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'He can run, but he can't hide'

Steven Lynch March 4, 2013
Joe Louis was proved right in his assessment © Getty Images

Which sportsman said "He can run, but he can't hide"? asked Henry Mountford
This statement is usually attributed to Joe Louis, the boxer who ruled the heavyweight division between 1936 and 1948. He produced the line before his 1941 title fight with Billy Conn, the world light-heavyweight champion. Conn was obviously quite a bit lighter, but someone suggested that he might adopt a hit-and-run strategy, whereupon Louis produced his legendary reply - "He can run, but he can't hide." And the "Brown Bomber" was right: after 12 rounds, Conn was ahead on two of the three judges' scorecards, but Louis caught up with him in the 13th and knocked him out. Some sources date the quote to their 1946 rematch - the first heavyweight title fight televised live - but The Ring magazine is adamant that it was before the first bout.

I read that the Ireland hooker Keith Wood once scored four tries in a rugby international. Is that a record for a forward? asked Simon Metcalfe
Keith Wood's four tries actually came in a World Cup match, Ireland's 53-8 victory over the United States at Lansdowne Road in 1999. He was the fifth forward to score four in an international for one of the senior nations, following England's George Burton (v Wales in 1881), Greg Cornelsen of Australia (v New Zealand in 1978), Ireland's Brian Robinson (v Zimbabwe at Dublin in 1999) and Neil Back for England in a World Cup qualifier against Netherlands in 1998. Since Wood did it, two more forwards have joined the four-try list: Colin Charvis for Wales against Japan in 2004, and England's Nick Easter against Wales at Twickenham in 2007. Cornelsen's feat is worthy of special mention: he won 25 caps for Australia as a flanker, and scored no tries in 24 of those games - but touched down four times in the 30-16 Bledisloe Cup victory over the All Blacks at Auckland in 1978. There have also been instances in second-tier internationals for Argentina, Fiji, Japan, Tonga, Uruguay and Zimbabwe.

Who has had the biggest winning margin at golf's World Match Play championship? asked Frank Morrison
If you mean the World Match Play tournament event that started at Wentworth in 1964, and was played at Casares in Spain in 2012 (it's moving to Bulgaria this year), then the answer is that the record winning margin is 10 and 8. That came in 2006, when Paul Casey overwhelmed Shaun Micheel in the 36-hole final. Slightly confusingly, there is also a World Golf Championship event called the Match Play, which started in 1999. The biggest winning margin in that is 9 and 8, by Tiger Woods over Stephen Ames in the first round in 2006. Woods also holds the record for the final (which is played over 36 holes rather than 18 for the other rounds), beating Stewart Cink 8 and 7 in 2008.

Which tennis player has won the most grand slam singles finals without ever losing one? asked Mike Reynolds
The leader here is the precocious American Maureen Connolly, who reached nine major singles finals and won the lot - a run that included the calendar-year Grand Slam in 1953. "Little Mo" won Wimbledon and the US Championships three times, and also won twice in France and once in Australia, before her career came to a premature end after a horse-riding accident in 1954, when she was still only 19. Suzanne Lenglen, the charismatric French star of the 1920s, played in eight major finals and won them all. The men's record came in the early days of the US Championships: Richard Sears reached seven successive finals between 1881 and 1887, and won the lot. Coming up to date a little, since the Second World War Tony Trabert won all five of his grand slam singles finals, and Manuel Santana all four of his.

Has anyone ever won gold medals at both the Summer and Winter Olympics? asked Jamie Lloyd
The only person to manage this is the American Eddie Eagan, who won the light-heavyweight boxing gold at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics, and 12 years later was part of the four-man bobsleigh team which won in Lake Placid. There was a near-miss by East Germany's Christa Luding-Rothenburger in 1988: she won gold in the 1000m speed skating (and silver in the 500m) in the Winter Olympics in Calgary, then later in the year took silver in the track-cycling sprint event at Seoul. She is the only person ever to win medals at the Winter and Summer Games in the same year, a feat that is no longer possible now they are held in different years.

Who has trained the winner of the Grand National most often? asked Nick Saunders
Three men have trained the winner of the Aintree Grand National four times. The most famous of them is Donald "Ginger" McCain, who sent Red Rum out for his three wins in 1973, 1974 and 1977, and also trained Amberleigh House in 2004. Ginger's son, also Donald, won with Ballabriggs in 2011. Back in the early days of the National, George Dockeray trained four winners - Lottery in 1839 (the first official race), Jerry (1840), Gaylad (1842) and Miss Mowbray (1852). More recently, Fred Rimell also trained four: ESB in 1956 (which won after Devon Loch famously collapsed on the run-in), Nicolaus Silver (1961), Gay Trip (1970) and Rag Trade (1976). The leading jockey is George Stevens, who won the Grand National five times between 1856 and 1870.

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