This week has been massive for women’s sport. The England cricket team topped the ICC world rankings, Norway have actioned equal pay to their national men’s and women’s football teams, the shortlist for the Sportswoman of the Year Award has been announced, there’s a new WTA world number one and an inspirational teenager tells of overcoming bullies to concentrate on her Paralympic swimming dream.
The Sportswomen of the Year Shortlist has been announced.
The shortlist for the Sunday Times’ Sportswomen of the Year Award has been sealed. The result will be announced on Thursday 26 October, which marks the 30th year for the awards.
The women shortlisted are: Elinor Barker (track cycling), Tammy Beaumont (cricket), Elise Christie (short-track speed skating), Johanna Konta (tennis), Jodie Taylor (football) and Bianca Walkden (taekwondo).
Other awards to be announced are the Young Sportswoman of the Year, the Vitality Team of the Year, the Disabled Sportswoman of the Year awards, the Helen Rollanson Award for Inspiration and Lifetime Achievement Award and Community Award.
The England cricket team rank world number one.
The England women’s cricket team continued their fantastic year by taking ICC world number one ranking from Australia ahead of this winter’s Ashes series. It comes as no surprise after England beat India to win the World Cup in July.
England are only just ahead of Australia in the ranking battle with 128.47 points, while Australia trail with 128.43. England Captain Heather Knight said to BBC South West: “It kind of shows where we’ve come from and how far we’ve gone.
“It’s going to be such an exciting series between the number one and two in the world.”
Norway have announced they will give equal pay for men’s and women’s football teams.
The Norwegian football association has decided to pay male and female players the same amount for representing their country. This will see the money paid to the women’s team almost double from 3.1m krone (£296,845) to 6m krone (£574,540).
Norway’s winger, Caroline Graham Hansen said: “this means everything for us, for our team, our sport, and for all the female athletes out there, who do the same work, the same sport as men do, but get paid less.
“Thank you for making this step for female athletes.”
Simona Halep became WTA World Number One after defeating Jelena Ostapenko at the China Open semi-finals.
The Romanian’s number one ranking is set to be released tomorrow despite losing the China Open final to Caroline Garcia today. Halep is the 25th woman to hold the WTA world number one ranking. After today’s weak performance against world number 15, Garcia, there is a question mark over how long she can keep her place at the top of the table.
British javelin thrower, Joanna Blair, has been provisionally suspended after failing an anti-doping test.
The 31-year-old athlete from Luton has the chance to appeal and the right to a full-hearing. The 2016 British javelin champion represented Great Britain in the European Athletics Team Championships in Lille this summer.
14-year-old, Ellie Spokes, from Leicestershire has dwarfism and continues to focus on her dream of becoming a Paralympic swimmer despite bullying at school.
Spokes told of how she was ‘dropped on her head’ at school amongst other acts of bullying by a group of her peers. The inspirational teenager has helped reform bullying policies at Rawlins Academy in Quorn, Leicestershire.
Former Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) golfer, Jeehae Lee, spoke out about the ‘depressingly one-sided’ Presidents Cup on twitter.
Lee suggested introducing a mixed-event would balance the competition and make it more appealing. She said:
“Same format, same regions, but a mixed-team event. Best men and women competing for US v International.
“It would solve the competitive imbalance problem and make for more exciting team competition.
“Give additional exposure to the LPGA talent/personality.”
Eight of the women’s top 10 would be eligible for the Internationals while just one – Lexi Thompson – is American.
Other sporting news
Both Chelsea and Manchester City continue the 100 per cent start to their campaign in the Women’s Super League (WSL). Man City are right behind Chelsea after conceding four goals while Chelsea are yet to concede.
Reading FC Women are third, Birmingham City Ladies are fourth and Arsenal sit in fifth (something they share with their club’s men’s team).
