Thu, Oct 01, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■FORMULA ONE

Massa practices in public

Driver Felipe Massa got behind the wheels of a kart on Tuesday, practicing for the first time in public since sustaining multiple skull fractures in a crash in July. Television images showed Massa racing with his Ferrari uniform on a red kart at the Granja Viana track in Sao Paulo, and the Brazilian driver reportedly told friends he felt fine after the practice. Some local media said he had raced for a few laps on Monday in a secret session. Massa was hospitalized for nine days and underwent surgery following his life-threatening, high-speed crash in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix on July 25. Massa had said he wants to race at the Brazilian GP next month, but Ferrari hinted he won’t be back until next year.

■BASKETBALL

Rockets train without Yao

Chinese superstar center Yao Ming and forward Tracy McGrady were among those not in uniform on Tuesday as the Houston Rockets began their NBA pre-season training camp. Seven-time NBA All-Star Yao is recovering from surgery to repair a broken left foot and is expected to miss the entire 2009-2010 season, while McGrady underwent microfracture surgery upon his left knee in February. “Far ahead of schedule” is how McGrady described his rehabilitation status after seven months, but he added: “It’s not time to really rush it back. Confidence-wise — running, cutting, jumping — I have that right now.”

■BASKETBALL

Taurasi named WNBA MVP

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi was named the WNBA’s most valuable player on Tuesday. Taurasi was presented the award at a news conference before the team’s WNBA Finals opener against the Indiana Fever. Taurasi, a four-time WNBA all-star, led the league in scoring for the second straight year at 23.8 points per game. She and fellow first-team all-star Cappie Pondexter led the high-scoring Mercury to a 23-11 regular season record, best in the WNBA. A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Taurasi is in her sixth WNBA season after being drafted No. 1 by the Mercury out of the University of Connecticut in 2004.

■BOXING

Valero denies beating family

WBC lightweight champion Edwin Valero denied reports he was arrested on domestic violence charges. Valero told reporters on Tuesday the allegations were merely an effort to “provoke” him. “I’ve never hit my little sister and much less my mother,” Valero said in comments published by Venezuelan television station RCTV on its Web site. Venezuela daily El Universal reported Valero was arrested last week after a neighbor called emergency services and told authorities the boxer had struck his mother and a sister during a family dispute. The boxer’s mother, Eloisa Vivas, backed up Valero’s statement on Tuesday. “There wasn’t any sort of aggression, we weren’t mistreated or anything,” she said.

■SWIMMING

Jodie Henry retires

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Jodie Henry has quit competitive swimming. The 25-year-old Australian, who at one stage was the reigning Olympic and world champion in the 100m freestyle, handed her retirement forms to Swimming Australia yesterday. It came less than a month after fellow Australian sprinter Libby Trickett, a multiple Olympic and world championship gold medalist, announced she was taking a break from international competition with a view to retirement. At the 2004 Athens Olympics, Henry won the 100 freestyle, breaking the world record in the semi-finals.

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