Mary Kom, Simone Biles and other masters of world championships
On Sunday, U.S. gymnast Simone Biles picked up gold medals in the balance beam and floor exercise at the World Championships in Stuttgart, breaking the existing record of men's gymnast Vitaly Scherbo of Belarus for the most medals won at the championships with her 25 medals, 19 of which have been gold.
Biles, who also won four gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, has medalled at each of the artistic gymnastics world championships she has participated in since her debut in 2013. That maiden performance in Antwerp in 2013 was the only one where her four medals included just two golds -- she has picked up a minimum of four golds at each edition she has participated in since.
Who are some of the other sportspersons who have dominated their sport's world championships? ESPN lists five other athletes who have an uncanny knock of serial podium finishes.
MC Mary Kom (India - Boxing)
Eight world championships medals, including six golds
When India's MC Mary Kom secured a unanimous decision against Colombia's Valencia Victoria at the women's boxing world championships in Ulan-Ude in Russia last week, she assured herself of a record eighth medal in the tournament, the most for any man or woman.
With a storied career that began with silver and gold at the worlds in Scranton, U.S. in 2001 and in Antalya, Turkey a year on, Mary would lose her last four match for 2019. But the bronze took her one ahead of Cuba's Felix Savon, the man with whom she shared the record for six golds and seven medals in all world championships history in boxing.
Perhaps the only missing tick against Mary's name is an Olympic gold -- to be fair to her, women's boxing only got incorporated into the Games in 2012, by which time she had already won five of her six worlds golds. She debuted with a bronze in London, and failed to qualify for Rio four years on. Tokyo is less than a year away, and with a gold and a bronze over the last two world championships against her name, do not discount Mary going for a knockout punch at glory.
Lin Dan (China - Badminton)
Five world championship golds, the most for any singles player
Lin Dan, who dominated men's singles in badminton during a 10-year period following his world championships gold in Madrid in 2006, also swept aside all competition at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. In Rio four years later, he lost a close semi-final to Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, the man he had beaten in the title clash in both previous editions, and also lost the bronze medal playoff to Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.
Lin Dan has five golds -- and two silver medals -- at the badminton worlds, including successive titles in 2007 and 2009, and then again in 2011 and 2013. It's a joint record for most world championship golds in the sport, though, with Park Joo Bong of South Korea (two in men's doubles and three in mixed doubles) and Zhao Yunlei of China (two in women's doubles, and three in mixed doubles) tied in terms of that count with Lin Dan.
Saori Yoshida (Japan - Wrestling)
13 world championship golds, most for any athlete
In January of this year, Saori Yoshida called time on her career in women's freestyle wrestling and it is not inconceivable that a number of wrestlers around the world heaved a sigh of relief.
Yoshida, whose father Eikatsu was himself a wrestler and a coach in the sport, formally entered the senior fray at the age of 19 in 2002, and began by winning the Asian Games gold in Busan, and the world championship gold in 2002 in the 55kg category.
To say that she dominated the world championships would be an understatement -- she picked up every single title on offer through the next 13 years, including her last two in the 53kg category in Tashkent and Las Vegas in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
During this time, Yoshida had already picked up three Olympic golds, and looked on course for a fourth consecutive gold in Rio in 2016, despite having dropped two kilos in the run to the Games. However, Helen Maroulis of the U.S. claimed a famous win, one that left Yoshida with a career record across Asian Games, world championships and the Olympics at a staggering 89-1!
Pankaj Advani (India - Cue sports)
23 world championships titles in snooker and billiards
When ESPN profiled Pankaj Advani just three months ago, he had already collected 21 world titles across snooker and billiards, including a rare achievement as the only man to have won snooker's two formats -- 15-red standard and 6-red.
Advani added world title no.22 at the world billiards championships in Myanmar in September, winning a fourth straight final in the 150-up format of the sport, and then teamed up with Aditya Mehta to pick up the world snooker team championships later in the same month.
At 34, you get the impression that he's far from done when it comes to collecting world titles.
Allyson Felix (U.S. - Athletics)
18 world championships medals (13 gold), most for any athlete
Allyson Felix overtook Usain Bolt as the athlete with most world championship golds when she participated in the U.S. team's 4x400m mixed relay gold at the 2019 world championships in Doha, Qatar, that too with a new world record. She also bagged a women's 4x400m relay gold to add number 13 and go two clear of Bolt's 11 world championship golds.
Felix has 18 medals in all at the world championships, beginning with a 200m gold in 2005 in Helsinki, Finland, and that puts her four clear in terms of overall medals ahead of both Jamaicans Bolt and Merlene Ottey, who have 14 world championships medals each.