4 Nov 2019

Today's sport news: what you need to know

6:18 pm on 4 November 2019

Latest - New Zealand's Saffi Vette surfed her way to sixth at the Vissla ISA World Junior Surfing Championship today after a gritty campaign.

The 17-year-old Gisborne surfer contested 11 heats throughout the week after her early exit from the main round of the event on day two.

That meant she had to fight her way back through every repechage round, surfing as much as double the heats of some opponents she faced.

Today, Vette pushed through one further round before incurring a soul-crushing interference penalty in the semifinals with a podium finish in sight.

The New Zealand Team finished in 14th place overall, with hosts USA defeating Hawaii, Japan and Spain as the top four nations in 2019.

Sarpreet Singh's coach sacked

The coach who brought All Whites midfielder Sarpreet Singh to Bayern Munich has been sacked.

FC Bayern Munich separates by mutual agreement from Niko KOVAC. Archiv photo: Niko KOVAC (coach FC Bayern Munich) look down below, disappointment, frustrated, disappointed, dejected.

Niko Kovac Photo: AFP

The German champions have parted company with Niko Kovac, a day after a 5-1 thrashing away to Eintracht Frankfurt, which has left Bayern fourth in the Bundesliga.

A statement from the club said Kovac had gone after "mutual agreement" between him and the club.

Singh has yet to make an appearance in the Bundesliga, but earned praise from Niko Kovac in the pre-season.

Kovac took over at Bayern in July 2018 and guided the club to the German league and cup titles in his only full season in charge.

- RNZ/Reuters

Todd wins Bermuda PGA

World No.525 Brendon Todd ended five years of frustration when he shot a career best nine-under 62 to win the inaugural Bermuda Championship PGA Tour event by four strokes.

It was Todd's second PGA Tour victory of an up-and-down career.

Winner of the 2014 Byron Nelson, Todd climbed to 42nd in the world rankings before losing his PGA Tour card in 2016.

"Ball-striking yips. Hitting a 4-iron like 50 yards right out of play every round and I did that for like two years," Todd told Global Golf Post in May.

He missed 37 of 41 cuts from 2016-18 before regaining his PGA Tour card this year.

After rounds of 68, 63 and 67, Todd began the final day two strokes behind fellow American Harry Higgs.

"A year ago I wasn't sure if I was going to keep playing, so it's really special to get this win this soon," the 34-year-old Todd told Golf Channel.

"I'm just overcome with emotion."

- Reuters

Horrific-looking injury in the Premier League

A serious leg injury to Everton midfielder Andre Gomes has overshadowed their 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur in their English Premier League football game at Goodison Park.

Heung-Min Son of Tottenham.

Heung-min Son Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Dele Alli's goal just past the hour mark appeared to have ended Tottenham's long wait for a Premier League away win.

Spurs were reduced to 10 men in the 79th minute when Son Heung-min's tackle on Gomes resulted in the Portuguese midfielder suffering what looked to be a bad leg injury.

South Korean forward Son looked distraught as he realised the extent of the injury to Gomes who was carried off on a stretcher after a lengthy delay.

Substitute Cenk Tosun denied Tottenham victory when he headed home deep into the time added on for the Gomes injury.

Tottenham, still without an away league win since January, moved into 11th spot in the standings with Everton in 17th.

Earlier Leicester City went third after a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace.

- Reuters

Phoenix angry after loss

The Wellington Phoenix were left fuming after a penalty was awarded against them in their 3-2 loss at Melbourne City in the A-League.

Wellington Phoenix's Louis Fenton.


The Phoenix remain without a point after four rounds.

City scored their third goal from the spot after a shot hit Louis Fenton on the chest and bounced up onto his arm.

The referee awarded the penalty and it was then upheld by the VAR.

"I thought it came off his body first and, if it's hit his arm after that and in the new laws, they state that if it hits your body first then it hits your arm, it's accidental so it's play on," Wellington coach Ufuk Talay said.

"But the decision was made and that changed the game."

Phoenix general manager David Dome tweeted afterwards that he'd be seeking a please explain from the A-League not only on the penalty but for having two rookie officials in charge.

The Phoenix are away to Melbourne Victory next Sunday.


Kenyans win New York marathon titles

Kenyan half marathon world record holders Geoffrey Kamworor and Joyciline Jepkosgei have powered to victories in the New York City Marathon.

Geoffrey Kamworor crosses the finish line to win the Men's Division of the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon on November 03, 2019 in New York City.

Geoffrey Kamworor Photo: AFP

Kamworor reclaimed the New York title he won in 2017 in two hours eight minutes and 13 seconds and Jepkosgei surprised four-time champion Mary Keitany, winning her marathon debut in 2:22:38.

Kamworor, 26, took command in the final two miles for the victory over compatriot Albert Korir (2:08:36) and Ethiopian Girma Bekele Gebre (2:08:38).

Jepkosgei, 25, separated herself from Keitany, the defending women's champion, with five kilometres to go.

Keitany, 37, who had won in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018, finished in 2:23:32 with Ethiopian Ruti Aga third in 2:25:51.

