In today’s news: Tour de France scheduled for 2022 return, Lauren Price is just one win away from qualifying for the Olympics, and world number four Aryna Sabalenka is knocked out of the French Open while Serena Williams progresses.
Tour de France set for grand return
The women’s Tour de France is scheduled to make its return in 2022 as a stage race. The tournament will take place across July 24-31, as the men’s event concludes.
The last instalment of the women’s stage race took place in 1989, after it ran for five years before dissolving. Organisers have since been under immense pressure to re-establish an updated version of the Tour de France Femmes.
The women’s La Course has been a temporary substitute, but viewed by many as not up to Tour de France standard. Elizabeth Deignan of Great Britain won the last instalment of the one-day event.
Lauren Price one win away from Tokyo
Welsh amateur boxer Lauren Price is just one win away from securing her spot on the plane to Tokyo this summer.
The 25-year-old already boasts European, Commonwealth and world champion status, representing both Wales and Team GB, but the main aim is to be part of the lineup at this year’s Olympics.
Price will need to beat Anastasiia Chernokolenko in the quarter-finals of the qualifiers. The winner will earn Olympian status and be on their way to representing their nation on the world stage.
Aryna Sabalenka exits French Open, Serena Williams through
Third seed French Open competitor Aryna Sabalenka has been knocked out of the tournament following an inspired third round performance from Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Sabalenka was picked apart by her Russian opponent, who beat the world number four 6-4, 2-6, 6-0 at Roland-Garros. The Belarusian is now the sixth top-ten women’s seed to exit the Grand Slam this year.
Pavlyuchenkova, who is ranked 32nd in the world, will take on Victoria Azarenka in the next round after she eliminated Madison Keys from the competition.
Meanwhile, Serena Williams also secured her place in the fourth round after defeating fellow American Danielle Collins 6-4, 6-4.
PFA WSL Team of the Season announced
The PFA has released this year’s Team of the Season after a thrilling 2020/21 Women’s Super League campaign.
Five Chelsea players, four Manchester City players and two Arsenal players make up the Team of the Season. The title-winning Blues see Ann-Katrin Berger, Magda Eriksson, Maren Mjelde, Sam Kerr and Player of the Year Fran Kirby make up the majority of the squad.
Sam Mewis, Caroline Weir, Lauren Hemp and Chloe Kelly fly the flag for City, with Katie McCabe and Leah Williamson completing this prestigious all-star team.
Valentina Petrillo could become first transgender Paralympian
Paralympic sprinter Valentina Petrillo could be set to become the first transgender competitor at this year’s Games.
The Italian, 47, is looking to represent her country this summer as she acknowledges this could be the last time she gets the opportunity.
Petrillo’s first official race as a para-sprinter came in September 2020, where she won gold in the 100m, 200m and 400m T12 events in the Paralympics Championship.
Speaking on the notion of becoming the first transgender Paralympian at the Games, Petrillo said: “I’m happy as a woman and running as a woman is all I want. I couldn’t ask for more.
“As a sportsperson, to accept that you won’t go as fast as before is difficult. I had to accept this compromise, because it is a compromise, for my happiness. Better to be a slow happy woman than a fast unhappy man.”