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2023- Year in Sports: Top sporting highlights, revisited

From prominent Indian wrestlers alleging that former Indian wrestling chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh sexually harassed female athletes to India’s splendid performance at the Asian Games and Asian Para Games 2023 in Hangzhou, here are the key sporting moments of the year. 


18 Jan: Wrestlers Protest-

The year began with Indian wrestlers like Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, and Sakshi Malik protesting and accusing Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of sexually harassing female wrestlers during his tenure as the president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).

29 Jan: FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup-

Germany won against Belgium in a penalty shootout of 5-4 after a 3-3 tie at the end of the fourth quarter in the final. India, as the host, concluded its campaign with a disappointing ninth-place tie with Argentina.

29 Jan: Women’s U19 World Cup 2023-

India won the inaugural ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup by defeating England with seven wickets. Titas Sidhu was awarded the player of the match.

29 Jan: Australian Open 2023-

Novak Djokovic secured his 10th Australian Open title and 22nd major Grand Slam by defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6–3, 7–6(4), 7–6(5), matching Rafael Nadal’s record. Aryna Sabalenka claimed her first major singles title at the 2023 Australian Open on January 28 by defeating Elena Rybakina 4–6, 6–3, 6–4.


16 Feb: Ranji Trophy 2023-

Saurashtra, led by Jaydev Unadkat, won its second Ranji Trophy final in three seasons, defeating Bengal by nine wickets at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Unadkat, named the Player of the Match, took nine wickets, including a notable 6/85 in the third innings.

READ | Best quotes from the world of sports in 2023

26 Feb: ICC Women’s T20 World Cup-

Beth Mooney struck a match-winning unbeaten 74 as Australia claimed its sixth and third consecutive Women’s T20 World Cup title with a 19-run victory over host South Africa.


26 Mar: Women’s Premier League-

Harmanpreet Kaur settled scores with Meg Lanning, this time in a franchise league. Mumbai Indians secured the maiden WPL title by relying on Harmanpreet’s resilient 37 and another unbeaten half-century from Nat Sciver-Brunt, defeating Delhi Capitals by seven wickets.

26 Mar: IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships 2023-

India finished with four gold medals, equalling its best-ever performance from 17 years ago at the event. Nitu Ghanghas, Nikhat Zareen, Lovlina Borgohain and Saweety Boora were the gold medallists who helped India rank first on the medals tally ahead of China, which had three golds.


14 Apr: Asian Wrestling Championships 2023-

Aman Sehrawat won India’s sole gold medal at the Asian Wrestling Championships 2023 after defeating Almaz Smanbekov 9-4 in the men’s 57kg category. Antim Panghal, Rupin Gahlawat and Nisha Dahiya won silver while 10 other wrestlers won bronze raising India’s medal tally to 14.

30 Apr: Badminton Asia Championships 2023-

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty created history by becoming the first-ever Indian men’s doubles pair to win gold medal at the Badminton Asia Championships. The Indian duo beat the Malaysian pair of Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi 16-21, 21-17, 21-19 in 67 minutes in the final in Dubai.


29 May: Indian Premier League 2023-

Chennai Super Kings defeated Gujarat Titans by five wickets in a rain-hit match at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad to clinch its fifth Indian Premier League title, equalling Mumbai Indians’ record. CSK captain MS Dhoni, in his 11th final, also equalled Rohit Sharma for the most titles as captain.

READ | From Sania Mirza to Stuart Broad, here are 10 sportspersons who retired in 2023


11 Jun: Manchester City treble-

Manchester City beat Inter Milan 1-0 in the 2022-23 Champions League final to win the competition for the first time in history. Having won the Premier League and FA Cup earlier, the UCL win meant that Man City became only the second club in England after arch-rival Manchester United to win the coveted treble. 

11 Jun: French Open 2023-

Novak Djokovic secured his record 23rd Grand Slam singles championship, surpassing Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. He achieved this with a 7-6(1), 6-3, 7-5 victory over Casper Ruud at the French Open. In the women’s singles, Iga Swiatek successfully defended her French Open title by defeating Karolina Muchova 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 on June 10.

