Another year has gone by and ardent sports fans were spoilt for choice in making their pick in Firstpost's poll on top sporting moments of 2019.
Among the 10 choices presented by us, there was England, pummelling the ghosts of their chequered past in ICC events to win the Cricket World Cup by beating New Zealand, in what could be summed up as the best cricket match ever played, where even a super over wasn't enough to decide the winner.
Incidentally, the same day that England won the ODI World Cup for the first time in the history of the sport, in another part of London, a few miles away, Novak Djokovic was battling Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final. What transpired was the longest singles final in Wimbledon history, wherein Djokovic saved a couple of match-points to emerge the victor 7–6, 1–6, 7–6, 4–6, 13–12 after four hours and 57 minutes of guttural tennis.
Among the other choices, an obvious selection was Virat Kohli and Co, righting the wrongs of their frayed careers while playing overseas, beating Australia in their backyard to win the four-match Test series 2-1. In doing so, this new-look Indian team, which had infused young blood in its ranks, reaped the rewards of its fearless approach by becoming the first team from the subcontinent to win a Test series in Australia.
However, the sporting moment which struck a chord the most with our voters was PV Sindhu's triumph at the World Badminton Championships in Basel, Switzerland, in August 2019, which received 36 percent of the total votes.
Sindhu's emphatic 21-7, 21-7 win over Japan's Nozomi Okuhara in the final of the women's singles event meant that India had its first-ever gold medallist at the Worlds, male or female. The 24-year-old Sindhu's maiden gold at the Worlds remains special for it came after years of toiling hard but ending up on the losing side — she won bronze in 2013 and 2014, and silver in 2017 and 2018 at the World Championships — with some agonising losses where there wasn't much to separate her from her opponents.
In between, Sindhu had also contested and lost the final of the 2016 Rio Olympics women's singles event to Spain's Carolina Marin, 21-19, 12-21, 15-21. That loss had emboldened the naysayers who went about terming Sindhu a 'choker', one who lacks the nerve to get the big wins under her belt and preserve her name for posterity.
The World Championships gold medal proved, once and for all, that on her day, Sindhu can beat the best players without breaking a sweat. Evidently, our voters concurred with the same and endorsed Sindhu's feat wholeheartedly.
Of the other choices, the Federer-Djokovic Wimbledon final came second, gathering 17 percent of the total votes.
England winning the Cricket World Cup gathered 11 percent of the votes while India's Test series win in Australia came a close fourth polling nine percent of the total votes.
Some of the other choices in the poll were Eliud Kipchoge becoming the first man to complete a marathon in under two hours, Toronto Raptors winning the NBA Championships, and South Africa winning the Rugby World Cup in Japan under the leadership of Siya Kolisi, its first black captain.
You can find the complete list of choices and their voting percentages in the graphic attached above.
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Updated Date: Dec 30, 2019 15:45:40 IST