THERE are hearty congratulations all round this week.
Lewis Hamilton is now GB’s most successful F1 driver ever after winning the 2017 championship for the fourth time in Mexico. Although he only came ninth, his nearest challenger, Sebastian ‘bumper’ Vettel, had to finish second at least to keep in touch but managed only fourth.
Anthony Joshua successfully defended his IBF & WBA titles by stopping Carlos Takam in round ten before 75,800 fans in Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.
Aidan O’Brien saddled his 26th Group One winner of 2017 – Saxon Warrior in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster – to become the most successful trainer in a calendar year, taking over from American Bobby Frankel (25 wins).
Caroline Wozniacki beat Venus Williams in the Singapore’s WTA tennis tournament final and Justin Rose won golf’s WGC Champions title in Shanghai after world number one Justin Johnson let slip a six-stroke lead.
England’s teenagers stormed back from 2-0 down to beat Spain 5-2 to win the World U17 championship in Kolkata before the largest-ever crowd for a football match in India: 79,395. This is the first time England has won two World titles in the same year, having lifted the U20 trophy in June.
Andrea Dovizioso won the Malaysian MotoGP ahead of Jorge Lorenzo, Johann Zarco and Marc Marquez. The latter is 21 points clear of Dovizioso and is favourite to win his fourth world title in Valencia this Sunday. Meanwhile, England’s women cricketers beat Australia by 20 runs in game three of their Ashes series
Not such good news for England, Scotland and Wales who lost their opening Rugby League’s World Cup games: England 18-4 to Australia, Wales 50-6 to Papua New Guinea and Scotland 50-4 to Tonga. Ireland did win, however, beating Italy 36-12.
Back to football and after beating WBA 3-2, Manchester City (28 points from 10 games) lead Manchester United (1-0 victors over third-placed Tottenham) by five points at the top of the PL. Chelsea (4th) won 1-0 at Bournemouth; Arsenal (5th) beat Swansea 2-1; Liverpool (6th) conquered Huddersfield 3-0; Crystal Palace (bottom) drew 2-2 with West Ham and Leicester (under new manager Claude Puel) beat Everton 2-0.
Sheffield United (2-1 winners at Leeds) top the Championship, Shrewsbury and Notts County lead Leagues 1 and 2; Celtic are now unbeaten in 62 domestic games and Barcelona are eight points better off than Real Madrid in La Liga.
Tuesday’s/Wednesday’s Champions League matches included Manchester United-Benfica, Celtic-Bayern Munich, Roma-Chelsea, Olympiakos-Barcelona, Liverpool-Maribor, Napoli-Manchester City and Tottenham-Real Madrid and it was Arsenal-Crzvera Zvezda (Red Star) and Lyon-Everton in Thursday’s Europa League.
Top PL games coming up: Chelsea-Manchester United, Manchester City-Arsenal, Tottenham-Crystal Palace and West Ham-Liverpool; Middlesbrough-Sunderland, Sheffield United-Hull and Wolves-Fulham in the Championship and Barcelona-Sevilla and Real Madrid-Las Palmas in La Liga.
Rugby League’s WC continues with England-Lebanon and New Zealand-Scotland (Saturday) and Fiji-Wales and Papua New Guinea-Ireland (Sunday); the world diving championships are taking place in Singapore (2-5 November); it’s the New York Marathon on Sunday; the Turkish Open and Toto-Japan Classic golf tournaments are underway and the Barbarians play New Zealand in Saturday’s RU international at Twickenham.