2018 in the rearview mirror: From Belgium winning Hockey World Cup to ball tampering scandal, the biggest stories

Cricketers weeping, underdogs winning, a Ballon d’Or winner not called Ronaldo or Messi. 2018 was a year rich with sporting headlines. North and South Korea walked together at the Winter Olympics and the Asian Games opening ceremonies. At the Hockey World Cup, Belgium arose to claim their first crown. At the FIFA World Cup, Germany slipped to crash out in the group stage, while France took home the title.

Here’s a list of what made the biggest splash in sports in 2018:

North and South Korea marched under a unified flag at Winter Olympics

North Korea and South Korea marched under one flag at the Asian Games

The ball-tampering controversy was probably the biggest story to rock the sport of cricket in 2018. In the aftermath, Steve Smith stepped down as captain and was handed a one-year ban. His deputy David Warner was given the same ban while Cameron Bancroft was handed a nine-month ban.

That JR Smith error in Game 1 of the NBA Finals which saw the Golden State Warriors tie the Cleveland Cavaliers to force overtime. Despite LeBron James scoring 51, the Warriors won Game 1. And then they won the Championship

When LeBron James took his talents to Los Angeles after Cavaliers lost NBA Final

The Dubs became a dynasty

Geraint Thomas won the Tour de France, despite no one giving him a chance when the gruelling race began

Luka Modric broke Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s 10-year streak of winning Ballon d’Or

A 360-degree delivery spun out of control and became a controversy

Usain Bolt tried his hands at football in Australia

It was a car crash that made hearts stop! Sophia Floersch had a scary crash at Macau during a Formula 3 race. She’s now recovering well and hopes to race again

Ireland’s women’s hockey team made history by making it to the final of the Hockey World Cup despite being the second-lowest ranked team in the tournament

The Copa Libertadores final got postponed after River Plate fans attacked Boca Juniors team bus. The second leg was eventually played at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu

Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually assaulting over 150 women

You can follow the entire timeline of the sentencing here

Belgium won the Men's Hockey World Cup, the first time the team had won a world-level event

Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto won ITTF World Tour Grand Finals, at the age of 15!

Jose Mourinho’s reign as Manchester United manager ended while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed as the caretaker manager

Eliud Kipchoge smashed the world marathon record by 78 seconds after a 2hour 01minute 39second finish at the Berlin Marathon

Lee Chong Wei beat cancer and set his sights on a return to badminton

Top-flight football came to Jammu and Kashmir

France celebrated winning the FIFA World Cup in some style

Defending champions Germany crashed out of the FIFA World Cup in the group stage itself

Naomi Osaka beat Serena Williams to clinch the US Open title

However, Osaka’s big day was marred by a controversy over on-court coaching as the favourite Serena Williams clasheed with chair umpire Carlos Ramos. Later, during the trophy ceremony, Osaka teared up as the partisan American crowd booed

Meanwhile, in the men’s singles event, Novak Djokovic claimed his second Grand Slam of the season

For all the talk of Golden State Warriors cementing their legacy with a third NBA title in four years, the franchise found out how easily it could all unravel with the team’s superstars Kevin Durant and Draymond Green getting into an argument in the clash against the LA Clippers. The trigger for the confrontation was innocuous enough: With both teams tied at 106 and just five seconds left on the clock, Green plucked a rebound out of the air despite Durant furtively gesticulating to give him the ball. Green drove to the Clippers basket but could not even get a shot off, leading the game to go into overtime. While walking off the court, Durant confronted Green for not passing the ball to him, which led to the duo bickering.

It has been reported that Green called Durant a b***h and asked him to leave the team when his the free agency option becomes available to him next season. This reportedly led the Warriors to give Green a one-game suspension. Since then on, things have escalated. Durant, of course, was repeatedly asked about his relationship with Green.

Cristiano Ronaldo was accused of rape. Juventus defended the superstar by absurdly giving testimony for his 'professionalism'

Updated Date: Dec 28, 2018 20:33:58 IST