Today in sports history: June 16 - Earl Bamber conquers Le Mans 24 Hours

Earl Bamber and his teammates celebrate their victory
Earl Bamber and his teammates celebrate their victory Photo credit: Getty

Some stories of the past that led sporting headlines around the world on June 16.


Today in sports history: June 16 - Earl Bamber conquers Le Mans 24 Hours

Swedish tennis great Bjorn Bjorg wins his first Grand Slam title, defeating Spaniard Manuel Orantes in five sets in the French Open final.

Bjorg held the world No.1 ranking for almost four years between 1977-80, claiming 11 Grand Slam titles in the process.

Bjorg's popularity, and rivalries with John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors lifted the profile of tennis dramatically in the late 1970s, with the charismatic Swede becoming the first truly global star of the game, earning millions in endorsement contracts.

Bjorg, 27, retired in 1984, after playing just a handful of tournaments in three years.

He made an unsuccessful comeback bid in 1991, but failed to win a match in two part-time years on the ATP tour.  


Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls win Game Six of the NBA Finals against Seattle Supersonics to claim a fourth title in six seasons. 

Spurred by the return of the greatest player in the game, the Bulls won 72 regular-season games - a record that would stand for 19 years. 

The Phil Jackson-coached side of 1996 is regarded as one of the greatest squads in NBA history, with Jordan joined by Dennis Rodman, Scottie Pippen, Tony Kukoc, Steve Kerr, Luc Longley and Ron Harper. 

The Bulls would win a further two championships, before Jordan's second retirement at the end of the 1998 season. 


The All Blacks are run close 22-19 by Ireland in the second test match in Dunedin.

Thanks to a last-play drop goal from star first-five Dan Carter, the world champions prevailed, despite being reduced to 14 men. Dagg was yellow-carded with nine minutes to play for a horror tackle on opposite Rob Kearney. 

Aaron Smith was the only tryscorer for the All Blacks, as Carter added 14 points with his educated left boot to lift his side to victory and a series win. 

Conor Murray dotted down for the Irish, while Johnny Sexton scored 11 points off the tee. 

New Zealand would rout Ireland 60-0 in the final test a week later in Hamilton.


Kiwi Earl Bamber wins the Le Mans 24 hour race at his first attempt. 

The Wanganui native teamed with Nick Tandy and former Formula One ace Nico Hulkenberg in the Porsche factory team to win one of the world's most iconic motorsport events. 

Bamber was lauded afterwards, constantly topping the fastest-lap timesheet during his stints behind the wheel.

Bamber is regarded as one of the best endurance drivers in world motorsport, winning events all over Europe, the United States, Asia and Australasia.

Closer to home, Bamber partnered Shane Van Giosbergen for the Supercars Enduro Series in 2018, finishing second at Sandown and fifth at the Bathurst 1000. 

In 2017, Bamber won a second Le Mans title, alongside contryman Brendon Hartley.


The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) is used for the first time at a FIFA tournament during France's 2-1 group win over Australia at the Football World Cup.

French striker Antione Griezmann slotted the 57th-minute opener, after a foul by Australian defender Josh Risdon was reviewed.

After initially waving off the French protests, the referee was persuaded by his video assistant to review the challenge on Griezmann and awarded the spot-kick.

Despite struggling in the early stages of the tournament, France would hit top gear in the knockout stages, disposing of Argentina, Uruguay and Belgium, before routing Croatia 4-2 in the final.


  • 1960 - Parramatta Eels & NRL legend Peter Sterling
  • 1970 - Five-time Major golf winner Phil Mickelson 
  • 1994 - NZ Warriors star Ken Maumalo 
  • 2000 - Canadian tennis star Bianca Andreescu 

Newshub 12 months ago…

Live updates: Heavyweight boxing - Tyson Fury v Tom Schwarz

Tyson Fury in action
Tyson Fury in action Photo credit: Reuters

Tyson Fury has eased to victory on the occasion of his first fight in Las Vegas, as he enhanced his reputation as the world's finest heavyweight boxer by stopping Germany's Tom Schwarz in the second round.

Fulfilling a lifelong ambition of fighting in the Sin City, at the revered MGM Grand, Englishman Fury showed a destructive edge he has rarely previously demonstrated to justify the significant interest he has generated in the US since his fight with Deontay Wilder.

Fury would beat Wilder in a rematch to capture the WBC title and will defend his belt against the 'Bronze Bomber' sometime this year.


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