Toby Alderweireld on Sunday gave Tottenham Hotspur a late 2-1 win over Arsenal as Jose Mourinho’s men climbed above their north London rivals, while AFC Bournemouth kept their survival hopes alive with a chaotic 4-1 victory against Leicester City. Mourinho had endured a barrage of criticism as Tottenham slipped out of the race to qualify for the UEFA Champions League with just one win in three games, but thanks to Alderweireld’s winner with nine minutes left, Tottenham took the local bragging rights and got back in contention for a place in next season’s UEFA Europa League. Spurs are eighth, two points above ninth-placed Arsenal and two behind Sheffield United as they try to avoid missing out on European action for the first time since 2009-2010. “We are happy because we made the fans happy, we are happy because we are still in the fight to win a Europa League position,” Mourinho said. “To be honest, Mikel [Arteta] found a way for them to play, to be stable and to improve. We felt that we should adapt slightly to them and we did it very well.” In the first north London derby at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Alexandre Lacazette put Arsenal ahead in the 16th minute with a stunning long-range strike. Arsenal’s lead lasted just three minutes as Sead Kolasinac’s sloppy pass was intercepted by Son Heung-min, who eluded David Luiz before chipping over Emiliano Martinez. In the 82nd minute, defender Alderweireld rose above a cluster of Arsenal players to meet Son’s corner and plant his header past Martinez. “We give them a goal again and we concede a set-piece, and at this level you cannot do it,” Arsenal manager Arteta said. On the south coast, Leicester scored after 23 minutes as Jamie Vardy bagged his 23rd league goal of the season to extend his lead in the
Sevilla on Sunday all but secured UEFA Champions League qualification by beating relegation battlers RCD Mallorca 2-0 in La Liga. Lucas Ocampos scored a first-half penalty, before Youssef En-Nesyri added a second late on to move Sevilla nine points clear of fifth-placed Villarreal. With three games left and the superior head-to-head record, Villarreal are not mathematically out of contention, but they would have to take maximum points and see Sevilla lose both of their remaining matches. “Champions League qualification was our objective,” Sevilla midfielder Fernando said. “We are very close and now we just have some small steps left to make it.” Finishing in the top four would be an impressive achievement for Sevilla and their coach Julen Lopetegui, who took over last year following his nightmares in charge of Spain and Real Madrid. Lopetegui, together with Sevilla sporting director Monchi, oversaw a dramatic overhaul of the squad, but change has not come at the expense of consistency for Sevilla, who are now 13 matches unbeaten in La Liga. They could even yet finish third, given they sit level on points with Atletico Madrid. The defeat damaged Mallorca’s fading hopes of avoiding relegation. They remain three points behind Deportivo Alaves, who have a superior head-to-head record and a game in hand against Getafe. “We knew winning here would send out a strong message. We couldn’t do it, but we don’t stop believing,” Mallorca defender Antonio Raillo said. CD Leganes are also three points behind Alaves, but have a glimmer of hope after they scored one penalty and saved another in a battling 1-0 win over Valencia. Javier Aguirre’s side have an equal head-to-head with Alaves and are only two worse off on goal-difference. Leganes had to play the last 36 minutes against Valencia with 10 men after Jonathan Silva was sent off, shortly before Leganes goalkeeper Pichu Cuellar saved Dani Parejo’s
SSC Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso’s first-ever match against AC Milan on Sunday ended in a 2-2 draw in Serie A. Giovanni di Lorenzo and Dries Mertens scored for Napoli to cancel out Theo Hernandez’s opener, but Franck Kessie leveled from the penalty spot 17 minutes from time. Napoli remain sixth in Serie A, two points above Milan. Gattuso had both played for and coached Milan, but had never faced the Rossoneri since leaving by mutual consent at the end of last season. There was a touching moment before the match when Gattuso embraced Milan technical director Paolo Maldini, who he played with at Milan for 10 years. “There are so many emotions, because it’s the first time I faced the team that made me become a man and made me win so much, but I’m angry tonight with my players, because when you create seven to eight chances you need to score,” Gattuso said. “It’s not just a problem with the forwards, we easily get to within 18, 20 meters of the goal, but we still make so many mistakes and we need to improve.” Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma pulled off two superb saves before his side went ahead against the run of play in the 20th minute when Hernandez volleying in Ante Rebic’s cross. Napoli leveled 14 minutes later when Donnarumma could only parry Lorenzo Insigne’s free-kick into the path of Di Lorenzo, who tapped in the rebound. The hosts went ahead on the hour mark when Jose Callejon pulled the ball back for Mertens, whose effort squirmed under Donnarumma at his near post. Milan had not lost since Serie A resumed after the COVID-19 suspension and they leveled when Giacomo Bonaventura was tripped in the penalty area by Nikola Maksimovic and Kessie converted the resulting spot-kick. Milan played the final few minutes with 10 men after midfielder Alexis
Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton, the sport’s only black driver, on Sunday raised a clenched fist on the podium after taking his first victory of the season at Austria’s Red Bull Ring. The Briton, a six-time world champion who is now six wins short of equaling Ferrari great Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 91, has been outspoken in support of anti-racism campaigns and for equal opportunities. The Mercedes driver had earlier taken a knee on the starting grid with some of the other drivers while wearing a T-shirt with “Black Lives Matter” on the front. The race was run without spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hamilton, 35, also had “Black Lives Matter” on his race helmet. “We stand together and fight,” he said after posting on Instagram a picture of himself making the gesture on the Spielberg podium after collecting the 85th winner’s trophy of his career. “The team today took the knee which was just amazing to see that together we can learn, be open minded and conscious of what’s going on in the world,” he said. Hamilton had also clenched a fist while standing on his car, this season painted black rather than the usual silver. The clenched fist gesture echoed that of sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the podium at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. Both men were kicked off the US team and sent home after their famous black-gloved protest. Hamilton, who also took a knee the previous weekend before the season-opening race at the same circuit, last month launched a commission to push diversity in motorsport and said that he expected his campaigning to be “a lifelong thing.” Formula One chairman Chase Carey donated US$1 million toward a diversity foundation, as did the governing FIA.
Collin Morikawa on Sunday narrowly avoided another playoff heartbreak, defeating Justin Thomas in a tight contest at the Workday Charity Open in Dublin, Ohio. The 23-year-old, who suffered a playoff loss at the Charles Schwab Challenge last month, hung on to claim his second PGA Tour win in just 24 starts after fellow American Thomas bogeyed on 16 and 18 to send the pair into extra play. “Justin wasn’t going to give it to me. He was fighting through the entire day,” Morikawa said after clinching the win. “I’m excited right now, I’m so happy.” Tied at 19-under after four rounds, the pair put on a putting masterclass on the first playoff hole for birdies, with Thomas letting out a roar after sinking a more than 50-foot putt. However, Thomas, the 2017 PGA Championship winner who had been flawless through the first three rounds at Muirfield Village Golf Club, missed the fairway on the third playoff hole and got stuck behind a tree, and it was Morikawa who kept his nerve for the win. “Those three holes were a grind, obviously Justin making that birdie putt on that first playoff hole, I had to make it, or else we go home again,” Morikawa said. “I just got a little more comfortable throughout the playoff... Two playoffs now and finally got one done.” It was a bitter loss for Thomas, who had a two-stroke lead over Norwegian Viktor Hovland going into the final round and had appeared nearly unstoppable as only the third player ever to go bogey-free through 54 holes at Muirfield. “I just can’t beat myself up, although it’s going to be pretty hard not to, at least the rest of this afternoon,” Thomas said. “I just need to execute better.” Third-placed Hovland, who has not finished outside the top 25 since the PGA Tour returned, called
West Indies captain Jason Holder on Sunday praised the “massive, massive heart” of Shannon Gabriel following the tourists’ four-wicket win in the first Test against England in Southampton. Fast bowler Gabriel was named Man of the Match after taking combined figures of 9-137 as international cricket returned following a COVID-19 suspension. The 32-year-old Trinidad quick was originally only named as a traveling reserve as he recovered from ankle surgery, but Gabriel proved his fitness in two intra-squad warm-up matches and then showed his class as the West Indies went 1-0 up in the three-match series. Gabriel now boasts a fine career record of 142 wickets in 46 Tests at an average of under 30. “What Shannon has done in this game is nothing surprising. Shannon is just one of those guys who keep doing it. He has a massive, massive heart and he’s been through a lot,” Holder said. “He wants success so badly. His body hasn’t held up the way he would like, but to see him back out there fit and well, and bowling fast for the West Indies is always a pleasing sight.” “He deserves every bit of success he’s had in this game. I’m really, really happy for Shannon, I know what he’s been through. We kept in contact while he was doing rehab. At some stages he was very frustrated by how things were going, but he stuck it through,” added all-rounder Holder, who took a Test-best 6-42 in England’s first innings of 204. “We all know when Shannon is fit and healthy he is a handful, and he proved it in this game.” For all Gabriel’s heroics, the West Indies still needed to bat well after being set a target of 200 to win on the final day. They got there largely thanks to Jermaine Blackwood’s 95. Blackwood might not have played
