Football may not be coming home but the summer’s (second) biggest sporting event is set to whip us into a frenzy of patriotic enthusiasm in just over a month’s time, with Lord Coe keen to underline the London 2012 Olympics’ legacy and general ‘Britishness’ of the 20th Commonwealth Games, taking place in Glasgow from 23 July to 3 August.
Mo Farah, Usain Bolt, Tom Daley and Bradley Wiggins will join athletes from 70 nations taking part in the 261 events being staged across the Scottish city for Glasgow 2014, the largest multi-sport event ever staged in Scotland. Viewers can look forward to seeing cycling, field hockey, wrestling, judo and bowls in the mix of 17 sports.
The transformation of Scotland’s national football stadium, Hampden Park, was completed on track and the final tickets released last month. The stadium will accommodate a crowd of over 40,000 spectators, with organisers touting a likely worldwide TV audience of more than one billion people.
Who will be the ones to watch? The Australian team have romped home for the last six Commonwealth Games but can England (or Scotland) steal their thunder?
Mo Farah will be central to Team England’s medal chances and Katarina Johnson-Thompson is hoping to follow in Jessica Ennis-Hill’s footsteps with her heptathlon bid, anticipating 2014 to be her “breakthrough year”. London 2012 fans will also be pleased to see three-time Olympic medallist Louis Smith return to the pommel horse.
Rugby Sevens fans meanwhile will be watching closely to see how the teams perform in advance of the sport’s Olympic Games debut in Rio in 2016. New Zealand has historically dominated Commonwealth Games Rugby Sevens, claiming all four Gold medals to date. This year England, Australia and South Africa are determined to challenge their crown.
Who will you be cheering on?