Sports History Chronicle World Sportsman of the Year 2018: Eliud Kipchoge

My shortlist is:

Oleksandr Usyk (Ukraine) became the first boxer in history to hold all four major world championships—the WBA (Super), WBC, IBF and WBO titles—at cruiserweight

Martin Fourcade (France – Biathlon) – won all four world cup titles plus the overall World Cup title and two Olympic golds.

Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya – Athletics)  broke the world marathon record by the biggest margin since 1967.  Won his only other marathon of the year.

Abderrahman Samba (Qatar – Athletics) – unbeaten in nine finals at 400m hurdles, setting the world’s quickest time since 1992.

Marcel Hirscher (Austria – Skiing)  took a total of 14 World Cup wins in 2018, breaking the old record for most World Cup race wins in a single calendar year.  He also won two golds at the Winter Olympics.

Ihar Boki (Belarus – Para Swimming) – seven golds and a world record at the

Lee Dae-Hoon (South Korea – Taekwondo) – won five out of six tournaments in a competitive event including four of the world grand prix series and only lost one fight all year.

Lasha Talakhadze (Georgia) and Shi Zhiyong (China) both won all three elements of the world weightlifting championships with world records and won the overall gold by large margins.

Fourcade and Boki have been supreme for a long time but haven’t quite done enough in 2018 compared to previous years.  Samba is a future star but there was no global championships for him to really make his mark.  Dae-Hoon just missed out because of that one loss.  The weightlifters did all they could but with new classifications making world records easy to set it is hard to evaluate their performances historically.

My top three are therefore:

It is hard for a boxer to do enough in one year but Oleksandr Usyk unified the cruiserweight division by winning fights against two other world champions and defended the title.  The level of opponent he took on puts him in my top three.

For me the choice comes down to Marcel Hirscher and Eliud Kipchoge.  This is tricky as Hirscher competed frequently and set a record for the most wins in a year by a male skier but did lose on rare occasions including the Olympic slalom.   His giant slalom was almost perfect with just one defeat in the year from nine events.  Kipchoge specialises in an event where you have to compete sparingly and so only ran two marathons, winning both and setting a record which is arguably the best performance for at least half a century.  This is a toss-up but I am just going for Eliud Kipchoge as my Sportsman of the Year for 2018.

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Elid Kipchoge

Previous Winner

2017 Brent Lakatos (Canada – Para athletics), Runners-up Nino Schurter (Switzerland – Mountain Biking), Tomoyuki Matsuda (Japan – Shooting), Lasha Talakhadze (Georgia – Weightlifting)

2016 Martin Fourcade (France – Biathlon) Runners-Up: Ihar Boki (Belarus -Para Swimming), Michael Jung, (Germany – Three Day Event), Wayde Van Niekerk (South Africa -Athletics), Peter Prevc (Slovenia – Ski-Jumping)
2015 Novak Djokovic (Serbia – Tennis): Runners-up Ma Long (China – Table Tennis) , Ihar Boki (Belarus – Para Swimming)
2014 Renaud Lavillenie (France – Athletics): Runners-up Sebastian Brendel (Germany – Canoeing), Giles Scott (England – Sailing)
2013 – Teddy Riner (France-Judo) won a 6th world title and unbeaten since 2010:Runners-Up: Peyton Manning (USA – American Football), Sun Yang (China – Swimming)
2012 – Lionel Messi (Argentina -Football) – 91 goals in the year: Runners up: David Rudisha (Kenya – Athletics), Ilya Ilyin (Kazakhstan – Weightlifting) , Sun Yang (China – Swimming), Sergei Martynov (Belarus – Shooting)

 

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Sports History Chronicle World Sports Team of the Year 2018: The Netherlands Women’s Hockey Team

The shortlist

The Netherlands women’s hockey team – won the World Cup and the Champions Trophy, thrashing nearly all opponents and winning every match. They were only taken to penalties once and have now won 42 and drawn 1 match since their last defeat in July 2017.

Boston Red Sox (USA – Baseball) in the regular season had a record of 108-54, the most wins by anyone since 2001.  They went on to win the World Series and only lost one game in each round of the play offs for a record of 11-3 in those.

Dublin’s Gaelic Football team won their fourth All-Ireland title in a row.  They are the first team for nearly forty years to do this and are now 28 games unbeaten in championships.

The USA women’s gymnastics team won the world title by a huge margin again.  This was their sixth consecutive win in world or Olympic team events.

