28 Oct 2019

Today's sport news: what you need to know

11:55 am on 28 October 2019

Latest - Lewis Hamilton won the Mexican Grand Prix for Mercedes on Sunday after a first-lap scare but the Briton will have to wait until next weekend's race in Texas to secure his sixth Formula One world championship.

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

Lewis Hamilton is closing in on another world championship title. Photo: Photosport

Hamilton's 10th win of the season, and 83rd of his career, was also a 100th for Mercedes as a constructor.

The victory stretched his lead over Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas to 74 points with 78 to be won from the last three races -- making the title a formality that will surely be wrapped up in Austin.

Hamilton had needed to score 14 points more than Bottas at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez to win the title in Mexico, but managed only 10 more after the Finn made sure of third.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was a close second with team mate Charles Leclerc, who started from pole position and set the fastest lap but was undone by strategy and a problem pitstop, fourth.

- Reuters

Liverpool remain unbeaten in Premier League

Liverpool recovered from the shock of going behind in the first minute to beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at Anfield and restore its six-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

Jordan Henderson equalised after the break before Mo Salah tucked away a penalty to complete the comeback as Liverpool's marauding start to the season continued.

Tottenham are without a Premier League win on the road since January and have slumped to 11th, eight points behind the Champions League places.

North London rivals Arsenal are fifth, four points adrift of the top four after giving up a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with sixth-placed Crystal Palace.

Manchester United's up to seventh after winning 3-1 at Norwich City, while Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers have drawn 1-1.

- Reuters

Coll advances to quarter-finals in Cairo

New Zealand's Paul Coll has booked his quarter-final berth at the prestigious Egyptian Squash Open in Cairo.

Paul Coll

Paul Coll Photo: Photosport

Coll, the world no. 5, has beaten Frenchman Gregoire Marche 13-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-2 and will now face Egypt's Fares Dessouky in the last eight.

"I was pretty happy with the way I played," Coll said.

"I switched off in a couple of periods there, he got a good lead in the first, I was a bit passive and not really sort of taking the game. But I was happy the way I responded at the end."

In the women's world championships, at the same venue, Waikato's Joelle King will play Hong Kong's Annie Au in the third round tomorrow morning (Tuesday NZT).

Papua New Guinea and Ireland qualify for T20 World Cup

Papua New Guinea and Ireland have qualified for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Australia 2020 after finishing top of their respective groups in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier.

PNG coach Joe Dawes.

Papua New Guinea cricket coach Joe Dawes Photo: Screenshot/ICC

Victory over Kenya, combined with later results, proved enough for PNG to reach the ICC T20 World Cup for the first time in their history.

Ireland, meanwhile, progressed courtesy of results elsewhere going in their favour, with Jersey defeating Oman on the final day of group-stage action.

As well as reaching next year's showcase, both sides will also progress to the semi-finals of the Qualifier, where they play the winners of the two semi-final play-offs.

The first of those will see Netherlands, who finished second in Group A, face UAE as the third-ranked team in Group B. The winner of that match will face Ireland while they will also qualify for next year's World Cup.

The other semi-final play-off will see Namibia face Oman, after the two finished third in Group A and second in Group B respectively. PNG await the victors, who will also reach Australia 2020.

Scotland and Hong Kong, who finished fourth in their respective groups, will now take part in the fifth-place play-off semi-finals. There they will face the defeated side in each of the semi-final play-offs, with the winner in each match also qualifying for the T20 World Cup.

Woods chasing history in Japan

Tiger Woods has moved within sight of matching Sam Snead's record of 82 PGA Tour victories, sitting three shots clear of Hideki Matsuyama with seven holes left at the rain-affected Zozo Championship in Japan.

Tiger Woods of the US reacts after a birdie on the 5th hole green during the fourth round of the PGA Zozo Championship golf tournament at the Narashino Country Club in Inzai, Chiba prefecture on October 27, 2019. (Photo by Toshifumi KITAMURA / AFP)

Photo: AFP

Woods will resume today (Monday) at 18 under-par after 11 holes of his final round at Narashino Country Club, while local favourite Matsuyama will pick back up at 15 under with six holes left.

