Sport in 2017: Key dates from The Open to The Ashes
Can McIlroy pull it off, and will Farah and Bolt bow out with gold medals? This is when and where the action unfolds in 2017
After Team GB's amazing performances at the Rio Olympics and Paralympics, Leicester City's Premier League triumph and Andy Murray's rise to the top of the world tennis rankings last year, 2017 had a lot to live up to
Halfway through the year, here's what remains on the sporting calendar:
20-23 July: The Open
Golf's most sought-after prize will be fought over at the Royal Birkdale course on the Lancashire coast. Can Rory McIlroy shake off injury and a spell of uneven form for a tournament that has often brought out the best in him?
4-13 August: World Athletics Championships
Mo Farah and Usain Bolt will return to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London for what will be an international swansong for both of them at the World Championships. But while they and other big names will be bowing out, a new generation of athletes – British heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson among them – will be aiming to usher in a new era.
27 October - 2 December: Rugby League World Cup
The 13-man version of rugby takes centre stage this autumn as Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea host the 14-nation tournament. England will be among the favourites.
23 November - 8 January: The Ashes
England's cricketers head Down Under to defend the Ashes against their oldest rivals. England were whitewashed 5-0 on two of their past three tours to Australia, but emerged triumphant in the other.
The year so far
16-29 January: Australian Open tennis
Andy Murray's first big test as world number one comes at the opening Grand Slam of the year. Can he cement his status with a title win in Melbourne after finishing as runner-up five times?
5 February: Super Bowl
The climax of the NFL season and celebration of all things American takes place in Houston, Texas, just two weeks after Donald Trump becomes president of the US.
26 March: Australian Grand Prix
A new season of F1 gets underway in Australia. New owners, major rule changes and the retirement of champion Nico Rosberg could make this the most exciting season for years, as Lewis Hamilton aims to win back his crown.
2 April: Boat Race
The annual showdown between Oxford and Cambridge on the Thames in London remains an important date in the sporting calendar.
8 April: Grand National
The biggest race of the year takes place at Aintree.
21 May: Premier League finale
Chelsea were top of the table at Christmas, but anything could happen between now and the end of the season. Reigning champions Leicester are out of the running and the big beasts of English football are all in the hunt, with Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City hot on Chelsea's heels. Who will emerge triumphant after the final round of games?
1 June: ICC Champions Trophy cricket
The little brother of the Cricket World Cup takes place in England this summer, with the world's eight best teams battling it out for the title. With England transformed from also-rans to world beaters in the one-day format, they could be in with a shout.
3 June: Champions League final
The biggest prize in European football will be decided in Cardiff. Can Real Madrid and Barcelona maintain their stranglehold on the trophy?
3 June - 8 July: Lions tour to New Zealand
The pride of British and Irish rugby head to New Zealand to take on the mighty All Blacks in what could be a titanic series. The hosts are world champions and clear favourites, but some stunning performances from the home nations in the autumn internationals will give fans hope that the Lions can pull off what would be the biggest sporting achievement of the year by beating New Zealand in their own backyard.
1-23 July: Tour de France
British riders have won four of the past five editions of the famous race, but after Team Sky's problems this year, can Chris Froome defend his title?
3-16 July: Wimbledon
Andy Murray returns to the spotlight to defend his title but may not be the only Brit in SW19, with the likes of Johanna Konta and Kyle Edmund hoping to make an impact.
6-10 July: First Test at Lords
The England Test cricket team returns to action for the first time since their humiliation in India. Many expect Joe Root to have replaced Alastair Cook as captain. South Africa provide the opposition.