28 Jul 2019

Today's sports news: What you need to know

7:02 pm on 28 July 2019

Latest - Supercars star Scott McLaughlin clinched his 14th win of 2019 in one of the season's closest finishes at the Ipswich SuperSprint.

McLaughlin dropped from pole to fourth yesterday but made no mistake from the top of the grid in today's race two and led from start to finish, setting a lap record at Queensland Raceway.

But the New Zealand driver was made to work for it as Holden star and compatriot Shane van Gisbergen almost pipped him on the final lap.

McLaughlin extended his lead at the top of the drivers' standing.

Luke charged by NRL judiciary

International forward Issac Luke faces an untimely stint on the National Rugby League sideline for foul play as the Warriors launch a late-season finals bids.

Issac Luke

Issac Luke Photo: Photosport

The Warriors hooker has copped a grade two dangerous throw charge for his tackle last night on Parramatta half Dylan Brown and faces a two-match suspension if he pleads guilty.

The ban would stretch to three weeks if the Kiwis international lost a judicial appeal.

Brisbane Broncos lock Tevita Pangai was charged with a grade two careless high tackle on Gold Coast winger Phillip Sami which will earn him one or two weeks out.


Kiwi teenager claims BMX World title

Kiwi teenager Jessie Smith is on top of the world after claiming the junior women's UCI BMX World Championship title in Belgium.

Jessie Smith of New Zealand is crowned Junior Women's World Champion at the 2019 UCI BMX World Championships in Zolder, Belgium on 27 July 2019.


The 18-year-old from Hamilton passed Argentina's Agustina Cavalli in the final 15m to claim the title on a rain-affected final day at Zolder-Heusden.

Smith is the first New Zealand BMX rider to win the junior women's world title, following on from Papakura's Maynard Peel who won the junior men's honours in 2016, and in the footsteps of her mentor Sarah Walker, who won the elite world title in 2009.

Ten years on from that victory, it was not to be the fairytale for Walker, who exited in the quarterfinals along with teammate Rebecca Petch on a day when the weather dominated.

Hamilton on pole in Germany

Formula One leader Lewis Hamilton seized pole position for Mercedes in their 200th race at the German Grand Prix after both Ferrari drivers were sidelined by engine problems.

Lewis Hamilton has scored his fourth Grand Prix win of the year.

Lewis Hamilton has scored his fourth Grand Prix win of the year. Photo: Photosport

The five-times world champion lapped the 4.5km Hockenheim circuit in one minute 11.767 seconds for a record-extending 87th career pole and his fourth of the season.

The Briton was comfortably quicker than Max Verstappen, who will start alongside the 34-year-old on the front row in his Red Bull.

Valtteri Bottas, 39 points beind Hamilton in the standings after 10 of 21 races, qualified third in the other Mercedes.

Ferrari, who had been fastest in both Friday and Saturday practice with Charles Leclerc, could only lick their self-inflicted wounds.

It all went wrong when it mattered for the sport's most successful and glamorous team, with home favourite Sebastian Vettel the first casualty when he failed to set a time in the opening phase.

The German, hoping for a happier homecoming than last year when he crashed out of the lead from pole, will start last after a problem with the air flow to the car's turbo.

Leclerc then failed to make it out of the pits in the final top 10 shootout due to a fuel system issue.


Tall Ferns win again

The New Zealand women's basketball team is one win away from retaining the William Jones Cup after beating hosts Chinese Taipei A 86-68.

A fourth win in four outings has set up a showdown with Japan tonight with the winners to be crowned champions as both teams boast an identical 4-0 record ahead of their final match.

The New Zealand front court trio of Penina Davidson (20 points and 7 rebounds), Kalani Purcell (17 points,13 rebounds and 4 steals) and Tessa Boagni (10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks) set the platform for another heartening win.

Other significant contributors were Micaela Cocks (11 points) and Charlisse Leger-Walker (9 points and 8 assists).

Japan upset Fiji

Japan rode a strong first half performance to a 34-21 victory over Fiji in the northern city of Kamaishi, beating the Pacific islanders for only the fourth time and ensuring their World Cup preparations were progressing steadily.

Fiji Rugby


In their opening match of the Pacific Nations Cup, a full strength Japan led 29-14 at half time courtesy of tries by wingers Kenki Fukuoka and Kotaro Matsushima, centre Timothy Lafaele and flanker Kazuki Himeno.

Centre Leveni Botia and hooker Sam Matavesi replied for the Fijians before the break but 15 points proved too big a deficit for the Pacific Nations Cup champions to overhaul in the second half.

