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First Sports Rewind 2023: A Year of Champions

Welcome to a special edition of First Sports, where we rewind and reflect on the sporting personalities who stamped their class on the world stage and announced their dominance in the year 2023.

Novak Jovic: The Ageless Champion

Our first sports person of the year is none other than Novak Jovic. The man has defied age, competition, and has proved that he’s going to overhaul every single fact that has existed in the world of tennis. Despite losing an exhibition match recently to young sensation Carlos Alcaras, Jovic has broken multiple records this year and reiterated his hold as world number one.

Jovic has called 2023 one of his best years in his tennis career. The Serbian broke multiple records and the 36-year-old is extremely proud of his achievements throughout the year. He won his 24th Grand Slam and surpassed his rival Rafa Nadal. This year, Jovic ended the season ranked world number one, something he has now done a record eight times in his career.

Simone B: A Comeback Story for the Ages

Next on our list is Simone B, a world-beater gymnast who fought mental challenges to come back even stronger. After taking a long break from the sport in 2019 due to mental health issues, she made a triumphant return in the middle of 2023. She broke record after record and there is no stopping her. Her target is the Paris Olympics and she is not flinching.

Max Verstappen: The Man on Fire

Our next superstar is Max Verstappen, who set the racetracks on fire in 2023. There was him and then the rest. There’s no record that he didn’t break. In the Red Bull driver’s seat, there was no podium that Verstappen didn’t finish on. At 26, he’s already reset plenty of Formula 1 record books and is on the way to greatness.

Aana Bonmati: The Rising Star

Our next superstar is a personal favorite. She’s the youngest in the list of sports persons who conquered 2023. She’s a captain of her side and her rise to the top has inspired many back home in her town in Spain. Aana Bonmati not only won the Ballon d’Or this year for her stunning football achievements in the year 2023 but she has emerged as a leader in the world of football, representing women’s rights and reiterating how powerful passion for a sport can be.

Indian Superstars: Making Their Mark

Our last spotlight is on Indian superstars who redefined the year 2023. Topping that list is of course one man who’s the most followed in the country, Virat Kohli. He set the stage on fire in 2023 as well and surmounted a near-impossible record. He was the fastest to 50 ODI centuries, surpassing his own mentor and legendary Sachin Tendulkar in the process.First Sports Rewind 2023: A Year of Champions

But it wasn’t just him. There are many Indian athletes who made this year their very own, putting India up on the global stage and making a mark internationally. From Neeraj Chopra, the unstoppable javelin thrower who dominated the global stage, to Shial Devi, a 16-year-old girl from Jammu and Kashmir who was born with Phocomelia syndrome, a rare disorder which kept her upper limbs underdeveloped, but who had other plans for herself.

As we say goodbye to this year, there’s one comeback story that cannot be slept on. During the 5,000 m race at the Asian Games, Indian Runner Parul Chaudhary was in second place when the bell for the final lap was rung. Chaudhary gave in a sudden burst that no one saw coming, nudging past the Japanese Runner. It was a sight that gave goosebumps to everyone watching. Chaudhary’s adrenaline push won her and India the gold in the 5,000 m race.

From Pat Cummins leading Australia to victory at the ODI World Cup to South Africa winning Rugby World Cup 2023, surely it was a year for sporting champions. Now we hope you enjoyed our picks for the sporting moments that we think defined 2023 and the people who made it that much more special. All I can say is I can’t wait for what 2024 will bring with it. Till then, of course, you take care. Here’s wishing you a very happy new year once more. I’ll see you next year.

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