The Rundown

Having it all: The stars who hit the top in different sports

The Rundown

Nasser Al-Attiyah with his bronze medal (left) and his Cyprus Rally trophy (right)

Qatari rally driver Nasser Al-Attiyah pulled of a superb victory in the Cyprus Rally on Sunday.

Nothing too amazing in that, you might think - but just a few months earlier, the 41-year-old was winning an Olympic medal at London 2012.

Al-Attiyah clinched bronze in clay pigeon shooting in London, giving the Qatari a medal at long last after narrowly missing out in 2004 and 2008.

But his rally career has always continued along with his shooting: not only did he win in Cyprus at the weekend, but he also won the infamous Dakar Rally in 2011 and was crowned Production World Rally Championship champion (the companion series to the main World Rally Championship, which is run using only slightly-modified road cars) back in 2006.

Excelling in two separate sports is rare, but Al-Attiyah is far from the first all-rounder. Here's our pick of some of the best from sporting history.

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Rebecca Romero

The girl from Carshalton, Surrey, won a silver medal in the quadruple sculls at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, but was forced to retire from rowing in 2006 after persistent back problems.

That didn't stop her sporting career, however: Romero simply took up cycling and applied the same perseverance and dedication to it as she was used to doing on the water. Incredibly, she won a silver medal in her first international cycling event, the Track World Cup in Moscow in December 2006, before becoming Olympic champion in the individual pursuit in Beijing in 2008.

Michael Jordan

The basketball legend packed in his first love in order to take up professional baseball. After a shaky start he settled into Minor League obscurity, but then delighted the world by returning to basketball - and was an even better player for his break.

Jim Brown

The man often regarded as the greatest American football player of all time (he's the only running back to average more than 100 yards a game) was also one of the greatest lacrosse players ever to pick up a stick.

Dwain Chambers

Following the shame of his failed drugs test the British sprinter tried to reinvent himself first as an American footballer in the NFL Europa league, then as a rugby league player with Castleford before finally returning to athletics after forcing a rule change through the CAS that allowed him to win selection for the British Olympic team in 2012.

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CB Fry batting

CB Fry - Cricket, football, athletics and rugby

Charles Burgess 'CB' Fry was as great an all-rounder as the world has ever seen. He represented England at both cricket and football in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, played for Southampton in the FA Cup final in 1902 - played rugby for the Barbarians, and equalled the world record for the long jump. Cricket was his top sport, however - and needless to say, he was an all-rounder. He once took 6-78 with his fast bowling, had a high score of 258 not out in first class cricket.

It wasn't just in sport that Fry personified the peculiarly English cult of the generalist, however: he was also an accomplished writer and teacher, a successful publisher, a cricket commentator, an adviser to the Indian delegation in the League of Nations, and once claimed to have been offered the throne of Albania. For all that, what we'd most have like to have seen was his party piece: Fry was able to leap backwards onto a mantelpiece from a standing start.

Ian Botham

The legendary English cricketer was not only the greatest cricketing all-rounder of his generation, but also a rather nifty centre-half who had been split between cricket and football as a youngster. He made 11 league appearances for Scunthorpe in 1980 after joining them to try and get fit after an injury.

John Surtees - Motorcycling and Formula One

The British motor racing legend is the only man ever to be crowned world champion in both Formula One and motorcycle racing. The son of a motorbike dealer in the south London suburbs, he kickstarted his career on two wheels in 1952, becoming world champion four times in 500cc racing in the five years from 1956 to 1960.

In his final season in motorbikes he was simultaneously racing cars, debuting at the 1960 Monaco Grand Prix before finishing second in his Grand Prix at Silverstone a few weeks later. He went on to win the championship with Ferrari in 1964 and eventually retired from top-level racing in 1972.

Babe Zaharias - Athletics and golf

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America's greatest sportswoman was a basketball champion who took up athletics - and promptly won two golds and a silver at the 1932 Olympics in the 80m hurdles, javelin and high jump.

