2008 Quiz of the year – answers

And here are the answers…

SWIMMING Another gold for Michael Phelps at the 2008 Olympics POTY 2008 - 0

Part I – Olympic Glory

1.Great Britain won 19 gold medals at the Olympics in Beijing. How many of those were in events where the participants have to stay on their feet?

Two: James Degale (middleweight boxing) and Christine Ohuruogu (400m).

2. Prior to 2008 the best Olympic performance by an athlete from Bahrain was Reyadh Rasheed Saad Al-Ameeri finishing 14th in the men’s hammer in 1992. Which Bahraini athlete eclipsed that record in the best possible style in Beijing?

Rashid Ramzi, who won the men’s 1500m.

3. The opening ceremony for the Olympics won the highest TV ratings in the history of the world. How many people are estimated to have tuned in to watch the lip-synching children and partially-faked pyrotechnics?

Two billion, with a total of 4.7 billion tuning in at some point during the Games.

4. American swimmer Michael Phelps established a new record for the number of gold medals won during a single Olympics. How many did he win, and how many of those were in individual events?

Eight, with five of them coming in individual events (200m and 400m individual medleys, 100m and 200m butterfly, 200m freestyle).

5. Only one nation has won at least one gold medal at every summer Olympics since the modern Games began in 1896. Name them.

Great Britain, but only because of the US boycott of the 1980 Olympics. The Americans have won at least 11 golds in every other Games, whereas Britain has scraped a single gold three times (1904, 1952 and 1996).

6. Usain Bolt stunned the world with his world record of 9.69 seconds in the Olympic 100m final. But who came second?

Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago.

7. Bolt also set a world record in the 200m final, with a run of 19.30 seconds that eclipsed Michael Johnson’s 19.32 at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. But who was the last person to hold both 100m and 200m records?

Dan Quarrie, another Jamaican, who held both records from 1976-1979. Bolt, however, is the first to hold both records since the introduction of electronic timing.

8. Which innovation in athletes’ equipment had such a huge impact at the Games was described as “technological doping”?

The Speedo LZR Racer swimsuit. An astonishing 94% of races at Beijing were won by swimmers using the controversial suit.

9. At the 2008 Games China topped the medal table for the first time, with a stunning 51 golds. True or false: China have already won twice as many golds in the 21st century than they won during the entire 20th century.

True. The Chinese team have won 111 golds over the last three Games, compared to a total of just 52 before that. Then again, they only took part in one games prior to 1984.

10. Rebecca Adlington won two gold medals for Britain in the swimming pool. Who won Team GB’s other swimming medal?

Joanne Jackson in the 400m freestyle, won by Adlington.

Part II – Football heaven, football hell

11. In December Cristiano Ronaldo became the third Portuguese player to win the Ballon D’Or for being European Footballer of the Year. Who were the other two?

Luis Figo (2000) and Eusebio (1965).

12. Which Premier League player became in 2008 the first person to captain his club in all four divisions?

Ian Ashbee of Hull City. Three of his teammates have also enjoyed the ride from bottom to top: Boaz Myhill, Andy Dawson and Ryan France, though injury means France is yet to play in the top division.

13. How many points did Spurs earn in the league this season under Juande Ramos?

Two, from eight matches. It was Spurs worst-ever start to a campaign. Following the Carling Cup victory, Ramos’s team won just three league fixtures out of 20 played.

14. Which three players missed penalties during the shoot-out that decided the 2008 Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea?

Cristiano Ronaldo, John Terry and Nicolas Anelka. Anelka was the sixth man to take for Chelsea, and failed to match Ryan Giggs’s successful attempt.

15. Who was the top scorer in the Championship in the 2007-08 season?

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake of Wolves.

16. True or false: last year’s FA Cup semi-finals were the first in which only one of the teams was from the top division of English football.


17. None of the home nations were represented at Euro 2008. When was the last time that happened at a European Championship?

1984, in France – though only eight teams contested the finals at the time. It was the seventh time since 1966 that England have missed a major tournament finals (’74, ’78, ’94 World Cups and ’72, ’76, ’84 and ’08 European Championships).

18. Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear unleashed one of the most memorable football tirades of all time after the pressure of the job – which he’d been doing for all of a week – became too much for him. How many times did he swear at Mirror journalist Simon Bird?

52. Click http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/03102008/58/premier-league-read-kinnear-s-swear-laden-rant.html for the full – albeit tastefully censored – transcript.

19. Sheikh Mansour has made headlines with his lavish bankrolling of Manchester City under Mark Hughes. But how much profit did previous owner Thaksin Shinawatra make on the sale?

