Top seed Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia easily beat compatriot Wong Choong Hann in the inaugural badminton Super Series Masters Finals yesterday.
Lee hardly broke sweat, needing only 23 minutes to dispose of the aging Wong 21-14, 21-13.
The Olympic silver medalist was due to take on a tougher opponent, Denmark’s Peter Gade, in another Group A match late yesterday.
Gade beat Hong Kong’s Chan Yan Kit 21-15, 21-17.
The season-ending Super Series Masters Finals began yesterday in Kota Kinabalu in the eastern state of Sabah. It offers a total purse of US$500,000.
Group B was where the action was, with a thriller between Indonesians Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Taufik Hidayat, which eventually saw Kuncoro clinch victory.
Hidayat, returning to the game only a week after suffering a wrist injury, delighted the crowd with a 25-23 win in the first game, but Kuncoro had it easy in the second, winning 21-14. Kuncoro won the deciding game 21-11.
Meanwhile No. 3 seed Joachim Persson of Denmark beat eighth seed Andrew Smith of England 21-14, 14-21, 21-12.
In the men’s doubles Jung Jae-sung and Lee Yong-dae of South Korea beat England’s Chris Adcock and Robert Blair in three sets while Koo Kien Kiat and Tan Boon Heong of Malaysia earned a straight sets victory against Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark.
In the women’s singles, third-seeded Wang Chen of Hong Kong caused a stir when she beat compatriot and top seed Zhou Mi 21-12, 21-15 in a Group A match.
Xu Huaiwen of Germany beat Yu Hirayama of Japan.
In the women’s doubles Indonesians Lilyana Natsir and Vita Marissa beat Thailand’s Duang Anong and Kunchala Voravichitchaikul 21-16, 21-18.
News of the MLB’s decision to pull this summer’s All-Star Game from Georgia over its sweeping new voting law reverberated among fans on Saturday, while Georgia Governor Brian Kemp vowed to defend the measure, saying that “free and fair elections” are worth any threats, boycotts or lawsuits. The Republican governor told a news conference that the MLB “caved to fear and lies from liberal activists” when it yanked the July 13 game from Atlanta’s Truist Park. He added that the decision would hurt working people in the state and have long-term consequences on the economy. “I want to be clear: I will not
TAKE TWO: Tainan TSG are the favorites going into this season, which starts on Sunday. They have fearsome forwards and national ’keeper Pan Wen-chieh between the posts Defending champions Tainan TSG (Taiwan Steel Group) face a tough challenge from their southern neighbors Taipower and CPC FC when the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) season starts this weekend with four matches on Sunday. Promoting grassroots soccer, and organizing relegation and promotion between the top and second divisions last year was important for the progression of Taiwanese soccer, CTFA chairman Chiou I-jen told a news conference in Taipei yesterday. “We are going in the right direction ... and becoming more competitive” for international competitions, Chiou said. Still the favorites, Tainan TSG have the league’s most fearsome forwards, with three international star players.
INSULT: Valencia’s Mouctar Diakhaby was involved in a heated exchange with Cadiz’s Juan Cala before indicating to the referee that he was leaving the pitch Valencia’s players on Sunday walked off during their La Liga game with Cadiz in protest against racist abuse, with coach Javi Gracia later claiming they were told they would be punished if they refused to resume the match. The fixture was stopped in the 37th minute after Valencia said their player Mouctar Diakhaby was the victim of a racial insult. Diakhaby had been involved in a heated exchange with Cadiz’s Juan Cala before indicating to the referee David Medie Jimenez that he was leaving the pitch. The Frenchman’s teammates followed him off and Cadiz also went down the tunnel soon after. About 15
Nine-year-old Thai kickboxer Pornpattara “Tata” Peachaurai is eager to get back in the ring after COVID-19 curbs brought his fight season to a halt more than five months ago. The money he earns is vital income for his family. “All the money from boxing, the regular payment and the tips, it all goes to mum,” the lean young fighter said. “I’m proud to be a boxer and to earn money for my mum.” Tata’s last fight was in October last year, before a second COVID-19 outbreak in Thailand shut down sports events as bans on large gatherings were reimposed. “I cannot box. I