Anthony 'Bomber' Breeze.
Anthony 'Bomber' Breeze. Rob Williams

Performances, efforts that captured Aussie, world attention

AS the 2016 sporting year draws to a close, let's relive the great team efforts, individual performances and the winners of the eight gold medals from this year's Rio Olympics.

Rugby league saw the fairytale win to the Cronulla Sharks, which finally gave their supporters something to cheer about.

Closer to home and Goodna Football Club were our Ipswich competition premiers with victory over Brothers.

AFL also saw a surprise but deserving winner in the Western Bulldogs while the Wellington Hurricanes were crowned Super 14 winners.

For the soccer tragics, rank outsiders Leicester savoured a once in a lifetime victory to lift the EPL title.

Barcelona (LA Liga) and Bayern Munich (Bundesliga) won their respective titles.

On home soil, a determined Adelaide defeated The Wanderers.

In tennis, Novak Djokovic claimed two titles (the French and Australian Opens). Stan Wawrinka won the US Open.

The year however belonged to new No 1 Andy Murray who won Wimbledon and a host of other events.

Women's tennis saw three different winners in Angelique Kerber (Aussie, US), Garbine Muguruza (French) and Serena Williams (Wimbledon).

In netball, the ANZ Championships went to another level but so did our Queensland Firebirds, who rose to the occasion to win back-to-back titles.

A golf major proved hard to win with four different players clinching a title. They were Danny Willet (Masters), Dustin Johnson (US Open), Henrik Stenson (British) and Jimmy Walker (PGA).

This year also saw Gary Anderson retain his darts world title.

At the Rio Olympics, my favourite moment was watching champion rower Kim Brennan show all the determination she is known for to win gold in the single sculls.

Other Aussie winners were Mack Horton (400 freestyle), Kyle Chalmers (100 freestyle), Catherine Skinner (trap shooting), Tom Burton (sailing), Chloe Esposito (modern pentathlon), our women's 4x100m swimming team and Australia's women's Rugby Sevens side.

My 2016 sporting awards

Sportsman of the year: Michael Phelps - he proved again that he is the greatest swimmer of all-time, winning five gold medals at the Rio Olympics and boosting his gold tally to 23. Special mentions: Patrick Dangerfield, Johnston Thurston, Mack Horton, Kyle Chalmers, Tom Burton, Usain Bolt.

Sportswoman of the year: Tyler Wright - winning her first world title was an awesome achievement. She proved to the world that surfing was truly in her blood. Special mentions: Kim Ravaillion, Chloe Esposito, Kim Brennan, Catherine Skinner, Charlotte Caslick.

Team of the year: The Cronulla Sharks finally breaking their drought and winning their maiden premiership. Special mentions: Western Bulldogs, Goodna FC, Queensland Maroons and the Wellington Hurricanes.

Sports show of the year: "After The 80". A show produced by USQ students that brought local rugby league onto the TV screens. Special mentions: Sterlo, Marty Johns Show, Back Page and the The Footy Show (AFL/NRL).

Goodbye to

Muhammad Ali: The greatest boxer that has entered the ring.

Gordie Howe: One of the greatest ice hockey players of his time, nicknamed Mr Hockey.

Arnold Palmer: He was Mr Golf and the only player to have an Army.

Bernard "Midget" Farrelly: A surfing superstar before surfing got huge.

Forbes Carlile: A man who trained several Olympic track and field stars.

Dud Beattie: Ipswich-bred league player who rose to the pinnacle of the sport in the toughest years of the game.

Mario Milano: He was my sporting idol when growing up watching the local wrestling in TV.

Norman May: A sports broadcaster whose exciting calls were legendary.

Bob Oatley: A winner of our greatest sailing race on eight occasions with the SuperMaxi "Wild Oats".

Max Walker: Tangles was a star on and off the cricket field.

Saintly, Better Loosen Up, Octagonal: Three champion racehorses that gave us some very special moments.

I would like to wish my loyal readers a Merry Christmas and a safe new year.

I hope to see you all in 2017.



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