Ruggero Tita and Caterina Marianna Banti (Italy – Sailing) – winners of all five regattas in the season including World Cup, European Championships and World Championships in the Nacra 17 class.

The United States skeet shooting team of Amber English, Kim Rhode and Caitlin Connor which easily won the world championships with a world record score and took a very rare clean sweep of the medals in the individual event.  Kim Rhode also won three of the four world cup titles.

The German women’s rifle shooting teams won all four events at the world championships setting world records in three of them.

China’s men’s and women’s table tennis teams both won their world championships without losing a match (thirty matches) and their players won the individual world cups.

Some very impressive teams with historic levels of success.  The USA gymnasts and Chinese table tennis players have been dominant for a long time and it is hard to say that the 2018 teams were better than other recent teams.  The shooting teams had outstanding world championships but that was one event.  The sailors did lose a regatta at the start of the next season which so my top three teams come from ball sports.

The Runners-up are the Boston Red Sox and the Dublin Gaelic Football team.  Both exceptional but their feats have been matched before.

My winners are the Dutch women’s hockey team.  They have been the best team in the world for most of the decade but have sometimes fallen short.  However, the team of the last eighteen months coached by Alyson Annan, one of the best players ever, has achieved a level of dominance that is simply amazing.  To go undefeated, and with just one draw over that time is an outstanding performance.

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The Netherlands women’s hockey team

Previous Winners

2017  Zenit Kazan Volleyball Team,  Runners-Up The Netherlands women’s hockey team, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir
2016 The USA Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Team ,Runners-Up: China table tennis team, Mercedes F1 team, Olympique Lyonnais Women’s Football Team
2015 Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (New Zealand – 49er Sailing), Runners-up: Mercedes (Formula One), Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina (Russia – Synchronised Swimming)
2014 Italy’s Women Foil Fencing Team: Runners Up Hamish Bond and Eric Murray (NZ – Rowing), Jennifer Jones’s Canadian Curling Team
2013 Vakıfbank İstanbul Women’s Volleyball Team (Turkey)
Runners-Up: Mat Belcher & Will Ryan (Australia – Sailing), Bayern Munich (Germany- Football)
2012 Hamish Bond and Eric Murray (New Zealand – Rowing) – unbeaten for four years and set world best by six seconds
Runners-Up: USA Women’s 4x100m relay team (athletics), THW Kiel (Germany -Handball)

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Sports History Chronicle World Sportswoman of the Year 2018: Simone Biles

My shortlist for world sportswoman of 2018 is:

Shaunae Miller-Uibo (Bahamas – Athletics)
– Unbeaten across five events in 15 races (13 finals and 2 preliminaries)
– World lead and three wins at 400m with the world’s fastest time since 2009
– Commonwealth Games and IAAF Diamond League champion at 200m
– World bests at indoor 300m and 150m straight

Beatrice Chepkoech (Kenya – Athletics) – world record by eight seconds in the steeplechase.  Won seven out of eight races.

Kirsten Wild (Netherlands – Cycling) – won three world titles on the track and also won the Scratch race and Omnium at the European championships.
Had  more wins in world  cup track meets and in road race points competitions.

Simone Biles (USA – Gymnastics) won a record fourth all-round gymnastics world individual title also won two more apparatus golds and team gold plus silver and bronze in the other apparatus finals.

Jessica Fox (Australia – Canoeing) who won gold at both K1 and C1 at the world canoe slalom championships.  She also won both events in the world cup, winning all five races in the C1 season.

Dina Averina (Russia – Gymnastics) won five golds at the world rhythmic gymnastics championships.

Cecilia Brækhus (Norway – Boxing) – took her record to 35 wins from 35 with three more defences of her undisputed world welterweight title.

Maren Lundy (Norway – ski-jumping) –  nine wins out of fifteen in the World Cup and the Olympic title.

Katie Ledecky (USA – Swimming) – won gold at 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle at the Pan Pac Championship, the biggest meet of the year, and earlier had set a world record at the 1500m

Deng Wei (China – Weightlifting) – three golds and world records at the world championships.

Henrieta Farkasova (Para-skiing). With her guide Natalia Subrtova, the vision impaired skier collected four gold medals and a silver to finish as the Winter Paralympic Games most successful athlete.

