Snapshot from day eight at Wimbledon

Darren Walton
(Australian Associated Press)

 

SNAPSHOT FROM DAY EIGHT AT WIMBLEDON

PLAYER OF THE DAY: Julia Goerges – without a win at The All England Club for five years before last week, the German has racked up five straight victories to reach the semi-finals of a grand slam for the first time.

STAT OF THE DAY: Seven-times champion Serena Williams is through to the last four for the 11th time after fighting back to deny unseeded Italian Camila Giorgi 3-6 6-3 6-4.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I don’t feel any pressure. Probably because at the French Open a couple weeks ago I had so much pressure. It’s now all gone. I’m just enjoying the moment,” 21-year-old Latvian Jelena Osapenko is youngest woman through to the semi-finals – and only one yet to drop a set – after ebounding from her shock first-round elimination in her Roland Garros title defence.

TOURNAMENT SUMMARY: Former world No.1 and Australian and US Open champion Angelique Kerber is the fourth semi-finalist and up against Ostapenko. If she wins and Goerges derails Williams’ quest for a record-equalling 24th major singles title, women’s tennis will have the first-ever all-German grand slam final.

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Snapshot from Wimbledon

Darren Walton
(Australian Associated Press)

 

SNAPSHOT FROM DAY AT WIMBLEDON

PLAYER OF THE DAY:
Donna Vekic – the rising Croat sent US Open champion Sloane Stephens packing with a 6-1 6-3 boilover, just three weeks after the American fourth seed made the French Open final.

STAT OF THE DAY:
103 – Roger Federer surpassed Jimmy Connors with the most matches ever at Wimbledon and duly celebrated his milestone outing with a cruisy 6-1 6-3 6-4 win over Dusan Lajovic.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“I feel guilty if I take 15 minutes for myself to stretch. I’m trying to run back to him and spend every second with him. So that’s the balance I think is the tough one.” – former world No.1 Victoria Azarenka on the challenge of juggling motherhood with tennis after posting a 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 win over Ekaterina Alexandrova.

TOURNAMENT SUMMARY:
While Federer made a typically stylish opening to his title defence, 2017 runner-up Marin Cilic, former finalist Milos Raonic and ninth seed John Isner also enjoyed routine first-round wins. But sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov crashed out, losing to Federer’s Swiss compatriot Stan Wawrinka, and barely a week after snapping Federer’s 20-match grass-court winning streak in the Halle final, Borna Coric fell 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 6-2 to Daniil Medvedev. Seven-times women’s champion Serena Williams and fellow former world No.1 Victoria Azarenka began their respective quests to become the first mother to win the title since Evonne Goolagong Cawley 38 years ago with hard-fought two-set wins. Five-times winner Venus Williams, Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki and 10th seed Madison Keys also survived the opening day.

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Ricciardo, Power create motorsport history

Oliver Caffrey
(Australian Associated Press)

 

The stunning feats of Daniel Ricciardo and Will Power have created motorsport history.

Their success on Sunday ensured Australia became the first country to have drivers win motorsport’s two most famous races on the same day.

Only hours after Ricciardo won the prestigious Monaco Formula One Grand Prix from pole, 37-year-old Power pulled off the greatest win of his career in America.

Power became the first Australian to win the Indianapolis 500, which was first held in 1911.

Only two other countries – Britain (1965, 1966) and Brazil (1989, 1993) – had provided the winning driver at Monaco and Indianapolis in the same year.

The last Australian to win on the streets of Monaco in 2010 and 2012, Mark Webber, was overjoyed about the duel successes.

“A little reminder for the Australian press … please feel free to load front and back pages with motorsport related success stories from Indianapolis and Monte Carlo,” Webber tweeted.

Ricciardo’s second win of the F1 season sees him third in the overall standings to put him within reach of a maiden championship.

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, who have won four titles each, lead the series but 28-year-old Ricciardo has firmed into a $13 favourite.

