The WSA Reflects On Some Amazing Female Athlete Performances in 2021
2021. A truly incredible year for women’s sport.
The Women’s Sports Alliance has gathered some of its favourite moments of 2021 to celebrate the achievements of individual sports women and numerous teams. We have highlighted a few here, but for more, visit the WSA’s website.
Emma Raducanu – Tennis
Where else can we begin but with the British teenager’s sensational unbeaten run at the US Open in September? After winning through the qualifying stage, the then 18-year-old maintained that form in the main draw. No opponent could even take so much as a set from her with the Briton ltimately going on to become the first unseeded player to win the title.
Raducanu was the first British woman to win a Grand Slam singles title since Virginia Wade in 1977 (Wimbledon) and capped an incredible break-through year by winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award. Another historic achievement, given the last female winner – Zara Phillips – achieved it in 2006.
“This year has been insane,” she remarked after collecting the iconic trophy.
Rachael Blackmore – Horse Racing
In April, Rachael Blackmore became the first female jockey to win the Grand National. She was also the first woman to win the ‘champion hurdle’ title at Cheltenham and was the top jockey at the event.
“I don’t feel male or female right now, I don’t even feel human,” she stated when asked about her historic Grand National victory moments after the victory. It’s unbelievable!”
Blackmore was another leading sportswoman to be acknowledged at the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year event after winning the ‘World Sports Star’ award.
“What Rachael Blackmore has done this year has changed the landscape for every girl and every woman working in horseracing,” says Clare Balding – and she speaks with authority.
Emma McKeon – Swimming
Emma McKeon’s astounding Tokyo 2020 haul of seven medals – four gold and three bronze – equalled the female record for a single Olympics, set by Soviet gymnastic Maria Gorkhovskaya in 1952.
The swimmer’s successes included an impressive 50m / 100m freestyle individual golden double and helping the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay team to victory in a new world record of three minutes 30.05 seconds.
When added to the four honours she achieved at Rio 2016, her 11 career Olympic medals makes her Australia’s most decorated Olympian of all-time.
Sky Brown – Skateboarding
At 13 years and 28 days old Sky Brown became Team GB’s second youngest Olympian and youngest medallist of all-time when she skated her way to a historic bronze at Tokyo 2020.
She, unsurprisingly, was also announced as the winner of the BBC’s prestigious Young Sports Personality of the Year award in December.
The Red Roses – Rugby
The England women’s rugby team completed a second-successive unbeaten year and have now won 18 tests in a row. Most noticeably this included a third successive Women’s Six Nation title and back-to-back victories over world champions New Zealand.
As we look to 2022, which has the potential to be even more spectacular, the Women’s Sports Alliance has compiled a list of some of the major women’s sports events to look out for during 2022. We have highlighted a few here, but to see more visit the WSA’s website.
30th January: British Basketball League – Women’s Cup Final, Birmingham, UK
4–20th February: 2022 Winter Olympic Games – Beijing, China
4–13th March: 2022 Winter Paralympics Games, Beijing, China
3rd April: Women’s World Tour, Tour des Flandres (Road Cycling), Belgium
28th July–8th August: 2022 Commonwealth Games, Birmingham, UK
1–19th November: Women’s Rugby League World Cup, UK
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