Sun, Jan 03, 2010 - Page 19 News List

Sport Briefs

AGENCIES

■OLYMPICS

Twain lights cauldron

Shania Twain carried the Olympic torch the final 350m into Hollinger Park, cheered on by thousands of parka-clad fans who turned out in arctic conditions to see the hometown hero in person in Timmins, Canada, on Friday night. After making her final turn toward the stage, Twain paused, held the torch aloft in her mittened left hand, and waved to the crowd. The country star then bounded the final few yards onto the stage, where she lit the Olympic cauldron. “I feel proud, very proud,” Twain said. “It’s a highlight of my life to be able to carry the flame, to light the cauldron.” At minus 16ºC and windy, it was so cold that when a dozen red beach balls were tossed into the crowd, the balls came apart within seconds. “I know that sounds crazy, but it wouldn’t be Timmins if it wasn’t 40 below with the wind chill factor!” Twain said.

■CYCLING

Contador to race Algarve

Reigning Tour de France champion Alberto Contador confirmed on Friday he will start this season with the Tour of the Algarve cycling race in Portugal next month. “Last year I liked the race and I think it’s ideal to start the season,” said the Spaniard, who is the reigning champion in the Portuguese race. “Then I’ll go to the Paris-Nice [beginning of March] where we’ll be mainly looking to work on a team level, notably on tactical coordination,” he said. Contador, winner of the Tour de France winner in 2007 and last year, added that he was also counting on competing in the Tour of Catalonia from March 22 to March 28 and the Tour of the Basque Country from April 5 to April 10. But he added: “I’m leaving the door open on the classics, we’ll decide on that later.”

■SOCCER

Everton suspend Jo

Premier League club Everton said Friday they have suspended Brazilian striker Jo for a breach of club discipline after he made a trip back to his homeland without permission. Jo joined the struggling Toffees on a season-long loan deal from Manchester City but the ban throws into some doubt his future at Goodison Park. “Jo went back to Brazil without permission from the football club. He is now back but is suspended at the present time,” coach David Moyes said. “I am disappointed. We like Jo, he has been a really good lad and we have enjoyed having him. But there has to be discipline at all football clubs. He left over a busy period when we were short of players. I found it very difficult so he is suspended from the club.” Jo joined City from CSKA Moscow for £18 million (US$28.62 million) in July 2007. The tricky but lightweight forward has struggled this season, failing to score in the Premier League and mustering just two goals in cup competitions.

■SOCCER

Sanchez has heart problems

Sevilla defender Sergio Sanchez has a heart condition that requires him to cease all physical activity for the time being, the La Liga club said on their Web site on Friday. The 23-year-old former Espanyol player has traveled to Barcelona to be with his family and will have further tests there, the club said. Spanish players called for improvements in screening procedures for heart problems following the death of Espanyol defender Dani Jarque in August, two years after Sevilla midfielder Antonio Puerta collapsed during a game and later died after a prolonged cardiac arrest.

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