In twelve months there are unexpected events. Some buried the forecasts. The myth (Messi) that leaves his usual team, the Hamiton-Verstappen World Cup that is decided in the last kilometers, the adolescent who wins a gold or the selection that storms Wembley carried the poster of planetary surprises. There is a choice. These were 12 chimes of 2021.
El increble adis de messi
The departure of Messi from Bara was a surprise of worldwide relevance. On August 5, the club and the footballer parted ways, a scenario that a few hours before seemed incredible. The impact was brutal and its keys are still parsed. A golden book was closed in the history of Bara. After two decades of relationship Messi was forced to change his shirt. An express negotiation ended with the Argentine at PSG.
The end of Formula-1
That the champion was Verstappen is not a surprise. Let it be on the last lap in Abu Dhabi s. A few minutes before the emperor was to be Hamilton again. However, the introduction of the Safety Car and his change of tires caused the 24-year-old Dutchman to overtake the Englishman after race management decided that it would all be played on the last lap. A peak and controversial outcome that is already among the legendary episodes in the history of this sport.
The Bucks of the half century
The Milwaukee Bucks waited 50 years to rejoin the NBA ring of champions. In ’71 he conquered it with Oscar Robertson and Abdul Jabbar, two of the most decisive players in history. Last season it would not have been possible without the endless arms of Giannis Antetokounmpo, the cornerstone of a solid team who surprised everyone in a competition in which the Lakers, Nets, Suns or Heat seemed better placed.
In September, at Tottenham Hostpur Stadium, they had met 70,000 people to see how the British Anthony Joshua vaccinated the Ukrainian Alexsandr Usyk in the fight for the heavyweight world championship. What they witnessed was the opposite. At 34 years old, weighing 100 kilos and 1.91 ugly duckling of the evening beat his rival unanimously on points. It was considered to be the big surprise of the year in boxing and there is already talk of a rematch.
There are sprinters who have not gone below the 10-second barrier. One of them until May was the Italian Lamont Marcell Jacobs (27 years old). Three months later, with 9.80, he stands as the new king of the 100-meter dash, a distance that seemed limited for Jamaicans and Americans. With an Italian mother and an American father, Jacobs thus gave one of the great surprises of the Games. With his feat, he became the first Italian to claim gold in this specialty.
Acosta’s ‘glory position’
Spanish motorcycling does not expire as a source of champions. This time it was the turn of a semi-stranger a year ago. The 17-year-old Pedro Acosta from Murcia was proclaimed the new Moto3 world champion with a KTM. The pilot hit all the forecasts. Since 1990 (Capirossi) a rookie has not worn the world champion crown. Acosta is also the youngest Spaniard to wear that distinction. The next campaign will run in Moto2.
The 400 blows of Hafnaoui
What just happened? That’s what the gold winner was asking in the final of the 400 free practice at the Tokyo pool. And all because the 18-year-old Tunisian Ahmed Hafnaoui, with the worst time of the participants, had won an unexpected victory to the astonishment of spectators and specialists. The new Olympic champion I didn’t even have an official uniform to collect the medal.
The Atlanta Braves hit
A new tale of American sports was written in baseball. The Atlanta Braves conquered the World Series title after 26 years. They did it by looting the betting houses and circumstances. In the summer they had been without their best player, Roland Acua Jr., due to a serious knee injury. They reached the playoffs with the worst balance of all and that was their great asset, that of surprise. In the final they knocked out the big favorites, the Houston Astros, by 4 wins to 2, with a Cuban, Jorge Soler, as MVP.
Made in Japan en Augusta
The green jacket is one of the symbols of world sport. For the first time in history, it was taken over by a Japanese golfer, Hideki Matsuyama, who achieved the most important victory of his career at the age of 29. The player overcame his discreet last matchday and won with -10 when it was early Monday morning in Japan. Matsuyama ends the year outside the top 10 of the world ranking.
The tournament is already starting with reasons to be special. It was played in 12 venues in eleven different countries, each one with protocols against COVID. Some stadiums appeared almost empty and others almost full. The tournament went from low to high. In the sporting aspect, a chain of surprises made the favorites impossible. France, world champion, With a team full of stars, they succumb to penalties in the round of 16 against Switzerland (3-3) after wasting two goals ahead in ten minutes. In the final Italy tormented Wembley against England from the penalty spot.
A teenage gold
Momiji Nishiya was 13 in July. So far everything normal. What is extraordinary is that at that age the Japanese won the gold medal in a new discipline, skateboarding. Her tight schedule made her the youngest Olympic queen of these Games, an achievement that even sparked a debate on the age limitation for these events. Nishiya had two other teenage skaters as podium partners: Loyal, silver (13 years old), and the also Japanese Nakayama, bronze, (16 years old).
The preliminary phase and the sky of Raducanu
The US Open of tennis brought forward this edition a Christmas story. Emma Raducanu, 18-year-old British, conquered the tournament despite being number 150 in the ranking and having had to play the previous phase. Raducanu, of a Romanian father and Chinese mother, came to the United Kingdom when she was two years old and her prowess distinguishes her as the first to win a major tournament with these conditions in qualifying. The tennis player did not give up a single set and a myth like Martina Navratilova did not spare admiration: “A star has been born”.