Top MLB Photos

Check out the best shots of the day.

FILE - In this June 3, 2019, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman David Freese tosses his bat in the first inning during a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix. David Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)
David Freese, 2011 World Series MVP, retires at 36
FILE - In this June 3, 2019, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman David Freese tosses his bat in the first inning during a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix. David Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)
Los Angeles Dodgers' Russell Martin (55) celebrates with David Freese (25) after hitting a two-run home run off Washington Nationals relief pitcher Hunter Strickland during the ninth inning in Game 3 of a baseball National League Division Series on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in Washington. At left is Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
David Freese, 2011 World Series MVP, retires at 36
Los Angeles Dodgers' Russell Martin (55) celebrates with David Freese (25) after hitting a two-run home run off Washington Nationals relief pitcher Hunter Strickland during the ninth inning in Game 3 of a baseball National League Division Series on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in Washington. At left is Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2011, file photo, St. Louis Cardinals' David Freese holds up the MVP trophy after Game 7 of baseball's World Series against the Texas Rangers in St. Louis. Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel< File)
David Freese, 2011 World Series MVP, retires at 36
FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2011, file photo, St. Louis Cardinals' David Freese holds up the MVP trophy after Game 7 of baseball's World Series against the Texas Rangers in St. Louis. Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel< File)
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FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2018, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers' David Freese celebrates after his home run against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning in Game 5 of the World Series baseball game in Los Angeles. Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
David Freese, 2011 World Series MVP, retires at 36
FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2018, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers' David Freese celebrates after his home run against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning in Game 5 of the World Series baseball game in Los Angeles. Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2018, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers' David Freese celebrates in the dugout after hitting a home run against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning in Game 5 of the World Series baseball game in Los Angeles. Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
David Freese, 2011 World Series MVP, retires at 36
FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2018, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers' David Freese celebrates in the dugout after hitting a home run against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning in Game 5 of the World Series baseball game in Los Angeles. Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
FILE - In this June 3, 2019, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman David Freese tosses his bat in the first inning during a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix. David Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)
Dodgers Freese Retires Baseball
FILE - In this June 3, 2019, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman David Freese tosses his bat in the first inning during a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix. David Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2018, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers' David Freese celebrates in the dugout after hitting a home run against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning in Game 5 of the World Series baseball game in Los Angeles. Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Dodgers Freese Retires Baseball
FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2018, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers' David Freese celebrates in the dugout after hitting a home run against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning in Game 5 of the World Series baseball game in Los Angeles. Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2018, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers' David Freese celebrates after his home run against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning in Game 5 of the World Series baseball game in Los Angeles. Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
Dodgers Freese Retires Baseball
FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2018, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers' David Freese celebrates after his home run against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning in Game 5 of the World Series baseball game in Los Angeles. Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2018, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers' David Freese celebrates in the dugout after hitting a home run against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning in Game 5 of the World Series baseball game in Los Angeles. Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Dodgers Freese Retires Baseball
FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2018, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers' David Freese celebrates in the dugout after hitting a home run against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning in Game 5 of the World Series baseball game in Los Angeles. Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2011, file photo, St. Louis Cardinals' David Freese holds up the MVP trophy after Game 7 of baseball's World Series against the Texas Rangers in St. Louis. Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel< File)
Dodgers Freese Retires Baseball
FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2011, file photo, St. Louis Cardinals' David Freese holds up the MVP trophy after Game 7 of baseball's World Series against the Texas Rangers in St. Louis. Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel< File)
FILE - In this June 3, 2019, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman David Freese tosses his bat in the first inning during a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix. David Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)
Dodgers Freese Retires Baseball
FILE - In this June 3, 2019, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman David Freese tosses his bat in the first inning during a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix. David Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2011, file photo, St. Louis Cardinals' David Freese holds up the MVP trophy after Game 7 of baseball's World Series against the Texas Rangers in St. Louis. Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel< File)
Dodgers Freese Retires Baseball
FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2011, file photo, St. Louis Cardinals' David Freese holds up the MVP trophy after Game 7 of baseball's World Series against the Texas Rangers in St. Louis. Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel< File)
FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2018, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers' David Freese celebrates after his home run against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning in Game 5 of the World Series baseball game in Los Angeles. Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
Dodgers Freese Retires Baseball
FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2018, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers' David Freese celebrates after his home run against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning in Game 5 of the World Series baseball game in Los Angeles. Freese is retiring after a 10-year career that included a World Series title in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was MVP. The 36-year-old infielder made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, on his verified Twitter account. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
Los Angeles Dodgers' Russell Martin (55) celebrates with David Freese (25) after hitting a two-run home run off Washington Nationals relief pitcher Hunter Strickland during the ninth inning in Game 3 of a baseball National League Division Series on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in Washington. At left is Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
NLDS Dodgers Nationals Baseball
Los Angeles Dodgers' Russell Martin (55) celebrates with David Freese (25) after hitting a two-run home run off Washington Nationals relief pitcher Hunter Strickland during the ninth inning in Game 3 of a baseball National League Division Series on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in Washington. At left is Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Los Angeles Dodgers' Russell Martin (55) celebrates with David Freese (25) after hitting a two-run home run off Washington Nationals relief pitcher Hunter Strickland during the ninth inning in Game 3 of a baseball National League Division Series on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in Washington. At left is Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
NLDS Dodgers Nationals Baseball
Los Angeles Dodgers' Russell Martin (55) celebrates with David Freese (25) after hitting a two-run home run off Washington Nationals relief pitcher Hunter Strickland during the ninth inning in Game 3 of a baseball National League Division Series on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in Washington. At left is Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Los Angeles Dodgers' David Freese runs to first after hitting a solo home run off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Bryan Shaw, foreground, during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
David Freese, former World Series MVP, retires at 36
Los Angeles Dodgers' David Freese runs to first after hitting a solo home run off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Bryan Shaw, foreground, during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler watches against the Detroit Tigers in the first inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Tuesday, July 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
