2013 sports in review
It may have been bereft of big events like the Olympic Games last year or the Fifa World Cup and Winter Olympics due next year, but 2013 will still stand out as a historic year in sport.
New Zealand’s All Blacks became the first rugby nation to go a calendar year unbeaten in the professional era. Tennis’ Andy Murray ended Briton’s 77-year wait for a Wimbledon win. And Formula One’s Sebastian Vettel joined Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio, as only the third driver to have won four consecutive world championships. Vettel also beat the record for most consecutive race wins — with eight — including the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Spanish giants Real Madrid broke the world transfer fee with a Â£100 million (Dh604.90 million) move for Wales and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Gareth Bale. And Henrik Stenson became the first golfer to win both the Race to Dubai and FedEx Cup in the same season.
England retained the Ashes and promptly surrendered them back to Australia, while rugby’s British and Irish Lions beat Australia to win their first tour since 1997. Chris Froome also became only the second Briton to win the Tour de France after Bradley Wiggins first achieved the feat last year.
Sir Alex Ferguson retired as manager of English Premier League football side Manchester United, after winning 38 titles in 26 years. As did Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, arguably the greatest batsman ever, who bowed out after 24 years in which he accrued 34,357 runs across all formats of the game.
There was more disappointment in store for cricket fans when South Africa’s Jacques Kallis, widely regarded as the greatest allrounder after Sir Gary Sobers, decided to retire from Tests.
In less memorable circumstances, the sporting world was shocked when a double bomb blast rocked the end of the Boston Marathon killing three and injuring 264 people. And US cyclist Lance Armstrong finally admitted to doping throughout his seven Tour de France wins.
South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius was also charged for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, with the trial set to take place from March 3-20 next year.
Legendary boxer Ken Norton, the former heavyweight world champion, who not only beat Mohammad Ali but also broke his jaw, passed away aged 70.
the UAE national football team won only their second Gulf Cup and qualified for the 2015 Asian Cup under their first full-time Emirati coach Mahdi Ali, in his first season in charge.
The UAE’s Gulf Cup win came six years after coach Bruno Metsu first achieved the feat. But Metsu would go on to lose his battle with cancer just nine months after his historic win was replicated.