By Roger Childs
Three international stars from three different countries in three different sports. The trio will feature in the climax to three of the world’s biggest sporting events.
English captain Harry Kane will lead his team out in EURO 2020 final on Monday against Italy. The Spurs star was the hero on the semi-final against Denmark having netted the winning penalty in extra time. Most observers doubt whether the penalty should have been awarded at all as there was no clear evidence that Sterling was pushed or tripped. No matter, England were the better team on the day and are on the verge of their first international trophy since the World Cup over 50 years ago.
Top seed Australian Ash Barty won the ladies singles at the prestigious tournament and the men’s top seed is keen to do likewise. If he wins, Serb Novak Djokovic will have completed a four grand slam sweep in the last 12 months, and also draw level with fellow tennis legends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in achieving a career record of 20 slam titles. Djokovic has been untroubled in the six rounds leading to the final, and must rate as hot favourite to beat first-time finalist Italian Matteo Berrettini on the hallowed Wimbledon centre court in London.
Last week in the Tour de France
Tadej Pogacar won the 2020 Tour and seems set to do the same again this year. With just seven stages to go before the finish on the Champs Elysees in Paris, the Slovenian seems certain, barring injury, to win his second title. There are still some tough mountain stages in the Pyrenees to come, however Pogacar superb all-round cycling skills include being an excellent climber as he proved last year.
Another huge July event – the Olympics
The 2021 Games have been under a huge Covid 19 cloud. Postponed from last year, the Olympic Committee and the Japanese government are determined to hold the event even though there are massive concerns over a spread of the virus.
However, as Kiwi expat Neil Smith, who lives in Japan, observes The Olympics are set to be the Games with the least fanfare in history, with a ridiculously low level of interest locally.