Taiwanese pair win in Italy
Taiwanese tennis players Chan Yung-jan (詹詠然) and Chuang Chia-jun (莊佳容) won the women doubles finals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, the tournament Web site said yesterday. The Taiwanese beat the Czech-Slovak team of Benesova and Husarova in straight sets 7-6 and 6-3, the site said. This is the second championship for the Taiwanese pair this year, which will boost their rankings to the world’s top 10 again. Chuang’s ranking will be raised to No. 7 and Chan will jump from No. 12 to No. 8. They will share a prize of US$59,000 and the win means the pair have secured a chance to qualify for the Beijing Olypmics.
Mijares wins unification bout
WBC champion Cristian Mijares of Mexico won a split decision over WBA title holder Alexander Munoz of Venezuela in the first super flyweight unification bout in more than 10 years on Saturday. The taller and slicker southpaw Mijares speared the Venezuelan with right leads early and, as the fight wore on, rocked Munoz with some thundering left hooks. Mijares almost put Munoz down in the eighth round with two more booming left hooks, the bell coming to the Venezuelan’s rescue. The 26-year-old Mijares went on the attack again in the 10th and wobbled Munoz, who gamely fought back with some good left jabs and several accurate right hooks. In the 11th, a tiring Munoz walked into yet another stinging left hook which snapped his head back and Mijares ended a scrappy final round with a flurry.
■ FIELD HOCKEY
Australia top the table
Australia, China and the Netherlands all got their women’s Champions Trophy field hockey tournament campaigns off to winning starts in Moenchengladbach, Germany, on Saturday. Australia went to the top of the table with a 2-0 win over Japan, the Netherlands upset Germany 2-1 and China scored in the last minute to defeat Argentina 2-1. Casey Eastham earned Australia’s third penalty corner in the 17th minute and converted her push-out when Angie Lambert’s low flick deflected off the pads of Ikuko Okamura in Japan’s goal to Eastham’s stick, for her to score from an acute angle from the left. Emily Halliday sealed Australia’s win, converting the team’s seventh penalty corner with a strike which deflected high into the net off Japan’s runner. Frank Murray, Australia’s coach, was pleased to win against Japan after draws in the previous World Cup and Olympic Games. “We still have lots to work on, as we missed opportunities in front of goal,” Murray said.
S Korea, Serbia both win
South Korea saved two match points before beating Asian rivals Thailand in five sets yesterday for their second straight win in the final qualifying round for the Beijing Olympics. The South Koreans trailed 14-15 and 15-16 in the final set before fending off the tenacious Thais for a 20-25, 28-26, 14-25, 21-25, 18-16 victory in the eight-team round robin competition. “I’m really happy to win today,” said relieved South Korean captain Kim Sa-nee, after the battle lasting almost two hours. “Our attacker, Han Yoo-mi, couldn’t play today, so we were anxious. We got off to a good start, but we lost our concentration.” Earlier, world bronze medalists Serbia overcame a slow start to beat the Dominican Republic 23-25, 27-25, 25-21, 25-20, to add to their win over Kazakhstan. “We knew very well before the game that it would be very, very difficult, because it was an important game for both of us,” Serbian coach Zoran Terzic said.