With 2016 about to end we will look back at the year that’s been in the world of sport and in this article I am going to give my top 10 sporting moments from the past year.
10) Ben Stokes Teeing off
For me the year started with a bang. The second test between England and South Africa in Cape Town. England started the second day on a respectable score, but Ben Stokes decided to have a swing with the bat and after 168 deliveries had the 2nd fastest score of 200+ in test cricket history. I missed this session due to time zones but catching up with it was a complete masterclass on aggressive batting.
9) Leicester win the Premier League
The true underdog story from a league that is almost designed to prevent such. With no real named stars to start with many of the players became stars over the 38 miracle matches. What people thought was a joke appointment in Ranieri proved to be one of the coaches of the year. It proved that even in a division such as the English Premiership dreams for many fans can come true in the end. The main reason why this is not ranked higher on my list of sporting achievements for 2016 is because half of it was in 2015 and their 2016 season has not been great thus far then it loses points compared to this.
8) Bangladesh Shock England
This test in which Bangladesh won was their first victory over England in their test history, and it was one of if not the first time they beat one of the big 3 test playing nations. The magnificent off spin from Mehedi Hasan saw this young up and coming 18-year-old take 19 out of the 40 English wickets over the tour, which is incredible. This feel-good moment in a tour that may not have even went ahead is why it takes this spot on the list.
7) Connaught Win the Pro 12
Connaught won the Pro 12 is a surprise which no one saw coming. They had a good squad at the time however it could still have been deemed subpar to the 3 other Irish provinces, a couple of the Welsh teams and Glasgow. They took full advantage of the world cup as they did not lose many players whereas the other teams in contention for the title were gutted for the first few weeks of the season Many expected the plucky Irish team to fade away when those selected for the world cup returned, however this was not the case the they went full steam ahead and won in the end.
6) Team GB Cyclists
British cycling had a very strong showing at the world indoor track cycling championships topping the medals tables 5 golds, 1 silver and 3 bronze medals. This following on from great Olympic success for many of those involved. It just goes to show that British Cycling is in a great position at the moment.
5) Invictus 2016
Team GB won 131 medals at the 2016 edition of the fantastic, Invictus games. This sporting event is for disabled former and current members of the armed forces and helps them come to terms with what has happened to them plus giving them a new lease of life. The work that is done plus the sheer number of medals won by Team GB puts it in my top 5 sporting moments in 2016.
4) Scottish Cricket win in a major competition
One for personal indulgence now, at the World T20 at the start of the year Scotland won their first ever match at a major competition. Building off the work done over the years prior and especially in the 2015 Cricket World Cup where Scotland showed a lot of promise but sadly failed to win a match. This showed that the hard work would eventually pay off by beating Hong Kong by 8 wickets in Scotland’s final match in the tournament after failing to qualify for the second group stage.
3) Bolt completes a hattrick of hattricks.
In his final Olympics, Usain Bolt completed yet another hattrick of Gold medals, the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay. It is rare sprinters make it to 3 Olympics let alone being at the top of his sport at all 3. A once in a life time character and athlete will be missed when he finally decides to hang up his shoes.
2) Fiji Strike Gold
The first Olympic gold medal for Fiji in history! It came in a sport that the excel in and will do for many a year to come. Fiji won the gold in rugby 7s in the first outing for the sport at the Olympics by beating Team GB 43-7 in a one sided final. The players in Fiji are regarded as hero’s for their accomplishment this year considering the humble backgrounds were they all came from.
1) Andy Murray
No surprises here then. What a year this man has had. First male singles tennis star to win 2 Olympic gold medals, Wimbledon victory, French and Australian Open finals, winning the ATP world tour finals and ending the year as the number 1 ranked tennis player in the world! This man deserves all the credit he has been getting over the past 12 months and I suspect he is only going to get better in 2017. Finally to top off all of his 2016 achievements he has earned a knighthood. Not a bad year in all.
Thank you for what has been a wonderful 2016 in the world of sport I hope you can read my article tomorrow about what I am looking forward to in the new year. Make sure to comment below your top 10 sporting moments from the year.