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Rediff.com  » Sports » In the father's footsteps... in a different sport

In the father's footsteps... in a different sport

Last updated on: February 16, 2012 09:35 IST

Jessica repeated Petr's feat Down Under

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Jessica Korda's maiden LPGA Tour title at the Australian Open on Sunday completed a two-sport, father-daughter double. Bikash Mohapatra presents instances of children following in their parents' footsteps, with varying degrees of success in different disciplines

When 18-year-old Jessica Korda pocketed her maiden LPGA Tour title at the Australian Open on Sunday she added a fresh chapter to her family's sporting history.

Fourteen years back her father, Petr, won his first, and only, Grand Slam singles title in the same city (Melbourne).

Not long after the American teenager scripted her first success story (in her 16th start) by holing a 25-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a dramatic six-way play-off, her father was gushing about the success the Korda family has had Down Under. 

'It is a really special place for my family. For my first win, I honestly could not have thought of a better place,' Petr was quoted as saying in the media.

There are many examples of children following in their parents' footsteps and opting for a career in sport, with varying degrees of success. In most cases, they end up taking the sport played by their parents. However, instances of the progeny taking up a different sport aren't as prolific as the former.

Jessica Korda's breakthrough win, that completed a two-sport, father-daughter double, is a welcome addition to this list.

Rediff.com lists a few other two-sport, parent-child stories.




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Agassi's dad was an Olympian

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Andre Agassi's name needs no introduction. 

Eight major titles, 17 Masters Series shields, a World championship and an Olympic singles gold medal provide ample testimony to his credentials as a sportsman. 

However, few are aware of the fact that Agassi had sport in his genes.

His father was a boxer. Emmanuel B Aghassian was an Olympian for Iran, having represented the country in the 1948 (London) and 1952 (Helsinki) Summer Games. He subsequently emigrated to the United States in the mid-50s and changed his name to Mike Agassi. 




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Leander aspires to overtake his father

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His recent men's doubles triumph at the Australian Open may have helped Leander Paes complete a career Grand Slam.

But it was his bronze medal win at the Atlanta Olympics back in 1996 that helped the tennis star emulate his father. 

Dr Vece Paes was part of the hockey team that finished third in the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

With the London Olympics a few months away, Leander wants to overtake his father on the medal count.

A recent interview quoted him as saying he would love to add a medal in doubles to his earlier achievement.

For the record, Leander's mother, Jennifer, captained the Indian basketball team in the 1980 Asian Basketball Championships.





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Joakim found his calling in basketball

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His father was one of the brightest tennis talents ever to come out of France. When Yannick Noah won the French Open in 1983, he became the first Frenchman to do so in 37 years.

Almost 29 years later, he remains the last win the clay-court Slam on the red dirt at Roland Garros.

Reason enough for son Joakim to take to racket sport, one would believe.

However, Joakim found his calling in basketball.

The 26-year-old was drafted into the NBA in 2007. Playing for the Chicago Bulls franchise, he has continues to impress.

Joakim also represented France at the international level.




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Sergei Bubka junior plays tennis

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Sergei Bubka, the legendary pole vaulter, needs no introduction.

The Ukrainian has, amongst others laurels, won six successive IAAF World Championships, an Olympics gold (in Seoul, 1988) and broken the World record for men's pole vault on a whopping 35 occasions.

Besides being the first vaulter to clear a height of 6.0 metres, his record of 6.14 metres, set in Sestriere (Italy) in July 1994, remains unbroken.

Sergei Bubka, the tennis player, however needs to be introduced.

The son of a legendary father, the 25-year-old is a journeyman on the tour for quite some time now.

The biggest achievement of the younger Bubka, thus far, is qualifying for the US Open last year, his first ever appearance in a major tournament. For the record, he lost in the second round. 




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Liam took to rugby union

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Ian Botham has his name etched in cricketing history as one of the best all-rounders to have ever played the game.

In the 102 Tests he played for England, Botham senior scored 5,200 runs and took 383 wickets, a world record at one point.

Having retired from cricket, the now 56-year-old then took to football, playing 11 games for League side Scunthorpe United before a spell at Yeovil Town.

Son Liam was equally multi-faceted, following in his father's footsteps. Having started out as a cricketer -- he played for Hampshire -- Liam eventually found his calling in rugby union.

After making his debut for West Hartlepool, he subsequently moved from Cardiff to Newcastle, winning the Tetley Bitter Cup with the latter.

He switched sports again in 2003, signing first for Super League club Leeds Rhinos and subsequently for Wigan before hanging up his boots following a neck injury.




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Jeev has many firsts to his credit

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His father is nicknamed the Flying Sikh.

(Milkha Singh's legend is getting a screen adaptation in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Bhaag Milkha Bhaag)

His mother captained the Indian women's volleyball team at one point.

It is to Jeev Milkha Singh's credit that he has managed to carve out an identity of his own.

Having opted for a career as a professional golfer, Jeev has many firsts to his credit. 

From being the first Indian to qualify for the prestigious European Tour to being the first Indian to be ranked in the top 50, to achieving the best ever finish by an Indian in a major tournament -- he finished tied ninth in the US PGA Championship in 2008 -- Jeev has done it all.  




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