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Action-Packed Summer: Key Sporting Events to Watch

Photo courtesy of nicolas michaud on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eznix/37441521842

Staff Writer Grace Holloway provides a guide to the major sporting events to get excited for this summer.

As the football season draws to a close, many sports fans may be looking for events to watch this summer. There is no absence of exciting events to fill the next three months.

European Championships (Euros) June to July 2024

After a three-year wait, one of the most-watched football events is returning for the summer. From 14 June, 24 European teams will battle it out in the tournament. This is taking place across Germany, with the first match as Germany vs Scotland.

England are surprisingly the favourites to win, despite never winning the trophy themselves. After coming runners-up in 2022, key stars such as Marcus Rashford and Jordan Henderson have been left out of the provisional training squad released earlier this week. With the final 26-man squad yet to be released, key returning stars to watch out for include Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden and Harry Kane. England is optimistic in Group C, featuring Slovenia, Serbia and Denmark.

France are second-favourites, with the host nation Germany in third. Spain and Portugal follow. This also represents the 11th Euros for 39-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo, which could be his last before retirement. Defending champions Italy, rank sixth with difficulties qualifying in recent years.

The group stages provide some exciting fixtures, with matches such as Netherlands vs France and Spain vs Italy. For viewers in the UK, Euro coverage is on both ITV and BBC channels.

Copa America June to July 2024

Copa America, the Pan-American football tournament is taking place between the 20 June and the 14 July. Sixteen teams, made up of 10 South American and 6 North American countries, will battle it out across the US for the 48th time.

The first match is Argentina vs Canada on the 20 June. Argentina are currently the top-ranked side by FIFA, after their World Cup victory in 2022. Major international star Lionel Messi is hoping to lead Argentina to victory again as defending champions.

Ranked second is Brazil, hoping to challenge Argentina to the title. However, their squad selection is less promising. Neymar, their all-time leading scorer is absent after suffering an ACL injury in October. Premier League stars Richardson, Ederson, Anthony, Casemiro and Jesus are also absent due to injuries and tough selection.

USA is hopeful of a chance to make history, ranking third in FIFA ratings despite never winning the trophy.

The winner of the tournament plays the Euro winner in the CONMEBOL-EUFA Cup of Champions in 2025.

The pay-TV network Premier Sport has exclusive coverage of the tournament for UK and Irish viewers.

Paris Olympics and Paralympics July to August 2024

One of the most watched sporting events, and leading international sports event returns in July. The Olympic Games are being held in Paris, with the opening ceremony taking place on the 26 July.

For Great Britain, many potential medallists will feature. One to watch is Emily Campbell, the only GB weightlifter competing this year. She competes in the 87kg+ category and is looking to defend her historic silver medal, as the first female team GB weightlifting medallist in history. Sky Brown the 15 year old Skateboarder is hoping to again make history and stand on the podium. Others to watch include swimmer Tom Dean aiming for five swimming medals and gymnast Max Whitlock hoping to become the first gymnast to win four Olympic medals on the pommel horse before retiring. In athletics Dina Asher-Smith is aiming to finally achieve a gold medal, while Keely Hodgkinson is looking to defend her 800m silver medal.

The competition has faced changes leading up to this year, with the sport of breakdancing being included for the first time. North Korea also returns to the competition after an absence in Tokyo, as well as changes to Russian and Belarusian athletes competing under independent status as long as they oppose the war.

The US look to defend their title, clutching a strong victory of 113 medals in 2020.

Coverage for UK viewers will be provided by the BBC.

Wimbledon June to July 2024

Wimbledon returns to London from 1 to 14 July. The oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament, bringing English traditions of all-white outfits and strawberries and cream. The tournament consists of Men’s and Women’s Single and Doubles as well as Mixed, Girls and Boys and Wheelchair tennis categories. It is the third Grand Slam of the calendar year and remains the only one to still be played on grass.

This year follows on from the historic defeat of Novak Djokovic to Carlos Alvarez last year. Both will return as top contenders in the Men’s single category. Other players to look out for in the Men’s singles include Jannik Sinner, who won the Australian Grand Slam title earlier this year, as well as Medvedev who reached the semi-finals last year.

In the Women’s Singles Coco Gauff is aiming for her first Wimbledon singles title after winning the US Open. Aryna Sabalenka is hoping to challenge her, after beating Gauff to the Australian Open title. English talent Emma Radacanu is hoping to bounce back from injury, and Iga Switaek the Polish player who is currently ranked world number 1 is also hoping for success.

This summer could be the final Wimbledon appearance for many iconic tennis players. Andy Murray is expected to make his final appearance on the Centre Court, after various injury setbacks. Despite this, he is still aiming to defend his Olympic title in Paris. This may also be the last performance of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Coverage for viewers in the UK can be found on BBC and Eurosport.

Tour de France June to July 2024

The Tour de France is one of the most watched international sport events, through streaming and in-person viewers. It attracts the world’s best cyclists who compete through 21 stages of the race across 23 days.

This year the route will begin in Florence on the 29 June and finish in Nice on the 21 July. The race can be streamed across ITV4 and Eurosport channels.

The top four ranked condensers are as follows. Danish cyclist Jonas Vinegaard is looking to defend his two consecutive titles after a good year so far. Tadej Pogacar seeks a return to the podium after coming runner-up to Vinegaard twice. Currently ranked third Remco Evenepoel is a debutant for the race and could be a rising star to watch. In fourth is Primoz Poglic, looking to redeem himself after finishing a dismal 10th in 2023.

Tour de France Femmes August 2024

The Women’s Tour de France also returns this summer, taking place on the 12 to 18 August. This follows a different and shorter route to the men’s race, starting in Rotterdam and ending in Alpe D’Huez in the south of France. The race is entering its third year of the current edition, after beginning in 2022.

Top runners for the title include, Dutch cyclist and last years winner Demi Vollering who is the only former winner in the race. Other contending cyclists include, Katarzyna Niewiadoma who has finished third in previous races, as well as Juliette Labous and Elisa Longo Borghini who have podium finishes in the races this season.

Coverage of the event can be watched on Eurosport.

Cricket Men’s T20 World Cup June 2024

Taking place in the US and West Indies for the first time, England look to defend their Men’s T20 World Cup title. The T20 World Cup has expanded to feature 20 teams in group stages before a knockout round. The opening game takes place between the USA and Canada on the 1 June, with the final taking place in Barbados on 29 June. This is the ninth time the event has taken place.

India, who won the first T20 World Cup in 2007, are favourites to win this year. They face arch-rivals Pakistan in the group stages. Australia rank second, after winning the World Test Championship and World Cup in 2023. England place third, and look to defend their title. However England face Australia in their group, and have the absence of Ben Stokes in the team after knee surgery to contend with.

Sky Sports is covering the event.

Cricket Women’s T20 World Cup October 2024

In the Autumn, the ninth edition of the Women’s T20 World Cup returns. This year it is taking place in Bangladesh from the 3rd to 20th of October with 10 countries taking part in 23 matches. Scotland have made history by qualifying for the first time, by beating Ireland in the qualifiers.

Countries battle it out in two groups, with England placed in Group B containing South Africa, West Indies, Bangladesh and Scotland. England are looking to achieve their first trophy since 2009, while Australia are hoping to maintain a two year title streak.

Sky Sports is also covering this event.

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