- Reuters

Breakers beaten by champs

The New Zealand Breakers have been beaten 84-79 by defending champions Perth in their NBL basketball game in Invercargill.

After travelling from Western Australia via Brisbane to Invercargil, the Wildcats had to erase a six-point halftime deficit to get the job done.

The Breakers were without guard Scotty Hopson after he suffered a leg injury during their Thursday night win over Cairns.

Import Brandon Ashley, who had struggled recently with foul trouble, delivered his best performance in a Breakers uniform with 21 points. Guard Corey Webster also had 21 points in the losing effort.

The victory moves Perth to 6-2 while the Breakers fall to 2-4 as their tough start to the season continues.


Barty wins in China

Ashleigh Barty finished the season in style by beating defending champion Elina Svitolina 6-4 6-3 to add the WTA Finals title to her end-of-year world number one ranking.

Barty, who became the first Australian to top the WTA rankings at the end of the year since they were introduced in 1975, capped a stellar season in Shenzhen having also won the French Open at Roland Garros in June.

Barty became the first Australian to win the WTA Finals since Evonne Goolagong Cawley claimed her second title in 1976.

She pocketed a record $6.9 million for her victory.

Barty finished the regular season with a WTA-best 15 wins over top-10 opponents as well as a tour-leading four titles from six finals, her latest success coming indoors having already picked up trophies on clay, grass and hard courts in 2019.

Throw in an equal-tour-high 55 wins from 67 matches and Barty is nothing less than a worthy year-end world No.1.

Hungary's Timea Babos won the doubles title for the third year in a row, partnering with Kristina Mladenovic from France to see off Barbora Strycova and Hsieh Su-wei 6-1 6-3 in the final.

- Reuters

Vinales holds on at Sepang

Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales staved off MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez's charge to win the Malaysian Grand Prix for his second win of the 2019 season at the Sepang International Circuit.

A week after crashing out in the final lap at Phillip Island to allow Marquez to win the season's penultimate race in Australia, Vinales made sure there was no repeat of the heartbreak.

The 24-year-old built an early lead and then put on a near-flawless race to stay clear of fellow Spaniard Marquez, who finished second after beginning 11th.

Vinales dedicated his victory to Indonesian rider Afridza Munandar, who died after a crash in a support race at Sepang on Saturday.

Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso finished third, denying Yamaha's Valentino Rossi a podium place.

Marquez had sewed up his sixth MotoGP title and fourth in a row in Thailand last month.

Valencia hosts the final race of the season on Nov. 17.

- Reuters

Djokovic claims Paris title

Novak Djokovic has claimed his fifth Paris Masters title with a commanding 6-3 6-4 victory over Canada's Denis Shapovalov.

The 32-year-old Serbian raced through the opening three games in eight minutes before serving out a fast-paced first set.

Shapovalov faltered at 3-3 in the second set to fall behind by a single break, which allowed Djokovic to win his 34th Masters title in 65 minutes.

Despite his triumph, the world No.1 Djokovic will lose his top ranking to Spain's Rafael Nadal TODAY.

Nadal had to withdraw from his semi-final match against Shapovalov yesterday with an bdominal injury.

However, Djokovic will be deducted a total of 1600 points which he earned from his final appearances in Paris and London's ATP Finals last year.


McIlroy wins in play-off

Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy sank a two-foot birdie putt at the first extra hole to win the WGC Champions in a playoff with American Xander Schauffele in Shanghai.

After defending champion Schauffele birdied the par-five 18th of the final round to tie in regulation, McIlroy prevailed in sudden death.

He struck a towering four-iron from 225 yards to within 20 feet of the pin to set up a two-putt birdie that Schauffele, whose drive had ended in the rough, could not match with his 10-foot birdie opportunity.

McIlroy carded a four-under-par 68 in an exciting final round at Sheshan International, while Schauffele had a 66 in what turned into a battle royale in front of a massive gallery at Sheshan International.

The pair finished at 19-under-par 269, two shots ahead of South African Louis Oosthuizen.

The victory was the 26th worldwide by McIlroy, a total that includes four majors.

He has now also won three of the four events that comprise the World Golf Championships series, with only the Mexico Championship, where he came second this year, missing from his resume.

McIlroy will remain ranked second in the world behind Brooks Koepka, who missed the event due to a knee injury.

The European Tour's season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, from Nov. 21-24, is McIlroy's last remaining event this year.

- Reuters

Jones staying put, for now

England coach Eddie Jones has not held talks over a new contract but remains committed to his current deal which runs until 2021, Rugby Football Union chief executive Bill Sweeney said.

Jones refused to discuss his future after England's 32-12 defeat against South Africa in the World Cup final in Yokohama on Saturday.

The Australian took charge of England in January 2016 on an initial deal until the end of the World Cup in Japan before signing a two-year extension in January 2018.

Sweeney confirmed Jones would be offered a chance to continue as England coach for the full four-year cycle heading into the 2023 World Cup.

Jones has been linked with a return to his native Australia, who have a vacancy after coach Michael Cheika decided to leave when his contract expires at the end of the year.

- Reuters