By SM.18 Dec, 2016
As we present the list of major sporting events, brace yourself for the roller-coaster ride that was 2016:
1. PV Sindhu Winning Olympics Silver Medal
Hands down, the best sporting moment of 2016 was Indian shuttler PV Sindhu clinching a silver medal in Rio Olympics. She became the first Indian badminton player and the first female athlete to win an individual Olympics silver. She was defeated by Carolina Marin of Spain 19-21, 21-12, 21-15 in a thrilling final. Prior to this, Saina Nehwal was the only Indian shuttler to win an Olympics medal in badminton. She won a bronze in 2012 after her opponent got injured. Other athletes who put up an impressive show were rower Dattu Bhokanal, shooter Atanu Das, tennis mixed doubles pair Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna, gymnast Dipa Karmakar and badminton player Kidambi Srikanth.
2. Sakshi Malik"s Journey To An Olympics Bronze
Sakshi Malik recovered from a 5-0 trail to hand 8-5 defeat to Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan in women"s individual wrestling 58kgs category. In the process, she not only gave India its first medal in Olympics 2016 but also became the first woman athlete to achieve the feat.
The 23-year-old from Rohtak became only the fourth woman athlete from India to win an Olympic medal, other being: Weightlifter Karnam Malleshwari (2000, Sydney), boxer MC Mary Kom (2012, London) and shuttler Saina Nehwal (2012, London) were the only other women athletes from India to have won a medal in Olympics. She was soon followed by PV Sindhu in the medal clinching process.
3. India"s Super Show At Paralympics
The 19-member Indian contingent won four medals at the Paralympics 2016. While Mariyappan Thangavelu and Varun Singh Bhati won gold and bronze respectively in High Jump event, Deepa Malik won silver in shot-put and Devendra Jhajharia clinched gold in Men"s Javelin Throw. Interestingly, the medal count for paralympians was twice that of 119-member Olympians.
4. Lionel Messi Announces Retirement
The failure to win the shootout against Chile in Copa America final was too much to bear for Argentina soccer star Lionel Messi and he announced retirement following the 4-2 defeat. This was the fourth time Argentina lost a major final and second against Chile in Copa America. Before this, Germany handed a 1-0 defeat to Argentina in 2014 FIFA final.
Messi later made a comeback in August to take part for Argentina"s national team for their World Cup qualifiers.
5. Michael Phelps Becomes The Most Decorated Olympian Of All Times
Phelps, who took retirement from competitive swimming post Rio Olympics, 2016 went down with a record which is unlikely to be broken anytime soon.
He is the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 28 medals. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals (23), Olympic gold medals in individual events (13), and Olympic medals in individual events (16).
In winning eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games, Phelps broke fellow American swimmer Mark Spitz"s record of seven first-place finishes at any single Olympic Games.
At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Phelps won four gold and two silver medals, and at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, he won five gold medals and one silver. This made him the most successful athlete of the Games for the third Olympics in a row.
6. Team India Gains And Retains Number One Rank In Test Cricket
This has been a dream year for Indian cricket team for more reasons than one. Starting with a 2-0 series win against West Indies in August, India repeated their performance in a home series against New Zealand (3-0 whitewash) and England (3-0 series win). As a result, India retained their numero uno ranking in the longest format of the game. This string of victories was marked by sparkling individual performances by the India rookies. A special mention should be given to Ravichandran Ashwin, who completed his 24th five-wicket-haul in previous Test match at Mumbai against England. Leading the team superbly was skipper Virat Kohli, who created a record by hitting three double centuries in a year.
7. Andy Murray And The British Dream Of Being Tennis Toppers
Andy Murray has single handedly held on to all the British tennis hopes. 2016 has been a super lucky year for him as he clinched his second Wimbledon title and coupled it with an Olympic gold and later the number one rank in men"s singles category. Murray won his second Wimbledon title, beating Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-6(2) in the final. He next became the first player, male or female, to win two gold medals in the tennis singles events by defeating Juan Martin del Potro in the final, which lasted over four hours.
8. Usain Bolt"s "Triple-Triple" At Olympics
Bolt completed his triple-triple at Olympics with gold medals in 100m, 200m and 4*100 m relay in three consecutive Games. He thus finished his Olympic career with a 100 per cent win record in finals.
9. Mo Farah"s Completes Olympics "Double-Double"