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Lighthouses - best in your own country at your sport by ridiculous levels

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    Lighthouses - best in your own country at your sport by ridiculous levels

    Sports stars who have just been so far ahead of their (national) rivals that a national championship would have been like Ronnie O'Sullivan being asked to play me and my mate Sean at pool in a pub.

    Vijay Singh being not only Fiji's only major winning golfer but possibly their only golfer ever to break par in a professional event springs to mind. Francesco Molinari would leap off the page as Italy's current equivalent but actually Italy had gone through a little bubble of producing several players of note, not least Francesco's brother Eduardo. The same was true of Spanish golf in the 70s - lots of people think Seve came "from nowhere" but while he clearly went on to be the best, there was a whole generation of very good Spanish players around him at the time.

    Rafael Nadal was hardly a one-off in terms of Spanish clay court talent. And wasn't Wawrinka kind of a contemporary of Fed? Tiger Tim might be a better example in British tennis than his successor, but even in Tim's era we always had other players scratching about iirc, plus Greg jumped on board.

    Any ideas?
    Last edited by Rogin the Armchair fan; 14-03-2019, 16:41.

    #2
    A lot of successful tennis players seem to beget others from the same country. So Borg, for example, was perhaps a necessary condition for the rise of Wilander and Edberg. I'm not sure where I'm going with this - Borg presumably was the kind of answer you were looking for even though he was quickly followed by others. Murray too, I'd say.

    Djokovic at least in men's tennis seems to exist in another universe to any other Serbian player
    Last edited by ad hoc; 14-03-2019, 16:41. Reason: I hate this full stop thing on the new board

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      #3
      Virginia Wade back in her time, at least until Sue Barker came along?

      Surgey Bubka? Edwin Moses?
      Last edited by Sporting; 14-03-2019, 16:55. Reason: Doubts about how you transliterate Sergei/Sergey.

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        #4
        Interesting topic..... Liberia's George Weah springs to mind for football and Aubameyang for Gabon.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Sporting View Post
          Virginia Wade back in her time, at least until Sue Barker came along?

          Surgei Bubka? Edwin Moses?
          These are kind of the rub answers though (if you'll forgive me) - Virginia Wade was losing in Grand Slams to other British players at the start of her career, and while Bubka and Moses were clearly the best in the world they weren't the sole Russian pole vaulters or American hurdlers. Same with Usian Bolt - yes of course no-one in the world can beat him, but his compatriots were the ones giving him a good race.

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            #6
            How about Daley Thompson in the decathlon?

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              #7
              Anze Kopitar for Slovenija in ice hockey.

              The second best player in the country's history is his brother. The best coach is their father.

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                #8
                Jonah Barrington?

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                  #9
                  Giannis Antetokounmpo in Basketball will certainly have this status for Greece if he doesn't suffer a catastrophic injury, and already does for Nigeria.

                  Greg LeMond for the US in men's road cycling.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by seand View Post
                    Interesting topic..... Liberia's George Weah springs to mind for football and Aubameyang for Gabon.
                    Jari Litmanen.

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                      #11
                      Torvill and Dean
                      Andy Murray for Scotland

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                        #12
                        We'd had Robin Cousins and the bloke before him just before Torville and Dean. They could be in the set I'm looking for but I have a sneaking recollection that they, too, weren't the only British finalists in ice dancing the years they did it. Which immediately rules them out.
                        Last edited by Rogin the Armchair fan; 14-03-2019, 18:20.

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                          #13
                          David Bryant kicked everybody else's ass for decades.

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                            #14
                            David Bryant never "kicked anyone's ass", he just sucked on his pipe and made comments about their dry stone wall. And no, he's in the Ed Moses or shall I introduce it Phil Taylor category - a brilliant and repeated champion but not one in a sport where his national rivals were all complete amateurs by comparison.

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by Rogin the Armchair fan View Post
                              David Bryant never "kicked anyone's ass".
                              My maternal grandfather reckoned he saw David Bryant punch Tommy Banner through a fence after a The Wurzels gig in Shepton Mallet in 1969. They'd been rowing about the use of Campden tablets in scrumpy.

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                                #16
                                Daley Thompson is the UK winner, I would think. Still holds the UK record with no sign of anyone catching him, 35 years on, and the record he beat had been set in 1972 IIRC by a guy who is still 6th UK all-time.

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                                  #17
                                  People who played American football seem a fair bet here since in many cases they are /were about the only person from their country to play the sport. There was that Danish kicker - Morten Anderson (?) who is or was the highest scorer in NFL history

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                                    #18
                                    Morten Andersen. Coincidently the player he overtook to become all time NFL top scorer was a South African called Gary Anderson. Whilst on the topic of NFL placekickers, Andersen is one of two NFL Hall of Famers to play exclusively as a kicker; the other was Jan Stenerud, a Norwegian who originally went to university in America on a ski jumping scholarship.

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                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by ad hoc View Post
                                      Djokovic at least in men's tennis seems to exist in another universe to any other Serbian player
                                      They had two decent women players at a similar time iirc. Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic, Ivanovic won the French open and was world number one while Jankovic was also a world number one and a grand slam finalist. 2008 was there golden year.

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                                        #20
                                        Hence my specific reference to men's tennis

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                                          #21
                                          Unless Les or anyone else can correct me, I suspect Qatar hasn't produced any rally drivers who can hold a candle to Nasser Al-Attiyah.

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                                            #22
                                            Though actually wiki throws up Saeed Al-Hajri and Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari as having competed at a high level for a bit.

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                                              #23
                                              Al-Attiyah is also an Olympic medallist in skeet by the way.

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                                                #24
                                                Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                                                Giannis Antetokounmpo in Basketball will certainly have this status for Greece if he doesn't suffer a catastrophic injury, and already does for Nigeria.
                                                Hakeem Olajuwon might have something to say about the second part of that sentence.

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                                                  #25
                                                  Good point, well made

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