SF Giants Rumors: Ex-Phillies Manager Gabe Kapler to Interview for Vacancy
Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler watches against the Detroit Tigers in the first inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Tuesday, July 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
David Freese of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates after hitting a walk off solo home run in the 11th inning to win Game Six of Major League Baseball's 2011 World Series against the Texas Rangers -- forcing a Game Seven that the Cards would go on to win (AFP Photo/Rob Carr)
David Freese of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates after hitting a walk off solo home run in the 11th inning to win Game Six of Major League Baseball's 2011 World Series against the Texas Rangers -- forcing a Game Seven that the Cards would go on to win
David Freese of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates after hitting a walk off solo home run in the 11th inning to win Game Six of Major League Baseball's 2011 World Series against the Texas Rangers -- forcing a Game Seven that the Cards would go on to win (AFP Photo/Rob Carr)
Freese announced his retirement from Major League Baseball following the Dodgers' unceremonious elimination from the NLDS on Wednesday.
David Freese announces retirement from MLB
Freese announced his retirement from Major League Baseball following the Dodgers' unceremonious elimination from the NLDS on Wednesday.
Freese announced his retirement from Major League Baseball following the Dodgers' unceremonious elimination from the NLDS on Wednesday.
David Freese announces retirement from MLB
Freese announced his retirement from Major League Baseball following the Dodgers' unceremonious elimination from the NLDS on Wednesday.
As the two-hour marathon barrier is breached and with records tumbling every year, we explore sport’s science, skill and sheer guts. There are a handful of numbers that are imbued with meaning. Roger Bannister’s 3:59.4. Usain Bolt’s 9.58. And now Eliud Kipchoge’s 1:59:40. Kipchoge’s extraordinary sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna on Saturday is one of the greatest sporting achievements – recording a time that has never been achieved before and pushing the limits of human ability, again. It is a time on the fringes of what scientists believe is humanly possible. And yet record-breaking events such as Kipchoge’s seem increasingly common. Last week Simone Biles became the first female gymnast to win a fifth world all-around title, using two signature moves that no other woman has ever achieved. Sarah Thomas swam the English channel four times in a row, 134 miles (215km) in open seas in 54 hours. Dalilah Muhammad broke the 400m hurdles world record twice this year and Sifan Hassan did the same for the 5km and one mile events. In men’s athletics, Geoffrey Kamworor is waiting to hear if his half marathon time of 58:01 will be ratified, while Julien Wanders set a new 5km record in February. And don’t forget the nine men’s swimming world records Adam Peaty and others have set this year. So far. “It is a great feeling to make history in sport after Sir Roger Bannister in 1954,” Kipchoge said afterwards, predicting that others would repeat the feat. “I am the happiest man in the world to be the first human to run under two hours and I can tell people that no human is limited.” Is he right? Where are the limits of human ability? And how close are we to reaching them? Sports scientists generally agree there are theoretical limits. Michael Joyner, a marathon runner and physiologist, published a paper in 1991 examining the three defining elements of a distance runner: VO2 max, the maximum amount of oxygen a body can take on; running economy, the rate at which the body uses energy; and lactate threshold, the amount of effort a body can maintain before it releases lactic acid – the burn. Joyner’s calculations predicted that the fastest time anyone would ever be able to run a marathon would be 1:57:58. And a paper this year estimated that human endurance for the fittest athletes was ultimately limited by their metabolisms. An amateur sprint relay team ran a marathon last year in 200m bursts, and they took 1hr 30. Raph Brandon, head of science for England cricket, distinguishes between feats which are constrained by human anatomy, and those which require human determination or skill. “When Bolt ran 9.58 in Berlin 10 years ago, if you analyse the split times, it’s very hard to imagine where the improvement comes from,” said Brandon, who worked with Team GB through three Olympic games until 2014. “The Usain Bolt 100m or the two-hour marathon, they’re in that category.” Multi-day, ultra-endurance events, such as Thomas’s cross-Channel swim, are different, Brandon said. “They need grit, psychology and bloody-mindedness to go that little bit further. Those people will continue to do unique things because you’re not really taking the body to its anatomical limit, it’s more a question of how much you’re prepared to deplete and fatigue yourself.” And there’s a third category, those sporting endeavours that rely on hand-eye coordination: the goal tallies of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, the tennis grand slams of Roger Federer and Serena Williams, and the batting of Virat Kohli, Steve Smith or Don Bradman, who trained by hitting a golf ball with a stump against a