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Last Updated: Monday, 20 December, 2004, 12:01 GMT
Other sports: Review of the year
British sailing gold medallist Ben Ainslie
The sailing year was dominated by the Olympics with Britain ruling the waves.

Team GB picked up five medals including gold for Ben Ainslie in the Finn class and Yngling success for Sarah Webb, Shirley Robertson and Sarah Ayton.

Records were broken as France's Francis Joyon sailed solo around the world in less than 80 days.

Britain's Ellen MacArthur is currently on course in her attempt to try to break Joyon's of mark of 72 days, 22 hours, 54 minutes and 22 seconds.

Great Britain's fondness for success on Olympic waters was not restricted to sailing, as the rowers added to the medal coffers in Athens.

Matthew Pinsent picked up his fourth Olympic gold as he led the men's coxless four to glory.

Britain won silver in the women's coxless quadruple sculls, while Katherine Grainger and Cath Bishop picked up silver in the women's pairs.

Cambridge overcame a clash with Oxford to win the 150th Boat Race.

American Michael Phelps picked up six Olympic gold medals to become the star of swimming in 2004.

Phelps also won two bronze as the USA walked off with 28 medals from the pool - 13 more than nearest rival Australia.

Great Britain's Stephen Parry and David Davies won bronze, while Leon Taylor and Peter Waterfield took a surprise silver in the synchronised 10m diving.

Team GB fared better at the Short Course Championships, with sprinter Mark Foster winning two golds.

World darts champion Andy Fordham
Andy 'The Viking' Fordham began and ended the darts year in the headlines.

The pub landlord beat Mervyn King 6-3 to win the World Darts Championship, but then failed to finish his showdown against current PDC winner Phil Taylor.

Fordham retired after feeling ill with the scores 5-2 in the favour of his opponent at the Purfleet contest.

Taylor recovered from 4-1 down to beat Kevin Painter 7-6 In the Professional Darts Corporation world title final at the Circus Tavern.

In basketball, the Brighton Bears were head and shoulders above their rivals, winning the BBL league title.

The play-off crown went to the Sheffield Sharks who beat the Chester Jets 86-74 largely thanks to Lynard Stewart's 25 points.

Sheffield began the year by winning the BBL Cup with a 83-70 defeat of the Scottish Rocks in Birmingham.

The Rocks' Jerry Williams won the player of the year award and Brighton's Nick Nurse was the coach of the year.

Great Britain hockey was represented by just the men's team at the 2004 Olympics.

They went into the Athens Games with hope of a medal but finished ninth after losing to Korea, Germany, Spain and Pakistan.

Australia beat Holland 2-1 with a golden goal while the Dutch suffered again in the women's final, falling 2-1 to Germany.

Cannock's men won the English Hockey League while Slough triumphed in the women's equivalent.

Women's world squash champion Vanessa Atkinson
British badminton received a welcome boost when mixed doubles pair Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson won silver at the Athens Olympics.

The pair lost 15-1 12-15 15-12 in the final to defending champions and second seeds Ling Gao and Jun Zhang of China, after a see-saw battle.

In squash, France's Thierry Lincou won the World Open crown in Qatar beating England Lee Beachill in the final.

Holland's Vanessa Atkinson beat Natalie Grinham to win the women's world title.

Scotland's Alex Marshall proved too hot for his rivals as he clinched two world bowls titles this year.

Marshall picked up his third singles crown when he defeated Australia's Mark McMahon in the final.

The Scot then won the mixed pairs title along with England's Amy Monkhouse and was subsequently ranked at the top of the bowls rankings.

England's Carol Ashby won the ladies world title after beating compatriot Lynne Whitehead in the final.




SEE ALSO
Robertson celebrates title
21 Aug 04 |  Sailing
MacArthur's route
03 Nov 04 |  Other Sport
Fourth gold for Pinsent
21 Aug 04 |  Rowing
Phelps causes biggest splash
21 Aug 04 |  Swimming
Fordham clinches Lakeside title
11 Jan 04 |  World Darts 2004
Bears clinch BBL title
03 Apr 04 |  Other Sport
Australia claim hockey gold
27 Aug 04 |  Hockey
Germany claim hockey glory
26 Aug 04 |  Hockey
GB take badminton silver
19 Aug 04 |  Badminton
Marshall world number one
29 Jan 04 |  Other Sport



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