18 Oct 2019

Today's sport news: what you need to know

11:20 am on 18 October 2019

Latest - New Zealand golfer Ryan Fox has made his best start to a tournament this season, tied for the lead after the first round of the latest European Tour event in France.

New Zealand golfer Ryan Fox.

Ryan Fox Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Fox fired an opening round six under par 65 to share the lead with South African George Cootzee.

They have a one shot lead over a group of three players.

Fox won in Perth in February, but since then his best result was a tie for 16th at the British Open.

Meanwhile Danny Lee and Lydia Ko have both made good starts to their respective tournaments in Asia.

Lee is tied for fourth, three shots off the lead at the CJ Cup in Korea.

Meanwhile Ko is tied for fifth, two shots from the lead at the LPGA event in Shanghai.

Steven Adams still the toughest

Steven Adams has again been voted the toughest player in the NBA by the league's general managers.

The Oklahoma City Thunder centre has received 32 per cent of the vote, welll clear of Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, who's been voted the toughest by 18 per cent of GMs.

Adams received 33 per cent of the vote last year.

The Thunder open their new NBA season against the Utah Jazz on Thursday.

NZ sprinters on top

New Zealand cyclists Olivia Podmore and Sam Webster gained the sprinters honours, while the Australians claimed both the male and female honours in the omnium on the second night of the Oceania track cycling championships in Invercargil.

Canterbury and New Zealand cyclist Olivia Podmore.

Olivia Podmore Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 22-year-old Podmore gave a reminder of her talents with victory in the 500m time trial final, while Webster prevailed in a third and deciding race over teammate Eddie Dawkins in a thrilling sprint series.

Much attention focussed on the four-discipline omnium competition where multi-world champion Australians Amy Cure and Sam Welsford took the female and male titles against heralded Kiwi competition.

Cure, a three-time world champion, was a class above to take out the women's omnium while current scratch and team pursuit world champion, Welsford held off a stern challenge from current omnium world champion, kiwi Campbell Steward in the men.

Rally champ passes away

The former rally driver and team head Andrew Cowan has died, aged 82.

Cowan was a regular in New Zealand and twice won the Rally of New Zealand in 1972 driving a Mini and in 1976 driving a Hillman Avenger.

Cowan, a Scot, also headed Mitsubishi Europe and guided Tommi Mäkinen to four consecutive WRC drivers' titles from 1996 to 1999. The team also won the manufacturers' crown in 1998.

Ringrose replaces Bundee

Ireland named Garry Ringrose in the midfield to replace the suspended Bundee Aki for their World Cup quarter-final against New Zealand at Tokyo Stadium on Saturday.

Irish rugby player Garry Ringrose on the way to scoring a try.

Garry Ringrose Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Aki was suspended for three weeks after he received a red card for a high tackle in Ireland's final Pool A game against Samoa.

Robbie Henshaw, who played centre in the match against Samoa, has moved into the number 12 jersey with Ringrose coming in as centre.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt said Aki's suspension had made the midfield one of the easier decisions in a tough selection puzzle across the board.

Schmidt selected as close to his first-choice pack as possible, with seven of the starting forwards having dominated the All Blacks in their 16-9 victory in Dublin last November.

It was their first win at home against the world champions and second overall after they recorded their inaugural victory in Chicago in 2016.


Blair in for Hamlin-Uele

Veteran forward Adam Blair has been added to the Kiwis rugby league squad for this weekend's World Cup Nines in Sydney.

Blair (33), with 48 Tests and 311 NRL appearances to his name, comes in for would-be debutant Braden Hamlin-Uele.

The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks interchange forward will sit out the World Cup Nines to prepare for the Tests to follow against the Kangaroos and the Great Britain Lions.

Earlier in the week Sydney Roosters forward Zane Tetevano and Canberra Raiders fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad replaced the unavailable James Fisher-Harris and Jordan Rapana.

Patel to help England

The former New Zealand spinner Jeetan Patel has joined England as a spin bowling consultant for next month's Twenty20 series against the Black Caps.

Jeetan Patel is in line for his first test at the Basin Reserve.

Jeetan Patel Photo: Photosport

He has been permitted to miss the first three matches of New Zealand's championship season by Wellington.

Patel played 24 Tests for New Zealand before giving up internationals in 2014 to concentrate on county cricket.

The 39-year-old ended this year's County Championship for warwickshire with 64 wickets at 26.75.

The five-match T20 series starts at Hagley Oval, Christchurch on 1 November.


Bulgarian fans banned

Four Bulgaria football fans arrested for subjecting England players to racist abuse have been fined almost $1000 and banned from sports events for two years.

England's 6-0 Euro 2020 qualifier win in Sofia on Monday was stopped twice in the first half following racist chanting by home supporters.

The four fans were punished by police - rather than the country's courts - under Bulgaria's law for the "protection of public order during sports events".

Another fan was arrested yesterday, bringing the total number detained to seven.

One of the seven is a minor, the Bulgaria Ministry of Interior said.


Kings missing stars for Breakers series

Sydney star Kevin Lisch is expected to miss two NBL rounds with an ankle injury, with the Kings to make a game-day decision on the fitness of veteran centre Andrew Bogut and Brazilian Didi Louzada.

The Kings, who have won their opening two matches, face the New Zealand Breakers - who are yet to play a game - home and away over the weekend.

They square off on Friday night in Sydney and on Sunday in Auckland.

Guard Lisch injured his left ankle in last weekend's win over Adelaide and the Kings on Thursday said his return to the court would be re-evaluated in a fortnight.

Decisions on Boomers star Bogut and potential Kings debutant and Next Stars program member Louzada will be made today.


Boxer released from hospital

US champion boxer Errol Spence Jr has been released from hospital but charged with drink-driving while intoxicated after a car crash.

The WBC and IBF welterweight champion was taken to intensive care after the crash early on October 10 in Dallas, Texas.

The 29-year-old was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from his Ferrari when it flipped multiple times.

Spence added the WBC belt to his IBF title last month when he beat fellow American Shawn Porter in Los Angeles. He is unbeaten in 26 professional fights.


United will look for players in January

Manchester United will try to sign one or two players in the January transfer window to improve their chances of finishing in the top four but will not spend big on transfer fees and wages, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said.

United are 12th in the Premier League ahead of Sunday's home game against league leaders Liverpool after a poor start to the season that has been further disrupted by injuries to key players.

Solskjaer sanctioned the departures of forwards Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez in the close season without reinforcing United's attack and the Norwegian also has goalkeeper David De Gea and midfielder Paul Pogba out injured.

United started the season with a 4-0 win over Chelsea but have scored five goals in seven league matches since and Solskjaer said an injury to forward Anthony Martial, who has not played since August, was a factor in their struggles.


Tokyo has to accept IOC's decisions

Tokyo has little choice but to accept an International Olympic Committee move to shift the 2020 marathon to a cooler northern island in Japan despite opposition to the plan in the capital, the president of Tokyo 2020 Olympics said.

Yesterday the International Olympic Committee announced a plan to move the marathon and race walking events to Japan's northern Hokkaido island because of worries about heat in Tokyo next summer.

Mori's comments come after Japanese government and Tokyo officials earlier said they want to discuss what they have referred to as an IOC proposal at a coordination commission meeting planned at the end of this month.

Kyodo News reported Japanese officials describing the move as coming "out of the blue".

The Tokyo 2020 organiser had been trying to find ways to keep athletes and spectators cool during hot weather and at a test marathon event in September, deployed tents equipped with mist machines. Sapporo, Hokkaido's capital, is as much as five to six degrees centigrade cooler than Tokyo in summer where temperatures commonly exceed 30 degrees.