wall to become the best batsman ever to play Test cricket. “You’ve got to put the right kind of hours in,” Brandon said. “Bradman’s [golf ball is] a nice example. It’s something that overloads your perception and movement control so you can cope with more and more types of delivery bowler and pitch condition. But there are physiological limits to that as well.” In some sports, far from setting new records, the limit seems to have been reached. The fastest ever baseball pitch was tracked at 105.1mph in 2010, and hasn’t been beaten. Then, only a few pitchers threw the ball so fast; now it’s commonplace – but no one has thrown faster. “I’m not convinced there is a big increase in world records,” said Gary Brickley, a sports scientist at Brighton University. “What you see is little peak points which might be related to some intervention, whether that’s equipment or drugs or coaching, or some technological means of making someone go faster.” Equipment has been a factor for many sports. NFL receivers wear gloves that enable them to make improbable one-handed catches. Football boots have been designed to help players put exactly the right amount of spin on the ball ever since Adidas launched the Predator boot. The GB cycling team swept the board at the Olympics because of their amazing new clothing tech. The line between what is fair and unfair is blurry. Kipchoge’s sub-two-hour run will not be officially recognised – he still holds the official record of 2:01:39 – because he had so much help. The Kenyan ran behind a car which beamed a green laser on to the ground in front of him. Teams of pacemakers, 41 in total, ran in a V-formation to shield him from headwinds. He wore specially designed shoes and the time and date of the event were picked – by the organiser Ineos, the chemical company owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man – only after detailed weather forecasting. Yet Bannister also trod a fine line between fair and unfair assistance. His first attempt in 1953 was ruled out because his pacemaker, Chris Brasher – who went on to found the London Marathon – ran the first two laps slowly so that he could set a fast pace in the final half of the race. His record-breaking race might have gone the same way, according to Bannister’s other pacemaker, Chris Chataway, who wrote in 2003 that the publicity after the event meant the athletics authorities “did not have the temerity to question whether Brasher and I had been bona fide competitors. Of course we were not. But we did not flaunt the fact.” The question of assistance is not simply nit-picking, according to Ross Tucker, a sports scientist, who said when he first heard about Kipchoge’s attempt he wondered if they should run downhill, followed by a truck with giant fans to generate a tailwind. “I think it’s gimmicky to the point of annoying,” he said on the Science of Sport podcast last week. “But you had to do something to sidestep the normal physiological limit because these limits are not broken that much in one go.” Perhaps the final limit is inside athlete’s heads. Jo Davies, a sport psychologist, says recent studies have shown athletes can push themselves harder because of their perception of exhaustion. “It’s how we interpret pain or discomfort – does this mean I need to slow down, this is too much, or does it mean ‘this tells me I’m on track – it’s meant to be hard’.” Other research published this year which looked at super-elite athletes – who had won multiple gold medals – found that they were different in several important ways. They had often had a traumatic life experience and had suffered significant setbacks in their performance during their careers, as well as personality traits of ruthlessness, perseverance and perfectionism. So whether or not those limits have been reached, there will be no shortage of people prepared to try to go beyond them. RECORDS TO BEAT USAIN BOLT, sprinter. Ran 100m in 9.58s on 16 August 2009 PAULA RADCLIFFE, runner. Set the marathon women’s record of 2:15:25 in London, 2003 DON BRADMAN, cricketer. Test average from 1928-48 was 99.94 runs JIMMY GREAVES, footballer. Scored 357 top flight goals for Spurs, Chelsea and West Ham in 516 matches from 1957-71. FLORENCE GRIFFTH-JOYNER, sprinter. Ran 10.49s for the 100m in trials and 21.34s in the 200m at the Seoul Olympics.
Higher, faster, stronger, better ... is there no end to what humans can do?
As the two-hour marathon barrier is breached and with records tumbling every year, we explore sport’s science, skill and sheer guts. There are a handful of numbers that are imbued with meaning. Roger Bannister’s 3:59.4. Usain Bolt’s 9.58. And now Eliud Kipchoge’s 1:59:40. Kipchoge’s extraordinary sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna on Saturday is one of the greatest sporting achievements – recording a time that has never been achieved before and pushing the limits of human ability, again. It is a time on the fringes of what scientists believe is humanly possible. And yet record-breaking events such as Kipchoge’s seem increasingly common. Last week Simone Biles became the first female gymnast to win a fifth world all-around title, using two signature moves that no other woman has ever achieved. Sarah Thomas swam the English channel four times in a row, 134 miles (215km) in open seas in 54 hours. Dalilah Muhammad broke the 400m hurdles world record twice this year and Sifan Hassan