Here is Xinhua News Agency’s selection of the 10 most significant pieces of international sports news in 2023, in chronological order:
– Manchester City won its maiden UEFA Champions League title following a 1-0 victory over Inter Milan in Istanbul on June 10.
Having already won the English Premier League and the FA Cup, City thus completed a treble, before adding the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup to a trophy-laden 2023.
– On June 12, the Denver Nuggets defeated the Miami Heat 94-89 in Game 5 of the 2022-23 NBA Finals to win the best-of-seven series 4-1, clinching their first ever championship.
Nuggets center Nikola Jokic was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP).
– At the 2023 World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan running from July 14 to 30, China’s Qin Haiyang became the first swimmer in history to win all three breaststroke events at a single edition of the championships, while Australian Kaylee McKeown also emerged victorious in three different events in the women’s backstroke.
Qin and McKeown were honored as the Best Male and Female Swimmer of 2023 by World Aquatics in October.
– The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup took place in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to August 20, marking the first time for the tournament to be held in the southern hemisphere, to feature 32 teams, and to have more than one host nation.
Spain edged England 1-0 in the final, becoming the second country after Germany to have won both men’s and women’s World Cup titles.
According to FIFA, the tournament had almost two million spectators inside stadiums and two billion watching all over the world.
– The 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup was staged in Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines from August 25 to September 10, marking the first time in history that the event has been hosted by multiple countries.
After defeating Serbia 83-77 in the final, Germany won its first World Cup with an unbeaten record in eight games, becoming the seventh different team to win the title. Germany guard Dennis Schroder was named the tournament’s MVP.
– The 19th Asian Games was held from September 23 to October 8 in Hangzhou, east China’s Zhejiang Province.
With breakdancing and esports making their debuts as official medal sports, the Hangzhou Asian Games featured 40 sports, 61 disciplines and 481 events, with participation from over 10,000 athletes from all 45 Olympic Council of Asia members.
China clinched 201 gold, 111 silver and 71 bronze medals, finishing atop the medal tally and bettering its previous best record of 199 golds at the 2010 edition in Guangzhou.
The 4th Asian Para Games took place in Hangzhou from October 22 to 28, with China winning 214 golds and 521 overall to top the medal tally for the fourth consecutive time.
– Both men’s and women’s marathon world records were shattered in 2023. On October 8, Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum became the first man to run a marathon in under 2:01:00, setting a new world record of two hours and 35 seconds to win the Chicago Marathon, while Tigst Assefa of Ethiopia lowered the women’s record with her 2:11:53 run to victory in the Berlin Marathon on September 24.
– Cricket and baseball/softball will return to the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games after the 141st International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session approved the proposal on October 16. Flag football, lacrosse and squash will also feature at Los Angeles 2028 as additional sports.
In a separate vote, IOC members confirmed that weightlifting and modern pentathlon will retain their Olympic places, after the International Weightlifting Federation took action to solve doping issues, and a makeover for modern pentathlon sees obstacle racing replace equestrian.
– Serbia’s tennis icon Novak Djokovic won the ATP Finals title for the seventh time on November 19, breaking the record of six titles he had shared with Roger Federer.
The 36-year-old won three Grand Slams in 2023, improving his tally of Grand Slam singles titles to 24, and he has surpassed Serena Williams’ 23 to take the lead in the Open Era.
– Red Bull’s Max Verstappen rounded off the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship with a typically dominant victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
This was Verstappen’s 19th win of 22 Grand Prix in a record-breaking year, as the Dutchman secured his third consecutive F1 Drivers’ Championship in the Qatar Sprint race in October. ■