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World Sporting Highlights for 2022

The coronavirus pandemic continued to have an effect on the sporting calendar in 2022, but as always the show went on and the end to the disruptions is looking closer. Some of the sporting events from previous years that were postponed were held this year. The major sporting events for this year were the Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics in Beijing, the FIFA World Cup, and the Commonwealth Games.

Now that the effect of COVID on the sporting calendar is waning, it is the war in Ukraine that is having a great impact on world sport. Some events scheduled to be held in Russia were moved to other locations. The UEFA Champions League Final was moved from St Petersburg to Paris, while the Russian Formula One Grand Prix in Sochi was canceled after pressure from leading drivers.

Serena WilliamsSerena Williams was looking for a Grand Slam record in 2022

There was plenty of drama even before the first major event of the year, the Australian Open, started. Novak Djokovic had his visa canceled and was deported after he refused to comply with the country's COVID-19 vaccine mandate. If only he had got himself fully vaccinated, as all other tennis players were happy to do.

The golfing world was shaken up with the unveiling of a Saudi-backed breakaway golf league. The LIV Golf professional golf tour involved an eight-tournament schedule with a total prize fund of $250 million. The tour is fronted by Australia's two-time major winner Greg Norman. The players who controversially signed up for the league were notified after the first event that they would be banned from the PGA.

In the majors there was still plenty of action. The US PGA golf made history in several ways. Justin Thomas defeated Will Zalatoris in a three-hole aggregate playoff to win his second PGA Championship. Thomas came from seven shots behind at the start of the final round to win, one of the largest comeback in PGA Championship history. This was the first major championship to go to a playoff since the 2017 Masters, a span of 19 consecutive majors, the longest in history.

The Wimbledon tennis tournament was stripped of ranking points by ATP and WTA for banning Russian and Belarusian athletes. That did not stop a Russian player, Elena Rybakina, winning the women's singles title. She formerly represented her country of birth, Russia, but has represented Kazakhstan since 2018. World number one Daniil  Medvedev was prohibited from playing due to his Russian nationality. Serena Williams attempted another comeback, but failed early in the tournament. Serena failed again at the US Open, in an attempt to beat Margaret Court's grand-slam winning record.

Rafael Nadal defeated Casper Ruud in straight sets to win his 14th French Open title, taking home a record 22nd grand slam trophy. Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz cemented his name in the record books, winning the US Open men’s singles final to become the youngest No. 1 male player in tennis history.

Surfing legend Kelly Slater won at Pipeline for the eighth time, 30 years after his first victory at the famous surf break in Hawaii, and just days shy of his 50th birthday.

At the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Katie Ledecky won a record-breaking fifth straight 800m world title, taking her tally of World Championship medals to 22, a record for a woman. The USA dominated the Championships, collecting 17 gold among a record-breaking 45 medals in total.

The home team had a dominent 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon. American Sydney McLaughlin shattered her own 400m hurdles world record, and Swedish-American Armand Duplantis broke the pole vault record with a leap of 6.21 meters.

At the European Athletics Championships in Munich, there was a dramatic women's 100 meters final which saw the top three split by just 0.01 seconds. Gold went to Gina Lückenkemper of hosts Germany.

A women's cycle tour race returned in 2022, under the title Tour de France Femmes. with Annemiek van Vleuten winning the week long race by nearly four minutes. Marianne Vos won the points classification, finishing in the top five on each of the first six stages, taking two stage wins in the process.

While traveling to Russia to play basketball in the offseason, WNBA star Brittney Griner was detained at the Airport after customs officials they found vape cartridges with cannabis oil in her luggage. She was subsequently found guilty and sentenced her to nine years in prison. Months later, she was released by Russia in a 1-for-1 prisoner swap.

There was a chess cheating scandal. Chess Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen accused 19-year-old Hans Niemann that he had cheated with computer assistance.

Manchester City produced a stunning come-from-behind victory to shatter Liverpool's hopes and once again be crowned champions of the English Premier League on a dramatic final day of the season. Liverpool had further dispair, when Real Madrid crushed their hopes of Champions League glory, winning the final 1-0 in Paris to become Europe's top club side for a 14th time.

80-1 outsider Rich Strike stunned the horse racing world with the second biggest upset (the greatest was in 1913) in Kentucky Derby history.