Ester Ledecka (Czech Republic – skiing and snowboarding) became the first person to win golds in two different sports at the same Games when winning titles at skiing and snowboarding at the Winter Olympics.  Outside the Games she won the parallel snowboard  world cup with six wins in twelve races.

My verdict to narrow it down to the Top Three.

The athletes were both great but the steeplechase is a newish event and world records are still not as hard to set as in older events so I would choose Miller-Uibo over Chepkoech but she still just falls short.  Wild and Lundy didn’t quite dominate enough over the season.  Brækhus only had three fights.  Farkasova’s events were comparatively weak even though her achievements were excellent.  Averina was beaten at the European championships all-round individual event.  Ledecky was the world’s best female swimmer again but by her own exalted standards it was a slightly “down” year with no global championships and just one world record in an event that as yet isn’t an Olympic one.  The weightlifting world records were reset and many were broken so evaluating Deng Wei is hard and she didn’t compete often enough.

This  leaves my runners up as

Ester Ledecka who meets my “exceptional” criteria by achieving something never done before with her two golds in different sports.  If she had won more races outside the Olympics she would be my number one.

Jessica Fox has been outstanding for a number of years at both K1 and C1.  She has done the double before at the world championships but in 2018 she was brilliant throughout the season, especially at C1 with an unbeaten world cup.  C1 is perhaps not as strong as the K1 in depth and in K1 she lost two races including the world cup final where she incurred a fifty second penalty which took her from the fastest time to last.  A win there and she would have been my choice.

My sportswoman of the year is Simone Biles.  Biles has been unbeatable for the last five seasons of competition and seems to be getting more dominant as the years go by.  Previously she has been supreme in the all-round and on floor with other golds on vault and beam.  However, she has never made an impression on the uneven bars until this year when she won a medal at the world championships.  She won medals at every discipline with two golds and the all-round title plus the team gold.  No woman has had a championship that successful for decades.  Simone Biles is in my view now the greatest female gymnast of all-time.

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Simone Biles

 

Previous Winners

2017 Evgenia Medvedeva (Russia – Ice Skating), Bianca Walkden (Great Britain – Taekwondo), Cecilia Brækhus (Norway – Boxing), Kim Rhode (USA – Shooting)

2016 Katie Ledecky (USA – Swimming) Runners-Up: Anita Wlodarczyk (Poland – Athletics), Rachel Atherton (Great Britain – Mountain Bike), Simone Biles (USA – Gymnastics), Katinka Hosszu (Hungary – Swimming)
2015 Gwen Jorgensen (USA – Triathlon), Runners Up: Katie Ledecky (USA – Swimming), Anita Włodarczyk (Poland – Athletics)
2014 Katie Ledecky (USA – Swimming): Runners up Tatiana Kashirina (Russia – Weightlifting), Sandra Perkovic (Croatia – Athletics)
2013 Kaori Icho (Japan – Wrestling) – won her 8th world title and 154th consecutive fight, an all-time record:Runners-Up: Tatyana McFadden (USA – Para athletics), Tora Berger (Norway – Biathlon)
2012 Marianne Vos (Netherlands – Cycling) Olympic and world road race champion, Giro winner and world cyclo-cross champion: Runners-up: Kaori Icho (Japan – Wrestling), Missy Franklin (USA – Swimming), Katie Taylor (Ireland – Boxing), Hannah Kearney (USA – Freestyle Skiing)

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Sports History Chronicle British Sportsman of the Year 2018: Tai Woffinden

Some of the names I considered were:

Jack Laugher (Diving)- won three golds at the Commonwealth Games and two at the European Championships.

Adam Peaty – the swimmer broke the world record for the 100m breaststroke

Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Simon Yates the three British cyclists won the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana respectively.

Speedway’s Tai Woffinden won his third world individual title, the most ever by a Briton.

James Cooke – won gold at the world Modern Pentathlon championships.

Jonathan Rea -won his fourth consecutive world superbike title.

Five time world Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton.

Harry Kane (Football) – Golden Boot winner at the World Cup

Callum Smith (Boxing) – won the World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight tournament to win the WBA title and is ranked as the world’s best active super-middleweight by several independent authorities.

Examining the claims further to choose a shortlist:

Laugher was great in the championships.  In the World Cup final, the most important global event of the year, he was third.

Peaty was voted world male swimmer of the year by Swimmers World.  However, he did suffer his first defeat for four years at 50m breaststroke at the Commonwealth Games although he won the 100m.  At the European Championships, the event he had aimed to peak for, he won 100 four golds and set a world record at the 100m.

