Latest – The White Ferns have completed their preparations for the World Cup with an encouraging win over Australia in a warmup game at Lincoln.
Kerr and Devine Photo: PHOTOSPORT
The homeside were led by captain Sophie Devine who hit an unbeaten 161 off 117 balls as they chased down their target of 322 with more than six overs to spare.
Amelia Kerr hit 92 off 75 balls.
Earlier Australia made 321 with captain Meg Lanning top scoring with 87, while Hannah Rowe took 4-49.
It is a confidence boost for the White Ferns who were upset by Pakistan in their other warmup game on Sunday.
They open the World Cup on Friday against the West Indies in Mt Maunganui.
Beaten up Breakers beaten again
An undermanned Breakers team has been beaten 102-87 by the Illawarra Hawks in the Australian NBL.
Kyrin Galloway Photo: PHOTOSPORT
Despite missing five crucial players, the Breakers weren’t willing to hand anything to the Hawks in Hobart. New Zealand was able to start the second half strongly and were able to build a 57-51 lead to put the onus back on Illawarra to respond.
The Hawks did just that and dominated the rest of the third quarter outscoring the Breakers 28 points to 10. Illawarra finished the job too and from that moment they were down six, they outscored New Zealand 51-30.
The Breakers were without Yanni Wetzell (back spasms), Rob Loe (FIBA duties), Will McDowell-White (concussion protocols) and Ousmane Dieng (wrist) for different reasons with Tom Abercrombie also still sidelined.
However, rising star Kyrin Galloway (16 points, five rebounds) and emerging big Sam Timmins (nine points, six rebounds) gave their all in the paint showing they both have plenty of future potential.
French guard Hugo Besson scored a team-best 20 points along with seven rebounds and three assists.
More sporting sanctions against Russia
More sporting bodies have sanctioned Russian and Belarusian athletes over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with the governing bodies for badminton, rowing and skiing banning athletes from the two countries from international competition.
Since the start of what Russian President Vladimir Putin has called “a special military operation” last week, sports bodies across the world have already moved against Russia and Belarus by refusing to host or play against teams from the countries.
Belarus has been a key staging area for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
On Monday, the International Olympic Committee’s executive board recommended sports federations ban Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from competing in events.
The badminton federation’s move comes a day after it cancelled tournaments in Russia and Belarus.
World Rowing banned Russia and Belarusian athletes and officials from its international competitions with immediate effect and until further notice.
The international ski federation said its council had voted unanimously to follow the IOC executive board’s recommendations.
Swimming’s world governing body FINA, which on Sunday called off the World Junior Swimming Championships in Kazan, Russia, said on Tuesday that Russian and Belarusian athletes would now only compete as neutral athletes or neutral teams.
Fury supremely confident
WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury said he is “supremely confident” of defeating Dillian Whyte when the two Britons meet in April with Fury’s title on the line.
The undefeated Fury (31-0-1), who beat Deontay Wilder to become WBC champion, will face mandatory challenger Whyte after a deal to fight Ukraine’s WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO champion Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight title fell apart.
Whyte has been waiting years for a shot at the world title as the WBC’s top-ranked contender.
“I am very, very confident,” Fury said. “I am not down to earth — I am on top of it.
“There’s not a 1% chance that I will lose the fight — I know I cannot lose. In the latter part of my career, I have to be supremely confident in my ability — which I am.
“If I am daft enough to get hit by him then I don’t deserve to be heavyweight champion.”
After months of drawn-out negotiations, Fury’s co-promoter Frank Warren won the purse bid in January with an offer of $60 million, beating Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn who was the only other bidder.
Fury is now set to receive 80% of the purse and Whyte the remaining 20%.
Ukraine para-athletes expected in Beijing on time
Ukrainian athletes are expected to reach Beijing in time for the Winter Paralympics, putting to rest concerns about their participation following an invasion by Russia.
IPC president Andrew Parsons last week said that the Ukrainian delegation faced a huge challenge to get to the Chinese capital before the start of Games, which run from March 4-13.
An IPC spokesperson said a full contingent of 20 athletes and nine guides would be travelling to Beijing, but declined to share their whereabouts due to safety concerns.
The athletes may arrive as early as today.
The IPC will decide the fate of athletes from Russia and Belarus in a board meeting in Beijing today.
Ukraine won 22 medals at the Pyeongchang Games four years ago, with all their seven gold medals coming in cross-country skiing and the biathlon.