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Australian Sporting Highlights in 2020

2020 was a crazy year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and the effect on the sporting calendar was significant. Although Australia was spared of the worst of the health crisis, our strong restrictions meant that sport was impacted just as much as anywhere in the world. Most of the major sporting competitions in Australia went ahead, albeit after being postponed, then modified, with the players living in 'bubbles' and playing to no crowds. Australian events that were canceled included the Australian Grand Prix, men's T20 World Cup and the Sydney to Hobart race.

The year started with a high, with the Australian women winning the T20 World Cup, crushing India in the final, a rematch of the first game of the tournament where India upset Australia. A huge crowd of 86,174 attended the final at the MCG, a record attendance for a women's sporting event in Australia and the second-highest attendance at a women's sporting fixture anywhere in the world. The team have cemented their dominance of women's cricket, clinching a record-equaling 21 straight one-day international victories – a run that began in March 2018. The men's event, which was planned for October 2020, has been postponed until 2021, and has been moved from Australia to India. Australia is scheduled to host the 2022 tournament.

World T20 in Perth T20 World Cup at the WACA in Perth

Australian sprint cyclist Caleb Ewan secured his second stage victory at this year's Tour de France. Richie Porte finished third overall, becoming only the second Australian rider and the first following Cadel Evans' victory in 2011 to reach the final podium in Paris.

The AFL grand final was won by Richmond again, making it three premierships in four seasons. Dustin Martin secured his third Norm Smith Medal, the most ever. The grand final also marked the final game for Gary Ablett Jr, one of the best to ever play the game.

In January, Bowlers Journal magazine named tenpin bowler Jason Belmonte the male Player of the Decade. He was also named the Professional Bowlers Association Player of the Year award for the 6th time, and won the US Open, the only major he hadn't won at that point.

The 2020 Don Award, which recognises the sporting achievement of the year which has inspired the people of Australia, was awarded to the Australia Women's Cricket Team. The last time it was awarded to a sporting team was in 2006 when the Socceroos won the award.

Notable deaths in Australian sport for 2020 include John Kennedy Sr., Hawthorn legend AFL player and coach, ex-cricketer Dean Jones, and legendary Australian swim coach Don Talbot. Talbot was at the helm as Aussies dominated in the pool during the 1990s and early 2000s and was credited with helping the country achieve so much success in the pool.

Below is a timeline of some significant results for Australians in the world of sport for the year 2020.

Date(s) Sport Event Location Results
Jan 20-Feb 2 Tennis Australia Open Melbourne, Australia Australians Max Purcell and Luke Saville won the men's doubles title. In the singles, Nick Kyrgios made the 4th round, and Ash Barty was beaten by the eventual winner Sofia Kenin in the semis
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 Australian finished with just 1 silver and 2 bronze medals in 11th place.
July 31 - Aug 16 (postponed from April) Snooker World Snooker Championship Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England Australian Neil Robertson made it to the quarter finals
Aug 6-9 (postponed from May 14-17) Golf US PGA TPC Harding Park, San Francisco, California Australian Jason Day tied for 4th, 3 strokes behind winner Collin Morikawa
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 Alex de Minaur made the men's quarter finals, but no Australia females made it past the first round.
Sep 27-Oct 11 (postponed from May) Tennis French Open Paris, France 3 Aussie players made it to the 2nd round, Marc Polmans in the men's singles, Daria Gavrilova and Astra Sharma in the women's singles.
Oct 24 AFL Grand Final Melbourne, Australia Richmond defeated Geelong by 31 points, marking the club's third win in four seasons.
Oct 25 (postponed from Oct 4) Rugby League NRL Grand Final Sydney Cricket Ground, Australia Melbourne Storm defeated Penrith Panthers 26-20, their fourth premiership title
Nov 3 Horse Racing Melbourne Cup Victoria, Australia The race was won by Twilight Payment, ridden by Jye McNeil and trained by Joseph O'Brien.
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 Australian Cameron Smith

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

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