Our year too? Seven reasons to be cheerful through 2007

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The Independent Online

Theo Walcott; Euro Under-21 Championship

Arsenal's 17-year-old flyer will link with transfer window targets David Nugent and Micah Rich-ards in Holland in June before a full graduation to the seniors.

Kelly Smith; Women's World Cup

A record breaker when she played professionally in the US, and described by the Dutch coach as "the best player in the world" after her hat-trick against them, England's best has the stage she craves in China in September.

Andy Murray; Wimbledon

A year older, stronger and wiser, and with Brad Gilbert at his side - Murray has much going for him. And he is one of the few who knows how to beat Roger Federer.

Paul Casey; The Open

Europe's golfer of the year has the game to succeed at Carnoustie in July, the scene of the last British triumph by Paul Lawrie in 1999.

Lewis Hamilton; Formula One

A major road ahead for McLaren debutant, the first driver of Afro-Caribbean descent in F1. Lots of learning curves but future bright.

Greg Rutherford; World Athletics Champs

Silver medallist in the long jump at the European Championships at 19, and ready to compete with the world's best in Osaka.

David Millar; Tour de France

The great bike race starts in Britain in July, and the time-trial specialist will be one of the favourites for the prologue.

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