Froome won the Giro with one of the most astonishing solo rides seen for many years.  He also came third in the Tour de France.Thomas won the most prestigious race of the year and also the Critérium du Dauphiné.  He had a few other good results without winning.Yates was first in the World Tour over the season for road races and led the Giro for much of the race until Froome’s attack saw him crack and fall well down the field.  He made up for that in the Vuelta with a dominant win.  All three had excellent years without quite doing enough to make my shortlist.

Woffinden had four wins out of ten races in the world championship Grand Prix Series where no one else had more than one.  In a very consistent season he also made two other podiums.

Cooke’s world title win was a thrilling race but he didn’t come in the first five in his other races.

Rea was an easy winner of the world championship taking 17 out of the 26 races.   He had the most dominant season of any British motorsport world champion.  However, as I have said before, I regard Moto GP as the supreme class of motorbike racing so can’t give Rea, a superbikes champion a place in my top three.

Hamilton had arguably his best season winning eleven out of twenty one races in a year where his car probably wasn’t so much better than his rivals as in previous seasons.

Kane scored thirty goals in 2017-8 and seventeen in top level club matches already this season.  This added to his international feats make him probably the world’s best pure striker.  However as the World Cup reached its climax he seemed to fade a little even though he won the Golden Boot.

Smith is rated at number one but needs to take on one of the other champions before he makes the top three.

My top three are:

Runners-up

Adam Peaty whose one defeat did happen when not at his season’s peak but does count against him as it was in a championship.

Lewis Hamilton who impressed me more in 2018 as the championship was more competitive yet he still won convincingly.  However, the sport is still dominated by the  bigger teams.

My choice as British Sportsman of the Year 2018 is Tai Woffinden.  His sport of speedway doesn’t get that much attention these days but to win three world titles in such a competitive sport is a fine achievement.  The skill of the riders is more important than in most motorsports and to win four out of ten races in 2018 when nobody else could win two shows how tough it is to dominate.  This excellence makes him my choice.

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Previous Winners

2017 Aled Davies (Para-athletics),     Runners-up: Adam Peaty (Swimming), Liam Heath (Canoeing)

2016 Adam Peaty (Swimming) Runners Up: Jason Kenny, Mo Farah, Max Whitlock, Ollie Hynd, Adam Peaty and Andy Murray
2015 Adam Peaty (Swimming), Runners-up: Giles Scott (Sailing), Aled Davies (Para Athletics)
2014 Giles Scott (Sailing): Runners-up Rory McIlroy (Golf), Adam Peaty (Swimming)
2013 Mo Farah (Athletics) – winner of the 5000m and 10,000m world titles: Runners-Up: Andy Murray (Tennis), Chris Froome (Cycling)
2012 Bradley Wiggins (Cycling) – winner of the Tour de France and Olympic time trial gold: Runners-up: Ben Ainslie (Sailing),Andy Murray (Tennis), Rory McIlroy (Golf), David Weir (Para Athletics), Mo Farah (Athletics)
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Sports History Chronicle British Sports Team of the Year 2018: The Great Britain Women’s C1 canoe slalom team (Mallory Franklin, Kimberley Woods and Bethan Forrow)

The teams I considered were

England men’s football team – reached the semi-final of the World Cup for the first time since 1990
England netball team – won the Commonwealth Games gold for the first time ever, defeating world champions Australia in the final
The Scotland men’s fours bowls team – Commonwealth Games gold winning all seven matches played.
The Great Britain men and women 4x100m relay teams in athletics – both European champions and ran the fastest times in the world.
The GB men’s K1 kayak team and women’s C1 team – world champions
Katie Archibald and Emily Nelson – world Madison champions in cycling
Great Britain Three Day Event Team – World champions

Menna Fitzpatrick with guide Jennifer Kehoe – the British skier won four medals including one gold at the Winter Paralympics.

This is one of the hardest decisions I have had to make as there are question marks against all of them and a lack of competitions to compare achievements.

The England football team was playing in the greatest tournament and reached the semis but had some fortune with the draw and only came fourth.

The netball team won their biggest competition of the year against the best opposition but lost a few times elsewhere and are still not ranked as the best team with Australia still well ahead.

The Scotland bowls team only played one tournament at the top level as a four but were undefeated although two matches were very close.

