2013 was Good for some and Bad for some. We present to you the top 5 sporting breakthroughs in 2013:
1. Marc Marquez, MotoGP champion
The 20-year-old Spanish rookie became the youngest MotoGP champion when he held his nerve to finish third in the final race of the season in Valencia to pip holder Jorge Lorenzo to the title.
Six race wins, nine poles and 16 podiums made him the second rookie to win the Premier Class in motorbike racing, among a plethora of records he set.
2. Brianna Rollins, 100 meters hurdles world champion
The American turned heads when she clocked the fourth fastest time ever for the 100 meters hurdles at the world championship trials in June, shortly after turning professional.
She showed that was no fluke by taking world championship gold in Moscow one day before her 22nd birthday, pushing holder Sally Pearson of Australia into second place.
3. Paul George, NBA’s Most Improved Player
The Indiana Pacers surprised many in the NBA by reaching the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in nine years in May with Paul George at center stage.
Having lost forward Danny Granger to injury for the entire campaign, George stepped up and averaged a career-high 17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game in the 2012-13 season.
His duels with Miami’s LeBron James in the Finals were a particular highlight.
George won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award, was handed a first All-Star selection and has continued that sterling work at the start of an impressive 2013-14 campaign.
4. Gibraltar becomes UEFA member
The rocky territory became UEFA’s 54th member association in May and its national team held Slovakia to a creditable 0-0 draw in a November friendly.
Gibraltar had gone through a bitter 14-year court marathon against Spain’s objections to their footballing ambitions.
5. Scott ends long Australian wait for Green Jacket
Australia has produced numerous great golfers but none tasted success in the U.S. Masters at Augusta until Adam Scott this year.
After eight runner-up finishes by his fellow countrymen, three achieved by Greg Norman, Scott finally ended the wait for a prized Green Jacket by overcomming Argentine Angel Cabrera in a playoff in April when he sunk a 15-foot putt on the second extra hole.