• February 1 down the years

Nadal teaches Federer a lesson

Rafael Nadal was the dominant force at the time © Getty Images

If Roger Federer's the best tennis player of all time, what does that make Rafael Nadal? In 2008, he bested him time and again. On Federer's favourite surfaces, Nadal won Grand Slam finals in five sets, including Wimbledon. On his own favourite, he won a Grand Slam final for the loss of only four games, humiliating Federer 6-1 6-3 6-0 in the French Open, the third year in a row he'd beaten him in the final. At the Olympic Games, Nadal won the gold medal in singles while Federer didn't get past the quarter finals. Today Nadal won the Australian Open to complete a year of domination. It went to five sets again, but he won the fifth 6-2. He was still only 22, Federer 27. Injuries wrecked the rest of Nadal's year, he was well short of peak fitness in the French, allowing Federer to win it at last and people to make big claims for him. Short memories.

Nash and Dixon won gold for Britain. Competing in the two-man bob at the Winter Olympics in 1964, Tony Nash and Robin Dixon broke an axle bolt during their first run. Italy's multiple world champion Eugenio Monti had never won Olympic gold - and he didn't win one here. He lent the British pair a new bolt and they used it to come from behind and take the gold medal on their last run, beating another Italian pair into second and Monti into third. The following year, Nash and Dixon won the world title. Monti won it in 1966 before his last chance of Olympic success on February 6, 1968.

Pittsburgh Steelers beat Arizona Cardinals 27-23 to become the first team to win the Super Bowl six times. At 36, Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin was the youngest to coach a team in the big event. Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner ended his fourth Super Bowl with a mammoth 1,156 yards passing, which included another record on January 30, 2000. James Harrison intercepted a pass and ran 100 yards to put Pittsburgh 17-7 ahead, but they needed a TV review to confirm their winning touchdown with less than two minutes left. It was scored by wide receiver Santonio Holmes, who was voted MVP.

Adam Vinatieri kicked the winning field goal for New England in the Super Bowl on February 3, 2002 and again now, each time with the scores level and only five seconds left. Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme threw for 323 yards, but the Patriots' Tom Brady totalled 354 and won the MVP award.

Flying winger Ieuan Evans scored the last two of his 33 tries for Wales, a record at the time. But he scored them for the losing side, Ireland winning 26-25 in Cardiff. While Evans was scoring his last, the other right wing was scoring his first. New cap Denis Hickie eventually totalled 29 tries for Ireland, also a national record for a while.

Czech Republic's Petr Korda won his only Grand Slam singles title. In the final of the Australian Open, he beat Marcelo Rios of Chile 6-2 6-2 6-2. "I knew I was a better fighter," he said. "And I knew he sometimes gives up." It was Rios' only Grand Slam singles final. Korda lost the French Open final in 1992.

In France, skier Patricia Goitschel won a national junior event. On the same day in Austria, her big sisters were taking part in something more momentous. In the slalom at the Winter Olympics, Christine won gold and Marielle silver. In the giant slalom two days later, the positions were reversed. Marielle won the slalom at the 1968 Games.

At the Commonwealth Games, Marcus Adam ran the 200 metres in a wind-assisted 20.10, far faster than his legal best. He led an England sweep of the medals by finishing ahead of John Regis and Ade Mafe. Adam also won gold in the relay, where he and Regis helped set a legal Games record. European junior champion at the same two events in 1987, Adam competed at the 2002 Winter Olympics as a bobsleigher.

Diane Modahl claimed Commonwealth gold © Getty Images

England's Diane Edwards (later Modahl), won the 800 metres at the Commonwealth Games after finishing second in 1986. And two of the Kenyan favourites fell in the 5000 metres final: John Ngugi and Yobes Ondieki. Ngugi got back up and raced to the front almost immediately, which cost him in the last few strides, when he was beaten by a virtual unknown, 30-year-old Andrew Lloyd, who was born in Essex but ran for Australia.

Quirkily brilliant winger Peter Jackson scored a famous individual try in the last minute to beat Australia 9-6 at Twickenham. Handing off one defender, he beat another tight to the touchline before diving over in the corner as the first man came back to tackle. Two England new boys got the other points, Malcolm Phillips a try, Jim Hetherington a penalty goal.

The dazzling Eleanor Holm set her first world record at 200 metres backstroke. She broke it the following month and again before the 1936 Olympics - which she didn't compete in. A star in and out of the water, the defending champion at the event, she was banned from the Games for partying on a train.

Two of Welsh rugby's key figures in the next decade made their international debuts at Murrayfield. Mervyn Davies and JPR Williams helped Wales beat Scotland 17-3. Two other icons scored tries: half-backs Gareth Edwards and Barry John.