Organizing tournaments in accordance with health guidelines due to the coronavirus was a unique experience for everyone. Nonetheless, there were a number of big sporting events that grabbed the attention of enthusiasts in the year 2021. From the United States’ dominance in the 2020 Summer Olympics to Australia’s maiden T20 World Cup victory, Italy and Argentina’s continental championship victory, Novak Djokovic’s record-breaking year, Hideki Matsuyama, the first Asian-born golfer’s Masters trophy win, this article highlights some of the year’s most significant sporting events.
A Look Back at the Noteworthy Moments of the Sports Year 2021
Almost all major athletic events resumed in the first quarter of 2021, following a disappointing year in 2020 because of the covid-19 epidemic. Some of the events that were scheduled for 2020 were pushed back to 2021. Summer Olympics 2020 in Japan, Euro 2020, and Copa America 2020 are among them. Initially, many sports events were held behind closed doors, which meant that no spectators were permitted inside the stadium. The covid-19 regulations provided a fresh experience for everyone, especially the players. Here are some of the year’s most noteworthy sporting events.
Summer Olympics 2020: The United States maintained its dominance
The 2020 Summer Olympics were held in Tokyo, Japan, from July 23 to August 8, 2021. The Games were the most expensive ever, costing more than $20 billion in total. The competition drew 11,656 athletes from 206 countries. The tournament featured 33 sporting events. Like in previous editions, the United States maintained its dominance in the competition. The United States of America took home most of the 113 medals, with 39 gold, 41 silver, and 33 bronze. China placed second in the overall rankings with 88 medals. They took home 38 gold medals, 32 silver medals, and 18 bronze medals. Burkina Faso, San Marino, and Turkmenistan all won their first-ever Olympic medals in this event.
Marcell Jacobs of Italy won the most popular Olympic 100m sprint with a time of 9.80 seconds. He made history by being the first Italian to win a gold medal in the event. Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica won the Women’s 100 meters with an Olympic-record time of 10.61 seconds.
Tokyo also hosted the 2020 Summer Paralympics two weeks later. The tournament drew 4,403 participants from 162 countries. China won the most medals with 207, followed by the United Kingdom with 124 and the United States with 104.
Two major football tournaments, EURO 2020 and Copa America 2021 were held in the year 2021. Italy won the EURO Championship after 53 years, while Argentina won the Copa America for the first time since 1993. Apart from these two events, English team Chelsea won their second UEFA Champions League in May, Europe’s most prestigious football competition. Chelsea won their first Champions League title in the year 2012.
There was a lot of speculation over who would receive the prestigious Ballon d’Or award in 2021. Bayern Munich’s Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, Chelsea’s Italian midfielder Jorginho, and PSG’s Argentine forward Lionel Messi were all strong contenders for the individual award. As expected, they were the final three nominees and Lionel Messi took home the award for the record seventh time. Lewandowski and Jorginho came in second and third place, respectively.
Following considerable uncertainty and concern, India opted to host the seventh edition of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman in the October-November 2021 window. Pakistan were the most consistent team in the Super 12 stage. However, they were eliminated in the semifinals by eventual tournament champion Australia. The Australian cricket team won the T20 World Cup for the first time, defeating New Zealand by 8 wickets in the final.
The Rose Bowl in Southampton hosted the final of the maiden edition of the ICC Test Championship (2019-2021 cycle) In June. New Zealand defeated India by 8 wickets in the final to win the inaugural Test Championship.
Apart from that, the most talked-about bilateral series outcomes in 2021 were India’s 2-1 Test series triumph over Australia, Bangladesh’s T20I series victory against Australia (4-1), and New Zealand (3-2). In addition, Chennai Super Kings won the 14th edition of the most popular franchise cricket competition IPL.
Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic had a fantastic year in 2021. He won three of the four Grand Slam tournaments. Djokovic began the year by defeating Russian Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final 7–5, 6–2, 6–2. Djokovic won the French Open in June by defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 6–7(6–8), 2–6, 6–3, 6–2, 6–4, and the Wimbledon championship the following month by defeating Matteo Berrettini of Italy 6–7(4–7), 6–4, 6–4, 6–3.
If Djokovic had won the US Open against Daniil Medvedev in September, he would have become the first player since 1969 to win a calendar-year Slam. However, Novak Djokovic tied Nadal and Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slam titles with three victories. He also shattered Roger Federer’s record for the most weeks as the world’s number 1.
Apart from Djokovic, British tennis player Emma Raducanu had a fantastic year. Raducanu became the first British woman to win a Grand Slam singles tournament since 1977 when she won the US Open in September 2021.
Phil Mickelson won the PGA Championship in 2021, Jon Rahm won the US Open in 2021, and Collin Morikawa won the Open Championship in 2021. The greatest highlight of the year, however, was Hideki Matsuyama’s victory in the 2021 Masters Tournament. He was the first Asian-born golfer to win one of the four major golf championships, the Masters. Besides, the United States won the 43rd edition of the Ryder Cup by defeating Europe 19–9.
Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing won the Formula One 2021 Drivers’ Championship for the first time in his career, ending the reign of British racing driver Lewis Hamilton. Max Verstappen won 10 races for a total of 395.5 points, barely eight points ahead of second-placed Lewis Hamilton. However, Hamilton’s Mercedes won the Constructors’ title with 613.5 points, 28 points more than Red Bull Racing-Honda. The season of 2021 was one of the most competitive in recent years.
The United States of America had a fantastic year, winning the Ryder Cup in golf and dominating the medal tally at the Summer Olympics 2020. The victory in EURO 2020 is also a big moment for the Italian national football team, who did not qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Argentina’s Copa America triumph helped Lionel Messi earn his seventh Ballon d’Or honor, and Australia won its first T20 World Cup in November. Overall, 2021 was an exciting year for sports, particularly after a dismal 2020 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Source: United News of Bangladesh