7 Jul 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

9:29 am on 7 July 2020

Latest - Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs have agreed to a 10-year contract extension through 2031 in what has been reported as a record deal.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates.


Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but ESPN reported the deal is worth more than $600 million and the "richest contract in NFL history."

That would also make his total contract the largest in the history of North American team sports.

Mahomes, 24, was the NFL Most Valuable Player in 2018 and guided the Chiefs to a Super Bowl championship last season.

Mahomes is entering the final year of his rookie deal at $4.25 million in 2020 with his fifth-year option slotted at $38 million in 2021.

In those 12 seasons, he will earn at least $648 million, surpassing the 12-year, $647 million contract signed by Los Angeles Angels baseball outfielder Mike Trout in March.


Spurs pip Everton

An own goal by Michael Keane proved the difference as Tottenham Hotspur beat visitors Everton 1-0 in a dour Premier League clash to move up to eighth in the standings.

Defeat would have seen Spurs fall below the visitors into the bottom half of the table but they held on fairly comfortably to stretch their unbeaten league run versus Everton to 15 games.

Tottenham have 48 points from 33 games, one behind Arsenal and nine adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea. Everton remain 11th.


Magic and Stars finsihed level

The Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic and Northern Stars have produced the first draw of the ANZ netball Premiership, finishing 46-46 in Auckland.

Mila Reuelu-Buchanan of the Northern Stars.


The Magic were up by five after the first quarter, the scores were level at half time and the Stars led by seven at three-quarter time before the Magic stormed back, scoring the final six goals of the match - and stealing two crucial intercepts - to tie the scores up at the final whistle.

Magic wing attack Whitney Souness, who would be named MVP of the match, played some great ball into her shooters.

Abigail Latu-Meafou shot 85 percent for the Magic while Maia Wilson shot 92 percent for the Stars.

After five rounds the unbeaten Pulse top the table with 20 points, the Mystics have 16, Tactix 9, Stars 8, Magic 6 and Steel 5.

The Steel, Stars, Magic and Tactix all have double headers next weekend.

Zanardi has third operation

Alex Zanardi has had a third operation to treat severe head injuries sustained in a hand cycle accident last month.

Alex Zanardi, Italian champion on HandBike.


The 53-year-old Italian, a former Formula 1 driver turned four-time Paralympic gold medallist, had a five-hour operation to reconstruct and stabilise his injuries.

Zanardi collided with a lorry during a race in Pienza, Italy, on June 19.

His neurological condition remained "severe" and he is sedated and ventilated in intensive care.

Zanardi's cardio-respiratory and metabolic condition is "stable", a hospital statement said.

The statement described the cranial and facial fractures Zanardi had suffered as "complex".

Zanardi has become a global sporting icon for the strength of will and determination he has shown in overcoming adversity in his career, after he lost both legs in an accident while racing in a Champ Car event in Germany in 2001.


Still no fans at golf events

The PGA golf Tour says next week's Memorial Tournament in Ohio, which was supposed to be the first since the circuit's return from a three-month Covid-19 hiatus to include spectators, will instead be held without fans.

The Jack Nicklaus-hosted event at Muirfield Village Golf Club had received state approval in mid-June to have limited attendance and planned to allow 20% maximum capacity on the property for the July 16-19 event.

But the PGA Tour said that due to the rapidly changing dynamics of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Memorial would instead go ahead as its sixth consecutive tournament without fans.

The Memorial will feature some of the biggest names in golf as world number one Rory McIlroy and five-times major winner Phil Mickelson are among those who have already committed to the event ahead of Friday's deadline.

Six PGA Tour players have tested positive for Covid-19 through the first four tournaments.


New rankings sytem for ATP

A revised system for calculating world rankings when the tennis season resumes in August following a five-month stoppage due to the Covid-19 pandemic has been unveiled by the governing body of men's tennis.

The rankings, a determining factor in a players' ability to enter events and receive seedings, traditionally operate on a "Best 18" results basis over 52 weeks but will now cover a 22-month period from March 2019 through December 2020.

International tennis ground to a halt in mid-March, with Wimbledon being cancelled and the French Open being moved to September, and rankings were frozen.

The men's Tour will resume on August 14 with the Citi Open, ATP 500 event in Washington, D.C.

Among the key elements of the revised system, a player's ranking will now be comprised of his "Best 18" results over the 22-month period. A player cannot count the same tournament twice in his breakdown.


Busy summer of cricket ahead for England

England will host Ireland in a three-match one-day international cricket series starting on July 30 before taking on Pakistan in a packed summer calendar.

The Ireland squad will arrive in England and set up their base at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton on July 18, before facing world champions England in three ODIs at the same venue.

Ireland, who last played an international against Afghanistan in March, have only beaten England once in their 10 ODI encounters.

Pakistan, who arrived in England on June 28 to quarantine ahead of the bilateral series, will face the hosts in three tests and three Twenty20 internationals.

England return to action following the COVID-19 stoppage with three tests against West Indies, with the first match scheduled to begin in Southampton on Wednesday without fans in attendance.


Matic staying at United

Manchester United's Serbia midfielder Nemanja Matic has extended his contract at Old Trafford through to June 2023.

Nemanja Matic of Manchester United.


The 31-year-old, who joined United in 2017, has enjoyed a dramatic improvement in form as the team's enforcer since the January arrival of Portuguese playmaker Bruno Fernandes.

United are unbeaten in their last 16 matches in all competitions and, apart from chasing a top-four finish in the Premier League, the are also still in contention to win the FA Cup and the Europa League.

United are fifth in the Premier League on 55 points from 33 games, two behind fourth-placed Chelsea who they meet in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on July 19.


Hamilton says he was silenced over protests

Six-times world champion Lewis Hamilton has said he was "silenced" earlier in his Formula One career over his plans to protest racism by taking a knee.

The Mercedes driver was one of 14 who knelt before yesterday's season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.

Afterwards Hamilton spoke of a discussion he had years ago with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose kneeling protests in 2016 became a symbol of the fight against racial injustice.

Formula One's only Black driver did not say who had told him not to kneel.

Hamilton wore a different T-shirt to the other 20 drivers yesterday, his reading 'Black Lives Matter' on the front instead of 'End Racism'. He said he had yet to decide what to do for future races.

Hamilton, whose car has changed from silver to black for the season, said he would continue to speak out.