

No-one expected the holders to crash like this in the opening game of the World Cup after Diego Maradona had led them to glory in 1986.

It later became clear that Cameroon were actually very good, if rather physical, and that Maradona was a shadow of the footballer he had been in Mexico four years earlier, as his injuries and lifestyle caught up.

But such information travelled more slowly 25 years ago. At the time it was a huge shock because African football was treated with such little respect.

All that would change after Cameroon's exploits, but Maradona still dragged Argentina to the final.

GORAN IVANISEVIC WINS WIMBLEDON, 2001

Croatian wildcard Ivanisevic winning Wimbledon in 2001, having been too lowly-ranked to gain direct access to the tournament, was the most glorious upset on the lawns of SW19.

A loser in three previous finals, he had struggled with a shoulder injury and seemed unlikely even to make it to Wimbledon having contemplated retirement earlier in the season.

But he worked his way through the draw, beating home favourite Tim Henman in the semi-final, having trailed two sets to one, before overcoming Pat Rafter 9-7 in the fifth set to etch his name in the history books as the only wildcard to have ever won Wimbledon.

ROBERTO DEFEAT BRIGADIER, 1972

Brigadier Gerard suffered his only career defeat when beaten by Roberto in the 1972 Benson & Hedges Gold Cup at York.

He was thought to be invincible, winning 17 of his 18 races, and plenty who saw him in the flesh will argue long and hard that the Dick Hern-trained colt would have been more than a match for modern-day legend Frankel.

But sent off 1-3 favourite on this August afternoon, he could not peg back Derby winner Roberto, who received a perfectly-judged front-running ride from Panamanian jockey Braulio Baeza, who had been flown in specially for the mount.

Joe Mercer, The Brigadier's jockey, insists the great horse was sick with mucus pouring from his nostrils when he returned to the racecourse stables.

But the damage had been done and a flawless record smashed.

- Daily Mail

- Daily Mail

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