By Jack Wynne – Sports Editor
Sports fans are in for a real treat this year with big events such as the Olympics, Euro 2016 and Wimbledon all taking place at the same time.
Pluto will now preview a whole host of events, including those mentioned above, and explain why this year is special for lovers of sport.
Where better to start than the Olympic and Paralympics games which will take place in Rio De Janeiro (Brazil).
First up are the Olympics starting on the 5th August and finishing just over two weeks later on the 21st August.
A month later, Rio will host the Paralympics, which will span around a week and a half starting on the 7th September and finishing on the 18th September.
Over 15,000 athletes from 206 different nations will descend on South America to compete for medals, across 42 different sports.
Amongst the new events, rugby sevens will feature in the Olympics for the first time – rugby union was part of the 1924 games some 92 years ago.
Next month will mark the start of the rugby union Six Nations Championship in which England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales will face off to become the best side in the northern hemisphere.
The tournament spans seven weekends, usually across February and March.
Whoever finishes with the most points is handed the trophy – two points are awarded for a win and one for a drawn match.
If two or more teams finish the season with the same amount of points then the winner is decided by the team with the greatest match points difference.
Ireland won last year’s competition, which was a tightly contested affair, on match points difference, after England and Wales both finished on the same amount of points at the end of the season.
T20 World Cup
India will host both the men’s and women’s World Twenty20 cricket tournaments, which start on the 8th and 15th of March respectively with both finals taking place on the 3rd of April.
The men’s tournament is made up of 16 teams, including Scotland and Ireland – eight sides will be split into two groups of four during the first round with the group winners progressing to the Super 10 stage.
From here the remaining sides will then be split into two groups of five before the top two from both Super 10 groups will progress to the semi-finals and eventually the final.
Ten teams will compete for the women’s championship, with the first stage consisting of two groups of five – England are in group B alongside Pakistan, West Indies, Bangladesh and the hosts.
The top two from each group will then go head-to-head in the semi-finals before the final.
To football, this year’s European Championships starting on the 10th June and finishing on the 10th July are to be held in France and will feature three nations from the British Isles for the first time in over 25 years.
Two of those teams, Wales and England have been drawn together in group B, alongside Russia and Slovakia.
The last time the Three Lions lifted a major trophy was 50 years ago, Sir Geoff Hurst scoring a hat-trick in a 4-2 victory over West Germany in the 1966 World Cup Final.
Among the teams which stand in England’s way of lifting a first European Championship, 2014 World Cup winners Germany, host nation France not forgetting Spain, who won were once the European and World champions just a few years ago.
London Anniversary Games
Before heading to Rio, some of the world’s most renowned track and field athletes, including Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and David Weir will finalize their preparations by taking part in the London Anniversary Games.
As well as current Olympic and world champions, some of Britain’s prospects for the future, including Katarina Johnson-Thompson will also be on show in the capital.
The event which takes place across the third weekend in July will be held at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
There will also be a chance to remember the feats of team GB’s Paralympians four years ago on Sunday 26th July, as part of National Paralympic Day.
Staying in London, tennis players from all around the world will descend on The All-England Club to compete in Wimbledon, from 27th June to 10th July.
Widely regarded as the most prestigious tennis tournament, it is also one of the four major titles alongside the Australian Open, the French Open and the US Open.
Among Great Britain’s contenders, Aljaz Bedene, Johanna Konta not forgetting world number two Andy Murray, who won the event back in 2013 defeating Novak Djokovic.
Murray will have to be at his absolute best to dethrone world number one Djokovic, who has won the men’s singles crown for the past two years in a row.
Scott Quigg v Carl Frampton
2016 promises to be a big year in the world of boxing, not least because two of arguably the world’s best super-bantamweights, IBF champion Carl Frampton and WBA champion Scott Quigg will finally face off on 27th February in Manchester.
Northern Irishman Frampton has won 21 out of his last 21 fights whilst Quigg, who hails from Bury has yet to be defeated in his 33 previous fights.
Whoever emerges from the fight victorious, the loser will have a guaranteed right to reclaim their title after both fighters agreed to a rematch clause in the contract.
Tour de France
One of cycling’s most prestigious events the Tour de France, which starts on the 2nd July and concludes just over three weeks later, will see riders from all around the world compete for the famed yellow jersey.
The event, which comprises of 21 stages, is one of three major European races (Grand Tour), alongside the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana.
Great Britain’s Chris Froome, who competes for Team Sky, will be aiming to make history and retain the Tour de France – the last rider to win consecutive titles was Spain’s Miguel Indurain over 20 years ago.
European Aquatics Championship
From the 9th to the 22nd May, the European Aquatics Championship will return to the UK for the first time in 23 years.
The event to be held at the London Aquatics Centre, will pit the best swimmers, divers and synchronised swimmers from around the continent against each other, not long before the Olympic and Paralympic games in Rio.
Adam Peaty, Francesca Halsall and Chris Walker-Hebborn were part of the Great Britain team which set records at the last championships in Germany, topping the medals table for the first time with a total of 27.
Snooker World Championship
All eyes will be on Englishman Stuart Bingham to see if he can retain his status as snooker world champion when the event gets underway on the 16th April.
The World Championship is the most coveted in terms of prize money and ranking points and is part of the Triple Crown, which also includes the UK Championship and the Masters.
Vying to snatch the crown from Bingham this year, current UK champion Neil Robertson, number five in the world Judd Trump and Ronnie O’Sullivan, five-times winner of the event.