6 Aug 2021

Today's sports news: What you need to know

10:24 am on 6 August 2021

Latest - England have clawed their way back into the opening Test against India at Trent Bridge thanks to seamer James Anderson.

England pace bowler James Anderson.


Anderson struck twice in two balls to inject fresh excitement into the match before intermittent rain washed away nearly the entire final session of day two with India stranded on 125-4.

Opener KL Rahul was batting on 57, while Rishabh Pant was on seven with the tourists still 58 behind England's first innings total of 183.

Anderson, who is now tied with former India spinner Anil Kumble on 619 test wickets, grabbed the wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara for 4 and Virat Kohli for no score.

Anderson has 2-15 from 13 overs.

After the rain had forced an early tea, two attempts were made to get on with the match but a total of three balls could be bowled before the umpires called it a day.

The first match of the five-test series between the teams marks the beginning of a new World Test Championship cycle.


Tall Ferns guard calls time on long international career

Tall Ferns guard Toni Farnworth has announced her retirement from international basketball after more than 100 games for New Zealand.

Toni Farnworth (nee Edmondson) in action for the Tall Ferns at the Olympic qualifying tournament in Auckland in 2019.

Photo: FIBA

Farnworth (nee Edmondson) debuted for the Tall Ferns in 2007 and has been a constant in the senior side since.

She played her 104th and final international in 2019 against South Korea at the Olympic qualifing tournament in Auckland.

"I've been thinking about if for a while, since Covid hit, I guess," Farnworth said.

"I called [coach] Guy Molloy a couple of weeks ago to say I didn't think I could do it anymore.

"I was struggling with motivation, my form wasn't great, and I haven't played a lot of basketball of late which was also an issue.

"It's also been tough to get in as good a shape as I would have liked and have found it hard to fit the training in around full-time work."

Toni Farnworth is one of just nine players to have played more than 100 games for the Tall Ferns.

History for Bahamas

Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas won the men's 400 metres, becoming the first athlete to win Olympic gold in an individual men's event in his country's history, after a carefully balanced race shut out the Americans over a distance they once dominated.

Anthony Zambrano of Colombia took silver, with Kirani James of Grenada grabbing bronze.

Canadian Damian Warner led from start to finish to win the men's decathlon gold with a new Games record score of 9,018 points.

Belgium's Nafi Thiam won her second consecutive gold medal in the Olympic heptathlon, dominating in the javelin and the long jump events to secure victory.

American Katie Nageotte needed a third and final attempt to clear her opening height but overcame the nervous start to win the Olympic women's pole vault gold medal on Thursday.

Despite having five gold medals and 20 in total so far there has been some criticism of the performance of the US track and field team in Tokyo.

The men's sprint relay team failed to qualify for the final, which sprint great Carl Lewis described as embarrassing, and red hot favourite Grant Holloway was beaten in the 110 hurdles.

The US have won a gold medal in a men's individual running event at every games they've been to, but have drawn a blank so far in Tokyo.

- Reuters

City confirm Grealish signing

Manchester City have signed England midfielder Jack Grealish from Aston Villa for a British record £100m (NZ$197 million).

Englands Jack Grealish


The 25-year-old joins the Premier League champions on six-year contract and will wear the number 10 shirt recently vacated by Sergio Aguero.

The 25-year-old had four years left on his Villa contract after signing a new deal in September last year.

Grealish's move to Premier League champions City breaks the previous record held by France midfielder Paul Pogba, who rejoined Manchester United from Juventus in 2016 for a reported fee of $175 million.

"City are the best team in the country with a manager considered to be the best in the world, it's a dream come true to be part of this club," Grealish said.

Grealish started his career at Villa's academy before making his senior debut in 2014. The playmaker, who was given the captain's armband in March 2019, played more than 200 games for the West Midlands club, scoring 32 goals.

Grealish represented Ireland at youth level but switched allegiance to England in 2015, making his Under-21 debut a year later. He earned his senior cap in September 2020 and has since played 12 times for the Three Lions.

He was part of England's campaign at Euro 2020, where coach Gareth Southgate's team lost to Italy in a penalty shootout in the final.


Spain claim first Olympic climbing gold

Spanish teenager Alberto Gines Lopez has clinched the first-ever gold medal in climbing in a gripping men's final that went down to the wire, as the sport made its Olympic debut this week.

Nathaniel Coleman of the United States took home the silver medal, while Austria's Jakob Schubert overcame a huge deficit in the standings to emerge top in the competition's deciding event and bag the bronze.

Making its first appearance in Tokyo, the Olympic climbing competition requires athletes to compete in three events with scores combined to find an overall winner.

The opening event is speed, a head-to-head race up a 15m wall, followed by bouldering, which involves using problem-solving skills to overcome obstacles set along a low wall. Lead, the last event, is a timed climb that tests athletes' endurance.

Spain's Gines Lopez pipped Japan's Tomoa Narasaki to victory in the speed opener but fell to fourth in the standings after a poor showing in bouldering.

The 18-year-old, however, kept his composure in the lead event, finishing fourth, enough to propel him to the top of the overall rankings and secure the sport's inaugural gold.

- Reuters

Paul Williams to referee Bledisloe Cup opener

New Zealander Paul Williams will referee tomorrow's Bledisloe Cup test between the All Blacks and Wallabies in Auckland.

Referee Paul Williams. Super Rugby - Chiefs v Highlanders. FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Friday 5 March 2021.

Paul Williams Photo: Photosport

World Rugby has confirmed the match official appointments for the match and the opening three rounds of The Rugby Championship.

Travel for the teams and match officials, along with quarantine requirements have resulted in a combination of neutral and non-neutral appointments for the fixtures.

