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Five British and Irish stars who have reigned supreme in their sports

Five British and Irish stars who have reigned supreme in their sports
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Ronnie O'Sullivan won his sixth world title on Sunday night at the Crucible.

Ronnie O'Sullivan was crowned world snooker champion for a sixth time as he defeated Kyren Wilson 18-8 at the Crucible on Sunday night.

Here, the PA news agency looks at five British and Irish sport stars who have reigned supreme in their respective sports.

Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O'Sullivan has won six world titles (Nigel French/PA)

Having turned professional in 1992, O'Sullivan won the UK Championship aged just 17 the following year, becoming the youngest ever winner of the event, and added the Masters title in 1995.

A first world title arrived in 2001 and a further five have followed in 2004, 2008, 2012, 2013 and now 2020, taking him level with Steve Davis and Ray Reardon and just one behind Stephen Hendry's record.

Seven Masters victories and the same number of UK Championship triumphs mean O'Sullivan has racked up 20 victories in 'triple crown' events across his glittering career – the most of any player in history.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton is the dominant force in Formula One (PA)

Lewis Hamilton claimed his first world title in only his second season in Formula One with McLaren, winning the championship by a single point at the age of 23, making him the youngest driver to do so.

A move to Mercedes in 2013 was the catalyst for a period of utter domination, with further titles coming in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019. He lost out to team-mate Nico Rosberg by five points in 2016.

On track for a seventh title this season, Hamilton also has the most career points (3563), podium finishes (156) and the pole positions (92) in F1 history. With 88, he is only three behind Michael Schumacher's record of grand prix wins.

Phil Taylor

Phil Taylor
Phil Taylor is a 16-time world champion (Steven Paston/PA)

Phil 'The Power' Taylor dominated darts for more than two decades. His career saw him win 214 professional tournaments, 85 major titles and 16 World Championships.

Having tasted world title success twice with the BDO in 1990 and 1992, Taylor claimed the PDC version eight years in a row from 1995.

He lost the 2003 final, but won the three that followed and further successes arrived in 2009, 2010 and 2013 before he lost in the final of his 29th and last World Championship appearance in 2018.

Sir Mo Farah

Mo Farah celebrates winning Olympic gold in Rio
Mo Farah celebrates winning Olympic gold in Rio (Mike Egerton/PA)

Mo Farah's 5,000 and 10,000 metres double at the 2012 Olympics in London heralded the start of five years of global dominance in long-distance running.

The Briton repeated the feat at the World Championships in both 2013 and 2015 before retaining his two Olympic titles in Rio in 2016.

A further world title over 10,000m followed back in London in 2017 and it was not until Ethiopia's Muktar Edris edged him out over 5,000m in those championships that his reign was ended.

Having won his first world gold over 5,000m in 2011, his incredible run had brought him a remarkable 10 global titles.

Sir AP McCoy

AP McCoy
AP McCoy was champion jockey a record 20 consecutive times (Niall Carson/PA)

AP McCoy was never knocked from the summit of racing throughout his 20-year career. Winning the conditional (apprentice) jockeys' title 1995, the Northern Irishman subsequently joined the professional ranks and was crowned champion national hunt jockey in his debut season.

Two decades of complete dominance followed, as McCoy won every jump jockeys' championship for the next 20 years. Only when he retired in 2015 did the trophy change hands, with long-term understudy Richard Johnson stepping into his shoes.

Partnering major trainers such as Martin Pipe and Jonjo O'Neill, McCoy was latterly the retained rider for Irish billionaire and racehorse owner JP McManus. McManus owned many of McCoy's most significant winners, including 2010 Grand National champion Don't Push It and 2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Synchronised.

Across his career McCoy tallied 4,358 winners in total, a record for a jump jockey. He also holds the record for the most winners in a season across both jump and flat codes, surpassing Sir Gordon Richards' 1947 record of 269 by 20 victories during the 2001-02 season.

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Ronnie O'Sullivan pictured in 2016
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