The sporting events you have to watch this yearBy Joe Myko
2017 is going to be a great year for sports fans. We've rounded up the best sporting events coming up this year that you can't miss.
Wimbledon (3 - 16 July)
Widely considered to be tennis’ largest and most prestigious competition, 2017’s Wimbledon is unlikely to disappoint. Andy Murray will be keen to retain his crown and take home the prize money for the second year in a row (£28,100,000!). However, the Brit faces great competition against a rejuvenated tennis legend, Roger Federer, who’s recently secured his 18th Grand Slam win at the 2017 Australian Open — defeating long-time nemesis Rafael Nadal.
Six Nations Championship (4 February - 18 March)
2017 will provide the 18th series of the rugby union championship, in which England will be looking to retain the title against their European counterparts: Italy, France, Ireland, Scotland, Wales.
UEFA Women’s Euro (16 July - 6 August)
Germany will be confident going into the 2017 UEFA Women’s Championship, coming off the back of winning their first gold medal in last summer’s Olympics. However, England is hoping to provide an upset as they travel to the Netherlands to compete in their first major footballing competition since they finished 3rd, as the highest-ranked European team, at Canada’s 2015 Women’s World Cup.
FIS Alpine World Ski Championships (6 - 19 February)
74 nations will compete against each other, across 11 winter sports events, in this biennial spectacular competition, taking place in Switzerland.
UEFA Champions League Final (3 June)
Football’s biggest annual game is scheduled to take place in Cardiff this year, with fans eagerly anticipating who’ll win the chance to perform on the sport’s biggest domestic stage. Will La Liga continue to dominate the proceedings? Or will an English side reach the final for the first time in five years? Vardy to nutmeg Neuer last minute and bring the trophy home for Leicester?
Tour de France (1 - 23 July)
The annual bicycle racing event will begin in Dusseldorf this year, with 22 teams taking on the challenge of travelling 2,185 miles across France, over 21 stages, finishing at the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Anticipation remains high for this year’s instalment with fans eager to see how competitors fare amongst the atypical mountain stages — following cyclists across France’s five mountain ranges, with fewer, but steeper climbs than usual. This will mean the favourites, including Britain’s Chris Froome, Colombia's Nairo Quintana and Germany’s Tony Martin will compete amidst exceptionally steep gradients; aiming to secure first place and the €500,000 prize which follows it.
Haye vs Bellew (4 March)
Tony Bellew is determined to retain his WBC World Cruiserweight title against fellow Englishman David Haye at The O2 in London, for what will surely be an explosive bout; with Tony “bell-end” Bellew (nicknamed by Haye) claiming it will be “Sideshow Bob’s” first “hard fight” in five years.
World Table Tennis Championships (29 May - 5 June)
Will China continue to monopolise the world rankings at this biennial competition? Possibly, but they’ll need to be wary of their improving German and Japanese competitors, who will be quietly confident of causing an upset in Dusseldorf.
IAAF World Championships (4 - 13 August)
Anticipation is high in the build-up to London’s biggest athletic event since the 2012 Summer Olympics, with the Olympic Stadium scheduled to host the biennial competition. Supposedly, it will be the last run-out for two of athletic’s major competitors: Britain’s distance track runner Mo Farah and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt (recognised as the fastest human to ever be timed!).
World Snooker Championship (15 April - 1 May)
Snooker’s most prestigious competition, bringing about a large following and a substantial £1.5 million prize fund, will take place at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.
The British Open (20 - 23 July)
The oldest of golf’s four major competitions — the only one held outside of the US — will provide Henrik Stenson with the opportunity to protect his record-breaking score of -20, which he chalked up in the previous instalment of the annual competition.
Formula One, Grand Prix (26 March - 26 November)
Lewis Hamilton will be vying to dominate auto racing’s top competition, which will take place in numerous locations worldwide over the course of the year, following on from the retirement of Nico Rosberg — who retired after beating Hamilton in the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.