Japan obliterate UAE 111-0
Japan pulverized the United Arab Emirates (UAE) 111-0 to capture the Asian Five Nations for the fourth time in a row and with a game to spare, Japanese rugby officials said on yesterday. The “Brave Blossoms” exploded for 17 tries in Friday’s game in Dubai to make it a perfect three wins from three and move to an unassailable 18 points. Japan, warming up for this year’s World Cup in New Zealand which kicks off on Sept. 9, play Sri Lanka in their last match next weekend. Lock Hitoshi Ono, whose family’s dairy farm has been threatened by collapse by the current nuclear crisis at the crippled power plant north of Tokyo, was given the captain’s armband for the game.
Canadian player found dead
Canadian professional hockey player Derek Boogaard was found dead on Friday in his Minneapolis, Minnesota, apartment. He was 28. The New York Rangers announced the forward’s death on Friday night, but gave no details. Boogaard had signed a four-year, US$6.5 million deal with the Rangers in July last year and appeared in 22 games with them last season. He had a goal and an assist to go with 45 penalty minutes. One of the most feared fighters in the NHL, Boogaard missed the last 52 games of the regular season with a concussion and shoulder injury and did not play in the playoffs. The Saskatchewan native began his NHL career with Minnesota and appeared in 255 games with the Wild from 2005 to 2010.
Phelps flounders in free
Switzerland’s Dominik Meichtry beat Michael Phelps and four other Olympians to win the 200m freestyle on Friday at the Charlotte UltraSwim meet. Meichtry finished with a time of 1 minute, 48.55 seconds, overtaking early leader Ryan Lochte and edging Ricky Barens, who finished second in 1 minute, 49.25 seconds. Austria’s Markus Rogan was third in 1 minute, 49.47 seconds. Phelps finished in sixth place, 1.34 seconds behind Meichtry. The race was Phelps’ first since he finished a surprising fourth in the 200m butterfly at a meet in Michigan last month, ending a winning streak in the event dating back to 2002. Phelps, who has been training intensely for the upcoming world championships in Shanghai in July, was in an outside lane after posting a slow time in the heats.
Rivers extends with Celtics
Doc Rivers has agreed to a fresh five-year deal to remain head coach of the Boston Celtics, the NBA team said on Friday. Rivers’ existing contract was set to expire at the end of this season and he had initially planned to take a break from coaching after the Celtics were eliminated from the playoffs on Wednesday. However, the 49-year-old changed his mind and Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the team’s Web site that Rivers would return for next season. No further details of the new deal were disclosed, but local media estimate the contract extension to be worth US$35 million. Rivers, an NBA All-Star as a player with the Atlanta Hawks in 1988, led the Celtics to the 2008 NBA championship and also to last year’s Finals.