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The sports wrap 22nd July 2018

LanguedocLiving, Jul 22

Molinari wins British Open to become first Italian to win a golf major.

Francesco Molinari became the first Italian to win a major, holding off a pack of star names to claim The Open Championship at Carnoustie on Sunday. Molinari produced a faultless final round of 69 in windy conditions on the Scottish links to finish eight under. He finished two ahead of four players, including home favourites Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy, tied on six under. Tiger Woods finished five under after leading midway through the round, with last year’s winner, Jordan Spieth, on four under. Molinari, 35, emerged from a six-way tie for the lead, when all the players were either on the back nine or in the clubhouse, to lift the Claret Jug. The Europe Ryder Cup player started the final day three shots adrift of overnight leaders Spieth, and fellow Americans Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele, but maintained composure while his rivals all dropped shots in a thrilling battle for the lead. "It is absolutely amazing," Molinari said. "I think it will take a long time to sink in. It has been a great week.The course bit me a few times in the first two days, but to go bogey-free around this track at the weekend is incredible."

Denmark’s Cort Nielsen wins Stage 15 but Thomas keeps lead

Magnus Cort Nielsen dominated a three-man sprint finish to win Stage 15 of the Tour de France on Sunday as Team Sky's Geraint Thomas retained the overall lead. Denmark's Cort Nielsen was in a leading group with Bauke Mollema and Ion Izagirre for the run-in on the 181.5km stage. He was the strongest sprinter of the trio and easily claimed his first Tour stage win, giving his Astana team back-to-back stage victories. Welshman Thomas crossed the line in Carcassonne with the peloton (for full report go to: Denmark’s Cort Nielsen wins 15th Stage of Tour de France)

Hamilton back on top after incredible German GP victory

Lewis Hamilton went from 14th to first to seize an incredible German Grand Prix victory for Mercedes at Hockenheim on Sunday and retake the Formula One championship lead from Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who crashed out. Vettel, now 17 points behind the Briton after starting eight ahead, led from pole position in a thriller until rain caused chaos in the closing laps, with the German sliding into the barriers in front of his home fans. Reigning world champion Hamilton took the chequered flag, for a record-equalling fourth German Grand Prix win, ahead of his Finnish team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. It was the 66th win of his F1 career and minutes after the finish, the heavens opened with thunder and lightning and a fierce downpour that would have stopped any race. “Miracles do happen, mate,” Hamilton’s race engineer Pete Bonnington told him over the radio after a slow-burner that turned into one of the great comebacks of the Briton’s already stellar career. Hamilton, who threw himself across the pitlane railings into the arms of his mechanics and also got a bear-hug from delighted Mercedes-Benz boss Dieter Zetsche, seemed about as stunned as anyone. Beaten by Vettel in his home British Grand Prix at Silverstone two weeks ago, where he went from pole to the back of the field and up to second, he had turned the tables completely. For Vettel, it was simply a nightmare — the chance to make big gains slipping through his hands in an instant. He now has 171 points to Hamilton’s 188. The Hungarian Grand Prix is next weekend.

Catalans claim Super 8s berth with drubbing of Salford 

Fouad Yaha scored four tries as Catalans Dragons confirmed their place in the Super 8s by romping to a 44-10 victory over lowly Salford Red Devils in Perpignan on Saturday. Brayden Williame teed up the 21-year-old Yaha for the first try and Josh Drinkwater finished off a slick move for the Frenchman’s second. Derrell Olpherts crossed in the corner as Salford replied but further scores by Yaha, Jason Baitieri and Kenny Edwards built a 28-4 half-time lead. Yaha sealed his treble and slid in for a fourth to ensure the win. A clever spin and score by Josh Wood, which was converted by Ed Chamberlain, got the visitors to double figures, but a simple converted try allowed Edwards to round off the scoring with his second. Wakefield Trinity also confirmed their place in the Super 8s with a 72-10 drubbing of Hull FC on Sunday while table topping St Helens are now already guaranteed of a top-four finish after Hull FC’s defeat. Our rugby league correspondent Jake Hazell reported from Perpignan that the atmosphere at the Gilbert Brutus Stadium was electric and that coach Steve McNamara was thrilled along with everyone else at the club that the Catalans had confirmed their place in the Super 8s, a fantastic turnaround from their Million Pound play-off match last year which saved them from the drop.

