Greg Norman during in US Masters collapse at Augusta, 1996.
Greg Norman during in US Masters collapse at Augusta, 1996.

Mike Colman: Australia’s 10 worst sporting chokes

The Melbourne Stars' monumental 7 for 19 collapse in losing Sunday's BBL final to the Renegades has been labelled the biggest choke in Australian sporting history.

Obviously by those with short memories. Here are 10 that take a lot of beating.

1. GREG NORMAN, 1996 US MASTERS

The grandaddy of them all. World No.1 Norman went into the final round of the tournament he wanted more than any other with a massive six-stroke lead but fell apart to lose to England's Nick Faldo by five.

2. LAY DOWN SALLY, 2004 ATHENS OLYMPICS

The Australian women's eight was in medal contention when No.6 rower Sally Robbins slumped back in her seat and dropped her oar, prompting a furious crewmate to suggest, "Why don't you get out and swim?"

3. MEN'S 4X100M FREESTYLE RELAY, 2012 LONDON OLYMPICS

With cocky world record-holder James Magnussen leading the way, the world champion Aussies were red-hot favourites to win gold but Magnussen swam a second slower than his best and his rattled teammates never recovered as they finished fourth.

4. CATE CAMPBELL, 100M FREESTYLE, 2016 RIO OLYMPICS

You don't like to kick a girl when she's down but when the then world record-holder described her sixth-place finish in the 100m final as "possibly the greatest choke in Olympic history", who are we to argue?

5. LIBBY TRICKETT, 100M FREESTYLE, 2004 ATHENS OLYMPICS

At least Cate made the final. Libby Trickett (then Lenton), who arrived in Athens as world record holder, swam 1.51 seconds slower than her best to record the ninth fastest semi-final time and fail to qualify for the final.

6. SAMANTHA STOSUR, 2013 AUSTRALIAN OPEN

Former US Open champion Sam Stosur described her 6-4, 6-7, 7-5 second round loss to China's Jie Zheng as "a bit of a choke", but given she was up 5-2 and 30-15 in the third she might be underselling it somewhat.

7. MICHAEL DIAMOND, MEN'S TRAP FINAL, 2012 LONDON OLYMPICS

After equalling the world record in the qualifying rounds, the two-time Olympic champion missed five of his last 22 shots in the final to drop from first to second to a shoot-off for bronze. His confidence … er, shot, he finished out of the medals.

 

Michael Diamond just couldn’t find his range at the 2012 Games. Photo: AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy
Michael Diamond just couldn’t find his range at the 2012 Games. Photo: AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

 

8. QUADE COOPER, 2006 REDS VS CHIEFS

Having grown up in Chiefs territory, 19-year-old Cooper had family and friends at Suncorp to watch what he described as his the worst game - "highlights" of which were later put on YouTube to the theme song from The Benny Hill Show.

9. JUSTIN HODGES, 2002 ORIGIN DEBUT

Hodges has never watched a replay of Game 2, 2002, when he twice threw passes in the Queensland in-goal, leading to tries to the Blues' Braith Anasta and Luke Ricketson, before coach Wayne Bennett replaced him.

10. STEVE MAVIN, 1987 NRL SEMI-FINAL CANBERRA VS SOUTH SYDNEY

Three times the Raiders' Peter Jackson kicked to Mavin's wing and three times the Raiders scored. The score was 16-0 after 16 minutes when Souths' coach George Piggins hooked him. Mavin was showered, dressed and gone from the SCG before halftime.

News Corp Australia


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