Wed, Jun 25, 2008 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ OLYMPICS

Beijing fish dies in HK

Chinese officials berated Hong Kong yesterday after one of five “Olympic” fish presented to the city by China ended up dead within days. The rare Chinese sturgeon, one of China’s five Olympic symbols, died on Monday, just four days after being publicly released into an aquarium at Hong Kong’s Ocean Park. Vets believe the 1.1m sturgeon, the smallest of five presented by China, was fatally injured when a barracuda sharing the its giant tank bit it on Saturday. Officials from China’s National Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Association quoted by Hong Kong’s government-run radio station yesterday questioned whether the fish had been “adequately handled.”

■ CRICKET

S Africa cuts Zimbabwe ties

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has suspended its bilateral agreements with Zimbabwe because of the worsening political crisis in the country, the body said on Monday. The agreements, including development and administrative programs, as well as the participation of Zimbabwe teams in CSA’s domestic competitions, have been suspended until further notice. “In the past, CSA has defended Zimbabwe cricket against heavy odds, but the general situation in Zimbabwe has now made this untenable,” CSA president Norman Arendse said.

■ BASKETBALL

Shaq skewers Kobe Bryant

Just in case anybody had forgotten that Kobe Bryant has never won an NBA title without Shaquille O’Neal, the big man sent out a reminder. The Phoenix Suns center can be seen rapping that “Kobe couldn’t do without me” in a video posted online at celebrity news site TMZ.com. During the two-minute video, a grinning O’Neal lurches through an improvised rap in which he skewers the Lakers star, with whom he won three straight NBA titles from 2000-2002 while with Los Angeles. “I was freestyling. That’s all. It was all done in fun. Nothing serious whatsoever,” O’Neal told ESPN.com on Monday. “That is what MCs do. They freestyle when called upon. I’m totally cool with Kobe. No issue at all.”

■ BASKETBALL

Carmelo Anthony suspended

The Denver Nuggets suspended NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony for the first two games of the next season as punishment for his April arrest on suspicion of drunken driving. The announcement by the team on Monday comes a day before he is scheduled to enter a plea in the case. Nuggets vice president of basketball operations Mark Warkentien said in a written statement the team would continue to support Anthony as he “strives to live up to the high expectations” set by the Nuggets and by Anthony. Anthony was arrested on April 14 on Interstate 25.

■ SOCCER

Angola face elimination

Angola are in danger of being eliminated from the 2010 World Cup qualifying race after Uganda exceeded expectations by forcing a 0-0 Group 3 draw in Luanda on Monday. The shock 2006 World Cup qualifiers visit leaders Benin in the penultimate series of second round fixtures during September and a loss coupled with a win for Uganda in Niger would rule Angola out of contention for a top-two finish. The 12 group winners and best eight runners-up advance to the third round, where the countries will be split into five pools with the winners joining hosts South Africa at the first World Cup to be staged in Africa. All World Cup fixtures in Africa double as qualifiers for the 2010 Nations Cup and Angola are guaranteed a place among the 16 participants as hosts of the biennial tournament.

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