All Blacks scrum

October 2023: Sport takes centre stage

October 2023 proved a month of sporting success, disappointment, and scandal as English teams travelled to World Cups in France and India, and there was plenty more sport happening closer to home.

October 1 saw the final day of Europe’s successful Ryder Cup campaign and a fitting end to their comprehensive victory over the Americans.

Viktor Hovland, Matt Fitzpatrick and Ludwig Åberg all starred in the competition which was held in Rome for the first time.

The victory followed Europe’s retention of the Solheim Cup back in September.

Just four days later, defending champions England kicked off their Cricket World Cup campaign in India against New Zealand.

A nine-wicket loss started a disappointing campaign which saw them lose six games including shock defeats to Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

England white-ball coach, Matthew Mott, has come under increasing pressure since the tournament, with this month’s T20 series against the West Indies likely important to his future.

England’s Rugby World Cup side fared slightly better on the world stage than their cricketing counterparts, making the semi-finals of the competition.

Going into the tournament, many feared that the side would struggle to make it out of their group, after a warm-up loss to Fiji.

However, they topped the group and reversed the form with Fiji in the quarter finals.

In the semis, against South Africa, England produced their best performance of the competition and were unlucky to go down late on.

They proceeded to beat Argentina in the third-place play-off.

In October, Max Verstappen clinched his third Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship in Qatar, topping off a record-breaking season which eventually saw him notch up 19 out of a possible 22 wins come the end of the season.

He also broke the record for consecutive race wins, with 10.

Off the pitch-issues also dominated the agenda across the month.

Luis Rubiales, the Spanish FA chief who was found to have non-consensually kissed player Jenni Hermoso, was banned from the sport for three years.

FIFA came under scrutiny on the last day of October after Australia’s withdrawal from the running for the 2034 handed the event to Saudi Arabia.

Following last year’s controversial World Cup in Qatar, many felt that this announcement had come prematurely, and it has triggered more debates about their human rights record.

In racing, legendary jockey Frankie Dettori was provided the perfect send-off from British racing as he won the Champion Stakes on King of Steel at Ascot after another stellar year.

He will continue to ride in America for the foreseeable.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay/MonicaVolpin

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