From Emma Raducanu’s elation to England’s Euros heartache – 2021 in pictures

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  • Emma Raducanu
    Emma Raducanu
    British professional tennis player
  • Pernille Harder
    Danish footballer

It has been another eventful year of sporting action in 2021.

Emma Raducanu burst on to the stage in style in New York, England fell at the final hurdle in Euro 2020 and the Olympics provided more British heroes.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the sporting year through the best pictures.

Sky’s the limit for Harder

Chelsea’s Pernille Harder celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the FA Women’s League Cup semi-final against West Ham. Chelsea won 6-0 and Harder bagged a hat-trick, with Emma Hayes' side going on to beat Bristol City in the final
Chelsea’s Pernille Harder celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the FA Women’s League Cup semi-final against West Ham. Chelsea won 6-0 and Harder bagged a hat-trick, with Emma Hayes’ side going on to beat Bristol City in the final (Adam Davy/PA)

Cambridge make a splash

Cambridge University celebrate winning the 166th Men’s Boat Race. The famous battle with Oxford University was held on the River Great Ouse near Ely in Cambridgeshire instead of the Thames as the country was in a lockdown at the time
Cambridge University celebrate winning the 166th men’s Boat Race. The famous battle with Oxford University was held on the River Great Ouse near Ely in Cambridgeshire instead of the Thames as the country was in a lockdown at the time (Joe Giddens/PA)

Magic Minella

Minella Times ridden by Rachael Blackmore clears the water on the way to victory in the Grand National at Aintree. Blackmore became the first female jockey to win the famous race, which was held behind closed doors for the first time in its history
Minella Times ridden by Rachael Blackmore clears the water on the way to victory in the Grand National at Aintree. Blackmore became the first female jockey to win the famous race, which was held behind closed doors for the first time in its history (David Davies/Jockey Club/PA)

United in protest

Manchester United fans protest against the club owners outside of Old Trafford before a Premier League match with Liverpool. They went on to break into the stadium and the game was called of
Manchester United fans protest against the club owners outside of Old Trafford before a Premier League match with Liverpool. They went on to break into the stadium and the game was called off (Danny Lawson/PA)

Agony and ecstasy

Chelsea players celebrate winning the Champions League in Porto. Kai Havertz's goal earned a 1-0 win over Manchester City, whose striker Sergio Aguero saw his final game for the club end in tears
Chelsea players celebrate winning the Champions League in Porto. Kai Havertz’s goal earned a 1-0 win over Manchester City, whose striker Sergio Aguero saw his final game for the club end in tears (Adam Davy/PA)

Three Lions roaring

England manager Gareth Southgate celebrates after his side beat Germany 2-0 in the last-16 at Euro 2020. They went on to reach the final where they were beaten on penalties by Italy
England manager Gareth Southgate celebrates after his side beat Germany 2-0 in the last 16 at Euro 2020. They went on to reach the final where they were beaten on penalties by Italy (Mike Egerton/PA)

On the buses

England fans climb aboard a bus outside the ground ahead of the Euro 2020 final at Wembley. The day was marred by crowd trouble with ticketless thugs storming into the stadium before kick-off
England fans climb aboard a bus outside the ground ahead of the Euro 2020 final at Wembley. The day was marred by crowd trouble with ticketless thugs storming into the stadium before kick-off (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Djokovic wins again

Novak Djokovic celebrates winning Wimbledon after a four-set win over Italian Matteo Berrettini. It was his sixth SW19 title
Novak Djokovic celebrates winning Wimbledon after a four-set triumph over Italian Matteo Berrettini. It was his sixth SW19 title (John Walton/PA)

Italy’s Wembley glory

Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci lift the European Championship trophy after beating England on penalties at Wembley
Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci lift the European Championship trophy after beating England on penalties at Wembley (Nick Potts/PA)

Rallying around Rashford

Supporters take the knee during a demonstration in support of England's Marcus Rashford in front of his mural on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe in Withington. The mural appeared to have been vandalised after Rashford missed a penalty in the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 final loss to Italy (Danny Lawson/PA)
Supporters take the knee during a demonstration in support of England’s Marcus Rashford in front of his mural on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe in Withington. The mural appeared to have been vandalised after Rashford missed a penalty in the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 final loss to Italy (Danny Lawson/PA)

Home sweet home for Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in July. It was his eighth victory on home soil and he went on to claim an eighth world title after a thrilling climax to the season in Abu Dhabi
Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in July. It was his eighth victory on home soil (Bradley Collyer/PA)

King of Royal St George’s

Collin Morikawa poses with the Claret Jug after winning The Open at The Royal St George's Golf Club in Sandwich. The American, claiming his first major, finished on 15 under, two shots clear of Jordan Speith.
Collin Morikawa poses with the Claret Jug after winning The Open at The Royal St George’s Golf Club in Sandwich. The American, claiming his first major, finished on 15 under, two shots clear of Jordan Speith (David Davies/PA)

Peaty makes a splash

Great Britain's Adam Peaty celebrates winning the men’s 100m breaststroke final at the Tokyo Olympics, becoming the first British swimmer to retain an Olympic title. It was Team GB’s first gold of the Games
Great Britain’s Adam Peaty celebrates winning the men’s 100m breaststroke final at the Tokyo Olympics, becoming the first British swimmer to retain an Olympic title. It was Team GB’s first gold of the Games (Adam Davy/PA)

