Castroneves beats Penske
Helio Castroneves, who last month won the Indianapolis 500 for the third time, beat Penske teammate Ryan Briscoe off pit row on the final stop and held on for the final 46 laps to win at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday. Briscoe was dominating the race, with more than a 10-second lead before a caution flag on the 150th of the 228 laps bunched the field. Castroneves worked past Marco Andretti after that restart and was on the tail of his teammate when A.J. Foyt IV crashed 15 laps later.
Putin taps Baltika founder
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Saturday appointed the founder of the Baltika beer company, one of Russia’s best known brands, to head the state firm in charge of building for the 2014 Olympics. Russia is hoping to raise its international prestige by hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics in its southern resort city of Sochi, but the economic crisis has sparked concerns whether the building work will be finished on time. At a ceremony at his out-of-town residence of Novo-Ogarevo, Putin appointed Taimuraz Bolloyev head of Olimpstroi, the state firm in charge of overseeing the construction program for the Olympics, news agencies reported.
Return may be delayed
Australian left-handed pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith’s return to the starting rotation of Major League Baseball’s Seattle Mariners might be delayed after he struggled in a minor-league game. The 26-year-old native of Sydney has been on Seattle’s disabled list with triceps tendinitis since the season began but pitched for the Mariners’ top developmental club at nearby Tacoma on Friday. Rowland-Smith surrendered 12 runs and 14 hits in 4 2/3 innings and Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said he would decide by today about Rowland-Smith’s return.
Montgomerie’s hopes hit
Colin Montgomerie’s hopes of mounting a challenge at the rain-hit Wales Open were hit as the former European No. 1 struggled badly at the start of his third round on Saturday. The European Ryder Cup captain was made to wait six-and-a-half hours to tee off after heavy rain flooded fairways and bunkers on the venue for next year’s trans-Atlantic match, and it soon became apparent that he was in for a frustrating day. On the short third, he came up short and rolled down the bank into the lake and at the 433-yard fifth he went from a fairway bunker into more water by the green.
Perpignan takes Top 14
Perpignan clinched their first French rugby Top 14 title in 54 years when they inflicted on Clermont their 10th defeat in as many finals on Saturday at the Stade de France. Perpignan won the game 22-13 through a try by center David Marty, a drop goal from Gavin Hume, the South African flyhalf who took over from Carter, a conversion and four penalties from fullback Jerome Porical. Clermont replied with a try from Fijian wing Napolioni Nalaga, who headed the Top 14 best try scorer standings with 21 touchdowns, and a conversion and two penalties by Australian flyhalf Brock James.
Foreman III wins pro debut
George Foreman III won his professional debut on Saturday, stopping Clyde Weaver at 1:16 of the first round in Kinder, Louisiana. Foreman, the 26-year-old son of two-time world heavyweight champion George Foreman, floored Weaver with a left hook to the chin. Earlier, the 192cm, 107kg Foreman knocked Weaver (0-2) down with a left hook to the body. When the opening bell rang, Foreman ran straight ahead to meet the unheralded Weaver and began to throw jabs and hooks. Less than 30 seconds into the fight, Foreman threw a left hook that landed on Weaver’s chin, forcing him to the canvas. Weaver got up, but landed back on the mat again when Foreman hit him with a left hook to the body.
Klitschko to fight Chagaev
Wladimir Klitschko will take on Ruslan Chagaev in a heavyweight bout on June 20, the same day the Ukrainian had been due to face David Haye. Haye bowed out of the bout on Wednesday, saying he had injured his back in training, and said he wanted to push the date back to next month. But Klitschko, the 33-year-old fighter who holds the IBF and WBO belts, said he was in top form and wanted to keep the date — a sellout at Schalke’s soccer stadium in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. “It’s unfortunate that David Haye can’t compete. But now I’m looking ahead and I’m excited about a particularly sporting challenge with Ruslan Chagaev,” Klitschko (52-3) said in a statement released on Saturday by his management company, KMG. Chagaev, 30, has been the WBA’s “champion in recess” since withdrawing from two scheduled rematches against Nikolai Valuev.
Athletes, officials indicted
Former athletes and current or former officials of the Austrian ski federation have been indicted by Italian prosecutors over a blood doping probe at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, news reports said on Saturday. Biathlon sports director Markus Gandler and ski federation (OESV) general secretary Christian Leistner told the Austrian Press Agency that they were indicted along with eight others, including OESV boss Peter Schroecksnadel, disgraced coach Walter Mayer and others. The trial on charges of violating Italian anti-doping laws is due to start in October.
Summer Bird wins Belmont
Summer Bird, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, won the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, denying a unique Triple Crown bid by jockey Calvin Borel aboard Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird. Borel, trying to become the first jockey to win all three legs of the Triple Crown on two different horses, guided Mine That Bird from last to the lead heading into the sweeping final turn in the 2.4km race. But Summer Bird responded under Desormeaux beating Dunkirk by two-and-three-quarter lengths, with Mine That Bird third.
Irie wins 200m in Japan
Ryosuke Irie won the men’s 200m backstroke at the Japan Open on Saturday. Wearing a Speedo LZR Racer swimsuit, Irie clocked a time of 1 minute, 54.09 seconds to win Saturday’s final. Irie set a world record in the same event in Australia last month with a time of 1:52.86 seconds Irie wore an Arena brand swimsuit when he broke the record and world governing body FINA has yet to verify the record as the swimsuit is undergoing independent testing. Irie won the men’s 100m backstroke final on Friday, clocking a time of 53.31 seconds.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017