2019 has been a massive year for sport not just in South Africa but globally, and 2020 promises to be just as intriguing.
In 2019 we saw the Rugby and Cricket World Cups and Netball also crowned new world champions.
In 2020 there will be some really special annual, biennial and quadrennial events taking place with the Olympics a big focus.
Here we look at some of the sporting highlights you can look forward to in 2020.
Sport in 2020
The Rugby Championship returns to a full programme in 2020 with home and away matches played between all four competitors.
New Zealand will want to prove 2019 was a flash in the pan and return to their dominance of the competition under new head coach Ian Foster.
The Springboks have been charged with maintaining their 2019 form over a sustained period to break the All Black dominance over the competition.
Australia and Argentina have stalled in their progress recently and will both want to get back to their best and challenge for the trophy.
The Championship fixtures have yet to be confirmed, but the tournament is loosely bracketed to take place in July and August.
The summer Olympics return to Tokyo for what should be a memorable games.
Team SA will be keen to improve on what was a very good Olympic effort in Rio in 2016.
The heat of the Tokyo summer could be the biggest challenge facing organisers who constructed a new stadium on the grounds of the venue for the 1964 Olympics.
The Games start on 24 July and conclude on 9 August. The Paralympic games will, as is customary, also be held in Tokyo using many of the same facilities including the Olympic stadium. The Paralympics start on 25 August and run until 6 September
European Championships (Euro 2020)
For the first time, a major football championship will be held in 12 different countries with Euro 2020 to be staged in a dozen UEFA countries from 12 June to 12 July 2020.
Having the largest capacity of any of the stadiums entered for the competition, Wembley Stadium in London will host the semi-finals and final for the second time.
Azerbaijan are the only host nation to be eliminated from qualifying to date. Among the other hosts England, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Russia and Spain have already qualified while Ireland, Romania, Scotland and Hungary face play-offs.
ICC T20 World Cups
Both the men’s and women’s T20 World Cups will take place in Australia in 2020.
The women’s event takes place from 21 February with the final taking place at the MCG on 8 March. The Proteas women disappointed in their last World Cup outing. Australia are the defending champions and will play their opening match of the tournament against India. The top eight ranked sides including South Africa qualify for the tournament automatically. The remaining two qualification spots were determined through the 2019 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier, with Bangladesh and Thailand progressing.
The 2020 Men’s T20 World Cup will be the seventh ICC Men’s T20 World Cup tournament and will be held from 18 October to 15 November 2020. The West Indies are the defending champions.
Sixteen teams will contest the tournament with the top nine sides on the rankings and hosts Australia qualifying automatically. The top eight ranked sides earn a bye to the Super 12 phase.
The Proteas kick off their tournament with a titanic clash against India at the Perth Stadium on 24 October.
All the usual suspects in sport
As well as a few special events 2020 will also be chock full of the usual sporting action, with the ABSA Premiership returning from their Christmas break on 4 January. English Premier League action continues with South African Reds desperate to see Liverpool break their duck.
Super Rugby gets underway on 31 January in what will be the final season of the much-maligned conference system.
In Tennis the four Grand Slams take up their usual places of prominence while the new ATP Cup comes into being in January before the Australian Open.
Golf’s majors maintain their traditional positions on the calendar with the first of them, the Masters, taking place at Augusta from 9 April. In May the US PGA Championship tees off at TPC Harding Park, San Francisco. The US Open moves to the east coast and will be held at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York. The Royal St George’s Golf Club located in Sandwich in Kent, England will host the Open for the 15th time.
The tour de France will take place in June and July. It will start on 25 June and run until 19 July posing a challenge to cyclists keen on competing at the Olympics.
In South Africa the Dusi Canoe Marathon is scheduled to take place between 27-29 February.
Road runners planning their year will not that the Two Oceans marathon takes place on 11 April while the Comrades will be run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban on Sunday 14 June. The Soweto Marathon is pencilled in for 1 November.