Year Ender 2022: The highs, lows and heartaches in sporting world

The year 2022 was quite incidental in the world of sports. While Lionel Messi accomplished his long-cherished dream of lifting the Football World Cup, Indian Cricket Team fell two victories short of clinching the T20 World Cup.

Odisha, on the other hand, cemented its capability of hosting international sporting events by successfully organising FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and Odisha Open.

Here’s a look at the significant sports personalities and events for the year 2022.

Jayanti Behera: Odisha’s ace para-athlete Jayanti Behera brought laurels to the state as well as country as she bagged three medals at the IWAS World Games Portugal 2022. She clinched gold medals in 400m and 200m events besides securing a silver medal in 100 m sprint.

Deep Grace Ekka: Experienced defender of the Indian Women’s Hockey Team Deep Grace Ekka from Odisha won the prestigious Arjuna Award. Born in Sundargarh district, Ekka was a member of the Indian Women’s Hockey Team that won a bronze medal in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022.

Pramod Bhagat: Odisha’s ace para shuttler Pramod Bhagat successfully defended singles gold by defeating countrymate Nitish Kumar in the final of the BWF Para Badminton World Championships 2022 in Tokyo. He also won silver with Manoj Sarkar in the Men’s Doubles event.

FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup: Adding another feather to its cap as host of international sporting events, Odisha successfully co-hosted the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022. The World Cup was held at three venues– Kalinga Stadium (Bhubaneswar), Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (Goa) and DY Patil Stadium (Navi Mumbai).

This was the first FIFA competition to be hosted by the state of Odisha. As many as 16 countries took part in the 7th edition of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup held between October 11 and October 30, 2022.

SAFF U-20 Championship: Odisha hosted the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) U-20 Championship 2022 at the Kalinga Stadium between July 25 and August 5. As many as 5 teams– Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka and host India– took part in the tournament.

Cherry on the cake was India’s victory over Bangladesh in the Final of the competition.

Odisha Open 2022: Odisha organized its first Badminton World Federation (BWF) event namely Odisha Open in January 2022 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack. The Odisha government has decided to make this badminton tournament an annual event.

This was the first time Odisha hosted an international badminton tournament.

OCA elections: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) organizational general secretary and Jajpur MLA Pranab Prakash Das was elected unopposed as the new president of the Odisha Cricket Association (OCA).

Dutee Chand: Ace sprinter Dutee Chand took everyone by surprise when she entered dance reality show ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’ and shook a leg in front of judges — Madhuri Dixit, Karan Johar and Nora Fatehi.

However, she had to quit the show midway due to her participation in a sporting event.

Birendra Lakra: International hockey player Birendra Lakra of Odisha landed in a major controversy as he was accused of murdering his friend Anand Toppo at a house in Infocity area of Bhubaneswar. The family members of the deceased levelled the allegation against Lakra.

Asia Cup 2022: You might want to forget this tournament if you are a fan of the Indian Cricket Team. The ‘Men in Blue’ were the hot favourites of the competition, especially after beating arch rivals Pakistan in their first match of group stage.

However, Team India failed to maintain the momentum as they were defeated by Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the Super Four round, thereby failing to make it to the final.

T20 World Cup 2022: Disappointment was far from over for Team India fans in the T20 World Cup as well. The Rohit Sharma-led team emerged as a prominent contender for the trophy by registering a thrilling victory over Pakistan in a nail-biter and defeating other teams in the group stage, barring South Africa. 

However, hopes of fans were dashed as England hammered India in the semi-final with a comprehensive win by 10 wickets.

Shane Warne: The death of legendary cricketer Shane Warne left the cricket fraternity shocked. The spin wizard died of a suspected heart attack at the age of 52 in Koh Samui, Thailand.

Warne, who had a flamboyant personality both on and off the field, also found success as a commentator and was considered among the sharpest analysts of the game.

FIFA World Cup 2022: Lionel Messi finally laid his hands on the greatest prize in football after Argentina beat France 4-2 on penalties to win the FIFA World Cup 2022 final in dramatic manner.

In a thrilling summit clash, which went into penalties, Messi scored twice but it was Kylian Mbappe’s hat-trick that kept France in the match. However, Argentina managed to score all of their penalties to emerge as world champions.

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