2019 was a momentous year for women in sport, with many records being set for the first time, and other sporting records being broken after enduring for decades!
Let’s take a look at some of the big moments and records set by female athletes and teams in the world of sports, 2019-2020.
25 year old English professional darts player Fallon Sherrock became the first ever woman to beat a man at the Professional Darts Corporation World Championships, beating Ted Evetts in the first round 3–2. She followed this up with a win over World 11th Seed Mensur Suljovic in the second round.
Thanks to Fallon Sherrock, darts is no longer a man’s world.
On April 13, 2019, American boxer and two-time Olympic champion Claressa Shields became the undisputed women’s middleweight world boxing champion, defeating Christina Hammer by unanimous decision to claim the fourth and final belt in the middleweight division. The defeat was Christine Hammer’s first defeat in 26th professional fights.
It is the first time all the governing bodies titles (WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO) have been held by the same woman in the 160 pound division.
22 year American Simone Biles became the most decorated gymnast in history in 2019, breaking Vitaly Scherbo’s medal record when claiming her 25th at the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. At the 2019 competition In Stuttgart Biles won five separate disciplines – the all-around, the balance beam, the floor exercise, the vault and the team events.
19 of Biles’ 25 medals are gold, and she will be the one to watch at the Tokyo 2020 Games where she will undoubtedly be hoping to add the four Olympic gold medals she won in Rio, aged just 19.
Ethiopian-born Dutch middle- and long-distance runner Sifan Hassan did the double, winning both the 1500m and the 10,000m at the 2019 World Athletics Championships. On 12 July 2019, Hassan entered mile run at the Herculis meet in Fontvieille, Monaco where she broke an almost 23-year-old world record.with her final time of 4:12:33.
By November 2019, total attendance for all Women’s Super League matches the 2019/20 season had already surpassed that for the whole of the 2018/19 campaign. The opening weekend derby game between rivals Manchester City and Manchester United (the first time the two sides had ever met) had attendance of in excess of 31,000 people.
Golfer Jin Young Ko cemented an incredible feat into the golf history books in 2019. The South Korean ended a streak of going 114 holes without hitting a single bogey at the 2019 Cambia Portland Classic. Ko, the Rolex world No. 1 eclipsed Tiger Woods’ record of a 110 bogey-free holes in 2000. The streak ended when Ko had a par on the eighth, only to miss a 3-foot putt for par on the ninth.
“Now it’s done,” Ko said. “I’m free.”
While Australia’s 3-0 victory in their one-day international series against Sri Lanka looked like nothing particularly amazing on the face of it, the third and final win was record-breaking in women’s cricket.
With their eighteenth successive one-day-international victory (a run that spans almost two years and which eclipses their own previously held record of seventeen wins on the trot back in the 90’s) the Australian women’s team could break their Australian men’s cricket record of 23 ODI wins in a row.
Australia sweep #AUSvSL ODI series 3-0!
A brilliant 112* from Alyssa Healy and fifty from Rachael Haynes power their side to a comprehensive nine-wicket win over Sri Lanka.
This is Australia’s 18th women’s ODI win in a row 🔥
— ICC (@ICC) October 9, 2019
Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei has etched her name into the history books of sport with one of the greatest running performances ever.
25-year-old Kosgei smashed the women’s marathon record held for 16-years by Paula Radcliffe by more than a minute, recording a time of two hours 14 minutes 04 seconds at the 2019 Chicago Marathon, easily besting Radcliffe’s record of 2:15:25 which was set at the London Marathon in 2003.
After winning Silver in the 100 meters race behind Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Dina Asher-Smith improved to win the gold, Great Britain’s first ever world sprinting gold medal – in the 200 meters race at the 2019 World Athletics Championships.
The US Women’s football team set and broke a multitude of soccer records at the 2019 World Cup.
Interest and support for women in sport is evident in Ireland where this year’s GAA Women’s football final saw a rise of over 10% attendance year on year, with a total attendance of 56,114 – setting a new record. To give this milestone extra context, that figure is just 2000 short of the crowd size that attended the 2019 Women’s World Cup final in Lyon, France in Summer 2019.