ASIAN BEACH GAMES
Taiwanese takes bronze
Taiwan won its first medal at the 2010 Asian Beach Games in Muscat, Oman, with a third-place finish by Pan Kai-wen in the men’s 5km marathon swimming event yesterday. Pan, 21, took the bronze medal behind Saleh Mohammad of Syria, who won in a time of one hour, 14 minutes and 4 seconds, and Xu Wenchao of China, who finished second. According to the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee, Pan’s bronze was Taiwan’s first-ever medal in long-distance swimming at the Games. Athletes from 45 countries are participating in 14 sports at the Games. Taiwan has sent a team of 38 athletes to compete in beach handball, beach volleyball, beach woodball, marathon swimming, sailing, triathlon and water skiing. The Asian Beach Games is a biennial event regulated by the Olympic Council of Asia.
Union calls off Serie A strike
The Italian players’ union (AIC) has officially called off this weekend’s proposed strike by Serie A players over a collective contract. In a statement on their Web site, AIC president Sergio Campana praised players for sticking to their guns in the protracted negotiations. “The AIC thanks the players who showed total participation, togetherness [and] a high sense of responsibility in defending their professional dignity and the fundamental rights of all workers,” the statement said. “Taking into account the good progress in drafting a new collective agreement with the mediation of Italian Football Federation president Giancarlo Abete and having listened to the club representatives, the AIC revokes the protest action and communicates that Serie A players will play in the league program scheduled for Dec. 11 and 12.” Serie A players and clubs were at odds over a proposed collective agreement that would give clubs the power to force players to accept a transfer in the final year of their contracts. The contract itself has not yet been signed but an agreement has apparently been reached and will probably be ratified next week.
French PM ribs English
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said on Thursday that he was “delighted” by Russia’s victory against England in the battle to host the 2018 World Cup. “We’re delighted that the Russians won the 2018 football World Cup against our British friends,” Fillon said, in a speech to staff from the French embassy in Moscow at the end of a visit to the Russian capital. “We wouldn’t be annoyed if Moscow acquired a little more significance and Russian businesses used it, rather than going to London at every opportunity,” he added, in an apparently light-hearted reference to London’s City financial district. “But it’s a prime minister married to a British citizen — we don’t say citizen, but subject of Her Majesty [the Queen] — who allows himself to say that,” explained Fillon, who is married to a Welsh woman.
Michael leads Tour opener
Anthony Michael of South Africa shot a 6-under 66 on Thursday to lead after the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship, the opening European Tour tournament. Michael made seven birdies and a bogey at Leopard Creek Country Club for a one-shot advantage in the first event of the 2011 Race to Dubai. Defending champion Pablo Martin of Spain opened with a 69 for a share of 11th place, while British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, the highest ranked player in the field at No. 24, hit a 76. Charl Schwartzel, the only player other than Oosthuizen in the world’s top 100 playing, shot a 70.