An estimated £20m, which came just in time for the former Thai prime minister since the remainder of his £800m fortune has been frozen since his conviction for corruption.

20. Fabio Capello has made a decent start to his time as England manager, with England looking likely to cruise to qualification for the 2010 World Cup. How many league titles has Capello won in his managerial career?

Seven. Four Seria A titles with Milan, in 1991-92, 1992-92, 1993-94 and 1995-96; one Serie A title with Roma, in 2000-01; and two La Liga titles with Real Madrid, in 1996-97 and 2006-07. He also picked up four Serie A winners’ medals as a player, three with Juventus and one with Milan.

Part III – Making a racquet

21. Justine Henin announced her sudden and unexpected retirement in May despite being at the top of the ATP rankings at the time. How many Grand Slam titles did the Belgian win during her career?

Seven: the 2004 Australian Open, 2003 and 2007 US Opens, and the French Open in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007. She was runner-up at Wimbledon twice, in 2001 and 2006.

22. The epic battle between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon was the highlight of the tennis year, but neither man even made the final of the 2008 Australian Open. How long had it been since Roger Federer had missed a Grand Slam final?

Almost three years, or 10 consecutive finals. The previous one Federer missed was the 2005 French Open final, in which Nadal beat Mariano Puerta. Neither made the final of the 2005 Australian Open, leaving Marat Safin to beat Lleyton Hewitt.

23. Superscot Andy Murray seems to have matured by about five years over the last 12 months, both professionally and personally. In September he became the first Brit to make a men’s Grand Slam singles final since Greg Rusedski at the 1997 US Open. But who was the last Brit to manage the feat before Rusedski?

John Lloyd, who made the final of the Australian Open in December 1977. Sort of, anyway: that year there were two Australian Opens (long story, but the other had been in January) and one or two big names stayed away from the second one.

IV – Men with odd-shaped balls

24. Ospreys and Wales winger Shane Williams won the IRB player of the year, and also picked up the Rugby writers’ award. He is now the Welsh national team’s greatest every try scorer, but has he averaged 0.55, 0.72, 0.91 or 1.12 tries per match for his country?

Williams has scored 44 tries in 61 tests for his country, averaging out at 0.72 tries per game. That compares to 0.63 for David Campese, 0.55 for Rory Underwood and 0.69 for Bryan Habana and 0.59 for Jonah Lomu. Bizarrely, Japan’s Daisuke Ohata has an average of 1.19, having plundered 69 tries in 58 tests against the likes of Taiwan and Hong Kong.

25. Martin Johnson was named as the new England rugby coach in April after Brian Ashton was given the chop following a disappointing Six Nations campaign. But how many of England’s 14 coaches have a better winning percentage than Ashton?

Three. Ashton’s England won 54 per cent of their matches, a record bettered only by Mike Davis (1969-72, 63 per cent), Jack Rowell (1994-97, 72 per cent) and Clive Woodward (1997-2004, 71 per cent). Martin Johnson has one win in four games so far.

26. Jonny Wilkinson made a brief return to fitness this year. In the five years from his first cap in 1998 to the World Cup final in 2003, Jonny Wilkinson made 52 appearances for England. How many has he made in the five years that have passed since that final?

Eighteen, with England having played 50 test matches in the same period. Wilkinson has sustained 13 separate injuries in that time.

Part V – Keep your motor running

27. The last two Formula One drivers’ championships have been decided by a single point. Before 2007 when was the last championship decided by such a small margin?

It was in 1994, when Michael Schumacher trumped Damon Hill by one point. The championship was also decided by one point in 1958, 1961, 1964, 1976 and 1981. But even more amazing was 1984, when Niki Lauda beat Alain Prost by half a point, following half points being awarded for a grand prix abandoned half-way through the race.

28. Lewis Hamilton won five races this season. No champion has won the title with fewer victories since 1989. Who won the drivers’ championship that year?

Alain Prost, driving a McLaren Honda, won just four races that year but still won by 16 points from team-mate Ayrton Senna. Senna won six races that season, but failed to score nine times.

29. Valentino Rossi won the MotoGP riders’ World Championship this year after two seasons of missing out. How many world titles has he now won across the different classes of bike?

Eight. He has one 125cc title, one 250cc, one 500cc title (i.e. the highest engine size in pre-MotoGP days) and five MotoGP crowns.

30. Sebastien Loeb won an unprecedented fifth consecutive WRC crown in 2008. How many rallies did he win during the season?

Eleven, out of 15 races. He has won 47 rallies during his career. The driver with the next highest number of all-time wins is Marcus Gronholm, with 30.

Part VI – Cue the cycling horses

31. What was the combined highest break scores of Ronnie O’Sullivan and Ali Carter on their way to the final of the 2008 World Championship?

