It has been one exciting, unpredictable and all-round fantastic year in the world of sports. Records have been shattered, careers made, while others ended, and there was drama aplenty for all to savour.
Here, in the second of a two part series, we take a look back at the stories which caught our eye in the last six months of the year.
Federer breaks Sampras' No. 1 record
There is not much Roger Federer hasn't achieved on the tennis court.
With his record 17 Grand Slam titles just one in a long list of achievements to his name, the Swiss maestro is already widely regarded as the best tennis player ever.
If there were any doubters left, they probably converted when the 31-year-old reclaimed the world number one spot following his seventh triumph at Wimbledon and passed Pete Sampras' record for most number of weeks at the top in the process.
"I am extremely proud and honoured to have beaten Pete's record as he was my childhood hero and I have always looked up to him," he told The Telegraph after achieving the feat.
Sampras himself was effusive in his praise of his usurper, saying: "The hardest thing to do in sports is the ability to stay on top. Roger has been able to do so by great play and durability."
Phelps becomes greatest Olympian ever
For the longest time, Michael Phelps was regarded by many as the greatest athlete in Olympic history.
Just like with Federer though, there were a few doubters of that claim. And just like Federer, the American swimmer made sure there would be no further debate after picking up his 18th and 19th medals on the final day of July at the Summer Olympics.
In doing so, he broke the 48-year-old record set by former Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina and then for good measure, picked up another two in the following days to set a new medal tally record that is unlikely to be surpassed any time soon.
London 2012 signs off in style
Fireworks accompanied by a blast of The Who's 'My Generation' marked the end of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The £13million closing ceremony may not have been as spectacular as its opening, but for what it lacked in punch it made up for in entertainment.
Celebrity performances from old and new saw names like the Kaiser Chiefs, Annie Lennox, One Direction, the Spice Girls and Liam Gallagher light up London while Freddie Mercury also made an appearance on screen as did Beatle John Lennon.
But the real stars of the show were the athletes.
The likes of Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Michael Phelps ensured London 2012 would not be forgotten in a hurry.
"They were happy and glorious Games," said Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee.
The legacy of the games continues to bear fruit for its hosts. After 65 medals, including 29 gold - the best British showing for more than a century - there has been a surge in grassroots sports participation.
According to figures released by Sport England, 15.5 million people in England aged 16 and over took part in sport at least once a week over the past 12 months - a 750,000 rise on last year's figure.
Rory roars to second major
Rory McIlroy proved his standing in the game as a future legend by storming to the USPGA title at Kiawah Island in South Carolina.
McIlroy won his first major by eight shots at the US Open last year and in August 2012 he repeated this winning margin at the USPGA in August 2012 - beating England's world number 98 David Lynn this time.
"He's [McIlroy] going to be the player that kids look up to - that kids measure their own wannabe games by," said fellow major winner Graeme McDowell.
"Ten years ago it was Tiger Woods. It still is Tiger Woods to a certain extent, but now we've got superstars like Rory McIlroy for kids to be looking at."
McIlroy closed with a 66 to lift the Wanamaker Trophy and pocket his second major - at a younger age than Tiger Woods managed it as well.
A 76-year-long wait comes to an end
Barely a month after winning the Olympic gold medal, Andy Murray brought more joy to Great Britain by becoming the first British Grand Slam winner since Fred Perry in 1936 after beating Novak Djokovic 7-6, 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 in the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
In a tournament beset by strong winds and even a hurricane warning, the man from Glasgow finally delivered in the gruelling contest, having previously been accused of not having the mental steel to win a big one.
Murray had emulated coach Ivan Lendl earlier in the summer when he lost his fourth successive Grand Slam final by going down to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final. Thankfully, Murray continued to follow in his coach's footsteps by winning a major at the fifth time of asking.
And the world witnessed a personal and a national catharsis.
The Miracle at Medinah
Captained by Jose Maria Olazabal, the European team completed one of the greatest comebacks in golfing history to retain the Ryder Cup after edging USA by 14 ½ to 13 ½.
Trailing 10-4 at one point on Saturday, Europe turned on the form on the final day in the singles matches after Tiger Woords missed a putt to concede the final point of the tournament against Francesco Molinari to end the day with 8 ½ points to USA's 3 ½.
