Murray’s minted, Froome zooms and Oh! Ohuruogu

OLD GILLER’S ALMANACK: We’ve reached the halfway point in NORMAN GILLER’s review of the 2013 sporting year. Here’s part 3: July to September

Lion-ing up his shot: Leigh Halfpenny was the Man of the Series as the Lions won in Australia
Lion-ing up his shot: Leigh Halfpenny was the Man of the Series as the Lions won in Australia


The British and Irish Lions roar to their first series win in 16 years when they annihilate Australia 41-16 in Sydney for a 2-1 series triumph. Man-of-the-match Leigh Halfpenny lands eight from nine kicks to finish with 21 points, a new individual record for a Lion in a Test.

Chris Froome of Team Sky – runner-up to Bradley Wiggins in 2012 –  wins stage eight of the Tour de France to take the overall leader’s yellow jersey. Ireland’s Dan Martin captures his first Tour de France stage win in the Pyrenees but Froome retains the yellow jersey.

France’s Marion Bartoli claims her first Grand Slam title, beating Sabine Lisicki 6-1 6-4 in the Wimbledon final.

The SJA's Sportsman of the Year, 2013 and Wimbledon champion: Andy Murray
The SJA’s Sportsman of the Year and Wimbledon champion: Andy Murray

All eyes are on Andy Murray as he ends 77 years of failure and frustration for British men’s tennis by beating Novak Djokovic 6-4 7-5 6-4 on Centre Court to clinch the Wimbledon men’s singles title.

Three-time world champion Sebastian Vettel holds off a late challenge from Kimi Raikkonen to win  the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.

Fourteen wickets tumble on the opening day of the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge. England are all out for 215 with Australia finishing on 75 for four.

On the second day, Australia’s teenaged debutant Ashton Agar musters 98 – the highest ever Test score by a No11 batsman. Ian Bell makes 109 as England are all out for 375 on the fourth day. Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann claim two wickets each as Australia finish the day on 174 for six, needing another 137 runs for victory. England finish winners on the final day by just 14 runs.

The Test action moves to Lord’s where on the first day Ian Bell scores a century to help England to 289 for seven at stumps. Graeme Swann takes five for 44 as England dismiss Australia for just 128 in their first innings. Day three is dominated by young Joe Root who hits an unbeaten 178 – his second Test ton and first since being promoted to opener – as England power to 333 for five. England are comfortable winners by 347 runs to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

You wait 100 years for a British Tour de France winner and then two come along... Chris Froome followed Bradley Wiggins' 2012 victory by dominating the 2013 Tour
You wait 100 years for a British Tour de France winner and then two come along… Chris Froome followed Bradley Wiggins’ 2012 victory by dominating the 2013 Tour

Britain’s Kenya-born Chris Froome wins the100th Tour de France, finishing more than four minutes ahead of runner-up Nairo Quintana of Colombia.

Phil Mickelson comes from five strokes back to clinch his first Open title and fifth major on a sensational final day at Muirfield. The 43-year-old American left hander cards a remarkable last round five-under-par 66 to win by three shots from Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, with English pair Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood four back, alongside Australia’s Masters champion Adam Scott.

Usain Bolt returns to the Olympic Stadium for the Anniversary Games one year after winning gold in the 100 metres at the London Games. He wins in 9.85 seconds. Mo Farah takes the 3,000m on the track where in 2012 he struck double gold. World records tumble in the Paralympic 100m event as Brazil’s Alan Oliveira smashed his own T43 record with 10.57 seconds, and Richard Browne set a T44 mark of 10.75sec to pip Jonnie Peacock, whose 10.84s is a British T44 record.

Lewis Hamilton motors to his long-awaited first victory with Mercedes as he takes a record-equalling fourth Hungarian Grand Prix title.

Plymouth-based Olympic champion Ruta Meilutyte breaks the 100 metres breaststroke world record at the swimming world championships in Barcelona. The 16-year-old Lithuanian clocks 1 min 04.30 seconds. Katie Ledecky smashes fellow American Kate Ziegler’s 1,500m freestyle world record and also breaks Rebecca Adlington’s world record to win the 800m freestyle title.


