2012 – The Year in Sports!




The retirement of a handful of giants from the game of Cricket, the youngest triple World Champion in Formula1, the top 4 ranked Tennis players winning a Grand Slam each, the Premier League decided with seconds left in the season and above them all, the success of the London Olympics – the year 2012 has seen it all on the track, field and court.

2012 - The Year in Sports!

2012 – The Year in Sports!

Usain Bolt, like he had done four years ago in China, stole the limelight with less than ten seconds of brilliance. He won the Olympic Gold for the second consecutive time in the 100 meter sprint silencing his critics with a 9.63 second dash and then followed it up with gold in the 200 meters and 4*100 meters relay, thus reaching heights no human has ever reached. Meanwhile Oscar Pistorius made history by becoming the first amputee to compete in an Olympic track event while Ryan Lochte spoilt the Michael Phelps’ show but couldn’t prevent the American from breaking the record for most Olympic medals ever.  Closer home, it was also India’s best performance in the Olympics in terms of the Medal Tally with the record 83 athletes winning two silvers and four bronze.

At the start of 2012, I was of the opinion that Roger Federer was no longer the champion that had won 15 Grand Slams and that he could no longer compete against the likes of Djokovic and Nadal. At the end of 2012, I was left biting my tongue. Though he couldn’t make it to the finals of the Australian and French Open (which were shared between Novak and Rafa), Federer exorcised his ghosts to beat Andy Murray to win his seventh Wimbledon (Yes, seventh!) and consequently broke the record for spending 302 weeks at the top of the ATP Rankings (Yes, you read it right again!).  Murray though would have his revenge a few weeks down the line as he came back hard to beat Roger to claim the Olympic Gold. Buoyed by this success, Murray finally broke the 76 year drought as he became the first Brit to win a Grand Slam after beating Djokovic in the final of the US Open.

The women themselves had three different champions with Serena Williams stealing all the glory after a disappointing first half of the year. Putting behind a first round exit at the French Open, she came back hard to win the Wimbledon, the Olympic Gold and the US Open to cap off another successful season. Maria Sharapova, meanwhile, became the tenth women in the history of Tennis to win a Career Grand Slam after she beat Sara Errani to win the French Open. Sharapova had also reached the finals of the Australian Open earlier in the year, where she was beaten by Victoria Azarenka.

2012 was also a record breaking season for Formula1, none bigger than Sebastian Vettel becoming the youngest triple World Champion after a dramatic day in Interlagos in the last race of the calendar. The season also saw seven drivers winning the first seven races of the season (the first time in its history), six World Champions start on the Grid (breaking the record of five set in 1970) and 20 cities play host to the races (breaking the record of 19 set in 2005). The end of the season also the curtains being brought down on the career of Michael Schumacher, the seven time World Champion and arguably the greatest human to ever drive a racecar.

The year also saw some of cricket’s greatest stalwarts call it a day. Rahul Dravid, V.V.S Laxman and Ricky Ponting, all of 35,447 runs in 466 Tests amongst them, left behind a legacy behind them as they walked into oblivion. And as the year came to an end Sachin Tendulkar, arguably the greatest player ever, announced that he would no longer don the blue jersey of India in the shorter format of the game. Amongst others Mark Boucher, Andrew Strauss, Tatenda Taibu and Brett Lee also announced their retirements. If you move away from the retirements, the year undoubtedly belonged to Australia’s new prince, Michael Clarke. With four double centuries (a record!), Clarke notched up nearly 1600 runs at an average of over 100, Clarke also led Australia to a 4-0 whitewash over India. South Africa moved into the top spot of the ICC Test Ratings with series victories over England and Australia. West Indies won their first major trophy in eight years after triumphing in the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka while Bangladesh almost had their hands on the first after narrowly losing to Pakistan in the finals of the Asia Cup.

Back home India had a miserable year after losing 2-1 at home to England, which meant India have now won only one of their last twelve Tests against England and Australia. Virat Kohli had an incredible year for which he was awarded the ICC ODI player of the year but even his heroics couldn’t help India qualify for the finals of the Commonwealth Bank series and the Asia Cup. Looking at the bright side, Sachin Tendulkar finally brought up his long awaited 100th international century and Yuvraj Singh made a successful return to International cricket after being diagnosed with cancer last year while the U-19 team beat Australia in Australia to win the World Cup.

And finally, the review of the year wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the dramatic circumstances in which Manchester City won the Barclays Premier League title. “It ain’t over till it’s over,” was the belief as City scored two goals in injury time to come from behind and literally snatch the title of Manchester United’s hands. Spain thrashed Italy 4-0 in the finals of the Euro 2012 to become the first team to win three consecutive trophies. Roman Abrahimovic’s dream of winning a Champions League title finally came true as Chelsea beat Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in the finals. Real Madrid became the first team ever to notch up 100 points in a season while Lionel Messi smashed the record of most goals in calendar year netting in a whopping 91 goals.

Australia’s tour of India followed by the Ashes and yet another close race for the Premier League between the Manchester clubs are definitely the events to watch out for in 2013 while Nadal, Djokovic, Federer and Murray battling it out for the top ranking will definitely be a treat for the tennis fans. While 2012 was a remarkable year for sports and a one we will reflect back upon quite often, 2013 promises to be a bigger one!

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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