■ Rugby Union
Romania qualify for Cup
Romania clinched a place in next year's Rugby World Cup after beating Spain 43-20 in a playoff match in Madrid yesterday. The Romanians had problems dealing with an enterprising Spanish side in the first half and trailed 8-3 after 30 minutes, but they used their superior forward power to wear their opponents down and scored four tries after the break. Having beaten Georgia 20-8, Romania are now guaranteed top spot in Group B and a place in the World Cup which starts in France next September. The victors of the final group match between Spain and Georgia will go into a further playoff against either Portugal or Russia in which another World Cup berth will be at stake. Romania will play in Pool C alongside New Zealand, Scotland, Italy and a repechage winner.
Jay Haas in control
Jay Haas birdied the final four holes for a 9-under 63 -- matching his best round on the US PGA Champions Tour -- and a five-shot lead on Saturday after two rounds in the Administaff Small Business Classic in Spring, Texas. Haas, who started the round tied for the lead with Tom Purtzer and Dick Mast, pulled ahead for good with a birdie on No. 10 and finished the day at 16-under 128. Bruce Lietzke eagled the final hole for a 66 to join Purtzer (68) at 11 under. Mast (69) was 10 under, and Jim Thorpe (66) was another stroke back.
■ Olympic Games
Residents protest plant
Hundreds of elderly residents protesting the planned construction of a power station for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games near their home scuffled with police yesterday. About 250 apartment residents near the site of the National Aquatic Center in north Beijing chanted "Stop the construction!" behind police lines. About 5m from their building was a gaping crater where the transformer was to be built. The protesters -- most between 50 and 70 years old -- pumped their fists in the air and some scuffled with police as they tried to spill out from their apartment compound into the street. At least three were taken away in police vans. The residents fear for their health and were angry they had not received any notice about construction so far.
Ullrich takes aim at Swiss
Former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich accused the Swiss cycling federation on Saturday of implying that investigations are proceeding against him in the Spanish doping scandal. The 1997 Tour champion said on his Web site that he is not a target of the Spanish investigation and that a press release from Swiss Cycling on Friday was misleading. The press release said, according to the German rider's Web site, that Swiss Cycling had received documents from Spanish investigators and now had a full dossier in the "Jan Ullrich case." "I will defend myself against this ongoing slander campaign that is heated up by the federation," Ullrich said.