The athletics relay teams didn’t have a global championships so didn’t face the best opposition.  The top USA and Jamaican teams didn’t get together to try and record faster times than Great Britain, who didn’t run quite as fast as the British records set in recent years.

The canoeists won the world championships but in the other event where team competitions were held, the European champs, it was only the women who won.

(Mallory Franklin, Kimberley Woods & Bethan Forrow)

The cyclists only competed once as a pair in major competition although Katie Archibald was part of other successful pairs in World Cup races.

The eventers won the world championship in their only event as a British team but it was close.  As it was their one event it is hard to evaluate.

Menna Fitzpatrick with her guide Jennifer Kehoe won a hatful of medals but were outdone by their main rivals who won all the events except one.  It was a fine effort but it has to be said that the depth of competition wasn’t strong as two pairs dominated all the events.

My runners-up are

The men’s 4x100m relay team who recorded the three fastest times in the world and won the Commonwealth and European titles.

The netball women who won the second most important event in their sport against a team that had been dominant for years.

However, my choice as the British team of the year is the GB Women C1 canoe slalom team.  This is a case where I have taken previous years into consideration as well because there were only two championships in 2018.  The women won both the European, by a large margin, and World titles as they had done in 2017.  They also took the only available title in 2016 so have won the last five major events.  This consistency over three years makes them my choice.

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(Bethan Forrow, Mallory Franklin, Kimberley Woods)

Previous Winners

2017 GB men’s 4x100m relay athletics team (C.J.Ujah, Adam Gemili, Danny Talbot and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake)  Runners-up the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay swimming team, Engladn women’s cricket team.
2016 Saracens Rugby Union Team Runners-up: the England rugby team, Louis Rolfe, Jon-Allan Butterworth and Jody Cundy (Paralympic cycling Team Sprint).
2015 Great Britain Davis Cup Tennis Team Runners-up: Helen Glover and Heather Stanning (Rowing), the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay swimming team
2014 Helen Glover and Heather Stanning (Rowing): Runners-up England women’s rugby union team, GB women 4×100 relay team (athletics)
2013 Great Britain Women’s Cycling Team Pursuit Squad world champions and world record setters again: Runners-Up: Sprinter Sacre (Horse Racing), GB Men’s Squash Team
2012 Frankel (Horse Racing) – winner of all five races to finish his career unbeaten and achieved the highest rating in history. Runners-Up: Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins (Rowing), Women’s team pursuit cycling, England women’s rugby union team, Paul Foster and Alex Marshall (Bowls)

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Sports History Chronicle British Sportswoman of the Year 2018: Dina Asher-Smith

As I have done for the previous six years I have decided on my choices as the outstanding British and world sportsman, sportswoman and team in the year 2018.
Firstly my choice as the British sportswoman of the year.
Some of the most notable performances were:

Georgia Hall (Golf) – winner of the British Women’s Open and into the top ten in the world rankings.
Lucy Bronze (Football) – winner of the Champions League with her club and one of the outstanding defenders in women’s football.
Rachel Atherton (Mountain Bike) – another world championship, her fifth, and a successful world cup season winning three races.
Dina Asher-Smith (Athletics) won the 100m, 200m and relay gold at the European athletics championships.
Vicky Holland – won the world triathlon series title and three races in that series.
Ros Canter – won individual and team gold at the world three day event championships.
Lizzy Yarnold (Skeleton bob)- became the first Briton ever to win gold medals at two Winter Olympics.

Seonaid McIntosh won a world shooting title.

Lisa Ashton (Darts) – winner of the world championship and ten other tournaments

Kare Adenegan (Para athletics) – European champion and broke the world 100m record
Maisie Summers-Newton (Para swimming) – European gold and two world records
Alice Tai (Para swimming) four golds at the European champs and a world record.

Of the names I considered Hall, Canter, McIntosh and Yarnold weren’t consistent enough over the rest of the year.  Bronze is hard to assess in isolation from the rest of her team.  Ashton had her best season but still didn’t quite do enough to make my top four.  Summers-Newton was great in her competitions but the strength in depth is hard to assess.  The level in Tai’s events is stronger but she was second in the Commonwealth Games at one of her main events.

This leaves me with a top four of:

Kara Adenegan, who had to overcome a great athlete in Hannah Cockroft to become the best in her event.  Again it is hard to assess the overall level of competition.

Rachel Atherton who aside from her wins was very consistent in making the podium, although not quite at her amazing level of 2016.

