Greatest Moments in Australian Sport by Mark Beretta

Reviewed by Richard Tutin

Australians love their sport. Television and streaming networks pay big money to get the rights to broadcast all forms of sport from cricket and football through to car racing and the summer and winter Olympics. Some networks specialise their focus on one or two different formats. Others such as the Seven Network cast their nets widely to get big audiences to increase their ratings and ability to retain advertisers.

Anyone who watches the Seven Network on a regular basis will be familiar with Mark Beretta whose exuberance and passion are clearly visible as he hosts different sports programmes and interviews sportsmen and women. His knowledge and obvious enjoyment know no bounds.

In this collection of twenty greatest moments in Australian sport since the year 2000, Beretta has compiled twenty of what he considers to be the best and most memorable achievements that have stayed with him over the years. Some of them celebrate moments many thought would never come. Examples include Steve Waugh’s last-ball century at the Sydney Cricket Ground and John Aloisi’s penalty goal against Uruguay that propelled Australia into the World Cup competition in 2005.

Other moments Beretta describes include Ariarne Titmus’ defeat of the one of the greatest swimmers of all time, Kate Ledecky, that enabled her to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and Ash Barty’s 2021 Wimbledon singles win. All the stories Beretta has included in this volume are familiar to us. This begs the question about why compile such a book in the first place. Surely, we have seen and heard everything there is to know about each of these great moments.

The fact is that we the readers as well as Mark Beretta himself love a good yarn especially when its well told. His insights gained from watching events and interviewing the participants have given Beretta an edge that spills on to the pages of this book that holds our attention.

It doesn’t matter if we are unfamiliar with some of the sports men and women who have been honoured. I found that my attention was held as I progressed story by story starting at number twenty and moving through, like the old hit parades of long ago, to number one. As the pages were turned, it was hard to resist the urge to skip through and find the one moment that Beretta believes is the greatest moment.

For him that honour goes to Cathy Freeman whose achievements in athletics at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 lit up the hearts and minds of all Australians at the time.

No doubt the final selection was tough and in many ways what is contained in the book is completely subjective. Other moments could have been included but, given Beretta’s passion, knowledge and commitment to sport over many years, we have here a collection that shows the comprehensiveness of Australian sport and the gritty participants who have worked hard in their chosen discipline to make them their own.

Mark Beretta OAM is the Sports Presenter on Australia’s number-one breakfast TV show Sunrise and has been at Channel Seven since 1995. An athlete himself, Mark is a 10-time Australian water ski champion and was a silver medallist at the Singapore International Masters. In 2021, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for charitable services to the community through his work with Tour de Cure. His previous book was The Riders, published in 2010.

Mark Beretta’s Greatest Moments in Australian Sport

by Mark Beretta


affirm press

ISBN 978 192597 298 6

$39.99; 266pp


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