At the bottom of the table without a point are Everton Ladies FC and Yeovil Town Ladies FC. The former lost a close game 2-3 to Man City recently, so they may have it in them to get some points on the board in their next fixture away against Doncaster Rovers Belles.
Chelsea don’t face Man City until Saturday 9 December at Kingsmeadow Stadium so the statistics will have to do the talking between the two teams until they can let their play decide who deserves the top spot.
America’s Cristie Kerr, who won the Solheim Cup in August this year and is currently ranked LPGA number 11, took this year’s title at the Lacoste Ladies Open de France. China’s Xiyu Lin and Spain’s Azahara Munoz came in second and third place respectively.
Over on the Scottish East coast, Kelly Rohrbach, who played C.J. Parker in the film remake of Baywatch last year, played in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship among some of golf’s biggest names including Rory Mcllory, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood.
The 27-year-old Sports Illustrated swimsuit model has a handicap of seven and said she on an Instagram post she was ‘having a ball’ while playing with her dad, who she bought along with her.
The World Championships Artistic Gymnastics in Montreal this week saw GB’s Amy Tinkler fall short of a medal just seven weeks after ankle surgery.
The 17-year-old made the all-round finals but finished 17th while American, Morgan Hurd, took gold with a score of 55.232.
Canada’s, Ellie Black, came in at second and Russia’s, Elena Eremina, finished third.
Despite finishing in 17th with a score of 50.899, Tinkler said she was ‘buzzing and looking forward to smashing it [the World Championships Artistic Gymnastics] next year’. She said of her performance: “Considering I’ve only been training seven weeks, its’ pretty incredible.”
Wasps announced the return of their Superleague winning captain Hannah Reid, and of defensive star Sam May.
Wasps Director of Netball Tamsin Greenway said: “Our main priority in the off-season has been to bring back the players who led us to the title last season, so I’m delighted to have Hannah Reid and Sam May with us again for 2018.”
Britain has named the track team for the European Track Champions set to take place in Berlin on 18-22 October.
In the women’s endurance squad will be: Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Eleanor Dickinson, Emily Kay and Manon Lloyd. Barker is also on the shortlist for the Sunday Times’ Sportswomen of the Year Award. The squad includes five Olympic gold medallists.
In the women’s sprint team are Katy Marchant and Sophie Capewell.
Despite the unrest caused by the withdrawal of funding for the England women’s XV this year, good news has come for English rugby in the form of France captain, Gaelle Mignot.
The hooker, who also plays for Marseilles and is used to playing for audiences of over a million in France, has moved to Richmond Ladies FC to take part in Tyrells Premier 15s.
Earlier this year, RFU caused controversy when they withdrew funding from the women’s XV. They are opting to use the budget for women’s rugby in a cycle between the women’s sevens and 15s competitions, and the international competitions.
The reasoning given was that many of the players play in both the international games and the home leagues.
The RFU hope the 15s will become the best league in the world.
With the game already attracting big names like Mignot, it is set to be an exciting season. She said: “I am thrilled to join a club with such a rich history as Richmond. I am equally proud to be participating in the new era of women’s rugby.”
Britain’s double overall World Champion, Shauna Coxsey, will bid for a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics where athletes will have to compete across all three disciplines – bouldering, leap and speed.
The 24-year-old from Sheffield said: “It’s exciting and daunting.”
2020 marks the sport’s debut in the Olympics.
Temi Fagbenle is the first British Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) champion after Minnesota Lynx claimed its fourth title in seven years.
In other news, British Basketball have confirmed the National Basketball Performance Centre in Manchester will stage Great Britain’s opening Federation Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) Woman’s Eurobasket 2019 qualifier against Israel.
Motor Sports Association are working alongside ‘Dare to be Different’, a charity encouraging women’s participation in the sport, to support women in the sport.
It is the only sport where women and men can compete against each other on equal footing yet only eight per cent of registered licence holders are women.
The next rally for the sport by Dare to be Different will take place in Wales on 26-27 October.