As 2017 nears the end‚ we take a look at some of the moments that captivated sports fans allover the world over the past 12 months.
January 3: Australian opening batsman David Warner becomes only the fifth cricketer in history to score a century before lunch on the first day of a test.
January 7: English footballer Wayne Rooney equals Bobby Charlton’s all-time leading goalscorer mark with Manchester United.
His FA Cup goal against Reading takes Rooney‚ 31‚ to 249 goals in 543 games‚ reaching the landmark 215 matches and four seasons quicker than Charlton.
January 12: Hashim Amla scored a century in his 100th test against Sri Lanka in the third cricket test at the Wanderers.
January 12: American Justin Thomas‚ 23‚ becomes the youngest man to break 60 on golf’s PGA Tour‚ shooting an 11-under 59 in the first round of the Sony Open in Hawaii.
February 7: Indian cricketer Mohit Ahlawat becomes the first batsman to hit a triple century in Twenty20 cricket.
March 4: Top South African athletics sprinter Akani Simbine runs the 100 and 200 on the same day‚ breaking 10sec and 20sec barriers — 9.93s in the 100 metres and 19.95s in the 200 metres.
March 11: England retains the Six Nations rugby title and equal New Zealand’s world record for consecutive test wins‚ 18‚ with a seven-try 61-21 demolition of sorry Scotland at Twickenham.
March 13: Muirfield Golf Club votes by a large majority to drop its men-only policy and welcome female members for the first time.
April 3: Bhongolwethu Jayiya scores the fastest hat-trick in the Premier Soccer League‚ three goals in 10 minutes for Cape Town City in their 4-1 win over Chippa United at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town.
April 8: The Stormers beat the Chiefs 34-26 at Newlands in what is widely considered to have been one of the epic Super Rugby matches of all time. Dillan Leyds throws a stunning pass while seated on the ground to SP Marais to score.
April 9: Sergio Garcia wins the Masters‚ his first major‚ in a playoff against Justin Rose.
April 15: Lungile Gongqa breaks a Cape Town drought of 44 years in winning the 2017 Two Oceans Ultra Marathon in Cape Town. It made Gongqua the first Capetonian to win the 56-kilometre race since Don Hartley in 1973.
April 26: South African Gift Ngoepe becomes the first African player in Major League Baseball when he turns out for Pittsburgh Pirates against the Chicago Cubs. The Pirates win 6-5.
April 29: Anthony Joshua‚ 27‚ of Britain‚ knocks out Wladimir Klitschko‚ 41‚ in the 11th round to add the WBA world heavyweight boxing title to his IBF crown at London’s Wembley Stadium.
May 14: The Blitzboks win the world sevens rugby title by beating Scotland in the final of the Paris leg‚ the second last leg of the sevens world series. It’s their second title‚ the first having been in 2009. They won five out of nine tournaments on the series.
May 17: Wits win their first PSL title after beating Polokwane City 2-0.
May 26: Kumar Sangakkara scores his fifth successive first-class century for Surrey in the English cricket county championship.
It puts him in league of only three other players‚ CB Fry (1901)‚ Wally Hammond (1938) and Michael Hussey (2003).
June 28: Wayde van Niekerk breaks the world 300m record‚ his second world best.
July 1: The British and Irish Lions beat a 14-man All Blacks team (without Sonny Bill Williams‚ red-carded for a shoulder charge on Anthony Watson in the 25h minute) 24-21 to square the rugby test series.
July 1: 20-1 outsider Marinaresco wins the Durban July‚ narrowly from favourites Al Sahem and Edict of Nantes.
July 2: Leg spinner Wanidu Hasaranga of Sri Lanka becomes the third player in the history of one-day cricket to claim a hat-trick on debut. He does so against Zimbabwe.
July 8: All Blacks and Lions draw 15-15 at Eden Park to share the rugby test series 1-1. Three Barrett brothers feature in the test for the All Blacks: Beauden‚ Jordie and Scott.
July 15: Gabine Muguruza beats Venus Williams 7-5 6-0 in the Wimbedon women’s tennis final.
July 15/16: South Africa’s juniors top the medal table at the under-18 world athletics championships (in the absence of the Americans‚ Chinese‚ Cubans and British). The contingent of nine boys and three girls win five gold‚ three silver and three bronze.
