Your Daily Dose: 8 flawless sports performances

Just because the sports world has stopped doesn't mean your sports consumption has to. In this Daily Dose series, assistant sports editor Lin Xinyi looks at sporting perfection.

Paul Lim, born in Singapore, has been recognised for his perfect nine-dart finish at the world championship in 1990.
Paul Lim, born in Singapore, has been recognised for his perfect nine-dart finish at the world championship in 1990.ST, TNP FILE PHOTOS
National bowler Shayna Ng’s perfect game at the 2010 Asian Games was enough for a silver medal.
National bowler Shayna Ng’s perfect game at the 2010 Asian Games was enough for a silver medal. ST, TNP FILE PHOTOS

1. PAUL LIM'S NINE-DART FINISH, WORLD DARTS C'SHIP, 1990

Seven consecutive treble 20s, a treble 19 and a double 12 later, Singapore-born Lim recorded the first nine-darter at a world championship. He punched the air as the crowd at Lakeside Country Club in Frimley Green, England, erupted. His effort in the first leg of the second set against Irishman Jack McKenna earned him £52,000 (S$91,700) and worldwide fame.

"People like to remember things like that," said Lim, who won the second-round match 3-2.

"They remember me because of that nine-dart finish. Whenever I travel to play in tournaments, they will come up to me and say, 'hey, ain't you the nine-dart guy'. It's nice to be recognised."

2. YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA'S GOLDEN SET, WIMBLEDON, 2012

The wild card served up a wild feat in the third round. For over 15 minutes, she put the ball in play 44 times and did not put a foot wrong. Even when French Open runner-up Sara Errani thought she produced a lob in the fourth game that would get her on the scoreboard, Shvedova reached up and conjured an overhead skyhook.

The Kazakh won all 24 points in the opening set, hitting 14 winners including four aces. It remains the only golden set in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament.

3. LAVINIA MILOSOVICI FLOORS JUDGES, OLYMPIC GYMNASTICS, 1992

Nadia Comaneci was the first gymnast in Olympic history to be awarded the perfect score of 10. Fellow Romanian Milosovici was the last. The 15-year-old made all the right moves - from somersaults to splits - to the tune of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy during her floor routine in the event's final.

4. GREG LOUGANIS' PERFECT 10, WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS, 1982

With an inward 11/2 somersault in the platform final, the American became the first diver in international competition to be awarded a perfect 10 from all seven judges.

He won the title in Guayaquil, Ecuador, with 634.26 points. The next time he was beaten was in 1987, but not before saying: "I feel I'm capable of getting a 10 on any one of my dives on any given day.''

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFlEorwMdmg&feature=youtu.be

5. MARK BUEHRLE'S PERFECT GAME, MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL, 2009

Baseball perfection occurs when opposing players fail to reach base - no hits, no walks, no fielding errors. Pitchers could do with a helping hand and the Chicago White Sox's Buehrle got just that in retiring 27 straight Tampa Bay Rays hitters.

At the top of the ninth inning, Gabe Kapler was denied a home run when DeWayne Wise made a wall-climbing catch. Centre fielder Wise only entered the game as a defensive replacement before Kapler's at-bat. Buehrle got a call from White Sox fan and President Barack Obama, while Wise received a hug and a thank you from his teammate.

6. SHAYNA NG'S 300-POINT GAME, ASIAN GAMES, 2010

As the Singapore kegler entered the 12th and final frame at the Tianhe Bowling Hall in Guangzhou, teammate New Hui Fen asked: "Do you want to go to the toilet?"

New, who had been paired on the lanes with Ng for the singles competition, was following coach Francis Yeo's instructions to ask random questions to keep his charges in a relaxed frame of mind.

Ng did not need a break but got her business done, hitting a strike for a 300 total in the fourth of six games. She finished with a silver. It was the first perfect game in a multi-sport Games for a Singapore bowler since New at the 2009 Asian Youth Games.

7. ONE-ARMED AMATEUR'S ACE, THE AMERICAN EXPRESS PRO-AM, 2020

Laurent Hurtubise was born with one arm and started playing golf when he was 11. Fifty years later, his hole-in-one at the PGA event in La Quinta, California, would be watched by millions around the world.

His six-iron at the 151-yard, par-three fourth hole at West Stadium Course bounced onto the green and then dropped into the cup.

"People tell me all the time when we play golf, 'Can you imagine how good you could've been with two arms?' and I say 'No, I never imagined it,'" the Canadian told CTV News.

"My head would've been different - the perseverance and the determination might not have been there as much. So this is me."

8. RONNIE O'SULLIVAN'S MAXIMUM BREAK, WORLD SNOOKER CHAMPIONSHIP, 1997

When O'Sullivan made a 147 against Mick Price in the first round, the world thought the fastest competitive maximum break in history was 5 minutes and 20 seconds. Twenty years later, it emerged that the historic feat was even faster than originally recorded.

The Englishman potted 15 reds with 15 blacks for 120 points, then cleared all six colours for a further 27 points in 5min 8sec - a time now acknowledged by World Snooker and the Guinness World Records.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2020, with the headline 'Your Daily Dose... of flawlessness'. Subscribe