Sunday 4 December 2016

The longest waits for honours in sport

Published 02/11/2016 | 10:36

Cyclist Martyn Irvine ended Ireland's 117-year wait for track gold
Cyclist Martyn Irvine ended Ireland's 117-year wait for track gold

When the 2016 World Series is decided after Wednesday's seventh game its outcome will bring an end to one of the two longest droughts in sport.

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The Chicago Cubs have not won the MLB title since 1908, 108 years ago, while their opponents the Cleveland Indians have been without a World Series win since 1948.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at some more protracted waits for honours.

CHICAGO CUBS

There remain only a handful of people on the planet who were alive when Frank Chance's Cubs beat the Detroit Tigers to a first World Series in 1908. Chicago has become a byword for extraordinary patience and frustration, even featuring in a joke in time-travel film 'Back to the Future Part II'. Before doing so this year, they had not even managed to win the National League pennant since 1945.

CLEVELAND INDIANS

A city which waited 52 years for sporting honours could now get a double dose of glory. The Cavaliers' comeback triumph in the NBA against Golden State Warriors in June was Cleveland's first success since the Browns won the 1964 NFL title and the Indians might deliver a first MLB championship since 1948. The hapless Browns, however, do not look like reaching the Super Bowl any time soon.

GREAT BRITAIN'S DAVIS CUP TEAM

After ending a 77-year wait for a British man to win Wimbledon, Andy Murray ensured Britain claimed the Davis Cup for the first time in 79 years when claiming a straight-sets victory over Belgium's David Goffin last November. Kyle Edmund and Andy's brother Jamie completed the team in Ghent.

BLACKBURN

The founding members had slipped into Football League anonymity since winning their second title in 1914 and when businessman Jack Walker bought them in 1991 they were in the Second Division. After investing heavily in players and hiring Kenny Dalglish as manager, Walker's club - powered by Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton - pipped Manchester United to the 1994-95 Premiership crown.

NIKI LAUDA

Austria's three-time world champion beat Emerson Fittipaldi to the Formula One title in 1975, recovered from a car fire to triumph in 1977, but had to wait seven years to squeeze past Alain Prost for another Drivers' Championship. Jack Brabham and Lewis Hamilton endured six-year droughts.

IRISH CYCLIST MARTYN IRVINE

In 1896 Harry 'The Balbriggan Flyer' Reynolds became the first Irishman to win the world championship in track cycling. Despite Ireland's considerable success on the road, with Dan Martin, Stephen Roche and Sean Kelly all landing major stage-race honours, it was not until 2013 that Martyn Irvine took first place in the scratch race in Belarus, winning his nation a first track gold in 117 years.

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