Australia hasn’t had an F1 champion since Alan Jones in 1980, while the great Jack Brabham is the only other driver from this country to do so having won it three times (1959, 1960, 1966).

The victory in Monaco was sweet redemption for Ricciardo, who was denied a certain win in 2016 when his Red Bull Racing team botched a regulation pit stop.

“I lost power halfway and I thought the race was over. Thanks to the team we got it back. I’m stoked,” Ricciardo said.

While Ricciardo has become a household name in Australian sport, the same can’t be said about Power even after winning the IndyCar series in 2014.

“To be the first Australian to win the Indy 500, that’s very special,” the Toowoomba-raised Power said.

“Maybe they might recognise me down there now. I don’t think many people know who I am down there.”

Supercars championship leader Scott McLaughlin and fellow Ford driver Will Davison, who is Power’s close mate, were trackside supporting him.

“It feels cool to be here to see Will (Power) win. I was here when he finished P2 in 2015, and in the motorhome afterwards I could see how much that hurt,” Davison said.

“I know how much this race has meant to him and how much it’s annoyed him that he hasn’t been able to win this one.”

Power wasn’t the only Australian to race in the Indy500, with Melbourne’s James Davison, a cousin of Will Davison, finishing at the back of the field.

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Swimmers push Australia to huge medal haul

Paul Mulvey
(Australian Associated Press)

 

Ariarne Titmus collected her third gold medal, Mitch Larkin his fifth and Australia its 50th as the swimmers and the country have overwhelmed allcomers at the Commonwealth Games.

With five days of competition still to come, Australia has already surpassed its tally of 49 gold medals from Glasgow four years ago.

The swimmers have made the most of a home pool, accounting for 28 of Australia’s gold, including seven medal cleansweeps.

Together with cycling’s 12 gold so far, the two sports make up 80 per cent of the team’s total haul which has it well clear on top of the medal table from England on 24.

Advance Australia Fair was on a loop on another hectic final night at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre on Tuesday on which the host nation picked up eight gold medals.

Titmus, 17, swam the sixth fastest 400m freestyle in history to win the gold, collect the prestigious 400m-800m double and affirm her status as the future of Australian swimming.

“I didn’t expect myself to be in this position. And to be Commonwealth champion, I haven’t really let that sink in,” she said.

“I am sad I have to go back to school after this. I am still a normal person. I have worked hard for this and I am glad it has paid off.”

Triple backstroke champion Larkin extended his repertoire to the 200m individual medley, while his girlfriend Emily Seebohm won the 50m backstroke.

Jack McLoughlin took the 1500m freestyle while thrilling gold medals for the men’s and women’s medley relays took Australia’s stake from the six days of swimming to 28 out of 50 gold medals available.

Appropriately, the day started with double cycling gold in the time trials to Cameron Meyer and Katrin Garfoot at Currumbin.

A nine-time world champion on the track, Meyer returned to the road with instant success as he dominated the hills and heat of the 38.5km Currumbin road circuit, finishing in 48 minutes 13.04 seconds.

German-born, but now Gold Coast local, Garfoot looked at home on the course and was equally dominant in the women’s 25.5km race, winning in a time of 35:08.09, nearly a minute ahead of New Zealand’s defending champion Linda Villumsen.

Meyer acknowledged the impetus Australia’s massive medal count gives all competitors.

“There’s so much motivation going around after the first week with other athletes winning gold,” said Meyer.

With swimming finished and only four more medal events to come in cycling, the host nation will have to turn to other sports to retain its dominance, with big hopes for the team events and athletics.

Wheelchair great Kurt Fearnley bowed out of track athletics with a silver medal in the 1500m at Carrara Stadium, with his final act to come in the marathon on Sunday.

“That’s done, that’s absolutely everything that I had,” Fearnley said.

Long jumper Henry Frayne smashed the Games record in the qualifying round on Tuesday with a leap of 8.34m, while teenager Joseph Deng and Luke Mathews qualified in impressive style for the men’s 800m final.

