A historic Olympic summer came to a fittingly emotional end at the Wanda Diamond League Final in 2021, as 32 athletes were crowned Diamond League champion over two dramatic days in Zurich. The first full Diamond League Final since 2019 confirmed a changing of the guard in many disciplines, with only 10 of this year's champions had won the title before, and some newly minted superstars claiming their first ever Diamond Trophy.
In the final part of our 2021 season review, we look back at the final meeting on the Road to Zurich - the Allianz Memorial Van Damme in Brussels - and both day of action at the thrilling season finale in Switzerland.
Brussels - September 3rd
The Memorial Van Damme in early September was the last chance for athletes to pick up points and snag a place in the Wanda Diamond League Final. Some, like rising US star Sha'Carri Richardson, fell just short, while others delivered historic performances to nail down their berth to Zurich. Fresh from her triple-medal heroics in Tokyo, Dutch star Sifan Hassan smashed the meeting record in the women's mile, while fellow Olympic champion Mondo Duplantis did the same in the men's pole vault. Not for the first time, the Swedish star ended the meeting with three attempts at a world record of 6.19m, but the mark continued to elude him as heading into the final.
Zurich (Day 1) - September 8th
The first day of action at the final took place at the Sechseläutenplatz in Zurich's city centre, with the 5000m finals taking place for the first time on a specially-designed temporary track around the opera house. Burundi's Francine Niyonsaba and Ethiopia's Behru Aregawi triumphed on the new technology, both of them winning the Diamond Trophy for the first time in their careers. There was also a maiden title for Ryan Crouser in the men's shot put, the American finally adding the Diamond Trophy to his long list of accolades. In the women's high jump, Mariya Lasitskene defended her title after a gripping battle with Ukrainian pretender Yaroslava Mahuchikh.
Zurich (Day 2) - September 9th
The season came to it customary bombastic end at the Letzigrund stadium in Zurich, with the remaining 25 champions crowned in a bumper programme. First-time champions included Christine Mboma and Kenneth Bednarek in the 200m and Devon Allen and Tobi Amusan in the sprint hurdles. Both Mondo Duplantis and women's triple jumper Yulimar Rojas added a first career Diamond Trophy to their Olympic titles, with both once again coming within touching distance of the world record. Fellow Olympic champion Karsten Warholm defended his title in the 400m hurdles, while Elaine Thompson-Herah completed an astonishing season with a first Diamond Trophy in four years in the women's 100m.