Broke the world record by over 14 seconds to win the Olympic gold medal in the women's 10,000 metres in Rio. She was running the distance for only the second time and shattered the record set by China’s Junxia Wang 23 years earlier.
Fiji routed Great Britain 43-7 in the final of the Olympic Sevens to secure the first gold medal the South Pacific nation has ever won in any sport. Captain Osea Kolinisau and his team-mates have been the dominant force in Sevens for several years.
Beat once powerful England to reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2016, a remarkable success for a nation of 330,000 – eight per cent of whom were in France to watch. Iceland ended the year 21st in the world rankings having risen from 131st in 2012.
(United Kingdom) Football
Starting as 5,000–1 outsiders, Leicester City became the most unlikely champions in the history of the English Premier League. They were managed by Claudio Ranieri, whose previous job ended when his Greece side lost to Faroe Islands.
(South Africa) Athletics
Broke one of athletics’ longest standing world records. His 43.03 secs in the 400 metres final in the Rio Olympics bettered Michael Johnson’s 43.18, which had stood since 1999. In the final he beat Olympic champions Kirani James and LaShawn Merritt.
(Germany) Motor Racing
After finishing second in the Formula One World Championship to Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in 2014 and 2015, Rosberg made the breakthrough in 2016 to win the world title for the first time. He retired five days after the last race in Abu Dhabi.