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Since Surfing became an Olympic discipline at the 2020 (21) Games, the 11 (eleven!) annual World Championship titles of Surfing Legend Kelly Slater (92, 94-98, 05, 06, 08, 10, 11) sound like an even more incredible achievement.

During broadcasts of those events, commentators often point out, that there is no other athlete with more World titles in a mainstream / Olympic sport than Kelly Slater.

Is that a fact?

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    I can remember Robby Nash, a Hawaiian windsurfer, who won tons of titles, but all in different disciplines, like Wave, Race, Slalom, etc...
    – Vickel
    Dec 20, 2021 at 1:42

2 Answers 2

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Katalin Kovács has won 30 world championship titles in sprint kayaking. She also won 3 gold medals at Olympics. Birgit Fisher had the previous record in kayaking with 28 world championship titles. Michael Phelps won 26 world championship titles in swimming.

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  • It may be worth pointing out that Kovacs won six of those championships in the same year (and four in another year, and three each in three other years). This would seem to inflate the "score" significantly. That said, Kovacs won at least one WC in eleven different years, along with Olympic gold in three more, so one should consider her to have a better "score" than Slater, either way.
    – Nij
    Jan 19 at 1:21
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    @Nij maybe I should have narrowed down my question a bit. When asking the question, I didn't think of disciplines with 100m, 200m 400m, etc variants or like in kayaking K 1000, 1500, 2500 etc... Anyway all 3 examples in this answer mention achievements of standout athletes, thank you for your answer user2414208
    – Vickel
    Jan 19 at 1:46
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Not even close - Slater is still short by five whole titles.

Phil Taylor is a British darts player, retiring from pro competition in 2018 after losing what was his twenty-first singles world championship final, having won sixteen of them already.

This alone should suffice to justify Taylor holding a position higher than Slater. This Wikipedia list provides even more achievements, including a visual indicator of Taylor's championship history.

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