Australian Sporting Highlights in 2017

The Australian sporting highlights for the year 2017 come from a large range of sports, and women's sport made plenty of the headlines.

The popularity and recognition of women's football in Australia skyrocketed in 2017 thanks to the Australian women's soccer team dominance of the international scene. The Matildas, led by superstar Sam Kerr, won the Tournament of Nations, beating Brazil 6-1 in the final.

The Australian women's cricket team retained the Ashes, thanks in part to ICC women's cricketer of the year Ellyse Perry, who rewrote the record books during the Ashes series against England with the first double Test century on Australian soil and the best ever knock by an Australian woman.

The first-ever women's AFL league exceeded expectations, with filled stadiums. Adelaide won the inaugural AFLW premiership. There will be more competition next year with the NRL announcing the launch of a national women's rugby league competition for 2018.

Sally Pearson returned from injury to claim victory in the 100m hurdles at the IAAF World Championships in London. She was our sole gold medallist.

Australia's Tia-Clair Toomey won the female event of the CrossFit games - gaining the title of the fittest woman in the world. She's pretty strong too, coming in 14th in the 58 kg weightlifting event at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

After a rollercoaster World Cup qualifying campaign, the Socceroos finally clinched its place in a fourth consecutive World Cup with a 3-1 victory over Honduras in Sydney.

The 2016 Don Award, which recognises the sporting achievement of the year which has inspired the people of Australia, was awarded to boxer Jeff 'The Hornet' Horn. The award was recognition for his great achievement of the stunning upset victory over Filipino legend Manny Pacquaio to claim the World Boxing Organisation welterweight title in July in Brisbane.

In AFL, Richmond won a drought-breaking AFL premiership, with player Dustin Martin becoming the first player in VFL/AFL history to win a premiership, the Brownlow Medal and the Norm Smith Medal in the same season. In the NRL, the Melbourne Storm won their third NRL premiership with a 34-6 win over the North Queensland Cowboys in the grand final.

In other international sporting events, Australia won both the men's and women's Rugby League World Cups on home soil, and the Basketball Boomers Asian Cup champions. Australia's Michael Matthews won two stages and also the green sprinter's jersey in the Tour de France.

Aussie Ed Fernon won the World's toughest horse race. The gruelling Mongolian Derby covers 1,000 kilometres across Mongolia on semi-wild horses, recreating Genghis Khan's ancient postal system.

Australian cricket captain Steve Smith's scored 1,000 runs in a calendar year for the fourth time in succession, and has started whispered comparisons to Bradman.

Aussies are making a mark in US sports too. Last year's No. 1 NBA draft pick Basketballer Ben Simmons had a stellar start to his playing career for the Philadelphia 76ers, making many people sit up and take notice of this potential champion. The first Aussie ever selected in the US National Hockey League (NHL) draft, Nathan Walker, made his debut for the Washington Capitals.

Notable deaths in Australian sport for 2017 include: Betty 'The Golden Girl' Cuthbert who won four gold medals at the Olympics, and Dean Mercer the surf lifesaving legend who was killed in a road accident on the Gold Coast. In the sportscasting world, Drew Morphett, Les Murray, Lou Richards and Harry Beitzel all passed away this year.

Below is a timeline of some significant results for Australians in the world of sport for the year 2017.

Date(s) Sport Event Location Results
Jan 16-29 Tennis Australia Open Melbourne, Australia The best Aussies were Tomic who was beaten in the 3rd round, and Gavrilova who made the 4th round.
Mar 6-22 Baseball World Baseball Classic Miami, San Diego and Los Angeles, (USA) Australia was one of 16 teams at this tournament, finishing 3rd in their pool with 1 win and 2 losses.
Mar 14-24 Multi-sports Special Olympics World Winter Games Graz and Schladming, Austria 12 Australian athletes competed in the sports of Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding
Apr 3-9 Golf Masters Augusta, USA Adam Scott tied for 9th at 2 under
Apr 12-16 Cycling World Track Championships Hong Kong Australia led the medal tally with 3 gold and 11 medals in total
May 28-Jun 11 Tennis French Open Paris, France Kyrgios made the 2nd round, Stosur the 4th round
Jun 13-16 Extreme Sports Summer X Games Minneapolis, Minnesota Australia finished 2nd on the medal table behind the USA
Jun 15–18 Golf US Open Erin Hills, Wisconsin The toped placed Aussie was Marc Leishman who tied for 27th
Jun 17-Jul 2 Football (Soccer) Confederations Cup Russia Australia became the first team to qualify from multiple confederations. Australia finished 3rd in their group with 2 draws and a loss.
Jun 26 - Jul 23 Cricket ODI World Cup for Women England India beat Australia in the semi-final
Jul 1–23 Cycling 2017 Tour de France Germany / France Michael Matthews racing for Team Sunweb won the points green jersey, and was also the highest placed Aussie in the general classification at 69th.
Jul 3-16 Tennis Wimbledon London, England the only Australian male in the draw, Nick Kyrgios, retired in his first round match. The only Aussie female, Daria Gavrilova, also lost in the first round.
Jul 4-17 Multi-sports Maccabiah Games Israel This event which is open to Jewish athletes from around the world, was attended by 650 Australian athletes. Australia finished 3rd on the medal table.
Jul 14-30 Swimming World Aquatics Champs Budapest, Hungary Australia finished 7th on the medal table with 3 gold medals
Jul 20-23 Golf British Open Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport, Merseyside, England The toped placed Aussie was Marc Leishman who tied for 6th
Jul 20-30 Multi-sports The World Games Wroclaw, Poland 118 athletes from Australia competed, finishing 19th on the medal tally.
Aug 4-13 Athletics IAAF World Championships Olympic Stadium, London UK Australia finished equal 11th on the medal table, with Sally Pearson our sole gold medallist.
Aug 7-13 Golf US PGA Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, North Carolina The top placed Aussie was Jason Day, tied for 11th
Aug 9-26 Rugby Women's World Cup Ireland Australia finished 3rd in their pool with one win and did not progress to the finals
Aug 28-Sep 10 Tennis US Open New York, USA Nick Kyrgios lost in the 1st round while in the females Daria Gavrilova made it to the 2nd round
Sep 17-24 Cycling UCI Road World Championships Bergen, Norway For Australia, Michael Matthews finished 3rd in the men's road race, while Katrin Garfoot finished 2nd in the road race and 3rd in the time trial
Sep 23-Oct 1 Rowing World Rowing Championships Sarasota U.S.A. Australia finished with 3 gold medals, equal with Italy and New Zealand
Sep 30 AFL Grand Final Melbourne, Australia Richmond defeated Adelaide by 48 points, their 11th premiership and first since 1980.
Oct 1 NRL Grand Final Sydney, Australia Minor premiers Melbourne Storm beat the North Queensland Cowboys 34 – 6 to claim their third premiership title.
Oct 26 - Dec 2 Rugby League World Cup Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea Australia won their 11th title, beating England 6–0
Nov 7 Horse Racing Melbourne Cup Victoria, Australia won by Rekindling

If you have a correction or know of events that should be included here, please let me know. Do you have a comment? Make it below.

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