Top 10 winning streaks in the history of sport

Winning streaks are jaw dropping, awe inspiring and worth emulating!!

They are not easy to achieve for any athlete as it requires unwavering focus, undying motivation, incorrigible consistency, steely resolve and above all sustained excellence. It feels surreal when athletes – individuals and teams – have achieved winning streaks so daunting that some of them could possibly never be toppled, at least for a long time to come.

While a Sport aficionado may only get to see the ‘wow quotient’ of a winning streak, only an athlete knows the sweat and toil and the pain and agony that goes in into making one.

While there are numerous winning streaks in various disciplines of Sport, in this article an attempt has been made to try and represent those streaks that are often recalled even to this date.

Here are the top 10 winning streaks in the history of Sport!

No. 10| Byron Nelson won 11 Golf Tournaments in a row

Byron Nelson

Have you heard of him ever?

In an era of Tiger Woods and the likes, the name Byron Nelson may not be recognized by a layman or a non-golfing fan.

An American Professional Golfer, John Byron Nelson Jr. played between 1935 and 1946. He retired at the age of 34 but continued to contribute to the sport in the capacity of a commentator. He lent his name to the HP Byron Nelson Championship and this was the first time ever an event was named after a Professional Golfer.

1945 was a ‘Byron Nelson’ year. In that particular year, he won 11 consecutive tournaments and a total of 18 out of 35 tournaments. Both records stand unbeaten till date.

From the 1950s and 1970s, Byron Nelson coached and mentored upcoming golf prodigies like Tom Watson and Marty Fleckman.


No.9| Edwin Mosses won 122 consecutive races

The Great Edwin Morley Moses was the undisputed King of Hurdles

Edwin Corley Mosses was from the World of Track and Field. Winning gold medals in the 400m hurdles at the Olympics in 1976 and 1984 is a golden achievement by itself.

But a record of his that may never be emulated is his 122 consecutive wins between 1977 to 1987. In this period, Moses won 107 consecutive finals and set the World Record 4 times.

Edwin contributed immensely to the areas of Olympic Eligibility and Drug Testing. In 2000, he became the first Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy.


No.8| Michael Phelps’ unbeaten 10 year streak in 200 m butterfly

Michael Phelps with his gold medals

One of most revered Olympians of all time, Michael Phelps won a total of 22 Medals. Nicknamed as The Baltimore Bullet and the Flying Fish, Phelps holds the record for most number of Olympic Gold Medals (18).

His most noteworthy streak was in the 200 m butterfly category in which he was unbeaten for 10 years in a row. He was finally beaten by Chad Le Clos before the 2012 London Olympics.


No.7| Julio Cesar Chavez was undefeated for 87 fights

Julio Cesar Chavez: The great Mexican Pugilist

Move aside Mayweather and Pacquaio! You have garnered enough attention recently!

Julio Cesar Chavez holds the longest winning streak in boxing history. His fight streak stood at 87 until he met Parnell Whitaker against whom the match was drawn. His first official loss was to Frankie Randall. Chavez’s undefeated streak spanned 13 years!

Some of the other records that make him such a renowned pugilist are: most successful defenses of world titles (27), most title fight victories (31), most title fights (37).


No.6| Kelly Slater surfed his way to glory at 5 consecutive World Championships

Kelly Slater was the biggest surfing name for over 2 decades

Known for his competitive prowess and style, Kelly Slater is one of the biggest names in Surfing. An American Professional Surfer, Kelly Slater has been crowned World Champion for 10 times over two decades.

His five consecutive World Championship clinches from 1994 -98 is an unbeaten streak. What is even more impressive is the fact that Slater is the youngest (20) and oldest (39) to win the title.


No.5| Martina Navratilova won 74 matches on a trot

Martina Navratilova won the Wimbledon a record 9 times

Martina Navratilova made herself a household name when she defected from her home country Czechoslovakia at the age of 18. She is one legend who Sports fans across generations will know of owing to her sheer longevity in the Sport. She played her last Grand Slam at the US Open 2006 when she won the mixed Doubles title with Bob Bryan. She was just a month away from turning 50 then.

According to the great Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova is the greatest Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles player in tennis history. Navratilova won 167 top-level singles titles, the highest in the Open Era and 177 doubles titles.

In 1984, Martina Navratilova was simply unstoppable. She won in 13 straight tournaments which translates to a winning streak of 74 straight matches. During this streak, Martina bagged 6 Grand Slam titles on a trot.


No.4| Richard Petty won 10 races in a row

Richard Lee Petty: The King of NASCAR

Nicknamed The King, Richard Lee Petty is a former NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) driver.

Petty won 7 NASCAR Championships, a feat that has been achieved by just one other driver Dale Earnhardt. However, Petty won 10 races in a row out of a total of 27 wins in 1967. This is a record that has never been emulated till date.


No.3| Usain Bolt won 3 consecutive Gold Medals at the World Championships

Lightning Bolt : The fastest man on earth

Lightning Bolt as he is called, Usain Bolt is regarded as the fastest man ever. The Jamaican sprinter holds the unique distinction of being the first man to hold the World Records for both the 100 m and 200 m events since the mandatory fully automatic time measurements were in place since 1977.

The 200 m Event is Bolt’s forte. His winning streak of 3 consecutive Gold Medals in the World Championships is unparalleled. He is the first Olympian to win 6 Gold Medals in sprinting.


No.2| Rafael Nadal won 81 consecutive matches on Clay

Rafael Nadal : The King of Clay

The King of Clay has recently been in the news for being dethroned at Roland Garros. However, his streaks on Clay will forever remain etched in the annals of history. With a high degree of confidence, it can be said that it would probably take a few hundred years for someone to go past him as far as his records on Clay are concerned.

Between 2005 and 2007, Nadal won 81 straight matches on his favorite surface. He holds a win loss record of 70-2 at Roland Garros. He has undoubtedly been the most dominant force on Clay.


No.1| Jahangir Khan won a whopping 555 consecutive matches

Jahangir Khan : the most accomplished player in the history of Squash

Regarded as the greatest athlete ever, Jahangir Khan possessed a class of play that was and is unmatched in the history of Squash. Hailing from a Pakistani family of great Squash players, Jahangir Khan started playing Squash at the age of 10.

This Pakistani Squash player was unbeaten in five hundred and fifty five (555) matches and four World Open championships from 1981 to 1986. He had won six World Open trophies in that span.


“Hard work, discipline, commitment and ambition. To be the best, I had to work harder than everyone else. I trained for 8 hours a day, 6 days a week.” - is how Jahangir himself explains the reasons for his remarkable success.

Now we know, what goes into achieving these mind boggling winning streaks!

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

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