There is a lot to soak in from an action-packed 2018. We saw some incredible performances, shock upsets and enough controversies to keep fans glued to the TV (or phone) screens.
From the FIFA World Cup to the Formula One championship, there was something to entertain fans across the globe. Needless to say, there can’t be a consensus regarding what was the most memorable moment of the year.
So Sport360 asked its writers to name their picks for the top moment of the year. Enjoy…
Eagles’ Super Bowl win
Not only did the Philadelphia Eagles upset the odds by beating New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, they did so under the leadership of back-up quarterback Nick Foles. Carson Wentz’s stand-in rose to the occasion at Super Bowl 52, going toe-to-toe with Tom Brady and coming out on top. He even scored from an outrageous trick play before half-time. A 41-33 win crowned the Eagles champions for the first time since 1960.
Diego Maradona has rarely been lost for words. But an interview with ESPN Mexico saw the usual contortionist skills applied to his facial muscles, rather than the football, as he hilariously spent more than 10 seconds concocting an answer to an inane question. This shouldn’t detract, however, from excellent work at Dorados, whom he took to the brink of promotion. Some retort for a farcical end to his Fujairah adventure.
Burns’ try disaster
Never celebrate before you win. It’s a simple rule and the importance of that was made amply clear to Bath full-back Freddie Burns who celebrated prematurely while completing what would have been a late match-winning try in their Champions Cup match against Toulouse. Before he could finish the job, Maxime Medard tapped the ball out of Burns’ hand. A great lesson for every athlete out there – it is never over until it is over.
Ireland’s win over the All Blacks
It had been a long time coming but Ireland finally beat the All Blacks on home soil in November to cap off a remarkable year. Joe Schmidt’s side added to their Grand Slam triumph and first series win in Australia since 1979 in June as they sent out a warning before the Rugby World Cup. The win over the All Blacks provided confirmation of the team’s world class ability and adds belief ahead of September’s showpiece.
Ana Hegerberg creates history by winning the Ballon d’Or Feminin
As a woman, making a name for herself in a sport where the men get most of the recognition was never going to be easy. But Hegerberg believed in her dreams and created history by becoming the first woman to win the Ballon d’Or Feminin. The 23-year-old has won plenty of silverware in her career, but clinching the prestigious individual award is sure to sit top of her achievements to date.
Shockwaves reverberated around the cricketing world as a bizarre press conference unfolded at Newlands. It was an incident that shook Australian cricket to the core. It saw star batsman Steve Smith lose out on international cricket for a year with David Warner copping the same punishment. The ball-tampering saga has forced Australian cricket to introspect as they look to overhaul their dressing room culture.
Sophia Florsch’s crash
It was literally car crash television. We never see the cannon, but can only assume it is there as Sophia Floersch’s car hurtles into view before punching a hole into a stand. Then come the waves of guilt as a witness to someone’s final moments – how can someone survive that? – but somehow, the teenager cheated death. She emerged from her Formula 3 car conscious, if with a (fully treatable) spinal fracture. Now she can continue pursuing her F1 dream, but wow – that was some early claim to fame.
Starting and finishing in the northern emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, the incredible Urban-Ultra Big Stinker ultra-trail run adventure takes you into the wilderness of the United Arab Emirates.
The fully supported single-stage race, which features a choice of 15km, 30km and 45km distances to entrants, will see you transcend through the rocky mountain terrain and over the spectacular sand dunes of the Emirate.
This is a race not to be missed and one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the year.
Running over difficult ground and in warm temperatures is a challenge not for the faint-hearted or those who haven’t done much training leading up to the race.
But, equally, the run is suitable for first-time desert runners who want to try something different as well as seasoned endurance campaigners.
Most of all, though, the Urban-Ultra is perfect for determined, gutsy and positive individuals. If you think you fit the bill, hurry as you only have until January 10 to sign up.
As part of the registration, which you will make via Premier Online, each participant will receive a timing chip and t-shirt.
With a 07:00 start, you need to be prepared to run early as your body will be tested to its very core.
Checkpoints, water, fruit and electrolytes are all provided by the event organisers throughout – but runners have to carry their mandatory kit, with full details found in the athlete guide when you sign up.
Back packs, sand gaiters, hats, sunglasses and sun cream are some of the things you will need to carry among your belongings.
At the finish line, every runner will pick up a well-deserved medal and be able to share their race experiences with fellow competitors in the race village, where refreshments will be served.
WHAT: Urban-Ultra Big Sitnker
WHERE: Ras Al Khaimah
WHEN: Friday, January 18
CONTACT: For more information or to register, visit urbanultra.com or www.premieronline.com
The third annual Hello Kitty Run Dubai saw thousands of runners take part in the 5k event in Zabeel Park.
The run, presented by Babyshop, turned the park blue and pink as families gathered to celebrate the occasion. This year’s event had a special Winter Wonderland theme to get participants in the festive spirit, and provided entertainment before and after the event.
After taking the Hello Kitty runners around Zabeel Park, the fun continued beyond the finish line with activities in the Entertainment Village. Food stalls, inflatables, clowns, magic shows and beauty services were all on offer to the participants following the race.
“We are proud for staging this prestigious event in Dubai as it is a great way for us to engage with the community through exercise and healthy lifestyle education which is in line with the vision and mission of the UAE leadership,” said Abdulrahman Jandali, Regional Manager MENA Sanrio.
“It’s amazing to see the appeal Hello Kitty has here in the UAE among adults and children alike and the smiles of the participants
“The Hello Kitty Run Dubai is now a permanent fixture on the local events calendar and we are already planning for 2019, which also marks the 45th birthday of Hello Kitty.”
Eric M. Gottschalk, CEO of organisers MMC Sportz Marketing commented: “We are thankful for the tremendous local support we receive each year, which shows in the kind of activations our partners are conducting around the venue to enhance the experience of the participants. We hope to expand the event into other GCC countries soon.”
The Dubai Hello Kitty run was sponsored by USA Pears, Emirates NBD, Virgo International, Daman Insurance, Cheeky Monkeys and Golds Gym.