Williams will referee and lead an all-New Zealand team for this weekend's match at Eden Park and will be assisted by Mike Fraser and Brendon Pickerill with Glenn Newman on TMO duties.

The opening match of The Rugby Championship between New Zealand and Australia in Auckland next weekend will again see the all NZ team in action but with Pickerill referee, Williams and Fraser assistant referees and Newman TMO.

Andrew Brace (Ireland) will take charge of South Africa versus Argentina on the same day in Port Elizabeth, while Karl Dickson (England) will referee the second match-up between the two teams the following week.

Team USA into final

Kevin Durant and Team USA trounced Australia in the men's basketball semifinals and will play for their fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal when they take on France in the final.

USA basketball star Kevin Durant


The Americans overcame an early deficit and ran away with the game for a 97-78 rout, while France needed a blocked shot in the final second to edge Slovenia.

Saturday's gold-medal matchup gives the NBA star-filled squad a chance to avenge its lone loss in these Games.

Slovenia's Luka Doncic of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks had a triple double - 16 points, 18 assists and 10 rebounds - but came up just short in a nail biter against France.

With time running out, France's Nicolas Batum batted away a layup from Slovenia's Klemen Prepelic that could have put them ahead and Rudy Gobert grabbed the ball to secure a 90-89 win.

- Reuters

Belgium claim maiden hockey gold

Belgium won their first Olympic men's hockey title, beating Australia 3-2 in a penalty shootout after the final finished in a 1-1 draw.

Belgian hockey head coach Shane McLeod pictured during a press moment in the Olympic village on day 10 of the 'Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games' in Tokyo, Japan on Monday 02 August 2021.

Belgium coach Shane McLeod Photo: AFP

The sides were locked in a close fight through much of the match, with Belgium forward Florent van Aubel giving the Red Lions the lead two minutes into the second half.

Australia equalised thanks to a goal by Tom Wickham, sending the match to the shootout, in which Belgian goalie Vincent Vanasch saved three attempts from the Kookaburras, including a retake from Jake Whetton following a video referral.

Belgium are coached by former Black Sticks coach Shane McLeod.

India earlier took the bronze after a thrilling 5-4 victory over Germany, giving the country its first Olympic medal in the sport since the 1980 Moscow Games.

- Reuters

Spaniard takes inaugural karate gold

Spain's Sandra Sanchez, known as the "queen of kata", won karate's maiden gold medal, defeating perennial rival and hometown favourite Kiyou Shimizu in the sport's historic debut at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The win adds to a long and successful run for the 39-year-old Spaniard, whose 36-medal haul at the sport's top-billed Karate 1 Premier League has already earned her a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

"It's crazy. I'm feeling so many things at once. I'm happy but I want to cry," said Sanchez, who also celebrated her five-year wedding anniversary with her husband-coach Jesus del Moral on Thursday.

"I think I need more time to believe that this is real."

Once written off as too old to compete at the highest levels, Sanchez said facing Shimizu at the Nippon Budokan, the spiritual home of Japanese martial arts, was the perfect final.

New Zealand's Andrea Anacan finished ranked ninth.

- Reuters

USA claim football bronze

The Tokyo Olympics was supposed to be a celebratory farewell for a 'golden generation' of U.S women's football players but it ended up with an unconvincing attempt to put a brave face on the disappointment of a bronze medal.

The world champions beat Australia 4-3 in the bronze medal game on Thursday and fittingly Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd, their two veterans, almost certainly playing in their last major tournament, scored two goals each.

That would have been a fairytale ending had their final bow come, as expected, in the gold medal game but the victory merely served as a reminder of how much the Americans, four times Olympic champions, had under-achieved in these Games.

"We may look like the most talented team on paper. And if you look at our roster, one through 22, we would probably win every major tournament just by looking at that roster," said Lloyd.

"But as we all know, talent doesn't win you championships, and without the mentality, without the heart, the grit, the fight, we won't win anything," she said.

Sweden and canada in the gold medal match.

- Reuters

Archer out of T20 World Cup and Ashes

England's Jofra Archer will miss this year's Twenty20 World Cup and the Ashes series against Australia after the fast bowler suffered a recurrence of a stress fracture in his right elbow.

England fast bowler Jofra Archer.

England fast bowler Jofra Archer. Photo: Photosport

"The England and Wales Cricket Board can confirm that England fast bowler Jofra Archer underwent further scans on his injured right elbow last week," the ECB said in a statement.

"The scans revealed that he has suffered a recurrence of a stress fracture of his right elbow."

Archer underwent operation in May to remove a bone fragment from his elbow and was left out of England's two-test series in June against New Zealand, which they lost 1-0.

The 26-year-old was also excluded from England's squad for the opening two tests against India and the ECB said he will now miss the rest of the series.

- Reuters

Rossi retires

Valentino Rossi, one of the greatest and most charismatic of motorcycling champions, has called time on his MotoGP career and looked forward to a future in car racing.

Valentino Rossi.

Valentino Rossi. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 42-year-old Italian, who races with the number 46 and is a nine-times world champion with seven titles in the top category, told a news conference at the Styrian Grand Prix in Austria that 2021 would be his last season.

"I decided to stop at the end of the season," Rossi told a news conference at the Red Bull Ring.

"It's difficult, it's a very sad moment because it's difficult to say and to know that next year I will not race with the motorcycle.

"I do this thing for more or less 30 years. Next year my life will change. But anyway, it was great, I enjoy very much this long, long journey and it was really, really fun.

"I love to race with the cars," added the Italian when asked about the future. "Just a little bit less than racing with motorcycles. So I think I will race with the cars from next year."

- Reuters