England are fortunate to retain the Ashes by drawing the third Test as rain ends Australia’s final-day victory push at Old Trafford. The touring side was in a commanding position, having removed Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen to reduce England to 37-3 in pursuit of an unlikely target of 332. Cook’s team needs draw only one of the remaining two Tests to win the series. Australian skipper Michael Clarke is named man of the match following his first-innings 187 and an unbeaten 30 in the second.

World-beater: Christine Ohuruogu on her way to winning the 400m world title for a second time
Christine Ohuruogu on her way to winning the 400m world title for a second time

Mo Farah adds the 10,000m world title to his Olympic gold at the athletics world championships in Moscow, and then six days later makes it a double double by winning the 5,000m.

In the men’s 100 metres, Usain Bolt wins in 9.77 seconds, ahead of Justin Gatlin and Nesta Carter. Britain’s James Dasaolu is eighth. Bolt later adds the 200m title in an almost casual 19.66s, his 13th global gold medal. Britain’s Adam Gemili clocks 20.08 in fifth place.

Ian Bell was England's Man of the Series when they won the Ashes in the summer
Ian Bell was England’s Man of the Series when they won the Ashes in the summer

The Moscow world championships provides us with one of the highlights of the British calendar year as Christine Ohuruogu produces a storming finish to win the women’s 400m gold medal in a British record 49.41s. She catches Botswana’s Amantle Montsho on the line. The winning margin is four-thousandths of a second.

England underline their superiority in the Ashes with a 74-run win at Chester-le-Street. Stuart Broad takes 11 wickets in the match to add to Ian Bell’s third century of the series.

American Jason Dufner takes the US PGA trophy by two shots from Jim Furyk at Oak Hill. Rory McIlroy finishes joint eighth, with Graeme McDowell in a tie for 12th.

Rickie Lambert grabs the winner with his first touch less than three minutes after coming on for his debut as England beat Scotland 3-2 in a friendly at Wembley. Martin Paterson scores the only goal as Northern Ireland beat Russia 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier to secure Michael O’Neill’s first win as manager.

Scotland’s Catriona Matthew creates golfing history as she clinches the half point Europe need to win the Solheim Cup on American soil for the first time.

Great Britain’s showjumpers add the European team title to their London 2012 Olympic gold medal after clinching a dramatic victory in Herning, Denmark. The team – Ben Maher, Michael Whitaker, William Funnell and Scott Brash – lead overnight and a clear round by individual leader Maher secures the title.

The fifth and final Ashes Test ends in frustration when the umpires take the teams off because of poor light at The Oval with England – five wickets in hand – needing just 21 runs from 24 balls to win the match and make it a comprehensive 4-0 series win.

Sebastian Vettel speeds to the 31st win of his Formula One career at the Belgian Grand Prix, with Fernando Alonso second and Lewis Hamilton third.

Raw power: Polly Swann (front) and Olympic gold medallist Helen Glover went all year undefeated in the women's pairs, winning the world title
Raw power: Polly Swann (front) and Olympic gold medallist Helen Glover went all year undefeated in the women’s pairs, winning the world title

Aaron Finch slogs a world-record Twenty20 international 156 from 63 balls to help Australia beat England by 39 runs in the first Twenty20 international at Southampton.

Bayern Munich beat Chelsea 5-4 on penalties to win a pulsating UEFA Super Cup showdown in Prague after equalising with the last kick of extra time. Down to 10 men but leading 2-1, Chelsea look set to hand Jose Mourinho the first silverware of his second reign until Javi Martinez found the net for the European champions to force the penalty shoot-out.

Alex Hales just misses out on a century as England beat Australia by 27 runs in the NatWest Twenty20 international at Chester-le-Street to tie the two-match series 1-1.

Olympic champion Helen Glover and new partner Polly Swann win the gold medal in the women’s pair event at the World Rowing Championships in Chengdu. Brothers Peter and Richard Chambers take bronze in the lightweight men’s double sculls.

