Kazan close on Zenit
Reigning champions Rubin Kazan moved closer to Russian Premier League leaders Zenit St Petersburg with a 2-0 home win over Ramenskoye on Sunday. Zenit, with 40 points from 16 matches, had a free weekend and the result allowed Kazan to take second spot with 36 points. Rubin dominated the play and took the lead in the 33rd minute through Christian Noboah, who scored from the spot after Ramenkoye defenders fouled Nigerian forward Obafemi Martins. Kazan striker Alexei Medvedev scored in the 69th minute from a header to secure Rubin’s win. Meanwhile, Kevin Kuranyi scored twice in the Moscow derby clash to bolster his burgeoning account for new club Dynamo Moscow, who derailed city rivals Lokomotiv 3-0. Spartak Moscow clinched a confident 4-2 win over visiting Tomsk. Brazilian marksman Welliton was the star of the show, scoring a hat-trick in just six minutes.
Bordeaux earn first win
A goal by Michael Ciani deep in added time gave Girondins Bordeaux a 2-1 win at Paris St Germain and their first points in the Ligue 1 season on Sunday. The 2009 champions, who had lost their first two games, needed a late header from a corner by central defender Ciani to win a lively contest at the Parc des Princes. Bordeaux opened the scoring with a headed goal by France midfielder Alou Diarra on 67 minutes. PSG had leveled courtesy of a goal from close range by forward Guillaume Hoarau 14 minutes from time. New Girondins coach Jean Tigana left Yoann Gourcuff out of his starting lineup. The France playmaker has asked for a move according to French media. Caen dropped down a gear after a stunning start when they were held to a goalless draw at Montpellier earlier on Sunday. The side from Normandy had started their campaign with wins over Marseille and Lyon.
Pakistani told to Butt out
Andy Flower has told Salman Butt to mind his own business after the Pakistan captain backed Australia to deny England a successful defense of the Ashes. Butt was unequivocal when asked by reporters who he favored to win the Ashes series, which starts in Brisbane in November. “The Aussies are much better players in their own conditions,” Butt said. “The ball doesn’t swing so much, so the bowlers have to work hard. In their conditions they are better than England.” However, England coach Flower, speaking on Sunday, said: “Salman Butt shouldn’t really be making judgments about our bowlers in Australia. Of course, if the ball doesn’t swing at any venue, bowlers will be less dangerous. That’s perfectly obvious.”
Panucci calls it a day
Former Italy international Christian Panucci has announced his retirement at the age of 37. In a 20-year career the right-back, who could also play in the middle of defense, represented AC Milan, Inter, Real Madrid and Chelsea, amongst other teams. He won the Champions League with both Milan and Madrid and lifted titles in Italy and Spain. “I had other offers from the United States but I don’t have the same desire as before, it’s right to say enough,” he told Sky Sport 24. Panucci reserved special thanks for Fabio Capello, with whom he worked at Milan, Madrid and AS Roma. “Being the first Italian at Real Madrid and having won the Champions League was one of the best moments,” he said about his time in Spain. Following eight seasons at Roma, Panucci, who began his career with Genoa, spent his last season at Parma.
Air pistols on the way out
Laser guns will replace air pistols in the modern pentathlon at the 2012 London Olympics after the technology was debuted at the ongoing Youth Olympics in Singapore. The new technology will reduce the cost of shooting by two-thirds in the sport and the improved safety of the event could mean new venues are used. “We will have laser shooting for the London Games. Based on this new technology, all countries in the world can compete in our sport,” Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne president Klaus Schormann told the Youth Olympic Games Web site yesterday. “We can hold competitions in parks and even shopping malls. Safety issues will no longer be a big concern.”
Hanson wins Czech Open
Sweden’s Peter Hanson won a three-way play-off with Peter Lawrie and Gary Boyd on Sunday to take the Czech Open and all but secure his place on Europe’s Ryder Cup team. The 32-year-old had blown his four-shot advantage going into the final round, carding a two-over par 74, but he held his nerve to sink an 18-foot birdie putt on the second play-off hole as Irishman Lawrie and England’s Boyd both made par. The win saw Hanson move into the automatic qualifying spots for the Ryder Cup leaving veteran Ryder Cup player Miguel-Angel Jiminez of Spain in the ninth and final spot.
Rain delays singles finals
The rain-soaked Rogers Cup in Montreal has again postponed its singles finals, although the doubles players moved indoors to get their semi-final matches played on Sunday. Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark and Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia started their match after a four-hour delay on Saturday. Wozniacki led 2-0, 0-15 before rains came again and wiped out play for the day. Victoria Azarenka and Vera Zvonareva never got to play a point. The doubles semi-finals and final were moved indoors to the Nuns’ Island Tennis Club, with Flavia Pennetta and Gisela Dulko beating Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik 7-5, 3-6, 12-10 to the final.
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Fake blood hearing begins
The doctor caught up in the Harlequins fake blood scandal was to appear before a disciplinary hearing yesterday, which could end her medical career. Wendy Chapman, 46, is alleged to have deliberately cut the lip of Harlequins wing Tom Williams to cover up the use of a fake blood capsule in the European Cup quarter-final against Leinster on April 12 last year. She now faces a fitness to practice hearing of the General Medical Council, which regulates the conduct of doctors in Britain. The hearing, which is expected to last two weeks, will also probe allegations Chapman made statements to “deceive others that the injury occurred on the field.”
Japan beats Australia 13-3
Yukari Isozaki gave up just four hits and one run over four innings after Japan scored nine runs in the first to beat Australia 13-3 and claim the women’s world baseball championship in Venezuela on Sunday. After Japan’s batters made a strong start, pitchers Isozaki and Ayami Sato held Australia’s offense in check throughout the rest of the game at Jose Perez Colmenares Stadium in Maracay. “I was nervous at the beginning, given the responsibility of opening this game, but my teammates supported me and we won this game together,” Isozaki said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet is already in Florida with the rest of his Toronto teammates, and he knows the time to take a stand and counter the NBA plan to restart the season has passed, but his opinion on the matter has not changed. “It sucks,” VanVleet said on Monday in a videoconference of his choice to return to the court during the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter campaign. “It’s terrible timing, but that’s been 2020 for us. We all know the right thing to do is to not play, to take a stand. Morally, yes, that makes sense, but
Legendary batsman Everton Weekes, the last of the famed West Indies “Three Ws,” died on Wednesday at the age of 95 and was hailed as “a founding father” of the sport in the Caribbean. “Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of an icon. A legend, our hero, Sir Everton Weekes,” Cricket West Indies (CWI) wrote on Twitter. “Our condolences go out to his family, friends and many fans around the world. May he rest in peace.” Barbadian Weekes was part of a feared post-World War II West Indies team who also featured Clyde Walcott and Frank Worrell. Walcott died in