Monday, 19th December
World Aquatics in Melbourne
The 16th World Aquatics World Swimming Championships (25m) concluded successfully yesterday in Melbourne, one of Australia's favourite host cities for major sports events. We witnessed six days of incredible performances and with so many to mention, we will report on some of the highlights. France set the tone by smashing the Mixed 4x50 Freestyle Relay world record. Team USA's men did the same in the 4x200 Freestyle. Canada's Maggie Macneil set a world record in the 50m Backstroke and the 100m Fly, with the 100m Medley world record going to Italy's Thomas Ceccon. It was Italy again in the 4x50m Medley Relay who previously set a world record in 2021 and repeated the performance in 2022. Australia's Emma McKeon is the fastest freestyler in the world with championship records in the 50m and 100m. Cayman Islands made history winning their first-ever gold medal by Jordan Crooks.
Japan's Daiya Seto has dominated the 400m Short Course for a decade with his sixth gold medal. Lithuania's Rūta Meilutytė set a 50m Breaststroke world record, with the ever-green Chad le Clos from South Africa winning the 100m and 200m Fly. USA's women set a world record in the 4x100m Medley Relay. The best male and female athletes are USA's Ryan Murphy and Canada's Maggie Macneil, with USA as the best team. Altogether there were 14 world records, 6 world junior records, and 23 championship records.
It may be regarded as the best FIFA World Cup Final of all time. Qatar delivered a match that ended 2-all in fulltime, 3-all in extra time, and 4-2 in penalties going to eventual champions Argentina. Croatia ended the tournament in third place. FIFA also indicated that the next format of 48 teams may be reviewed, as the current world cup was from their perspective a great success.
We have a number of ski and snowboard world cup results. Arosa in Switzerland hosted Freestyle Ski Cross with Sandra Naeslund (SWE) and Terence Tchiknavorian (FRA) as the winners. Andreas Prommegger (AUT) and Michelle Dekker (NED) won the Snowboard Parallel Giant Slalom in Carezza, Italy. Staying in Italy where Val Gardena hosted men's Downhill. Gold went to Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR). Ramsau in Austria was the location for the Nordic Combined Gundersen Normal Hill HS98, with Gyda Westvold Hansen (NOR) and Vinzenz Geiger (GER) winning the 5km and 10km respectively. Nadine Faehndrich (SUI) and Federico Pellegrino (ITA) claimed the Sprint Free finals at the Cross-Country World Cup in Davos Switzerland. The 20km Individual Start Free went to Jessie Diggins (USA) and Simen Hegstad Krueger (NOR).
The best freestylers were in Copper Mountain in the States. Freeski Big Air was won by Megan Oldham (CAN) and Birk Ruud (NOR), while Rachael Karker (CAN) and Birk Irving (USA) claimed gold in Freeski Halfpipe. For snowboarders Big Air went to Mari Fukada (JPN) and Marcus Kleveland (NOR), while Halfpipe winners were Queralt Castellet (ESP) and Scotty James (AUS). Cervinia in Italy hosted Snowboard Cross with Charlotte Bankes (GBR) and Loan Bozzolo (ITA) as the champions. Alpe d'Huez in France was the location for Freestyle Moguls. Jakara Anthony (NZL) and Ikuma Horishima (JPN) won gold, while Anri Kawamura (JPN) and Ikuma Horishima (JPN) claimed Dual Moguls. Snowboarders were also at Cortina d'Ampezzo in Italy for Parallel Giant Slalom. Gloria Kotnik and (SLO) and Roland Fischnaller (ITA) are the champions. St. Moritz in Switzerland hosted women's Alpine with Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) and Sofia Goggia (ITA) winning Super G and Downhill. Over in Engelberg the men completed Ski Jumping with Dawid Kubacki (POL) as the champion.
Rio de Janeiro hosted the 2022 World Boccia Championships. Brazil won two titles, with six other nations also claiming gold. Egypt are the World Squash Federation Women's World Team Champions after defeating USA in the final in Cairo to retain their title. Brazil's men and Turkey's women are the IBSA Goalball World Champions.
Lake Placid in New York hosted the next International Bobsleigh & Skeleton World Cup. Skeleton titles went Matt Weston (GBR) and Tina Hermann (GER). Women's Monobob was claimed by Laura Nolte (GER), while Johannes Lochner (GER) and Kaillie Humphries (USA) lead their respective 2-man and 2-woman Bobsleigh teams to victory. Brad Hall (GBR) overcame favourite Francesco Friedrich (GER) to lead his 4-man Bobsleigh team to gold.
Dajana Eitberger (GER) and Dominik Fischnaller (ITA) won the singles titles at the next FIL Luge World Cup hosted at Park City, Utah. Italy and Germany won the women's and men's doubles titles. Three IIHF Men's U20 Ice Hockey World Championships took place last week. Norway won Division I, Group A and join the elites next year. Division I, Group B winners are Poland, while Great Britain are the Division II, Group A winners.
Annecy in France hosted the next IBU Biathlon World Cup. Johannes Thingnes Boe (NOR) and Anna Magnusson (SWE) are the Sprint champions, while Pursuit titles went to Sturla Holm (NOR) and Elvira Oeberg (SWE). Johannes Dale (NOR) and Lisa Theresa Hauser (AUT) are the Mass Start champions.
Alexander Mikhailovich Schwarzman and Darya Tkachenko won the Polish Open Draughts World Cup in Julinek, Poland. Jitse Slump and Darya Tkachenko are the World Rapid Champions played at the same venue. Micheal Vanthourenhout (BEL) and Puck Pieterse (NED) are the elite winners of the next leg of the 2022-2023 UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup in Trentino, Italy. Gemma Triay and Alejandra Salazar are the women's champions at the World Padel Tour Barcelona Master Final. The men's champions are Ale Galan and Juan LeBron.
Nick Egnot-Johnson, Sam Barnett, Zak Merton, Bradley McLauglin have been crowned the 2022 Open Match Racing World Champions after an incredible five days of sailing in Sydney Harbour. They represented the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squad.
In snooker three-time world champion Mark Williams (47) became the oldest player to make a competitive 147 break. In cricket news, Australia thrashed South Africa in the first test at the Gabba in Brisbane within two days. The match lasted 144.3 overs making it the eighth shortest completed match in Test history. In the Big Bash T20 tournament in Australia, Sydney Thunder were bowled out for only 15 runs, the lowest ever in T20 cricket. Finally, Poland's Iga Swiatek and Spain's Rafael Nadal were both honoured with the International Tennis Federation World Champions awards.
Until next time, have a great week in sport.