IAAF praises Brisbane
A senior IAAF official said yesterday that Australian city Brisbane's bid to host the 2011 world athletics championships would be boosted by the "extraordinary quality" of its people-friendly Athletes Village. IAAF vice president Helmut Digel is heading an IAAF evaluation team that completed a two-day visit yesterday in Brisbane, its second-last stop on a tour of the four bidding cities. The team has visited Moscow and Barcelona and has Daegu, South Korea, to inspect before reporting their findings to the IAAF, which will decide the host city in Mombasa, Kenya, on March 27. Digel said the village appealed to the evaluation team because it was environmentally friendly, boasted its own four-lane 400m training track and its location ensured interaction between athletes and the public.
■ Rugby league
Wally Lewis recovering
Former Australian rugby league captain Wally Lewis was recovering in hospital yesterday after a three-and-a-half hour operation to help control his epilepsy, hospital officials said. Neurosurgeon Gavin Fabinyi said surgery on the 47-year-old Lewis television sportscaster went well at Melbourne's Austin Hospital. "I'm pleased to say Wally is looking good, he has come out of the operation and is still a bit sleepy," Fabinyi said. "The operation has gone well." Lewis will spend the next five days recovering in hospital and then another five days in Melbourne before returning home. It could be up to 12 months before doctors know if the operation has been a complete success. Lewis spent eight days at the hospital wired to monitors and having seizures induced to see whether the last-resort surgery was possible and if it would work. Lewis was the Brisbane Broncos' inaugural captain.
Mascherano gets the nod
Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano is free to play for Liverpool after the Premier League ratified his move to the Reds on Tuesday. The 22-year-old's career had been on hold as the Premier League debated whether to sanction the transfer, even though Mascherano had played for two clubs -- Corinthians and West Ham United -- already this season. Under FIFA rules, no player can represent three clubs in the same season but the sport's world governing body gave him an exemption as the South American and European seasons overlap. "The Premier League has confirmed that the application by Liverpool FC to register Javier Mascherano as a player has been accepted," a statement read.
■ Rugby Union
Candelon signs contract
France international back Julien Candelon signed a two season contract with French giants Perpignan from championship rivals Narbonne on Tuesday. The 26-year-old -- leading tryscorer in the French championship this season with 10 tries -- has been at Narbonne since 2003 but said it was time for him to join a club with real ambition. "It is time for me to try something a bit more challenging. Perpignan is a club with the means and ambition. I really want to seize this chance," added Candelon, who was capped twice in 2005 against Australia and South Africa. Perpignan are presently third in the Championship, 10 points off leaders Stade Francais, while Narbonne are fighting to avoid relegation as they lie fourth from bottom just three points off last placed Bayonne.
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
WOLFSBURG BEATEN: Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski scored from a penalty, his 34th league goal this season, finishing as the top Bundesliga scorer for the fifth time Werder Bremen gave themselves hope of avoiding relegation from the Bundesliga by thrashing Cologne 6-1 to grab a playoff place on the last day of the season, while champions Bayern Munich routed VfL Wolfsburg before lifting the trophy on Saturday. Japan striker Yuya Osako scored twice as Bremen stole the lifeline of the relegation/promotion playoff place from Fortuna Duesseldorf, who lost 3-0 against Union Berlin and were relegated with SC Paderborn, finishing one point behind Bremen. “We put in a great performance under pressure, but we are aware that we haven’t achieved anything — in the relegation playoff, the emotions will be
Dustin Poirier won a thrilling unanimous decision over Dan Hooker on Saturday, surviving a brutal second round and persevering to finish a well-rounded performance in the main event at the UFC’s corporate gym. Mike Perry also ended his two-fight skid with a one-sided unanimous decision over Mickey Gall in the penultimate fight of the UFC’s fifth consecutive fan-free event in its hometown. The main event was a barn-burner from the opening round, with both lightweights trading wicked strikes and displaying minimal regard for defense. The second round was a particular spectacle, with each fighter badly hurting the other while throwing punches and
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet is already in Florida with the rest of his Toronto teammates, and he knows the time to take a stand and counter the NBA plan to restart the season has passed, but his opinion on the matter has not changed. “It sucks,” VanVleet said on Monday in a videoconference of his choice to return to the court during the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter campaign. “It’s terrible timing, but that’s been 2020 for us. We all know the right thing to do is to not play, to take a stand. Morally, yes, that makes sense, but