did the same for the 5km and one mile events. In men’s athletics, Geoffrey Kamworor is waiting to hear if his half marathon time of 58:01 will be ratified, while Julien Wanders set a new 5km record in February. And don’t forget the nine men’s swimming world records Adam Peaty and others have set this year. So far. “It is a great feeling to make history in sport after Sir Roger Bannister in 1954,” Kipchoge said afterwards, predicting that others would repeat the feat. “I am the happiest man in the world to be the first human to run under two hours and I can tell people that no human is limited.” Is he right? Where are the limits of human ability? And how close are we to reaching them? Sports scientists generally agree there are theoretical limits. Michael Joyner, a marathon runner and physiologist, published a paper in 1991 examining the three defining elements of a distance runner: VO2 max, the maximum amount of oxygen a body can take on; running economy, the rate at which the body uses energy; and lactate threshold, the amount of effort a body can maintain before it releases lactic acid – the burn. Joyner’s calculations predicted that the fastest time anyone would ever be able to run a marathon would be 1:57:58. And a paper this year estimated that human endurance for the fittest athletes was ultimately limited by their metabolisms. An amateur sprint relay team ran a marathon last year in 200m bursts, and they took 1hr 30. Raph Brandon, head of science for England cricket, distinguishes between feats which are constrained by human anatomy, and those which require human determination or skill. “When Bolt ran 9.58 in Berlin 10 years ago, if you analyse the split times, it’s very hard to imagine where the improvement comes from,” said Brandon, who worked with Team GB through three Olympic games until 2014. “The Usain Bolt 100m or the two-hour marathon, they’re in that category.” Multi-day, ultra-endurance events, such as Thomas’s cross-Channel swim, are different, Brandon said. “They need grit, psychology and bloody-mindedness to go that little bit further. Those people will continue to do unique things because you’re not really taking the body to its anatomical limit, it’s more a question of how much you’re prepared to deplete and fatigue yourself.” And there’s a third category, those sporting endeavours that rely on hand-eye coordination: the goal tallies of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, the tennis grand slams of Roger Federer and Serena Williams, and the batting of Virat Kohli, Steve Smith or Don Bradman, who trained by hitting a golf ball with a stump against a wall to become the best batsman ever to play Test cricket. “You’ve got to put the right kind of hours in,” Brandon said. “Bradman’s [golf ball is] a nice example. It’s something that overloads your perception and movement control so you can cope with more and more types of delivery bowler and pitch condition. But there are physiological limits to that as well.” In some sports, far from setting new records, the limit seems to have been reached. The fastest ever baseball pitch was tracked at 105.1mph in 2010, and hasn’t been beaten. Then, only a few pitchers threw the ball so fast; now it’s commonplace – but no one has thrown faster. “I’m not convinced there is a big increase in world records,” said Gary Brickley, a sports scientist at Brighton University. “What you see is little peak points which might be related to some intervention, whether that’s equipment or drugs or coaching, or some technological means of making someone go faster.” Equipment has been a factor for many sports. NFL receivers wear gloves that enable them to make improbable one-handed catches. Football boots have been designed to help players put exactly the right amount of spin on the ball ever since Adidas launched the Predator boot. The GB cycling team swept the board at the Olympics because of their amazing new clothing tech. The line between what is fair and unfair is blurry. Kipchoge’s sub-two-hour run will not be officially recognised – he still holds the official record of 2:01:39 – because he had so much help. The Kenyan ran behind a car which beamed a green laser on to the ground in front of him. Teams of pacemakers, 41 in total, ran in a V-formation to shield him from headwinds. He wore specially designed shoes and the time and date of the event were picked – by the organiser Ineos, the chemical company owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man – only after detailed weather forecasting. Yet Bannister also trod a fine line between fair and unfair assistance. His first attempt in 1953 was ruled out because his pacemaker, Chris Brasher – who went on to found the London Marathon – ran the first two laps slowly so that he could set a fast pace in the final half of the race. His record-breaking race might have gone the same way, according to Bannister’s other pacemaker, Chris Chataway, who wrote in 2003 that the publicity after the event meant the athletics authorities “did not have the temerity to question whether Brasher and I had been bona fide competitors. Of course we were not. But we did not flaunt the fact.” The question of assistance is not simply nit-picking, according to Ross Tucker, a sports scientist, who said when he first heard about Kipchoge’s attempt he wondered if they should run downhill, followed by a truck with giant fans to generate a