In the past year, the key events in the sport world were supposed to be the Summer Olympics and the football championship Euro 2020, but the long-approved program was suddenly corrected by a pandemic. As a result, back in the spring, the largest world tournaments were postponed to the second half of 2021, and most of the smaller ones were canceled altogether. This news, of course, excited many, but it's hard to even imagine what a blow it was for those athletes who have been purposefully preparing for several years for Tokyo 2020 ...
Olympic Games in Tokyo postponed to the second half of 2021, photo WEB
Due to a dangerous COVID-19, the date of the main starts of the four-year period was postponed for the first time in history, because before that the Olympics were postponed only in connection with world wars. However, this is not all the losses of the coronavirus 2020 - the past year also was without the Ice Hockey World Championship, the Wimbledon tournament and many other important competitions.
So far for Russian athletes the victories in those championships were very inportant. And, by the way, there were a lot of them. So, for example, 24-year-old tennis player Daniil Medvedev for the first time in 11 years brought victory in the ATP Final Tournament in London and at the same time also became the first tennis player in history who defeated every athlete from the top three in the world rankings in the final. For such outstanding achievements, Medvedev, according to most sports observers in Russia, was named the best athlete of 2020.
Tennis player Daniil Medvedev, photo © nittoatpfinals.com
Another striking achievement of 2020 is the victory of skier Alexander Bolshunov in the World Cup. It is all the more remarkable because today Alexander is the only overall champion of the World Cup who competed under the Russian flag. Before Bolshunov, the Russians fought off the main ski trophy of the planet from the Norwegians back in the days of the Soviet Union.
Skier Alexander Bolshunov, photo © Sergey Bobilev / TASS
But on the bike track last year, women showed the result. In November Plovdiv met the European Championship, from which our trackers returned with five gold medals. The Russian athletes also showed themselves excellently at the European Judo Championship. The tournament in Prague became victorious for our wrestlers - three gold medals and a purely Russian final in the 100+ category, where the highest award went to the judoka Tamerlan Bashaev.
Tamerlan Bashaev, photo © AFP/ Jack Guez
There were also victories on the ice in 2020, which have recently become a tradition. The pupils of Eteri Tutberidze again made a splash at all six stages of the Grand Prix, where they took two victories each. And then Kostornaya, Trusova and Shcherbakova also took the entire podium at the European Championships in Graz. The world community seems to have already got used to the amazing performances of Tutberidze's students, but there have never been such outstanding results in the history of Russian figure skating.
Alena Kostornaya (gold), Anna Shcherbakova (silver) and Alexandra Turusova (bronze), photo © championat.com
Our athletes managed to perform in the individual Wrestling World Cup. The pandemic did not allow to organize a full-scale World Cup, because the Russian wrestlers gave their best at the tournament in Belgrade. As a result - 17 gold awards! Eight of them - for victory in freestyle wrestling, one less - in Greco-Roman, and two more - in women's.
At the end of the year, another high-profile event happened in the sports space - the last fight of Khabib Nurmagomedov took place, who today occupies the first line of the UFC rating among the best fighters regardless of the weight category. In October, at UFC 254, he knocked out American Justin Gage with a choke hold, after which he informed the stunned audience that this fight would put an end to his sports career ...
Khabib Nurmagomedov became the best UFC fighter out of weight categories, photo © tatler.ru
However, in addition to dizzying victories, this year the world of sports had a lot of tragic losses. At the age of 60, football genius Diego Maradona passed away. At 72, the coach of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atlético, died Radomir Antic.
In the middle of summer, at the age of 57, the coach who brought up 18 world champions in combat sambo, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, died from coronavirus ... But these outstanding people left behind a wonderful change, and 2021 will surely light up new names on the sports horizon, which will go down in history even with more striking victories.