England beat Australia by seven wickets to win the third and final Twenty20 international at Chester-le-Street and wrap up a 12-4 points victory in the multi-format Women’s Ashes series.


The Real deal? Gareth Bale
The Real deal? Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale ends a summer-long transfer saga when he signs for Real Madrid from Tottenham for a world record £86 million. Spurs have splashed £90 million on seven new players. Up the road at the Emirates, Arsenal pay a club record £43 million on Real Madrid’s German playmaker Mesut Özil, a test for the keyboard umlaut search.

Eoin Morgan hits a flawless century against his native Ireland to ensure England win by six wickets with seven overs to spare in the RSA Challenge one-day international in Dublin.

Danny Welbeck scores twice as England beat Moldova 4-0 in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley. Steven Gerrard and Rickie Lambert also get on the scoresheet.

Gareth Bale is an unused substitute as Wales are defeated 2-1 in Macedonia and Cristiano Ronaldo nets a hat-trick as Portugal beat Northern Ireland 4-2. The Irish finish the game with nine men. Scotland are defeated 2-0 at home by World Cup dark horses Belgium, and the Republic of Ireland go down to a 2-1 defeat against Sweden.

Serena Williams beats Victoria Azarenka 7-5 6-7 (6/8) 6-1 to win the US Open women’s singles title, and the men’s crown goes to Rafael Nadal with a 6-2 3-6 6-4 6-1 victory over Serbian top seed Novak Djokovic.

England draw 0-0 with Ukraine in their World Cup qualifying match in Kiev to ensure staying top of Group H with two games left. Scotland win 2-1 in Macedonia, Wales lose 3-0 to Serbia and Northern Ireland are beaten 3-2 by Luxembourg.

Giovanni Trapattoni and Marco Tardelli leave  their jobs as Republic of Ireland manager and assistant by mutual consent following the 1-0 World Cup qualification defeat by Austria. Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane replace them.

Jim Furyk scores an historic 59 on day two of the BMW Championship in Illinois. The 12-under-par card at Conway Farms is only the sixth sub-60 round on the PGA Tour.

Triathlete Non Stanford charges to her first senior world title in Hyde Park in September
Triathlete Non Stanford charges to her first senior world title in Hyde Park in September

England beat Australia by three wickets in Cardiff to level their one-day international series at 1-1 with one to play. Jos Buttler’s 65 not out off 48 balls is the highlight. England then lose the fifth and final one-day international against Australia at the Ageas Bowl by 49 runs and the rain-hit series 2-1.

Great Britain, led by Andy Murray, return to the Davis Cup World Group thanks to a 4-1 victory over Croatia.

Jonny Brownlee has to settle for world triathlon silver after being beaten by one second by Spain’s Javier Gomez in a sprint finish at the Grand Final in London’s Hyde Park. Injured brother Alistair, the Olympic champion, finishes fourth. The Brownlees’ Leeds-based training partner, Welshwoman Non Stanford, wins the women’s world title, ahead of her team mate Jodie Stimpson.

Ben Ainslie with the America's Cup: possibly the biggest prize in world sport, physically and financially
Ben Ainslie with the America’s Cup: possibly the biggest prize in world sport, physically and financially

Nottinghamshire claim their first Lord’s one-day final win since 1989 as they beat Glamorgan by an emphatic  87 runs in the YB40 final.

Sir Bradley Wiggins wins the Tour of Britain, while Mark Cavendish takes the 88-kilometre eighth and final stage in central London.

Sir Ben Ainslie helps steer Oracle Team USA to the 34th America’s Cup, completing one of the most remarkable sporting comebacks of all time having at one point been 8-1 down in the best-of-17 series to Emirates Team New Zealand.

Kenyan Wilson Kipsang sets a world best as he powers to victory in the Berlin Marathon, winning in 2hr 3min 23sec.


Mon Mar 24: SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, Grand Connaught Rooms, London
Mon Apr 14: SJA Spring Golf Day: Croham Hurst GC, Surrey. Booking details to be announced