tailwind. “I think it’s gimmicky to the point of annoying,” he said on the Science of Sport podcast last week. “But you had to do something to sidestep the normal physiological limit because these limits are not broken that much in one go.” Perhaps the final limit is inside athlete’s heads. Jo Davies, a sport psychologist, says recent studies have shown athletes can push themselves harder because of their perception of exhaustion. “It’s how we interpret pain or discomfort – does this mean I need to slow down, this is too much, or does it mean ‘this tells me I’m on track – it’s meant to be hard’.” Other research published this year which looked at super-elite athletes – who had won multiple gold medals – found that they were different in several important ways. They had often had a traumatic life experience and had suffered significant setbacks in their performance during their careers, as well as personality traits of ruthlessness, perseverance and perfectionism. So whether or not those limits have been reached, there will be no shortage of people prepared to try to go beyond them. RECORDS TO BEAT USAIN BOLT, sprinter. Ran 100m in 9.58s on 16 August 2009 PAULA RADCLIFFE, runner. Set the marathon women’s record of 2:15:25 in London, 2003 DON BRADMAN, cricketer. Test average from 1928-48 was 99.94 runs JIMMY GREAVES, footballer. Scored 357 top flight goals for Spurs, Chelsea and West Ham in 516 matches from 1957-71. FLORENCE GRIFFTH-JOYNER, sprinter. Ran 10.49s for the 100m in trials and 21.34s in the 200m at the Seoul Olympics.
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: David Freese #25 of the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Tampa Bay Rays during a MLB baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Tampa Bay Rays won 8-7 in eleven innings. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)
Los Angeles Dodgers v. Tampa Bay Rays
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: David Freese #25 of the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Tampa Bay Rays during a MLB baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Tampa Bay Rays won 8-7 in eleven innings. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)
New York Yankees' CC Sabathia pitches to the Tampa Bay Rays during the fourth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Hicks, Sabathia added to Yankees' ALCS roster vs. Astros
New York Yankees' CC Sabathia pitches to the Tampa Bay Rays during the fourth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia talks to reporters at Yankee Stadium, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, in New York. The Yankees will host the Minnesota Twins in the first game of an American League Division Series on Friday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
ALDS Yankees Baseball
New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia talks to reporters at Yankee Stadium, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, in New York. The Yankees will host the Minnesota Twins in the first game of an American League Division Series on Friday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
New York Yankees' Aaron Hicks takes batting practice at Yankee Stadium Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, New York. The Yankees will play the winner of tonight's Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros American League Division Series game in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, Oct. 12 in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
ALCS Yankees Baseball
New York Yankees' Aaron Hicks takes batting practice at Yankee Stadium Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, New York. The Yankees will play the winner of tonight's Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros American League Division Series game in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, Oct. 12 in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia talks to reporters at Yankee Stadium, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, in New York. The Yankees will host the Minnesota Twins in the first game of an American League Division Series on Friday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
ALDS Yankees Baseball
New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia talks to reporters at Yankee Stadium, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, in New York. The Yankees will host the Minnesota Twins in the first game of an American League Division Series on Friday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
New York Yankees' Aaron Hicks takes batting practice at Yankee Stadium Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, New York. The Yankees will play the winner of tonight's Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros American League Division Series game in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, Oct. 12 in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
ALCS Yankees Baseball
New York Yankees' Aaron Hicks takes batting practice at Yankee Stadium Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, New York. The Yankees will play the winner of tonight's Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros American League Division Series game in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, Oct. 12 in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Los Angeles Dodgers' new acquisition David Freese runs to first base after hitting a single in the second inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)