All Blacks beat England to win Rugby World Cup Sevens again

The All Blacks Sevens made history on Sunday claiming their third Rugby World Cup Sevens title with an impressive 33-12 win over England in the final in San Francisco. New Zealand opened the scoring within minutes of play, with Sione Molia finding the gap midfield to dot it down under the posts, before he crossed again for a double to give the All Blacks Sevens a 14-0 lead. England hit back to get their first points on the board with Michael Ellery touching down to head into the half-time break seven points down. The All Blacks Sevens were quick to get on the board once play resumed, with Joe Ravouvou adding to his try-scoring tally for the weekend to climb to six tries across the tournament. England closed the gap again with Ruaridh McConnochie palming off defenders to cross in the corner. But New Zealand proved too good with Akuila Rokolisoa going over before Trael Joass wove his way through the defence to score the knockout blow. New Zealand broke Fijian hearts earlier in the day, when they downed the Pacific islanders 22-17 in the semi-finals to gain their place in the final. One of the favourites to win the title, the Olympic gold medallists were shocked when the All Blacks Sevens scored four tries to three. The All Blacks made it a World Cup double after New Zealand’s women’s team beat France 29-0 on Saturday.

England draw with India in Women’s Hockey World Cup opener

England made a nervy start to their Women’s Hockey World Cup campaign as they came from behind to draw 1-1 with India at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Saturday. The tournament hosts fell behind when Neha Goyal gave India a surprise lead in their Pool B match after 25 minutes. England looked the stronger team and created plenty of chances but had to wait until seven and a half minutes from the end to find their equaliser. Lily Owsley, back after missing the Commonwealth Games with injury, scored when a penalty corner was not cleared. England, ranked second in the world, beat 10th ranked India 6-0 in their last meeting - the bronze-medal match on the Gold Coast. In the other Pool B match on Saturday, Ireland shocked world No.7 ranked USA 3-1. World No.1 ranked Netherlands opened their campaign in style on Sunday with a 7-0 thrashing of South Korea. Other fancied teams also began their campaign on a winning note – third-ranked Argentina thrashed Spain 6-2, while fifth-ranked Australia edged Japan 3-2 and sixth-ranked Germany beat South Africa 3-1. England’s next match is against USA on Wednesday.

Andy Murray slips down to world No.839

Andy Murray is now the British men's No.23 after he dropped to 839 in the world rankings following his injury problems. The former world No.1 fell 690 places in Monday's rankings after he pulled out of Wimbledon. The 31-year-old had hip surgery in January after being out of action since last year's Wimbledon. He has only played three matches since then, winning one at Eastbourne last month. Murray is due to return to action at the Citi Open, which starts in Washington on 30 July. He also hopes to play Masters level events in Toronto and Cincinnati before the US Open, which begins on 27 August.

Tokyo names mascots for 2020 Olympic Games

The mascots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games were named during a ceremony in the Japanese capital on Sunday.The Olympic mascot, a blue-checked pointy-eared figure, was named as Miraitowa - combining the Japanese words ‘mirai’, meaning future, and ‘towa’, which means eternity. The Paralympic counterpart, who is pink-checked and wears a cape, was named Someity after a variety of cherry blossom called Someiyoshino. Games organisers also said the name sounded similar to “so mighty” in English. The mascots were revealed in February but remained unnamed until Sunday. They were designed by illustrator Ryo Taniguchi, who won a nationwide competition that was determined by Japanese children, with his entries clinching more than half the total votes.

For full reports on all the weekend sporting events go to:

http://www.bbc.com/sport, http://www.espn.com, http://www.lequipe.fr, http://www.reuters.com/news/sports, www.skysports.com, www.eurosport.fr.

Calendar Keynotes: 23–29 July

Monday, 23 July

Cycling: Tour de France, Rest Day, Carcassonne.

Tennis: ATP BB&T Atlanta Open, Georgia, US (till 29 July), ATP Credit Agricole, Swiss Open, Gstaad, Switzerland (till 29 July), WTA Jiangxi Open, Nanchang, China (till 29 July).

Tuesday, 24 July

Cycling: Tour de France, Stage 16, Carcassonne/Bagneres-de-Luchon, 218km, mountain.

