• November 17 down the years

A Brit gets his revenge

The sporting events of November 17 down the years
Lennox Lewis knocked out Hasim Rahman in the fourth round © Getty Images

Lennox Lewis regained the world heavyweight title. Earlier that year, he'd been knocked out in the fifth round by Hasim Rahman in The Ring Magazine's Upset Of The Year. A big right hand burst through Lewis' weak left lead and left him flat on his back. This time there was an exact replica in reverse. Boxing more carefully and positively, Lewis won the first three rounds before producing an overhand right of his own in the fourth. He defended the title twice more before retiring after his last fight on 21 June 2003.

England's biggest win at rugby union, a 134-0 mismatch at Twickenham. In the 1980s Romania were one of the best teams in Europe, good enough to thrash Wales at home - but things have been hard since the 1989 revolution. The 20 tries in this match set an England record; Charlie Hodgson racked up 44 points. If he hadn't hit a post with his last conversion of the day, he would have equalled the record for a player making his international debut, set on 4 June 1995. On the same day in 1976, Romania scored 17 tries against West Germany, but that was in a different world.

Toni Sailer was born in Austria. The first man to win all three skiing events at the same Olympics (the only other was born on 30 August 1943), he took gold in the downhill, slalom, and giant slalom in 1956. Including these three events and the 1956 combined, he won seven world titles.

In one of the great performances by an English club against a major touring team, the North of England beat the All Blacks at Otley. They didn't just beat them, they outplayed them in every department, scoring four tries to one in a 21-9 win. Tony Bond scored two tries from centre, veteran Alan Old another as well as directing everything from fly-half. A week later, against a shell-shocked New Zealand, England should have played the same forward-dominated game backed by a kicking fly-half. Instead the usual selectorial nonsense reared its head: they gave a running fly-half his debut, and lost 10-9.

Australian rugby league winger Lionel Cooper scored 10 tries for Huddersfield against Keighley, a postwar Challenge Cup record.

Eunice Barber was born in Sierra Leone but competed for France. She was one of Denise Lewis' main rivals in the heptathlon. In 1999 the world title was won by a Barber in Seville!

Talking of multi-event champions, one of the most talented was born today. Bob Mathias was only 17 when he won the Olympic decathlon title in 1948. He won it again in 1952 with a world record 912 points ahead of the silver medallist - then retired undefeated at the age of 21 to become a senator and play himself in a film of his life.

Kim Duk-Koo's life support machine was switched off. Four days earlier, he'd been knocked out in the 14th round of a WBA lightweight title fight by holder Ray Mancini, whose nickname 'Boom Boom' suddenly looked in dodgy taste. As a result of the Korean's death, the WBA reduced its title bouts from 15 rounds to 12.

Ireland just can't beat the All Blacks. Even when they scored 29 points against them in Dublin, New Zealand scored 40. Star players Richie McCaw and Doug Howlett made their Test debuts, Howlett scoring one of the team's six tries (to the hosts' three).

Roland Matthes was born. Arguably the most dominant backstroke swimmer of all time, he won the 100/200 double at the Olympics in 1968 and 1972 and the European Championships of 1970 and 1974. Unbeaten in international competition from 1967 to 1974, he won three world titles and set 20 official world records. He married East Germany's other swimming superstar, Kornelia Ender (born 25 October 1958) but they divorced and their offspring didn't grow gills or webbed feet.

Hazem El-Masri scored 48 points as Lebanon beat Morocco 104-0 at rugby league. One of the best players in Australian club rugby, El-Masri converted 16 of the team's 18 tries as well as scoring four of them himself. Chris Salem scored five.

The 1961-62 Five Nations championship was finally settled. A smallpox epidemic in Wales led to the postponement of their match with Ireland. It wasn't worth the wait, though the 3-3 draw, typical of that era, saved Ireland from a whitewash.

Dan Carroll was born. An Olympic rugby gold medallist with two countries, his native Australia in 1908 and the USA in 1920, he also coached the States when they retained the title in 1924. That was the last time rugby was held in the Games, so the Americans are the reigning Olympic champions.

Top Australian swimmer Mike Wenden was born. He won nine gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, including three in the 100 metres freestyle, and above all did the double at the 1968 Olympics, where he set a world record in the 100 free and a Games record in the 200.

The 12th staging of the netball World Cup. Australia's women won it for the ninth time by beating hosts New Zealand 42-38 in the final.

Joyce Wethered was born. One of Britain's greatest golfers, she won the Amateur Championship four times from 1922 to 1929 and the English title five times in the same decade. She became Lady Heathcoat-Amory in 1924 and died the day after her 96th birthday. Her brother Roger lost a play-off to decide the British Open in 1921.

South Africa played their first rugby international in 1891. This was their first away from home, at Hampden Park against Scotland, whose 6-0 win was made up of two unconverted tries. The second came from Alec Purves, who was in a run of scoring in six consecutive internationals, a world record at the time (see 30 July).

Mikael Ljungberg committed suicide in hospital, where he was being treated for depression. A Greco-Roman wrestler, he won gold for Sweden in the heavyweight division at the 2000 Olympics.

Bert Sutcliffe was born. One of the leading left-handers of his day and one of New Zealand's greatest batsmen, he scored five centuries in a Test career that lasted from 1947 to 1965, including 230 not out in Delhi in December 1955. But New Zealand were weak at the time, so Sutcliffe played in 42 Tests without ever finishing on the winning side.

Left-arm swing bowler JJ Ferris died of enteric fever in South Africa while fighting for Britain in the Boer War. Jack Ferris' partnership with Charlie 'Terror' Turner was the scourge of England. On his debut, at Sydney in January 1887, he and Turner dismissed the old enemy for 45 and 184 - but Australia lost by 13 runs! In two tours of England, Ferris took 435 wickets in all matches. His 48 wickets for Australia cost only 14.25 each, and in his one match for England, in Cape Town in March 1892, he had the remarkable figures of 6-54 and 7-37.