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4 sporting feats that took longer than Danny’s goal

5 October 2015

Slower achievements than Williams' 15-second header

Danny Williams’ lightning-quick goal at the start of the Royals’ 2-0 victory against Middlesbrough was recorded as the third-fastest goal on record by any Reading player in 144 years of history.

WATCH: Danny Williams' 15-second goal against @Boro at Madejski Stadium yesterday...

— Reading FC (@ReadingFC) October 4, 2015

Only Jimmy Kebe (against West Brom in 2010) and Mark White (against York City in 1985) can better the 15 seconds it took our midfield man to open the scoring on Saturday.

It set the Royals off to a flying start – so we’ve pulled together 4 sporting feats that look positively sluggish when compared with Danny’s opener against Boro…

Defend a boxing world championship title: 17 seconds

It isn’t unusual nowadays for boxing matches to endure months of build-up, followed by 12 three-minute rounds with one-minute interludes for the trainers to patch up any busted eyebrows, followed by a drawn-out split-decision.  Not so when Puerto Rican boxer Daniel Jimenez squared up with Austrian Harald Meier in 1994, who was trying to win the WBO super bantamweight title.  Challenger Geier, until then undefeated and fighting on home soil, looked busy for the first few seconds – until taking a straight right to the chops after 17 seconds.  He tried in vain to get back to his feet, but his legs were jelly; it is the quickest ever victory in a title fight - two seconds slower than Danny's goal.

Finish an Under-19 Women’s football match: 18 seconds

Most football matches last 90 minutes plus added time.  Six months ago, however, England and Norway were ordered to replay the final 18 seconds of their Women’s U19 European Championship qualifier after a refereeing blunder in stoppage time.  The Young Lionesses, trailing 2-1 to Norway in Belfast, were awarded a penalty in the sixth added minute, which was taken and scored by Leah Williamson.  However it was disallowed for encroachment – but the official didn’t apply Law 14 correctly, and awarded a free-kick in Norway’s favour rather than having the spot-kick retaken.  UEFA took action and had the final 18 seconds of the game replayed, starting with another chance for Williamson to score from 12 yards.  After five days’ wait, it was all over in seconds when midfielder smashed low into the bottom corner.

Run 200m: 19.19 seconds

Measured against these other sporting feats, Usain Bolt’s world record for the men’s 200m looks comparatively lethargic at 19.19 seconds.  The Jamaican sprinter, whose fleet-footed countrymen include Asafa Powell, Donald Quarrie and Garath McCleary (!), initially broke the 200m record by shaving 0.02 seconds off Michael Johnson’s 12-year-old record time of 19.32 in Beijing on 20th August 2008.  A year later to the day, he smashed his own record by running an unprecedented 19.19 at the World Championships in Berlin - by the time Bolt dipped for the line, Williams was already deep in celebration.

Swim 50m freestyle: 20:26 seconds

Holder of two 50m world records in the short course – that is, two lengths of a 25m-long pool – Florent Manaudou pushed the freestyle record closer to the sub-20 second mark at the World Championships in Doha last December with a time of 20.26 seconds – as well as breaking the 50m short course backstroke record the following day at 22.22 seconds.  He became the third Frenchman to take the freestyle record in just over a decade, following in the slipstream of Frédérick Bousquet and Amaury Leveaux.  Manaudou is also the reigning Olympic 50m freestyle champion, taking the gold medal at the London 2012 Games.

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