19 Sep 2019

Today's sports news: what you need to know

5:46 pm on 19 September 2019

Latest - The Breakers will be without their captain in the lead-up to the new Australian basketball league season.

Breakers Tom Abercrombie surrounded by Sydney players.


Tall Blacks small forward Tom Abercrombie has been ruled out for up to three weeks, having suffered a small quadricep tear in training, a day out from the pre-season blitz tournament in Hobart.

Breakers owner Matt Walsh says he's confident Abercrombie will be fit for their NBL season opener against the Sydney Kings next month.

But he's likely to miss their pre-season games against NBA sides the Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Tall Blacks teammate Ethan Rusbatch has been called up to the Breakers squad as injury cover.

Spurs cough up lead in Champions League

Last season's runners-up Tottenham Hotspur squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 in their Champions League Group B opener away to Greek club Olympiakos Piraeus.

Spurs player Harry Kane.

Harry Kane Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Tottenham silenced the raucous crowd with two goals in four minutes midway through the opening half, first with Harry Kane's well-struck penalty and then a stunner by Lucas Moura.

Olympiakos, who had conceded only once in nine games in all competitions so far this season, halved the deficit just before halftime and then levelled in the 54th minute.

English champions Manchester City put aside their recent Premier League setback, delivering a comfortable performance in a 3-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk in their Group C game in Ukraine.

Pep Guardiola's side, beaten by Norwich City on Saturday, scored through Riyad Mahrez, Ilkay Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus.

Even without Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani, Paris St Germain were too strong for a Real Madrid with a 3-0 win in Paris.

Atletico Madrid and Juventus drew 2-2.

Kiwi boxer ousted in world championship quarter-finals

Unheralded New Zealand light heavyweight Jerome Pampellone has bowed out of the men's amateur boxing world championships in Russia.

The Aucklander has lost a split decision to Englishman Benjamin Whittaker in the quarter-finals.

Pampellone was attempting to become just the third Kiwi to win an AIBA world championship medal after David Tua and Melanie Horne.

The New Zealand team will now turn its attentions to the Asia/Oceania Olympic qualification tournament in China in February.

Newcomers in Diamonds team

Netball Australia has named two new players in the 13 strong squad for the Constellation Cup series against the Silver Ferns next month.

Australian Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander

Australian Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander Photo: Photosport Ltd 2016 www.Photosport.nz

Sunshine Coast midcourter Laura Scherian and NSW Swifts defender Maddy Turner are the newcomers.

Nine players from their World Cup squad have been included while Kelsey Browne is injured, April Brandley is expecting a baby and Steph Wood was unavailable.

Samsung Diamonds head coach Lisa Alexander, who will coach her 100th Diamonds match in Auckland.

The four game series starts in Christchurch on October 13th followed by games in Auckland, Sydney and Perth.

New Zealand to host a round of the WRC?

New Zealand is reportedly on the calendar for the 2020 World Rally Championship.

Hayden Paddon and Seb Marshall competing in Rally Turkey

Hayden Paddon Photo: © Marcin Rybak: Rallyart Photo 2018

There has been a delay in the announcement of the schedule with FIA president Jean Todt saying the delay is a reflection of the series' growing popularity.

New Zealand is believed to be on the list ahead of Australia.

The latest version of the calendar is believed to list Monte Carlo, Sweden, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Portugal, Sardinia, Kenya, Germany, Finland, New Zealand, Turkey, GB, and Japan.

The Rally New Zealand was last held as a WRC event in 2012.

Kohli leads the way again

India captain Virat Kohli led from the front with an unbeaten 72 to help secure his team's comprehensive seven-wicket victory over South Africa in the second Twenty20 International.

India skipper Virat Kohli leaves the field because of sun strike.

Virat Kohli Photo: Photosport

After disciplined Indian bowling restricted the touring side to a below-par 149-5, Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan (40) helped the hosts chase down the target with an over to spare in the north Indian city of Mohali.

After the series opener in Dharamsala was washed out, Quinton de Kock made his debut as South Africa's Twenty20 captain as they explore leadership options before the 20-overs World Cup next year.

The left-hander top-scored with 52 and Temba Bavuma contributed 49 but the subsequent South African batsmen could not capitalise on the decent start.

Kohli hit three sixes in his 52-ball knock.

Bengaluru hosts the third and final match on Sunday before the teams clash in a three-test series next month.


More support for judicial change

NSW State of Origin captain Kezzie Apps wants the NRLW's judiciary system changed after a three-game ban ended St George Illawarra teammate Teuila Fotu- Moala's season.

Fotu-Moala this week became the first woman suspended by the NRL, hit with a grade-two charge for a crusher tackle in the Dragons' opening-round loss to Brisbane.

The NRLW carries the same judicial points system to the men's game, despite the three-week regular season being one-eighth the length of the NRL.

It means the Kiwi star's season is now effectively over after just one game, with the ban set to possibly extend into the international calendar.

"It is totally unfair, the guys might get a three-match ban but they've got another 20-something rounds they can play," Apps said, "Where that's our season gone."

AAP understands the women's issue was raised in a meeting between the NRL and club officials in July, with at least two of the four clubs raising concerns.


Iran Judo banned after forcing fighter to lose

Iran has been banned by the International Judo Federation after it ordered fighter Saeid Mollaei to pull out of the World Championships in Japan.



