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

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    #51
    Bob Nudd?

    (The angler.)

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      #52
      British female cyclists:

      on the road - Nicole Cooke
      on the track - Victoria Pendleton
      on a BMX - Shanaze Reade

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        #53
        Ah, Detlef Schrempf. I seem to recall - from my obsessive watching of 90's basketball - that he had the flattest of all flat-top haircuts.

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          #54
          Zali Steggal. I don't recall any other Australian Alpine skiers even competing on the World Cup circuit at the back of the field; Steggal has an Olympic bronze and World Championships gold to her name.

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            #55

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              #56
              Originally posted by Snake Plissken View Post
              Tony Hand MBE. British ice hockey.

              I fear the 'Tony Hand, wank wank wank' call of Fife Flyers mid 80s wiz pure jealousy.

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                #57
                Originally posted by andrew7610 View Post
                British female cyclists:

                on the road - Nicole Cooke
                on the track - Victoria Pendleton
                on a BMX - Shanaze Reade
                Err, other British women were winning Olympic and World titles on the track. So definitely not Pendleton, who is in very much of the primus inter pares category. The same is also true of Cooke, Brits were commonly her race rivals. I don't know enough about BMX racing to say the same of Reade, but do recall that her other half was one of the leading men at the time (Liam Phillips?). Cycling, at least as a competitive sport, is rather heavily dominated by rich western countries making it unlikely to have nominees for this category from those nations. However good the best those countries produced might happen to be.

                Someone back on page 1 suggested Jonah Barrington. In terms of Irish Squash at the time, probably yes (though before my time so there may have been another player). In English Squash back then, not so much. However, some other Squash nominations do occur, a few of them current. Two of the current Men's top ten, in fact. Miguel Rodriguez (no.6) is the only Colombian Squash player to make any serious impression, and likewise Diego Elias (no.9) is the only Peruvian. Rodriguez is a bit older, and a generation of Colombians inspired by him is beginning to emerge with a couple of the next best now ranked between 100-150. However, I think he may be the only one ever to be inside the top 100. Elias is the only Peruvian in the top 500 currently.
                Staying with Squash, and going back a year or two, Alister Walker's best World Ranking of 12 is light years ahead of any other Botswanan past or likely in the near future. He is now a veteran ranked around 250 and still comfortably the Botswana no.1. Further back, there were probably other Canadian Squash player besides Jonathon Power, so he likely doesn't actually count, but off the top of my head I can't recall any.
                On the Women's side the candidate would probably be Nicol David, but there have been other international class Malaysian squash players. None have won anything like as much, but they could give her a proper game. So she actually doesn't count.


                Oh, and in tennis terms, for a long while Ecuadorian tennis was the Lapentti brothers.

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                  #58
                  Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                  Those black hi-tops are ace, and I say that as a person who barely ever wears Nike.

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                    #59
                    Originally posted by andrew7610 View Post
                    British female cyclists:

                    on the road - Nicole Cooke
                    on the track - Victoria Pendleton
                    on a BMX - Shanaze Reade
                    And downhill, Rachel Atherton.

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                      #60
                      Originally posted by Kevin S View Post

                      And downhill, Rachel Atherton.
                      Nope.

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                        #61
                        For cycling what about Peter Sagan of Slovakia or Steve Bauer of Canada?

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                          #62
                          Aaron Cook of Moldova in taekwondo.

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                            #63
                            Originally posted by Antepli Ejderha View Post
                            Aaron Cook of Moldova in taekwondo.
                            And I'm guessing for the Isle of Man as well.

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                              #64
                              Originally posted by Toby Gymshorts View Post
                              I say that as a person who barely ever wears Nike.
                              I Like the adverb in that sentence. Conjurs up images of you standing, Imelda Marcos-style, before a shoe rack the size of a market town.

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                                #65
                                It is a ridiculous sentence, now I read it again. Then again the truth is often ridiculous (and my shoe rack is the size of a small market town).

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                                  #66
                                  Originally posted by andrew7610 View Post
                                  British female cyclists:

                                  on the road - Nicole Cooke
                                  on the track - Victoria Pendleton
                                  on a BMX - Shanaze Reade
                                  Beryl Burton.

