Some sporting world records are broken by accident and some as a result of hard work, while many make you wonder why the record holders ever wanted to set or break them at all. Here are our top ten favourite sporting achievements.
1. Highest Number of Aces Served in a Grand Slam Tennis Tournament
Sam Querrey served an impressive 31 aces in his Wimbledon 2016 victory over Novac Djokovic, but that pales into insignificance when compared with John Isner’s total of 113 aces in a match. Isner broke this sporting world record in what also became the longest ever professional tennis match, his historic Wimbledon first round battle against Nicolas Mahut in 2010, which took an incredible 11 hours and five minutes to complete.
2. Longest Headed Goal Scored in a Competitive Football Match
Football fans love statistics and you’re sure to impress your mates with this one. The holder of the record for the longest headed goal in competitive football is Odds BK midfielder, Jone Samuelson, who scored from 58.13 metres in a match against Tromsø Idrettslag on 22 September 2011.
3. Fastest 100 Metres on Roller Skates with a Football Balanced on the Head
Goal-scoring isn’t the only record-breaking thing you can do with a football, however. How about racing 100 metres on roller skates with one balanced on your bonce? Abdul Halim earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records on 22 November 2015, in Bangladesh, when he completed the challenge in just 27.66 seconds.
4. Fastest 100 Metre Hurdles Wearing Swim Fins
Donning swim fins and flying over hurdles with as much speed as you can muster is a more popular activity than you might think. The Guinness Book of World Records lists male and female record holders for this intriguing event: Christopher Irmscher of Germany, who set a time of 14.82 seconds in September 2008, and Veronica Torr of New Zealand, who managed a time of 18.523 seconds.
5. Longest Unicycle Jump
Circus skills experts who like taking leaps of faith are sure to love the sound of this event. The current Guinness World record holder, David Weichenberger, has clung onto his title for ten years though, so you’ll have to put in a stunning performance to beat his jump of 2.95 metres.
6. Quickest Try in a Rugby Union Match
For a more traditional sports record, look no further than the one for the quickest try in a rugby union match. This honour goes to Tyson Lewis, winger for Doncaster Knights, who scored it in a match against Old Albanian RFC on 23 November 2013. The team originally claimed the try took place 8.13 seconds into the match but the Guinness World Record adjudicators confirmed that it was even faster, occurring after only 7.24 seconds had passed.
7. Most Northerly Marathon
Completing any marathon is no easy feat, but runners in the North Pole Marathon have more than their fair share of difficulties to overcome. The most northerly marathon in the world, it claims to be the only one to take place entirely on frozen water. It’s not the only chilly race competitors can tackle, however, with runners in the Antarctic Ice Marathon, the world’s most southerly alternative, facing average wind chill factors of -20C. (A few more ideas for extreme running challenges can be found here)
8. Most Medals Won at A Single Olympic Games
With the world’s top athletes about to head to Rio for the 2016 Olympics, it’s a good time to take stock of what some the most successful Olympians have achieved. No woman has managed to beat gymnast Maria Gorokhovskaya’s haul of seven medals in a single Games, a record that’s been in place since 1952, while two men have won eight medals in one Olympics: Aleksandr Nikolayevich Dityatin in 1980, and Michael Phelps in both 2004 and 2008.
9. Fastest 100 metre sack race
Olympians aren’t just capable of breaking sporting world records in the discipline they’re famous for, however. Mo Farah, best known for his medal-winning distance running performances, also set a world record in another event in July 2014: the 100 metre sack race.
10. Largest Mexican Wave
You don’t even have to be competing to set a sporting world record. 157,574 NASCAR fans at the Bristol Motor Speedway circuit, Tennessee, managed to set a Guinness World Record for the biggest Mexican Wave in August 2008.
What’s your favourite sporting record? Leave us a comment and let us know.