STERLING TRIPLE: Manchester City showed that they belong in the Champions League, even if the courts might keep them out, while Sheffield defeated Chelsea
Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick as Manchester City ensured that they will finish in the Premier League’s top four with a 5-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday as the club wait to find out whether they will be allowed to compete in the Champions League next season. City were handed a two-season ban from European competitions by UEFA in February, but appealed that decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which is to deliver a verdict today. On the field, there is no doubt Pep Guardiola’s men deserve their place among the elite of European soccer next season with another display that belied the 21-point gap between them and champions Liverpool. Too often City have failed to take their chances and been punished for defensive lapses at the other end. However, there was never any chance of Brighton adding to their nine defeats this season once Sterling curled home his 25th goal of the season with unerring accuracy into the far corner. Gabriel Jesus’ deflected shot came back off the crossbar and he then teed up Riyad Mahrez with some nifty footwork only for the Algerian to curl a great chance wide. Jesus could be burdened with the responsibility of leading the line when City’s 2019-2020 Champions League season gets back under way next month with Sergio Aguero facing a race against time to be fit after knee surgery. The Brazilian has not always been the most prolific finisher, but showed striker’s instincts to tap Rodrigo’s flick-on for a corner to make it 2-0 just before halftime with his 20th goal of the season. Sterling notched his second of the night in unusual fashion by crashing home a header from Mahrez’s teasing cross. Brighton did themselves no favors for the fourth as Mat Ryan spilled a Bernardo Silva shot that he should have held and
Kamaru Usman put on a Fight Island masterclass yesterday to retain his UFC welterweight world title by grinding down a brave Jorge Masvidal in Abu Dhabi. “I’m at the top of the mountain and everyone’s looking at me,” said the 33-year-old Usman after scoring a unanimous points decision 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 on the three judges’ cards. The Nigerian-American Usman (17-1) looked the fresher fighter, with Masvidal (35-14) having taken the UFC251 headline bout at just six days’ notice when Brazil’s Gilbert Burns (19-3) tested positive for COVID-19 and was unable to travel. The Las Vegas-based UFC pulled off a power-packed schedule with three world title fights to launch a series of mixed martial arts cards. It helped fulfil UFC president Dana White’s vision of a virus-free Fight Island, something he first floated when the pandemic caused a global shutdown of sport in March. UFC has decamped to Abu Dhabi’s locked down Yas Island in the United Arab Emirates until the end of this month to isolate fighters from the threat of COVID-19 and to ensure that the shows roll on. Strict protocols mean athletes and staff are tested twice before leaving for the UAE and twice again on arrival before spending 48 hours in quarantine — measures that caught out Usman’s original opponent Burns (19-3). Usman never gave the 35-year-old replacement Masvidal the space to land the combinations for which he is noted, and he monstered the Cuban-American when the action hit the cage and the canvas. The pair had exchanged heated words via social media in the lead-up to the event, Masvidal saying that his opponent had “crossed lines,” and they were chipping away at each other in between rounds. However, there were smiles at the end when the judges ruled overwhelmingly in favor of Usman, with Masvidal, who was without his coach, Mike Brown, who had
