Daily Briefing

The Decathlon: Rory McIlroy is excited to play for Ireland at the 2020 Olympics

Ten things from the world of sport on Wednesday 15 May

1. Olympics excite McIlroy 

Rory McIlroy wants to add an Olympic gold medal to his trophy cabinet after revealing his “excitement” to play for Ireland at the 2020 games in Tokyo.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the world No.4 made the jaw-dropping announcement at yesterday’s US PGA Championship pre-tournament press conference.

McIlroy said: “I’m excited to be going to the Olympics. I’m excited to play for Ireland.”

The Northern Irish golfer is grouped with Phil Mickelson and Jason Day for the two opening rounds of the US PGA Championship major. In Thursday’s first round the trio tee off at 6.38pm (UK time). See the 2019 US PGA Championship guide for predictions, tee times and betting odds.

2. Bairstow batters Pakistan

England underlined their status as favourites for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup with a sensational victory over Pakistan in the third one-day international (ODI) in Bristol. Jonny Bairstow smashed a scintillating century in what was the joint fifth-highest successful chase in ODI history. The Yorkshireman took 93 balls to compile his 128.

3. RWC 2019 tickets to go on general sale

The general sale for 2019 Rugby World Cup tickets will resume on Saturday 18 May and run until the end of June. The World Cup will be hosted in Japan and takes place from 20 September to 2 November.

4. £12m pay-off for Alexis

The Daily Mirror is one of several newspapers which leads with a story on the future of Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez. It’s claimed that United are desperate to get rid and will be prepared to pay the Chilean star £12m not to play for them next season. Inter Milan are reportedly interested in taking Alexis on a season-long loan and United will pay half of his £500,000-a-week wages to send him to Italy. See the latest Premier League transfer news and today’s back pages for more.

5. Kane set to be fit for Nations League

England captain Harry Kane will be selected for next month’s National League finals after the Tottenham striker assured Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate that he will be fit. The Guardian reports that Kane is confident he will recover from his ankle injury to play some part of the Champions League final against Liverpool and then the finals for England in Portugal.

6. O’Leary shocks horse racing world

The Daily Telegraph reports that Michael O’Leary, owner of Grand National winner Tiger Roll, has “shocked” the racing world by announcing he will phase out his Gigginstown House Stud operation in the next five years. The Ryanair chief executive said: “We wish to sincerely thank all our trainers and their teams for the enormous success we’ve enjoyed over the past decade, but as my children are growing into teenagers I am spending more and more of my time at their activities and I have less and less time for National Hunt racing, a situation that will continue for the foreseeable future.”

7. Wilder: Breazeale’s life is on the line

WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has defended himself, the BBC reports, for saying he wants to kill an opponent in the ring. The American boxer, who fights Dominic Breazeale on Saturday, said: “This is the only sport where you can kill a man and get paid for it at the same time. It’s legal. [Breazeale’s] life is on the line for this fight and I do mean his life. I am still trying to get me a body on my record.”

8. City deny chant accusations

A video emerged this week on social media appearing to show Manchester City players and staff singing a chant which includes lyrics relating to Liverpool supporter Sean Cox and the Hillsborough tragedy. Sky Sports reports that the Premier League champions have denied the accusations. The City statement said: “Any suggestion that the lyrics relate to Sean Cox or the Hillsborough tragedy is entirely without foundation.”

9. Can Ferrari catch Mercedes?

In a wide-ranging interview with BBC Sport Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has spoken about a number of topics including the Scuderia’s driver battle between Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc, team orders and the SF90 car. He was also asked if the Italians can catch runaway leaders Mercedes in this season’s Formula 1 title race? Binotto said: “I think sooner or later we will do it, yes.”

10. Griezmann set for Barca

Antoine Griezmann will leave Atletico Madrid at the end of the season and according to Sky Sports the French World Cup winner is expected to sign for La Liga rivals Barcelona. The Catalans are set to pay the £108m release clause in his contract.

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