294. For the first time in the game’s history, both players had made maxiumum 147s en-route to a tournament final.

32. Which three players won more than one ranking tournament during the 2007-08 snooker season?

Ronnie O’Sullivan, Stephen Maguire and Eurosport blogger Mark Selby.

33. Who won the 2008 Tour de France?

Spanish rider Carlos Sastre.

34. Including the positive tests revealed in October, how many riders were caught doping at this year’s Tour de France?


35. Which former Grand National-winning jockey was forced to retire as a result of injuries sustained during the 2008 race?

Mick Fitzgerald. His horse, L’Ami, fell at Becher’s Brook.

Part VII – American – and Irish – Idols

36. The 2008 baseball World Series was won by the Philadelphia Phillies – but who were their unlikely opponents in the final series of matches?

The Tampa Bay Rays. In the decade since the franchise was founded, they’ve only avoided the Eastern Division wooden spoon twice.

37. The 2008 Superbowl between the New York Giants and New England Patriots was the second most-watched US television broadcast of all time. Did they get (a) 45 million, (b) 98 million or (c) 112 million viewers?

98 million. The highest-ever rated broadcast was the final ever episode of MASH, which attracted 106 million viewers.

38. Tiger Woods won his 14th Major at the US Open. How many competitive holes did he play in doing so?

Ninety-one. The players were tied after four rounds, and still level after the 18-hole play-off. Woods finally won with a par to Rocco Mediate’s bogey on the first hole of sudden death.

39. Padraig Harrington won the Open Championship at Birkdale, but the story of the week was Greg Norman’s incredible performance at the age of 53. How many years was it since Greg Norman had won the Open?

Fifteen. Norman’s two Opens came in 1986 and 1993.

40. Who was the top points scorer at the 2008 Ryder Cup?

Ian Poulter, with four points out of a possible five. Hunter Mahan was top scorer for the USA with three and a half points out of five. Boo Weekly won two and a half points from his three matches.

Part VIII – Arctic monkeying

41. Which German 21-year-old became the youngest woman ever to win the biathlon World Cup series?

Magdalena Neuner.

42. Which maverick American skiier won the overall Alpine skiiing World Cup?

Bode Miller.

Part IX – Fighting for their rights

43. Joe Calzaghe is now without doubt one of Britain’s greatest-ever boxers – but how many fights has he now won?

46 – and he remains undefeated.

44. Who is Ricky Hatton’s new trainer – and who did he replace?

Floyd Mayweather Sr., father of the only fighter ever to beat Hatton. He took over training duties for The Hitman from Billy Graham in July of this year.

Part X – Unlucky dip

45. Britain had a great 2008 Olympics – but who was the last British male to win an Olympic gold on the track, and when did it come?

Linford Christie, who won the 100m in 1992 – though it was in the absence of defending champion Carl Lewis. Lewis failed to get through the US trials and was not on the team, despite having established a new world record less than a year beforehand.

46. Edd China set the land speed record in November 2008 for the world’s fastest: (a) horse, (b) desk, (c) bed?

Bed. China, a specialist in wacky motorsports, recorded a speed of 69mph – in central London.

47. Evander Holyfield got back into the ring at the age of 46 to resurrect his boxing career – and found himself facing Nikolai Valuev, who at seven foot tall towered over Holyfield by 10 inches. But how much weight advantage was the former champ giving away?

An amazing 96.5 lbs – which is six stone 11 lbs, or 43 kg. Holyfield lost on a controversial points decision.

48. Takeru Kobayashi of Japan is 5’8″ tall and weighs just over nine stone. Joey Chestnut of the USA is 6’2″ and weighs 15 stone. Which world-famous title did they go into a play-off decider for in July of this year?

The annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Kobayashi and Chestnut were tied after the contest having both eaten 59 hot dogs, but Chestnut won the five hot dog eat-off to retain his title.

49. The year’s biggest headline grabber away from the world of sport was undoubtedly the election of Barack Obama to the US presidency. But what does the president-elect have in common with England fly-half Danny Cipriani and Welsh football legend Ryan Giggs?

All three are of mixed race, with black fathers and white mothers.

50. Mohammad Ahansal of Morocco won the 245km, seven-day Marathon des Sables for the second time in 2008. But as he crossed the finishing line, did he: (a) perform a highly-acrobatic cartwheel, (b) fall to his knees and pray, or (c) run to the side of the road and vomit?

Incredibly, it was (a) – Ahnsal actually completed his seven marathons in seven days through the Sahara desert by cartwheeling over the line – to the delight and astonishment of the spectators. If that isn’t the performance of the year, we don’t know what is…