13 Jun: NBA Finals 2023-

MVP Nikola Jokic’s 28 points helped the Denver Nuggets beat the Miami Heat 94-89 to bring its first NBA title to Mile High City. The Nuggets ended a 47-year championship wait by taking the best-of-seven series 4-1.


15 Jul: Messi-MLS transfer

Lionel Messi departed from European football after signing with Major League Soccer (MLS) club Inter Miami. Messi, who left Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer, signed a contract through the end of the 2025 MLS season with Miami.

16 Jul: Wimbledon 2023-

Carlos Alcaraz put aside a poor start and surged down the stretch to end Novak Djokovic’s 34-match winning streak at the All England Club by edging him 1-6, 7-6(6), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 in an engaging, back-and-forth final. Marketa Vondrousova left Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur heartbroken once again as she claimed a surprise 6-4, 6-4 victory to become the first unseeded player to win the Wimbledon women’s singles title on July 15.

30 Jul: Swimming World Championship 2023-

A total of 10 world records were broken at the Swimming World Championship 2023 held in Fukuoka, Japan. Additionally, Katie Ledecky clinched gold in the 800m freestyle to become the swimmer with most gold medals at the Worlds, eclipsing the record of Michael Phelps. She also became the first swimmer to win any event at the world championships six times when she won her signature race, the 800m freestyle.

READ | Best Moments of 2023 in Sports: Kohli’s record-breaking 50 ODI centuries, Neeraj-Jena show at Asian Games


6 Aug: World Archery Championships 2023-

India’s Aditi Swami and Ojas Deotale won the individual compound gold in their respective events at the World Archery Championships 2023. Jyothi Surekha Vennam and the women’s compound team won bronze and gold, respectively.

12 Aug: Asian Champions Trophy 2023-

India came back from a two-goal deficit to defeat Malaysia 4-3 and win its fourth Asian Champions Trophy hockey title at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium in Chennai.

20 Aug: FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023-

Olga Carmona’s sole goal helped Spain clinch its debut Women’s World Cup title, beating England 1-0 in the final. Spain’s first major international trophy made it the first European team to win the Women’s World Cup since Germany in 2007.

24 Aug: Magnus- Praggnanandhaa FIDE World Cup

Magnus Carlsen came good when it mattered and stopped R. Praggnanandhaa 2.5–1.5 for his maiden World Cup title in Baku, in Azerbaijan. After the two classical games ended in draws, Carlsen won the first rapid game when Praggnanandhaa erred under time pressure on the 42nd turn. Facing a must-win situation in the second game with black pieces, Praggnanandhaa could not get the position from which he could put pressure on Carlsen and, at best, could get a draw.

READ | F1 2023 Wrapped: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

26 Aug: BWF World Championships 2023-

H.S Prannoy’s dream run at the World Championships ended after he lost in three games to Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand in the men’s singles semifinal to sign off with a bronze, extending India’s record of having at least one medallist in the showpiece since 2011.

  27 Aug: World Athletics Championships 2023-

India finished tied 18th after Neeraj Chopra’s 88.17-metre javelin throw landed him his first World Championship title in Budapest after missing the same in Eugene last year. Another breakthrough performance was the men’s 4x400m team, which stunned the crowd with a splendid run of 2:59.05 in the heats to qualify for the final and break the Asian record. In the final, however, they could only finish fifth.


10 Sep: US Open 2023-

Novak Djokovic clinched a 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3 victory over Daniil Medvedev at Flushing Meadows to claim a historic 24th Grand Slam title in a match more closely contested than the straight-set score indicated. Coco Gauff surged to her first Grand Slam title at age 19, coming back to defeat Aryna Sabalenka 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the U.S. Open final on September 9.

