The corresponding honour in the men's section went to Norway's Karsten Warholm, who uncorked one of the most remarkable performances in athletics history when he stormed to gold in the 400M hurdles at the Tokyo Olympics.
Having already broken the world record with 46.70 in Oslo in the lead-up to the Games, Warholm exceeded all expectations in the Japanese capital to claim gold in a stunning world record of 45.94. In a race of incredible depth, the top three athletes finished inside the pre-2021 world record.
Talking point of 2021
The shared high jump victory in Tokyo Olympics between Qatar's Mutaz Barshim and Italy's Gianmarco Tamberi became one of the biggest talking points of 2021, not only for everything it represented in their own individual careers, having both battled serious injuries since the last Games, but mainly for the act of respect and sportsmanship between two friends as the duo won the inspiration award.
"It is just crazy if I think about this story," said Tamberi. "Thank you very much for this trophy. "I now call Mutaz like five times a week because I need to speak with him. I feel that now we are not just friends, we are really like blood brothers." Barshim added: "I hope to inspire more people to love our sport and maybe share a gold one day!"
Honour for Anju
Year 2021 saw India making giant strides in world athletics with javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra clinching the first individual gold medal for the country.
The country had more to cheer when ace Indian long jumper Anju Bobby George was crowned Woman of the Year at the 2021 by the World Athletics. Anju's efforts in advancing the sport in India as well as inspiring more women to follow in her footsteps made her recipient of this year's award.
Challenges in 2022
The spate of doping scandals and mental health of the athletes in the post COVID-19 scenario are some of the challenges which World Athletics, itself headed by an Olympian in Sebastian Coe, will have to address in 2022.
With Olympics being pushed by a year, the World Athletics Championships also followed the path and as the New Year dawns, all eyes will be on the showpiece event which will now be held from July 15 to 24 in Oregon, US. Bring it on!