July 16: Roger Federer beats Marin Cilic 6-3 6-1 6-4 in the Wimbledon men’s tennis final. He becomes the first man to win Wimbledon eight times and extends his record to 19 grand slam titles.
July 16: Lewis Hamilton wins the British Grand Prix at Silverstone to tie the all-time record of five career motor-racing wins in the British Grand Prix.
July 16: Adrian Boros of Hungary becomes the first non-South African to win the Berg River canoe marathon‚ his time for the four legs is 16hrs 53min 11.4sec
July 17: South Africa win the second cricket test against England by 340 runs at Trent Bridge‚ having lost the first.
July 22: Brandon Grace shoots a 62 in the third round of the British Open at Royal Birkdale‚ the lowest single round in a major golf tournament.
July 23: Chris Froome wins his fourth Tour de France.
July 23: England beat India at Lord’s in the Women’s World Cup cricket final.
July 26: Chad le Clos wins the men’s 200m butterfly gold medal at the world championships after defeating home favourite Laszlo Cseh‚ the defending champion‚ in Budapest.
July 27: Beauden Barrett gets a hole-in-one at the Steyn City golf course‚ two days before the Hurricanes lose to the Lions in a Super rugby semifinal at Ellis Park.
July 29: The Lions come back from 22-3 down against the Hurricanes at Ellis Park and win the Super semifinal 44-29.
July 30: Moeen Ali of England becomes only the fourth bowler in test cricket history to seal a match with a hat-trick against South Africa at the Oval.
August 3: Neymar becomes the most expensive player in soccer history after completing his transfer to Paris St.-Germain from Barcelona for 222 million euros ($262 million).
August 5: Luvo Manyonga completes a triumph in the long jump at the world athletics championships in London. His second-round leap of 8.48m takes gold from the US’s Jarrion Lawson by four centimeters and fellow South African Ruswahl Samaai is third.
August 8: Reigning world champion Wayde van Niekerk wins 400m world title at the world athletics championships.
August 13: Caster Semenya wins the women’s 800m on the closing night of the world athletics championships in London. The Olympic champion’s time of 1min 55.16sec is a personal best and a world leading time for 2017.
August 13: Justin Thomas wins his first major golf title with a two-shot victory at the US PGA Championship at Quail Hollow.
August 21: Rafael Nadal‚ 31‚ returns to the No 1 position in men’s tennis‚ replacing Andy Murray. It is the first time since July 2014 that he has been at the top.
August 26: Floyd Mayweather beats Irishman Conor McGregor by way of technical knockout in the 10th round of their much-hyped megafight in Las Vegas to keep his perfect record intact.
August 27: Caster Semenya breaks world record in the 600m in Berlin in a time of 1min 21.77sec which was 0.86sec than the previous best set by Cuba’s Ana Fidelia Quirot in 1997.
September 6: Kevin Anderson reaches the semifinals of a grand slam tennis tournament for the first time by beating Sam Querrey in the US Open. Anderson wins 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (9-11) 6-3 7-6 (9-7) in a match that began on a Tuesday night and ended at 1.51am on Wednesday morning.
But he lost 6-3 6-3 6-4 four days later to Rafael Nadal in the final.
September 9: Unseeded Sloane Stephens beats fellow American Madison Keys to win the US Open at Flushing Meadows.
September 10: Martina Hingis‚ 37‚ wins two titles at the US Open — women’s doubles with Yung-Jan Chan of Taiwan and mixed doubles with Jamie Murray. It takes Hingis to 25 grand slam titles.
September 29: South Africa’s Kirsty McCann wins the lightweight women’s single sculls crown at the rowing world championships in the US .
October 7: Simona Halep becomes world No 1 in women’s tennis when she beats Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko 6-2‚ 6-4 in the semi-finals of the China Open.
October 7: Bafana Bafana beat Burkina Faso 3-1 at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg in a 2018 World Cup qualifier.
October 7: The Springboks lose 25-24 to the All Blacks at Newlands‚ but all agree it’s a big improvement after losing 57-0 to the same team in North Harbour the previous month.
