2021 a huge year for global sport

The sporting year ahead is set to feature some huge events that were rescheduled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The next 12 months could also see a certain all-British mega-fight finally take place and a knight create more history behind the wheel.

After the cancellations, postponements and various other ways in which the pandemic affected sport during 2020, it remains to be seen how things are impacted over the months ahead.

Showpieces that were moved to 2021 include the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo and football’s European Championship, while the calendar also features a British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa and an England-hosted rugby league World Cup.

The hope is for a great spectacle in front of crowds, with so much of the sporting action that there was in 2020 happening behind closed doors.
The Olympics are scheduled to get under way in July and there will be considerable focus on Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who are both looking for maiden Olympic golds having had 2019 World Championship success in the 200 metres and heptathlon respectively.

The men’s Euros are set to take place from June 11 to July 11, in 12 host cities – and the opportunity is there for England to lift the trophy on home soil, with the semis and final being played at Wembley. The three group fixtures Gareth Southgate’s men are scheduled to play at the stadium include a mouth-watering clash with Scotland, who have qualified for a first major tournament since the 1998 World Cup. Wales have also secured a spot at the finals.

A much-anticipated showdown between Anthony Joshua and fellow world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury could at last become reality in the summer of 2021. Joshua, who defended his WBA, IBF and WBO belts with a ninth-round knockout of Kubrat Pulev on December 12, recently emphasised his desire to fight Fury next, adding that his expectation was “maybe June”. Those comments came a few days after WBC title-holder Fury said: “Next year, the fight has to happen.”

Lewis Hamilton will set a new record for Formula One world titles if he adds another to his incredible CV in 2021. The 35-year-old, who was knighted in the New Year Honours list and also recently voted the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year, moved level with Michael Schumacher on seven when he claimed the 2020 title. Hamilton has already surpassed the German in terms of the highest number of career race wins.