13th December, 2019

A year in sport…

It’s been a big year in sport, we take a look at the highs and lows of 2019 on the field, court and pitch.

Soccer

The Matilda’s made it to the Round of 16 in the FIFA Women’s World Cup hosted in France during June and July. With wins over Brazil and Jamaica and a loss to Italy, the Australians finished second in Group C. A heartbreaking penalty shootout loss to Norway in the Round of 16 fixture saw the tournament end for the Matilda’s, only a kick away of reaching the quarterfinals.

The Socceroos reached the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup held in the United Arab Emirates during January, but were defeated 1-0 by the hosts to end their trophy defence. An undefeated start to their World Cup Qualifying campaign saw the Aussies end 2019 on a much more positive note.

Sydney FC took home the 2018/29 A-League title after beating Perth Glory on penalties. In the W-League, Sydney FC also defeated Perth Glory, 4-2. The 2019/20 A & W League seasons have kicked off, with expansion club Western United joining the A-League to take the league to eleven  teams. Sydney FC are on top of the table after eight matches in the A-League, while their counterparts from Sydney, the Western Sydney Wanderers are on top of the W-League table.

Netball 

The Aussie Diamonds fell at the final hurdle of the 2019 Netball World Cup held in Liverpool, England in July. The Australians lost to their Trans-Tasman rivals, New Zealand, 52 -51 in the Final. Tharjini Sivalingam of Sri Lanka was the tournament’s leading goal scorer. The NSW Swifts won the 2019 Suncorp Super Netball title after defeating of the Sunshine Coast Lightning 64-47 in the Grand Final at Brisbane Entertainment Centre on the 15th of September. Sam Wallace of the Swifts was awarded Player of the Match.

Athletics

2019 saw the IAAF World Athletics Championships take place in Doha, Qatar in September and October. The coveted 100m sprint was won by Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price (JAM) and Christian Coleman (USA) in the women’s and men’s races respectively. Kelsey Lee- Barber of Australia, won gold in the Women’s javelin. At the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai, held during November, Australia won eight gold medals, six silver medals and nine bronze.

Australia’s Kelsey-Lee Barber claimed gold in the women’s javelin final at the World Athletics Championships. Photo thanks to Fox Sports.

Basketball

The Basketball World Cup was held in China during August and September, with Spain winning their second-ever title. The Australian Boomers began their campaign with warm-up matches against Team USA at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne. Both the Australian and American teams trained at Melbourne Sports Centres – MSAC in preparation for the series.

At the World Cup in China, Australia finished fourth and narrowly missed making the final after losing to Spain in double overtime.

Hockey

The first season of Australia’s inaugural national hockey league, Hockey One began in 2019. With teams based in all Australian capital cities bar Darwin, the league saw men’s and women’s matches played right across the country.

The Grand Finals were played at Melbourne Sports Centres – Parkville with local team, HC Melbourne losing to Brisbane Blaze in the women’s final, while NSW Pride were too good for Brisbane in the men’s.

Swimming

It was a noticeably big, yet controversial year in swimming. The FINA World Championships were held in South Korea during July, with the Australian team claiming seven gold medals.

The championships were tainted with controversy after China’s Sun Yang, who had previously served a ban for doping, won three medals. After two of his victories, Sun faced protests in the form of no handshakes and sharing of the podium from New Zealand’s Duncan Scott and Australia’s Mack Horton.

Mack Horton and Sun Yang at the FINA World Championships. Photo thanks to Fox Sports and AP.

Tennis

2019 was undoubtedly the year of Ash Barty, with the 23-year-old Queenslander winning her first ever Grand Slam Singles Title and claiming the top spot on the WTA Singles World Ranking for the first time.

Barty defeated Czech player, Markéta Vondroušová 6-1 6-3 in the French Open Final in early June. A week later, Barty became only the second-ever Australia women, after her mentor, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, to top the World Singles Rankings. 

The Australian Federation Cup Team made it to the World Group Final in November, their first since 1993, but were narrowly defeated by France 3-2 in front of a patriotic crowd at Perth’s RAC Arena.

The Australian Davis Cup team played in the new format of the Davis Cup and made it to the final week in Madrid but were defeated by Canada in the quarterfinals.

Ash Barty after winning the 2019 French Open. Photo thanks to Fox Sports. Taken by Clive Manson/Getty Images

Australian Football

The Adelaide Crows claimed their second AFLW premiership in three years after beating Carlton 10.3 (63) to 2.6 (18) in front of a huge crowd of 53,034 at the Adelaide Oval on the 31st of March. This was the largest ever crowd for a standalone women’s sporting event in Australia.

Richmond won their twelfth AFL Premiership on the 28th of September after smashing the GWS Giants in their first ever Grand Final. Just over 100,000 people witnessed the blowout win for the Tigers, with the final score 17.12 (114) to 3.7 (25) seeing an 89-point margin at the final siren.

Rugby League

The Brisbane Broncos became the first NRLW team to win back to back titles, with a 30-6 win over St George Illawarra on the 6th of October. 36,785 people watched the match at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium.

The Sydney Roosters also went back to back, winning their 15th NRL Premiership after defeating the Canberra Raiders 14-8 in a decider marred by several controversial refereeing decisions made in the Roosters favour.  

Cricket

The 2019 men’s Cricket World Cup, which ran from May to July, ended in a bang with hosts England defeating New Zealand in a super over. The scores were level at the end of the regular innings and were tied at the end of the super over, resulting in England winning on a boundary countback.

The Women’s Ashes in July saw Australia retain the Urn in a twelve-point to four result, in the multi-format series, which was held in England. Australia retained the men’s Ashes as well after a 2-2 drawn series in England.

Horse Racing

Vow and Declare won the 159th running of the Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November. Ridden by champion jockey Craig Williams, the horse won ‘the race that stops the nation’ in controversial fashion, after the first stewards protest in Cup history saw the placings altered.