Vicky Holland benefitted from the absence for much of the season of the outstanding Flora Duffy to become world champion in a sport which still had strong competition.

If either Rachel or Vicky had been slightly more dominant I may have gone for them.

However, my choice for British sportswoman of the year is Dina Asher-Smith.

Dina was competing in some of the strongest events in any sport in terms of depth of competition.  She suffered a few defeats in the year but when it came to her most important competition of the year she was brilliant in taking three golds at the European championships.  In a year without a global championship other athletes were able to beat her in competitions she wasn’t prioritising but she produced the fastest times of the year in the world at 100m and 200m, which were both British records.

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Previous winners and runners-up:
2017 Bianca Walkden (Taekwondo) Runners-up Elise Christie (Short track speed skating), Hannah Cockroft (Para athletics)
2016 Rachel Atherton (Mountain Bike): Runners-Up Nicola Adams (Boxing), Laura Kenny (Cycling), Kadeena Cox (Athletics/Cycling), Jade Jones (Taekwondo)
2015 Lizzie Armitstead (Cycling): Runners-up Rachel Atherton (Mountain Bike), Hannah Cockroft (Para Athletics)
2014 Hannah Cockroft (Para athletics): Runners-up Lizzy Yarnold (Skeleton), Charlotte Dujardin (Dressage)
2013 Charlotte Dujardin (Dressage) – unbeaten on Valegro, set a world best score and was European Champion Runners-Up: Hannah Cockroft (Para athletics), Becky James (Cycling)
2012 Sarah Storey (Para Cycling) – four golds at the Paralympics: Runners-Up: Charlotte Dujardin (Dressage), Jessica Ennis (Athletics), Ellie Simmonds (Para Swimming), Laura Trott (Cycling)

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The 2018 Sports History Chronicle Quiz of the Year

Here are a series of questions on some of the notable events in sport in 2018 with some emphasis given to British sport. It is divided into sections. Some questions are pretty easy but others are much trickier. Good luck with it.

The Football World Cup
1 Who did Russia beat 5-0 in the opening match?
2 Who did England score six goals against in the group stages?
3 Who did Belgium trail 2-0 in the last sixteen match before winning 3-2?
4 England beat which country in the last sixteen of the World Cup in a penalty shootout?
5 Who scored the winning goal against England in the semi-final?
6 What was the final score in the world cup final?
7 Who won the Golden Boot at the football World Cup?
8 Who was the manager of the victorious French team?

Other Football
9 Which Liverpool player had to be substituted in the Champions League final after injuring his arm when tackled by Sergio Ramos?
10 Which English woman won the Champions League with Lyon and scored against her former team Man City in the semi-final?

Commonwealth Games
11 Who scored the winning point when England’s netball team beat Australia in the Commonwealth Games final?
12 Where were the Commonwealth Games held?

British Sport
13 Which former England cricket captain retired from Test cricket in the summer after scoring a record number of runs for his country?
14 Which British woman won the 100m, 200m and relay gold at the European athletics championships?
15 What did the British men’s ice-hockey team manage to do for the first time in two decades?
16 Which two horses were involved in an epic duel at the Cheltenham Gold Cup and who won?
17 Which horse retained her Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe title?
18 Who became the first Briton to win the British Women’s Open golf championship since 2009?
19 Which British city hosted the first combined European championships covering different sports?
20 Which British swimmer broke the world record for the 100m breaststroke?
21 Which three British cyclists won the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana?
22 Which British woman won the world triathlon series title?
23 Which British woman won the individual gold at the world three day event championships?
24 Tai Woffinden won his third world individual title at which sport, the most ever by a Briton?
25 Which former British Paralympic medallist at swimming won a world title in her new sport of paracanoeing?
26 Which British man won a dramatic gold at the world Modern Pentathlon championships?
27 Which Scottish woman won a world shooting title?
28 Who became Scotland’s most successful Commonwealth Games athlete by winning a fifth gold in bowls?
29 Who won his fourth consecutive world superbike title?
30 Who won his third world snooker title, fifteen years after his previous title?
31 Who was the surprise winner of the PDC world darts title?
32 How many world Formula One championships has Lewis Hamilton won?
33 Which Briton won the world downhill mountain bike title for the fifth time?