October 8: Kagiso Rabada‚ 22‚ becomes the youngest bowler in test cricket to reach 100 wickets with his 10 for 63 against Bangladesh in Bloemfontein where South Africa win by an innings and 254 runs on the third day.
October 8. Iceland seal a place in the 2018 World Cup Russia 2018 with a 2-0 victory against Kosovo in Reykjavik‚ becoming the smallest nation ever to qualify for football’s World Cup finals.
October 9: Claire Polosak‚ 29‚ becomes the first woman to umpire a men’s elite cricket match. She stands at the Hurstville Oval in Sydney in the List A game between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI.
October 10: Lionel Messi scores a hat-trick as Argentina come from behind to win away in Ecuador and qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
October 15: Former world No1 Maria Sharapova wins her first tennis title since May 2015 beating Aryna Sabalenka 7-5 7-6 (10-8) in the Tianjin Open final.
October 15: Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla blitz a century each to become South African cricket’s most prolific ODI pair of all-time. On the back of their innings‚ South Africa wins by 10 wickets against Bangladesh.
October 15: Roger Federer defeats Rafael Nadal 6-4 6-3 to win the Shanghai Masters‚ breaking Nadal’s 16-match winning streak. Nadal still holds a 23-15 winning edge over Federer.
October 21: The Wallabies beat All Blacks 23-18 in Brisbane in the Bledisloe Cup
October 23: Cristiano Ronaldo is named the world’s footballer at the 2017 Best Fifa Football Awards in London.
October 28: Western Province win the Currie Cup for the 34th time by beating the Sharks 33-21 at King’s Park in Durban.
October 29: David Miller scores the fastest century in cricket’s T20‚ 35 balls – 10 balls faster than the existing record held by Richard Levi.
October 29: South Africa beat Pakistan by two wickets to win the Hong Kong Sixes cricket tournament.
October 29: Lewis Hamilton finishes ninth in the Mexican Grand Prix‚ but wins the world Formula One motor-racing title because Sebastian Vettel‚ his closest rival‚ finishes fourth instead of at least second to keep the race alive.
October 31: An organising board of World Rugby recommends South Africa as hosts of the 2023 Rugby World Cup. From the criteria‚ South Africa ranks highest with 78.97%‚ France second with 75.88% and Ireland third with 72.25%. But South Africa still lose out to France in the final vote.
November 1: Rafael Nadal beats Hyeon Chung in the second round of the Paris Masters tennis tournament to ensure that he will end the year at No 1.
November 11: South African batsman Shane Dadswell scores 490 runs for his club‚ North West University Pukke‚ against Potch Town’s first team in a 50-overs club cricket match.
Dadswell slammed 57 sixes and 27 fours in a 151-ball innings on his 20th birthday.
November 12: Branden Grace of South Africa wins the Nedbank Golf Challenge by a single shot.
November 16: Rafael Nadal is awarded damages after a former French sports minister had accused him of doping.
November 19: Chad Le Clos wins a $150 000 (R2.1-million) bonus for finishing the World Cup series as the top-ranked male swimmer.
November 19: South Africa’s Zolani Tete retains his WBO bantamweight boxing title by beating compatriot Siboniso Gonya with the fastest ever world title KO after just 11 seconds.
November 23: Maro Marais of Border breaks the world record for the fastest ever triple century in a first-class cricket match by bludgeoning an unbeaten 300 off 191 balls against Eastern Province in East London.
December 2: Wits win the Telkom Knockout‚ beating Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 in Durban.
December 2: The Springbok sevens rugby team retain their Dubai title by beating the All Blacks 24-12 in the final.
December 7: Cristiano Ronaldo beats Lionel Messi – again — to win the Ballon d’Or award for the fifth time and second year in a row.
December 9: Seabelo Senatla becomes the fifth and fastest man in history to score 200 tries in rugby’s World Sevens Series when he scores during the Blitz Boks’ 31-5 win over France at Cape Town Stadium.
December 12: Egyptian Mohamed Salah is voted BBC African Footballer of the Year for 2017.
December 13: Raelene Castle‚ 47‚ is appointed chief execuive of Rugby Australia to become the first woman to head one of Australia’s four football codes.
December 16: Steve Smith scores his 22nd test century and his fastest from 138 balls in the third Ashes test against England at the Waca.