27th - 28th May
Delight in Durban for Ma Long
Durban in South Africa today completed a very successful World Table Tennis World Championship Finals. To be crowned the greatest of all time (GOAT), is one of the biggest aspirations of many athletes. In table tennis circles, the iconic St. Bride Vase represents the prestigious award for the Men's Singles World Champion. The trophy was first donated in 1929 by C.Corti Woodcock, who was a member of the exclusive St. Bride Table Tennis Club in London. On Sunday China's Ma Long was honoured with a rare St. Bride Vase replica trophy for his three-peat WTTC titles in 2015, 2017, and 2019. China continued to dominate further as Fan Zhendong became the Men's Singles Champion, while Sun Yingsha was victorious in the Women's Singles. To add to a fantastic weekend for the nation, Fan Zhendong and Wang Chuqin won the Men's Doubles, with Chen Meng and Wang Yidi claiming the Women's Doubles crown.
Great Britain's Mark Cavendish won the final stage of the Giro d'Italia on Sunday, completing his 162nd career victory. However, the ultimate prize, the Maglia Rosa, belonged to Slovenia's Primož Roglič. We are now just over a month away from the start of the Tour de France. Germany hosted the International LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour, a UCI ProSeries race, with Belgium's Lotte Kopecky claiming victory. The second UCI ProSeries race of the week was staged in France. Spain's Oier Lazkano Lopez won the Boucles de la Mayenne. Rounds 7 & 8 of the UEC BMX European Cup featured in the town of Benátky nad Jizerou, Czech Republic. Belgium's Ruben Gommers and Denmark's Kejlstrup were the elite winners on Saturday and Sunday.
Latvia have claimed an historic bronze medal after defeating USA 4-3 at the International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship in Tampere, Finland. It is an incredible result considering their population is shy of 1.9 million people. The main event was between Canada and Germany and with a deadlock at 2-all, Canada rallied with three goals in the third period to claim their second gold in three years.
Hungary's men and Germany's Women won gold in Nazaré, Portugal, at the European Handball Federation Beach Handball EURO 2023. Great Britain's Georgia Taylor-Brown and Alex Yee were victorious in Cagliari at the next stage of the World Triathlon Championship Series. France's Dorian Coninx and and USA's Taylor Spivey currently lead the Men's and Women's Elite Rankings. Ten Dance for adults was the discipline at the World DanceSport Federation PD World Championship in Zagreb, Croatia. Home heroes Viktor Szabo and Vanja Vujic took the victory.
The next Badminton World Federation World Tour event was held in Kuala Lumpur. The men's and women's singles titles were claimed by India's H.S. Prannoy and Japan's Akane Yamaguchi. Thailand's Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai were victorious in the Mixed Doubles. Korea's Ha Na Baek and So Hee Lee won the Women's Doubles, while the Men's Doubles champions are compatriots Min Hyuk Kang and Seung Jae Seo. The World Padel Tour stopped at Vienna over the weekend. Agustin Tapia and Arturo Coello claimed victory for the men, while the women's winners are Arí Sánchez and Paula Josemaría Martín.
In boxing news, Chris Billam-Smith defeated former gym-mate Lawrence Okolie for the WBO Cruiserweight title in front of home fans in Bournemouth, England. Also in England and this time in Manchester, Leigh Wood regained the WBA Featherweight title from Mauricio Lara. Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam hosted the Union Mondiale de Billard World Cup 3-Cushion, a carom billiards tournament. Sweden's 60-year-old Torbjörn Blomdahl clawed his way back into the final match to win his 46th gold medal of his career.
Fort Lauderdale hosted the World Aquatics High Diving World Cup. Canada's Molly Carlson won gold in the Women's 20m, while the Men's 27m winner is Romania's Constantin Popovici. Both winners also feature in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. In Meet 3 of the World Aquatics Open Water Swimming World Cup in Setubal, Portugal, France's Caroline Laure Jouisse and Italy's Andrea Manzi won the women's and men's 10km. Hungary claimed the Mixed 4x1500m title.
Over to motorcycling news and starting with the Progressive American Flat Track, Jared Mees reigned on Saturday at the Red Mile in Lexington. The Fox Raceway National at Pala Pala in California was the opening round of the Lucasoil Pro Motocross Championship. Australian siblings Jett Lawrence and Hunter Lawrence won the 450 and 250 Classes respectively. Belgium's Marvin Vanluchene and France's Nicolas Musset claimed Round 5 of the FIM Sidecarcross World Championship in Brou, France.
In motor racing, USA's Chelsea DeNofa won Round 3 of Formula Drift in Orlando, Florida. Max Verstappen stamped his authority at the Circuit de Monaco, Round 7 of the FIA Formula One World Championship. The defending champion now leads the driver standings on 144 points. Since 2015 the driver starting in P2 has won more often than the driver starting in P1.
The Czech Republic's Lukáš Kozon won the first round of the Motosurf World Championship hosted in Berlin. In athletics news, USA’s Ryan Crouser threw 23.56m to improve on his own shot put world record at the World Athletics meeting held at the USATF Los Angeles Grand Prix on Saturday. The Netherlands have come away from the 2023 European Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia, with a total medal haul of 11. The most gold medals of five each were claimed by Great Britain and Romania. In chess news Germany's Dinara Wagner, the lowest-ranked player of the field, stunned the world by reigning in Cyprus at the FIDE Women's Grand Prix.
Look out for Part 2 to follow shortly. Until next time, have a good week in sport.