It has been another astonishing year of sporting drama, featuring Champions League glory for Chelsea, a stunning tennis triumph for Emma Raducanu, the most dramatic F1 season in living memory and on-field agony combined with off-field shame at the Euro 2020 final.
Here, the PA news agency looks back on five of the best and worst sporting moments of 2021.
Raducanu’s fairytale in New York
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 two gold medals in the pool and team-mate Duncan Scott becoming the first British athlete to win four Olympic medals in a single Games. However, arguably the most joyous moment 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 and instantly accepted before jumping into his rival’s arms.
Verstappen snatches controversial F1 title
Chelsea win the Champions League
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. 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.
Euro 2020 final
Ryder Cup defeat
Rahm suffers double Covid-19 blow
Jon Rahm looked set to make a successful defence of his title in the prestigious Memorial Tournament after completing his third round with a six-shot lead, only to be told before he left the 18th green that he had tested positive for Covid-19 and had to withdraw. The world number one bounced back brilliantly to win his first major title in the US Open 15 days later, only to test positive again shortly before the Olympics and have to miss the Games in Tokyo.