Six key moments for women in sport in 2020

Sportsbeat
·4 min read
England claimed their second successive Grand Slam, despite the Women's Six Nations being put on hold for six months Action Images/Andrew Boyers

The year of contrasts. The year that will never be forgotten. The year where we expected so much.

2020 was supposed to be the year where we had an action-packed summer full of sport with the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo the highlight of the calendar.

Instead, there were many months with little competitive action as preparation was substituted for make-shift gyms and home setups.

Despite the nature of 2020, there were plenty of sporting highlights to behold at across the world.

Record-breaking crowd at the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final

Back in February the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup was taking place in Australia and although the semi-finals proved to be a washout, the final was a showstopper.

Played on International Women’s Day, the final saw Australia take on India in front of 86,174 people at the Melbourne Cricket Ground – becoming the largest crowd for a women’s sporting event in Australia.

The country once again proving that if you put women’s sport on a platform, people will attend in their droves to watch the spectacle.

After a batting masterclass by Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney, the hosts clinched victory by 85 runs and secured their fifth T20 World Cup title.

Outsider Sophia Popov claims emphatic win at Royal Troon

One of the moments of the summer was the fairytale which happened on the greens at Royal Troon.

After nearly quitting golf the previous year, Sophia Popov started the week at the AIG Women’s British Open ranked 304th in the world.

She qualified for the major tournament after a top ten finish at the LPGA classic and once she arrived in Scotland she didn’t look back.

The opening two days saw Scottish weather play its part but Popov remained in contention, on Saturday she soared intro a three-stroke lead and she held her nerve on the final day to win by two shots and become Germany’s first female major winner.

Naomi Osaka puts justice front and centre in US Open victory

On her way to her third major title, Osaka made sure she was using her platform in the best way she could.

Throughout the tournament, the US Open champion wore a face mask to and after each match with the name of an African-American who has been killed.

The Black Lives Matter movement was a pivotal moment this year and Osaka ensured the conversation continued by highlighting racial injustice and police brutality.

In the final at Flushing Meadows, Osaka beat Victoria Azarenka 1-6 6-3 6-3 to claim her second US Open title.

Hollie Doyle’s remarkable rise continues

It was another record-breaking year for Hollie Doyle who added plenty of accolades to her name.

Earlier this year the 24-year-old jockey broke her own record for the number of winners ridden by a British woman in a year with 120 victories, but she’s surpassed that and now sits on 150.

At Windsor she became the first woman to ride five winners on the same card, and she’s also clinched her first victory at Royal Ascot.

While in December she became the first woman to ride a winner at the International Jockeys’ Championship in Hong Kong, with her annual exploits seeing her nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

England complete consecutive Grand Slam

In a Women’s Six Nations Championship unlike any other, England continued their dominance by claiming their second successive Grand Slam.

The Red Roses started with a hard-fought victory against France, before putting in thumping victories over Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

But the champagne was on ice for Simon Middleton’s side, who had to wait over six months to complete their feat.

They travelled to Parma and cruised to victory over Italy to ensure they continued their unbeaten run in the tournament.

Bryony Frost and Frodon finish 2020 on a high

It was a thrilling end to the year for Bryony Frost as she claimed a historic victory by winning the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase.

The 25-year-old and Frodon, who won the 2019 Ryanair Chase together at The Cheltenham Festival, proved to be the perfect pairing once again.

The 20-1 shot, who is trained by Paul Nicholls, dictated the pace of the race to perfection and came away with top honours at Kempton.

But that wasn’t all as the victory also ensured that Frost has won more winners than any other British female jump jockey.