Strike hits stadium work
More than 70,000 workers laboring on South Africa’s World Cup stadiums embarked on a strike on Wednesday to press for higher wages, sparking fears of building delays a year before the sporting event. The strike threatens the completion deadlines at five venues for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and other major projects associated with the event. Local organizing committee chief executive Danny Jordaan said he hoped the strike would be over soon as construction workers were important in ensuring that South Africa was on track to meet deadlines. “It has always been the position of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organizing Committee South Africa that we respect the right of construction workers on the 2010 FIFA World Cup stadiums to strike if they feel they have legitimate grievances,” Jordaan said.
Peirsol reclaims record
Aaron Peirsol reclaimed his world record in the 100m backstroke at the US championships on Wednesday. The Olympic champion trailed Matt Grevers at 50m, then poured it on to win in 51.94 seconds, becoming the first person ever to swim under 52 seconds in the event. Peirsol’s previous mark of 52.54 seconds set at the Beijing Olympics was broken by Spain’s Aschwin Wildeboer Faber on July 1. Faber swam 52.38 seconds on the backstroke leg of the 400m medley relay at the Mediterranean Games. Grevers, the Olympic silver medalist, finished second in 53.11 seconds, giving himself another crack at taking down Peirsol in Rome at the world championships this month.
Montcourt death ‘natural’
French tennis player Mathieu Montcourt, found dead outside his apartment in the Paris suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt early on Tuesday, died of natural causes, police said on Wednesday, citing early autopsy findings. “First indications lead us to conclude this was a natural death, but one must await the result of toxicological analyses, which should be forthcoming next week, in order to be completely certain,” a police source said following the autopsy at the Paris Medico-Legal Institute. The body of the 24-year-old sportsman, currently 119th in the ATP rankings, was found by his girlfriend outside their ground floor apartment.
Reason breaks world record
Teenager Amanda Reason broke the world record in the women’s 50m breaststroke on Wednesday at the Canadian trials for the world swimming championships. The 15-year-old Reason clocked 30.23 seconds to eclipse the previous mark of 30.31 seconds set by Australia’s Jade Edmistone in 2006. The world record is the first by a Canadian in a long-course pool since Allison Higson broke the 200m breaststroke mark in 1988. Reason won the bronze medal in the 50m breaststroke at the world junior championships.
US put two past Honduras
Santino Quaranta broke a scoreless draw in the 75th minute and Brian Ching followed with a header in the 79th minute as the US defeated Honduras 2-0 in the Gold Cup on Wednesday. The two-time defending champions are 2-0 and lead Group B going into their final first-round match against Haiti tomorrow in Foxborough, Massachusetts, where a draw will be enough to clinch the group and move into the quarter-finals. Honduras will face winless Grenada, also in Foxborough. Haiti beat Grenada in the first game on Wednesday 2-0.