Here are some of the sporting highlights for the month of August.
The main topic on people lips will surely be the start of the football season, and in particular the Premier League.
As with the previous seasons it’s been a summer of change, with clubs spending well into nine figures. Here’s what’s happened so far.
Chelsea main acquisition of the summer as they attempt to holder onto the title they won in May has been the signing of Monaco’s striker Radamel Falcao. There were times last season when The Blues struggled to field a front man in matches, and even though he has a less than inspiring season at Manchester United last season Jose Mourinho didn’t think twice about bringing in the Columbian international to replace the departed Didier Drogba.
The biggest transfer of the season as far as money goes so far has been Raheem Sterling switch from Liverpool to Man City for £49 million. The will-he, won’t-he saga rumbled on longer than I think anyone wanted, and whilst the striker won’t be welcome with open arms on Merseyside any time soon there is no disputing his natural ability, which City will be hoping is enough to go one place better than last year.
Last year third place team Arsenal have been very quite in the transfer market with just the ever reliable goalkeeper Petr Cech arriving from Chelsea for £10 million, whilst the final team to qualify for the Champions League Manchester United have been anything but quite spending over £14 million on four separate occasions bringing in Morgan Schneiderlin, Memphis Depay, Matteo Damian, and Bastian Schweinsteiger into the fold as manager Louis van Gaal continues the rebuilding process at Old Trafford.
Elsewhere Liverpool have so far been the busiest club bringing in 7 players including Christian Benteke for £32.5 million and Roberto Firmino for £29 million, and West Brom have been the quietest with just James Mclean so far added to their ranks.
Of course there is bound to be many more players signed right up until the transfer window closes on September 1st.
The football season also gets under way throughout Europe, and we also have the final qualifying round and the play off round of both the Champions League and Europa League, with Man Utd, Celtic, Southampton, & West Ham all in action.
Plus we also have the FA Community Shield this Sunday which features Chelsea taking on Arsenal, and the UEFA Super Cup on August 11th which features the winners of last season Champions League & Europa League; Barcelona and Sevilla.
Moving away from football we are currently in the middle of the 3rd test match of The Ashes. It couldn’t be posed any better at the moment with England winning convincingly at Sophia Gardens in the first test, and then the Aussies dominating the second test at Lords.
The current test match is taking place at Edgbaston, and is follow by matches at Trent Bridge (starting 6th Aug), and The Oval (starting 20th August).
We also have the finals of the super popular T20 Blast on 29th August, of which the Birmingham Bears (Warwickshire) are the reigning champions.
Over in the US the final of the golf majors gets underway as the PGA Championship starts on August 13th at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin. Jordan Spieth again will again start as one of the favourites having won both the years previous majors in America and finishing one shot off 1st place in the British Open earlier this month.
Having missed the Open with an ankle injury Northern Ireland’s Rory Mcllroy will be hoping to be fit to try to retain the trophy he won at Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky in last years tournament.
We also see that start of the final major tennis tournament of the year too as the U.S. Open gets underway at Flushing Meadows in New York. Starting on the last day of August the reigning Champions are Marin Cilic in the Men’s and Serena Williams in the Women’s. Williams has won the last 3 U.S. Opens, but a fourth title would mean more than the other 3 as it would make her only the fourth women in history to achieve a Grand Slam of Titles all in the same year.
Staying in the US the highlight of the martial arts calendar for August will see a battle for the women’s Bantamweight Title at UFC 190 on Saturday night as Brazilian Bethe ‘Pitbull’ Correia takes on the current champions ‘Rowdy’ Rhonda Rousey. Both fighters are currently undefeated with Correia sporting a 9-0 record, and Rousey and perfect 11-0, with her last 3 fights having a total fight time of just 1 minute 36 seconds.
Also staying with martial arts it must be noted that the 2015 World Judo Championships start on August 24th in Astana, Kazakhstan and with a strong British team taking part everyone will be hoping we can bring home some of the 16 gold, silver, and bronze medals on offer.
Moving onto 4 wheels after the 2 most exciting races of the F1 season so far (British and Hungarian GP’s) the summer break came just at the wrong time for race fans, but the engines start up again on August 23rd for the Belgium Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. Current world champion our own Lewis Hamilton has a 21 point lead of team mate and nearest (and some would say only) challenger Germany’s Nico Rosberg.
By far one of the biggest sporting events not just in August, but the calendar for the whole year is sure to be the World Athletic Championships with start at the Beijing National Stadium in China on August 22nd. Medals will be on offer in the 24 mens and 23 womens events, and the British team heading over there will include Olympic Gold medalists Jessica – Ennis-Hill, Mo Farrah, Greg Rutherford, & Christine Ohuruogu.
Other highlights include the Netball World Championships starting Aug 7th in Sydney, Australia of which the UK is taking part, the Badminton World Championships starting Aug 10th in Jakarta, Indonesia, and the EuroHockey Championships starting Aug 21st in London.