My favourite sporting moments of 2012
Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN
With 2012 an Olympic year, it’s no surprise many of my favourite sporting moments of the year came during those two weeks in London.
However plenty of others were just as memorable.
Has there ever been such a superb athlete?
The Jamaican cemented himself in Olympic folklore by winning track 100m, 200m and relay gold in London to become the first to achieve the triple in successive Games. Who would bet against him repeating the dose in Rio?
The American swimmer took his phenomenal career Olympic medal haul in London to 18 gold, two silver, and two bronze. The 18 gold is twice as many as the next best – Larisa Latynina, Paavo Nurmi, Mark Spitz, and Carl Lewis. His 22 medals overall are four more than Latynina.
Sally’s 100m hurdling gold at the London Olympics was perfect poetry in motion – very fast motion. An Olympic record 12.35 beat the two Americans, Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells, who both recorded personal bests. The win was Sally’s 32nd from 34 starts.
The Australian Test skipper’s 1595 runs in 2012, at an average of 106.33, saw him become Australia’s most prolific run-getter in a calendar year with a triple, three doubles, and century to his credit.
Murray’s gruelling US Open final win over Novak Djokovic makes him the first Scot to win a Slam singles, and the first Brit to do so since Fred Perry in 1936.
Watson’s play-off win at the US Masters made him only the fourth left-handed champion in 423 majors.
The only others in golfing history are Sir Bob Charles’ 1963 British Open success, Phil Mickelson’s four (three Masters in 2004, 2006, and 2008 and the USPGA in 2005) and Mike Weir’s 2003 Masters success.
The Irishman’s comeback in 2012 – after finishing 40th in the Masters, missing the cut at The Players Championship and the US Open, and finishing 60th at the British Open – to win the USPGA by a record eight shots saw him end the year as the undisputed world number one golfer ahead of Luke Donald, and Tiger Woods. Fabulous golf from the 23-year-old.
The younger Williams sister’s 2012 featured Olympic gold, her fifth Wimbledon and fourth US Open, proving when she is fit, she is virtually unbeatable.
Sharapova’s win at this year’s French Open made her the first Russian to win a career Grand Slam, going with her victories at Wimbledon 2004, US Open 2006, and Australian Open 2008.
The 17-year-old American swimmer is still an amateur so she can compete inter-college. It served to make her four gold medals in London – in the 100 and 200 backstroke and the 4×200 freestyle and 4×100 medley – a breath of fresh air in the pool.
That’s my 2012 with a happy and successful 2013 to all Roarers.