4 Mar 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

11:10 am on 4 March 2020

Latest - The Breakers will have a woman on their coaching staff for the next Australian National Basketball League season.

NZ Breakers

Breakers Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Chanel Pompallier, a former Tall Fern, has been promoted as an assistant after being the basketball club's community coach.

Breakers guard Corey Webster has had a personal connection with Pompallier, having grown up together.

"I'm proud of Chanel and what she's doing in the coaching world, she's excited and willing to work and work hard and learn and be a part of it all so it's going to be awesome."

"Chanel was also a good basketball player, she was one of the first women players in New Zealand to go and play in college so she's got a great basketball IQ and knows the game very well and she will bring that."

"She just knows the game really well, she's played it her whole life, been around it her whole life, I think the bigger thing for her will be just learning under Dan and Mody and helping out where she can," said Webster.

Pompallier will work under head coach Dan Shamir.

First up win for NZ boxer

The New Zealand light heavyweight boxer Jerome Pampellone has won his first round bout at the Asia-Oceania Olympic qualifying tournament in Jordan.

Pampellone scored a points win over a Japanese opponent.

Unfortunately for the Aucklander he faces the top seed from Kazakhstan in the next round and will need to win that and his following bout to gain qualification for the Olympics.

New Zealand has nine boxers competing at the tournament.

Women's featherweight Amy Andrew, women's lightweight Troy Garton and men's welterweight Dominic Roe all fight on day two.

Major injury blow for Australia

Defending champions Australia suffered a major blow ahead of the knockout stage of the Women's Twenty20 World Cup when all-rounder Ellyse Perry was ruled out of the remainder of the tournament.

Australia's Ellyse Perry celebrates her century.

Ellyse Perry Photo: Photosport

The twice ICC women's cricketer of the year hobbled off the field in tears after suffering a right hamstring injury during Monday's four-run victory over New Zealand that sealed their place in Thursday's second semi-finals against South Africa.

The team said Perry would not be replaced in the squad.

South Africa finished top of Group B after their final group match against West Indies at the Sydney Showground Stadium was washed out yesterday.

They finished ahead of inaugural 2009 champions England who will play India, the only team to win all four group matches, in Thursday's first semi-finals.

The final takes place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

Thailand signed off from their maiden Twenty20 World Cup in style yesterday, claiming a point after their final Group B match was abandoned because of rain.

Electing to bat, Thailand posted a strong 150-3, but steady rain poured cold water on their hopes of an upset and the match was abandoned after the innings break.


Olympics can be postponed

Tokyo's Olympic 2020 contract allows it to postpone the Games until the end of the year, Japan's Olympics minister said, amid concern the coronavirus could disrupt the event.

Olympic rings are displayed at Japan Sport Olympic Square near national stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

Olympic rings Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"The contract calls for the Games to be held within 2020. That could be interpreted as allowing a postponement," Seiko Hashimoto said in response to a lawmaker's question in parliament.

However, Japan's government and host city Tokyo were still committed to hosting the Games, due to begin on July 24, she added. And under the hosting agreement, the right to cancel the Games belongs to the IOC.

Thomas Bach, head of the International Olympic Committee, reiterated yesterday that preparations were still underway for a "successful" Games in Tokyo.

Any halt to the Games would be costly.

The latest budget is $25 billion.

To curb the coronavirus, Japan's government has asked schools to close and encouraged the curtailment of events, including sports meetings, that could attract large crowds.

Japan Para Sports Association and Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic organisers said they would cancel a wheelchair rugby test event this month due to the coronavirus.


Vunipola in isolation

England prop Mako Vunipola is in self-isolation as a precaution against the coronavirus and will not be selected to face Wales in the Six Nations this weekend.

England prop Mako Vunipola on the rampage against Scotland in the Six Nations.

England prop Mako Vunipola on the rampage against Scotland in the Six Nations. Photo: Photosport

The 29-year-old missed England's 24-12 victory over Ireland on Feb. 23 after going to Tonga for family reasons and he travelled back via Hong Kong, which has been hit by the coronavirus.

"Mako Vunipola is not in camp on medical grounds. He is not sick but it is a precaution," an England spokesperson said in a statement.

Forwards coach Matt Proudfoot told reporters earlier today that the Saracens loosehead would not be available for the Wales match.

England are second in the standings with nine points -- four behind leaders France -- while Wales are fourth with six points.


'Kiwi Kim' returns for Tuatara

The Auckland Tuatara have made their first signing for the 2020-21 Australian Baseball League season confirming the return of leading home run scorer Kim Won-seok for a second season with the club.

The outfielder was key to the Tuatara securing Northeast Division title, scoring ten home runs and was second in runs driven in.

Coll scores big win

New Zealand squash player Paul Coll has caused a big upset with a win over world number one Mohamed El Shorbagy of Egypt in straight games in the quarters of the Windy City Open in Chicago.

It was Coll's first win over El Shorbagy in six attempts and now has him playing world No.4 Karim Abdel Gawad (Egypt) for a place in the final of the PSA Platinum tournament.

There was an unusual sequence to start the match. Coll won the first five points, then El Shorbagy won the next five. But from then on it appeared the tactics of the 27-year-old from the West Coast were spot on. He won the last four points of the first game and then looked confident throughout the rest of the match while his opponent struggled at times and became frustrated with Coll's persistence.

In the semifinals Coll comes up against Gawad who has a 4-2, win/loss record against the New Zealand in head-to-head matches.

Cycling manager threatens hunger strike

A manager of the Confidis cycling team, who has been in quarantine in Abu Dhabi due to coronavirus concerns, has threatened to go on hunger strike unless his team are allowed to leave the UAE.

Roberto Damiani said that despite testing negative for the virus about 50 guests, including 18 cyclists, have been confined to the Crowne Plaza hotel since last Thursday.

Emirati authorities ordered the lockdown in the luxury Crowne Plaza and W hotels in Yas Island after two Italian members of the UAE Tour the riders were participating in were suspected of contracting the coronavirus.

Former Tour de France winner Chris Froome and his fellow Team Ineos riders were among those allowed to leave their hotel and travel home.

The UAE, a regional business hub and major transit point for passengers travelling to China and other destinations in Asia, has reported 21 cases of the coronavirus but no fatalities.


Du Toit has surgery

Stormers' South Africa loose forward Pieter-Steph du Toit has had two separate operations in the last two days following a thigh injury and will be out of action for the next two months.

The World Rugby Player of the Year suffered the injury in last weekend's Super Rugby clash against Blues and underwent surgery on Sunday and Monday to relieve a build-up of blood after suffering bad bruising on his thigh.

It is a major blow to the Stormers, who began the Super Rugby season with four straight wins but then were beaten surprisingly easily 33-14 by the Blues at home.

The Stormers have a bye this weekend before taking on the Sharks in Durban on March 14.

Du Toit is the third major injury blow in a month for the Stormers, who expect their South Africa captain Siya Kolisi back next month after a knee injury but must cope without Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi for the rest of the Super Rugby season.