Thu, Apr 19, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ RUGBY UNION

Under-19 finalists decided

South Africa ousted defending champion Australia 32-18 and set up a final against New Zealand at the under-19 world rugby championship on Tuesday. New Zealand repeated its tournament-opening win against Wales with another comfortable result in the other semi-final, 36-12. "I am pleased with how [the pack] performed," South Africa coach Eric Sauls said.

■ ATHLETICS

Hurdler chases fourth title

Olympic hurdles champion and world record holder Liu Xiang of China is gunning for a fourth consecutive win at next month's Osaka Grand Prix, a prelude to the world championships later this year in the same Japanese city. "Osaka has been a lucky city for me because I have never lost a competition there. I am trying my best to keep my 100 percent record," Liu, the world-record holder in the 110-meter hurdles, said in an interview with Chinese television.

■ INDIA

Official upset over bid loss

A top sports official blames his country's sports minister for losing out on hosting the 2014 Asian Games to South Korea, a news report said yesterday. "We looked a divided lot," the Hindustan Times quoted Suresh Kalmadi, chief of the Indian Olympic Association, as saying after Tuesday's meeting of the Olympic Council of Asia in Kuwait voted to award the Games to the South Korean city of Incheon. Kalmadi objected to Indian Sports Minister Mani Shanker Aiyar's recent remarks that hosting a big sporting event made no difference to the country's poor. In New Delhi, Aiyar declined to reply to Kalmadi's statement, saying that losing the bid was not a defeat for India.

■ SOCCER

Sochaux end Montceau run

Two extra-time goals from Sebastien Grax and Jerome Leroy ended the dream run of fourth division Montceau in the French Cup on Tuesday. The part-time outfit battled gamely for 90 minutes, holding their first division opponents to a scoreless draw before finally succumbing in added time. It took Sochaux until the fifth minute of extra-time to get the goal their play deserved. Grax finished along the ground after a cross from the left by Julien Quercia and the first division side, who currently sit fourth in the table, ended the game on 112 minutes, Leroy finishing off another cross from Quercia, this time from the right. Sochaux will now face either Marseille or Nantes, who clashed in the second semi-final yesterday.

■ BASKETBALL

NBA referee suspended

NBA referee Joey Crawford has been suspended indefinitely for improper conduct toward San Antonio's Tim Duncan during the Spurs' game in Dallas on Sunday. Duncan claims Crawford challenged him to a fight before each of the technical fouls he received during the Mavericks' 91-86 win over the Spurs at American Airlines Center. "Joey Crawford's handling of this situation failed to meet the standards of professionalism and game management we expect of NBA referees," Commissioner David Stern said on Tuesday in a statement. Duncan, a nine-times All-Star, received his second technical on Sunday while on the bench laughing about a call the 55-year-old Crawford made against Spurs center Fabricio Oberto. Crawford's suspension will cover at least the remainder of the 2006-07 season, including the NBA playoffs and finals.

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