Awards: The 2022 Laureus World Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards went to Dutch F1 driver Max Verstappen and Jamacian sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah. The Italian men's football team was the Laureus World Team of the Year. The highest paid sports person in 2022 according to Forbes Magazine was Lionel Messi with earnings totaling 130 million US dollars.

What was your highlight? Take the poll of the Greatest Sporting Highlight of 2022.

Significant sports-related deaths:

Some of the greats of world sport died this year. Widely regarded as the greatest footballer ever, Pelé died of cancer at the age of 82. The cricket world was rocked by the death of Australian cricketer Shane Warne, famous for his mastery of leg spin and widely regarded as one of the greatest bowlers of all-time.

At least 125 football fans died and 320 were injured following a stampede towards an exit after police use tear gas in a stadium in Malang, East Java. Police officers fired tear gas in an attempt to disperse agitated supporters of the losing home side who had invaded the pitch after the final whistle.

Below is a timeline of some significant results in the world of sport for the year 2022.

Date(s) Sport Event Location Results
Jan 9 - Feb 6 Football (Soccer) Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon Senegal beat Egypt 4–2 on penalties for their first title.
Jan 17-30 Tennis Australian Open Melbourne, Australia Rafael Nadal defeated Daniil Medvedev in the men's final for his 21st major title. Australian Ash Barty, won her first Australian Open title.
Jan 21-23 Extreme Sports Winter X Games 26 Aspen, Colorado, USA New Zealand won three gold medals, the most of any country, but the USA's 13 total medal was by far the biggest tally.
Feb 4-20 Multi-sports Winter Olympics Beijing, China There was a record 109 events over 15 disciplines in seven sports. Norway again topped the medal tally.
Feb 5 - Mar 19 Rugby Six Nations UK, Ireland, France & Italy France won the Championship and the Grand Slam, both for the first time since 2010, winning the title with a 25–13 win over England.
Feb 13 Football (American) Super Bowl Inglewood, California The Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20. It was the second Super Bowl win for the Rams franchise
Mar 4-13 Multi-sports Winter Paralympics Beijing, China There were six sports on the program. China won 18 of the 78 gold medals on offer, followed by Ukraine and Canada.
Mar 4 - Apr 3 Cricket ODI World Cup for women New Zealand Australia beat England in the final by 71 runs
Apr 7-10 Golf Masters Augusta, Georgia, USA Scottie Scheffler won his first major by three strokes over Rory McIlroy
Apr 9 Horse Racing Grand National Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool Won by 50/1 longshot Noble Yeats, trained by Emmet Mullins and ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen.
Apr 16-22 Multi-sports Invictus Games The Hague, Netherlands The 2020 Invictus Games were held in 2022. Athletes from 17 countries participated in 9 adaptive sports
Apr 16 - May 2 Snooker World Snooker Championship Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England Won by Ronnie O'Sullivan for the 7th time, also equalling Steve Davis's record of 30 Crucible appearances
May 7 Horse Racing Kentucky Derby Louisville, Kentucky, US Won by 80–1 outsider Rich Strike, who had only entered the race after a late scratching. It was the second-largest upset in Derby history.
May 13-29 Ice Hockey IIHF World Championship Finland Finland defeated Canada 4–3 in overtime to win gold for the 4th time and their first medal ever won on home ice.
May 19-22 Golf US PGA Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa, Oklahoma Justin Thomas defeated Will Zalatoris in a three-hole aggregate playoff to win his second PGA Championship (he won in 2017)
May 22 - Jun 5 Tennis French Open Paris, France The men's singles title was won for the 14th time by Rafael Nadal, his 22nd Grand Slam title. The women's singles title was won by Iga Świątek, her second French Open title.
May 28 Football (Soccer) UEFA Champions League Final Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France Real Madrid defeated Liverpool 1–0 via a 59th-minute goal from Vinícius Júnior. It was their record 14th title, and their fifth title in 9 years
May 29 Auto Racing Indianapolis 500 Indianapolis, USA Marcus Ericsson held off Pato O'Ward to win the race. He became the 2nd Swedish winner in the race's history, after Kenny Bräck won in 1999
