Henry upstages Thorpe
Olympic 100m freestyle gold medalist Jodie Henry has been named Australia's swimmer of the year, upstaging Ian Thorpe. Henry picked up three golds in Athens, setting a world record in the 100 freestyle semifinals and anchoring the victorious Australian 4x100 freestyle and 4x100 medley relay teams. "I honestly couldn't have predicted it was going to be me," the 21-year-old Henry said after her award was announced at a ceremony in Melbourne on Monday night. "I won three gold medals but I had other girls help me get two of them," she said.
Serena to play in HK
Six-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams has confirmed she will join sister Venus to complete an impressive line-up at an annual invitational tournament in Hong Kong next year, organizers said on Monday. Williams was among four names yesterday confirmed for the sixth Watson's Water Champions Challenge next month. The others were former world number one Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, French and US Open runner-up Elena Demen-tieva from Russia and 15-year-old rising Czech star Nicole Vaidisova They will join reigning Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova, world number two Amelie Mauresmo, US Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova and Venus Williams.
Illegal bookies arrested
Malaysian police have arrested four men believed to be running an illegal football betting syndicate that involved more than US$39.4 million over the past year. The group is suspected to have received more than US$526,000 a day in bets on football matches in the English Premier League, as well as league games in Spain, Italy, Scotland and France, the New Straits Times reported yesterday. In Monday's raid, police seized 13 mobile phones, two computers, several fax machines and betting slips from an apartment, which is believed to be the base of the syndicate. Police arrested the four suspects in the apartment and have remanded them for further investigations.
■ Horse Racing
Hong Kong jockey attacked
Former champion Hong Kong jockey and leading horse trainer Tony Cruz was in serious condition in hospital on Monday after burglars beat him during a break-in at his home. Two knife-wielding intruders attacked 47-year-old Cruz during the Sunday night robbery in which a safe and its contents were stolen. Cruz was sleeping in his luxury home when the attack happened, police said. Police commander Dennis Wong said it appeared to be a random attack. Wong said Cruz had suffered a wound to the head believed to have been caused by a blow from a blunt instrument. Chinese press reports said he'd been stabbed in the face.
World Player 2004 shortlist
Barcelona's Ronaldinho, Andriy Shevchenko of AC Milan and Thierry Henry of Arsenal make up the three-man shortlist for the 2004 World Player of the Year award. The winner will be announced on Dec. 20, FIFA said on Monday. None of the three have won the award before. The three leading candidates for Women's Player of the Year are Mia Hamm of the US, Birgit Prinz of Germany and Marta of Brazil.