Meantime, shooter Elena Galiabovitch won her second medal of the Games with silver in the women’s 25m pistol.

Australia is guaranteed some more boxing bronze medals, at least, after Skye Nicolson in the 57kg division and 91kg fighter Jason Whateley both moved into the semi-finals.

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Aussies’ most controversial cricket tours

Rob Forsaith
(Australian Associated Press)

 

FIVE OF AUSTRALIA’S MOST CONTROVERSIAL CRICKET TOURS

*The Big Six boycott England in 1912

This game-changing scrap between players and administrators came long before the advent of World Series Cricket, the formation of a players’ union and last year’s ugly pay dispute. Six leading cricketers, including captain Clem Hill, were unhappy about a series of issues arising from the formation of the Australian Board of Control for International Cricket in 1905. They refused to take part in a triangular tournament, forcing the board to send a second-rate team. The power struggle later got physical, with Hill and chairman of selectors Peter McAlister coming to blows after a verbal argument escalated.

*Rebel tours of South Africa in 1985-86 and 1986-87

Kim Hughes captained an unsanctioned Australian squad that visited South Africa during apartheid, at which point the nation was frozen out of international cricket. Hughes insisted the tourists were trying to make a difference – and highlighted how they had been treated poorly by Australia’s Cricket Board. Hughes’ team were widely criticised for taking part in the lucrative trip, with Prime Minister Bob Hawke labelling them “traitors”.

*On the cusp of pulling out of Pakistan in 1988

Australia were seething about the pitch and standard of umpiring during the first Test, which they lost by an innings and 188 runs in Karachi. The manager and coach called a press conference mid-match, making their displeasure clear. Captain Allan Border described the wicket as the worst he had ever see anywhere and floated the idea of Australia returning home after the game, wanting to make a stand. The tourists hung around, but not before calling on the International Cricket Council and Pakistan Cricket Board to take action.

*Homeworkgate tour of India in 2013

Australia were smacked 4-0 in the four-Test series, but it will forever be remembered for the four players who copped one-Test bans for failing to provide written feedback to coach Mickey Arthur. The instability was encapsulated by the fate of Shane Watson, who flew home, copped public criticism from team performance manager Pat Howard then returned to India and became Australia’s 44th Test captain. Watson later relinquished the vice-captaincy, while Arthur was sacked soon after.

*Cape Town cheating scandal of 2018

Controversy reigned supreme in this series. David Warner and Quinton de Kock’s staircase stoush marred the first Test, while the decision of Cricket South Africa officials to overrule venue security and allow Sonny Bill Williams masks into the second Test also strained relations between the rivals. Kagiso Rabada’s physical send-off of Steve Smith – and ensuing successful appeal – created more angst. Those incidents were soon overshadowed by a small piece of sandpaper. Warner and Smith have been sacked as leaders, coach Darren Lehmann resigned in tears, while Cricket Australia has ordered an independent review of team culture.

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Govt told to consider sport tax incentives

(Australian Associated Press)

 

The Turnbull government is being urged to consider tax incentives to encourage more Australians into sport.

Private health insurance rebates, Medicare levy rebates and tax deductions for items such as uniforms, event entry fees and gym memberships have been raised as part of consultations on a National Sport Plan, a report released on Wednesday shows.

The government, which will release the final plan later this year, is also being asked to consider taxing gambling, alcohol and fast-food to fund more Australian sport.

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Govt told to consider sport tax incentives

(Australian Associated Press)

 

The Turnbull government is being urged to consider tax incentives to encourage more Australians into sport.

Private health insurance rebates, Medicare levy rebates and tax deductions for items such as uniforms, event entry fees and gym memberships have been raised as part of consultations on a National Sport Plan, a report released on Wednesday shows.

The government, which will release the final plan later this year, is also being asked to consider taxing gambling, alcohol and fast-food to fund more Australian sport.

