International sports review of 2015
December 31, 2015 -- End of year package. Graphic shows a selection of key sporting events that took place during 2015. Events and people in the public eye included New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup triumph, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams dominating tennis, Chris Froome claiming his second Tour de France title, Jordan Spieth winning the U.S. Masters and U.S. Open golf, Chile winning the Copa America on home soil, and Andy Murray inspiring Great Britain to a first Davis Cup victory since 1936.
1. Jan 31 - Australia defeat South Korea 2-1 to win their first Asian Cup since joining the Asian Football Federation in 2006.
2. Feb 1 - Novak Djokovic wins the Australian Open against Andy Murray in four sets, setting the Serb on his way to his most successful season to date, claiming both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open crowns in addition to a fourth consecutive ATP World Tour title. He is, however, denied a career and calendar grand slam at Roland Garros when Swiss star Stan Wawrinka beats Djokovic in four sets to claim his second grand slam title.
3. Feb 1 - Quarterback and MVP Tom Brady leads the New England Patriots to their fourth Super Bowl Crown against the Seattle Seahawks. The Patriots somehow clawed back a 10-point deficit in the final quarter to triumph 28-24.
4. Feb 8 - Cote d'Ivoire claim their second African Cup of Nations title, beating Ghana 9-8 on penalties after the final finished goalless.
5. Mar 29 - Hosts Australia capture their fifth ODI Cricket World Cup, clinching a seven wicket win against New Zealand.
6. Apr 12 - Jordan Spieth, 21, becomes the second youngest winner of the U.S. Masters Tournament. It leads to the start of a stellar year for the young American who added the U.S. Open Championship before overtaking Rory McIlroy to finish the year as the world's number one golfer.
7. May - Jose Mourinho's Chelsea earn their first Premier League trophy for five years. Elsewhere Barcelona secure the La Liga crown, Juventus win a fourth consecutive Serie A and Bayern Munich storm to the Bundesliga title.
8. May 2 - Billed as the “Fight of the Century”, undefeated Floyd Mayweather beats eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas. Mayweather would fight once more in 2015, securing victory against Andre Berto before announcing his retirement with a 49-0 unbeaten record.
9. Jun 6 - American Pharoah becomes the first horse to win the U.S. Triple Crown since 1978.
10. Jun 6 - Barcelona capture their fifth European Cup with a 3-1 victory over Juventus in Berlin. Domestic league and cup wins help the Catalan side wrap up a record second treble, with stars Messi, Suarez, and Neymar firing them to glory.
11. Jul 4 - Host nation Chile win the Copa America for the first time defeating 14 time winners Argentina in the final on a penalty shoot-out.
12. Jul 5 - The USA claim their third Women's World Cup with victory over Japan, turning the tables in a rematch of the 2011 final which Japan won on penalties. Carli Lloyd scored the first hat trick in the soccer final’s history, scoring three goals in the first 15 minutes of the match.
13. Jul 20 - American Zach Johnson clinches the British Open Championship in a four-hole playoff against 2007 Masters winner Louis Oosthuizen and Australian Marc Leishman at St. Andrews.
14. Jul 29 - Chris Froome becomes Britain's first two time winner of the Tour de France despite accusations of doping. In December Froome published his physiological test results in a bid to prove his tour victories were clean.
15. Aug 16 - Jason Day secures the U.S. PGA Championship with a record score of 20 under par. Day beat his nearest challenger, world number one Jordan Spieth, by three strokes.
16. Aug 23 - Usain Bolt defies the odds to defeat American rival and former drug cheat Justin Gatlin by a hundredth of a second to retain his world 100m title in Beijing’s Bird's Nest stadium. Four days later Bolt retains his 200m crown in more emphatic fashion against the same opponent.
17. Sep 11 - Serena Williams just misses out on a historic calendar Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows after losing to unseeded Italian player Roberta Vinci in the semi-finals, leaving her with a 26-1 record at grand slams in 2015.
18. Oct 25 - Lewis Hamilton clinches back to back F1 titles with his 10th victory of the season at the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin. It is Hamilton's third championship win, making him the first British driver since Jackie Stewart to achieve the feat.
19. Oct 31 - New Zealand retain the Rugby World Cup with victory over fierce rivals Australia. For hosts England, however, it proved one to forget as they claimed the unwanted title of becoming the first host nation to exit at the pool stage.
20. Nov 3 - Michelle Payne becomes the first female jockey to win Australia’s top horse race, the Melbourne Cup, riding Prince of Penzance.
21. Nov 8 - Jorge Lorenzo claims his third Moto GP title, narrowly beating his Yamaha teammate, 9-time champion Valentino Rossi.
22. Nov 13 - Russia becomes the first country in sporting history to be banned from athletics competition because of alleged widespread doping offences uncovered by WADA's (World Anti- Doping Agency) Anti-Doping report.
23. Nov 28 - After 19 successful defences, Wladimir Kiltschko loses his WBO, IBF and WBA titles to undefeated Tyson Fury in Germany – a rematch is rumoured to be scheduled for Wembley Stadium in 2016.
24. Nov 29 - Andy Murray leads Great Britain to a first Davis Cup triumph since 1936, beating Belgium 3-1 in the final in Gent. It is 79 years since Britain last lifted the trophy after Fred Perry won the decisive fifth rubber against Australia.
25. Dec 1 - Football stars Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid, and Lionel Messi and Neymar, both of Barcelona, wait to find out who will win the coveted Ballon d’Or in January. (Story: Adam Stephens)