Could 2017 be the best sporting year?
“The next 12 months have the potential to become Britain’s greatest sporting year.”
No World Cup. No Olympics. No Ryder Cup. Many fans and viewers across the world may not be relishing the prospect of a dull 2017 in sporting terms. Yet there are many indications to suggest that the drama of 2016 is set to continue, or even increase, throughout the sporting world.
Premier League crescendo.
One guarantee is that the Premier League will provide the unpredictability and thrilling entertainment it has always done. It will be near impossible to repeat the shock and drama of 2016, when Leicester City unbelievably captured their maiden Premier League crown. Nevertheless, we’re in the midst of the most unpredictable season to date and with arguably six teams battling for the ultimate prize of being champions, there is no doubt 2017 will be fascinating.
Gareth Southgate – A new hope?
On the international stage, England’s quest to qualify for the 2018 World Cup continues under new management (again) in Gareth Southgate; fans are intrigued to see what he can deliver. This will mean we all fall into the trap of believing England could be successful, but at least Iceland aren’t in our group! 2017 must be better.
In the tennis world, reigning world number one Andy Murray seeks to continue the form of his hugely successful 2016. After adding a second Wimbledon title and Olympic gold medal to his CV, now ‘Sir’ Andy has British fans beaming with the prospect of more glory. As his rivalry with Novak Djokovic intensifies, men’s tennis is set to make a real racket in terms of action and entertainment.
With Murray at the peak of his powers, the success of another Brit could make 2017 Britain’s best year ever on the court. On the women’s tour, British star Johanna Konta seeks to land her first Grand Slam title after achieving a first Grand Slam semi-final, a first WTA title and a place in the top 10 in 2016.
Joshua and the Hayemaker.
In the boxing ring, a number of mouth-watering fights are in the pipeline for 2017, with more still to be confirmed. The last 12 months continued the rise of the heavyweight, man-mountain that is Anthony Joshua. Gaining all the headlines with destructive jabs that had many opponents sniffing the canvas, Joshua is now the poster-boy of British boxing and 2017 is set to bring him more success. He takes on Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium in April in a highly anticipated clash.
In March, David Haye returns to the spotlight as he settles his petty feud and bickering, childish insults with Tony Bellew. There have also been rumours that double-Olympic champion Nicola Adams is set to turn professional, having been left out of the European Championship squad. Such a move would instantly enhance the reputation of professional female boxing. 2017 could very much be British boxing’s best ever year.
Plenty to look forward to.
The next 12 months have the potential to become Britain’s greatest sporting year. Maybe the lack of a momentous event to look forward to, such as the Olympics or World Cup, could make 2017 a surprisingly enjoyable year for sports fans.
If the blistering start to the Premier League and the rise of British athletes to the top of certain disciplines is anything to go by, 2017 will provide plenty of sporting success to feed our cravings.