Champ berated by state
Olympic champion short track speedskater Zhou Yang has been chided by China’s deputy sports minister for thanking her parents but not her country after winning gold at the Vancouver Games last month. The 18-year-old, who won gold in the 1,500m and as part of the 3,000m relay team, said in Canada that she hoped her achievements would make life easier for her unemployed parents. “It is OK to thank your parents, but firstly you should thank the motherland. You should put the motherland first, not only thank your parents,” Chinese Vice Sports Minister Yu Zaiqing told the Southern Metropolis Daily. Her parents were awarded a 94m² apartment valued at 300,000 yuan (US$44,000) by the local government in their home city of Changchun after Zhou’s 1,500m triumph.
Couples wins Newport title
Fred Couples won his second straight Champions Tour title, shooting a six-under 65 for a four-stroke victory on Sunday in the Toshiba Classic. Couples, making his third start on the 50-and-over tour, had an 18-under 195 total on the Newport Beach Country Club course. Couples earned US$255,000 to push his tour-leading total to US$691,000. Ronnie Black (65) finished second. Tom Lehman (69) and Taiwan’s Lu Chien-soon (69) tied for third at 12-under.
Phelps breaks own record
Olympic star Michael Phelps broke his own US record in the 200-yard butterfly on Sunday, winning in 1 minute, 39.65 seconds at the Maryland State Championships at the US Naval Academy. Phelps set the old mark of 1 minute, 39.7 seconds in 2006 at Austin, Texas. He looked back to see his split times from four years ago and entered the race with a goal of breaking his US mark. “I wanted to try and go out and take a shot at it,” he said. “Coming off the last turn, I wanted to stay under as long as I could. That was clearly the difference.”
Vodka forced to retire
Japan’s back-to-back horse of the year Vodka has been forced to retire after suffering a nosebleed in a warm-up race for this month’s Dubai World Cup. The Japan Racing Association described the six-year-old mare as a “jewel for Japanese and world horse racing” yesterday after hearing of the shock decision to end her racing career. “When we saw she had a nosebleed again after the race the owner [Yuzo Tanimizu] and I decided to retire her,” Vodka’s trainer Katsuhiko Sumii told reporters. Vodka, who captured public imagination in 2007 by becoming the first filly to win the Japan Derby in 64 years, also bled when winning the Japan Cup last November. She will now be bred to last year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Sea the Stars in Ireland.
Rabon prevails in Murcia
Czech rider Frantisek Rabon held off a determined challenge from last year’s winner Denis Menchov of Russia to take the overall title in the Tour of Murcia on Sunday. Rabon — who had set up overall victory in Saturday’s time-trial when he won it — had Menchov back in second 38 seconds adrift, with British hope Bradley Wiggins third overall 53 seconds behind. US seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong finished seventh overall, over seven minutes off the pace. Sunday’s fifth and final stage was won by Dutchman Theo Bos.
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