On this day: May 13

On this day in history, one of the world’s most popular sports were formalised, while an athletics legend reached the peak of her career.

1950: The birth of F1, Alfa Romeo wins first race


The 1950 F1 season included the inaugural FIA World Championship of Drivers, which was contested in a seven-race series – six Grands Prix and Indianapolis 500.

Having dominated motor racing since the end of WWII, Alfa Romeo started as the favourites to win the championship and performed well throughout.

The opening race of the season took place at Silverstone in Britain, where Giuseppe Farina won the race from pole position for Alfa.

Alfa proceeded to win each of the six F1 races to be the run-away winners on the Constructors’ title, while Farina won the Drivers’ title having won the Swiss and Italian Grands Prix as well.

1999 – Mihaela Melinte – Hammer record then drug ban


Romanian athlete Melinte had dominated the hammer throw event for much of the 1990s, and broke the world record for the eighth time with a throw of 76.07m at Rüdlingen, Switzerland in 1999.

A former European and World Champion, she tested positive for banned substance Nandrolone at the Notturna di Milano meeting in 2000, which ruled her out of the Sydney Olympics later that year.

She was banned from athletics for two years, but upon her return, she was never able to reach the same levels as before her ban, failing to reach a major global podium or threw over 72m.

Her last competitive participation was the 2007 World Championships, where she finished in 33rd place.

Sporting birthdays

1914: Joe Louis, American boxer
1961: Dennis Rodman, American basketballer
1983: Yaya Touré, Ivorian footballer