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Year-ender: Top 10 world athletes of 2022


Nepalnews
2023 Jan 07, 13:41,
File photo taken on Feb. 8, 2022, shows Gu Ailing of China reacting during a flower ceremony after the women's Freeski big air final at Big Air Shougang in Beijing, the capital of China. (Xinhua)

As the sporting year draws to a close, here is Xinhua News Agency's selection of the world's top 10 athletes in 2022:

1. Gu Ailing (China, freestyle skiing)

Ailing claimed gold medals in the women's big air and halfpipe and a bar of silver in slopestyle at the Beijing Winter Olympics, becoming the first freestyle skier to win three medals in three different events at a single Winter Olympics.

File photo taken on Dec. 18, 2022, shows Lionel Messi of Argentina kissing the World Cup Trophy during the awarding ceremony of the 2022 FIFA World Cup at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar. (Xinhua)
File photo taken on Dec. 18, 2022, shows Lionel Messi of Argentina kissing the World Cup Trophy during the awarding ceremony of the 2022 FIFA World Cup at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar. (Xinhua)

2. Lionel Messi (Argentina, football)

Messi helped Argentina win the World Cup in Qatar after 36 years. With seven goals and three assists, Messi won the tournament's Golden Ball. He also became the most-capped player at the World Cup with 26 appearances.

File photo taken on Feb. 19, 2022, shows Irene Schouten of the Netherlands celebrating after the speed skating women's mass start final of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at the National Speed Skating Oval in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua)
File photo taken on Feb. 19, 2022, shows Irene Schouten of the Netherlands celebrating after the speed skating women's mass start final of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at the National Speed Skating Oval in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua)

3. Irene Schouten (Netherlands, speed skating)

Dutch skater Schouten claimed gold medals in the women's 3,000m, 5,000m and mass start events at the Beijing Winter Olympics and also took a bronze in the team pursuit with her teammates. In March, Schouten won the Allround title at the World Speed Skating Championships in Hamar, Norway.

File photo taken on Sept. 25, 2022, shows Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya celebrating after the Berlin Marathon 2022 in Berlin, Germany. (Xinhua)
File photo taken on Sept. 25, 2022, shows Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya celebrating after the Berlin Marathon 2022 in Berlin, Germany. (Xinhua)

4. Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya, athletics)

38-year-old Kipchoge claimed the 48th Berlin Marathon title with a new world record of two hours, one minute and nine seconds, breaking his own record from 2018 by 30 seconds.

File photo taken on July 24, 2022 shows Sweden's Armand Duplantis competing during the men's pole vault final at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 in Eugene, Oregon, the United States. (Xinhua)
File photo taken on July 24, 2022 shows Sweden's Armand Duplantis competing during the men's pole vault final at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 in Eugene, Oregon, the United States. (Xinhua)

5. Armand Duplantis (Sweden, athletics)

Duplantis broke the men's pole vault world record three times in the 2022 season, winning 18 of the 19 competitions he competed in and clearing six meters 23 times. He refreshed the world record with 6.21 meters at the World Athletics Championships in July.

File photo taken on Oct. 17, 2022, shows Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema reacting after receiving the men's Ballon d'Or Trophy during the 2022 Ballon d'Or France Football award ceremony at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, France. (Xinhua)
File photo taken on Oct. 17, 2022, shows Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema reacting after receiving the men's Ballon d'Or Trophy during the 2022 Ballon d'Or France Football award ceremony at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, France. (Xinhua)

6. Karim Benzema (France, football)

Benzema claimed the 2022 Ballon d'Or after a dazzling season with Real Madrid, which saw the Spanish giants win both La Liga and the UEFA Champions League. He also became the top scorer in both domestic and continental tournaments.

File photo taken on June 5, 2022, shows Rafael Nadal of Spain holding his trophy during the awarding ceremony after the men's singles final match between Rafael Nadal of Spain and Casper Ruud of Norway at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France. (Xinhua)
File photo taken on June 5, 2022, shows Rafael Nadal of Spain holding his trophy during the awarding ceremony after the men's singles final match between Rafael Nadal of Spain and Casper Ruud of Norway at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France. (Xinhua)

7. Rafael Nadal (Spain, tennis)

Nadal won his 14th French Open title, making him the first player in the Open era to win 22 Grand Slam men's titles.

File photo taken on June 24, 2022, shows Katie Ledecky of the United States reacting after the women's 800m freestyle final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. (Xinhua)
File photo taken on June 24, 2022, shows Katie Ledecky of the United States reacting after the women's 800m freestyle final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. (Xinhua)

8. Katie Ledecky (United States, swimming)

Ledecky won the women's 800m freestyle at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, to take the fifth consecutive title in the event. In this tournament, the 25-year-old clinched four gold medals to take her world championship gold medal tally to 19. Ledecky also broke the women's short-course world record in the 1,500m and 800m freestyle at the FINA World Cup.

File photo taken on June 5, 2022, shows Iga Swiatek of Poland posing with the trophy after winning the women's singles championship of the French Open tennis tournament at the Bir-Hakeim bridge in Paris, France. (Xinhua)
File photo taken on June 5, 2022, shows Iga Swiatek of Poland posing with the trophy after winning the women's singles championship of the French Open tennis tournament at the Bir-Hakeim bridge in Paris, France. (Xinhua)

9. Iga Swiatek (Poland, tennis)

Swiatek won eight titles including the French Open and US Open in 2022 and set the record for the longest 37-winning streak in women's tennis in the 21st century. The 21-year-old finished the season as No.1 in the WTA year-end singles rankings.

File photo taken on Oct. 9, 2022, shows Red Bull Racing's Dutch driver Max Verstappen celebrating claiming the champion during the race of the Formula One Japan Grand Prix held at the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka City, Japan. (Xinhua)
File photo taken on Oct. 9, 2022, shows Red Bull Racing's Dutch driver Max Verstappen celebrating claiming the champion during the race of the Formula One Japan Grand Prix held at the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka City, Japan. (Xinhua)

10. Max Verstappen (Netherlands, Formula One)

Red Bull's Verstappen won the F1 Japanese Grand Prix to seal the 2022 F1 Drivers' World Championship title ahead of schedule. He then took a record 14th win in a single Formula 1 season with victory in the Mexico City Grand Prix, surpassing Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel's joint record of 13. With his win in the Abu Dhabi finale, Verstappen's single-season winning record was finally set at 15.

READ ALSO:

year ender Xinhua News Agency Top 10 world athletes 2022 sporting year Gu ailing Lionel Messi Irene Schouten Eliud Kipchoge Armand Duplantis Karim Benzema Rafael Nadal Katie Ledecky Iga Swiatek Max Verstappen

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