In year 2021, many a players and athletes performed extraordinarily well and made Pakistanis proud. Here is a list with no particular order:
Pakistan’s Haider Ali created history as he became the first-ever Pakistani athlete to win a gold medal at Paralympic Games 2020. Haider achieved an impressive milestone as he won the Men’s Discus Throw Competition in the Tokyo Paralympic Games. Haider achieved his personal best discus throw in the competition. He threw the discus at 55.26m, which was approximately three meters more than the second-placed competitor.
Pakistan women’s star cricketer, Nida Dar created history as she became the first Pakistani cricketer to take more than 100 T20I wickets. Nida is the fourth-highest wicket-taker in Women’s T20Is with 103 wickets in the format. She is the only Pakistani cricketer, men or women, to achieve the feat so far.
The Falcon became a two-time World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver World Title and WBA World Eliminator champion as he defeated Colombia’s Robert Barrera. The victory over his counterpart propelled him to the top of the WBA Flyweight rankings. He reclaimed his top spot after a gap of four years.
Pakistan’s wicket-keeper batter, Mohammad Rizwan had a record-breaking year in T20 cricket. He became the first batter in the world to cross the 2,000 run mark in the T20s and the 1,000 run mark in T20Is. Rizwan witnessed a meteoric rise in the year. He was ranked outside the top 100 at the start of the year and finished as the third ranked batter in T20I rankings at the end of the year.
Pakistani martial artist, Irfan Mehsood achieved his 43rd Guinness World Record as he achieved the record for most push-ups with one leg raised while carrying a 100lb pack in one minute. Mehsood achieved 43 push-ups during the timeframe, beating the previous record of 31 push-ups held by a French athlete.
Talha Talib became an overnight sensation as the whole country backed him in the Weightlifting competition in the Tokyo Olympics. Talha, who had little support from the authorities in the country, trained in his own gym in Gujranwala leading up to the mega event. He massively exceeded expectations as he achieved the fifth position in the 67KG category weightlifting competition at the Olympics.
19-year old Shehroze Kashif set two Guinness World Records as he became the youngest mountaineer in the world to summit the two highest peaks in the world, Mount Everest and K2. He summitted the mountains within three months. Shehroze broke yet another record a few months later as he became the youngest Pakistani mountaineer to summit the 8th tallest peak in the world, Manaslu which is at a height of 8,163 meters.
Pakistan’s star Karateka, Saadi Abbas achieved the fifth spot in the Asian Karate Championship. Saadi competed in the tournament despite suffering from fever and flu which had an adverse impact on his performance. Despite being less than a hundred percent, he stood his ground and finished fifth.
Pakistan’s ace MMA fighter, Ahmed Mujtaba aka ‘The Wolverine’ marked his return to the octagon after three years by knocking out his Indian opponent, Rahul Raju, inside one minute. Wolverine extended his record in MMA, and he now has 8 wins and 2 losses in his professional career.
Pakistan’s all-format captain, Babar Azam continued his rich vein of form in the year and finished as the best batter in ODI and T20Is. He became only the second batter in history to be ranked number one in both formats. Previously, former Australian batter, Ricky Ponting, achieved the feat back in 2005.
Arshad Nadeem bagged a gold medal in the Javelin Throw competition at the inaugural Imam Reza Athletics Cup. Nadeem registered his personal best throw and broke the national record for the longest throw. His throw was recorded at 86.38m, booking an automatic place in the Javelin Throw event at the Tokyo Olympics.
Arshad Nadeem once again defied the odds and came in at the fifth position in the Javelin Throw event at the Tokyo Olympics. Nadeem’s feat was impressive due to the fact that he did not have access to proper training facilities leading up to the tournament. He received a warm reception upon his return to Pakistan as he urged the government to spend on the infrastructure for Pakistani athletes.
SYED IMAAD ALI
A young prodigy, Syed Imaad Ali created history as he won the World English Scrabble Players Association (WESPA) Youth Cup for the second time. He became the only player in the world to win the championship twice. The 15-year old defeated his opponent in 9 out of 13 games in the finals of the tournament, held in Karachi, and helped Pakistan finish as the winners of the tournament.
Neelofar Shirazi achieved history as she broke the Guinness World Record for breaking 1,000 bricks with her hand. Neelofar who hails from District Battagram, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, broke 1,000 bricks in 27 minutes to achieve the historic milestone.
Arslan Ash won the International Tekken 7 tournament at the WePlay Ultimate Fighting League. He defeated fellow Pakistani, Awais Honey, in the final to be crowned as the champion of the mega tournament.
PAKISTANI CRICKET TEAM
DEFEATED INDIA IN T20 WORLD CUP
Pakistan was unstoppable in the 2021 T20 World Cup. They opened their campaign by defeating arch-rivals India, their first victory over their neighbors in any World Cup. They cruised past their opponents in the group stages of the tournament and were the only team to remain unbeaten throughout the group stages of the competition.
WON 20 OUT OF 29 MATCHES
Pakistan had an amazing run in T20 cricket throughout the year. The Men in Green created history as they became the first team in history to register 20 T20I wins in a calendar year. Pakistan played a total of 29 matches in the year, ending victorious in 20 matches. They beat the likes of South Africa, Bangladesh, and West Indies away from home in addition to a remarkable run in the 2021 T20 World Cup as well.
HIGHEST WIN PERCENTAGE IN TEST CRICKET
Adding to their series victory against South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Bangladesh, Pakistan also defeated West Indies in the second Test match of the series to level the series 1-1. They won 7 out of their 9 Test matches while they lost 2 matches. Their win percentage of 77.77 in the calendar year was the highest.
TENT PEGGING CHAMPIONS
Pakistan grabbed two gold medals and one silver medal in the International Championship of Tent Pegging held in Oman. The ancient sport of tent pegging is extremely popular in countries such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia, Jordan, Sudan, Palestine, etc.