23 Jan 2021

Today's sports news: What you need to know

6:39 am on 23 January 2021

New Zealand snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott has claimed a silver medal at the FIS Slopestyle World Cup in Switzerland.

NZ snowboarder Zoi Sadowski Synnott.


Fresh from winning the opening FIS Big Air World Cup event of the season in Austria earlier this month, the Olympic bronze medallist has finished less than two points behind American winner Jamie Anderson in the Laax Open.

Incremental weather and a variable headwind affected the event and resulted in many of the women's field struggling to find their feet.

But Sadowski-Synnott took the weather in her stride and put down a big first run to collect the silver medal.

"With the uncertainty around the number of events that are going to happen, you're really dropping in every time like it's your last competition, you never know when the next one is going to be," she said.

Sadowski-Synnott's next event would be the prestigious Aspen Winter X Games from 29-31 January in Colorado, USA.

Murray out of Aussie Open

Former world number one Andy Murray said he was 'gutted' after deciding to withdraw from next month's Australian Open following a positive test for Covid-19 earlier this month.

The 33-year-old Murray, a wildcard, confirmed last Thursday that he had tested positive for the virus and was in self-isolation at his home near London.

Andy Murray 2020.


That meant he was unable to take one of the charter flights laid on by Australian Open organisers, leaving him facing a race to be able to arrive in time to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine period as per health protocols.

Even if Murray had managed to arrive in time he would have faced going into the event with minimal time to practise.

Seventy two players are currently confined to their rooms in Melbourne after they travelled on three flights where positive cases were found on arrival.

The tournament is scheduled to start on Feb. 8, three weeks later than usual.

- Reuters

Thiem denies Adelaide advantage

World number three Dominic Thiem said there is no great advantage for players self-isolating in Adelaide compared to conditions in Melbourne where the vast majority are serving the 14-day quarantine requirement ahead of the Australian Open.

Tennis Australia Chief Executive Craig Tiley said earlier in the week that the top players were sent to Adelaide to ensure organisers did not exceed the limit set by the authorities for people quarantining in Melbourne.

MELBOURNE, VIC - JANUARY 29: Dominic Thiem of Austria returns the ball during the quarterfinals of the 2020 Australian Open on January 29 2020, at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jason Heidrich/Icon Sportswire)

Photo: Icon Sportswire

Some of those isolating in Melbourne have accused organisers of favouring the top players but Thiem said there was no real difference between the locations.

"It's a privilege to be here in Adelaide. But it's not that huge an advantage," the Austrian told The Guardian.

"We get the same amount of practice time as the guys in Melbourne. It's just not that busy on-site. It's just that we are (fewer) players here.

"Compared to the players who are not in hard quarantine in Melbourne, we have pretty similar conditions."

US Open champions Thiem and Naomi Osaka will join Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Ash Barty and Serena Williams in playing a pre-Australian Open exhibition event in Adelaide at the end of the month.

- Reuters

Sri Lanka steady on day one

Angelo Mathews scored a patient unbeaten century to dig Sri Lanka out of some early peril and lead his side to 4-229 on the opening day of the second and final test against England.

The home side won the toss and elected to bat at Galle International Stadium, but a double strike from seamer James Anderson with the new ball had them teetering at 2-7.

Angelo Mathews  of Sri Lanka


But Mathews then came to the crease and settled the innings with his 11th Test ton and first at Sri Lanka's most iconic venue.

He will resume on the second morning on 107 not out, compiled from 228 balls with 11 fours, and will be joined at the wicket by Niroshan Dickwella on 19.

England are seeking to notch a fifth away test victory in a row for the first time since 1913.

They travel to India for four matches immediately after this series.

- Reuters

Zidane gets Covid

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has tested positive for the coronavirus, the La Liga club has said in a statement.

French football legend Zinedine Zidane


The French coach was isolating earlier this month after a close contact tested positive for Covid-19 and did not attend a training session as a result.

Zidane, who is under pressure following Real's shock cup defeat to third division side Alcoyano earlier this week, will not be available for their La Liga match away at Alaves, with his assistant David Bettoni set to take charge.

Real are second in the league standings, seven points behind city rivals Atletico Madrid, who have a game in hand.

Real Madrid forward Eden Hazard, midfielder Casemiro and defender Eder Militao also tested positive earlier this season.

- Reuters

Baseball legend dies

Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, who broke Babe Ruth's supposedly unbreakable record for most home runs in a career, has died aged 86, the Atlanta Braves announced.

Baseball legend Hank Aaron.

Baseball legend Hank Aaron. Photo: Photosport/Icon Sportswire

Aaron joined the Braves management to become one of the few African-Americans in a baseball executive position after retiring as a player in 1976 with 755 career home runs.

His cause of death was not immediately reported.

Aaron played with a smooth, under-control style and was fueled by a powerful inner desire as he overcame an impoverished youth and racial hatred to become one of the greatest and most consistent baseball stars of all time.

He was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 and his profile on the hall's website notes that boxing legend Muhammad Ali called Aaron "the only man I idolize more than myself."

- Reuters