Nobody else is closer than six shots in what is realistically a two-horse race, which got a little bit interesting when Matsuyama notched two consecutive birdies to give himself a glimmer of hope.

But the first PGA Tour event in Japan is very much in Woods' control and asked if he would allow himself to think of matching Snead's mark, the American did not bat an eyelid.

"I'm trying to win, no doubt about that," he said.

"If I do what I'm supposed to do and get the job done, then I get a W. I guess that will add up to the 82 number, but my main focus is doing what I need to do to get the W first."

New Zealand's Danny Lee is tied for 10th place at nine-under par, with four holes remaining in his final round.

- Reuters

Ko claims LPGA Tour player of the year award

World number one Ko Jin-young picked up the Rolex Player of the Year award for the first time after the 24-year-old forged an unassailable lead in the 2019 rankings.

Ko Jin-young of South Korea tees off on the 7th hole during the final round of LPGA Tour 2019 - BMW Ladies Championship golf tournament in Busan on October 27, 2019. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP)

Photo: AFP

With three more events remaining on the LPGA Tour, South Korean Ko has 241 points to lead compatriot Lee Jeong-eun by 118.

"I'm so thankful to win the Rolex Player of the Year award," Ko, who first became number one in April, said in a statement.

"This was one of the best years of my career and to earn this award is one of the best honours I could ever receive."

Ko, named Rookie of the Year in 2018, has won four events this year including two majors -- the ANA Inspiration title in California and The Evian Championship in Evian-les-Bains, France.

- Reuters

Estonian wins World Rally Championship

Toyota driver Ott Tanak has become the first Estonian driver to win the World Rally Championship after he finished second in Spain.

Estonian driver Ott Tanak celebrates with champagne on the podium as he won the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship after finishing second on the 55th Catalonia 2019 FIA World Rally Championship on October 27, 2019 in Salou, near Tarragona.

Photo: AFP or licensors

Tanak's success has ended a 15 year period of domination by French drivers, with Sebastien Loeb winning nine in a row before Sebastien Ogier took another six successive titles.

Tanak scored five bonus points in the final Power Stage to extend his lead over Hyundai's Rally of Spain winner Thierry Neuville to 36 points with just one more round in Australia remaining worth a maximum 30.

"It's difficult to say the pressure I felt this weekend, it was next level. To manage all this and get through it has been the target of my life. When you are on the verge of this you cannot imagine it," Tanak told the wrc.com website.

"I never wanted to take risks but my mother said yesterday evening that if I want something I can make it happen. I just had to make it happen."

Neuville beat Tanak by 17.2 seconds in the rally.

- Reuters

Van Gisbergen refuses to talk about Supercars championship after McLaughlin's crash

It might have been a touchy subject but Shane van Gisbergen has made a major dent in sidelined star Scott McLaughlin's Supercars series lead after claiming the Gold Coast 600's final race.

Shane van Gisbergen.

Shane van Gisbergen. Photo: Photosport

He made the most of McLaughlin's absence after the Ford driver crashed out dramatically in qualifying, winning the 102-lap event by 0.17 of a second ahead of fellow Holden star Jamie Whincup.

Van Gisbergen cut McLaughlin's series lead from 613 to 463 going into the final two rounds which offer a total of 600 points.

Not that van Gisbergen wanted to talk about it.

"I don't really have any thoughts about that (drivers' championship)," said van Gisbergen, who was partnered by Garth Tander.

"I am more about Scotty and his well being. Their Bathurst-winning car is now ready for the scrap heap - it is pretty sad to see."


New Zealander's Supercars future in doubt

The future of Supercars young gun Richie Stanaway is up in the air after he was sensationally stood down for the Gold Coast 600's final race for missing a fan autograph session.

