Looking Forward to 2021: The Year of Sport

Sports fans across the world have plenty to look forward to in 2021, with the schedule packed with a wide range of top-class events.

Horse racing, golf, cricket and ice hockey are amongst the sports that will dominate many of the headlines, with each featuring events that should be hugely popular.

However, the European Championships in football and the Summer Olympics may well steal the show, with both shaping up to be truly fantastic occasions.

Read on as we take a closer look at some of the major sporting events that we believe should be well worth following during 2021.

IIHF World Championships

Ice hockey’s top stars will gather in Belarus and Latvia during May and June as the 2021 IIHF World Championships take centre stage.

Canada and the United States are amongst the favourites with the DraftKings Sportsbook to claim the gold medal in what is always a fiercely fought tournament.

Reigning champions Finland will also be tough to beat, while the likes of Sweden, Germany and the Czech Republic all boast talented rosters.

However, Russia won the tournament the last time it was staged in Belarus back in 2014 and could be difficult to stop this time around. 

Royal Ascot

The 2020 edition of Royal Ascot was an underwhelming affair, with the lack of crowds at the racetrack contributing massively to a rather flat atmosphere.

Around 300,000 people are expected to attend the five-day meeting next June in what promises to be a return to the usual thrilling festival of horse racing.

The standout race of the event takes place on the Thursday and will see Stradivarius attempt to become just the second horse to win the Gold Cup for the fourth year in a row.

Aidan O’Brien’s Yeats achieved the feat from 2006 to 2009 and Stradivarius will be strongly fancied to match him next summer.

European Championships

Football fans will be in for a treat during June and July as 24 international teams take part in the prestigious European Championships.

Many supporters will be able to watch the Euros online, with the tournament set to be staged across 12 different countries for the first time ever.

France are amongst the favourites to lift the trophy having claimed a deserved success at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

England, Belgium, Germany, Spain and Netherlands should also be in the mix for what is expected to be one of the most competitive Euros ever played.

Summer Olympics

The sporting bandwagon rolls on in July and August as the Games of the 32nd Olympiad take place in Tokyo, Japan.

More than 200 nations are expected to be represented, with around 11,000 athletes set to compete across the different disciplines.

The Japanese capital last hosted the Summer Games back in 1964 and many of the same venues will be used for the latest edition.

The country has also twice staged the Winter Olympics in 1972 & 1998 and is expected to continue its legacy of organising successful sporting events.

Ryder Cup

The 2020 Ryder Cup has been postponed for 12 months in order to allow the event to take place with fans in attendance.

The biennial match between golfers from Europe and the US will be played at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, on September 24-26.

Subsequent Ryder Cups will now fall in odd years, with Rome hosting the event in two years’ time and New York the venue in 2025.

Europe romped to an impressive 17½–10½ victory at Le Golf National back in 2018, but the US will hope that home advantage swings things in their favour next year.

T20 Cricket World Cup

The T20 World Cup is the highlight of the sporting calendar towards the end of the year, with 16 teams battling for one of the top prizes in cricket during October and November.

Reigning champions West Indies will be keen to defend their title, but hosts Australia may be tough to beat on their own patch.

England will should also be in the mix having missed out in heart-breaking fashion against the Windies back in the 2016 final.

India, New Zealand and Pakistan are amongst the other nations who will expect to mount a serious challenge for the title.

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