England should look beyond Joe Denly, but retain Zak Crawley when regular skipper Joe Root returns for the second Test against the West Indies, former England captain Michael Vaughan said on Saturday as the hosts entered the fifth day of the first Test, which was reaching a conclusion after press time last night. Denly scored 18 and 29 in the Test and has now gone without a 50 in his past eight innings, while Kent teammate Crawley top-scored for England with 76 in the second innings. Vaughan said Denly should make room for Root, who missed the Southampton Test to attend the birth of his second child. “It’s not even a conversation,” Vaughan told BBC Sport. “You could argue that Denly was very lucky to have played 15 Test matches. There are a lot of players who have played only eight Tests and got hundreds.” “He has missed his chance and they have to stick with Crawley. I’m sorry for Denly — he’s just not good enough,” Vaughan said. On the field, Jofra Archer struck twice to give England hope of victory in the first session yesterday. The tourists were 35-3 at lunch, still needing a further 165 runs to reach a victory target of 200. Archer and fellow fast bowler Mark Wood had taken all three wickets to fall. Archer had earlier hit a useful 23, including four boundaries, before he was last man out in England’s second innings of 313. He then forced John Campbell to retire hurt on 1 after his first ball of the innings struck the opener a painful blow on the toe before taking two wickets in quick succession. Archer had Kraigg Brathwaite playing on for 4 and the then had Shamarh Brooks plumb LBW for a duck. Hope drove James Anderson for two fours in three balls, but on 9 he had no answer
The Wellington Hurricanes held off the Otago Highlanders for a 17-11 Super Rugby Aotearoa victory in Wellington yesterday, a result hailed as “massive” by ’Canes captain T.J. Perenara. The Hurricanes were cruising at 17-0 ahead, commanding more than 66 percent of possession in the second half, before the Highlanders came to life. The visitors were within striking distance of snatching an unlikely victory as the clock ticked down, but lost their own throw at a lineout to allow the Hurricanes to hang on. The three-tries-to-one win moved the Hurricanes past the Highlanders into third place halfway through the domestic version of the southern hemisphere club championship featuring the five New Zealand teams from the wider five-nation Super Rugby competition that was scrapped in March. The Canterbury Crusaders are unbeaten in four games, the Auckland Blues are second having only lost to the Crusaders and the Waikato Chiefs are last with no wins. “That was massive for us,” Perenara said. The Hurricanes dominated by employing Ardie Savea, Asafo Aumua, Ngani Laumape and Vince Aso as battering rams to tie up the Highlanders’ defense. Perenara said that there were still problem areas that need to be addressed, not least turning the ball over. “What we will look at is we are giving away a lot of penalties that are getting teams up to our end of the field, which is hurting us,” he said. Both sides had tries scrubbed out because of obstruction in the early skimishes. It took until the 28th minute for Perenara to open the scoring when he neatly sidestepped his fellow All Blacks scrum-half Aaron Smith and strolled 10m to the line. Jordie Barrett orchestrated the second try with a long pass to Kobus van Wyk to score in the corner. The Hurricanes turned with a 12-0 lead and were quick to build on it when play resumed. After battering
SOCCER Juventus snatch 2-2 draw Cristiano Ronaldo scored two penalties as Juventus snatched a 2-2 draw against Atalanta BC on Saturday to take another step toward a ninth straight Serie A title. SS Lazio’s 2-1 loss to US Sassuolo earlier in the day gave Atalanta a chance to move second and cut the gap to Juve to six points, but despite trailing twice and being outplayed for long periods, Maurizio Sarri’s Juventus moved eight points clear at the top with six matches remaining. Elsewhere, AS Roma strengthened their grip on a Europa League slot with a comfortable 3-0 win against relegation-threatened Brescia, with goals from Federico Fazio, Nikola Kalinic and Nicolo Zaniolo. SOCCER Barcelona edge Valladolid Arturo Vidal scored for Barcelona as they sneaked past Real Valladolid 1-0 on Saturday to keep the pressure on leaders Real Madrid as La Liga approaches its climax. Barcelona closed to within one point of Madrid, who have a game in hand. Vidal scored in the 15th minute after being set up by Lionel Messi, who, like most of his teammates, had a discreet outing at Valladolid’s empty Jose Zorilla Stadium. “We will give it our all, and then wait and see,” Vidal said of their chances of overtaking Real Madrid. “It doesn’t depend on us. If it is not meant to be, then on to the Champions League” next month. In other matches, CA Osasuna defeated RC Celta de Vigo 2-1 and Atletico Madrid downed Real Betis Balompie 1-0. SOCCER Burundi completes season Burundi completed its club season that played through the COVID-19 pandemic by staging the FA Cup final on Saturday, with Musongati winning 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Rukinzo. Spectators were admitted to matches in the east African nation throughout the pandemic and the crowd at the final did not practice social distancing in
MONKEYS ALSO WIN: The Rakuten Monkeys kept the Brothers from the first-half title as they dominated the Uni-President Lions, scoring four in the fourth
