The sporting calendar has been badly affected by the coronavirus, but there will still be a host of races, games and tournaments to look forward to this year. Punters betting on the Kentucky Derby, which is taking place later in the year than usual – will be able to back one of the three-year-old Thoroughbred horses that take part in the Grade I stakes race, which covers a short but memorable quarter-mile course at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Jockey Flavien Prat is the reigning champion after romping home on Country House at final odds of 65-1 in 2019.
The 2020 Kentucky Derby has been pushed back from its initially scheduled date to Saturday, 5th September. While this will be the first time since the end of the Second World War that the race won’t take place on the first Saturday in May, the 146th Run for the Roses will surely deliver on its reputation as being “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.”
As it stands, the 2020 Ryder Cup will still take place at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin later this year. The biennial match play event pitches the best golfers from the United States and Europe against each other in a continental battle.
Team Europe is currently the reigning cup holder after cruising to a seven-point victory over Team US in the last event held at Le Golf National in France. Since the format was changed in 1979 to feature a pan-European team instead of one from Great Britain and Ireland, Europe has lifted the Cup eleven times outright and regained it once.
Steve Stricker and Padraig Harrington will captain the US and European teams respectively, when the action gets underway on 25th September this year. According to Golfsquatch, there will be eight foursomes and eight fourball matches over the first two days before a final day of 12 singles matches decide the winner.
The Premier League was postponed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, but football chiefs recently reiterated their commitment to completing the season. There are reports that top-flight matches could resume in early June and be played over a six-week period.
Liverpool F.C. currently holds a 25 point lead over second-placed Manchester City and are close to being crowned champions, while Norwich City, Aston Villa and Bournemouth are among those battling to avoid relegation. There is also the possibility of an entirely new Premier League campaign kicking off on the 8th August.
The 2020 Formula One calendar has also been hit by the coronavirus with seven meetings being postponed. However, the race in the United States is still set to go ahead in the fall. The action gets underway with the first practice session in Austin, Texas on the 23rd October and will conclude with the showcase event on 25th October at 19:10.
The London Marathon has been pushed back six months from its original date, but the annual long-distance running race is finally scheduled to start this year on Sunday 4th October. The marathon takes place across a 42km flat course on roads in the area of the River Thames.
Since the first event back in 1981, millions of professional and part-time runners have completed the race. Last year, 43,000 people took part and more than £66.4m was raised for good causes. 2020 looks set to be another memorable occasion as those involved target the course records set by Eliud Kipchoge and Paula Radcliffe.
American Football season
Tom Brady’s recent switch to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has whetted the appetite for another compelling season of the NFL. The 42-year-old ended his 20-year spell at the New England Patriots where he secured six Super Bowl wins.
The 2020 NFL season will begin on 10th September with the ‘Kickoff Game’ hosted by Kansas City Chiefs, who won Super Bowl LIV in February after beating the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.
The ATP Finals will bring the regular tennis season to a close in November 2020. The highest-ranking singles players and doubles teams will convene at the O2 Arena in London to fight for the prestigious title over a week’s worth of matches and via a group stage format and a knockout phase. The final, which could feature multiple Grand Slam winners Novak Djokovic, Rafael ‘Rafa’ Nadal and Roger Federer, will take place on 22nd November.