David Freese Retires from MLB After 11-Year Career with Cardinals, Dodgers, More
Los Angeles Dodgers' new acquisition David Freese runs to first base after hitting a single in the second inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)
Washington Nationals relief pitcher Daniel Hudson (44) celebrates the final out of Game 4 of a baseball National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Hudson rejoins Nationals before NLCS Game 2
Washington Nationals relief pitcher Daniel Hudson (44) celebrates the final out of Game 4 of a baseball National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
10/12 兄弟 vs Lamigo 九局下,廖健富上場代打從李振昌手中敲出再見安打,Lamigo拿下第一勝!
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
10/12 兄弟 vs Lamigo 九局下,廖健富上場代打從李振昌手中敲出再見安打,Lamigo拿下第一勝!
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
10/12 兄弟 vs Lamigo 九局下,廖健富上場代打從李振昌手中敲出再見安打,Lamigo拿下第一勝!
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
10/12 兄弟 vs Lamigo 1-9局全場精華
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
10/12 兄弟 vs Lamigo 1-9局全場精華
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
10/12 兄弟 vs Lamigo 1-9局全場精華
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
10/12 兄弟 vs Lamigo 賽後,賽後記者會
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
10/12 兄弟 vs Lamigo 賽後,賽後記者會
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
10/12 兄弟 vs Lamigo 賽後,賽後記者會
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
10/12 兄弟 vs Lamigo 1-9局全場精華
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
10/12 兄弟 vs Lamigo 1-9局全場精華
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) throws against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
Rays Astros Baseball
Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) throws against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
10/13 總冠軍賽G2 兄弟 vs Lamigo 1-9局全場精華
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
10/13 總冠軍賽G2 兄弟 vs Lamigo 1-9局全場精華
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
10/13 總冠軍賽G2 兄弟 vs Lamigo 1-9局全場精華
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
A baseball stadium is flooded after Typhoon Hagibis, in Kawasaki, near Tokyo, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Rescue efforts for people stranded in flooded areas are in full force after a powerful typhoon dashed heavy rainfall and winds through a widespread area of Japan, including Tokyo.(Takuya Inaba/Kyodo News via AP)
Japan Asia Typhoon
A baseball stadium is flooded after Typhoon Hagibis, in Kawasaki, near Tokyo, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Rescue efforts for people stranded in flooded areas are in full force after a powerful typhoon dashed heavy rainfall and winds through a widespread area of Japan, including Tokyo.(Takuya Inaba/Kyodo News via AP)
<p>SHOWS: TOKYO, JAPAN (OCTOBER 13, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)</p> <p>1. VARIOUS OF JAPANESE RUGBY FANS CHEERING AND APPLAUDING AS THEIR RUGBY WORLD CUP TEAM SCORES A TRY </p> <p>2. VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WATCHING GAME</p> <p>3. PEOPLE CHEERING AND YELLING AFTER JAPANESE RUGBY TEAM WIN GAME</p> <p>4. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE RUGBY FAN, NAOKI, SAYING: </p> <p> "I am so happy, I am very moved."</p> <p>5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JAPANESE RUGBY FAN, YUKI SAKURI, SAYING: </p> <p> "Today is the first time I watched rugby. It's different from other sports and I was so excited. I am so happy they won." </p> <p>6. PEOPLE APPLAUDING AND CHEERING AFTER GAME IS OVER</p> <p>STORY: Japanese rugby fans erupted in celebration on Sunday (October 13) after their team advanced to the knockout stage of the World Cup for the first time with a convincing victory over a determined Scotland.</p> <p> It was hard to imagine the Tokyo region had battened down against a powerful typhoon just 24 hours earlier as Japan's supporters brought the energy to an electric atmosphere in Yokohama Stadium, across fan zones and sports bars to cheer on the Brave Blossoms.</p> <p> Fans in the red and white striped jerseys of their team hugged, exchanged high-fives and chanted "Nippon!" as the hooter sounded following the 28-21 win that punched Japan's ticket to the quarter-finals against South Africa next weekend.</p> <p> Japan is known for its love of baseball, soccer and the traditional sport of sumo but the hosts have been winning the hearts of new fans and attracting record television audiences.</p> <p> Japan has participated in every World Cup since the tournament began in 1987 but were perennial losers serving as easy prey for the Tier-1 sides, most notably in a demoralising 145-17 loss to New Zealand in 1995.</p> <p> That all changed in 2015 in England when Japan stunned South Africa and just missed out on reaching the quarter-finals despite having won three matches. </p> <p> Scotland was the only side to beat Japan in their pool four years ago so it was sweet revenge for Jamie Joseph's men to get the win this time.</p> <p> Having won all four of their matches to top Pool A, the Brave Blossoms will prepare to take on the Springboks next Sunday (October 20) and for the Japanese faithful, anything seems possible now.</p> <p>(Production: Jill Gralow)</p>
Japanese rugby fans jubilant as Brave Blossoms send Scotland home

