Yearender: Top 10 world sports news events in 2019

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-27 20:22:19|Editor: huaxia
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BEIJING, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- Here is Xinhua News Agency's selection of the 10 most significant pieces of international sports news in 2019, in chronological order:

On June 1, Liverpool won an all-English UEFA Champions League final, beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 to win the title for the sixth time. The Reds had last won Europe's premier club tournament in 2005, when they beat AC Milan on penalties following an epic 3-3 draw after extra-time. Continuing their stellar 2019, Liverpool then clinched the FIFA Club World Cup title for the first time after beating Copa Libertadores winners Flamengo 1-0 on December 21. (Xinhua/Guo Qiuda)

Italian cities Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo were appointed hosts of the 2026 Winter Olympic Games at the 134th session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on June 24. The Italian cities defeated the rival Swedish bid from Stockholm and Are. (Xinhua/Cao Can)

The United States national women's soccer team successfully defended their FIFA World Cup title on July 7, beating the Netherlands 2-0 in the final of the 2019 edition. Forward Megan Rapinoe was named the tournament's best player and top scorer. (Xinhua/Chen Yichen)

In tennis, Spanish legend Rafael Nadal and Serbian superstar Novak Djokovic shared the four Grand Slams in 2019, as Nadal won a record-extending 12th French Open title in addition to the U.S. Open, while Djokovic claimed the Australian Open and Wimbledon titles. (Xinhua/Li Muzi, Han Yan, Hu Jingchen)

From September 14 to 29, the Chinese women's volleyball team finished undefeated in all 11 games to win the 2019 FIVB Women's World Cup in Japan. This is the fifth time in the history that China has won the tournament, beating Brazil's previous record of four. Chinese captain Zhu Ting was named MVP, and was selected in the team of the tournament along with teammates Yan Ni, Wang Mengjie, and Ding Xia. (Xinhua/Du Xiaoyi)

On September 17, an animated giant panda named Bing Dwen Dwen and a red lantern baby called Shuey Rhon Rhon were unveiled as the two mascots for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. The preparatory work for Beijing 2022 remained on track as the main structure for the Winter Olympic Village was completed on December 3, 28 days ahead of schedule, and global recruitment for Games volunteers began on December 5. (Xinhua)

Argentina's Lionel Messi was named 2019 FIFA Player of the Year on September 23, beating Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo. The 32-year-old Barcelona forward also won a record sixth Ballon d'Or title in December.

On October 12, marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya became the first person to run the 42.2km marathon distance in under two hours, doing so in Vienna in one hour 59 minutes 40 seconds. However, his time was not considered an official marathon world record owing to the use of pacemakers and the lack of open competition. (Xinhua/Guo Chen)

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was crowned Formula 1 world champion for the sixth time this season with 413 points, after a dominant pole-to-flag victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on December 1. The 34-year-old Briton is now just one title shy of Michael Schumacher's record of seven. (Xinhua/Wang Peng)

On December 9, the World Anti-Doping Agency slapped Russia with a four-year ban from international sporting events, preventing the country from having any formal presence at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Ten days later, Russia's anti-doping agency RUSADA decided to appeal the decision. (Xinhua/Chen Congying, Liu Qian)