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The year of a sporting feast: 21 things to watch in 2021

Postponed Olympics, Euros and Ryder Cup headline year full of excitement

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Tasty dish: Carl Frampton will become Ireland’s first three-weight world champion if he beats Jamal Herring this year

Tasty dish: Carl Frampton will become Ireland’s first three-weight world champion if he beats Jamal Herring this year

�INPHO/Stevie English

Rhys McClenaghan has Olympic gold in his sights to follow his BEM

Rhys McClenaghan has Olympic gold in his sights to follow his BEM

�INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Paralympics: Bethany Firth will be going for gold in Tokyo

Paralympics: Bethany Firth will be going for gold in Tokyo

�INPHO/Presseye/William Cherry

The Masters: Rory McIlroy still trying to complete the elusive Grand Slam

The Masters: Rory McIlroy still trying to complete the elusive Grand Slam

�INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Six Nations: Jacob Stockdale will hope to impress in the spring for Ireland

Six Nations: Jacob Stockdale will hope to impress in the spring for Ireland

�INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Steven Davis will be trying to help Rangers to the league title

Steven Davis will be trying to help Rangers to the league title

Getty Images

Ulster Championship: Mickey Harte will not be involved this year

Ulster Championship: Mickey Harte will not be involved this year

�INPHO/Matt Mackey

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Tasty dish: Carl Frampton will become Ireland’s first three-weight world champion if he beats Jamal Herring this year

Here we go then... a New Year and new hope plus, after all the postponements in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have what seems like a never ending supply of big sporting events to be crammed in over the course of 2021.

Steven Beacom picks out 21 to watch in 2021 in the hope they will go ahead.

1. The Olympics

The greatest show on earth has been rescheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8 in Tokyo this year. For Northern Ireland, the Games promise to be special. World class gymnast Rhys McClenaghan from Newtownards has a genuine shot at winning gold in the pommel horse discipline. Should he do so he will follow in the illustrious footsteps of iconic athlete Lady Mary Peters and hockey heroes Stephen Martin and Jimmy Kirkwood in bringing gold home to Northern Ireland from the summer Olympics. Middle distance runner Ciara Mageean is another worth watching and then there's Ireland's female hockey stars, captained by Katie Mullan. That's even before we get to the boxing, rowing, cycling and all the other sports that make the Games great.


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