Top Moments for American Sports in 2015
Top Moments for American Sports in 2015
What was the most exciting moment for American sports in 2015? This is a hard-to-answer question because great team performances were eyed this year, such as Chile’s, since it was the first time the country held the America Soccer Cup. We also witnessed the outstanding results obtained by Canada’s delegation during the Pan-Am Games organized by Toronto and we cannot stop mentioning the remarkable Jamaican athletes, who conquered seven titles in the Athletics World Championship, in Beijing, or the victories collected by the Cuban boxers that regained the universal crown at the World Championship, carried out in Doha.
Chile’s First Title in the America Soccer Cup
It was the seventh time Chile organizes the oldest tournament of national teams in the world. The teams participated with their spearhead players, except for Uruguay, which couldn’t play with Luis Suarez as he was sanctioned by FIFA because of his biting an Italian player in Brazil. The favorite teams went to quarterfinals, although the outcomes weren’t as expected. For instance, Brazil was defeated by Colombia, Argentina tied the game against Paraguay, and Uruguay barely qualified to the third position. Chile was the only one to stand out in the first stage, by scoring 10 goals.
There were surprises and polemics in quarterfinals. Brazil, without Neymar on the field as he was excluded due to his insults against the referee in Colombia, lost in the penalty phase with Paraguay; Argentina prevailed over Colombia; Chile defeated Uruguay—a game that is also remembered because of Gonzalo Jara’s obscene gesture against Edilson Cavani— and Peru played way better than Bolivia.
The two favorite teams imposed their game style in the semi-finals. Argentina thrashed Paraguay (6-1) and Chile beat Peru 2-1. This was the fifth time the Chilean team goes to the final of the America Cup. They had lost in the previous editions of the event; nevertheless, the story was different in front of their people.
Directed by Jorge Sampaoli, they stood against the powerful Argentinean offensive, headed by Lionel Messi, and they sent the game to penalties. That was when goalkeeper Claudio Bravo shone and in Santiago de Chile’s National Stadium, packed with people, the Red team celebrated its title in the America Cup.
Chilean Eduardo Vargas was the co-leading scorer of the Cup, with four goals, the same number obtained by Peruvian Paolo Guerrero. Moreover, Chilean Arturo Vidal scored three goals.
Canada’s Remarkable Performance in Toronto Pan-Am Games
Toronto neatly organized the 17th edition of the Pan American Games. Once again, the United States won this sports event, but the Canadian delegation actually hit the headlines. The organizing country did a great job with its athletes, who achieved historical numbers: 78 titles and a total of 217 medals.
Canada easily took the second position and it widely surpassed Brazil, Cuba and Colombia. In individual terms, Canadian gymnast Ellie Black stood out with five medals, three of which were golden; while Whitney McClintock, water ski, got four medals and cyclist Monique Sullivan climbed to the top position of the podium three times.
Jamaica Once Again Excelled in a World Athletics Championship
Jamaican sprinters, led by Usain Bolt, showed in Beijing Word Championship that they are still the best of the world. Some people were expecting Bolt to give up his title in 100 and 200 meter dash, but it didn’t happen. In the hectometer Bolt left his rival, US Justin Gatlin, behind for barely a hundredth (9,79 - 9,80 seconds) and he later prevailed in 200 meter dash. Furthermore, he pushed the 4x100 relay. With these three titles, Bolt became the athlete with the highest number of gold medals in the history of World Championships.
As for the ladies, Shelly Ann-Fraser shone with her spectacular victory in 100 meter dash, as well as Danielle Williams in 100 meter hurdles and Jamaica won two relay races. With seven titles and 12 medals, the Caribbean athletes finished second in the World Championship, right behind the surprise of the event, Kenya, since it was the first time that country wins an event of this category.
Cuba Regained the Crown in the World Boxing Championshihip
After a decade without winning the World Boxing Championship, the Cuban boxers recovered the crown in Doha. The insertion of the Tamers in the World Series, an event that takes several characteristics from professional boxing, was fruitful as it leveled up the experience of a group made up of talented fighters. The Cuban team collected four gold medals in Doha and it was the winner of the tournament.
The largest applauses were received by Lazaro Alvarez and Julio Cesar La Cruz, who became triple world champions. Joahnys Argilagos y Arlen Lopez were monarchs in Qatar.
Venezuela, Canada Prevailed in FIBA Americas and Guaranteed their Ticket to Rio
FIBA Americas championships granted ticket to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Without the presence of the United States, which is already qualified, Venezuela played the leading role in the men’s tournament by winning this event.
In the first and second stages of the tournament, organized in Mexico, the Venezuelan team was unstable. They finished fourth and just a few people thought that the team coached by Argentinean Nestor Garcia would have an opportunity; nonetheless, in the semifinal game against super favorite Canada, the South American team went victorious by a one-point difference and it got its Olympic ticket. It later made history by defeating Argentina. Heissler Guillent amazed everybody with his game and he was included in the initial team for the championship.
The women’s Olympic qualifying tournament took place in Edmonton. The US players weren’t there because they are world champions and they go directly to Rio. The duel was carried out by Canada, Cuba and Brazil. Finally, both the local team and the Cuban one went to the game for the title and the Canadian team, with the most valuable athlete of the tournament Kía Nurse, defeated Cuba 82-66 and qualified to the Olympic Games.