The CTBC Brothers still need another win to clinch the first-half CPBL title, despite thrashing the hapless Fubon Guardians 17-0 yesterday, after the Rakuten Monkeys beat the Uni-President Lions 9-2. Fans of CTBC Brothers were hoping to celebrate the first-half title, with a crowd of more than 10,000 packed into the Taichung Intercontinental Stadium for their home game against the Guardians. The figure was an attendance record for this year, when baseball and most other major sports events worldwide have been played in empty venues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Entering the game, CTBC had pushed their magic number down to 2, meaning they needed to win and for the Rakuten Monkeys to lose to secure the first-half title, which guarantees a berth in post-season play. The Brothers did their part. Their offense cranked out 19 hits, including three home runs. In the bottom of the fourth inning, with Brothers ahead 2-0 and the bases loaded, shortstop Chiang Kun-yu went to the plate at the bottom of order. He drilled a fastball from Fubon starter Chen Shih-peng over the left-field fence for a grand slam, taking the lead to 6-0. The Brothers added 11 more runs in the following four frames. Catcher Kao Yu-chieh and outfielder Chen Tzu-hao contributed homers of their own as the CTBC batters made mincemeat of six pitchers used by Fubon. Brothers starting pitcher Huang En-shih, who was credited with the win, said that the pitching coaches had helped him with adjustments and physical conditioning after his CTBC-record ninth straight win, with the sequence stretching to last season. “Before the game, the coaches reminded me not to think too much and try to not to get too nervous or stressed,” Huang said. “So I kept my pitching rhythm and took on the hitters one-by-one.” The coaching staff “should also get the credit for this win,” he said. In
Real Madrid are almost certain to win La Liga after a routine 2-0 win over Alaves on Friday put them within touching distance of the title. With suspended skipper Sergio Ramos sitting in the stands, Karim Benzema took over the armband and then penalty duties, firing in from the spot before teeing up Marco Asensio to add a second at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium. After restoring their four-point advantage at the top of the table, the pressure was back on Barcelona, who were to play Real Valladolid yesterday, with that game to begin after press time last night. “We still don’t know what is going to happen,” Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane said. “La Liga is very hard and we have three finals still to go.” “We have to stay focused,” Raphael Varane said. After sacking their coach Asier Garitano last week following five consecutive defeats, Alaves never looked likely to cause an upset. The loss in Juan Ramon Lopez Muniz’s first game in charge left them hovering above the relegation zone, only three points ahead of RCD Mallorca, who have hope after their win over Levante UD on Thursday. Zidane will be relieved all the same, particularly as he had to do without a string of key players. Ramos and Dani Carvajal were banned, while Marcelo was injured, taking out three of Madrid’s regular back four. Elsewhere, Granada pulled themselves into contention for a European spot by beating Real Sociedad 3-2 away, snatching all three points with a late goal after throwing away a two-goal lead. Additional reporting by Reuters PREMIER LEAGUE Jack Charlton, a central defender who played alongside his brother, Bobby, in England’s World Cup-winning side in 1966 before coaching Ireland, has died. He was 85. Nicknamed “Big Jack” and celebrated for his earthy “beer and cigarettes” image, Jack Charlton was Footballer of the Year in England in
Gritty knocks from openers Dom Sibley and Rory Burns helped England to reduce the West Indies’ lead to 35 as the hosts reached 79-1 at lunch on the fourth day of the first Test at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl yesterday. Resuming their second innings on 15-0, Sibley and Burns saw off a testing opening burst from West Indies pacers Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach before settling into their stride. Burns, the more aggressive of the two openers, brought up England’s 50 in the 20th over with a crisp cut through backward point off the bowling of West Indies skipper Jason Holder. However, he had departed for 42 shortly before lunch, slicing a short-pitched delivery from Roston Chase straight to John Campbell at backward point and bringing an end to England’s longest opening partnership since the start of 2017. Joe Denly (1 not out) survived a testing spell from Alzarri Joseph and, alongside Sibley (31 not out), saw England through to lunch. The home side would have been looking to capitalize on their solid foundation and build a lead in the second session, which was ongoing at press time last night. On Friday, Shane Dowrich steered the West Indies into a commanding lead. Dowrich made 61 after opener Kraigg Brathwaite had top-scored with 65 in a total of 318 all out. Ben Stokes led England’s attack with 4-49 to follow his top score of 43 in the hosts’ 204. However, that left the West Indies 114 runs ahead on first innings and they were still 99 runs in front after Burns and Sibley survived a tricky 10 overs to take England to stumps. “England bowled well and it was really challenging throughout the day, always aggressive,” Brathwaite told reporters. “So I think Dowrich and I did a good job for the team.” Stokes’ haul included the wicket of West Indies captain Jason Holder
