Future Prospects – Global Times

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Mascots of the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are seen on a street in Beijing on January 11, 2022. Photo: VCG

The collective hangover of the world should have died down and it’s gone full speed ahead with New Year’s resolutions for 2022 – for those who haven’t already given up until 2023, of course.

The sports world is also looking for a fresh start this year after the huge impact of COVID-19 on the calendar for 2020 and 2021.

It’s already full steam ahead this month, which kicked off with the Africa Cup of Nations on January 9. The tournament runs until February 6 as the 24 teams seek to be crowned the kings of the continent.

Blink and it’s time for another big event – the Australian Open. The first Tennis Slam of the year takes place from January 17 to 30 at Melbourne Park. This is the 110th edition of the event and it is not likely to disappoint you.

The biggest event of all is on the horizon, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which will take place from November 21 to December 18, but there is still much to do.

So what else can we expect in the coming months?

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics – February 4-20

History will go down in history when the Olympic cauldron is lit to mark the opening of the 24th Winter Games, as Beijing will become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

Events will take place in the Chinese capital, including venues previously used for the Beijing 2008 Summer Games, and on tracks in neighboring Hebei Province. Despite the challenges presented by international travelers descending on China during the coronavirus pandemic, organizers are confident they will stage memorable Games as the world feasts on 109 events across 15 disciplines across seven sports.

Super Bowl LVI – February 13

The NFL’s annual centerpiece is set to arrive in Los Angeles this year and will take up residence in the lavish surroundings of the $5 billion SoFi Stadium if all goes according to plan.

Local living legend Dr. Dre has been booked for the halftime show and the long-awaited commercials have already started to be teased as well.

However, COVID-19 means the Super Bowl may still have to change venues, with AT&T Stadium in Dallas, home of the Cowboys, among the alternative options mentioned if Los Angeles cannot host it.

One thing is certain, the show will continue, wherever it is and whoever the creator.

ODI Women’s Cricket World Cup – 4 March-3 April

Postponed for a year due to COVID-19, which then cut short last year’s qualifying, the World Cup is finally coming to New Zealand where the top eight teams will battle it out for the one-day crown.

Bangladesh, Pakistan and the West Indies are due their One Day International ranking and they join the hosts along with Australia, England, South Africa and India. England are defending champions after winning at home five years ago, although Australia could be favourites.

The Men’s T20 World Cup takes place in Australia from October 16 to November 13 with the hosts also the holders.

Southeast Asian Games – May 12-23

Another event that was due to take place in 2021 before COVID-19 saw it delayed until this year, the SEA Games will take place in Vietnam for this 31st edition of the regional competition.

This time, 40 sports will be featured, most of which are from the Olympics, alongside regional favorites such as muay thai, sepak takraw and pencak silat.

2021 Summer World University Games – June 26-July 7

Formerly known as the Universiade, the tournament pits the world’s top student athletes in 18 sports across 268 events. This is another tournament that has been delayed for a year, with Chengdu set to become the third Chinese city to host the sports jamboree.

UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 – July 6-31

England are preparing to host another European Championship with the women’s event a year after their men traveled to Wembley before losing to Italy in the final last summer, whose delay a year has pushed this tournament back to 2022.

The hosts will vie with title-holders Netherlands to lift the trophy they won in the 2017 edition. All 16 teams, including debutants Northern Ireland, will be dreaming of Wembley.

Commonwealth Games – July 28-August 8

Birmingham becomes the third English city to host the Commonwealth Games this summer where it will feature 283 events in 20 sports. Some of the biggest names in athletics are expected to be in attendance as more than 5,000 athletes from 72 nations compete for gold.

Asian Games 2022 – September 10-25

Hangzhou follows Beijing and Guangzhou in hosting the crown jewel of Asian sporting excellence, with the city welcoming athletes from Oceania to an Asian Games for the first time.

These athletes will compete in events where qualification for Paris 2024 is on offer, while esports will be full-medal events for the first time after debuting as a demonstration sport in 2018. The Chinese athletes, who have so impressed at the Tokyo Olympics last year, will be looking to put on a show at home.

Rugby World Cup – 8 October – 12 November

The women’s ninth edition of the tournament has been delayed for a year, with hosts New Zealand also the defending champions.

They played a part in the previous tournament, held in Northern Ireland, posting attendance and viewership records and World Rugby organizers will be looking for similar success this summer in the southern hemisphere.

The Men’s Rugby World Cup, which takes place from October 15 to November 19 in England, means it’s a bumper month for rugby fans.

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