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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen
Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving “like a grandma” in Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday — and he was as good as his word. The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes’ run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen’s confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tires. “Mate, this is the only chance of being
FULL GAME: Henry Sosa pitched nine innings for the Guardians, allowing only six hits all night, while the Monkeys’ offense were also shut out of their game Outfielder Lin An-ko carried a big bat this week — before his Uni-President Lions ran into the Fubon Guardians last night — blasting four home runs, including a grand slam as his side won four games in a row and moved into second on the CPBL table. However, the Lions could not sustain their super-charged offense for the whole week, as they were shut out 4-0 by the Guardians in New Taipei City. Fubon’s rookie catcher, Jhang Jin-de, took a page from Lin’s playbook. With two men on, Jhang smacked a three-run homer in the sixth inning. Henry Sosa of the Dominican Republic