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Fast facts about AFLX

Steve Larkin
(Australian Associated Press)

 

THE BASICS OF AFLX

* Played on rectangular fields about 110 metres long

* Seven players per team on-field, with three interchange players

* Two 10-minute halves, no time-on

* Team that touches ball last before going out of bounds surrenders possession opponent

* Ten points awarded for goals from outside 40-metre arc

* Kick-ins from all scores

* No marks paid from backward kicks, except in 40m-arc

* Twenty-second shot clock for scoring attempts


THE FORMAT

* Three round-robin tournaments featuring six clubs

* The six teams split into two pools. Each team plays two games

* Winners of both pools to play-off in a grand final


THE SCHEDULE

* Adelaide, Thursday night: Port Adelaide, Geelong, Adelaide, Collingwood, West Coast, Fremantle

* Melbourne, Friday night: Carlton, Melbourne, Hawthorn, Essendon, St Kilda, North Melbourne

* Sydney, Saturday night: Greater Western Sydney, Richmond, Sydney, Western Bulldogs, Brisbane, Gold Coast

 

North Melbourne coach Brad Scott has a blunt message for doubters of the AFLX experiment: don’t bag it until you try it.

The AFL’s short-format competition kicks off in Adelaide on Thursday, with seven-a-side teams playing abbreviated games at a soccer stadium.

“We can’t tell exactly how it’s going to look on TV and for the fans but to any naysayers, all I would say is ‘try it’,” Scott told reporters on Wednesday.

Six clubs will be the guinea pigs for AFLX on Thursday night at Adelaide’s Coopers Stadium – home ground of A-League club Adelaide United.

Six games of 20 minutes each will be played on a field 110 metres long before what has been dubbed a grand final between the two most successful teams.

Scott, a renowned deep thinker on AFL issues, said clubs were embracing the experiment.

“There’s a fair element of the unknown,” he said.

“We think it’s a really exciting concept.

“That’s not to say that we think it’s going to be a raging success or otherwise but certainly from North Melbourne’s perspective we think it’s a really good idea to trial it.

“We’re more than willing to put some of our good players out there and see how they go.

“Hopefully it’s a great product and if it’s not we haven’t lost anything.”

After the Adelaide debut, AFLX round-robin tournaments will be played in Melbourne on Friday night and Sydney on Saturday night.

Most clubs have picked teams with a blend of top-end talent and untried youth, including Port Adelaide.

“It’s a chance to have a look at some younger guys but we wanted to keep enough experience in the team so that they weren’t thrown out in the deep end,” Power assistant coach Matthew Nicks said on Wednesday.

“What you find, when you get out in the bright lights, anything from 10,000 to 15,000 people, the mind changes things.

“Some of our young guys who have been training really well, we would love to see them in that pressure environment.

“There will be some real pressure on because it’s one-on-one in a smaller field.”

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Five cyclists to watch at track nationals

Vince Rugari
(Australian Associated Press)

 

FIVE RIDERS TO WATCH AT THE TRACK NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS:

* Matthew Glaetzer (SA):

Glaetzer reckons he’s in career-best form and is ready to prove it in Brisbane. The powerful 25-year-old will get an early chance to do just that on Thursday when he attempts to break his own sea-level 1km time trial world record from last year. A gold medallist at the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, he has a busy schedule with sprint events on every day of competition.

* Stephanie Morton (SA):

Anointed as the next Anna Meares by the woman herself, Morton has a big 2018 ahead as she seeks to stamp herself as Australia’s next great sprinter. She won two silvers last year at the world track championships to go with two national crowns. Morton will get the chance to defend her world titles as one of only four Aussies heading to the Netherlands in February.

* Jordan Kerby (QLD):

The big local hope. Kerby stunned the world in 2017 with the third-fastest individual pursuit time in history when he rode to the rainbow jersey at the track world championships in Hong Kong. The Hervey Bay product will seek to defend his national pursuit crown in Brisbane while also entering into the team pursuit, points and scratch races.