TOP TWO: Auckland lost their first match after a run of seven wins across competitions, while Canterbury kept their unbeaten record in Super Rugby Aotearoa intact
The Canterbury Crusaders saw off an intense challenge from the Auckland Blues in a furious final quarter to complete a 26-15 victory in their Super Rugby Aotearoa clash in Christchurch yesterday. The home side have now won all four of their Super Rugby Aotearoa matches and ended the Blues’ seven-game winning streak across the wider Super Rugby tournament before the COVID-19 lockdown and the local competition. The Crusaders seemed to be sparked into a furious response when center Braydon Ennor charged down an attempted conversion by Otere Black of a Rieko Ioane try. Ioane crossed in the 55th-minute when his side took a quick tap penalty following an attacking scrum that appeared to have been wrongly awarded by referee Paul Williams. Richie Mo’unga then took a quick restart and gathered the ball, which resulted in the Crusaders storming back, with scrumhalf Mitchell Drummond crossing to give the home side a 16-15 lead, their first of the game. Mo’unga added his fourth penalty and then Will Jordan scored his fifth try in his past three games to maintain their four-year winning streak at Rugby League Park in Christchurch. The match had been billed all week as the long-awaited reignition of an intense rivalry that stretches back in provincial rugby for more than a century with both teams previously unbeaten in the New Zealand-only competition. The near sell-out crowd was not disappointed, with the game played at near Test-match intensity, with the Blues creating immense early pressure. The early momentum set up a 10th-minute try by Mark Telea before the Crusaders worked their way into Blues’ territory and forced a string of penalties, which allowed Mo’unga to ensure they were trailing 7-6 at halftime. In Australia, the New South Wales Waratahs beat the Western Force 23-14 in their Super Rugby AU clash. Additional reporting by staff writer
Ice hockey in North America became the latest sport to finalize a return during the COVID-19 pandemic after NHL owners and players on Friday approved an agreement to resume the season and with it an assurance of labor peace through September 2026. Games are scheduled to begin on Aug. 1 in Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta, with coronavirus cases in the US pushing the league into Canada for the summer and fall until the Stanley Cup is awarded in late September or early October. Training camps are to open across North America tomorrow, which is also the deadline for players to opt out of participating with no penalty. The Minnesota Wild’s Zach Parise earlier this week said that he does not think a lot of players will choose not to play, but the NHL already has one example. Hours after the agreement was reached, Calgary Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic became the first to publicly opt out, citing family reasons. Hamonic’s daughter was hospitalized last year with a respiratory illness. “I wish I could lace up my skates and be out there battling, blocking a shot and helping my team win, but my family has and always will come first,” Hamonic said. “Being my little kids’ dad every day is the most important job I have.” “While we will miss Travis in our lineup, we understand and respect his decision,” Flames general manager Brad Treliving said. The return-to-play plan, tentatively approved by the NHL and NHL Players’ Association (NHLPA) on Monday, was ratified by the league’s board of governors and with majority approval from players following a three-day voting period, which ended on Friday. Along with it, the two sides also formally approved a four-year extension of the collective bargaining agreement. “This agreement is a meaningful step forward for the players and owners, and for our game, in a difficult and
Wimbledon on Friday was hailed as “a class act” after the tournament agreed to split ￡10 million (US$12.62 million) among the 620 players who would have taken part in the tournament had it not been canceled this year. The All England Club said that based on world rankings, 224 players who would have competed in qualifying would each receive ￡12,500 while the 256 players who would have featured in main draw singles would get ￡25,000. In doubles, it would be ￡6,250, for wheelchair events ￡6,000 per player and ￡5,000 for quad wheelchair competitors. “Amazing news - always a class act and leader of our sport. Well done @Wimbledon - can’t wait to be back next year,” tweeted former world No. 1 and four-time major singles winner Kim Clijsters. Wimbledon, which was to play its finals this weekend, was