Outstanding Individuals
34 Which woman won three world titles at track cycling?
35 Which woman won a record fourth all-round gymnastics world individual title?
36 Who won the World Singles Championship for the third time, the first ever female badminton player to have achieved this feat?
37 Who became the first woman boxer to win six gold medals in the AIBA World Boxing Championships?
38 Who won gold at both K1 and C1 at the world canoe slalom championships?
39 Which Russian won five golds at the world rhythmic gymnastics championships?
40 Who won his fifth world Moto GP title?
41 Which partnership became the first Europeans to win maximum points in the Ryder Cup?
42 Which boxer won a controversial decision over Gennadiy Golovkin to win the world middleweight title?
43 Who won the US Open tennis title defeating Serena Williams in a controversial final?
44 Which player defeated Roger Federer at Wimbledon and went on to reach the final?
45 Sanita Pušpure, the world single sculls rowing champion, was born in Latvia and competed for them but won the title representing which country?
46 Janja Garnbret Of Slovenia won two world titles in which sport that will appear in the Olympics for the first time in 2020?
47 Which man broke the world marathon record?

Team Sports
48 Who was the Australian captain involved in the sandpaper cricket ball scandal?
49 How many innings were required to decide Game Four of baseball’s World Series between the Red Sox and the Dodgers, a record for the Series?
50 Which team surprisingly reached the final of the women’s hockey world cup for the first time?
51 Which team did the Grand Slam in winning the 6 Nations rugby union championship?
52 Who contested the final of the women’s T20 cricket world cup?
53 Which team retained their NBA basketball crown?
54 Which country won men’s and women’s world rugby sevens titles?
55 How was history made by the winning team in the rugby league challenge cup final?
56 Which team won their first Superbowl?

The Winter Olympics
57 Where were the Winter Olympic Games held?
58 What was the unique achievement of Ester Ledecka at the Winter Olympics?
59 Which British skier won four medals including one gold at the Winter Paralympics?
60 Which British woman became the first Briton ever to win gold medals at two Winter Olympics and in what event?
61 Name any of the four British competitors who won Winter Olympic bronze medals?
62 Which German pair were the only figure skaters to win both Olympic and world titles?
63 Which nation won most medals at the Winter Olympics?
64 Which Dutch woman won an individual gold medal for the fourth Olympics in a row, the first time this had been achieved by a Winter Olympian?
65 What unusual result occurred in the men’s two man bobsleigh?
66 Who won gold in the 30 kilometre classical cross-country skiing event, bringing her total Olympic medal haul to fifteen, the most won by any athlete (male or female) in Winter Olympics?

THE ANSWERS

1 Saudi Arabia
2 Panama
3 Japan
4 Colombia
5 Mario Mandzukic
6 France 4-2 Croatia
7 Harry Kane
8 Didier Deschamps
9 Mo Salah
10 Lucy Bronze
11 Helen Housby
12 The Gold Coast in Australia
13 Alistair Cook
14 Dina Asher-Smith
15 Qualify for the top level of the world championships
16 Native River got the better of Might Bite
17 Enable
18 Georgia Hall
19 Glasgow
20 Adam Peaty
21 Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Simon Yates
22 Vicky Holland
23 Ros Canter
24 Speedway
25 Charlotte Henshaw
26 James Cooke
27 Seonaid McIntosh
28 Alex Marshall
29 Jonathan Rea
30 Mark Williams
31 Rob Cross
32 Five
33 Rachel Atherton
34 Kirsten Wild
35 Simone Biles
36 Carolina Marin
37 Mary Kom
38 Jessica Fox
39 Dina Averina
40 Marc Marquez
41 Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood
42 Canelo Álvarez
43 Naomi Osaka
44 Kevin Anderson
45 Ireland
46 Sport Climbing
47 Eliud Kipchoge
48 Steve Smith
49 Eighteen
50 Ireland who lost to the Netherlands
51 Ireland
52 Australia beat England
53 Golden State Warriors
54 New Zealand
55 Catalans Dragons were the first team from outside England to win the Cup
56 The Philadelphia Eagles
57 Pyongchang, South Korea
58 She became the first person to win golds in two different sports at the same Games when winning titles at skiing and snowboarding
59 Menna Fitzpatrick with guide Jennifer Kehoe
60 Lizzy Yarnold in skeleton bob
61 Dominic Parsons, Izzy Atkin, Laura Deas, Billy Morgan
62 Aliona Savchenko And Bruno Massot
63 Norway
64 Ireen Wüst
65 There was a tie for gold, only the second time in history that two countries had tied for a gold medal in this particular event
66 Marit Bjørgen

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