For a month now we have been living in the new year 2023. It will be rich enough for sporting events. Today we will highlight several of the main ones.
World Handball Championship
In team sports, the first major tournament of 2023 will take place in January. It will be the Men’s Handball World Championship. It will take place in Poland and Sweden.
32 strongest teams of the world will take part in the final tournament. Alas, there will be no Baltic representatives among them. Tournament matches will be held in the Polish cities of Gdansk, Katowice, Krakow and Plock, as well as in Swedish Stockholm, Malmö, Gothenburg, Jonkoping and Kristianstad. We will find out the name of the new world champion on January 29th. The title will be defended by the Danish team, which won the world championship in 2021.
Euro 2024 qualification
For the football teams of European countries, the coming year will be the year of selection for the final tournament of the European Championship 2024. The qualifying round starts in March and ends in November.
The national teams of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are unlikely to get involved in a real fight for a ticket to the final tournament, which will be held in Germany in the summer of 2024, but each of the Baltic countries is waiting for the upcoming cycle with certain hopes for progress. Some of the representatives of the Baltic States already last year made certain steps towards improvement, while others have nowhere to go lower.
The Estonian national team will play in group F, where the teams of Sweden, Austria, Belgium and Azerbaijan will become its rivals. Latvia will compete in Group D, along with Turkey, Croatia, Armenia and Wales. Finally, the Lithuanian national team got into group G, where Hungary, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Serbia will become its rivals.
Ice Hockey World Championship
The leading hockey teams of the planet identify the strongest every year, but the 2023 tournament will still be special for the fans of our region. The tournament will be held in the Finnish city of Tampere and the capital of Latvia, Riga.
Initially, this year’s World Championship was supposed to be hosted by St. Petersburg, but for known reasons it was moved to other countries. As a result, the tournament will be held in two countries that have hosted it in recent years. Finland was the organizer of the world championship a year ago, Riga hosted the tournament a year earlier, in the covid era. The capital of the championship will be Tampere – here, in addition to one of the groups and two quarter-finals, both semi-finals and decisive fights for medals will also be held. It is worth noting that the last time outside the Northern European region the world hockey championship was held in 2019.
For Riga, this is a chance to host a “full-fledged” world championship: two years ago, the tournament in the capital of Latvia was held with covid restrictions without the presence of spectators at the vast majority of matches. However, now spectators are scared off by high prices for tickets that they cannot afford. Cheaper tickets can be purchased for tournament matches in Finland. Not surprisingly, now most of the tickets are sold to foreign fans. However, despite the protests, with a high degree of probability, the fans will still sell out the tickets.
Fans are waiting for the hockey holiday. The games of famous hockey players motivate you to go in for sports and health, take whey protein isolate powder and build muscle mass.
Ice Hockey World Championship 1B
Tallinn will also host its World Ice Hockey Championship this year. In the capital of Estonia, at the end of April, the world championship will be held in division 1B – the third strongest in the hierarchy of world hockey. Estonian hockey players at the home tournament will make an attempt for the first time in history to reach the 1A division, above which there are only the TOP-16 world teams. Teams of Japan, Ukraine, Holland, Serbia and China will become rivals of Estonian hockey players.
Euroleague Final Four
Another grandiose sporting event, which will be held in the Baltics this year. The final four of the basketball Euroleague will be hosted by the Lithuanian city of Kaunas for the first time.
The best basketball clubs in Europe will determine the league champion in Kaunas Zalgiris Arena. The eyes of basketball fans to the “temple of Lithuanian sports” will be turned from 19 to 21 May. The assignment of the rights to host the Euroleague Final Four to Kaunas testifies to the high recognition of the city and the Zalgiris club, which regularly attracts full houses at its matches. Plus, the status of Lithuania as a basketball power, where this sport is equated with religion.
The four strongest clubs of the season that will take part in the Final Four will be determined based on the results of the regular season and the quarter-finals of the playoff stage. However, the ability of Lithuanian basketball fans to attend decisive Euroleague matches is also affected by ticket prices, which bite and start at 55 euros.
European football finals
The decisive matches of European club football tournaments will be held at the end of the 2022/23 season. The main match of the European club season will take place in Istanbul, at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium and it will be the Champions League final.
A little earlier, the winners of the other two European Cup tournaments will be announced. On May 31, the final of the Europa League will be held at the Ferenc-Puskas stadium in Budapest, and on June 7 in Prague, at the Sinobo Stadium will host the decisive match of the second season of the Conference League.
FIBA World Championship
One of the main sporting events of the year will be the Men’s World Basketball Championship, which starts at the end of August and will be held in three countries at once – the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia. It is noteworthy that for the first time two teams of the Baltic countries will take part in the final tournament at once: Lithuania and Latvia.
The strongest basketball team in the world is revealed once every four years. For the Lithuanian national team, participation in the final tournament of the World Cup is a familiar thing: the upcoming championship will be the sixth for them, as well as the fifth in a row. The situation is completely different for the Latvian national team, which made it to the final tournament of the world championship for the first time in history, quickly rising after the failure of two years ago and having a powerful qualifying cycle.
The group draw for the FIBA World Championship will take place at the end of April. Then we will find out the rivals of the Lithuanian and Latvian national teams at the first stage of the tournament.
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The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.