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One-hit wonders

Jo Carter October 26, 2012
Bradley Wiggins is likely to focus on winning the Giro d'Italia next year © PA Photos

Following the news that Bradley Wiggins is unlikely to concentrate his efforts on defending his Tour de France title, we look at other sporting instances of one-off triumphs.

Blackburn Rovers
The Manchester City of their day, Blackburn ended an 81-year wait for the title, largely thanks to the prolific strike partnership of Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton. Boasting one of the finest squads in England thanks to the deep pockets of owner Jack Walker, Rovers held off Manchester United to win the 1994-95 Premier League title. Fast forward nearly 18 years, Blackburn are managerless following the sacking of the universally unpopular Steve Kean and playing in the Championship after they were relegated last season. Robert Mancini, you have been warned.

Taking the Michael
A classic tale of a talented youngster who promised so much and ultimately delivered a lot less. Michael Chang was hailed as a future world No. 1 when he became the youngest player (17 and 110 days) to win a men's grand slam singles title at the 1989 French Open. Perhaps best remembered for his underarm serving after suffering cramps in his epic fourth-round win over world No. 1 Ivan Lendl, Chang won 34 titles in his career, but never managed to get his hands on another major.

Gary Pratt ran out Ricky Ponting at Trent Bridge © Getty Images

Fifteen minutes of fame
Gary Pratt guaranteed his name will come up in pub quizzes for years to come after his famous run-out of Ricky Ponting at Trent Bridge during the 2005 Ashes series. Despite not playing a single first-class game that season, Pratt found himself on the field as a substitute for Simon Jones, who had been taken to hospital with an ankle injury. In what is widely seen to be a turning point in the series, Pratt collected the ball at cover before unleashing a deadly throw that brought the bails crashing to the turf before Ponting had grounded his bat. England went on to win the Test to take a 2-1 lead in the series as they got their hands on the historic urn after 18 long years. Pratt's contract was terminated by Durham the following year and he failed to get back into first-class cricket.

They think it's all over...
Alf Ramsey engineered one of the greatest moments in British sporting history as England beat old foe Germany 4-2 after extra-time at Wembley to win the 1966 World Cup. Geoff Hurst's famous hat-trick prompted iconic images of Sir Bobby Charlton clutching the Jules Rimet trophy aloft his team-mates' shoulders. However, England fans have been forced to live off that glory for 46 years - a semi-final appearance at Italia '90 the best the Three Lions have managed as perpetual underachievers on the big stage - penalty shootouts their undoing on a number of occasions.

One-punch wonder
In February 1990, James 'Buster' Douglas pulled off one of the greatest upsets in sport when he knocked out undisputed world champion Mike Tyson to be crowned heavyweight king. Douglas was considered by many to be an easy work-out for Tyson ahead of a future mega-fight with Evander Holyfield, and Tyson had clearly underestimated his opponent. Douglas used his 12-inch reach to his advantage, peppering the champion with powerful jabs and dancing out of the way of Tyson's increasingly desperate swings. With Tyson's left eye jammed shut, Douglas picked himself off the canvas after being dropped in the eighth to knock Tyson down for the first time in his career. He lost the title eight months later in his first and only defence, and elected to retire after the fight - at one point ballooning to over 28 stones.

If The Shoe fits
Having never previously won a single match at The Crucible, Joe Johnson, nicknamed 'The Shoe' became an overnight celebrity when he became world champion in 1986. A 150-1 outsider, Johnson stunned world No. 1 Steve Davis 18-12 in the final to win snooker's top prize. Despite a woeful 1987 season, Johnson came agonisingly close to breaking the 'Crucible Curse'; no first-time champion has ever successfully defended his world title, but lost to Davis in the following year's final. He retired in 2005 having never won another ranking title.

Sue Barker never won another major © Getty Images

Barker's only bite
Unlike the majority of Brits, Sue Barker was at home on the clay, and in 1976, she took full advantage of the absence of the likes of Chris Evert, Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova to win the French Open. In only her second appearance at Roland Garros, the 20-year-old Barker beat Renata Tomanova 6-2 0-6 6-2 to lift the only grand slam title of her career. She reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon the following year but never made another major final. "Had I known that I would never win another one, I probably would have gone out and painted Paris red," Barker admitted later.

One-win Olivier
We had the choice of 33 F1 drivers who have a single race win to their name - although it would admittedly be harsh to label Pastor Maldonado a one-hit wonder, having won his only race to date at the Spanish Grand Prix this season. Although the notorious Vittorio Bramilla, who crashed after taking the chequered flag at the 1975 Austrian Grand Prix, certainly merited a mention, we decided to plump for Olivier Panis. After a somewhat fortunate victory at the 1996 Monte Carlo Grand Prix - one of only three finishers in damp conditions, Panis failed to taste victory again - taking just four other podiums during his 11 seasons in Formula One.

Kite flies high
With glasses to rival Dennis Taylor, Tom Kite certainly liked playing at Pebble Beach. The winner of the US Open there in 1992, Kite was the first man to make the cut at the first four US Open tournaments to be held at the California course. Kite enjoyed a distinguished career, winning 38 professional tournaments, topping the PGA Tour money list in 1981 and representing the USA in seven Ryder Cups, but he was unable to add to his single major victory, when he beat Jeff Sluman by two strokes.

A one-Test wonder
The record books show that Andy Ganteaume has a better Test average than the great Don Bradman. The diminutive wicketkeeper-batsman, who had no formal coaching, scored 112 on his Test debut against England at Port-of-Spain in February 1948 but never played for West Indies again. Competing with West Indian greats such as Garfield Sobers and the 'three Ws'; Clyde Walcott, Everton Weekes and Frank Worrell, for a place in the side, Trinidadian Ganteaume failed to add to his single Test cap.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Jo Carter Close
Jo Carter is an assistant editor of ESPN.co.uk