Ten things to know from last week: October 19-25, 2021. Kickboxing Warriors, UCI Track World Champions, Gymnastic upsets and golf home wins in Japan...
  1. Cycling World Champs. Germany topped the UCI Track Cycling World Championships medal tally. Lea Sophie Friedrich (DEU) won three gold medals, including a World Record in the Women’s team sprint. Emma Hinze (DEU) beat her for gold in the individual sprint. Kirsten Wild (NED) won her third Madison World Championship with an exciting final sprint. She retires with 9 World Championships won. On the men’s side, Harrie Lavreysen (NED) also won three gold medals, including the Team Sprint, where the Dutch team has won four in a row. The Men’s Point race saw a very exciting comeback from local Benjamin Thomas (FRA) to beat Kenny De Ketele (BEL).
  2. El Diablo! Fabio Quartararo (FRA) finally secured his first MotoGP World Championship by virtue of finishing fourth in Misano (ITA). Marc Márquez (ESP) won his second race in a row and looks to have retaken his level. Two rounds remain. Jeffrey Herlings (NED) won both Motocross World Championship races in Trentino (ITA) and he currently leads the Championship even though he missed three races.
  3. Upset in Japan. The World Artistic Gymnastics Championships were held in the same year as the Olympic competition for the first time since 1996. This affected its competitive level, as several teams did not send their best representatives. Zhang Boheng (CHN), reserve in Tokyo 2020, won the Men’s all-around in a last-second upset against local, favorite, Olympic Champion Daiki Hashimoto (JPN). Angelina Melnikova (RUS, RGF) won the women’s all-around. She was third in Tokyo 2020. China won the medal tally with five gold medals. Hosts Japan won two golds in women’s competitions.
  4. Home wins. Current Masters Champion, Hideki Matsuyama (JPN), was unable to win an Olympic medal at home but this weekend he won the PGA’s Zozo Invitational, in the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club. On the LPGA side, Jin Young Ko (KOR) won her second tournament in a row to give South Korea a 200th LPGA win. It was more special because it was in Busan. With this result, she retook the #1 spot in the Women’s World Golf Rankings.
  5. New weight. Óscar Rivas (COL) became the first-ever World Boxing Council Bridgerweight World Champion, as he beat Ryan Rozicki (CAN) in Montréal. This division is heavier than Cruiserweight. In Atlanta, Shakur Stevenson (USA) beat Jamel Herring (USA) by TKO to unify the World Boxing Organization World Super Feather Title. He remains unbeaten. He was a Rio 2016 silver medalist and remains unbeaten.
  6. Not reciprocal. Viktor Axelsen (DNK) won the Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medal in Badminton as a disappointing Kento Momota (JPN) was eliminated in the first round. This time Momota reached the World Tour’s Denmark Open Final and beat Axelsen in a set but the local player came back and won the other two, in what was a great game. However, Japan did win the women’s singles (Akane Yamaguchi), men’s doubles (Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi) and mixed doubles (Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino) titles.
  7. Last Lap Champion! Simracing’s Grand Prix Virtual World Championship had an exciting definition of its title fight that literally went to the last lap, as Stephane Rouault (NED) passed Collin Spork (NED) for the race win to clinch the title from Jannick Bock (DEU).
  8. Historic lifters. The IPF World Bench Press Championships have allowed some lifters to further their legacy. Daiki Kodaima (JPN) claimed a historic 19th Bench Press World Championship, having won every single title in his division since 2002. This time he won the 74 kg Men’s category, Equipped, with a World Record lift of 287.5 kilograms. At age 48, Ielja Strik (NED) won her 12th Open Bench Press World Championship, this time by lifting 185 kilograms in order to win the 84.5+ kg Women’s division, Equipped. Larisa Kotkova (RUS) won her 9th Bench Press World Championship, having won her first one back in 2009. She won the Women’s -57 kg division with a lift of 155 kilos. She attempted a World Record attempt of 166 kilos but failed her attempt.
  9. Versatility. Álvaro Beltrán (MEX) and Daniel de la Rosa (MEX) have been the force to beat this year in Men’s Doubles Racquetball (and Daniel in Singles). As it could have been expected, they won the Men’s Doubles tournament in the 3 WallBall World Championships. But that was not enough: they also participated in another sport they do not usually play, Paddleball, and won the Finals. Moreover, de la Rosa won the Mixed Doubles.
  10. Kickboxing warriors. Rico Verhoeven (NED) and Jamal Ben Saddik (MAR) had a fantastic fight for the Glory Heavyweight Championship. Ben Saddik knocked the Champion down and gave him a bad bruise in the second round but he came back and punished the African fighter until he could not continue due to a leg injury in the fourth. This is the tenth successful title defense for Verhoeven. There were several other kickboxing Championship bouts this weekend. In one of them, Kevin Hessling (NED) knocked John Kallenbach (DEU) out with a spectacular left hand that sent the German fighter to sleep. This fight was for the Welterweight ECE World Title, in cage kickboxing.