Sports is not just a matter of entertainment anymore, but it has become a lot more than that. A year full of maiden championships and trophies. A young girl surprised the stalwarts by winning her maiden Grand Slam title, a country witnessed their legend lifting his maiden international trophy after a career of more than a decade, while a throw fulfilled the dream of billions. Such is the aura of sports and when it returned after an uncertain pause due to COVID-19 in 2020, it brought a massive adrenaline rush as the year was full of surprises, highs, victories and moments which took the spectators in awe.
SportsTiger has listed out the top five sporting events of the year 2021, which will stay in our memories forever.
5) Emma Raducanu winning maiden career Grand Slam
An 18-year-old Emma Raducanu became the first-ever British woman to win a Grand Slam title since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977, after defeating 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.
It wasn’t only a few months ago when Raducanu made her Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) main draw debut at the 2021 Nottingham Open in June, where she entered the tournament as a wild card. Later that month, she made her main draw Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon, again as a wild card entry. Raducanu made it all the way to the fourth round at Wimbledon, becoming the youngest British woman to reach the last 16 in the Open Era. The 2021 US Open was just her second career Grand Slam, and she had never played a top-40 player until competing in New York.
4) Lionel Messi lifting the Copa America trophy with Argentina
Lionel Messi ended his wait for a first major international title as Argentina beat Brazil in the Copa America final at Rio’s Maracana stadium.
Messi, 34, was hurled in the air in celebration, as he finally claimed top-level honours with his country in his 10th major tournament. He also helped end Argentina’s 28-year wait for the trophy and was named Player of the tournament after his four goals in the competition.
On the other hand, Messi’s former Barcelona team-mate Neymar sank to his knees in tears at the final whistle. While, both the team waited for the trophy ceremony, the pair, who played together at the Camp Nou between 2013 and 2017 before the Brazilian’s move to Paris St-Germain, embraced in a long-lasting hug, the picture which in itself is a memory to remember from the year.
3) New Zealand winning maiden World Test Championship
There is a popular saying that, nice guys finish last and New Zealand cricket is widely popular for a team composed of all the nice men. But they contradicted the popular saying by finishing at the top as they defeated mighty Indians in the final of the inaugural season of the World Test Championship by eight wickets at the Ageas Bowl on Wednesday.
It was the second major ICC trophy since the 2000 ICC KnockOut Trophy and their maiden World Cup victory which made it so special for an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.
2) Neeraj Chopra winning gold at Olympics
It was his first throw and then there he sealed the deal for himself. The golden throw of 87.58m sealed the gold in favor of Neeraj Chopra. The National Anthem played for the first time in 13 years at an Olympics medal ceremony.
Neeraj Chopra won India’s first and only gold medal at Tokyo 2020, and its second-ever individual gold in history, by topping the charts in the Men’s Javelin Throw. The 23-year-old was also the first-ever Indian to qualify for the final in the javelin event, and the only to qualify on top in any Athletics discipline in the history of the games.
1) Max Verstappen winning his maiden Formula One championship
It was a major event towards the end of the year which had an eye of the whole world, and as per the reputation, it didn’t fail to surprise. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the Formula One championship, denying Lewis Hamilton a record eighth title, with a last-lap overtake to win a season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton’s Mercedes team took the constructors’ title for an unprecedented eighth year in a row but their run of double dominance was ended by the 24-year-old Dutch driver, his country’s first champion.