The win was especially emotional for Europe captain Olazabal, who dedicated the victory to his late friend Seve Ballesteros.
"Our team played in the spirit of Seve without ever giving up," Olazabal said after the tournament.
With Justin Rose looking up to the heavens in triumph, Sergio Garcia suggesting that Seve 'was with me all day' after his win and Europe's star man Ian Poulter saying he owed his presence on the team to Ballesteros - there was more than a hint of poignancy on this - one of the most stunning days in golf and in all of sport.
San Francisco Giants win the World Series
If ever there was a perfect time for Pablo Sandoval to hit a purple patch, the month of October, with the Giants competing in the World Series, was it.
And the 26-year-old, who only managed 12 home runs all season, duly obliged, as he blasted three home runs on the biggest and brightest stage of the MLB campaign.
However, to give credit to just Sandoval for the Giants' success in the World Series would be to do an injustice to the rest of the team.
The Boys from the Bay were imperious as they beat the Detroit Tigers 4-3 in extra inning to sweep the series 4-0 and win their second World Series title in three years.
Sebastian Vettel makes it three in a row
At the end of a season that began with seven different winners in the opening seven races, we were toasting the same man who had towered above all in the past two years.
Sebastian Vettel became the youngest-ever triple world champion in the history of Formula One after his sixth place finish in the Brazilian Grand Prix was enough to ward off the challenge of the effervescent Fernando Alonso.
Credit Red Bull, hail Adrian Newey or blame Ferrari for a poor car but reality is that the man behind the wheel still plays a huge role in the final outcome.
Vettel is undoubtedly one of the most talented drivers the sport has ever seen. Calm under pressure and absolutely supreme when starting from the front of the grid, the German looks set to build on the considerable legacy of Michael Schumacher who went into retirement a second time, this time most likely permanent, following the race at Interlagos.
That's all she wrote for Punter
Even before he retired, Ricky Ponting was certain to go down in cricket history as one of the best batsmen of all time.
With the passage of time, he may also become one of the most appreciated batsmen of all time. Abrasive, controversial and opinionated, the man from Tasmania rarely bothered with the niceties.
Instead, he focused all energy on making his bat talk.
And talk it did - to the tune of 13,704 Test runs replete with hooks, pulls and cuts of the highest quality. He ended up as Australia's leading run-scorer in Test cricket as well as the sport's most successful captain with 48 wins in 77 matches.
Through much of the previous decade he was the most feared batsman in an Australian team brimming with them. Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer, Mark Waugh, Steve Waugh and Adam Gilchrist were all once-in-a-generation talents. Ponting overshadowed them all.
With Rahul Dravid retiring earlier in the year, cricket fanatics could be forgiven for thinking that the sky is falling on their heads.
They wouldn't be too far off for it will be a long time before Australia, and cricket, unearths another like Ricky Thomas Ponting.
Sachin goes to the sound of 1.2 billion mourning
What can one say about Sachin Tendulkar that hasn't already been written before? Not much. Yet, we must try. We have to.
To any man, woman and child who lived through the 90s in India and followed cricket, Tendulkar was, with only slight exaggeration, a supernatural being. The man from Mumbai wielded a remote control that could pause an entire nation.
Traffic grind to a halt, conversation stopped and superstitions abounded while Sachin was batting. Bladders were clenched, nails chewed and gasps echoed around living rooms across homes from Kashmir to Tamil Nadu, from Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh.
To those not privileged enough to own TV sets, television showrooms became places of pilgrimage. So did "paan shops" - the ubiquitous betel-leaf selling shacks that dot the Indian landscape.
It was the only time when a country that could rarely even agree on what day of the year it was came together in worship of its living deity. Only those that lived through it can understand the level of fanaticism Tendulkar evoked across India.
Everyone can appreciate the sheer numbers though. 18, 426 runs. 49 centuries. 96 half-centuries. An average of 44.86 and a top-score of 200 not out over the course of 23 years.
He will still be around in the longer version of the game, of course, but Sachin was the golden child of the ODI generation. He went on a two-decade long joyride with the bat and millions hopped on.
For that, India must remain forever grateful.