Wang to make training debut
Wang Chien-ming will make his spring training debut on Friday at the Washington Nationals’ minor league complex. The 30-year-old Taiwanese pitcher will throw one or two innings in a game at the team’s accelerated minor league camp. Wang did not pitch last year while he recovered from surgery in July 2009 that repaired a torn shoulder capsule. “We’re 16 months after that operation,” Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said. “It’s uncharted waters recovering from this operation. We’re just being ultra-conservative. We’re not going to put him out there against somebody in the other uniform yet, where the adrenaline might be flowing a little harder. It’s a little more of a controlled atmosphere to put him in.” He threw in live batting practice on Saturday and looked much stronger than when he first showed up for workouts. He even broke the bat of second baseman Danny Espinosa during the 10-minute throwing session. “Today, I feel very good,” Wang said. “Everything was smooth. Each time, [I feel] better and better.”
Wagner surges past Stroud
Johnson Wagner of the US surged past overnight pacesetter Chris Stroud to take a one-shot lead in the third round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic on Saturday. Four strokes behind at the start of an overcast and occasionally rainy day, Wagner fired a six-under 65 on the El Camaleon course at the resort of Playa del Carmen on the Riviera Maya. In pursuit of his second USPGA Tour victory, the 30-year-old recorded five birdies, one eagle and a lone bogey to post a 13-under total of 200. Stroud was alone in second after carding a 70, with fellow Americans Bobby Gates (64) and Spencer Levin (67), plus Australian Jarrod Lyle (67), a further shot back at 11-under.
Rios knocks out Acosta
Brandon Rios knocked out Miguel Acosta in the 10th round with a flurry of punches near his opponent’s corner to win the WBA lightweight title in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Rios landed several blows without seeing any defense, before finally crumpling Acosta with a right cross after 1 minute, 14 seconds of the 10th round. The Venezuelan’s corner men immediately reached through the ropes to support him as referee Joe Cortez stopped the fight. “I told my dad when I was a child that I wanted to be a world champion,” Rios said after he was hoisted onto the shoulders of his cornermen. “Now look at me.” Rios (27-0-1, 20 KOs) has won nine straight since fighting to a draw against Manuel Perez in October 2008. Acosta (28-4-2) lost for the first time in 20 fights. “I was hurt early. He hit me with some good shots,” Rios said. “He is a powerful fighter, but I never quit and stuck in there. I’m a real warrior.”
Langeveld outsprints Flecha
Sebastian Langeveld of the Netherlands beat Antonio Flecha of Spain in a sprint finish to win the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, the opening classic on the Belgian cycling calendar. Langeveld broke away early in Saturday’s finale and only last year’s winner Flecha was able to catch up to him with only 15km of the 203km to go. Flecha tried to shake Langeveld off in the final kilometers, but it came down to a sprint. In the drizzle and wind, the Dutchman jumped across the line a dozen centimeters ahead of Flecha. The two crossed in 5 hours, 18, minutes, 21 seconds, more than a minute ahead of Mathew Hayman of Australia, who took third place ahead of France’s Yoann Offredo and Italy’s Luca Paolini.