Among major upcoming sporting events, the 2010 Formula One season starts, Osaka hosts one of the year's six Grand Sumo Tournaments, and the IRB Sevens tour reaches Australia.
Athletics: IAAF World Indoor Championships
With events in track racing, long and high jump, shot put and pole vault among others, the IAAF World Indoor Championships occur every two years, and the Outdoor Championships occur during even-numbered years. Day tickets cost from 10 QAR (€2).
Endurance: Abu Dhabi Triathlon
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
With a total prize fund of $250,000 (€184,000), this triathlon under the Emirati sun certainly has its fair share of gold up for grabs. Its constituent elements differ from standard lengths, with a shorter swim and longer cycle, meaning that athletes can anticipate a quicker post-race recovery. Registration is $180 for the full-length race, $123 for the half-distance course, and $272 for a three-person relay team (€90, €132, or €200).
Unusual: Ultimate Typing Championship
Austin, Texas, USA
Part of the South by Southwest cultural festival, the Ultimate Typing Championship finals are a culmination of a five-month elimination which started with web-based typing challenges before moving on to a semi-final knock out round in early January. Sean Wrona, a 25-year-old statistical programmer, faces off against Nate Bowen, a 31-year-old web and iPhone developer. Both can hit 150 words per minute and compete for a $2,000 (€1,480) prize.
Formula One: Bahrain Grand Prix
The 2010 Formula One season opens in Bahrain for the second time in the track's six-year history and sees the return of one of the sport's biggest stars: Michael Schumacher will be lining up on the starting grid for the first time in four years. The GP starts at 3:00 PM local time (12:00 GMT). For those looking to attend in person rather than watch on TV, grandstand tickets range from 45-155 dinars (€88-305) for race day, and not much more for a three-day pass.
Wrestling: Osaka Grand Sumo Tournament
One of six Grand Tournaments held throughout the year, each of the events' 15 days sees wrestling action take place from early morning (8:30am) to late afternoon (5pm) across several divisions, with top wrestlers performing last, and the colorful ritual Bow Ceremony at the end of each day. General admission tickets are 2,000 YEN (€16), while any remaining box seats would be in the region of 10,300 YEN (€83) first hand.
Skiing: FIS World Cup Finals
Lugnet, Falun, Sweden
The International Ski Federation's World Cup tour that started in November 2009 ends in central Sweden with a three-day championship schedule, following on from the penultimate meet in Stockholm on March 17. For the men, Norwegian Petter Northug has a clear advantage over his nearest rivals, while in the women's category it is Justyna Kowalczyk who heads the field.
Rugby Union: IRB Sevens World Series
March 19-21, Adelaide, Australia
March 26-28, Hong Kong
The 12 core national sides are again joined by four guest nations, this time in Australia, March 19-21. Australia, in fifth place overall, will be looking to make their home advantage count. Tickets for this leg of the tour cost between $17 AUD (€11) for general admission on the first night to $200 AUD (€130) for a three-day family pass. The Hong Kong stage features a bumper 24 teams, adult day tickets for that are $1,250 HK (€120).
IX South American Games
Though in the past the games featured regional sports such as bocce, a variant on bowls, and popular soccer derivative futsal, this year's South American Games go for more standard Olympic fare with sports such as swimming, cycling, fencing, martial arts, weightlifting, and of course track & field. The city of Medellín has been determined to embrace the Games' spirit of equality and fairness by distributing free tickets to residents for the opening ceremony.
World Powerboat Championship, Race 1 & 2
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Following on from the UAE's Team Victory achieving a Championship grand slam over the course of 2009, 2010 roars to life in Rio with the first two races of a seven-stage international tour that goes on to Scandinavia, the Mediterranean, and the Persian Gulf. As Rio's main event site is Marina de Glória at the mouth of Guanabara Bay, the race can be seen from Eduardo Gomes beach and even Sugarloaf Mountain.
Formula One: Australian Grand Prix
Second in the 2010 F1 schedule, the famous Melbourne track welcomes the series' hopefuls for 58 laps of its 5.3km (3.3mi) circuit around Albert Park. General admission tickets are $99 AUD (€65) for an adult on race day or $198 (€131) for a four-day pass, while single day tickets for the Schumacher Grandstand are $199 (€132), with further areas available as four-day packages.
Endurance: 25th Marathon des Sables
Sahara Desert, Morocco
The Sand Marathon certainly has earned its reputation of being the toughest footrace on earth. Contestants must be almost entirely self-sufficient over the six-day, 254km (156mi) ultra marathon. Over 700 participants are expected to amass at this year's starting line, while families and curious onlookers can observe their progress via videos and interviews on the Marathon website.
Formula One: Malaysian Grand Prix
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Michael Schumacher could tie 1970s Formula One legend John MacDonald for the privilege of having won the most races at the Sepang circuit if he crosses the finish line first here. Tickets are 200 MYR / €44 on the hill (100 MYR without roof covering), main grandstand passes are in the region of 1,200 - 2,600 MYR / €265 - 575. The more expensive tickets include access to the accompanying Wyclef Jean / Fatboy Slim concert.