The impressive Matsushima added another try in the 54th minute to stretch Japan's lead but Fiji attacked with more urgency against the tiring hosts, wresting back both possession and territory.

Fiji hooker Matavesi again scored a converted try on the hour mark as the visitors used their superior forward strength to dominate Japan in the maul.

But Fiji's comeback attempt sputtered as their feared attack became more disjointed in the sweltering heat of Iwate's Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, allowing Japan a win over an opponent two places above them in the world rankings.

Japan host Tonga in the second round of the Pacific Nations Cup on Aug. 3.

The tournament is a crucial buildup for the Pacific nations ahead of the World Cup in Japan in two months time, with the United States, Canada and Samoa also taking part.


Colombian set to win Tour

Egan Bernal was poised to become the first Colombian to win the Tour de France when he retained the overall lead after the 20th stage, a 59-km ride from Albertville.

Colombian cyclist Egan Bernal.


The Team Ineos rider finished the stage won by 2014 champion Vicenzo Nibali of Italy in fourth place.

His team mate and defending champion Geraint Thomas is second overall ahead of Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk after France's Julian Alaphilippe cracked in the final ascent to the ski resort of Val Thorens.

Tonight's final stage from Rambouillet to Paris is a largely processional ride with only the final sprint being contested.

Three Colombians will feature in the top 10 as former podium finishers Rigoberto Uran and Nairo Quintana lie seventh and eighth overall, respectively.

New Zealand's George Bennett is 23rd overall, an hour behind the leader.


Whincup wins in Ipswich

Seven-time Supercars champion Jamie Whincup has ended his longest winless streak in 13 years after capitalising on a stunning first lap in Saturday's opening race at the Ipswich SuperSprint.

Whincup hadn't won in 24 races, dating back to September 16 last year at Sandown, in what had been his longest drought since joining Triple Eight in 2006.

Holden star Whincup had started second on the grid and overtook championship leader Scott McLaughlin on the second turn before holding on for his 114th career win.

Championship lead McLaughlin finished fourth.


Aussie swimmer tests positive

Shayna Jack, who withdrew from the Australia team ahead of the world swimming championships, said she had tested positive for a banned substance.

"It is with great sadness and heartache that I had to leave due to allegations of having a prohibited substance in my system," the 20-year-old freestyle swimmer wrote on Instagram.

"I did NOT take this substance knowingly. Swimming has been my passion since I was 10 years old and I would never intentionally take a banned substance that would disrespect my sport and jeopardise my career.

"Now there is an ongoing investigation and my team and I are doing everything we can to find out when and how this substance has come into contact with my body," added Jack.

Team mate Cate Campbell said she had been in the dark about the positive test but added that Jack's absence from the worlds was proof of Australia's anti-doping commitment.

Swimming Australia said it had been notified by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) of an adverse test result following an out-of-competition test on June 26.

The news will be a major embarrassment for Australian swimming given Jack's team mate Mack Horton played a leading role in protests against Sun Yang at the world championships.


Bangladesh appointed Vettori

Bangladesh have appointed former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori as a spin bowling consultant while former South Africa paceman Charl Langeveldt will become their new pace bowling coach.

Former New Zealand cricket captain Daniel Vettori.


Vettori's contract is until next year's Twenty20 World Cup in Australia and the 40-year-old will be available to the team for around 100 days during their preparation.

Langeveldt, 44, takes charge as a full-time coach, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) added.

"This is a team on the rise and there is so much experience and potential," Vettori, who will also prepare Bangladesh for the tour of India later this year and a trip to New Zealand in 2020, said in a BCB statement.

Vettori, the former left-arm spinner, has previously been head coach of Indian Premier League side Royal Challengers Bangalore and Australia's Big Bash League team Brisbane Heat following his retirement in 2015.

"It'll be a pleasure to work with... Shakib Al Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam and the other up and coming youngsters which I'm looking forward to with a lot of interest," he added.


Hyo-joo still leads in France

Kim Hyo-joo forged to a one-shot lead over Park Sung-hyun as South Korean players took a stranglehold on the Evian Championship in the third round in France.

Kim took over in front with a six-under-par 65 at Evian Resort Golf Club in Evian-les-Bains, while Park was nipping at her heels after a 66.

Kim, who will start the final round at 15-under 198, and Park have a nice cushion over the pack.

Fellow South Koreans Park In-bee and Ko Jin-young are equal third, four shots from the lead.

Halfway leader Lee Mi-hyang backtracked with a 71 that left her five shots off the pace.

New Zealand's Lydia Ko didn't make the cut.