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GALLERY: Memorable sporting year in review

2016-12-20 18:11

Cape Town - A review of notable sporting moments during 2016 (in no particular order):

Michael Phelps brought the curtain down on one of sport's most storied careers to give himself 23 Olympic gold medals, when he finished with five golds and a silver at the Rio Olympic Games.

American gymnasts dubbed 'The Final Five' - contesting of Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Gabby Douglas - was part of the gold medal-winning team at the Rio Olympics. Biles set an American record for most gold medals in women’s gymnastics at a single Games with her four gold and one bronze medal in Rio.

South Africa's Caster Semenya won gold in the women's 800, as she set a new personal best as well as a new national record with a time of 1:55.28 at the Olympic Stadium in Rio.


Angelique Kerber became tennis' new women's world No 1, as she marked her rise over Serena Williams by winning the US Open and Australian Open title.


In April, sports minister Fikile Mbalula suspended the privileges of SA Rugby, Cricket South Africa and Athletics SA from bidding for international tournaments due to lack of transformation.


Leicester City completed arguably the greatest fairytale in sporting history by becoming English Premier League champions, as Claudio Ranieri led his team to 23 wins out of 38 games with just three defeats.


The Springboks had a year to forget as the Springboks could only muster four wins from 12 Test matches under the helm of new coach Allister Coetzee.


Faf du Plessis led the Proteas to a historic 2-1 series victory against Australia, as the South Africans clinched their third successive series victory Down Under.


Britain's Chris Froome won his third Tour de France title, as he finished with an almost three-minute advantage over runner-up Frenchman Romain Bardet and third-placed Nairo Quintana.


In what has been somewhat a year to forget for Bafana Bafana, Shakes Mashaba's charges clinched the 2016 COSAFA Castle Cup when they defeated Botswana 3-2 in at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek.


The Titans edged the Warriors by six runs in the T20 Challenge final at SuperSport Park in Centurion.


Heavyweight boxing legend Muhammad Ali died at the age of 74, after a long battle against Parkinson's Disease on June 3.


Tiger Woods returned to golf for the first time competitively since he shared 10th at Greensboro in August 2015. The 14-time major winner finished on four-under par 284 at the Hero World Challenge invitational event in the Bahamas.


Portugal sealed the Euro 2016 final with a 1-0 win over France, delivering the country's first international title.


The Free State Cheetahs deservedly claimed a 36-16 win over the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup Final in Bloemfontein.


Nico Rosberg, 31, quit Formula One just five days after winning the world title for Mercedes - in a move that shocked motor racing.


Iceland stunned at the Euro 2016 as they secured a 2-1 win against England in what has been known as one of football's biggest shocks.


Mamelodi Sundowns were crowned African champions when they defeated Egyptian giants Zamalek 3-1 on aggregate in the CAF Champions League final.


The West Indies stunned England with an unlikely four-wicket win to lift the World Twenty20 title in Kolkata.

Andy Murray ended Novak Djokovic's 122-week reign as world No 1, as the 29-year-old capped off his spectacular 2016 season with Olympic gold, Wimbledon title, ATP Tour Finals title and among others.

The United States recaptured the Ryder Cup by ripping Europe 17-11 for their most decisive triumph since 1981 in the biennial team golf showdown.

The Lions blitzed their way through to the Super Rugby final, where Johann Ackermann's men lost to the Hurricanes 20-3 in Wellington.


South African racing driver Gugu Zulu tragically passed away on July 18 while summiting Mount Kilimanjaro. He was 38.


Cape Town City won their maiden trophy after they defeated SuperSport United 2-1 in the Telkom Knockout Final at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.


South Africa's Brad Binder climbed through the field to claim the Moto3 world title at the Aragon Grand Prix, as the 21-year-old became the first person from his country to claim a world title since Jon Ekerold in the now defunct 350cc category in 1980.


'The King' Arnold Palmer, one of golf's greatest, died on September 26 at the age of 87. The seven-time major title winners career spanned more than six decades that redefined golf.


Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt accomplished the unprecedented "triple-triple", as he completed a third consecutive clean sweep of the 100m, 200m and 4x100m titles at the Rio Olympic Games in August.


Team South Africa took home 17 medals (7 gold, 6 silver and 4 bronze medals) at the Rio Paralympic Games to finish 22nd on the medal table.


South Africa's Wayde Van Niekerk smashed Michael Johnson's long-standing 400m record when he stormed to gold with a time of 43.03 at the Rio Olympic Games in August.


All images: Gallo, Getty and SASPA

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