Sat, Sep 09, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Cricket

`Tres' will return: Strauss

England captain Andrew Strauss is confident that Marcus Trescothick will recover from a stress-related illness in time for the Ashes series in Australia. Trescothick has pulled out of next month's Champions Trophy one-day tournament in India after saying the illness had dogged him since he returned home for family reasons from the tour of India in March. With the Ashes series looming in November, England fears that Trescothick will not be in any kind of form when the squad departs for Australia. "Australia is going to be a big Test for all of us and it's going to be a big Test for Tres as well," Strauss said on Thursday on the eve of the fourth one-day international against Pakistan at Trent Bridge. "He hasn't got to the stage he's at in his career without being able to overcome tests and I see no reason to see why he can't do it again," he said.

■ Cycling

Basso hearing postponed

A hearing in the doping case of Giro d'Italia cycling champion Ivan Basso has been postponed until the end of the month. Basso, who was excluded from the Tour de France after being implicated in a Spanish doping investigation, denied using banned substances in a first appearance before Italian anti-doping authorities late last month. That hearing was adjourned to Sept. 12. The Italian Olympic Committee said on Thursday that the case has now been moved to Sept. 29. "I understand the pace of justice and I remain respectful and faithful to this as always. But at the same time I cannot wait to be able to close this incident positively," Basso was quoted as saying by Italian news agency ANSA. "I feel like an imprisoned man waiting for justice," he said.

■ Soccer

Nuremberg signs Gresko

Bundesliga leader Nuremberg signed Slovakia defender Vratislav Gresko to a one-year contract on Thursday. The club retained a two-year option on Gresko. Gresko's previous clubs included Blackburn, Parma, Inter Milan and Bayer Leverkusen. He was without a contract, allowing him to be signed after the official transfer period. Nuremberg is surprisingly leading the Bundesliga after three rounds.

■ Water polo

Spain, Romania advance

Spain defeated Greece 12-10 and Romania edged Italy 10-9 to advance to the semi-finals at the European men's water polo championship on Thursday. Spain's tense match with Greece was decided only in the final quarter when Spain went ahead with three quickfire goals. Spain will face Hungary in the semi-finals, while Romania will take on Serbia. Hungary and Serbia qualified directly to the semi-finals by winning their groups. Meanwhile, in the consolation playoffs, the Netherlands beat Slovenia 12-8 while Croatia defeated Slovakia 12-6.

■ Decathlon

Champ buried in hometown

Bob Mathias, the former Olympic decathlon champion, was buried in Tulare, California, the city in the San Joaquin Valley where he grew up. Hundreds gathered on Wednesday for the funeral that was attended by family, friends and fellow Olympians in Tulare. He died of lung cancer in Fresno last week at 75. Mathias won his first decathlon gold medal at 17 in the 1948 London Olympics. He won another gold in the decathlon at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Mathias was in the Marines before serving in the US Congress from 1966 to 1974.

■ Soccer

Neutral venue planned

Next year's African Super Cup will be played in Addis Ababa as part of the Confederation of African Football's (CAF) 50th anniversary celebrations. CAF said the match would be held next February but did not give a fixed date. It will be only the fourth time that the annual match-up between the winner of the African Champions League and the African Confederation Cup will be at a neutral venue. Traditionally, the Super Cup is hosted by the team that won the previous year's Champions League title. CAF's anniversary celebrations also include a friendly international between Nations Cup holders Egypt and Sweden in Cairo on Feb. 7. An under-23 tournament is also planned for the Sudan, involving Egypt, Ethiopia, South Africa and Sudan.

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