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Sports events in 2022: World Cups, Asian Games, big year for Indian women's teams

The Winter Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games are some of the big multi-sport events that are lined up in 2022, while the FIFA World Cup is set to ensure that the year ends on a high.

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Neeraj Chopra (centre) will be looking to win India's first ever gold medal at the World Athletics Championships; the Indian women's hockey and cricket teams will be playing World Cups

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 1 Jan 2022 10:36 AM GMT

2021 gave Indian sports a few firsts, like an Olympic gold medalist in Athletics - Neeraj Chopra, but the new year is set to offer the chance for Indians to create some more history. Indian women's teams are set to be in the spotlight - some top-quality events in hockey, football and cricket will offer them the chance to clinch some first-time medals.

The Winter Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games are some of the big multi-sport events that are lined up this year, while the FIFA World Cup in Qatar is set to ensure that the year ends on a high. India is also set to host two big football events this year - the AFC Women's Asian Cup in January and the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in October.

Hockey Women's Asia Cup - January

The Asia Cup will set the tone in what is set to be a big year for the women's hockey team as they look to prove that their 4th-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics was not a flash in the pan. The women's team will qualify for the World Cup to be held later in the year through this tournament. Can new coach Janneke Schopman sustain the Olympics momentum?

AFC Women's Asian Cup - January

The biggest event to be hosted in India in the first half of the year is Asian football's premier women's competition. India will be hosting this event after 43 years, and are up against teams like China and Iran in the group stage. This tournament will also serve as the final stage of Asian qualification for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Winter Olympics - February

The Beijing Winter Games are set to be the biggest multi-sports international event in the first few months of the year. India will be represented by alpine skier Arif Mohammed Khan, who has become the first Indian athlete to qualify for two different events (slalom and giant slalom).

Women's ODI World Cup - March

The women's cricket team has made giant strides in the last decade, but their trophy cabinet still lacks a World Cup title. They have gone tantalizingly close in recent years. They were the finalists in the last ODI World Cup in 2017 and also in the last T20 World Cup in 2020. Can the likes of Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami bow out having taken Indian cricket across the final frontier - a World cup final?

Athletics World Championships - July

India has just one medal in the history of this event - Anju Bobby George's bronze in 2003. However, Indian athletics has made a giant stride in 2021, and there will be never-before-seen anticipation around this world meet. Not only will Neeraj Chopra be in the limelight as India's first potential Athletics 'world champion', a lot of eyes will also be on juniors like Shaili Singh, who was U20 silver medallist last year.

Women's Hockey World Cup - July

Around the same time Neeraj Chopra will be eyeing history at the Worlds, the women's hockey team will be back in the spotlight, this time in the biggest tournament of the year for Indian hockey. India's best result at this tournament is a 4th place finish from 1974. Rani Rampal and her team will be looking to settle some scores in Europe this year.

Commonwealth Games - August

A happy hunting ground for Indian athletes, the CWG would be a shade less joyful for the contingent this time with shooting not part of the competition roster. It remains to be seen how India copes with the absence of the sport that has contributed 135 medals, including 63 gold, to the country's tally since making its debut in 1966.

Asian Games - September

India registered its best ever Games performance in the previous edition in 2018 and would be expected to only do better in the backdrop of a stellar Olympic performance.

FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup - October

Another ground-breaking tournament for women's football in the country, which was originally planned for 2021 but had to be postponed due to COVID-19. Spain are the defending champions and the Indians would be eyeing to produce some decent performances to raise the profile of the sport in the country.

Men's T20 World Cup - October

Just a year after Australia were crowned world champions for the first time in this format, they would be defending the crown on home turf. For the Indian team, it would be an opportunity to redeem itself after a shambolic preliminary-round exit from the tournament last year. This will also be Rohit Sharma's first World Cup test as captain.

FIFA World Cup - November

The first World Cup to be played in the Arab world is set to be a winter event with Qatar's punishing summer making it impossible for matches to be held during the usual June-July window. Can Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo win a World Cup title in what is sure to be their last outing on the ultimate

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