* Alex Porter (SA):

Porter is one of Australia’s rising stars, who fell into the sport when the South Australian Institute of Sport came to his school when he was 15 and told him he had the physical make-up to be a world-class cyclist. Now 21, Porter was part of Australia’s gold medal-winning team pursuit at last year’s world track titles but hasn’t been to a Commonwealth or Olympic Games – yet.

* Annette Edmondson (SA):

The 2012 Olympic medallist and dual world champion has clocked plenty of kilometres in her legs already throughout the Australian road summer but is back on the track after giving it a miss in 2017. Edmondson is entered in all endurance events and is aiming for strong performances across the board in what will be her first time on the new velodrome.

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The economic impact of the Commonwealth Games

(Australian Associated Press)

 

Many Gold Coast tourism operators expect to employ more people during the Commonwealth Games that will soon be held in the Queensland holiday capital.

A survey of more than 500 Gold Coast Tourism members shows that just over 22 per cent of respondents expect to increase their staff numbers for the Games between April 4 to 15.

Gold Coast Tourism CEO Martin Winter says the result isn’t surprising and is a clear indicator of the economic boost the Games should give the city.

“We survey our members every year and this time we added a section on the Commonwealth Games, given that it is such a unique experience for the city,” he said.

He said 20 per cent were still unsure if they would need more staff so many of them too may also have to expand their workforce.

“A total of 57 per cent said they were unlikely to increase their staff and they would be the ones that already have scale and size or know that they can cope with the increased crowds.”

The GCT survey also showed that 70 per cent of operators viewed the Games positively. About 26 per cent were neutral about the big event while a small four per cent feared its impact.

This is the biggest event the Gold Coast has ever hosted, and the largest Australia will host this decade, so we are pleased so many tourism operators are enthusiastic about it, Mr Winter said.

“The fact that there is a handful concerned is very understandable and we empathise with them. There will be disruptions of course, just as there are now with our other big events such as the GC600 V8 Supercars or the Gold Coast Airport Marathon.

“But the upside is tremendous.”

The survey shows that more than 76 per cent of the industry believes they are well-prepared for the Games, he said.

A separate Griffith University study, commissioned by the Office of Commonwealth Games, predicts the Gold Coast will welcome 670,000 visitors over the Games period, including more than 265,000 domestic overnight stays.

This is about a 30 per cent increase on the average Gold Coast visitor volume.

The economic impact from tourism associated with the Game will be $320 million.

The Griffith study also says more than 15,000 jobs will be created across the city, in tourism and beyond, this year.

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AAP, in collaboration with the City of Gold Coast and Gold Coast Tourism, is publishing a range of newsworthy content in the lead-up to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

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The economic impact of the Commonwealth Games

(Australian Associated Press)

 

Many Gold Coast tourism operators expect to employ more people during the Commonwealth Games that will soon be held in the Queensland holiday capital.

A survey of more than 500 Gold Coast Tourism members shows that just over 22 per cent of respondents expect to increase their staff numbers for the Games between April 4 to 15.

Gold Coast Tourism CEO Martin Winter says the result isn’t surprising and is a clear indicator of the economic boost the Games should give the city.

“We survey our members every year and this time we added a section on the Commonwealth Games, given that it is such a unique experience for the city,” he said.

He said 20 per cent were still unsure if they would need more staff so many of them too may also have to expand their workforce.

“A total of 57 per cent said they were unlikely to increase their staff and they would be the ones that already have scale and size or know that they can cope with the increased crowds.”

The GCT survey also showed that 70 per cent of operators viewed the Games positively. About 26 per cent were neutral about the big event while a small four per cent feared its impact.

This is the biggest event the Gold Coast has ever hosted, and the largest Australia will host this decade, so we are pleased so many tourism operators are enthusiastic about it, Mr Winter said.

“The fact that there is a handful concerned is very understandable and we empathise with them. There will be disruptions of course, just as there are now with our other big events such as the GC600 V8 Supercars or the Gold Coast Airport Marathon.

“But the upside is tremendous.”

The survey shows that more than 76 per cent of the industry believes they are well-prepared for the Games, he said.

