Tue, Oct 14, 2008 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■TABLE TENNIS

Boll crowned king of Europe

Germany’s Timo Boll came from a set down to beat Belarussian Vladimir Samsonov 4-2 and be crowned European table tennis champion in St Petersburg, Russia, on Sunday. Samsonov won the first set 14-12, but Boll took three sets in a row for a 3-1 lead. The Belarussian took the fifth set to reduce the arrears but Boll won the deciding point 11-5 to take the title. There was a shock upset in the women’s event after Lithuania’s Ruta Paskauskiene — ranked 90th in the world — saw off a late fightback from Austria’s Jia Liu to clinch the title. Meanwhile, Hungarian duo Krisztina Toth and Georgina Pota won the women’s doubles title, beating 4-2 Italy’s pair Wenling Tan Monfardini and Nikoleta Stefanova 6-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-13, 11-6, 12-10. Boll and Christian Suss of Germany defeated Austria’s Werner Schlager and Dutchman Trinko Keen 4-3 (9-11, 11-8, 7-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-6) to claim the European title in the men’s doubles.

■OLYMPICS

Mexico plans mini-Games

Mexico wants to host a small-scale version of the Olympic Summer Games in 2010 to celebrate the country’s bicentenary, a high-ranking official said. International Olympic Committee chairman Jaques Rogge authorized the event on Sunday, said Mario Vasquez Rana, president of the Pan American Sports Organization. Rana was speaking at a conference on American Olympic sports in the Mexican beach resort Acapulco. Time and date of the Olympic events were to be fixed by the beginning of next year, he said.

■CRICKET

Aussies will be safe: Khan

International cricketers are safe from terror attacks in troubled Pakistan because the game is so well loved in the country, player-turned-politician Imran Khan told Australian media. Australia have not toured Pakistan for a decade and abandoned a visit earlier this year because of security concerns in the wake of the assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto. In August, Australia also pulled out of the Champions Trophy in Pakistan which has now been postponed. Speaking to Australian television, Khan said that while he understood the Australians’ decision, those who wanted to destabilize Pakistan would not risk alienating their support base by attacking cricketers. “I also know that cricketers would never be under any threat from terrorists,” he said in an interview to be screened late yesterday by the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “Terrorists rely on support from the masses, because that’s where they get their recruits, and cricket is a game which is so loved and there’s such passion in Pakistan, that the terrorists know that if a cricket match is bombed, they’ve had it. The public will just turn against them.”

■BASKETBALL

NBA in China joint venture

The NBA has formed a joint venture with Anschutz Entertainment Group to design and develop about 12 multipurpose, NBA-style arenas in major Chinese cities. The announcement was made on Sunday at the O2 Arena in London, where the New Jersey Nets and Miami Heat played a preseason game. AEG runs the O2, and the project will be equally owned by the two parties. NBA commissioner David Stern did not say when the plan would be starting, or where the buildings would be located. “We weren’t going to start construction in the next couple of weeks,” Stern said at a joint news conference with AEG president and CEO Timothy Leiweke. Leiweke said it could take decades to complete the project.

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