Now that 2019 is beginning to come to a close, it’s time to assess what the biggest events in the sporting world have been in the year just gone. Everything from a Champions League final to the Rugby World Cup happened this year, and there’s been plenty for sports fans to keep their eyes on. This article will take a trip down sporting memory lane and analyse just what a great year it’s been for sport in 2019.
Rugby World Cup
Perhaps the most high-profile sporting event of 2019 was the Rugby World Cup, which took place this year in Japan. It is the biggest event in the rugby calendar – and it may surprise some to learn that it is also the third-largest worldwide sports event. The only events that surpass it are the Summer Olympics and, of course, the football World Cup.
This year, 20 teams joined in the game between September and November. Overall, there were almost 50 matches played in more than 10 venues across the host country of Japan – leading up to the big final in November, in which South Africa beat England. This year was also special from a brand marketing perspective: the Rugby World Cup organisers decided to launch a new logo centred on the concept of unity.
For those who love cricket, meanwhile, the key event of 2019 was most likely the Ashes. This hard-fought contest, which sees Australia pitted against England to retain the literal ashes of the burnt-down wickets from the first ever contest, played out this year in a nail-biting manner. It took place in England this time, and as a result, the next one will take place in Australia.
Perhaps one of the key aspects of this year’s contest was the way that several individual players were able to shine through. One of these was Steve Smith, an Australian player who managed to score lots of great runs – including almost 800 runs with an average of over 110! England’s Ben Stokes, meanwhile, also managed to perform some great innings. Overall, this was a great year for individual players.
The excitement of the 2018 FIFA World Cup could hardly be replicated this year, which is why football appears lower down on the list of 2019’s top sporting action. However, the UEFA Champions League is a great example of a regular, annual footballing event that is followed by people from around the world – and as Sportsbet.io news showed, the contest continues to be a highlight in the sporting calendars of many people.
The final of this year’s Champions League took place in Madrid, and it saw Liverpool take the title against Tottenham Hotspur. The match, which ended 2-0, was well played, and there were several key and exciting moments – including a useful penalty from Liverpool star Mohamed Salah early on in the game. For Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk, the icing on the cake came when he was given the man of the match award.
When it comes to golf, 2019 has also been a particularly good year. This year’s Open Championship was one of the most gripping of recent decades, and it led to victory for the Irish player Shane Lowry, who took the top spot and the champion’s trophy. There were also excellent performances from a range of other players: second-placed Tommy Fleetwood, a Brit, did well, while America’s Tony Finau finished a respectable third.
In terms of more drilled-down statistics, meanwhile, Lee Westwood was named as a top player for his driving accuracy – reaching a fairways hit average of 92.86%. Jim Furyk, meanwhile, scored an average number of putts of just 1.39. Overall, it’s clear that this year’s Open Championship revealed one thing: there are some pretty talented golfers out there from both sides of the Atlantic, and with both a Ryder Cup and more championships on the horizon in 2020, it’s likely that there’ll be another good year for golf on the cards.
As the final days of 2019 arrive, it’s clear that there has been plenty for sports fans to keep their eyes on this year. From the international tournament nature of the Rugby World Cup to the excitement of the Ashes, 2019 will most likely go down in history as one of the best years for those who love a nail-biting and gripping game or match.