Review of 2016: July - December
Athletics

Review of 2016: July - December

28 December 2016 / 17:16

2016, what a year it’s been. Our most successful foreign Games of all time and countless memorable moments besides.

So as we approach 2017, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the highlights from the past 12 months.

If you missed the first half of our review, from January to June, then check it out here!

July

ChrisFroome

In what had already been a historic year on the court, Andy Murray went one step further with a second Wimbledon singles title under his belt.

Dropping just two sets in the entire tournament, the emotional 29-year-old blitzed his way to the final, showing himself a class above to overcome Milos Raonic 6-4 7-6 7-6 in what he considered his "most important tournament".

And from Wimbledon magic came French magnificence in the form of Chris Froome.

To get two Tour de France titles is something special, but to get three in four years puts you among the best to have competed in the sport.

Already giving the Tour one of its most enduring images when running up Mont Ventoux, bike in hand, the Team Sky rider completed a stunning three weeks, winning two stages en route to his third crown.

Elsewhere, leading from the front proved a common occurrence in July. It was a new month, but the same old Brownlee brilliance saw the brothers take the podium’s top two spots for the second successive race in World Triathlon Series victory in Stockholm.

August

HockeyGold

When it comes to the Rio 2016, there’s little to be said that hasn’t been shouted from the rooftops in a quite outstanding effort from Team GB.

The task of following London 2012 was always going to be tough, but with a best-ever overseas Games the prize from Brazil, it’s fair to say it was a job well done.

Finishing second on the medal table only behind the United States, Team GB picked up 67 medals in all, with 27 gold, 23 silver and 17 bronze in total.

There was one house in particular running out of space in the mantelpiece, with Jason Kenny picking up a triumvirate of gold medals in Rio which, added to one in Beijing and two in London, saw him take the honour of Team GB’s most decorated gold medallist, with six alongside former teammate on the track Sir Chris Hoy.

And his then-fiancée Laura was certainly not going to miss out on the fun, defending her team pursuit and omnium crowns, with world records aplenty on the track and her way to two more gold medals.

Double-doubles were not done there though, with Mo Farah also executing brilliance on the track. His ninth major championship title, 5000m gold to match his 10,000m exploits, saw him repeat his London 2012 heroics and surpass Kenenisa Bekele as the most frequent winner of gold in history for major long-distance events.

Yet a historic Games still had more to offer, Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro capping off their partnership in scintillating style, picking up a third gold medal in the individual dressage.

But alongside multiple medals came a very first as Team GB won their maiden women’s hockey gold, defeating Netherlands in a nervewracking shootout.

Goalkeeper Maddie Hinch stole the show in a match that saw the 10pm BBC News moved to cover the finale, with Helen Richardson-Walsh and Hollie Webb netting in the shootout in an unbeaten Olympic Games for the side.

September

Brownlees

If you had feared the year would slow down after the dizzy heights of Rio, then September would have left you very much mistaken.

With the World Triathlon Series title in the balance, Jonny Brownlee stumbled just 500m from the line in Mexico, looking unlikely to carry on despite leading the race just moments from the end.

But in brother Alistair he had a valiant aid, carried and ultimately thrown over the line in dramatic circumstances, the two of them arm-in-arm one of the defining images of the year.

Brothers in arms proved a theme on the court too, though Andy Murray’s winning run came to an end as Kei Nishikori prevailed in the US Open semi-finals.

Sibling Jamie was to get his hands on more silverware, though, picking up a fourth Grand Slam title in the process as he and Bruno Soares overcame top seeds and defending champions Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

October

EnnisHill

While September had been a time for celebration, October would be for reflection as Jessica Ennis-Hill and Etienne Stott hung up their spikes and paddles for the final time.

The poster-girl for London 2012, heptathlete Ennis-Hill had fulfilled her mantra in extraordinary fashion, with no fewer than three personal bests on her way to gold medal glory.

She was to follow that up with silver in Rio, then making “one of the toughest decisions” she’s made to call it a day after an inspirational career.

And it was also a fond farewell for fellow 2012 gold medallist Stott, who received an MBE after winning a first ever Team GB canoe slalom gold medal in the men’s C2 alongside Tim Baillie, adding to three world bronzes and European gold in his distinguished career.

November

AndyMurray

Few could claim to have had a better year than Andy Murray, but the tennis ace was once again set for new honours as he went to world No.1 for the first time.

And he was to do it in some style too, firstly winning the Paris Masters before defeating rival Novak Djokovic in an absorbing ATP World Tour Finals face-off in London. Brother Jamie also ended the year on top spot with doubles partner Soares.

Elsewhere, not even a broken wrist could stop Katie Archibald from adding World Cup gold to an already-glittering 12 months, the Olympic team pursuit gold medallist and Six Day London champion enjoying UCI Track Cycling World Cup success with Elinor Barker.

November also saw winter action come to the fore, with Elise Christie more than impressing in a Calgary World Cup win, going on to break the speed skating world record just a couple of weeks later.

And there were more retirements too, with double Olympic champion Heather Stanning and George Nash laying down their oars.

December

Sir Bradley Wiggins

Having made an Olympic debut in Rio a few months previous, rugby sevens continued to make its mark as England clinched bronze in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai.

That was to be the same location for more success, with Chris and Gabby Adcock ending 2016 in scintillating style by claiming silver  in the World Superseries Finals in Dubai.

Yet the major gong was still to be rung, and in some way too. With 11 of the 16 BBC Sports Personality of the Year nominees Team GB athletes, the main prize fell to Andy Murray for the third time in four years.

Between the celebrations, Lizzy Yarnold found time to offer a special comeback, returning to the podium for the first time in 18 months in the skeleton in Lake Placid.

But the year was not done there, with Sir Bradley Wiggins - Team GB's most decorated Olympian of all time - hanging up his bike for the last time after a staggering eight medals - five of them gold - across four Games.

Sportsbeat 2016

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