19 Mar 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

1:40 pm on 19 March 2020

Latest - Australian Supercars has elected to postpone its next three events, including Auckland, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scott McLaughlin races

Scott McLaughlin Photo: Photosport

The next round is now scheduled to be at Winton on June 6th, but the organisation is adamant they can still fit in all 14 championship rounds this year.

The Auckland round was scheduled for Hampton Downs in late April.

The other rounds affected are Tasmania and Perth, joining last weekend's Australian grand prix event in being delayed.

"Supercars' priority is to deliver the 14 round 2020 championship for our fans and partners, irrespective of the dates. Bathurst will obviously proceed on its scheduled date," Supercars boss Sean Seamer said.


More community sport on hold

New Zealand Rugby League has postponed all community rugby league competitions, tournaments and trainings run by NZRL Zones, districts and clubs until 2 May.

Junior football team training with coach

Junior sport is on hold. Photo: 123RF

For now, restrictions do not prevent rugby league clubs from operating their facilities.

New Zealand Football has also postponed all community football until 2 May.

This includes junior, youth, senior, social and regional competitions as well as all futsal competitions.

The 2020 Secondary Schools Futsal Championships set for late March has been cancelled and Tertiary Futsal championships are postponed until a date to be confirmed.

NZF said all training should be suspended until 18 April, or two weeks prior to the start of the season.

New Zealand Cricket has canceled all community cricket, including clubs, schools, programmes and training, for the rest of the season.

New Zealand Rugby has decided to postpone all club and community rugby until Saturday, 18 April, effective immediately.

The postponement includes all rugby matches.

Non-contact training activities can continue at least in the short term.

NZ Rugby says all team-based activity will be adapted to comply with the limits the Health Ministry has set.

This includes minimising person-to-person contact and maintaining hygiene standards including not sharing drink bottles, washing hands and regularly cleaning rugby equipment.

Hockey New Zealand announced all club, school and community hockey will be postponed until 2 May.

The postponement includes all hockey matches and training activities, including representative and development programmes; community and school competitions; and pre-season trials and activities.

The annual Hockey New Zealand Awards dinner, which was due to be held on 24 April will be postponed until further notice.

Hockey New Zealand will also look to review the dates for its 2020 National Tournaments.

Rotorua marathon postponed

New Zealand's most famous marathon, the Rotorua marathon will not be run on May 2nd.

Alice Mason wins the 2019 Rotorua Marathon.

Rotorua marathon Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Organisers have decided to postpone it because of the governments ban on gatherings of 500 or more.

This year's 56th running of the event attracted 3 and a half thousand entries, including 60 from overseas.

Athletics New Zealand Chief executive Pete Pfitzinger concedes it's a blow for local runners.

"For us it's kind of a big deal, lots of tradition and loyal people who've done it 40 years in a row so we definitely don't want to cancel, we'd rather postpone."

Pfitzinger says they hope to have a revised date announced this week

Roland Garros pushed back

The French Open tennis tournament has been moved to September and October as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ashley Barty celebrates with French Open trophy.

Ashley Barty Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The event at Rolland Garros was due to be played from May 24 to June 7, but instead will take place between 20 September and 4 October.

That means it will begin just one week after the completion of the US Open in New York.

All professional tennis across the world is currently suspended until at least 20 April.

The French Open is usually the second grand slam of the year and the finale of the clay court part of the season.

It will now be the final major of the year, and the new dates clash with a number of other events, including the Laver Cup, an annual men's event between a team from Europe and a team representing the rest of the world.


Euro 2020 delayed a year

The Euro 2020 football Championship has been postponed for a year as the coronavirus pandemic claimed Europes biggest sporting casualty yet.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with Portugal team mates.

Portugal Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The fate of the 24-nation, month-long showpiece due to start in June had hung in the balance ever since Europe's domestic leagues began shutting down in the wake of the sweeping health crisis, which has killed around 7000 people worldwide.

Europe's flagship tournament, staged every four years and second only to FIFA's World Cup in terms of prestige in football, will now be staged from June 11 to July 12, 2021.

Sixteen playoff matches were due to be held on March 26 and 31 to decide the full line-up of nations for the tournament. They will now be played in the international window at the start of June, subject to a review of the situation.

All five of Europe's top domestic leagues -- England, Spain, Italy, France and Germany -- are suspended, along with the Champions League, Europa League and World Cup qualifiers.

With the Euros and Copa now postponed for a year, it could provide some flexibility for domestic competitions, all left in various states of limbo by the stoppage, to be concluded once the pandemic eases.

Euro 2020 was supposed to be the first staged across the continent, rather than by a single or joint host nations. The new format was the brainchild of former UEFA president Michel Platini.

The host cities were Glasgow, Dublin, Bilbao, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Munich, Rome, St Petersburg, Bucharest, Budapest and Baku, with the climax set for London's Wembley Stadium.


Delay to start of season for Tom Walsh

The first three rounds of the Diamond League athletics series have been scrapped because of the coronavirus.

The opening round was scheduled for Qatar on April 17 with the next two in China in early May.

New Zealand's Tom Walsh was set to start the defence of his shot put title in Qatar.

This month's world indoor championships in China, where Walsh was also defending his title, was postponed until next year.

Brady leaving New England

Six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady says he is leaving the New England Patriots after 20 years with the team.

With free agency beginning today, the 42-year-old quarterback left no doubt in a social media post that he would not return to New England.

He did not say where he was headed.

During his celebrated tenure he set many NFL records, including most victories and appearances in the Super Bowl and most playoff wins. He won a record four Super Bowl Most Valuable Player trophies.

Suitors have reportedly included the Los Angeles Chargers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Meanwhile New Orleans Saints star quarterback Drew Brees has agreed to a two-year contract worth approximately $75 million.


Wold Bowls off

The World Lawn Bowls Championships in Australia in May have been postponed indefinitely because of the coronavirus.

The event was set to be staged on the Gold Coast from May 26 - June 7 and involve 36 competing nations from around the world.

World Bowls CEO Gary Smith said the decision was made with the health and safety of the public, players, staff, officials and volunteers as the primary concern.

New Zealand was to take part.

-Bowls Australia

NBL finals in limbo

Australia's National Basketball League finals series has been cancelled because of the coronavirus, but a winner may not be known for a few days.

Perth was leading the five-game finals series 2-1 when the NBL decided to halt the competition.

However their opponents Sydney were the minor premiers with the best record in the regular season.

The NBL will make a decision on which team, if any, claims the trophy due in the next 48 hours.


Kentucky Derby postponed

The Kentucky Derby, the first jewel in North American horse racing's Triple Crown, has been postponed to September 5 from May due to the coronavirus outbreak.

It marks only the second time in the race's 146-year history that the 'Run for the Roses' has been postponed and not contested on its traditional first Saturday in May slot at Churchill Downs. The race was delayed a month in 1945 because of World War II.

The race regularly draws close to 150,000 spectators.

The Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown run at Pimlico on May 16, could also be in jeopardy with the third leg, the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York, set for June 6.

Britain's most famous steeplechase, the Grand National, was cancelled yesterday due to the coronavirus threat.