But she was not content with proving herself one of the great athletes of her time: after the Olympics she got into everything from performing in Vaudeville to playing competitive pool - and then, in 1935, she took up golf.

She immediately excelled, winning 82 tournaments around the world - including 10 Major championships - and then famously, decided to play on the men's tour.

She played three tournaments on the US Tour in 1945, getting into the events through qualifiers and making two cuts with a best finish of 33rd place in the Phoenix Open.

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Jim Thorpe - Athletics, American football, baseball and basketball

The legendary sportsman of mixed Native American and European descent excelled in everything from lacrosse to ballroom dancing while still at college, but it was when he went to take part in the 1912 Olympics that he became famous. He blitzed the fields in both pentathlon and decathlon to win gold medals, using that fame to launch a professional career on his return - though he had to give the gold medals back when he was discovered to have been in breach on the Games' strict rules on amateurism.

He was picked in American football's team of the decade for the 1920s and showing his versatility by playing as a running back, defensive runner and a kicker. At the same time he was also carrying on a baseball career with teams including the New York Giants and the Milwaukee Brewers, and playing professional basketball for a display match team made up of Native Americans.

Bo Jackson - American football and baseball

Injury robbed Jackson of the chance to surpass the achievements of Deion Sanders, as hip injury in 1990 cut short his promising NFL career after just three seasons. He was able to play baseball until 1994, however, playing for the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox and California Angels. Incredibly, he was picked for both the baseball All-Star game and American Football's Pro Bowl match.

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Denis Compton - Cricket and football

One of the great figures in English sporting history, Compton was one of cricket's greatest ever Test players. He smashed batting records throughout a dazzling career before retiring with a Test average of over 50.

He was also a star footballer with Arsenal for nearly 20 years, winning both the League and the FA Cup with the London club. He played for England 12 times during the war, though a damaged knee curtailed his exploits later in his career.

His cricket carried on unimpeded, however, though he became as famous for his misadventures as he did for his talent. He once turned up for a Test match against South Africa at Old Trafford without his kitbag, but simply borrowed an antique bat from the museum at the stadium and used it to score 155 and 79 not out.

Daley Thompson

Most people would think that being a decathlete is already more than enough different sports to be getting on with, but Thompson turned out for Mansfield and Stevenage.

Luc Alphand - Skiing and rallying

The French star became one of skiing's greatest speed demons in the mid-1990s, winning five World Cup globes - including the downhill, super-G and overall World Cup titles in 1997 - as well as a host of other races, although his nerve usually tended to fail him in World Championship and Olympic events.

He retired from competitive skiing in 1997 at the age of 32, but didn't give up speed: he turned instead to motor racing, racing in the Le Mans Series and the FIA GT Championship among others before crowning his second career with victory in the Paris- Dakar rally in 2006. Sadly, a motorbike crash in 2009 eventually forced him to retire from motorsport.

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Deion Sanders - American football and baseball

As sporting CVs go, Sanders's is probably the best in the history of sport. In his 16-year NFL career (stretching from 1989 to 2005) he played American football for the San Francisco 49ers, the Dallas Cowboys, the Washington Redskins, the Baltimore Ravens and the Atlanta Falcons, winning the Super Bowl with both the 49ers and the Cowboys.

In baseball, he debuted in 1989 for the New York Yankees, then appeared for the Atlanta Braves, the San Francisco Giants and the Cincinnati Reds before retiring in 2001. HE nearly won the World Series in 1992, batting an astonishing .533 average, but it was not enough as the Braves lost to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Jeff Wilson

Though the exploits of Compton will never be seen again - there is simply too much winter touring cricket to allow anyone to play both sports at the very top level - nobody made a better stab at doing both in recent years than New Zealander Wilson.

Rugby was his best sport; he represented the All Blacks 60 times between 1993 and 2002, and was at one point their record try scorer.

His brief international cricket career with the Black Caps in the early 1990s showed plenty of promise, but the inauguration of the Super 12 rugby tournament forced him to choose between the sports.

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