Cup will be Park’s last
Manchester United and South Korea midfielder Park Ji-sung will play in his third and final World Cup tournament in South Africa next year, South Korean newspapers said yesterday. “The World Cup in 2010 will be my last,” Park told reporters at South Korea’s training facility, the daily Chosun Ilbo said. “I don’t think my stamina will last until the next one in 2014,” said the 28-year-old, who was instrumental in his country’s run to the last four of the 2002 finals on home soil. South Korea have already qualified for their seventh straight Cup finals appearance, with Park tied as the team’s top scorer during this campaign on four goals.
Ditched striker complains
Peru striker Hernan Rengifo criticized the country’s soccer federation after he was left behind in the team hotel following Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier in Colombia, local media reported. “What happened with the team and the journey will remain on the consciences of the directors,” the Polish-based player told sports daily El Bocon. “They know their responsibilities.” Peruvian media said that the squad left their team hotel in Medellin earlier than planned, but that nobody told Rengifo of the change. His absence was only noted after the team’s charter flight had returned to Lima, the media said. “The directors know what they did, they’re responsible for everyone in the team,” Rengifo said. “So many things have happened in Peruvian football that it’s not surprising that unusual situations keep happening.”
British duo stage upset
World No. 19 Anthony Clark and Nathan Robertson sprung a major surprise to score the best win of their career together on Sunday when they won the men’s doubles title at the Singapore Open super series tournament. The British duo swept aside world champions and Olympic gold medalists Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia 21-12, 21-11 in just 26 minutes. Robertson said in a media release: “We just played our best game today. It was close to perfect as I think we made just two errors in the whole match. I don’t think anyone will underestimate us any more after this.” The fired-up pair now head for the Indonesian Open starting today. The men’s singles title went to Bao Chunlai of China who beat Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana 21-19, 16-21, 21-15.
Dunning signs with Force
Wallabies test prop Matt Dunning has signed a two-year deal with the Western Force, the team said yesterday. Dunning, who has just resumed playing after missing this year’s season with an achilles tendon injury, will join the Force next year after spending nine seasons with the New South Wales Waratahs. The Force’s general manager Mitch Hardy said Dunning was a welcome addition. “Matt is a very experienced tighthead prop and a player who has been an integral part of the Wallabies for a number of years,” Hardy said.
Rider dies after crash
Race organizers say Spanish motocross rider Ricardo Monzonis died after a crash during an MX2 category event. Monzonis was taken to a nearby regional hospital in Vinaros on Spain’s eastern Mediterranean coast on Sunday, but that medical teams could not save his life. The accident happened during the Ciudad de Vinaros motocross when several riders collided during a jump. Organizers said no other rider was seriously injured. The race was stopped after the accident.
Gonchar plays despite knee
Pittsburgh’s Sergei Gonchar played the last two rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs with a partially torn knee ligament that could have sidelined him for months. Gonchar was hurt in a knee-to-knee hit by Washington star Alex Ovechkin in game four of the National Hockey League Eastern Conference semi-finals. He played through the injury, fired by the goal of winning a first Stanley Cup in an NHL career that began in the 1994 to 1995 season. Gonchar missed two games, returned for game seven of that series against Washington, played in the conference finals against Carolina and in the Stanley Cup finals — in which the Penguins vanquished Detroit in seven games.
Mayweather postpones fight
The July 18 fight between unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr and Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez has been postponed after Mayweather injured a rib in training. Mayweather had announced the bout on May 2, signaling an end to his 17-month absence from the ring hours before Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao delivered a devastating knockout of England’s Ricky Hatton. The American, 39-0 with 25 knockouts, was to take on Mexico’s Marquez in the same arena where he last fought, stopping Hatton in the 10th round in December 2007 to keep the undisputed welterweight title.
Eisel wins second stage
Austria’s Bernhard Eisel won the second stage of the Tour of Switzerland on Sunday, sprinting to victory in the 150km run at Davos. The Columbia rider finished ahead of Germany’s Gerald Ciolek and Spain’s triple world champion Oscar Freire while Fabian Cancellara, who was 11th, kept the overall lead. After teammate Tony Martin had attacked on a first category climb, moving into the lead of the King of the Mountains classification, Eisel seized his chance in the 100-rider bunch sprint. It was his first victory since the Paris-Bourges one-day race last autumn. “I went for a long sprint, found my own line and, above all, I didn’t look back until I crossed that finish line,” Eisel said.
Volvo race resumes
The yachts in the Volvo race headed for Stockholm on Sunday in the ninth stage of the round-the-world event, but there was drama as Spanish entry Telefonica Blue hit a rock as the boats left the Swedish port of Marstrand. Telefonica’s keel became wedged in the rock as it was leading the stage less than two hours after the yachts set off on a 845km sprint to the Swedish capital. None of the crew were hurt and the boat was freed after 90 minutes and taken back to port for repairs. It was a hard blow for Telefonica, which is in third place overall, just one point behind US entry Puma Ocean Racing. Sweden’s Ericsson 4 has a 15-point advantage over Puma, and is expected to seal overall victory when the yachts reach Stockholm tomorrow or on Wednesday.
Immelman leaves US Open
Trevor Immelman, last year’s US Masters champion, has withdrawn from next week’s US Open because of tendinitis in his left wrist and elbow, organizers said on Sunday. The 29-year-old South African has been replaced in the 156-strong field at Bethpage State Park by American Clinton Jensen. World No. 43 Immelman was the second top-50 player to pull out of the 109th US Open.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on