From Tokyo to Torrey Pines - via Wembley! A look back at a memorable year of Lincolnshire sport

Duncan Browne reviews the past 12 months

Sophie Wells. Photo: Getty Images
Sophie Wells. Photo: Getty Images

Lincolnshire athletes will be able to look back on a successful 2021 - even if the year wasn't without its complications.

Covid restrictions meant a number of events and competitions had to be axed, but there were still many highlights.

With the Olympics and Paralympics pushed back a year, Yellowbellies finally saw action in Tokyo.

Victoria Rumary. Photo: Getty Images

There was plenty of joy for swim coach Melanie Marshall, whose protege Adam Peaty struck gold twice in Japan.

Peaty was part of the world-record breaking GB side which finished first in the 4x100m mixed medley and won his first gold of Tokyo 2020 in the 100m breaststroke.

He added a silver to his tally in the men's 4x100m medley.

Shona McCallin's GB hockey team could not defend the gold medal they won in Rio 2016, but they secured bronze by beating India 4-3.

Jack Harvey.

Sutton Bridge shooter Aaron Heading competed in Tokyo while Sam Atkin suffered injury heartbreak on the track, puling out of the 10,000m race midway through.

Australian Maddy Gough, whose family come from Sleaford, reached an Olympic final finishing eighth in the 1,500m freestyle.

Lincolnshire Paralympians left Tokyo with medals around their neck.

Sophie Wells secured a gold and silver in Japan while Hollie Arnold and Victoria Rumary both claimed bronze medals.

Sam Lowes.

Para-equestrian ace Wells secured gold in the team test event and added silver in the championship test grade V, to go with her two silvers and gold from London 2012 and gold won at Rio 2016.

Javelin ace Hollie Arnold - who won gold in Brazil five years ago - took third place in the F46 event.

Archer Rumary took bronze at her first Paralympics but there was no medal for judo competitor Jack Hodgson.

In the world of motorsport, Jack Harvey signed off from Meyer Shank Racing by finishing 13th in the IndyCar standings, later announcing his switch to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

Peter Hickman.

Kawasaki's Sam Lowes finished eighth in the World Superbikes, with brother Sam ending his Moto2 campaign in fourth.

The British Superbikes returned to their full schedule in 2021, Peter Hickman impressing in his debut year with FHO Racing BMW.

Tom Neave is preparing to step up to the Superbikes next year after winning the Pirelli National Superstock with Louth-based Honda Racing.

In the Honda British Talent Cup young Skegness rider Rhys Stephenson impressed in his debut year.

Sidecar ace Todd Ellis and passenger Emmanuelle Clement completed their first year in the FIM World Sidecar championship.

There was heartbreak for Lincoln City who were beaten 2-1 by Blackpool in the League One play-off final at Wembley in May, Michael Appleton's side unable to match those heights this season as they find themselves at the wrong end of the table.

Todd Ellis celebrates.

In League Two Scunthorpe United find themselves struggling once kore after narrowly avoiding the drop last season.

Grimsby Town did fall out of the Football League last season, and after a promising start to the National League campaign, Paul Hurst's side are currently mid-table.

Other non-league clubs from across the county are hoping for better this season after their 2020-21 campaigns were made null and void or curtailed.

The Lincs League was unable to finish, but new formats of the Challenge Cup and Supplementary Cup were staged - Tetney Rovers and Nunsthorpe Tavern the respective winners.

Rugby was also welcomed back after missing a full season.

Woodhall Spa Golf Club's Dave Coupland completed his first full year on the PGA European Tour - a best finish of tied for third at the British Masters enough for him to secure his place at Torrey Pines to make his US Open bow.

Boxer Callum Johnson returned from a year of inactivity to defeat Emil Markic and Server Emulaev.

He is now preparing to face WBO light heavyweight champion Joe Smith jnr in New York on January 15.

Johnson's cousin Thomas Pogson reached the final of the England Boxing National Amateur Championships this year while fellow Bostonian Angelica Finch enjoyed sucess after turning professional.

In the world of Martial Arts, kickboxer Talon Chambers became a three-time national champion in the WAKO Kickboxing British National Championships.

Evolution clubmate Nesta Baxter also scooped gold, while the Boston Kuk Sool Won school secured 10th place in Europe at their recent championships.

But for many, the joy of being able to return to their sports clubs - as competitors, fans or helpers - has been the real joy of 2021.

Rugby returned. Photo: David Dales
Play-off heartbreak for Lincoln City. Photo: Getty Images
Tetney Rovers won the Challenge Cup. Photo: Oliver Atkin
Callum Johnson. Photo: Getty Images
Dave Coupland. Photo: Getty Images