Who are the top contenders for sporting glory in 2020?
The sporting highlight of 2020 may turn out to be Dina Asher-Smith’s attempt to go one better than her world championships silver and win gold in the 100m at the Olympics.
Failing that, and more likely, if Asher-Smith can repeat her world 200m victory in Tokyo, she will be Britain’s first female Olympic sprint champion, and probably grab every sportsperson of the year award – as Ben Stokes did in 2019.
Stokes and his England cricketing teammates have the chance of lifting more silverware at the T20 World Cup in October and November.
They are third favourites, but instinct says they might have run out of miracle victories for now.
Take Australia to win both men’s and women’s tournaments
England’s Test team are in for a tough time in an overcrowded schedule, with series in the next eight months against South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Pakistan.
They may do well to win two.
The Six Nations rugby is especially unpredictable, with changed coaching regimes and World Cup fallout to consider.
England are odds-on to win. Not a betting proposition.
But it could end up as a repeat triumph for Wales under new coach Wayne Pivac.
By then Manchester City will have won the League Cup for the third season running (and they may well retain the FA Cup as well).
In the Premier League, 2020 will surely end Liverpool’s 30-year wait to be champions after they started January with a 13-point lead and a game in hand.
Will manager Jurgen Klopp’s infectious smile be seen beside the giant Champions League trophy again as well?
I have a feeling it could be Barcelona’s year.
In Scotland, watch for Celtic reaching at least the quarter-finals of the Europa League, and seeing off Rangers’ determined challenge in the Premiership.
Something is also stirring in tennis.
The new generation are growing up at last, and someone other than Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will win a grand slam tournament for the first time since 2016.
Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas perhaps.
Rory McIlroy has also matured from the young man who first took golf by storm.
Expect him to win his first major tournament since 2014.
But Tiger Woods is revived too, and he can help the USA regain the Ryder Cup in Wisconsin.
Only a fool would predict who will end 2020 as the main man in the tumultuous world of heavyweight boxing.
So here goes.
Take the explosive power of American Deontay Wilder to leave Britain’s Tyson Fury seeking revenge and Anthony Joshua waiting his chance.
Expect headlines too from Olympians Katrina Johnson-Thompson (heptathlon), 11-year-old Sky Brown (skateboarding) and Shauna Coxsey (bouldering), plus jumps jockey Bryony Frost and golfer Charley Hull.
And sometime this autumn watch for Lewis Hamilton equalling Michael Schumacher’s record of seven Formula One world titles.
Hamilton – the boy from Stevenage, and Asher-Smith – the girl from Orpington, were brought up 38 miles and 11 years apart and are the likeliest candidates to be Britain’s brightest in 2020.
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