Sun, Aug 09, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■CYCLING

Boasson wins sixth stage

Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen, of the Columbia team, won a sprint finish for the sixth and penultimate stage of the Tour of Poland in Zakopane on Friday. Hagen crossed ahead of Italians Alessandro Ballan, who holds the overall race leader’s yellow jersey, and Marco Marcato after the 162km run between Kroscienko and Zakopane. Poland’s Marek Rutkiewicz was the star of the mountainous stage taking the King of the Mountain jersey. The Pole formed part of a group of nine riders who built up a lead of two and a half minutes, but he lost out to Ballan, who was at the head of a peleton that caught the group 30km from the line. The seventh and final stage scheduled for yesterday was a 136km run through the mountains from Rabka Zdroj to Krakow.

■OLYMPICS

China marks anniversary

China marked the first anniversary of the Beijing Olympics yesterday with an inaugural national sports day that saw up to 34,000 people gather for the world’s largest martial arts exercise. “We have established August 8 as National Fitness Day to fully embody ... the government’s loving concern for the life and prosperity of the people,” Sports Minister Liu Peng said in an address outside the Bird’s Nest National Stadium. Liu’s remarks came as nearly 34,000 people dressed in white silk performed taichi in drizzling morning rain between the stadium and the Water Cube Aquatic Center, both symbols of the Games.

■BASKETBALL

Wallace may rejoin Pistons

A person with knowledge of the deal says the Detroit Pistons and Ben Wallace have agreed to reunite. Wallace will receive a US$1.3 million, one-year deal, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the contract has not been signed. Wallace is expected to do that early next week. The former defensive player of the year helped the Pistons win the 2004 NBA title and later left as a free agent to play for the Chicago Bulls. He was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers and most recently to the Phoenix Suns as part of the Shaquille O’Neal trade. Wallace was due US$14 million for the last year of his deal but gave up US$4 million to become a free agent.

■BASEBALL

Red Sox cut John Smoltz

John Smoltz may have thrown the last pitch of his storied career after being cut by the Boston Red Sox on Friday. A day after the New York Yankees sent the 42-year-old to yet another early exit, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein traveled to New York to personally tell Smoltz that the team had designated him for assignment. That gives Boston 10 days to trade, release or send Smoltz to the minor leagues. After more than two decades with Atlanta, Smoltz signed with the Red Sox in January, hoping he could recover from surgery on his right shoulder. After eight starts, the numbers were not pretty for a pitcher with Hall of Fame credentials: 2-5 with an 8.32 ERA.

■SWIMMING

Hardy sets breast record

American swimmer Jessica Hardy broke the 100m breaststroke world record at the US Open national championships on Friday with a win in 1:04.45. The previous record of 1:04.84 was set by American Rebecca Soni at last month’s world championships in Rome on July 27. Hardy had qualified for the 2008 US Olympic team but withdrew from the Beijing Games after testing positive for the anabolic agent clenbuterol in Omaha in July last year. Hardy’s one-year ban ended on July 31.

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