Newshub's Sporting Review 2019: International Sportsman of the year

  • 03/01/2020

2019 has produced another amazing year of sporting memories, the Cricket World Cup, Rugby World Cup and a sub-two-hour marathon for the first time ever. 

Newshub takes a look at the best international sportsmen for 2019. 

Ben Stokes 

A surprising selection I know but Stokes almost single-handedly won England the Cricket World Cup, before producing arguably the greatest test innings of the modern era to level the Ashes series at Headingley.

Just a year ago Stokes' career was in doubt following a well-publicised street brawl in Bristol. But the NZ-born all-rounder has put that dark moment behind him and resurrected his career to the point he is now considered the very best all-round cricket in the world. He's also extremely lucky (just ask Martin Guptill) and sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. 

Brad Lewis, Newshub sport digital producer 

Ben Stokes.
Ben Stokes. Photo credit: Image: Reuters

Tiger Woods

The greatest golfer ever is back! The Big Cat has certainly turned his life and career around, he produced a 2018 to remember, but his 2019 was even better.

He put on a clinic at Augusta to win the 2019 US Masters and claim his fifth green jacket and his 15 major win, he tied Sam Snead in PGA Tour victories after a win in Japan. 

To cap off a stellar 2019, he went unbeaten as a player at the Presidents Cup and helped team USA record a historic comeback in Melbourne. 

Expect a huge 2020 too. 

Luke Robinson, Newshub sport digital producer

Eliud Kipchoge.
Eliud Kipchoge. Photo credit: Image: Getty

Eliud Kipchoge

 After circling the traps of the same old culprits in the major sports, I just couldn't bring myself to give it to the likes of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, or even Ben Stokes (still lost The Ashes, and it was a tie).

So here we land with the Kenyan, a more than worthy recipient after his staggering achievement in becoming the first person to run a sub-two-hour marathon.

In October, the 35-year-old scorched the field at the Ineos Challenge in Austria to cross the line with a time of one hour 59 minutes 40 seconds to push the boundaries of human athletic achievement to a whole new level.

Earlier in the year, he also broke his own London Marathon record by 28 seconds.

Stephen Foote, Newshub sport digital producer 

Siya Kolisi

The inspirational South African Captain may have won the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the Rugby Championship, but it wasn't his accolades behind his recognition for me.

He went over and beyond for his nation on the park but equally off it, he used his platform and status to help a crippled nation come together.

Kolisi was recently awarded the World Peace and Sport Champion award that is given to those that lead a significant and sustainable sports initiative towards peaceful change.

Sullivan Harnett, Newshub sports reporter

Siya Kolisi.
Siya Kolisi. Photo credit: Image: Getty

Tiger Woods

It's impossible to ignore arguably the greatest sporting comeback of all time when considering the sportsman of the year. Ten years after his life and career fell apart, written off by all, Tiger Woods' incredible win in golf's tournament of tournaments - the Masters - at 43 years old, was nothing short of a miracle.

To go on and equal Sam Snead's record of 82 PGA Tour victories and captain USA to a comeback win in the Presidents Cup proves this was no one-off. Tiger's back.

Andrew Gourdie, Newshub sports presenter