Sporting breakthroughs of 2013

Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:19pm EST
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(Reuters) - The top 10 sporting breakthroughs in 2013:

1. Marc Marquez, MotoGP champion

The 20-year-old Spanish rookie became the youngest MotoGP champion when he held his nerve to finish third in the final race of the season in Valencia to pip holder Jorge Lorenzo to the title.

Six race wins, nine poles and 16 podiums made him the second rookie to win the Premier Class in motorbike racing, among a plethora of records he set.

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2. Brianna Rollins, 100 meters hurdles world champion

The American turned heads when she clocked the fourth fastest time ever for the 100 meters hurdles at the world championship trials in June, shortly after turning professional.

She showed that was no fluke by taking world championship gold in Moscow one day before her 22nd birthday, pushing holder Sally Pearson of Australia into second place.

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Honda MotoGP rider Marc Marquez (L) of Spain listens to technicians before the first free practice session ahead the Valencia Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Ricardo Tormo racetrack in Cheste, near Valencia, November 8, 2013. REUTERS/Heino Kalis