Five things to know from what happened in the world of sport last week. October 6-12, 2020.
- Storm and Lakers. This week crowned both the WNBA and the NBA Champions. First, the Seattle Storm won its fourth WNBA title (2004, 2020, 2018, 2020), all with Sue Bird (USA), a joint record for her. Breanna Stewart (USA) was awarded her second Finals MVP, even though she was injured for most of the Series Finals, where Storm won all games by two digits. Then in the the Los Ángeles Lakers beat Miami Heat in six games for the NBA Championship, which now makes them be tied first of all-time with 17, along with the Celtics. This was a special season after their historical figure, Kobe Bryant (USA), passed away on a helicopter accident earlier this year, as well as a complicated socio-political situation in the United States and the obvious effects of the pandemic which forced players into a bubble. LeBron James (USA) was awarded the Finals MVP. Watch his best plays (NBA).
- Spaniards win for Laura Salvo. It was an emotional weekend for Spanish motorsport after co-driver Laura Salvo (ESP, 21) passed away at an accident in a round of the Portuguese Rally Championship (RTVE). Antonio García (ESP) dedicated his fifth IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win of the season -at Charlotte, with Jordan Taylor (USA)- to her memory. Dani Sordo (ESP, Hyundai) and co-driver Carlos del Barrio (ESP) drew her name on the back of their car as they won the World Rally Championship Rally of Italy, their first this season. Albert Costa (ESP) won two of the three races of the GT World Challenge Europe rounds of Catalunya, with co-driver Giacomo Altoè (ITA), and he also dedicated them to her. The Sprint Championship was won by Dries Vanthoor (BEL) and Charles Weerts (BEL), of Audi Belgian Club Team WRT. Another highlight in motorsport was that Nicky Catsburg (NED) won for a third straight week in a different series, this time winning one of the FIA World Touring Car Cup Races of Slovakia (Watch the highlights).
- Champion horses retired. After not being able to take a third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe last week, horse Enable (ENG) has been retired from racing. This year she won a record third King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes with Frankie Dettori. (ITA), who got emotional on her retirement (Horseracing247). The horse that beat her last week at the Arc, Sottsass (FRA), has also been retired from racing back to Coolmore. Meanwhile in the US, the blueblood daughter of American Pharoah (USA), the 2015 American Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup Classic Champion, Harvey’s LIl’ Goyle, won her first Group 1 race, the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, with Martín García (MEX) (Brisnet).
- French Mountain Champions. France had a very successful UCI Mountain Bike World Championship, taking most of the gold medals: Cross-Country Team Relay, Women E-MTB Cross-Country (Melanie Pugin), Women’s Cross-Country (Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, who won by over 3 minutes), and Men’s Cross-Country (Jordan Sarrou, who broke Mathias Flueckiger’s (SUI) World Championship winning streak). The golds that were not for France were the Men’s E-MTB Cross-Country (Thomas Pidcock (GBR) – France did take Silver), and the Downhill races: The women’s race was won by Camille Ballanche (SUI) -with a French silver- and the men’s by Reece Wilson -with a French bronze. In Road Cycling, Mads Pedersen (DEN) took the Gent-Wevelgem, where Wout van Aert (BEL) said that Mathieu van der Poel (NED) and himself lost because of the latter’s focus on their rivalry (Cyclingnews)
- Roland Garros. This year’s French Open Tennis was the first one in the Open era where both the men’s and women’s singles Champions won without dropping a set: Rafael Nadal (ESP) beat Novak Djokovic (SRB) for his 13th title at the tournament, and Iga Świątek (POL, 19), defeated Sofia Kenin (USA) to become the first Grand Slam winner born in the XXI Century. The doubles tournaments had repeat Champions with Kevin Krawietz/Andreas Mies (GER) and Tímea Babos (HUN)/Kristina Mladenovic (FRA). In Wheelchair, Diede De Groot and Aniek Van Koot (NED) took their third doubles Roland Garros title, but Diede was defeated in singles by Momoko Ohtani (JAP), who was then defeated by compatriot Yui Kamiji (JAP), who took her fourth Roland Garros title. Alfie Hewett (ENG) won both singles and doubles, with Gordon Reid (SCO). Dylan Alcott (AUS) took the Quads Singles, while Sam Schröder (NED) and David Wagner (USA) took doubles (Paralympic).