Top sporting moments of 2014

From the pitch to the stadium, from the court to the racetrack, 2014 was full of moments for posterity. We recap the main ones.
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS: German fans celebrate in the streets of Berlin after the team won the FIFA World Cup in Brazil .(Photo: istockphoto)
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS: German fans celebrate in the streets of Berlin after the team won the FIFA World Cup in Brazil .(Photo: istockphoto)

Germany go fourth

In the biggest sporting spectacle of the summer, Germany clinched the ultimate prize in football, the 2014 FIFA World Cup. This historic achievement not only made the Germans four-time world champions, but also gave them the distinction of being the first European team to win the title in South America.

Sinister Suarez bites again

The saying goes; once bitten, twice shy. However, this is not applicable to Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan striker was suspended from all footballing activity for four months after biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in the World Cup. This was Suarez’s third biting incident and Barcelona will be hoping such behaviour will not happen again while he dons the blue and red stripes.

La Décima

The 2014 UEFA Champions League Final was a hotly contested derby between Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid. Real overcame their city rivals and won their first European title since 2002. This also marked the Los Blancos as the first team to win 10 European Cups, an achievement known as ‘La Décima’.

Underdog Wawrinka wins first Grand Slam

In a result that shocked many, Stanislas Wawrinka defeated Spain’s Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final back in January. He was only the second Swiss to win a Grand Slam title, after Roger Federer. Wawrinka became world number 3, entering the top 5 for the first time. He also replaced Federer as Swiss number 1; another first.

Brazilians humbled on home soil

With the hopes of an entire nation resting on their shoulders, Brazil suffered humiliation at the hands of eventual World Cup winners Germany in the semi-final. The 7-1 drubbing meant that it was the worst loss suffered by a host country in World Cup history. The Brazilian’s streak of being unbeaten for 62 competitive matches at home was also broken.

Hamilton comes out on top

In this F1 season, the main talking point was the rivalry between Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. The two often battled it out both on and off the track, sparking drama in the F1 world. When it was all done and dusted, Hamilton had the last laugh as he became the world champion for only the second time.

New lady-in-charge

A new breakthrough in basketball took place when Becky Hammon was appointed the assistant coach of the San Antonio Spurs. The retired basketball player became the first female full-time assistant coach in NBA history and this also makes her the first full-time female assistant coach in in any of the four major professional sports in North America.

Record-chasing Williams

A third consecutive US Open victory meant Serena Williams tied Chris Evert’s record for most US Open titles with six. It was also her 18th career Grand Slam, which moved her to fourth on the all-time list and second in the Open Era, behind only Steffi Graf’s feat of 22 titles.

Bianchi’s horror crash

In early October, Frenchman Jules Bianchi was racing in the Japanese Grand Prix which experienced heavy rainfall. Bianchi lost control of his car, colliding head-on with a tractor crane removing another car. An unconscious Bianchi was transported to a hospital where he was diagnosed with a severe head injury and was in critical condition. The world prayed for Bianchi as he lay in a comatose state.

Arsenal finally taste success

Nine long years after their last triumph, Arsenal finally won their first piece of silverware when they beat Hull City to win the FA cup in May. This historic moment was savoured by players and fans alike, after having been criticized often for failures to deliver results and add trophies.