Thu, Feb 22, 2007 - Page 7 News List

Sports Briefs


■ Athletics
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.

■ Soccer

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.

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