Jacobs’ joy in Japan

Italy's Lamont Jacobs, right, wins the men's 100 metres at Tokyo 2020 in a shock result. Jacobs topped the podium ahead of American Fred Kerley and Andre de Grasse of Canada, posting a European record time of 9.80 seconds
Italy’s Lamont Jacobs, right, wins the men’s 100 metres at Tokyo 2020 in a shock result. Jacobs topped the podium ahead of American Fred Kerley and Andre De Grasse of Canada, posting a European record time of 9.80 seconds (Martin Rickett/PA)

Biles Beaming

Simone Biles competes in the women's Beam final in Tokyo where she went on to win a bronze medal. The American had returned to competition in this event having previously withdrawn from other events due to mental health
Simone Biles competes in the women’s beam final in Tokyo where she went on to win a bronze medal. The American had returned to competition in this event having previously withdrawn from other events due to mental health issues (Mike Egerton/PA)

Sky high

Great Britain's Sky Brown completes a move in the Park final in the Tokyo Games. Aged just 13 years and 28 days, Park became the youngest Briton to win an Olympic medal when she claimed bronze
Great Britain’s Sky Brown completes a move in the Park final in the Tokyo Games. Aged just 13 years and 28 days, Park became the youngest Briton to win an Olympic medal when she claimed bronze (Adam Davy/PA)

Maher explodes to gold

Ben Maher rides Explosion W in the individual jumping final at Equestrian Park at the Olympics. He went on to win gold for the second time, having also topped the podium in London
Ben Maher rides Explosion W in the individual jumping final at Equestrian Park at the Olympics. He went on to win gold for the second time, having also topped the podium in London (Adam Davy/PA)

Go, go, go Joseph

Joseph Choong crosses the finish line to claim victory in the modern pentathlon in Tokyo. The Kent athlete became the first ever Great Briton to win gold in the five-sport event
Joseph Choong crosses the finish line to claim victory in the modern pentathlon in Tokyo. The Kent athlete became the first ever Great Briton to win gold in the five-sport event (Adam Davy/PA)

Taming the Lions

South Africa captain Siya Kolisi leads the celebrations following his side’s series win over the British and Irish Lions. South Africa won the deciding Test 19-16 in Johannesburg to take the series 2-1
South Africa captain Siya Kolisi leads the celebrations following his side’s series win over the British and Irish Lions. South Africa won the deciding Test 19-16 in Johannesburg to take the series 2-1 (Steve Haag/PA)

Play like an Egyptian

Egypt's Ibrahim Elhusseiny Hamadtou competes in the men's singles class 6 Group E Table Tennis event at the Paralympics in Tokyp. The 48-year-old lost both of his arms in a train accident when he was 10
Egypt’s Ibrahim Elhusseiny Hamadtou competes in the men’s singles class 6 Group E table tennis event at the Paralympics in Tokyo. The 48-year-old lost both of his arms in a train accident when he was 10 (John Walton/PA)

Chasing shadows

Kadeena Cox during the T38 400 metres final in Tokyo. The Great Briton finished fourth in the race but added two more golds to her collection, winning the C4-5 cycling time trial andthe mixed C1-5 sprint on the bike
Kadeena Cox during the T38 400 metres final in Tokyo. The Great Briton finished fourth in the race but added two more golds to her collection, winning the C4-5 cycling time trial and the mixed C1-5 sprint on the bike (John Walton/PA)

How’s that for a view?

Chris Woakes appeals against Ravindra Jadeja as England chased victory against India in the fourth Test at the Oval. The tourists won the game by 157 runs to go 2-1 up in the five-match series, which was not concluded after the deciding Test was cancelled due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the Indian camp
Chris Woakes appeals against Ravindra Jadeja as England chased victory against India in the fourth Test at the Oval. The tourists won the game by 157 runs to go 2-1 up in the five-match series, which was not concluded after the deciding Test was cancelled due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the Indian camp (Adam Davy/PA)

Queen of New York

Emma Raducanu is in disbelief after she made history by winning the US Open, becoming the first qualifier to triumph at a grand slam
Emma Raducanu, then just 18 years old, is in disbelief after she made history by winning the US Open, becoming the first qualifier to triumph at a grand slam (Zuma/PA)

AJ’s night to forget

Anthony Joshua makes his way to the ring ahead of his bout with Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Joshua, defending his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO titles, was outfought by his wily opponent and lost on a unanimous points decision
Anthony Joshua makes his way to the ring ahead of his bout with Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Joshua, defending his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO titles, was outfought by his wily opponent and lost on a unanimous points decision (Nick Potts/PA)

Lucky 13 for Saints

St Helens’ Morgan Knowles lifts the trophy after his side won the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford. St Helen’s, contesting the match for a record 13th time, beat Catalan Dragons 12-10
St Helens’ Morgan Knowles lifts the trophy after his side won the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford. St Helens, contesting the match for a record 13th time, beat Catalan Dragons 12-10 (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Wales fly high

Liam Williams crosses the line for Wales against Fiji during the Autumn Nations Series in Cardiff. The hosts won the match 38-23
Liam Williams crosses the line for Wales against Fiji during the Autumn Nations Series in Cardiff. The hosts won the match 38-23 (David Davies/PA)

Gerrard’s debut delight

Steven Gerrard celebrates Ollie Watkins’ opening goal against Brighton, that helped him to a first win in charge of Aston Villa. Gerrard had left Rangers to take over from Dean Smith at Villa Park
Steven Gerrard celebrates Ollie Watkins’ opening goal against Brighton, that helped him to a first win in charge of Aston Villa. Gerrard had left Rangers to take over from Dean Smith at Villa Park (Nick Potts/PA)

Verstappen crowned champion of the world

Max Verstappen (centre) celebrates with his Red Bull team
Max Verstappen (centre) clinched his maiden Formula One title on an exciting last lap of the season (PA Wire)
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