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A league of their own: Rafa at Roland Garros, Mumbai in Ranjis

GUILLAUME HORCAJUELO/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

India's domination in men's kabaddi at the Asian Games came to an end on Thursday, with Iran beating them 27-18 in the semifinals to consign the Indians to a bronze for the first time since the sport's inception in 1990.

Here are some of the other comparable streaks of titles in the world of sport.


Asian Games 2018 | Schedule | Results | Medals tally


The Celtics and their NBA domination

In the history of North American professional sport, nothing comes close to Boston Celtics and their eight successive NBA titles between 1959 and 1966. Coached by Red Auerbach, Celtics won their first title in 1957 against St. Louis Hawks, who avenged the finals defeat a year on. That would set the Celtics up for a sequence of eight titles, with star player Bill Russell -- after whom the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award is named now -- claiming the MVP four times. Celtics failed to retain the title in 1967, but Russell returned as coach to guide them to successive wins the following two seasons.

The kings of domestic cricket in India

With 41 Ranji Trophy titles against their name, there has been no team as dominant as Mumbai (formerly Bombay) in Indian domestic cricket. Bombay set the pace early, winning the first final against Northern India in 1934-35, and went undefeated in the final for 15 years between 1958-59 and 1972-73. The following year, their juggernaut was halted in the semis by Karnataka, who rode on Gundappa Viswanath with the bat and Erapalli Prasanna with the ball to win on first-innings lead.

The Real deal

The pre-eminence of Los Galacticos and Zinedine Zidane's uber-successful Real Madrid sides is a recent phenomenon, especially when compared with the Real team that won the European Cup for the first five years of its inception, between 1956 and 1960. Legends like Ferenc Puskas and Alfredo Di Stefano were part of Real then, who won lopsided finals against teams like Fiorentina at the Santiago Bernabeu in 1957 and Eintracht Frankfurt in Glasgow three years later. No other team has five successive European Cups, though the current Real team has matched the famed Ajax and Bayern Munich teams of the 1970s in winning three.

Karelin's Greco-Roman reign

There are wrestlers with impressive records, and then there is Aleksandr Karelin. Russian Karelin didn't just win every Greco-Roman bout between 1994 and 2000, he also didn't concede a single point. Karelin won every World Championship gold on offer between 1989 and 1999, and picked up the Olympic gold in 1988, 1992 and 1996. His only defeat four years later was by a 1-0 margin to America's Rulon Gardner at the Sydney Games, following which Karelin would retire.

When India went unchallenged

India won their first Olympic gold at the 1928 Games in Amsterdam in hockey, and retained the title through the next five editions. After six titles, India were beaten for the first time in the final in Rome in 1960, neighbours Pakistan nicking the game 1-0. India avenged that defeat in 1964, and despite an eighth gold in a depleted field in 1980, they haven't been the same force in the sport.

Rafa, the undisputed master of clay

If Roger Federer has SW19, then Roland Garros is Rafael Nadal's backyard. Nadal's longest title-winning run at the French Open -- five successive men's singles titles between 2010 and 2014 -- is similar to Federer's five back-to-back Wimbledons between 2003 and 2007. However, Nadal has managed a previous streak of four successive French Opens, and with his consecutive wins over the last couple of years, he has an 11-0 record in the final, making it a unique streak in any individual sport.