Jun 2-16 Basketball NBA Finals Boston & San Francisco The Golden State Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics in 6 games, It was their 4th championship in 8 years. Stephen Curry was named the Finals MVP.
Jun 15-28 Ice Hockey Stanley Cup finals Tampa & Denver, USA The Colorado Avalanche defeated Tampa Bay Lightning four games to two, for their 3rd championship in franchise history.
Jun 16-19 Golf US Open The Country Club Brookline, Massachusetts Matt Fitzpatrick won his first major championship, finishing one shot ahead of Scottie Scheffler and Will Zalatoris.
Jun 17 - July 3 Swimming World Aquatics Championships Budapest, Hungary The US and China both finished with 18 gold medals of the 74 medal events.
Jun 27 - Jul 10 Tennis Wimbledon London, England Novak Djokovic defeated Nick Kyrgios to defended his title and claim his 21st major. The ladies' singles title was won by Elena Rybakina, who defeated Ons Jabeur.
Jul 1-17 Field Hockey Women's FIH Hockey World Cup Terrassa, Spain and Amstelveen, Netherlands Defending champions the Netherlands won the tournament for a record 9th time, defeating Argentina 3–1 in the final. Australia finished 3rd.
Jul 1-24 Cycling Tour de France France Denmark's Jonas Vingegaard won the general classification for the first time. Defending champion Tadej Pogačar finished 2nd, and former winner Geraint Thomas 3rd
Jul 7-17 Multi-sports World Games Birmingham, Alabama, USA The Games featured 3,600 athletes competing in 206 medal events over 30 sports. Germany topped the medal tally.
Jul 14-17 Golf The Open Championship Old Course at St Andrews St Andrews Fife Scotland 150th event won by Cameron Smith, one stroke ahead of Cameron Young.
Jul 15-24 Athletics IAAF World Championships Eugene, Oregon USA Hosted in the USA for the first time. A new award was the team event trophy, won by the USA, which also won a record 33 medals
Jul 24-31 Cycling Tour de France Femmes France the first edition of the Tour de France Femmes, won by Dutch rider Annemiek van Vleuten of Movistar Team
Jul 28 - Aug 8 Multi-sports Commonwealth Games Birmingham, England Australia led the medal tally, over England and Canada.
Aug 11–21 Multi-sports European Sports Championships Munich, Germany Gemany and Great Britain both finished with 60 medals.
Aug 26 - Sep 11 Volleyball World Volleyball Championships (men) Poland & Slovenia Italy claimed their fourth title, defeating the reigning world champions Poland
Aug 29 - Sep 11 Tennis US Open New York, USA Carlos Alcaraz and Iga Świątek won the men's and women's singles titles
Sep 9-11 Rugby 7s Rugby World Cup Sevens Cape Town, South Africa Fiji won the men's tournament and Australia won the women's tournament
Sep 18-25 Cycling UCI Road World Championships Wollongong, Australia Great Britain were the best perfoming country, finishing with 3 golds.
Sep 18-25 Rowing World Rowing Championships Račice, Czechia Great Britain led the medal tally with 7 gold medals, over Italy and Romania
Sep 19-25 Golf Presidents Cup Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, North Carolina The USA won the competition and retained the cup
Sep 22-Oct 1 Basketball FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup Sydney, Australia USA won the title for the 4th consecutive time.
Sep 23 - Oct 15 Volleyball World Volleyball Championships (women) Netherlands & Poland Serbia retained their title, winning all 12 matches including a 3–0 victory over Brazil in the final
Oct 8 - Nov 12 Rugby Womens World Cup New Zealand Hosts New Zealand won thier 6th title, beating England 34-31.
Oct 12-16 Cycling World Track Championships Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France The Netherlands topped the medal table with 10 medals, with the Dutch and Italy both winning 4 gold medals.
Oct 15 - Nov 19 Rugby League World Cup England Australia won both the men's and women's events
Oct 16 - Nov 13 Cricket ICC World T20 (men) Australia England beat Pakistan by five wickets to win their second title
Oct 28 - Nov 5 Baseball World Series Philadelphia and Houston, USA The Astros defeated the Phillies 4-2 to earn their second championship
Nov 1 Horse Racing Melbourne Cup Victoria, Australia An upset victory by Gold Trip
Nov 21-Dec 18 Football (Soccer) FIFA World Cup Qatar Following a 3–3 draw after extra time, Argentina defeated France 4–2 on penalties.
Dec 5-16 Weightlifting World Championships Bogota, Colombia China easily won the most medals in the men's and womne's competition
Dec 13-18 Swimming FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) Melbourne, Australia  

If you have a correction or know of events that should be included here, please let me know.

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