Tennis: ATP BB&T Atlanta Open, Georgia, US (till 29 July), ATP Credit Agricole, Swiss Open, Gstaad, Switzerland (till 29 July), WTA Jiangxi Open, Nanchang, China (till 29 July).

Hockey: Women’s World Cup (London) – Pool D Japan v New Zealand, Australia v Belgium.

Wednesday, 25 July

Cycling: Tour de France, Stage 17, Bagneres-de-Luchon/Saint-Lary-Soulan Col du Portet, 65km, mountain.

Football: Champions League qualifying second round – Celtic v Rosenborg.

Tennis: ATP BB&T Atlanta Open, Georgia, US (till 29 July), ATP Credit Agricole, Swiss Open, Gstaad, Switzerland (till 29 July), WTA Jiangxi Open, Nanchang, China (till 29 July).

Hockey: Women’s World Cup (London) – Pool C Germany v Argentina, Pool B USA v England.

Thursday, 26 July

Cycling: Tour de France, Stage 18, Trie-sur-Baise/Pau, 171km, flat.

Rugby League: Super League – St Helens v Warrington Wolves.

Tennis: ATP BB&T Atlanta Open, Georgia, US (till 29 July), ATP Credit Agricole, Swiss Open, Gstaad, Switzerland (till 29 July), WTA Jiangxi Open, Nanchang, China (till 29 July).

Golf: USPGA Tour, RBC Canadian Open, Glen Abbey GC, Oakville, Ontario (till 29 July), PGA European Tour, Porsche European Open, Green Eagle Golf Courses, Winsen, near Hamburg (till 29 July).

Hockey: Women’s World Cup (London) – Pool C Spain v South Africa, Pool B India v Ireland. 

Friday, 27 July

Cycling: Tour de France, Stage 19, Lourdes/Larun, 200.5km, mountain.

Formula One: Hungarian Grand Prix, Budapest (till 29 July).

Rugby League: Super League: Huddersfield Giants v Wakefield Trinity, Hull FC v Hull KR, Salford Red Devils v Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors v Catalans Dragons.

Tennis: ATP BB&T Atlanta Open, Georgia, US (till 29 July), ATP Credit Agricole, Swiss Open, Gstaad, Switzerland (till 29 July), WTA Jiangxi Open, Nanchang, China (till 29 July).

Golf: USPGA Tour, RBC Canadian Open, Glen Abbey GC, Oakville, Ontario (till 29 July), PGA European Tour, Porsche European Open, Green Eagle Golf Courses, Winsen, near Hamburg (till 29 July).

Hockey: Women’s World Cup (London) – Pool A China v The Netherlands, Pool A – South Korea v Italy. 

Saturday, 28 July

Cycling: Tour de France Stage 20, Saint-Pee-sur-Nivelle/Espelette, individual time trial, 31km.

Formula One: Hungarian Grand Prix, Budapest (till 29 July).

Tennis: ATP BB&T Atlanta Open, Georgia, US (till 29 July), ATP Credit Agricole, Swiss Open, Gstaad, Switzerland (till 29 July), WTA Jiangxi Open, Nanchang, China (till 29 July).

Golf: USPGA Tour, RBC Canadian Open, Glen Abbey GC, Oakville, Ontario (till 29 July), PGA European Tour, Porsche European Open, Green Eagle Golf Courses, Winsen, near Hamburg (till 29 July).

Hockey: Women’s World Cup (London) – Pool C Spain v Germany, Argentina v South Africa, Pool D Japan v Belgium, New Zealand v Australia.

Sunday, 29 July

Cycling: Tour de France Stage 21, Houilles/Paris Champs-Elysees, 116km, flat (final day).

Formula One: Hungarian Grand Prix, Budapest (race day).

Rugby League: Super League – Widnes Vikings v Castleford Tigers.

Tennis: ATP BB&T Atlanta Open, Georgia, US (final day), ATP Credit Agricole, Swiss Open, Gstaad, Switzerland (final day), WTA Jiangxi Open, Nanchang, China (final day).

Golf: USPGA Tour, RBC Canadian Open, Glen Abbey GC, Oakville, Ontario (final day), PGA European Tour, Porsche European Open, Green Eagle Golf Courses, Winsen, near Hamburg (final day).

Hockey: Women’s World Cup (London) – Pool A South Korea v China, The Netherlands v Italy, Pool B India v USA, England v Ireland.

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