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                                    #67
                                    Reg Harris in the 1950ís

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                                      #68
                                      Originally posted by Antepli Ejderha View Post
                                      For cycling what about Peter Sagan of Slovakia or Steve Bauer of Canada?
                                      Didn't a Canadian win the Giro a few years ago? Might be him instead of Bauer.

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                                        #69
                                        Ryder Hesjedal

                                        He had a fifth at le Tour, too.

                                        Though he also admitted to doping during his career after he retired.

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                                          #70
                                          Well, if there are two of them, then neither count for this!


                                          Actually, as a category it is interestingly counter-intuitive. Because it's not about how good the no.1 player was, even if they were really superb. It's more about the level of the next best; if they are anywhere beyond nowhere, then even a GOAT contender like Beryl Burton may be discounted (not that I'm saying she is, I don't know who the other international class Women's bike riders were in the 1960s). Hence why Rachel Atherton, or a personal favourite athlete of mine, Chrissie Wellington, don't get the nod.

                                          For example, I would say Andy Murray, who was nominated a few times up thread, doesn't belong in this. Not because he wasn't achieving things that no other Brit was capable of, he was, but because he was never alone in being an international class British Tennis player during his career. At the start there was Henman and Rusedski, top 5 players both with significant Slam performances. In the later part there was Edmund and Evans inside the top 100 and of course Konta on the Women's side in the top 10. But even in the middle there was James Ward, a sometime top 100 player and regular playing at least the qualifiers of Slams (which would be my working definition of 'not nowhere' in Tennis terms), whilst the Women had top 50 players in Keothavong, Baltacha (RIP), Robson and Watson. All dimmer lights for sure, but still emitting a clear glow of their own.
                                          Basically there was a culture of playing the sport that Murray grew from, which meant that some of his international competitors were compatriots. For proper examples of this, we are looking for people playing a sport to a high class (though not necessarily World Champion level, as again it's about the no.2 and not the no.1) that none of their countrymen and women take seriously.

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                                            #71
                                            Jonathan Edwards doesn't really fit - Francis Agyepong, Nathan Douglas and Larry Achike would usually reach triple jump finals during his career.

                                            Could be wrong but Olympic gold medal winner John Akii-Bua was probably a long way ahead of Uganda's second best hurdler.

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                                              #72
                                              This is a particular fascination of mine, I love the "how the hell did he/she become so good?" type athletes from obscure countries in their particular sport, real sui generis types. Vijay Singh is probably the ultimate example, if any Fijian golfer has broken the world top 500 besides him I'd love to know. Weah is probably the ultimate football example, with Wynton Rufer in 2nd place. Who is the second best New Zealand player ever? Ryan Nelsen? Winston Reid grew up in Denmark, he's cheating.

                                              I feel like LeMond qualifies but doesn't at the same time, Andy Hampsten is only 7-8 months younger than him and won the Giro in 1988 and was 4th in the Slaying the Badger Tour of 1986 as superdomestique to Hinault and LeMond. And I think He Who Shall Not Be Named still hung on to his World Championship in 1993. It might be more of an example of European cycling discovering that America can produce good cyclists, and the first guy just happened to be fuoriclasse like LeMond. Hugo Porta for Argentinian rugby is another, he's still universally considered the best Argentine player ever and he retired 30 years ago, when Argentina were still a minor rugby nation.

                                              One 90s Indiana Pacer not mentioned is Rik Smits. The 2nd best Dutch NBA player is probably Dan Gadzuric, who was just a bog-standard big. Smits played almost 1,000 games, was an All-Star, and was the 2nd best guy on those 90s Pacers teams behind Reggie Miller that should have made an NBA finals.

                                              Robert Kubica for motor racing.



                                              `

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                                                #73
                                                Smits and Kubica are excellent calls.

                                                There is somewhat of a tradition of rally driving in Poland, but no Polish driver has ever won a WRC event, and Speedway is a rather different beast.

                                                I can't recall ever having heard of Gadzuric, whereas I recall Smits quite vividly.

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                                                  #74
                                                  You have to think that Rik Smits would have been even better if he had grown up in a basketball playing environment instead of the Netherlands.

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                                                    #75
                                                    He may have been a back-marker but Chile's only F1 driver thus far is Eliseo Salazar. Clive James here describing his coming together with Piquet in '82.



                                                    Some other Chilean drivers have made it as far as IndyLights in the past decade or so but I don't think anyone has raced in a world- or top-US-level competition.

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