A separate Griffith University study, commissioned by the Office of Commonwealth Games, predicts the Gold Coast will welcome 670,000 visitors over the Games period, including more than 265,000 domestic overnight stays.

This is about a 30 per cent increase on the average Gold Coast visitor volume.

The economic impact from tourism associated with the Game will be $320 million.

The Griffith study also says more than 15,000 jobs will be created across the city, in tourism and beyond, this year.

Click here to Reply or Forward

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Manage

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AAP, in collaboration with the City of Gold Coast and Gold Coast Tourism, is publishing a range of newsworthy content in the lead-up to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

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Day 10 Snapshot from the Australian Open

Darren Walton
(Australian Associated Press)

 

SNAPSHOT FROM DAY 10 AT THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN:

PLAYER OF THE DAY: Hyeon Chung – the 21-year-old is the first Korean to reach a grand slam semi-final after continuing his spectacular run with a 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 defeat of unseeded American Tennys Sandgren.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “You seek to put people in these little boxes so that you can order the world in your already assumed preconceived ideas. You strip away any individuality for the sake of demonising by way of the collective. With a handful of follows and some likes on Twitter, my fate has been sealed in your minds. To write an edgy story, to create sensationalist coverage, there are a few lengths you wouldn’t go to mark me as the man you desperately want me to be. You would rather perpetuate propaganda machines instead of researching information.” – Sandgren hits back at the world’s tennis media after believing he’d been savaged for his controversial political views on social media.

STAT OF THE DAY: The men’s event will feature two unseeded semi-finalists for the first time since 1999 after Chung joined British surprise packet Kyle Edmund, who faces Marin Cilic on Thursday for a spot in the title match.

TURNING POINT: After falling behind 3-0 in the opening set, world No.1 Simona Halep reeled off nine-straight games to take command in her 6-3 6-2 quarter-final rout of Czech sixth seed Carolina Pliskova.

TOURNAMENT SUMMARY: Halep’s victory set up a heavyweight semi-final against 2016 champion Angelique Kerber after the resurgent German extended her summer winning streak with an equally impressive 6-1 6-2 win over 2017 US Open runner-up Madison Keys.

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Tour Down Under braces for 40-plus heat

Roger Vaughan
(Australian Associated Press)

 

Adelaide’s heatwave has prompted Tour Down Under organisers to shorten stage three and cancel a family ride.

The Bupa Challenge mass-participation ride on Friday also could be a casualty as the temperature is forecast to soar into the low 40s.

Adelaide’s blistering summer heat has often been a factor through the Tour’s 20-year history.

The temperature hit 39.7 on Wednesday in the city as the riders contested stage three through the Adelaide Hills.

Soon after Australian Caleb Ewan won the stage, the Tour announced changes to Thursday’s events.

They have cut 26km from stage three, which starts at the coastal suburb of Glenelg and goes south to Victor Harbor.

There will be only one lap of the finishing circuit, rather than three.

Race director Mike Turtur said the change was made after consulting with rider representative Adam Hansen and chief commissaire Wayne Pomario.

“Both agreed it would be sensible to shorten the race distance,” Turtur said.

A family ride was also scheduled for Thursday at Victor Harbor, but that will not go ahead.

“We know there will be disappointed participants, however safety is our priority,” said Events South Australia chief executive Hitaf Rasheed.

Friday’s Bupa Challenge amateur ride, which has attracted more than 5000 entrants, is also set to be cancelled if the 40-plus forecast holds.

The challenge follows the same route through the Adelaide Hills as the Tour Down Under fourth stage.

Organisers will decide on Thursday whether to shorten stage four as well and also whether the challenge goes ahead.

The Tour’s opening stage in the Barossa was also cut short during the race because of the hot conditions.

Hansen, one of Australia’s top pro riders and a member of the Lott-Soudal team, said the conditions in stage one last year were harder.

“Last year guys were complaining, where this year it is hot, but it’s Down Under,” he said.

