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Australian Sporting Highlights in 2018

The Australian sporting highlights for the year 2018 included the Commonwealth Games held on the Gold Coast and another appearance of the national soccer team at the FIFA World Cup, though the biggest story in sport was the continued prominence of women's sport in Australia. Despite this, the sporting news headlines were dominated with unsportsmanlike behaviour, particularly by the Australian cricket and basketball teams.

The Aussie cricketers were playing a Test match in South Africa when Cameron Bancroft was caught by television cameras trying to rough up one side of the ball with sandpaper. The leaders Steve Smith and David Warner were also implicated, and all three were given lengthy bans. The team which usually gives the most pride, were now a national embarrassment.

In what was dubbed as a basketbrawl, a huge fight broke out between the Australian and Filipino national basketball teams during a World Cup qualifying game, resulting in three Australian and 10 Filipino players being suspended.

At the Women's World Cup basketball finals, USA beat Australia 73-56. In other basketball news, US-based Basketballer Liz Cambage scored 53 points in a game to set a WNBA record, leading the Dallas Wings to a 104-87 victory over the New York Liberty July. In the NBA, rising star Ben Simmons is just one of a record nine players from Australia playing in the league in 2018.

The Socceroos made their fourth straight appearance at the FIFA World Cup, and the results were in line with their world ranking. They were drawn in a group with France, Peru and Denmark, finishing with a draw and two losses. Both of Australia's goals were from the penalty spot by the bearded Mile Jedinak.

At the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, host country Australia clearly led the medal table with 80 gold medals. One of the most exciting events was the netball final, where England beat the world number one team Australia 52-51 thanks to a last-second winner from Helen Housby.

Retired sprinter Usain Bolt came to Australia's shores for a trial with the Central Coast Mariners soccer team. He did not play an A-League game, though he scored two goals in a practice match, unfortunately not enough to earn a contract.

The first season for the national women's NRL league began in September 2018 with four teams.

The 2018 Don Award, which recognises the sporting achievement of the year which has inspired the people of Australia, was awarded to Paralympic athlete Kurt Fearnley.

Basketballer Andrew Bogut was Australia's richest sportsperson for 2018, ahead of golfer Adam Scott.

Notable deaths in Australian sport for 2018 include: rugby legend Graeme Langlands, golfer Peter Thompson (he won the Open Championship five times between 1954 and 1965), Bob Jane racecar driver also well known for his tyre company, Ron Casey sports reporter, and Ian Kieran yachtsman.

Below is a timeline of some significant results for Australians in the world of sport for the year 2018.

Date(s) Sport Event Location Results
Jan 15-28 Tennis Australia Open Melbourne, Australia The best Aussie performers were Nick Kyrgios and Ash Barty, who each reached the 3rd round.
Jan 25-28 Extreme Sports Winter X Games 22 Aspen, Colorado, USA Australians won 1 gold and 2 silvers, finishing 5th on the medal table. The gold went to Rob Adelberg in the Snow Bike Best Trick event.
Feb 9-25 Multi-sports Winter Olympics Pyeongchang, South Korea The Australian team comprised 50 competitors in 10 sports. They won 2 silvers and a bronze, finishing 23rd on the medal table.
Feb 28 - Mar 4 Cycling World Track Championships Apeldoorn, The Netherlands Australia finished 4th of the medal table with 2 of each medal color. Gold was won in the men's points race and sprint.
March 9-18 Multi-sports Winter Paralympics Pyeongchang, South Korea Australia's 12 athletes finished 15th on the medal table with one gold and 3 bronze. Simon Patmore and Melissa Perrine won two medals each.
Apr 5-8 Golf Masters Augusta, USA Australian Cameron Smith finished tied for 5th, with Marc Leishman one stroke behind in 9th.
April 4-15 Multi-sports Commonwealth Games Gold Coast, Australia Over 4,400 athletes from 71 Commonwealth Games Associations took part in the event, with Australia clearly leading the medal table with 80 gold medals (198 total), followed by England and India.
May 27-Jun 10 Tennis French Open Paris, France The best performing Aussies were Sam Stosur and Daria Gavrilova, who made it to the 3rd round in the women's singles.
14 Jun -15 Jul Football (Soccer) FIFA World Cup Russia Australia was drawn in Group C with France, Peru and Denmark. They played three matches, resulting in one draw and two losses. Both of Australia's goals were from the penalty spot by Mile Jedinak.
Jul 7-29 Cycling Tour de France France Australia had 11 riders in the race, with no standout results. One of the pre-race favourites Richie Porte crashed out in the 9th stage.
Jul 2-15 Tennis Wimbledon London, England No Aussies got through the 3rd round
Jul 19-22 Extreme Sports Summer X Games Minneapolis, Minnesota Australia was a close 2nd to the USA on the medal table. In October, there was an X Games event in Sydney.
July 20-22 Rugby 7s Rugby World Cup Sevens San Francisco U.S.A. Australian women finished 4th while the men failed in their first match of the knockout competition. New Zealand won both the men and women's title.
Jul 21-Aug 5 Hockey (Field) World Cup — Women London, England Eventual champions the Netherlands beat Australia in the semi-final on penalties.
Aug 16-19 Golf US PGA Bellerive Country Club, Town and Country, Missouri Adam Scott finished third, behind Brooks Koepka and Tiger Woods
Aug 27 – Sep 11 Tennis US Open New York, USA John Millman was beaten by the eventual winner Novak Djokovic in the quarter finals. In the women's singles draw, Ash Barty reached the 4th round.
Sep 9-16 Rowing World Rowing Championships Plovdiv Bulgaria Australia finished 3rd in term of total medals won, and 5th in terms of golds
Sep 11-23 Equestrian FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon, North Carolina, USA Australia had 30 competitors, winning one gold by Boyd Exell in the Individual driving event.
Sep 23-30 Cycling UCI Road World Championships Innsbruck, Austria Australian Rohan Dennis won the men's time trial event, and Amanda Spratt was second in the women's road race
Sep 29 AFL Grand Final Melbourne, Australia West Coast Eagles beat Collingwood by 5 points, the Eagles 4th fourth premiership.
Sep 30 Rugby League NRL Grand Final Sydney, Australia Minor premiers Sydney Roosters defeated the defending premiers Melbourne Storm 21–6 to claim their 14th premiership title.
Oct 20-27 Multi-sports Invictus Games Sydney, Australia This 4th Invictus Games included 11 medal sports. About 500 athletes from 18 countries participated. Although medals are awarded, no medal tally is recorded.
Nov 6 Horse Racing Melbourne Cup Victoria, Australia Won by Cross Counter, ridden by Kerrin McEvoy and trained by Charlie Appleby. Irish colt The CliffsofMoher was put down after he suffered a fracture.
Nov 15 - 24 Boxing AIBA World Championships (women) New Delhi, India The only medal for Australia was bronze to Kristy Harris in the Bantamweight (54 kg) category.
Nov 28-Dec 16 Hockey (Field) World Cup — Men Bhubaneswar, India Belgium beat the Netherlands in the final. Defending champions Australia won the third place match, defeating England 8–1.
Dec 11-16 Swimming FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) Hangzhou, China Australian won 12 medals (2 gold), ranked 4th based on total medals. The gold medals were won by Ariarne Titmus in the 200m and 400m freestyle.

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

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