Richie Stanaway (Boost Mobile Holden Commodore). 2019 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Round 11. Mount Panorama, Bathurst NSW on Wednesday 9 October 2019. Photo Clay Cross / photosport.nz

Photo: Photosport Ltd 2019

Heavyweight Holden outfit Garry Rogers Motorsport (GRM) dropped the bombshell that Super2 Series driver Dylan O'Keeffe would replace the New Zealander just before the first round of qualifying for Sunday's 300km event.

GRM boss Garry Rogers gave no guarantees that Stanaway would return behind the wheel for the season's final two rounds.

Stanaway's fate will be decided when GRM bosses discuss his future this week.


Marquez breaks Honda record

Eight-time world champion Marc Marquez has become Honda's most-successful rider with a brilliant victory at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island, with local favourite Jack Miller swooping in for a stunning third place.

MARQUEZ Marc (Spa) Repsol Honda Team, Honda, ambiance, portrait celebration during the Australian Grand Prix MotoGP motorcycle race at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia, on October 20, 2019- Photo Studio Milagro / DPPI

Photo: AFP

With rain threatening, Marquez (Repsol Honda) overtook leader Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) on the last lap of Sunday's 27-lap race, with Vinales crashing out as he desperately tried to retake the lead.

His misfortune allowed Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) to finish second, with a jubilant Miller, who started from ninth on his Pramac Racing Ducati, claiming his first home race MotoGP podium.

The win was Marquez's 11th of the season, his fifth in a row and 55th career victory for Honda in the premier class, surpassing Australian legend Mick Doohan who finished his career with 54.

"It's incredible because Doohan is the first rider I have in my memory," Marquez said.


Injury setback for the Great Britain Lions

Great Britain have confirmed Wigan centre Oliver Gildart will not play again on tour after dislocating a shoulder in Saturday's opening 14-6 defeat by a Tongan Invitational XIII.

Oliver Gildart.
Great Britain Lions v Tonga International XIII, Lions Tour and Oceania Cup, FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. 26 October 2019. © Copyright Photo: Jeremy Ward / www.photosport.nz

Oliver Gildart Photo: Photosport Ltd 2019

Coach Wayne Bennett anticipated the news after Gildart left the field with his arm in a sling during the second half of the game in Hamilton and those fears were realised after the player went for scans.

A spokesman said there are no plans at this stage to send for a replacement, with Bennett indicating in the post-match press conference that Hull utility back Jake Connor would most likely get his chance in the first Test against New Zealand in Auckland on Saturday.

There is less definitive news of Britain's other casualty from the bruising game at the Waikato Stadium, St Helens prop Luke Thompson, who went off with a rib injury after just 12 minutes.

The spokesman said Thompson was being treated by the Great Britain medical team and remains in the squad.

The Lions play two Tests against the Kiwis, in Auckland and Christchurch, before rounding off the tour with a match against Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby.

- PA

English outclass New Zealand XI in Lincoln

The England cricketers have got their tour of New Zealand off to a solid start, beating the New Zealand XI by six wickets in their warmup Twenty20 in Lincoln.

Jonny Bairstow acknowleges the crowd on his way back to the dressing room.

Jonny Bairstow Photo: PHOTOSPORT

New Zealand set England a total of 173 after a half centuries to captain Anton Devcich and Anaru Kitchen.

In reply, England opener Jonny Bairstow made an unbeaten 78 off 45 balls, guiding his side to a comfortable victory with 10 balls to spare.

The second warmup T20 is tomorrow.

Warner century sets up Australian win

Opener David Warner has thumped a maiden Twenty20 international century as Australia kicked off their home summer with a 134-run thrashing of Sri Lanka at Adelaide Oval.

David Warner

David Warner Photo: Photosport

Warner's unbeaten 100 off 56 balls fired Australia to a total of 233 for two on a sunny afternoon, before Australia's bowlers tore through Sri Lanka to leave the tourists limping to 99 for nine in reply in the first of a three-game series.

Captain Aaron Finch shrugged off an injury doubt to blast 64 before being caught slogging, while Glenn Maxwell hammered 62 from 28 balls.

Spinner Adam Zampa finished with 3-14 to be the pick of the bowlers, with fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins grabbing two wickets each.

