In today’s news: Claressa Shields wins her debut MMA bout, Sarah Storey wins gold in the Para-cycling Road World Championships and Barbora Krejčíková will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the French Open final.
Claressa Shields wins debut MMA fight
Two-time Olympic gold medallist Claressa Shields has won her first ever mixed martial arts bout.
The former boxing champion recently made her switch to MMA and her debut appearance saw her take on fellow American Brittney Elkin in the Professional Fighters League.
Despite suffering two early take-downs, Shields recovered well and took the fight with Elkin to the mat, where she unleashed a barrage of blows to seal her first MMA victory. She landed an impressive 93 percent of her strikes during the bout – seeing her seven months of rigorous training pay off.
The 26-year-old has made the dream start to her MMA career and will want to replicate her boxing form. Shields kept an unbeaten record, with 11 wins from 11 fights and won back-to-back gold medals at the London and Rio Olympics.
Sarah Storey defends title in Para-cycling Road World Championships
It’s been a hugely successful day for Great Britain, who pick up four golds on the opening day of the Para-cycling Road World Championships. One rider to contribute to the medal tally was Dame Sarah Storey.
The 14-time Paralympic champion clocked up a time of 35:47.24 in the C5 race to successfully retain her title and finish with a Team GB one-two.
“It feels good to cross the finish line in first place,” Storey said after her win. “It’s obviously been a bit of a strange few months, it’s my first trip abroad since February last year and it’s great to finish with a gold medal.”
Krejčíková to face Pavlyuchenkova in French Open final
A new French Open champion will be crowned this weekend as Barbora Krejčíková and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova prepare to face off against each other in the final at Roland-Garros.
Czech Republic’s Krejcikova held her nerve in a match that lasted more than three hours, beating world number 18 Maria Sakkari 7-5, 4-6, 9-7.
Pavlyuchenkova hit a personal milestone yesterday by reaching the first Grand Slam final of her career. She also became the first Russian to reach a major final since Maria Sharapova.
The French Open women’s singles final will get underway at 2pm tomorrow.
Petition starts against Becky Downie Olympic omission
A petition has been launched to appeal against the decision made by British Gymnastics to omit Becky Downie from this year’s Olympics.
The 29-year-old has been left off the Team GB roster ahead of the summer Games in Tokyo. Instead, a four-strong women’s team consisting of Amelie Morgan, Alice Kinsella and twin sisters Jennifer and Jessica Gadirova.
Downie was given extra time to compete in the artistic gymnastics trials ahead of the Games after the family was hit with the sudden loss of her brother Josh. However, the Nottingham-born star did not make the cut and thousands have signed a petition to force an independent review of the decision made by British Gymnastics.
The petition has already surpassed as many as 24,000 signatures.
Ruby Mace signs for Manchester City
Rising teenaged star Ruby Mace has signed for Manchester City from Arsenal ahead of the 2021/22 Women’s Super League campaign.
The 17-year-old joins the ranks as a versatile player who can operate in both defence and midfield. Her impressive loan spell at Birmingham City last season attracted a lot of attention, with Mace scoring two crucial goals in their relegation fight.
After penning a three-year contract, she joins the likes of Lauren Hemp, Jess Park and Ellie Roebuck on City’s list of young English talent,