World Sports News in Brief

Cycling: Kwiatkowski wins Tour de France 18th stage, Roglic retains yellow

Friday, 2020-09-18 08:56:42
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Team INEOS Grenadiers rider Michal Kwiatkowski of Poland celebrates as he crosses the finish line ahead of teammate Richard Carapaz of Ecuador. (Reuters)
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Michal Kwiatkowski, the unsung hero of Team Sky/Ineos during their dominant years, claimed his maiden Tour de France victory when he won the 18th stage from a breakaway duo with team mate Richard Carapaz on Thursday (Sep 17).

Carapaz, who took the lead in the mountains classification, gave former world champion Kwiatkowski a pat on the back before they crossed the line together, which ensured the Polish rider would take first place.

* US Open champion Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the upcoming French Open with a hamstring injury, she said on Thursday. The 22-year-old Japanese had her left hamstring wrapped in tape when she battled back to defeat Victoria Azarenka at the US Open final at Flushing Meadows last week en route to her third Grand Slam title.

* Saint Etienne went top of Ligue 1 with an impressive 2-0 win at Olympique de Marseille on Thursday (Sep 17) making it three wins out of three for Claude Puel's side.

* Victoria Azarenka produced a masterclass on centre court at the Italian Open to knock out third seed Sofia Kenin with a dominant 6-0 6-0 victory in the second round on Thursday (Sep 17).

* US-born Swede Armand Duplantis produced the highest-ever outdoor pole vault jump on Thursday (Sep 17) when he cleared 6.15 metres to win gold at the Rome Diamond League meeting and continue his remarkable, unbeaten season. The 20-year-old cleared the bar at the second attempt with room to spare and was only three centimetres short of the world record he set indoors in Glasgow in February.

* The French Open will permit only 5,000 spectators per day following a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the country, L'Equipe reported on Thursday. The FFT has been aiming to host daily crowds of 5,000 at both the Philippe-Chatrier and Suzanne-Lenglen showcourts while 1,500 fans were slated to watch matches at the smaller Simonne-Mathieu court.

* Only 5,000 spectators will be granted access to the Champs-Elysees to watch Sunday's finale of the Tour de France due to health protocols that have been put in place to control the spread of COVID-19, local authorities said on Thursday.

* Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is set to face a vote of no-confidence from the club's members after a campaign group seeking to oust him gathered the necessary number of signatures on Thursday to force the vote.

* Newly-crowned European champions Bayern Munich dominate the shortlist for UEFA's 2019-20 Champions League positional awards, with seven players making the cut following their title triumph in Lisbon. Bayern's Robert Lewandowski, who finished as the competition's top scorer with 15 goals, will compete for the forwards' award with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe of Paris St Germain, who lost last month's final 1-0.

* Neymar received a two-match ban on Wednesday (Sep 16) for his red card against Marseille as the French league announced it would open an investigation into accusations of racism by the Brazil forward against Alvaro Gonzalez.

* The Premier League announced on Thursday (Sep 17) that it had agreed a new broadcast deal in China for the rest of the season with Tencent Sports following the termination of its previous agreement. Viewers will have access to all the remaining 372 matches of England's top-flight football league via Tencent's digital platforms from Saturday.

* Liverpool have reached an agreement to sign Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich, the German club's CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said on Thursday (Sep 17). British media reported the deal will cost the Premier League champions about £20 million (US$25.81 million) with £5 million in add-ons.

* Almost 60 years after Billie Jean King helped the United States win the inaugural Fed Cup, the team event is being re-named in honour of the greatest trailblazer in women's tennis. The competition, revamped this year to feature a 12-nation finals week to rival the men's Davis Cup, would from 2021 be known as the Billie Jean King Cup, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said in a statement.

Reuters, CNA