A new year brings new opportunities, and for some of the world’s greatest athletes, that means making even more history.
With numerous world championship events scheduled to take place throughout the year, 2023 will provide a chance to shine for some of the sport’s biggest stars.
For some, it feels like swimming Katie Ledecky and a tennis ace Novak Djokovicthe upcoming calendar will be all about perpetuating their legacy, while for others, 2023 promises to be the year they transform their statuettes from “one to watch” to “one to keep”.
With the availability of qualifying spots for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, the next 12 months are sure to bear fruit.
Here are just some Olympic names in action to look out for:
Neeraj Chopra: Athletics
Neeraj Chopra, a man with a golden hand who inspired an entire nation with his people Tokyo 2020 the gold medal in the javelin throw, will headline the World Championships in Athletics, which will start in Budapest, Hungary on August 19-27.
The 25-year-old had an unforgettable year in 2022 after winning silver at the World Championships in Oregon. Chopra also became the first Indian to win the Diamond League title when he took the victory in Zurich in September.
Also watch out for world record holders Mondo Duplantis and Tobi Amusan, as well as sprinters Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson-Herah and rising star Noah Lyles.
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Luka Doncic: Basketball
With global reach, there will be no shortage of basketball superstars heading to the FIBA ??World Cup co-hosted by Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines from August 25 to September 10, but among those sure to light up the competition will be Slovenian Luka Doncic.
After leading his country to first place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and then to a much-praised fourth-place finish at the Games, the 23-year-old is equal parts quarterback, which is a game changer.
Currently in the throes of an electric season for his NBA team, the Dallas Mavericks, Doncic is already leading the league as Most Valuable Player (MVP), especially after breaking the franchise record with 60 points in a single game on December 28.
The Slovene will hope to keep this hot form all the way to the World Cup.
Alex Morgan: Football
The United States women’s soccer team will have a lot of work ahead of them as they try to defend their crown at the month-long FIFA Women’s World Cup starting July 15.
While the roster has yet to be chosen, two-time Olympic medalist Alex Morgan would be hard to overlook when it comes to naming stars on the American side.
The 33-year-old recently received her seventh US Women’s Player of the Year nomination after winning the NWSL Golden Boot award and helping the USWNT earn a spot at Paris 2024 after a 1-0 victory over Olympic champions Canada thanks to a successful penalty kick.
Summer McIntosh and Leon Marchand: Swimming
Swimmer Summer McIntosh, who burst onto the scene early last year, has been going from strength to strength in 2022, preparing for a strong 2023.
After finishing fourth in two Tokyo 2020 events and then just 14th, McIntosh pushed his way into the medal zone strong last year, winning four World Championship medals (two gold, one silver, one bronze) and six Commonwealth Games medals (two gold , three silver, one bronze).
On the men’s side, Frenchman Leon Marchand will be looking to highlight his credentials as a home hero in Paris 2024 after coming close to Michael Phelps’ legendary record of 400 individual variables last July.
There are plenty of other names to keep on your radar too, including Britain’s Adam Peaty, seven-time Olympic champion Caeleb Dressel, Romania’s David Popovici, Australian powerhouse Emma McKeon and Ledecky.
Mikaela Shiffrin: Alpine skiing
Two-time Olympic alpine ski champion Mikaela Shiffrin will headline the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships, which will start from February 6-19 in the French ski resorts of Courchevel and Meribel.
The American, who already holds the event’s record as the only female skier in history to win four consecutive world titles in a single discipline, will be aiming for the pinnacle of this special season when she hits the slopes in France.
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Novak Djokovic: Tennis
Rafael Nadal’s record as the male player with the most Grand Slam singles titles (22) will be the target of Serbian Djokovic this year.
His quest to take over the Spaniard will begin on January 16 in Melbourne at the Australian Open where Nadal defends his title.
If he fails to win there, he will turn to the French Open (May 28-June 11), Wimbledon (July 3-16) and the US Open (August 28-September 10) for a chance to rewrite even more tennis history.
Rebeca Andrade: Rhythmic gymnastics
Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade is hunting for even more stories in 2023 after an outstanding performance in 2022.
The Tokyo 2020 vault gold medalist became her country’s first all-around gold medalist at the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Liverpool, seven years after making her senior national team debut.
Now the 23-year-old will defend her hard-won crown when the world championships return in Antwerp, Belgium, from September 30 to October 8.
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Viktor Axelsen: Badminton
Badminton men’s singles world champion Viktor Axelsen will get a unique opportunity as he competes for two titles at the 2023 BWF World Championships.
The prestigious tournament will take place in his native Denmark, whose capital is Copenhagen.
The reigning Olympic champion will hope for the full support of the public as he fights against known foes such as Srikanth Kidambi, Loh Kean Yew, Momota Kento, among others.
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Uno Shoma: Figure skating
Two Olympic medals, a world title, first gold in the Grand Prix Final and a fifth national title: 2022 was quite a successful year for Japanese figure skating star Uno Shoma.
But the 24-year-old won’t stop there.
Now Uno will be defending his title at the 2023 World Figure Skating Championships at home in Saitama, Japan from March 20-26.