Defending champion Mollaei ignored calls to withdraw from his match against Russia's Khasan Khalmurzaev to avoid the prospect of facing Israel's Sagi Muki later in the tournament.

Iranian athletes are prohibited from competing in any sport against Israel.

Mollaei lost in the semi-finals and has since been living in Germany.

Earlier in 2019, the National Olympic Committee of Iran had said it would comply with the Olympic charter and the International Judo Federation, paving the way for Iranian athletes to compete against Israelis.

But the IJF said Iran's actions at the World Championships in Japan were a "gross contradiction" to these assurances.

After the tournament Mollaei said he feared for his family's safety.


Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe again

A half-century by Mahmudullah has inspired Bangladesh to another victory over Zimbabwe, this time by 39 runs in the fourth match of the T20 tri-series with Afghanistan.

The 33-year-old smashed five sixes and one four in a 41-ball innings of 62 as Shakib Al Hasan's team posted 7-175 off their 20 overs in Chittagong.

In reply, Hamilton Masakadza saw several batsmen around him depart cheaply and, when he was lbw to Aminul Islam for 25, the writing was on the wall for his team.

Zimbabwe were 44-6 at that stage, but Richmond Mutumbami at least ensured they reached three figures.

He smashed 54 off 32 balls, hitting three sixes and four boundaries before Shafiul Islam had him caught on his way to figures of 3-36.

Mustafizur Rahman (2-38) and Aminul Islam (2-18) also impressed to help Bangladesh bowl Zimbabwe out for 136.


Wimbledon to launch new tournaments

The All England Lawn Tennis Club plans to invest in grass court tournaments in Europe to help players prepare for the Wimbledon championships in 2020.

All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London.

Wimbledon Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The plan includes investments in new grass courts in Stuttgart and Mallorca, with the AELTC set to become the owner, rights or licence holder of four new tournaments through collaborations.

The French Open next year ends on June 7 with Wimbledon set to begin three weeks later on June 29.

While the first week of the grass court swing remains unchanged with events in Nottingham (WTA), 's-Hertogenbosh (ATP and WTA) and Stuttgart (ATP), the second week will feature a new WTA event in Berlin.

London and Halle will continue to host ATP events in the second week.


Lindelof staying at United

Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof has signed a new contract that will keep him at Old Trafford until at least June 2024.

The 25-year-old Sweden international joined United in 2017 and has made 74 appearances so far. United have an option to extend the deal by a further year.

United, who are fourth in the Premier League table after five games, host Astana in the Europa League tomorrow.


Record price for NBA team

The NBA has officially signed off on the sale of the Brooklyn Nets and full ownership of the Barclays Center to Joe Tsai for an American sports record $3.7 billion.

Tsai paided $1.5 billion for a 49 percent share of the Nets in 2018.

Tsai is the co-founder of e-commerce company Alibaba.

Prokhorov purchased the team from Bruce Ratner in 2010 and completed a move to Brooklyn and Barclays Center in 2012.

The New Zealander Sean Marks is the general manager at the Nets.


Curry wants to play at Olympics

Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry is planning to be part of the team that represents the United States at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Golden State Warriors star guard Stephen Curry celebrates beating Toronto in game five of the NBA finals.

Steph Curry Photo: AFP

"That is the plan, for sure," Curry told ESPN.

Team USA is coming off an embarrassing seventh-place finish in the FIBA World Cup.

The U.S. team had won 58 consecutive tournament games in FIBA and Olympic competition with NBA players dating to 2005 coming into the tournament, but left without a gold medal for the first time since 2006.

Curry has been on two of the World Cup teams during that stretch, but has yet to compete in the Olympics.


Thomas leads British cycle team

Former Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas will lead Great Britain's team at the UCI Road World Championships later this month.

The 2018 yellow jersey winner will compete in both the elite men's road race and the time trial, the latter alongside British time trial champion Alex Dowsett, in Yorkshire.

Thomas will be joined in the road race event by Ben Swift, winner of the British National Road Race Championships in Norwich in June, Ian Stannard, Owain Doull and Tao Geoghegan Hart.

New Zealand has four elite men and three elite women heading to the championship.


Egypt weightlifters banned for two years

The Egyptian Weightlifting Federation has been suspended for two years for various doping-related offences.

The ban will prevent Egypt from competing at this week's World Weightlifting Championships in Thailand and the Olympics in Tokyo next year if it is upheld.

Reuters reported in 2017 that five Egyptian teenagers, including two girls aged 14, and two 20-year-olds, failed doping tests at the African Youth and Junior Championships in Cairo in December 2016.

Under IWF rules, any country returning three or more positive tests within a year faces a range of sanctions and in serious cases can be suspended from the sport.


Garcia to play Australian Open

Spanish golf superstar Sergio Garcia has joined one of the strongest Australian Open fields in years.

The 2017 Masters champion along with Presidents Cup debutant CT Pan are the latest confirmed starters for the Open being staged at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney from December 5-8.

The pair join home favourites Jason Day, Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith, as well as four-time major champion Ernie Els, former British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen and in-form Englishman Paul Casey.

Garcia enjoyed his first win of the year at the Dutch Open on Sunday, remarkably his 35th win as a professional in all corners of the planet, including 10 times on the US PGA Tour.

The Ryder Cup hero, revered for his ball-striking prowess and flair, surged back up to No.32 in the world rankings after a win in his first appearance in the Netherlands tournament.