Blasts from the past: Karen Muir beaten Fairlie and square
Today in SA sports history: February 18
1961 — The Springboks complete their tour of the UK and France unbeaten in the Tests, but they have to settle for a 0-0 draw against France in their final international in Colombes. It’s the third and last time that the Boks have played to a pointless draw.
1966 — Jeppe Girls High pupil Ann Fairlie maintains her unbeaten record over more fancied world record holder Karen Muir, beating her and Olympic silver medallist Kiki Caron of France in the 110-yard backstroke at the Ellis Park pool in Johannesburg. Fairlie, 17, clocked 68.9sec – 0.2sec off Muir’s world mark – to beat the 13-year-old by 0.1sec. Despite a slow start and swimming into the rope after the turn, Muir came back strongly at the end. Australian swimmer Linda McGill, poolside at the time, said of the race: “Karen Muir is a better swimmer than Ann Fairlie. Karen lost the race because she swam into the ropes. She would have won the race with a clear swim.”
1976 — SA hosts the world bowls championships at Zoo Lake in Johannesburg. But poor greenkeeper Red Bayne, who had nursed the bowling lawns for three years, has a fit during the official opening when photographers sporting high-heeled boots tromp onto the main pitch to get a better picture of prime minister BJ Vorster. Bayne stopped just short of using four-letter words, apparently. “All some of those guys needed were spurs on their boots and you would have thought they were cowboys,” grumbled Bayne. He immediately issued an edict for the duration of the tournament. “Photographers either wear flat shoes or go onto the greens in their socks!”
2000 — Former IBF lightweight champion Phillip Holiday is outpointed by Thomas Damgaard of Denmark for the marginal IBC’s vacant welterweight title in Aalborg.