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Best sporting moments of 2021

| 29.12.2021

A look at 2021’s best sporting moments

As 2021 draws to a close we take a look back at some of the best sporting moments of the year in what has been a bumper year of action across the globe.Β 

We have also looked backed at the worst moments but here it’s all about the sporting highlights.

Chelsea win the Champions League

Chelsea turned a season of turmoil into the ultimate triumph as Kai Havertz’s ice-cool finish sunk Manchester City 1-0 to swipe Champions League glory in Porto.

Mason Mount’s inch-perfect assist stunned domestic double winners City at the Estadio do Dragao, as Chelsea claimed their second Champions League title to etch boss Thomas Tuchel’s name into the Stamford Bridge annals, just 124 days after he had taken over following the departure of Frank Lampard.

The all-Premier League clash was one of the best sporting moments of the early part of the year and Tuchel’s side will be looking for further success this term.

Chelsea are the 10/1 third favourites for Premier League glory this season, while the Blues are 15/2 to defend the Champions League trophy.

Mickelson makes history

Nine days after accepting a special exemption for the US Open, Phil Mickelson rendered it unnecessary in amazing fashion by becoming the oldest winner in major championship history.

Mickelson held his nerve during a pulsating final round at Kiawah Island to win his sixth major title in the 103rd US PGA Championship, 16 years on from lifting the Wanamaker Trophy for the first time and provide one of the best sporting moments of 2021.

The 50-year-old was a 280/1 outsider at the start of the week but a closing 73 was enough to finish two shots ahead of Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen.

Julius Boros had been the previous oldest major champion, claiming the US PGA title in 1968 at the age of 48.

Raducanu’s fairytale in New York

Emma Raducanu was ranked 150th in the world when she entered US Open qualifying, yet 10 matches later she was clutching the trophy after becoming the first British woman to win a grand slam singles title since Virginia Wade in 1977.

Wade was watching from the stands at Flushing Meadows as the 18-year-old Raducanu defeated fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez 6-4 6-3 in the final, just three months after completing her A-levels.

Fresh from her success of being named BBC Sports Personality of the Year, Raducanu will be looking to add further grand slam trophies to her mantlepiece in 2022 and is the 6/1 second favourite to triumph at Wimbledon in the summer.

Olympic high jumpers decide to share gold

The delayed Tokyo Olympics provided many memorable moments from a British perspective, with Tom Dean and Adam Peaty both winning gold medals in the aquatics centre and team-mate Duncan Scott becoming the first British athlete to win four Olympic medals in a single Games.

Gianmarco Tamberi, high jump, best sporting moments

However, arguably the best sporting moments of the delayed 2020 Games came when high jumpers Gianmarco Tamberi and Mutaz Essa Barshim decided to share the Olympic title rather than face a jump-off.

Tamberi was thrilled with Barshim’s offer of sportsmanship and instantly accepted before jumping into his rival’s arms.

Verstappen snatches controversial F1 title

The rivalry between Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has been one of the most intense and hard-fought in recent Formula One history.

After an incident-packed season, the duo amazingly went into the final race in Abu Dhabi level on points in pursuit of a first and record eighth drivers’ title respectively.

Verstappen started from pole but was beaten off the line by Hamilton and the British driver appeared to be cruising to victory until a safety car was required with five laps remaining.

Verstappen pitted for fresh tyres and, with the lapped cars between the Dutchman and Hamilton controversially allowed to get out of the way, the Dutchman surged past his rival on the final lap to seal an extraordinary victory.

The Red Bull driver is 7/4 to defend his title next season, while it is 5/4 for Hamilton to make Formula One history with an eighth world title.

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Adam Morgan