2019 will be remembered for top-class performances from athletes and teams. New marks were made, and it ended with both sweet and bitter memories. Let’s replay the snippets.
In football, domestic champions remain the same in major leagues. Manchester City (England), Barcelona (Spain), Bayern Munchen (Germany), Juventus (Italy), and PSG (France) retained their grip. In the UEFA Champions League, which was an all England affair, Liverpool were the champions for the 6th time. They were the runners up in 2018. This year they beat the first-time finalist Tottenham Hotspurs 2-0.
In the Europa cup, Chelsea triumphed in Baku by beating Arsenal 4-1 in London derby. US Women team won recorded their 4th FIFA Women’s World Cup. In the end, the stadium erupted with chants of ‘Equal Pay’ in support of gender equality.
USA topped the World Athletics championship at Doha. The heat took a heavy toll on players. Returning mother, Allyson Felix claimed 12th medal from the completion and surpassed the record of Usain Bolt. Eliud Kipchoge clocked one hour, 59 minutes, and 40.2 seconds in Vienna. Kenyan runner became the first man in history to run Marathon under 2 hours mark. In Badminton, China and Japan were the leaders among all nations. Kento Momota (Japan) and Tai Tzu Ying (Chinese Taipei) finished the year as World number one in men and women, respectively. In Golf, Tiger Woods ended his 11-year drought for his 15th Major title.
Simone Biles dominated gymnastics with 5 gold and 1 silver in World Championship. She took the total count to 25, better than Vitaly Scherbo. In the World Basketball championship final for men, Spain beat Argentina 95-75 in Chinese Capital. The most shocking result was the 7th position of team USA.
Australia beat Belgium 3–2 in the final to lift the first FIH Pro League title in men. Nederlands were the winners in the women’s division of the same event by beating Australia. Australia lost penalty shoot-out 4-3. Denmark beat Norway in the final of World Handball in men. Lewis Hamilton became F1 World Champion for the sixth time. Marc Marquez continued his Moto GP domination. Japan was the host of the Rugby World Cup. The host nation topped the group and became the first team from Tier 2 to move into the quarterfinals.
They lost in the QF to the eventual champions, South Africa. It was all China in Table Tennis.
The new generation emerged in Swimming. Nineteen-year-old Hungarian swimmer Kristóf Milák lowered Michael Phelps’s 18-year-old timing in the 200 m butterfly. 17-year-old Regan Smith improved Missy Franklin’s world record in the women’s 200 m backstrokes.
Novak Djokovic raised the Australian Open trophy for record 7th time. Against all odds, Rafael Nadal won record-extending 12th French Open title. Novak Djokovic won the longest final of Wimbledon against Roger Federer. In the US Open, Rafael Nadal again showed his domination. Four Grand Slams witnessed 4 different champions in the Women section. Bianca Andreescu became the first Grand Slam champion from Canada to lift any Grand Slam trophy.
2020 is the Olympic year. Expect more memorable moments this year.
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