• April 21 down the years

Rocket fires fastest ever 147

Ronnie O'Sullivan was 21 when he scored the fastest recorded 147 maximum in any competition - at the World Championship, too. In a first-round match against Mick Price, he cleared the table in five minutes 20 seconds, an average of one shot every nine seconds. He beat Price 10-6 and set his second maximum at the Worlds on April 22, six years later.

Liz McColgan won the London Marathon. She'd recovered from a double knee operation to finish fifth the year before, then took Grete Waitz's advice and cut down her training mileage. Today, in horribly high temperatures, she allowed three runners to open a gap of more than two minutes before reeling them in.

The favourite for the men's race, Vincent Rousseau of Belgium, didn't like the heat and settled for second behind Mexico's Dionisio Cerón, who became the only runner to win the men's race three years in a row. Britain's Paul Evans finished third, 40 seconds behind the winner.

Ingrid Kristiansen won the London Marathon for the second year in a row, breaking her own world record like Grete Waitz on April 17, two years earlier and Paula Radcliffe on April 13, 2003. Kristiansen's record lasted until April 19, thirteen years later. She won the race again in 1987 and 1988.

Steve Jones of Wales became the fourth British runner in a row to win the men's race, setting a course record that wasn't broken for 12 years.

Angela Mortimer was born in Plymouth. A careful and rather dull baseliner with a solid backhand but no great weight of shot, she was also a dogged competitor - and one of the most successful British tennis players since the First World War. She and Virginia Wade were the only two British women to win the singles title at three Grand Slam events - and Wade never won one on clay. Mortimer was French champion in 1955, winning the final against Dorothy Knode 2-6 7-5 10-8. She was runner-up the next year to a much better American, Althea Gibson, who also beat her in the 1958 Wimbledon final. Mortimer won the Australian in 1958 and climaxed her career with the Wimbledon title after an all-British final on July 8, 1961. She won the Wimbledon doubles title in 1955 and married the tennis commentator John Barrett in 1967.

Liz McColgan defied a double knee operation to win the London Marathon © Getty Images

The end of the longest World Championship reign in chess. Emanuel Lasker was 52 by then and he'd been avoiding José Raúl Capablanca for ten years. For the money more than anything, the old scrapper finally put the title up - but he had little chance against a genius who was 20 years younger - especially in the heat of Capa's Cuba. In the circumstances, Lasker did well to draw ten games, but he also lost four before resigning, the first champion to lose his title without winning a game. He'd held it for almost 27 years, partly because he didn't defend it for two stretches of at least ten years! Capablanca didn't defend until 1927, when he lost to an even greater player, Aleksandr Alekhine.

Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot of Kenya won the Boston Marathon for the fourth time. But the main story was the closest women's race in the event's history, Russia's Alevtina Biktimirova finishing only two seconds behind. But even that isn't as newsworthy as the name of the Ethiopian winner: Dire Tune.

On the same day in 2002, the unrelated Kenneth Cheruiyot finished second in the Rotterdam Marathon despite breaking his arm after ten kilometres. He'd won the race two years earlier.

Feroze Khan died at the age of 100. In 1928, he'd won an Olympic gold medal as India took the hockey title for the first of seven times in a row.

Wales had several players away with the Lions, so they had to send a patchwork team to Paris. France were desperate for the win: it would have made them Five Nations champions for the first time; even a draw would have been enough to share the title with England. So the match turned into a memorable punch-up that left Wales hooker Hubert Day with stitches in his lip and France's fly-half Christian Magnanou out of the game early on. Archie Skym scored a try and Guy Morgan and Wick Powell dropped goals in Wales's 11-0 win. France had to wait until April 4, 1959 to win the title outright.

The Ottawa Senators retained the Stanley Cup by beating the Vancouver Millionaires, who also lost in the three finals after this. They were the only team to lose four in a row.

Dan Loader was born Danyon Loader in New Zealand and grew into the country's most successful swimmer. He began with a silver medal in the 200 metres butterfly at the 1992 Olympic Games when he was 17; won the same event at the Commonwealth Games in 1994, plus four other medals; picked up three minor medals at the World Championships that year; then hit twin peaks as a surprise gold medallist in the 200 and 400 metres freestyle at the 1996 Olympics. He didn't set a Games record in either of them, but beat a class field in the 200 final: van den Hoogenband, Rosolino, Holmertz, Kowalski. Some of the same swimmers were in the 400 final, including Britain's Paul Palmer, who won the silver. Loader set four world records in short-course events.