Ham Fighters floored by flu
The entire squad of Japan’s Nippon Ham Fighters baseball team is being quarantined and tested for H1N1 influenza after three players contracted the virus. Team officials said yesterday they had ordered all players and coaching staff to check in to a Sapporo hospital for screening after six more players complained of high fever. The Fighters have so far ruled out canceling games as a precaution. Six sumo wrestlers and officials and a member of Japan’s under-19 women’s soccer team have also picked up the H1N1 flu over the past week. Japan confirmed its third fatality from the disease on Wednesday in Nagoya.
Ipswich to honor Robson
English Championship club Ipswich Town will rename the North Stand of their Portman Road stadium after former manager Sir Bobby Robson, who died of cancer aged 76 last month. Robson transformed Ipswich into a significant force during a 13-year spell that included winning the FA Cup and UEFA Cup before leaving to coach England in 1982. The club plans to unveil the Sir Bobby Robson Stand at a ceremony on Sept. 26 before the game against Newcastle, who are also closely associated with Robson after his spell as manager at St James Park. Chief executive Simon Clegg said: “The overwhelming majority wanted the Sir Bobby Robson Stand. With the North Stand being seen as the heart of the club and of the fan base, the fans feel this is the right stand to be renamed.”
Melbourne to vie with Kings
The Australian city of Melbourne will bid against South Africa’s Southern Kings franchise for the 15th Super rugby team when the competition expands in 2011, rugby authorities said yesterday. “Both applicants have been invited to provide more information to SANZAR [South Africa New Zealand and Australia Rugby] including a formal application for entry and business plan,” SANZAR said in a statement. SANZAR imposed a Sept. 25 deadline to receive the final bid documents, with a decision on the location of the team due to be announced by October, the rugby body said. The revamped competition in 2011 will see 15 teams split into three conferences, one in each country, with the new team to play in the Australian conference though SANZAR said it did not need to be based in Australia. South Africa’s Southern Kings, a combined Eastern Province, Border and South Western Districts franchise, would face a logistical challenge fielding a team in the Australian conference. Australia has four teams in the current Super 14 competition, one less than New Zealand and South Africa, and is considered the favorite for the expansion side.
Naito faces bad boy Kameda
Japan’s WBC flyweight champion Daisuke Naito is set to fight self-styled boxing bad boy Koki Kameda in an explosive grudge match in November. The bout between the popular Naito and the eldest of the controversial Kameda boxing brothers has been scheduled for Nov. 29 in Tokyo, Japanese media reported yesterday. Bad blood exists between the 34-year-old Naito and the brash Kameda, 12 years his junior. Naito beat Kameda’s younger brother Daiki in an ugly brawl that ended in farce in 2007, the challenger picking up Naito and slamming him to the canvas. Daiki was banned for a year while Koki, working in the corner, escaped with a warning after TV microphones picked up his advice to elbow Naito in the eye.
APPROPRIATE RESPONSE: The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan expressed ‘sincere regret’ for publishing the image on its in-house magazine and Web site A satirical mock-up depicting the Tokyo Games logo as the novel coronavirus has been pulled from online after Olympic organizers branded it “insensitive” and said that it infringed copyright. The design combines the distinctive, spiky image of the coronavirus cell with the blue-and-white Tokyo Games logo. It appeared on the cover of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan’s magazine. The Tokyo Games have been postponed until next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left hundreds of thousands of people dead and halted sport worldwide. Club president Khaldon Azhari yesterday said that the club had decided to withdraw the image and remove
The COVID-19 pandemic has stalled young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas’ burgeoning career, but he remains philosophical about the tennis shutdown. The world No. 6 would have been preparing for the French Open that was originally scheduled to start this weekend, but was postponed to September. While he is missing life on the ATP Tour, Tsitsipas believes that the lockdown has given the planet a breather. “I actually think they should put us in lockdown once a year — it’s good for nature, it’s good for our planet,” Tsitsipas said in an Instagram Live conversation for At Home With Babsi on Eurosport’s Instagram page. “I
Uncertainty grips next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympic Games: Will there be fans or empty stadiums in 14 months? How will thousands of athletes, staff members and technical officials travel, be housed and stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic? And the Tokyo Games are not the only event. China, where COVID-19 was first detected, is to hold three mega-sports events in the year after the Tokyo Olympics are set to close. The World University Games in Chengdu, China, are to open, with up to 8,000 athletes, only 10 days after the Tokyo Games close. Next come the Beijing Winter Olympics beginning on Feb. 4, 2022,
When South Korea’s domestic women’s golf tour held its premier event last week — without spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic — no fewer than three of the world’s top 10 players took part. The country of 52 million people has a disproportionate share of the women’s world golf rankings, providing eight of the current top 20. In a demonstration of their prominence, South Korean women have won at least one major every season since 2010, with coronavirus cancellations perhaps the biggest threat to their run this year. The phenomenon, players and commentators have said, results from driven parents, intense training, a highly