“You do Paris-Nice, you complain about the cold – then don’t do Paris-Nice.”

The temperature is forecast to drop to the low 30s for Saturday’s Queen Stage at Willunga and the last stage on Sunday in Adelaide.

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Ex-cricket greats call for Olympic push

Scott Bailey
(Australian Associated Press)

 

Cricket’s most powerful group of ex-players have urged Indian authorities to get behind the sport’s push for the Olympics or let the game suffer.

The introduction of Twenty20 cricket to the Olympics formed a key part of MCC World Cricket committee meetings held in Sydney on Tuesday and Thursday, with past players keen to push for the sport’s involvement.

Administrators have all but given up hope of gaining entry into the 2024 Games scheduled for Paris and have now turned their attention to Los Angeles in 2028.

However their biggest stumbling block is the Board of Cricket Control for India, whom they believe face issues with their own Olympic Committee.

“It’s one of those things that has frustrated me,” committee chairman Mike Gatting said.

“We would like to urge the BCCI to have a look at it again and support the main body of boards that would like to get into the Olympics as soon as possible.

“It seems strange that everyone else seems happy to get in there because it’s just going to be so good for the game.

“Free-to-air TV all over the world. It’s only once every four years. It’s not going to be a scheduling matter. It just seems they seem reticent to try and get involved.”

It’s understood the sport’s push for the Olympics is largely reliant on the support of each of the major cricket-playing nations.

The International Cricket Council has previously declared the majority of member nations are behind the push, along with chief executive David Richardson.

Ricky Ponting, who sits on the 14-person independent committee alongside the likes of Gatting, Kumar Sangakkara, Sourav Ganguly and Rod Marsh said players were also keen and commitment would be an issue.

“We’re very conscious of not lessening the product we’re putting out,” Ponting, who previously played at the Commonwealth Games in 1998, said.

“If cricket makes it into the Olympics it has to be the best players and showcasing the sport for what it is.

“The players would want it because of how beneficial they would see that being for the game going forward.”

The committee also discussed the importance of propping Test cricket up against lucrative Twenty20 leagues, heat laws, making helmets compulsory, standardising DRS technology and player associations becoming more involved in the reporting of concussions.

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Australian summer of cycling ready to roll

Roger Vaughan
(Australian Associated Press)

 

HIGHLIGHTS IN THE AUSTRALIAN SUMMER OF CYCLING


* FedUni Australian road cycling championships

January 3-7, Ballarat, Buninyong and Cardigan, Vic

Wednesday – criteriums in Ballarat from 1.30 AEDT, including elite women (6.30pm) and elite men (8pm). Caleb Ewan starts favourite for his third-straight elite men’s title

Thursday – time trials in Buninyong from 10am, including para, and men’s under-19 and under-23

Friday – time trials in Buninyong from 10, including women’s under-19, under-23 and elite and men’s elite. Rohan Dennis and Kat Garfoot start favourites for their third-straight TT national crowns. Also para road races from 9am, Cardigan

Saturday – road races, Buninyong from 9am including under-19s and men’s under-23

Sunday- men’s and women’s elite road races from 8.50am. Garfoot will defend her title, while Richie Porte, defending champion Miles Scotson, Dennis and their new teammate Simon Gerrans will be a formidable BMC lineup against Ewan’s Mitchelton-Scott team.


* Santos Women’s Tour Down Under

January 11-14, Adelaide


* Santos Tour Down Under

January 14-21, Adelaide


* Towards Zero Race Melbourne

January 25, Albert Park


* Cadel Evans Great Ocean Rd Race

January 27 (women) and January 28 (men),


* Herald Sun Tour

January 30-February 4, Victoria


* Australian track cycling championships

February 1-5, Anna Meares Velodrome, Brisbane


* Australian cross country mountain bike championships

February 23-25, Armidale, NSW


* Australian downhill mountain bike championships

March 2-4, Bright, Vic


* BMX national championships

March 19-25, Bunbury, WA


* Commonwealth Games

April 4-15, Gold Coast

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