With the pandemic induced lockdown disrupting the athletics season and the Tokyo Olympics looming overhead, the 2021 season was all set to be mouthwatering, to say the least. And it didn’t disappoint as it was filled with some top performances in athletics. From the Olympic trials and Diamond league meets to the 32nd Olympics Games, the season witnessed history being scripted on the track.
While numerous world and Olympic records perished, others came agonisingly close to getting their names etched in the history books. From Warholm and McLaughlin to Vetter and Thompson-Herah, we take a look at the top performances in track and field this season.
Top performances in athletics in 2021
6. Elaine Thompson-Herah
Five-time Olympic gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah is coming off a stupendous season as she clocked the second-fastest 100m time in the history of women athletics. Thompson-Herah clocked an astounding 10.54s at the Diamond League meeting in Eugene. The Tokyo 2020 gold medallist is closer than ever to beat the 10.49 world record of the late Florence Griffith-Joyner.
Former World champion Johannes Vetterat the European Athletics Team Championships Super League in Silesia as he hurled the javelin a whopping 96.29m. The German bettered his own throw of 94.20m earlier in the month to produce the third-best throw in the history of the sport. The second-best throw at 97.76m also belongs to Vetter which he achieved in 2020.
American track sensation Sydney McLaughlin bettered her World record at the Tokyo Olympics to clinch the women’s 400-meter hurdles by a whisker, 0.12 seconds. McLaughlin shaved 0.44 seconds off her own world record to stun one and all in Tokyo. The 22-year-old rose to the occasion in the final meters to topple the defending champion, Dalilah Muhammad, in style.
Olympic championRyan Crouser unleashed a monster throw at the US Olympic trials. The 32-year-old hurled a 23.37m throw, adding 25 centimetres to the world record set by Randy Barnes back in 1990, two years before he was born. Crouser went on record a 23.30m throw in the Olympics final to defend his title and register the second-best throw in the sport scripting an Olympic record.
Ethiopian long-distance runner Letesenbet Gidey smashed the world record on debut at the Valencia Half Marathon. The Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist clocked 1:02.52s bettering the previous world record mark of 1:04:02s, set by world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich, by more than a minute. Coincidentally, Gidey had broken the world record in 5,000m in Valencia last year.
While much was expected from world record holder Karsten Warholm at the Tokyo Olympics, none saw his stupendous performance in Tokyo coming. The Norwegian become the first athlete to clock sub 45 timing in 400m hurdles as he registered a timing of 45.96s, almost a second or to be exact 0.76s better than his previous record. Warholm had broken Kevin Young‘s 29-year-old world record when he clocked 46.70s a month ahead of Tokyo 2020.
Anshuman Mahapatra is currently pursuing an engineering degree. Writing and sports are his fortes. He covers cricket as well as badminton, boxing and other Olympic sports. Anshuman is addicted to reading novels and cricket. He is a huge Chennai Super Kings fan.
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