Liu Xiang beats David Oliver
China’s former Olympic and world 110m hurdles champion Liu Xiang ended American David Oliver’s winning streak of 18 finals at the Shanghai Diamond League meeting on Sunday. Liu’s time of 13.07 seconds was one of five year’s bests set at the second Diamond League meeting of the season. His new starting technique of seven rather than eight steps to the first hurdle paid off as he recorded a comfortable victory over the US record holder, who had been unbeaten since Aug. 31, 2009. Other year’s bests came from Jamaican Kaliese Spencer in the women’s 400m hurdles (54.20 seconds) and Kenyans Brimin Kipruto in the men’s 3,000 steeplechase (8:02.28), Nixon Chepseba in the men’s 1,500 (3:31.42) and Vivian Cheruyiot in the women’s 5,000 (14:31.92).
Rangers win Scottish title
Rangers sent manager Walter Smith into retirement on a high after securing the Scottish Premier League title for the third successive year on Sunday. A 5-1 win in Kilmarnock, Scotland, which featured a Kyle Lafferty hat-trick, ensured Rangers finished a point ahead of bitter Glasgow rivals Celtic, whose 4-0 win over Motherwell proved academic. Smith, 63, will be replaced by his assistant Ally McCoist.
Saracens beat Gloucester
Teenage outside-half Owen Farrell steered Saracens into a second successive English Premiership final as they came from behind to beat Gloucester 12-10 on Sunday. The 19-year-son of former dual code international Andy Farrell landed four out of eight goalkicks in windy conditions, including the one that sealed the hosts’ two-point victory to set up a repeat of last year’s final against champions Leicester at Twickenham on May 28. His winning effort was all the more commendable as it came soon after Farrell’s charged-down drop-kick paved the way for a breakaway try by Wales international Nicky Robinson.
Clarke wins Iberdrola Open
Darren Clarke overcame a four-shot deficit to win the Iberdrola Open in Mallorca, Spain, on Sunday and dedicated his 13th European Tour title to the memory of golf legend Seve Ballesteros. The Northern Irishman, 42, carded a final-round 69 for a six-under-par total for the tournament, three ahead of the English duo of Chris Wood, who had led after the second and third rounds, and David Lynn. “We wouldn’t be here without Seve, simple as that,” said Clarke of the great Spaniard who lost his long battle with cancer on May 7. “The European Tour would not be in the position it is today without Seve. “He was the first man to do so many things and make so many breakthroughs that we have all followed, so to win in his homeland in the week that he passed away is a real honor.”
Argentina beat Kazakhstan
Champions Argentina made a perfect start to their World Team Cup defense, beating Kazakhstan 3-0 in their opening red group game on Sunday. Juan Monaco eased past Andrey Golubev 6-4, 6-0 on the clay court at the Rochus club, while compatriot Juan Ignacio Chela disposed of Mikhail Kukushkin 6-1, 6-2. Monaco, ranked 37th in the world, then teamed up with Maximo Gonzalez to beat Golubev and Kukushkin 6-4 6-3 to complete the rout. Hosts Germany took a 1-0 lead over 2009 champions Serbia in the blue group with Philipp Kohlschreiber needing a second set tiebreak to edge past Janko Tipsarevic 6-4 7-6.