SHOWS: TOKYO, JAPAN (OCTOBER 13, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

1. VARIOUS OF JAPANESE RUGBY FANS CHEERING AND APPLAUDING AS THEIR RUGBY WORLD CUP TEAM SCORES A TRY

2. VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WATCHING GAME

3. PEOPLE CHEERING AND YELLING AFTER JAPANESE RUGBY TEAM WIN GAME

4. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE RUGBY FAN, NAOKI, SAYING:

"I am so happy, I am very moved."

5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JAPANESE RUGBY FAN, YUKI SAKURI, SAYING:

"Today is the first time I watched rugby. It's different from other sports and I was so excited. I am so happy they won."

6. PEOPLE APPLAUDING AND CHEERING AFTER GAME IS OVER

STORY: Japanese rugby fans erupted in celebration on Sunday (October 13) after their team advanced to the knockout stage of the World Cup for the first time with a convincing victory over a determined Scotland.

It was hard to imagine the Tokyo region had battened down against a powerful typhoon just 24 hours earlier as Japan's supporters brought the energy to an electric atmosphere in Yokohama Stadium, across fan zones and sports bars to cheer on the Brave Blossoms.

Fans in the red and white striped jerseys of their team hugged, exchanged high-fives and chanted "Nippon!" as the hooter sounded following the 28-21 win that punched Japan's ticket to the quarter-finals against South Africa next weekend.

Japan is known for its love of baseball, soccer and the traditional sport of sumo but the hosts have been winning the hearts of new fans and attracting record television audiences.

Japan has participated in every World Cup since the tournament began in 1987 but were perennial losers serving as easy prey for the Tier-1 sides, most notably in a demoralising 145-17 loss to New Zealand in 1995.

That all changed in 2015 in England when Japan stunned South Africa and just missed out on reaching the quarter-finals despite having won three matches.

Scotland was the only side to beat Japan in their pool four years ago so it was sweet revenge for Jamie Joseph's men to get the win this time.

Having won all four of their matches to top Pool A, the Brave Blossoms will prepare to take on the Springboks next Sunday (October 20) and for the Japanese faithful, anything seems possible now.

(Production: Jill Gralow)

Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
10/13 總冠軍賽G2 兄弟 vs Lamigo 九局下,王勝偉的Nice Play!王勝偉用飛撲美技收下台灣大賽Game2的勝利
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
10/13 總冠軍賽G2 兄弟 vs Lamigo 九局下,王勝偉的Nice Play!王勝偉用飛撲美技收下台灣大賽Game2的勝利
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
10/13 總冠軍賽G2 兄弟 vs Lamigo 九局下,王勝偉的Nice Play!王勝偉用飛撲美技收下台灣大賽Game2的勝利
Baseball is Life! 中華職棒30年,不變的棒球魂! 立即訂閱中華職棒CPBL官方YouTube頻道,不錯過每場比賽的精彩好球→ http://bit.ly/2JKGTtd 《CPBL中華職棒粉絲團》http://bit.ly/30QBUwb 《追蹤IG還有更多訊息》http://bit.ly/2wn2m2B
Houston Astros left fielder Michael Brantley (23) celebrates his solo homer against the Tampa Bay Rays with teammate Alex Bregman (2) during the eighth inning of Game 5 of a baseball American League Division Series in Houston, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
ALCS Bracket 2019: Schedule, Odds, World Series Predictions Before Game 2
Houston Astros left fielder Michael Brantley (23) celebrates his solo homer against the Tampa Bay Rays with teammate Alex Bregman (2) during the eighth inning of Game 5 of a baseball American League Division Series in Houston, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

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