Sports and the UK have a long and prolific love affair, with the latter being the birthplace of major international sports like association football, golf, tennis, hockey, and water polo. Although the country is most famous for soccer, there is a diversity of sporting interests celebrated in the UK, especially at the elite level. This makes the country no stranger to famous sporting events, which help boost its tourism.
In fact, a 2016 report reveals that one in every 43 visitors in Britain attend a football match — a number that translates to some 800,000 tourists. This year will likely see a surge in tourists once again as several events are set to take place in the UK. What’s more, these stages will also see some of the best female athletes participating this year.
So if you’re a sports fan looking to get your fix of great events to attend in 2019 or simply looking for great ways to fill your UK itinerary, here are some UK sporting events set to feature some of the best female athletes:
CrossFit Strength in Depth: London, February 23-24
Strength in Depth pits the top 40 CrossFit athletes from around the world against one another. 30 come from the competition’s qualifiers, while 10 are invitational spots. The winning athlete is automatically entered into the Reebok CrossFit Games.
This year, Strength in Depth will see renowned women athletes vie for the top spot, such as Haley Adams, who placed 2nd twice in the previous Games, and Thuri Helgadottir, who competed in the World Weightlifting Championships three times. Talayna Fortunato is another CrossFit athlete to watch out for as she looks to take the championship after clinching 3rd place in the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games.
European Athletics Indoor Championships: Glasgow, March 1-3
Since 1970, the best track and field athletes worldwide come together to compete in the biennial European Athletics Indoor Championships. 2019’s event will gather 650 athletes from more than 45 nations at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.
Scotland’s own Laura Muir is determined to defend her 2017 gold medal at the 1500m and 3000m events. Meanwhile, Britain’s Eilish McColgan may be looking for a rematch at the 5000m against Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan, who won first place at the end of a blistering 60.5-second final circuit last August. It will be thrilling to see the two athletes attempt to outrun each other again in this year’s championships. Last but not least, all eyes will also be on Gesa Krause of Germany, who is looking to take the gold medal in the 3000m steeplechase for the third time in a row.
Wimbledon Championships: London, July 1-14
As the oldest tennis tournament in the world, Wimbledon is often regarded as one of the most prestigious. Over the past few years, the tournament has seen the likes of global sporting superstars Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Petra Kvitová, and Maria Sharapova.
This 2019, however, Angelique Kerber will be the one to watch as she returns to defend her title. The German tennis star is currently playing in the Australian Open, where she is looking to win her fourth Grand Slam and second Open title. This season is off to a strong start for Kerber as she is currently second behind Simona Halep in the WTA rankings despite winning more Grand Slams overall. Her experience clearly makes her a top contender for the Australian Open. It is for this reason that bwin has placed her second favorite to win the tournament with odds of 7.00 compared to Halep who has odds of 19.00. This year’s Wimbledon will be a test to see if Kerber can become one of the greats of women’s tennis.
Women’s British Open: Milton Keynes, August 1-4
Golf enthusiasts will soon flock to the Woburn Golf Club in England for the Women’s British Open.
This year’s venue may serve as a good luck charm for Thai golfer Ariya Jutanugarn, as she won her first major there in 2016. She has been a member at the Woburn Golf Club since she was 11 years old. However, she’ll have to beat Georgia Hall, who is likely to return after winning the major last year at Royal Lytham and St. Annes. Fans will also be closely watching 19-year-old Japanese golfer Nasa Hataoka, who she won twice on the LPGA Tour last year.