■ Rugby Union
Willie Mason suspended
Australian rugby league second rower Willie Mason was given a one-week suspension yesterday for striking Britain's Stuart Fielden during Saturday's Tri-Nations match won by Britain. Mason pleaded not guilty to punching Fielden in the third minute, citing self-defense. But the Tri-Nations judiciary panel said Mason's reaction was "disproportionate" to Fielden's provocation in the match won 23-12 by Britain. Mason was also fined. The one-week ban means he'll miss the Nov. 18 match in Brisbane against Britain, but be available for the tournament final a week later in Sydney against either Britain or New Zealand.
■ Horse racing
Yeats running in Melbourne
Irish stayer Yeats heads a list of seven overseas horses trying to take home Australia's biggest racing prize, the Melbourne Cup, over 3,200m today at Flemington. Yeats, ridden by controversial English jockey Kieren Fallon, has two major races victories this year. It's the one the six-year-old Yeats didn't win -- the Group 1 Irish St Leger -- that nearly caused trainer Aidan O'Brien to cancel his trip to Australia for the AU$5 million (US$3.85 million) race. On Sept. 16, Yeats, the odds-on favorite, finished second in the 2,800m St Leger, and connections for O'Brien told Australian officials that the horse, with earlier wins in the Ascot Gold Cup in June and the Goodwood Cup in August, wouldn't be coming. But Yeats' strapper David Hickey said O'Brien changed his mind.
Jayawardene to be retained
Mahela Jayawardene will be retained as Sri Lanka's captain for next year's cricket World Cup following his impressive record which also won him the ICC's best captain's award for this year, an official said. "We are looking at having him up to the World Cup," Sri Lanka's chief selector Ashantha de Mel said. He said even though an official announcement is yet to be made, Jayawardene deserves to be retained after he led the team with success since being awarded stand-in captaincy in March after Marvan Atapattu's injury.
Briggs looks to future
An hour after his stunning, last-second knockout victory over Sergei Liakhovich in Phoenix, Arizona, new WBO heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs began to look ahead. If it were up to Briggs, he would take on IBF champion Wladimir Klitschko to unify two of the four heavyweight titles. Briggs claims Klitschko's camp once led him to believe he was in line for a title shot, only to snub him. "I've got a vendetta against him," Briggs said on Saturday. "When it comes to feelings, I want him. If it's money, or something like that, then I've got to take somebody else. But feeling-wise, I want him."
Asian Tour adds matches
The Asian Tour will add five tournaments to its schedule for next year, with three new events in Indonesia and a first-ever stop in Cambodia, organizers said yesterday. Prize money for next year was also bumped up by more than US$2 million to a record US$26.5 million from this year, the Asian Tour said in a statement. Total prize money has more than doubled since 2004, it added. "The expansion of golf in Asia is epitomized by a number of new events that will take place next year, most notably in Indonesia, and it will be exciting to break new ground with the inaugural Cambodian Open," Asian Tour executive chairman Kyi Hla-han said in the statement. The Tour's flagship Singapore Open, won by Australia's Adam Scott this year, will also increase in prize money from US$3 million in 2006 to US$4 million next year. No. 1 Tiger Woods, South Africa's Ernie Els and Retief Goosen, Scotland's Ryder Cup star Colin Montgomerie and Scott were among the notables in the region recently.
■ Ice Skating
Canadians top dancing
Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon, the world silver medalists, stood atop the Skate Canada podium after a home victory in ice dancing on Sunday. Teenagers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, the world junior champions this year, were right below them when the free dance concluded the four-day Grand Prix meet on Sunday. Canada has rarely had such a potent 1-2 punch in ice dancing. Dubreuil and Lauzon scored 196.68 points, placing them well clear of Virtue and Moir, who had 171.92. Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali of Italy finished third. Other winners in Skate Canada were two-time world champion Stephane Lambiel in the men's event, Canada's Joannie Rochette in the women's and China's Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao in pairs.
Revolution makes MLS Cup
League MVP Taylor Twellman scored in the fourth minute to lead the New England Revolution over DC United 1-0 and to a second consecutive appearance in the Major League Soccer final in the US on Sunday. New England will play Houston next Sunday in the MLS Cup in Frisco, Texas after the Dynamo defeated the Colorado Rapids 3-1. It will be the Revolution's third appearance in the title game; they lost to the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2002 and again last year. Though this is the first season for the Dynamo, the squad is made up primarily of players and coaches from the San Jose Earthquakes, the MLS champion in 2001 and 2003. For New England's goal, Pat Noonan lifted a cross to Twellman, who lost defender Brian Namoff and put a 14m shot past goalkeeper Troy Perkins.
Concerns linger for Hornets
NBA commissioner David Stern said there is no question about the Hornets' full-time return to New Orleans in the short term, but that long-term concerns about the city's recovery and corporate support for pro basketball need to be resolved sooner than later. "We have to do it shortly upon the return," Stern said during a visit on Sunday for the Hornets' home opener against the Houston Rockets, which the Hornets won 96-90. "We have to lock it all in, otherwise it becomes a lame duck and that's really bad for us, but it's even worse for New Orleans," Stern said. Sunday's game was the first of six the Hornets will play in New Orleans this season. The rest, including any playoff home games, will be in Oklahoma City as part of a two-year agreement following Hurricane Katrina.
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen
Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving “like a grandma” in Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday — and he was as good as his word. The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes’ run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen’s confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tires. “Mate, this is the only chance of being
FULL GAME: Henry Sosa pitched nine innings for the Guardians, allowing only six hits all night, while the Monkeys’ offense were also shut out of their game Outfielder Lin An-ko carried a big bat this week — before his Uni-President Lions ran into the Fubon Guardians last night — blasting four home runs, including a grand slam as his side won four games in a row and moved into second on the CPBL table. However, the Lions could not sustain their super-charged offense for the whole week, as they were shut out 4-0 by the Guardians in New Taipei City. Fubon’s rookie catcher, Jhang Jin-de, took a page from Lin’s playbook. With two men on, Jhang smacked a three-run homer in the sixth inning. Henry Sosa of the Dominican Republic