• Aniketh Mendonca

Sporting Moments You May Have Missed in 2019

Updated: Dec 31, 2019

The last year of the decade has been an eventful one in sports. While most of us follow two to three sports at a time, there is a vast ocean of sports out there that may have slipped below the radar. As my first blog post, I would like to recap some of my favorite moments of sports in the year gone by. The below list is in no particular order, but the read to the end to know my favorite moment of the year.

Eliud Kipchoge (Athletics) broke - what was considered the last great barrier of modern athletics - the 2-hour marathon. On 12th of October 2019, he ran a marathon in 1:59:40 and his feat is now at par with Sir Roger Bannister’s 1954 feat of running first sub-four-minute and Neil Armstrong being the first to set foot on the moon in 1969.

Kawhi Leonard - then of the Toronto Raptors - played a magical season that helped the Raptors to their first-ever NBA Championship as he was crowned The Finals MVP in 2019. He was the vital clog that stopped the rampant Golden State Warriors as they marched on their way to a third consecutive NBA title.

Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. may have just revived the heavyweight division in boxing. Joshua lost his WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO Heavyweight titles back in June only to regain it back from Ruiz Jr. before the end of the year. Add the likes of Tyson Fury and

Deontay Wilder to the mix, and we have a hell of a fight on our hands, literally!

Becky Lynch headlined WWE Wrestlemania along with Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey - yes, I can already hear you scream WWE is not a sport. It is less about the match or the storyline but simply the fact that a female wrestler had headlined the show of shows, something that had never happened in the history of sports entertainment.

Allyson Felix is an American track & field athlete who won her 12th Gold Medal (4x100 mixed relay) at the athletic World Championships less than a year after giving birth to a child! In doing so, she also broke the record of the legendary Usain Bolt for most Gold Medals at the World Championships.

The world of swimming has a new superstar in Caeleb Dressel who won EIGHT medals at the 2019 World Championships, including 6 GOLD medals, as well as broke Phelps' 10-year-old world record in the 100m butterfly with a time of 49.50 seconds.

South Africa made a strong comeback after losing the 2015 Rugby WC to win the 2019 WC in Japan. The Springboks lit up the Land of The Rising Sun by defeating holders and favorites, New Zealand in the Semi-Finals and the mighty Aussies in the finals.

Simone Biles secured a massive 5 Gold Medals at the Gymnastics World Championships and will be looking to be the first woman to win back to back Olympic all-around champion in more than 50 years as she takes to the floors in Tokyo in 2020!

Liverpool FC capped off an incredible year in 2019 by winning the coveted International Treble of the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. This comes after an agonizing final for the reds in 2018 where they lost after a series of errors by then goalkeeper Loris Karius.

No list made in India is complete without a mention about cricket and best moment in the sport came off the bat of Ben Stokes who made a comeback to the England setup to prove why he is such an invaluable component of the World Champions.

Tennis saw quite a few stars beginning to shine but no one caught the attention of the world than Coco Gauff. The 15 years old from America, ended the year as World No. 68. It should not come as a surprise to those following tennis as she beat Venus Williams on her way to the 4th Round of Wimbledon and lost only to World No. 1 in the US Open.

Manasi Joshi put para-sports in the spotlight this year in India by securing India's first Para-Badminton Gold at the World Championships.

The young Guns of F1 have made it one of the most competitive seasons in while - although Lewis Hamilton was a runaway winner again. Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen, Alex Albon, Lando Norris and George Russel - to name a few - showed just why F1 will continue to be interesting for years to come, especially with the uncertainty of the new rules in 2021.

Tiger Woods won his first masters in 11 years! It was something I did not think I would see as Tiger Woods battled a decade of injuries and personal issues to come back and win his 15th Masters back in April this year!

Tom Brady stunned the world as he led the New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII at the age of 41, cementing his case of being called the greatest quarterback the game has ever seen!

Probably the latest entrant in this list, Fallon Sherrock stunned the world as she became the first woman to beat a man at The PDC World Darts Championships. She capped it of with another victory before bowing out in the third round of the tournament. The "Queen of the Palace", as she is known in darts, has been rewarded for her historic achievements with a place in all of next year’s World Series of Darts events.

While the list will go on, here are a few honorable mentions in the list before I take about the most important one of the year for me:

  • Jorge Masvidal (UFC) - That flying knee in UFC 239 to knock out Ben Askren in under 5 seconds! He was named the UFC fighter of the year 2019!

  • Egan Bernal became the first-ever Colombian to be the overall winner of the Tour De France.

  • PV Sindhu secured gold at the BWF World Championships.

  • Novak Djokovic and Rodger Federer had one of the best sets of the decade in the finals of a Grand Slam as they fought each other to the very end in the final set at Wimbledon 2019.

And now, the most significant sports person of 2019 was...

... Megan Rapinoe who has delivered moment after moment in the past one year. In 2019 itself she captained her side to the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup as well as won the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball awards at the Women's World Cup in France. She was also crowned The Best FIFA Women's Player.

During this time she has been very vocal about the discrimination in pay for women soccer players in the US Women's National Team, even taking on the President of the United States on this matter and coming out on top. It is paramount to have such role models who are not just icons on the field but go above and beyond to fight for others and take a stand off the field as well.

2019 has been an eventful year and I am sure I may have missed out on a few iconic moments as well. If you know of any, I would love to hear from you, please write it in the comments below.