Sporting Highlights for 2020
2020 was a tumultuous year due to the global impact of the coronavirus, and the effect on the sporting calendar was significant. Most of the sporting events from April onwards were impacted in some way, with many postponed or canceled altogether. Events, if held, were often modified versions played without spectators.
The major event scheduled for this year was the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo, but these were postponed until nearly a year later, and we are yet to see if they will go ahead as planned. Other events were postponed until 2021, such as the Invictus Games, ICC Cricket World T20, Euro 2020, Ryder Cup, FINA World Swimming Championships (25m).
Major events planned for this year which were canceled altogether included Wimbledon, Golf British Open, the Grand National, ice hockey World Championship, World Rowing Championships and the Summer X Games.
So which events what did go ahead? Many were postponed, but still held at unfamiliar dates later in the year, and when held many were held behind closed doors with no spectators. Fortunately some of the major events were still able to go ahead. The year in sport included three of the tennis grand slams, three of the golf majors, the Tour de France, the ICC World T20 Cricket tournament for women, Winter X Games, the Winter Youth Olympics, World Cycling Track Championships, and the IWAS World Games.
Of the four golf grand slams, only the British Open did no go ahead. The Masters, held in November rather than the usual April, was won with a record score of 268, 20-under-par, by Dustin Johnson.
At the US Tennis Open, it was the first time in over 20 years that both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were absent from a Grand Slam tournament. Also the favorite and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic was disqualified after hitting a lines woman with the ball. The greats returned for the French Open, which Nadal won for a record 13th time. With his victory, Nadal equaled Roger Federer's all-time record of 20 Grand Slam titles. Also in tennis news, ex-number 1 player Maria Sharapova retired.
The Australian women won the cricket T20 world cup, the highlight of their year dominating women's cricket. A huge crowd of 86,174 attended the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the second-highest attendance at a women's sporting fixture anywhere in the world.
In US sports it was all about drought breaking. In the Super Bowl, the Kansas City Chiefs won 32-20 in a thrilling comeback, after trailing 20-10 at half time. It was the Chiefs first Super Bowl win in 50 years. In Major League Baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers beat Tampa Bay Rays to win their first World Series in 32 years.
Liverpool won the premier league title for the first time since 1990, a time before the start of the Premier League when the top tier was called the First Division.
Sarah Fuller became the first woman to score in a major US college football conference game.
Awards: The 2020 Laureus World Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards went to Simone Biles and for the first time there was joint winners in the men's category, Lewis Hamilton and Lionel Messi. The highest paid sportsman in 2020 according to Forbes Magazine was Roger Federer, the first tennis player to rank No. 1 since the list was created 30 years ago. The highest ranked female was also a tennis player, Japan's Naomi Osaka.
Significant deaths: One of the greatest NBA players of all time, Kobe Bryant, died in a helicopter crash in January. Sir Stirling Moss, the greatest Formula One driver never to win the world championship, died aged 90. Football fans around the world mourned the death of Diego Maradona who died of a heart attack in November.
What was your highlight? Take the poll of the Greatest 2020 Sporting Highlight.
Below is a timeline of some significant results in the world of sport for the year 2020.
|Jan 20-Feb 2||Tennis||Australia Open||Melbourne, Australia||Novak Djokovic successfully defended his title, defeating Dominic Thiem to win the tournament a record-extending 8th time. Sofia Kenin won her first grand slam title.|
|Feb 1 - Mar 14||Rugby Union||Six Nations||UK, Ireland, France & Italy||Won by England, their 39th title overall (including shared titles), drawing level with the record Wales set in 2019.|
|Feb 2||Gridiron/Football||Super Bowl||Miami Gardens, Florida||The Chiefs won 32-20 in a thrilling comeback, after trailing 20-10 at half time. It was the Chiefs first Super Bowl win in 50 years.|
|Feb 21 – 8 Mar||Cricket||ICC World T20 (women)||Australia||Defending champions Australian won, crushing India in the final.|
|Feb 26 - 1 Mar||Cycling||World Track Championships||Berlin, Germany||The Netehrlands and Germany topped the medal table|
|July 31 - Aug 16 (postponed from April)||Snooker||World Snooker Championship||Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England||Ronnie O'Sullivan won his sixth world title, defeating Kyren Wilson 18–8 in the final.|
|Aug 1 (postponed, from April)||Football (Soccer)||FA Cup final||Wembley Stadium, London||Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1|
|Aug 6-9 (postponed from May 14-17)||Golf||US PGA||TPC Harding Park, San Francisco, California||Collin Morikawa won on debut, and in his 2nd major, beating Paul Casey and Dustin Johnson by 2 strokes.|
|Aug 23 (postponed from May 24)||Auto Racing||Indianapolis 500||Indianapolis, USA||Takuma Sato won the race for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, his 2nd win (he also won in 2017).|
|Aug 23 (postponed from May 30)||Football (Soccer)||UEFA Champions League Final||Estádio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal||German club Bayern Munich beat French club Paris Saint-Germain, 1-0.|
|Aug 29 - Sep 20 (postponed from June)||Cycling||Tour de France||France||The general classification was won for the first time by a Slovenian, Tadej Pogačar, with his fellow countryman Primož Roglič second. Australian Richie Porte came third.|
|Aug 31 - Sep 13||Tennis||US Open||New York, USA||Dominic Thiem won his first Grand Slam title, defeating first time Grand Slam finalist Alexander Zverev. Naomi Osaka won the women's singles title, defeating Victoria Azarenka for her 3rd Grand Slam title.|
|Sep 5 (postponed from May 2)||Horse Racing||Kentucky Derby||Louisville, Kentucky, US||The race was won by Authentic, and trainer Bob Baffert tied the record for most Kentucky Derby wins, at six.|
|Sep 17-20 (postponed from June)||Golf||US Open||Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, New York||Bryson DeChambeau won his first major title|
|Sept 19-20 (postponed from Jun 13-14)||Auto Racing||88th 24 Hours of Le Mans||Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France||Won by No. 8 Toyota team, the drivers Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Kazuki Nakajima completing 387 laps.|
|Sep 19 - Sep 28 (postponed from June)||Ice Hockey||Stanley Cup finals||Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada||Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Dallas Stars 4-2, for their 2nd championship in franchise history.|
|Sep 24-27||Cycling||UCI Road World Championships||Anna van der Breggen from the Netherlands won both the female road race and time trial, the men's events were won by Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) and Filippo Ganna (ITA).|
|Sep 27-Oct 11 (postponed from May)||Tennis||French Open||Paris, France||The men's singles title was won for the 13th time by Rafael Nadal, defeating Novak Djokovic. The women's singles title was won by Iga Świątek, winning her maiden WTA singles title, defeating Sofia Kenin.|
|Sep 30 – Oct 11 (postponed from June)||Basketball||NBA Finals||ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Walt Disney World, Florida, USA||Los Angeles Lakers defeated Miami Heat, 4–2, winning their first NBA championship in ten years.|
|Oct 20-28||Baseball||World Series||Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas||Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 for their first championship in 32 years.|
|Nov 12-15 (postponed from April)||Golf||Masters||Augusta, USA||Dustin Johnson won with a record score of 268, 20-under-par, five strokes ahead of Im Sung-jae and Cameron Smith|
If you have a correction or know of events that should be included here, please let me know.
- Timeline (all years) in the world of sport
- Major Events Sport Calendar for 2020
- Highlights of Australian sport in 2020