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February 3, 2018

Saturday Sport: Six Nations, Millrose and Maylasia

Today the 2018 Six Nations Rugby Championship kicks off in Europe.  This is the 19th series of the Six Nations Championship, the annual European rugby union championship. The tournament is sponsored by The Royal Bank of Scotland, however this edition will have title sponsorship from its owned subsidiary NatWest, meaning the tournament will be known as the NatWest 6 Nations. 

It will be contested between now and March 17th  by defending champions England who are joined by France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. Including the competition's previous iterations as the Home Nations Championship and Five Nations Championship, it will be the 124th edition of the tournament.  Like in the 2017 tournament, the tournament will continue to use the bonus point system common to most other professional rugby union tournaments.   To ensure that a team winning all of its five matches (a Grand Slam) will also win the Championship, three bonus points will be awarded for this achievement.

Today Wales hosts Scotland at the Principality Stadium, and France hosts Ireland at the Stade de France.  Tomorrow, Italy hosts England at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. 

Today, the annual Millrose Games are being contested at The Armory, Washington Heights, Manhattan, New York.  The Millrose Games is an annual indoor athletics meet held each February in New York City, and they have been held at the Armory since 2012.  Previously, they were run at Madison Square Garden from 1914 to 2011.  The first Millrose Games were held in 1908 and were organized by employees of the Wanamaker's Department Store.  The premier event remains the Wanamaker Mile, although many records have been set in all track events through the ages.   Although a few of the events were held on Thursday, the rest, dozens, will be held today. 

New Zealand’s Nick Willis, two-time Olympic medalist in the 1500 meters, has raced the Wanamaker Mile five times, and although he has made the podium five times, this 34 year old has never won the race.  This may be his last shot.  “I have put a huge focus of my training to make this happen,” he said in a written statement. Other contenders will be Ben Blankenship and Robby Andrews, already known to readers of this space.

European Tour Golf continues this weekend in Malaysia.  The  Maybank Championship holds its  third-round play Saturday from Saujana Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti won last year. This is the third year for this event and the second on this par-72 course of 7,186 yards.  Currently American Berry Henson is on top of the leader board, tied with Khalin H Joshi of India.  Meanwhile, Stateside, the PGA continues with the third round play of the Phoenix Open from TPC Scottsdale in Arizona. 

In European Soccer, in the Bundesliga,  Mainz contends with  Bayern Munich, while in the Premier League, Arsenal takes on Everton at the Emirates Stadium. 

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