The series moves to Brisbane on Wednesday, with the third and final match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday.

- Reuters

10th hometown title for Federer

Roger Federer has clinched a record-extending 10th Swiss Indoors championship title in his hometown of Basel with a crushing 6-2 6-2 victory over Australia's Alex de Minaur.

Swiss Roger Federer raises the trophy after his 10th victory at the Swiss Indoors tennis tournament in Basel on October 27, 2019. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP)

Photo: AFP

The 38-year-old Swiss has now won 103 singles titles in his career and the record win in Basel - where he once acted as a ball boy - was the second time he had won a tournament 10 times after achieving the feat in Halle in June.

Federer converted four of 10 break points and did not drop serve to wrap up the match in 68 minutes for his fourth title of the year after wins in Dubai, Miami and Halle.

"It was fast but very nice, I think I played a great match," an emotional Federer said after lifting the trophy.

"I thought Alex played a great tournament as well, and I think we both can be very happy. But what a moment for me to win my 10th here in my hometown of Basel."

- Reuters

Barty makes winning start to WTA Tour Finals

Ashleigh Barty has all but secured the year-end world No.1 ranking with a steely comeback victory in her opening match at the WTA Tour Finals in Shenzhen.

Ashley Barty celebrates with French Open trophy.

Ash Barty celebrates with the French Open trophy Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Unless disaster strikes and she can't walk on court again this week and Karolina Pliskova takes the title, Barty's 5-7 6-1 6-2 win over Belinda Bencic on Sunday night earned the 23-year-old a place in tennis history as the first Australian woman to finish a season in top spot since rankings were introduced in 1973.

It is a feat that not even grand slam legends Margaret Court or Evonne Goolagong Cawley ever managed.

Former Wimbledon and US Open champion Lleyton Hewitt, in 2001 and 2002, is the only other Australian to have held top spot at the end of a calendar year.

The honour is a fitting reward for a phenomenal season of firsts for Barty, highlighted by her stunning French Open triumph in June during a life-changing 15-match winning streak in Europe.


Double world champ to continue to train at Oregon Project base

Double world champion Sifan Hassan plans to continue to train in Portland despite the closure of the controversial Nike Oregon Project and the four-year doping ban handed to her former coach Alberto Salazar.

The Ethiopian-born Dutch athlete said it would be hard to change, with the Olympic Games less than a year away, but she would now seek a new coach.

She did, however, praise Salazar's skills.

"He is the best coach there is, he does the best for his athletes," she told Dutch broadcaster NOS after finishing second in Sunday's Valencia half marathon in Spain.

"There is no better coach, which makes the choice now for a new one so much more difficult.

"I want to stay in America because it is difficult to move in an Olympic year. Everything has to be perfect."

- Reuters

Melbourne City outright second in the A-League

A superb Jamie Maclaren double has handed 10-man Melbourne City a 2-1 victory over new rivals Western United, lifting them to outright second on the A-League table in a fiery inaugural derby at GMHBA Stadium.

City took the lead in the 32nd minute through Maclaren, before former Melbourne Victory striker Besart Berisha equalised from the penalty spot in the 66th.

With City down to 10 men after Harrison Delbridge's red card, Maclaren scored in the 85th minute to hand United their first defeat and help his side to shake off their mid-week FFA Cup final drubbing.

"I'm very happy to see the character of our team today," coach Erick Mombaerts said.

"We were here to win and we showed the character to win."


Wildcats continue strong start to NBL season

The Perth Wildcats have moved to 5-1 for the NBL season thanks to an 81-76 victory over the Illawarra Hawks in Wollongong.

Victory for the reigning champions was set-up by a game-high 21 points by US guard Bryce Cotton - 17 of which came in the second half.

Cotton was well supported by former Hawk Nick Kay (15 points and seven rebounds) and Terrico White (14 points) in the win.

Earlier, South East Melbourne stormed home to defeat Adelaide 101-91 in their NBL clash on the back of another impressive three-point shooting display.

The Phoenix bounced back from Friday night's 31-point drubbing in Perth to win their fourth game of the season.