17 Sep: Diamond League Final 2023-

Neeraj Chopra landed a best throw of 83.80m to finish second at the Diamond League finals in Eugene. Chopra had won the crown in 2022 with a best attempt of 88.44m. Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch ended as the Diamond League champion with a best throw of 84.24m, which came on his final attempt.


8 Oct: Asian Games-

India finished its campaign at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, with a total of 107 medals, its biggest-ever haul at a single edition. The medal haul comprised 28 gold, 38 silver and 41 bronze with the country achieving its best performance in terms of specific colours as well. Shooting fetched India the most number of gold medals (seven) followed by athletics (six) and archery (five).

10 Oct: Satwik-Chirag top World ranking

Indian Men’s Doubles pair of Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty rose to number one in the BWF rankings for the first time in their careers. The Indian duo sealed the top spot after securing gold in the Men’s Doubles in the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou. Satwik-Chirag beat South Korea’s Choi Solgyu and Kim Wonho in straight games to win India’s first ever badminton gold in the Asian Games.

28 Oct: Asian Para Games 2023-

India finished fifth in the medal tally with an impressive total of 111 medals—29 gold, 31 silver, and 51 bronze. Not only did the 2023 edition see India’s best-ever performance at the Asian Para Games, but it was also the country’s highest gold medal tally at this event, with the previous highest being in 2018, with a difference of 14 gold medals between the two editions.

30 Oct: Hermoso-Rubiales kiss controversy-

After beating England 1-0 in the women’s World Cup final, while the Spain players were celebrating the feat, then Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales forcibly kissed Jenni Hermoso on the lip. After FIFA’s investigation, the matter went to court, and a restraining order on Rubiales was imposed. The final nail in the coffin for Rubiales was when FIFA banned him from football for three years.

31 Oct: Ballon d’Or-

Argentina captain Lionel Messi clinched a record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or, beating Norway’s UEFA Player of the Year and treble winner Erling Haaland of Manchester City to the prestigious prize.


19 Nov: ICC World Cup 2023-

Travis Head’s 137 helped Australia defeat India by six wickets to clinch its record-extending sixth ICC World Cup title at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

26 Nov: Verstappen’s 19th win

Red Bull’s triple world champion Max Verstappen wrapped up a year of unprecedented dominance with his record-extending 19th win in 22 races at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. With this win, the 26-year-old was in third place on Formula One’s all-time list of winners, becoming the first driver to lead 1,000 racing laps in a single championship and scoring a record 575 points.

28 Nov: Sheetal Devi becomes World No 1

Indian para archer Sheetal Devi became the World No 1 in the women’s compound archery open category. Sheetal, who topped in her category with 230 points, had jumped two places to achieve this feat. She is world’s first-ever armless female archer to compete internationally and hails from Jammu and Kashmir. 


9 Dec: WPL 2024 Auction-

Thirty slots across five franchises were filled in the 2024 Women’s Premier League auction in Mumbai with five players making it to the crorepati club. All-rounder Kashvee Gautam became the most expensive uncapped cricketer in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) after being snapped up by Gujarat Giants for Rs. 2 crore.

16 Dec: Vijay Hazare Trophy 2023-

Haryana won its first ever Vijay Hazare Trophy after beating Rajasthan by 30 runs in the final played at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot. Ashok Maneria, who played for Rajasthan before this season, led Haryana to the title.

16 Dec: IND-W vs ENG-W, One-off Test-

 India recorded the biggest win in women’s Tests with a 347-run triumph over England, surpassing the previous best of 309 by Sri Lanka against Pakistan. India’s win was its sixth in 39 Tests. It was also India’s first win over England at home, extending its overall positive head-to-head to 3-1 across 15 meetings.

19 Dec: IPL 2024 Auction-

The IPL 2024 Player Auction, held overseas for the first time, saw 72 players worth 230.45 crore rupees being snapped up by 10 teams at the Coca Cola Arena in Dubai. Australia’s Mitchell Starc became the most expensive player ever to be sold at the IPL Auction when the Kolkata Knight Riders acquired the pacer’s services for Rs. 24.75 crore.

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