Best of 2019: Wimbledon, Cricket World Cup, Eliud Kipchoge, Steve Smith feature in Firstpost Sports' top articles this year

  • The sports content is only increasing every year and for sports journalists, the work is intensifying.

  • The sports desk of Firstpost tries its best to cover as many events as possible and ensure the readers' time and energy are not wasted.

  • Over the course of 2019, the sports journalists of Firstpost filed quite a few important stories and we think it's worth the time to revisit them.

Sports, like every year, had its moments in the last 12 months. Globalisation is thriving and so does the consumption of sports. Almost every month, there's some or other 'memorable sporting moment'.

Cricket – played by only a handful countries and dominated by less than half a dozen nations – is now played round the year. In football, events like Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Champions League, Europa League among others keep the fans busy. The World Championships of quite a few Olympic sports are also a significant features throughout the year. Kabaddi now has a league which runs for three months and there are those American sports leagues.

The sports content is only increasing every year and for sports journalists, the work is intensifying. The deadlines are becoming shorter, the demand to come up with 'analytical pieces' is ever-increasing and then there's the pressure of digging up 'untold' stories.

The sports desk of Firstpost tries its best to cover as many events as possible and ensure the readers' time and energy are not wasted.

Over the course of 2019, the sports journalists of Firstpost filed quite a few important stories and we think it's worth the time to revisit them. Here's the list of Firstpost Sports' 10 best articles of 2019.

Of loss, longing, and grit, what Wimbledon and World Cup finals teach us about life and sport – By Shantanu Srivastava

Sport, in its barest, truest form, exists in a win-loss binary, but at the heart of it lies the intangibles of grit and spirit. New Zealand, England, Djokovic, and Federer lived the essence of sport, irrespective of the results. No excuses were given, no angry outbursts arrived, no obscene celebrations happened. It was sport — relentless, breathless, and nerveless.

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Eliud Kipchoge’s 1:59.40 run is as much a triumph of scientific endeavour as that of human endurance – By Amit Kamath

Kipchoge's 1:59:40 run in Vienna should go down in history. But not without an asterisk mark. For, his timing on Saturday was as much of an ode to human endeavour in technology as a triumph of the human spirit that everyone made it out to be. In athletics’ moon landing, maybe the credit should go to the men who were behind Kipchoge, the man who eventually landed on the moon.

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ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: What Ravindra Jadeja's outburst against Sanjay Manjrekar tells us about Indian cricket – By Shantanu Srivastava

It's a bit rich for Indian fans to lament the lack of incisive analysis from homegrown commentators when the slightest hint of criticism of their heroes is reason enough for them to viciously troll the dissenter. When someone like Sachin Tendulkar is asked to prove his credentials for commenting on a bungling icon, what hope must the likes of Aakash Chopra and Sanjay Manjrekar have anyway?

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Ashes 2019: Steve Smith's double ton at Old Trafford reveals he is more strength than skills – By Shubham Pandey

When Ashes began, there were other questions hovering over the country of England. Would Steve Smith be able to play Tests the way he used to play earlier? Ian Chappell felt that he may not be the same player after what happened in Cape Town. His recent records agreed too. World Cup scores were not too heartening.

However, those questions have now been erased. Smith has written a fresh one for his fans and haters alike — 'Is Steve Smith Still Batting?'

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FIH Series Finals 2019: From battling depression to proving himself all over again, Ramandeep Singh's unfinished story of redemption – By Anish Anand

It was a crucial year for the Indian men's hockey side, with the team set to play at the Jakarta Asian Games and later the men's World Cup in Bhubaneswar. Ramandeep missed both the tournaments. Fighting his way out of injury and making a 'quick' recovery, the Indian forward returned to the field during Senior Men's National Championship for Punjab, but suffered a stress fracture in his ankle. A career-threatening injury and the frustration of missing key tournaments had pushed Ramandeep into depression.

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ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Rohit Sharma's anguish, his prolonged wait for glory and the burden of five centuries going in vain – By Shubham Pandey

Despite being such heavy scores, Rohit's five tons are falling short to live the legacy of a Dhoni 91 not-out or a Gautam Gambhir 97 in a World Cup final. Sachin Tendulkar's scratchy 85 at Mohali in 2011 World Cup may as well overpower these five tons.

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Soaking in El Clasico: Witnessing LaLiga's greatest rivalry – By Shantanu Srivastava

Stadiums are a lot more than giant concrete walls encasing expansive greens. They are a sight — of success and sighs, of sweat and blood, of trials and triumphs. They are a theatre — of the absurd and asinine, of precision and poise. They are arenas where human capabilities mock human limitations. Breeding grounds of brilliance, they are a sight to love and behold. Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid is all that, and then some more.

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Saurashtra's alchemy of near misses in Ranji Trophy finals, and a promise to cut the Gordian knot – By Vaibhav Shah

For Saurashtra, the losses might serve as a signpost that guides them in the right direction. Teams that create success stories do it not through a readymade roadmap, but they discover and explore what works for them as they grow. Denis Waitley's words, "Failure is a temporary detour, not a dead end" might be handy to remember.

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Architect, guide, demolisher: When Sachin Tendulkar and Mumbai destroyed Shane Warne and Australia to script Brabourne special – By Jigar Mehta

For those lucky to witness Sachin Tendulkar bat at the Brabourne Stadium against Australians in 1998 that day, it was an unforgettable experience. A special innings from a special player and memories of a lifetime.

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World Athletics Championships 2019: Andreas Hofmann puts Rio 2016 setback behind as Tokyo 2020 appears on horizon – Amit Kamath

The highlight of the front wall at Lutz Klemm’s tiny office at the Michael Hofmann Stadion is a page from a calendar printed five years ago. In it, javelin thrower Andreas Hofmann is dressed as Spartan king Leonidas heading into battle, spear in one hand, shield in another, a deep crimson cloak hanging off his neck exposing the chiseled blocks of muscles that form his torso.

The present-day Hofmann ― dressed today in a maroon t-Shirt that hides his musculature ― looks much older than the man in the calendar, but watch him at a competition and you will have no difficulty understanding why someone thought of casting him as a Spartan warrior for the calendar.

Click here to read the full article.

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Updated Date: Dec 25, 2019 19:21:16 IST