• April 13 down the years

A marathon effort from Radcliffe

Paula Radcliffe won her second London Marathon © Getty Images

Paula Radcliffe won the London Marathon for the second time, breaking her own world record and setting the one that still stands. When she ran two hours 17 minutes 18 seconds in Chicago the previous year, she took the record from Kenya's Catherine Ndereba. Today she cut nearly two minutes off that time, finishing four and a half minutes clear of Ndereba in 2:15:25. After 12 miles, Radcliffe already led by more than a minute, after 18 by two minutes twenty. En route, she broke world records for 30 and 40 k. She won the race again in 2005.

Chris Tomlinson broke the oldest record in the book of British track and field. Not long after fracturing both wrists in a weight-training accident, he long-jumped 8.27 metres to overtake the 8.23 set by Lynn Davies on June 30, 1968. It took Tomlinson another five years to add two centimetres to that record - and he hasn't quite matched Lynn the Leap's performance at the Olympics. Davies won the gold medal on October 18, 1964, Tomlinson didn't reach the final in 2008.

Record-breaking days at Augusta.

Tiger Woods won a Major for the first time. After a respectable 70 in the first round, he simply annihilated the course and the opposition, setting all manner of records. At 21, he was the youngest ever Masters champion, the first rookie to win the event, and of course the first black golfer to win a Major. His total of 270 and winning margin of 12 shots were new Masters records. Tom Kite shot an excellent 69 and 66 in the middle rounds, but Woods hit 66 and 65 followed by a 69. We had seen the future of golf, and before long they were adding rough to Augusta for the first time. To make it Tiger-proof.

Seve Ballesteros was the youngest winner of the Masters before Woods - though he tried hard not to be. He turned 23 the day before the tournament began, and with nine holes to play he had a Tigerish lead of ten shots. He'd begun by birdying the first, third, and fifth - but then bogeyed the 10th and found the water at the notorious short 12th. Two more shots dropped there, then another at 13. With other players making a charge, Seve's lead was soon down to two. Meltdown was avoided just in time, with a typically beautiful iron shot at the 15th and a good recovery on the next. He scored level par for the round, but what a way to get there. He finished four strokes clear and was the first European to win the event. There were several others in the next 20 years, including Ballesteros himself on April 11, 1983.

From the youngest Masters to the oldest and grandest. Tiger Woods won his first Major on the anniversary of Jack Nicklaus winning his last. The Golden Bear was more grizzly grey by then. At 46, he wasn't supposed to be winning Majors any more. He hadn't won one for six years - and he might not have won this one if poor Greg Norman, the serial messer-up of Major last rounds, hadn't bogeyed the last hole, or if Ballesteros hadn't had another bad back nine after looking likely to win. From somewhere in his past, Nicklaus came up with a last round of 65. In the third round, Nick Price shot 63 to equal the record for any Major - but a first round 79 left him three shots adrift at the end. On the last day, while Seve was finding the water at the 15th, Nicklaus was making an eagle, followed by birdies at the next two holes. Norman birdied four holes in a row before the last, but then smacked a shot into the crowd. Nicklaus owed his win to an amazingly bold stroke at the long eighth, where he drove into the trees but then smashed his way through a two-foot gap. He'd won his first Major way back on June 17, 1962. No other golfer has won the Masters six times, Majors 20 years apart - or 18 in all, a total Woods is still chasing.

The last time Nicklaus won the Masters before 1986. In a famous three-man dogfight, he finished one shot clear of Johnny Miller and Tom Weiskopf, who were at the top of their game. The shot that turned it Jack's way was a 40-foot birdie at the 16th. A flustered Weiskopf fluffed the next hole, and Miller couldn't quite make up 11 shots on Nicklaus when he missed a birdie putt at the end.

Mike Weir became the first Canadian to win a Major and the first left-hander since July 12, 40 years before. He recovered from shooting 75 in the third round to make his second 68 of the tournament, but needed a seven-foot par putt on the last to force a play-off with Len Mattiace, who'd come through the pack with a 65. Weir made a bogey at the first extra hole, but Mattiace's great form deserted him after an hour-long wait, and his double bogey gave Weir the title.

Trevor Immelman won his first Major © Getty Images

Trevor Immelman of South Africa won a Major for the first time by finishing three shots ahead of Tiger Woods. Woods was also runner-up on April 8 the year before. Immelmann was the first player since Ray Floyd on April 11, 1976 to lead the Masters from first round to last.

Before Ben Hogan started winning Majors in a cluster, he tended to finish a close second. Here at Augusta, he made up eight shots on Byron Nelson over the last two rounds to force an 18-hole play-off. These were two of the best players of their generation, Hogan possibly the greatest of any age. But not quite today. He led the play-off by three strokes after only five holes but lost it by one: 69 to 70. He came close again the next time the Masters was staged, on April 7, 1946.

For the first and only time, the men's singles at the European Championships was won by a British table tennis player. Or rather his table tennis bat. John Hilton was never one of the best. He didn't win the English Open, or even the English Closed, and did nothing at the World Championships. In 1980 he wasn't in the top thirty in Europe. But what he had, suddenly, was a weapon no-one could work out. His bat had a normal sponge surface on one side and an 'ant-loop' on the other, which deadened the impact of the ball. Each side was black, so opponents couldn't work out whether the ball was coming back with heavy topspin or none at all. The best in Europe couldn't cope with it. Hilton beat eight of the top twenty, including defending champion Gábor Gergely of Hungary in the quarter-finals and the champion before that, Jacques Sécretin of France, in the semis. In a final booed by the crowd, he won in three straight games against the lesser known Czechoslovakian Josef Dvořáček. They changed the rules after that: the sides of the bat had to be different colours. Too late to stop a 32-year-old insurance salesman from having the day of his life.

The Greeks liked their long-distance cycling events. These first Olympics included a 100 kilometre race on April 8, a double Marathon on the road four days later, and the longest of the lot today. Adolf Schmal of Austria won the 12-hour race by covering 295 kilometres, only a few hundred yards further than Frank Keeping. None of the other five riders finished. Like one of the other cyclists in the Marathon race, Keeping worked at the British embassy in Athens.

1933 and 1940
The New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup, each time beating the Toronto Maple Leafs in the finals.