2016 in sport saw more twists and turns than a maze, and many memories and highlights that will live on for years and years to come. There were so many that it is almost impossible to state them all, so here is a condensed summary of all the major sporting moments from the year 2016.
In all honesty, the year in sport was a slow burner to begin with. The first big talking point saw Ronnie O’Sullivan return from an eight month hiatus from snooker to win his sixth Masters title.
Novak Djokovic’s dominance in the tennis world continued as he beat Andy Murray, for the 22nd time, to retain his Australian Open crown. However this was not the last time we would hear of the Scotsman as the year unfolded. Serena Williams lost her Australian Open crown to German Angelique Kerber.
The ‘Flying Scotsman’ Gary Anderson won his 2nd William Hill World Darts Championship in a row, defeating Adrian Lewis 7-5 in the final at the Alexandra Palace.
As well as that, David Haye made his long awaited return to the boxing ring, with an anti-climactic 130 second knockout of beleaguered Australian Mark de Mori, which aired live on Dave. The time and manner of which it took for Haye to dispatch of his Aussie counterpart was fitting of the channel it was aired on, as it meant the channel could stick with its theme of comedy all night without interruption.
February opened with the beginning of South America’s premier club football tournament, the Copa Libertadores, in which 38 teams from 11 associations would spend the next five months battling it out to determine who the best from the West really is.
England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France and Italy began their quest to gain supremacy of rugby in Europe, as the annual Six Nations rugby championship got underway, Ireland were defending champions.
Carl Frampton won his eagerly anticipated WBA and IBF unification bout against Scott Quigg in a point’s decision, in one of the most eagerly-anticipated domestic boxing match-ups in recent memory, and the first time two undefeated British boxers had fought to unify a world title.
And one of the glitziest, star studded sporting events on the planet took place from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Super Bowl 50 saw quarterback Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos defeat the Carolina Panthers by 24-10, in the final season of his 18 year NFL career. The global phenomenon also saw performances from Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson.
The Six Nations concluded as England gained their first title in five years with a game to play, with Owen Farrell scoring the most points over the entire tournament.
UCI Track Cycling World Championships was last major track cycling event prior to the 2016 Summer Olympics, the championships were particularly important for cyclists and national teams aiming to qualify for the track cycling competitions at Rio 2016. Hosts Great Britain finished top of the medals table with five gold, one silver and three bronze medals, as the wheels were set in motion on the cycling road to Rio.
Hosts India kicked off the ICC Twenty20 World Championship, as sixteen teams participated, ten qualifying automatically through their status as full members of the International Cricket Council (ICC), and another six qualifying through the 2015 World Twenty20 Qualifier.
Another man who took the sporting world by storm in 2016 was the ‘Notorious’ Irishman Conor McGregor. The 27 year old suffered his first defeat since 2010 in March with a shock defeat to Nate Diaz at UFC 196, being forced to submit in the second round.
Also, the Formula 1 season returned with a bang as Nico Rosberg kick-started his remarkable campaign with a win at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Australia. Lewis Hamilton finished 2nd, which began an exhilarating race to crown the FIA F1 Champion throughout the year.