As you know, out of sight, out of mind, so from Olybet.TV to you – the list of dates that are important in the world of sports this year, so you can mark them down in your calendar!
On January 14th, this year’s Australian Open will kick off on the other side of the globe. In the men’s competition, Novak Djokovic will defend the title. He has won in Australia the last four times he participated in the tournament – 2022 was, as you will remember, the coronavirus scandal. Among the women, the burden of defending the title is on the shoulders of Arõna Sabalenka.
On January 25th, all Estonians will be glued to their screens, because that’s the start of this year’s World Rally Championship season in Monte Carlo. Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja, who moved to the Hyundai camp between two seasons, will start the hunt for a second World Cup title on the icy mountain roads, with teammate Thierry Neuville and Toyota’s front-runner Elfyn Evans as their main rivals.
The reigning world champion Kalle Rovanperä will not participate in the full season this year, which could be beneficial to our man. Whether things will work out well will be clear by the last weekend of November at the latest when the last, 13th stage of the season will take place in Japan.
On February 11th this year’s Super Bowl, LVIII in a row, will be held in Nevada. The NFL title battle may leave the lion’s share of Estonians cold, but it still appeals to millions and millions of sports fans in the wider world. Also, important information: Usher will be the main performer of the halftime show.
On February 17th, the boxing heavyweight will once again get the absolute champion after a 24-year break, when Oleksander Ussõk and Tyson Fury will face each other in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.
March 1st–3rd, the top event of the winter athletics season, i.e. the World Athletics Indoor Championships, will take place in Glasgow. Although it may go unnoticed by the wider sports community, Estonians certainly will take note of this event as Karel Tilgal, who finally overcame the difficulties last year and blossomed is participating as well!
March 2nd – this year’s F1 series kicks off in Bahrain, which surprisingly, is remarkably similar to last year. Namely, for the first time in history, no drivers were changed in the royal series between two seasons, in addition, both the technical conditions and the WC calendar remained the same.
24 stages will be raced again, and by December 8 at the latest, it will be clear whether someone managed to triumph over Max Verstappen and Red Bull this year or not.
On April 16th, the NBA play-in games will begin in North America, and the proper play-off action will be in full gear four days later when the eight best teams of both conferences will be clear. Things should reach the final series by June 6, which means that this year’s NBA champion will be known for sure by Midsummer.
On April 19th, on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, the start of the NHL playoff games will be held also. This year’s Stanley Cup winner will similarly be known by Midsummer at the latest.
On April 20th, this year’s Snooker World Cup will kick off at the Crucible Theater in Sheffield. Let’s just say it’s worth tuning in to the Eurosport channel.
On May 4th, the 107th Giro d’Italia will begin in the central square of Turin, this year’s owner of the pink jersey will be known to the cycling public by May 26 at the latest.
On May 20th, the 123rd French Open tennis tournament will start in the famous Roland Garros tennis complex. By June 9, it will be known whether Djokovic and Poland’s Iga Swiatek managed to defend their titles.
On June 1st, it will be revealed at the famous Wembley, who will be the winner of this year’s UEFA Champions League. Although there is a long road ahead to London still, betting operators see Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid as the biggest contenders.
On June 7th, the spotlight will be once again taken by the athletics, who will challenge Europe’s best in Rome. Once again, it is an event that is primarily of interest to Estonian sports fans, because our decathletes – whoever of them eventually goes there – and Rasmus Mägi both could have real medal chances in Italy.
On June 14th, this year’s European Football Championship will be kicked off in Munich, Germany. The Old World’s Football Champion will be revealed exactly one month later, on July 14 in Berlin. As the tournament approaches, we will, of course, write more about it, so stay tuned!
On June 20th, football will be on everyone’s mind in the Americas as well, when the 48th Copa America kicks off in the USA. Whether Lionel Messi will manage to steer Argentina to another trophy or whether others, led by the Brazilians, will make it a difficult endeavour, will be clear on July 14.
On June 29th, the same time as the two important football events, this year’s Tour de France will kick off in Florence, during which the riders will cover 3,492 kilometers in 23 days. This year’s champion will be known by July 21.
On July 1st, the prestigious Wimbledon slam tournament will kick off, where Carlos Alcaraz and Marketa Vondroušova will enter the competition as the defending champions.
On July 26th, however, everything that happened earlier in the world of sports will pale in comparison, because that’s when the fire of the 33rd Summer Olympics will be lit in Paris. Then, the world’s best athletes – about 10,500 in number – will gather in the French capital to find out the best of the best. The sports festival lasts until August 11.
A total of 329 sets of medals will be handed out in Paris, and Estonians also hope to grab an award or two. Who should be counted on? There is plenty to choose from because we have athletes, especially Karel Tilga, swimmer Eneli Jefimova, shooter Peeter Olesk, and if the god of sports is merciful and they still make it to the Olympics, wrestlers Epp Mäe and Heiki Nabi and epee fencers!
Onwards from August …
From August 17th, it is possible to start curing the Olympic hangover with the help of the Vuelta, which lasts until September 8.
From August 26th, the US Open offers an alternative for cycling fans, where defending champions Djokovic and Coco Gauff will compete.
That’s it for dates for now, but certainly, this doesn’t mean that the sports world goes on hiatus from September.
There are still competitions here and there – e.g. rowing, weightlifting, short course swimming or cycling World Championships and the British Snooker Championships – and the WRC and F1 seasons are going full steam ahead, but considering the density and intensity of this year’s sports summer, long wind down and cool off is only needed to recover from it all.
But right now, we are of course looking forward to the sports year that has started!