in April canceled for the first time since World War II due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We know these months of uncertainty have been very worrying for the players, many of whom have faced financial difficulty during this period and who would have quite rightly anticipated the opportunity to earn prize money at Wimbledon based on their world ranking,” All England Club chief executive Richard Lewis said. “We are pleased that our insurance policy has allowed us to recognize the impact of the cancelation on the players and that we are now in a position to offer this payment as a reward for the hard work they have invested in building their ranking to a point where they would have gained direct entry into The Championships 2020,” Lewis said. Organizers would also distribute money to officials and some international umpires. “Just when you thought you couldn’t love @Wimbledon any more,” tweeted Britain’s Marcus Willis, who reached the second round in 2016, where he lost to Roger Federer. Willis was ranked No.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen on Friday posted the fastest time and Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton lacked pace in the second practice session for today’s Styrian Grand Prix. Verstappen was 0.043 seconds quicker than Valtteri Bottas — Hamilton’s teammate at Mercedes — and 0.217 seconds ahead of Racing Point driver Sergio Perez. “The car already feels better than last week, the balance is a lot nicer and we have made a good step,” said Verstappen, who did not finish last week’s Austrian Grand Prix after starting from second. “It is too early to say how we are looking against Mercedes, but we are quite happy. We have tried a few different directions to understand the car a bit more and we are heading the right way,” he said. Hamilton was sixth-fastest, about 0.7 seconds slower than Verstappen. “It was quite far off, so there’s a lot of work to do in the background to figure it out,” Hamilton said.
Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt has hinted that he could be tempted out of retirement if former coach Glen Mills were to ask him. The world 100m and 200m record holder and eight-time Olympic champion told Variety magazine that he had no plans to resurrect his sprinting career. However, the 33-year-old said in a video interview that he would at least consider a comeback if veteran coach Mills asked him. “If my coach came back and told me: ‘Let’s do this,’ I will, because I believe so much in my coach,” Bolt said. “So I know if he says we’re going to do this, I know it’s possible. Give Glen Mills a call, and I’ll be back,” he said. Bolt, who last competed internationally at the World Championships in London in 2017, where he won bronze in the 100m, said that he does not visit the track any more. “My coach gets too excited when I come to the track, so I stay away,” he said. Bolt said he is adjusting to life as a father after he and partner Kasi Bennett welcomed a baby girl in May. Bolt said that fatherhood was “harder than breaking a world record.” “I got sick that first week as I was scared to fall asleep so I stayed up at nights just watching her,” he said. “I am a heavy sleeper, but I have learned that I am going to wake up, I am going to get up no matter what, I am getting better and I am learning,” he said.
A group of former All Blacks, including two-time World Cup winner Jerome Kaino, said they are behind a bid to establish the first professional rugby union team in Hawaii, a move they called a boost for Pacific Islanders. Kanaloa Hawaii had their bid to join Major League Rugby (MLR) from next year confirmed on Friday, pending final approval. If terms such as an expansion fee are met, “the team would be formalized and ratified by a board vote, and Kanaloa Hawaii would become the 14th member for the 2021 MLR season,” the MLR said in a statement. Joining Kaino, who plays for French club Toulouse, in the ownership group are former All Blacks Joe Rokocoko, John Afoa, Benson Stanley, Anthony Tuitavake and Ben Atiga. “Creating an even playing field for Polynesians and Maori to get on the world stage, and the impact you have on the people back home is enormous,” Kaino told the MLR Rant podcast. “You end up finding out that rugby is more than a game,” he said. “That’s what it means to us. To be able to create a legacy and create something special to pass on to the next generation ... and show what our little nations can do on the world stage,” he said. MLR canceled much of its season this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the team in Colorado disbanded, allowing the league to seek further expansion from next season. “We are going to be the first professional Pacific islands rugby team in the world,” the budding Hawaii team’s rugby manager, Cam Kilgour, told the podcast. “We really want to develop professional rugby players from Hawaii and give them the opportunity.” Former All Blacks and Wallabies skills coach Mick Byrne would lead the side, with former All Blacks center Tamati Ellison his assistant.