Vision compiles some of the best moments from the UAE's sports world in 2015
Rosberg grabs F1 title
In a surprising turn of events, German Mercedes AMG F1 driver Nico Rosberg won the Formula One World Championship at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November 2015. While world champion Lewis Hamilton had won 10 of the first 16 races by the time he arrived in Abu Dhabi, Rosberg achieved his third win in a row at the Yas Marina Circuit.
UAE’s rising football stars
Last year saw the UAE defeating the Asia Cup’s defending champions Japan, making it to the semi-finals. Player Esmail Ahmad scored the winning penalty against Japan for the UAE team. Omar Abdulrahman, the country’s most prized footballer, captivated the audience with his “Panenka” kick at the first penalty, bruising the confidence of the Japanese team. Despite losing in the last four matches to the final winner Australia, their victory marked an important milestone for the emerging team.
African Story, ridden by a Silvestre De Souza, made headlines last year when it won the Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest race. The win was a record seventh for Emirati trainer Saeed Bin Surour, who is Godolphin’s longest-serving trainer. Godolphin is the global thoroughbred horseracing stable founded by Dubai’s Ruler His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
UAE’s golf champion
Rory McIlroy has undisputedly dominated the golf scene in the UAE in 2015. The game only got better for the Irishman after the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship where he came second after Gary Stal. He then won the Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club, before grabbing the DP World Tour Championship title at Jumeirah Golf Estates in December. These wins ensured his victory in the Race to Dubai for the third time in four years.
Federer beats Djokovic
Tennis champion Roger Federer wowed fans last year when he beat the world’s No. 1 Novak Djokovic at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship. His victory marked a record win of the championship for the seventh time. He was quoted as saying: “I fell in love with the tournament and the crowd and the city here.”
The Russian surprise
The unpredictable win of Russia against New Zealand in the Women’s World Series at the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens was a new development in the sport. The Russian team defeated New Zealand, which was defending series and Dubai champions, with 33-7 score, surprising many. The Russian team managed to reach the finals and almost beat Australia.