Sat, Mar 19, 2011 - Page 18 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

CYCLING

Germans pull out of race

A German team has dropped out of the Tour de Taiwan, the country’s biggest international cycling event, because of concerns over the possible radiation risk caused by the Japanese nuclear crisis, the organizer said yesterday. “The cyclists said they were advised by German authorities to avoid visiting the Asia-Pacific, not least Taiwan, which is so close to Japan,” said Sara Chen, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Taipei Cycling Association. Among the six team members was Dirk Mueller, a member of Team Nutrixxion Sparkasse and last year’s Tour de China champion. Eighteen teams from 14 countries, including Britain, Japan and Malaysia, will still compete in the Tour de Taiwan, which starts at Taipei City Hall today, Chen said. The race is designated by the International Cycling Union as a qualifier for next year’s London Olympic Games. The event, now in its 23rd year, has been extended to 10 days instead of its previous seven, and will cover a total distance of 1,270km.

SKIING

Ligety claims title

Ted Ligety of the US won the giant slalom World Cup for the third time after the final race of the season at Lenzerheide was canceled because of bad weather yesterday. Ligety, who also won the world championship in the same discipline this year, had been leading the standings ahead of Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal and Frenchman Cyprien Richard going into the race. He dominated the season in the discipline, winning the first three races. Ligety is the fifth skier to win a hat-trick of crystal globes in the discipline following Ingemar Stenmark, Alberto Tomba, Michael von Gruenigen and Hermann Maier. The 26-year-old previously won the title in 2008 and last year.

BASKETBALL

Campaign hits below belt

A clinic’s ad campaign hits below the belt by urging sport fans to indulge in some alternative March madness: Have a vasectomy on Thursday or Friday then spend the weekend recovering while watching NCAA tournament basketball. The college basketball tournament is called “March madness,” with teams competing to come out on top by process of elimination. Iowa Clinic marketing executive Jessica Grant told the Des Moines Register that the campaign is designed to appeal to men whose partners want them to get the snip and who complain they spend too much time in front of the TV. The ad reads, “After your vasectomy: Stay on couch. 32 games in two days. Return to work on Monday.” Urologist Dr Mark Kellerman says he thinks the campaign is “a great idea.”

BOXING

Bute faces Ulsterman

Unbeaten Lucian Bute will make the seventh defense of his International Boxing Federation super middleweight crown against Brian Magee of Northern Ireland in Montreal today in a showdown of southpaw stars. Bute, a Romanian-born fighter based in Canada, is 27-0 with 22 knockouts and has stopped opponents inside the distance in six of his past seven starts dating to his 2007 title-claiming victory over Colombia’s Alejandro Berrio. It will be only the second time in his career that Bute, 31, has walked into the ring against a fellow left-hander, but he is not worried. “We had left-handed sparring partners and watched a lot of video on Magee,” Bute said. “He’s experienced. He is very aggressive and he can punch. I can’t underestimate him. I’m ready for a long, tough fight.” Magee, 34-3 with one drawn and 24 knockouts, is the former European champion in the weight class. The 35-year-old is on a 10-fight unbeaten run and has not lost since being stopped by Britain’s Carl Froch in 2006.

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