Hsu wins Slovenia title
Taiwanese badminton player Hsu Jen-hao defeated 166 contestants from 21 countries to win the Slovenia International 2011 tournament. Taiwan’s representative office in Austria said it was the second championship Hsu has won in Europe so far this year. In February, he beat a Ukrainian player to claim the men’s singles title at the Austrian International Challenge. At the Slovenia tournament, Hsu trounced his opponents in the early stages of the contest to advance to the final, where he routed the top-seeded Guatemalan player Kevin Cordon 21-14, 19-21 and 21-10.
Busquets cleared for final
UEFA cleared Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets to play in the Champions League final after dismissing claims on Monday he racially insulted Real Madrid defender Marcelo during the semi-finals. Busquets was facing a five-match ban if UEFA’s disciplinary panel found the racial abuse allegation proven at a hearing held on Sunday. However, panel chairman Thomas Partl of Austria judged there was “a lack of strong and convincing evidence,” UEFA said in a statement. Marcelo, who is black, alleged that Busquets called him a “monkey” during an ill-tempered first-leg match on April 27 in Madrid, which Barcelona won 2-0.
Ajax nearly loses trophy
Ajax goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg usually has a safe pair of hands, but he managed to drop the Dutch league’s trophy from the top of a bus as the team took a triumphal ride through Amsterdam. Amateur video shows the trophy fall backward off the bus, apparently after colliding with overhead tram wires on Sunday. It was handed back by a fan, to the applause of onlookers. The incident resembles one from last month when Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos dropped Spain’s Copa del Rey trophy.
Japan quit Copa again
Japan have pulled out of the Copa America for the second time in six weeks after failing to get the release of their European-based players, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) said on Monday. The Japanese, who were invited to the July tournament in Argentina as guests, had been persuaded to reverse a decision to withdraw taken on April 4 following the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country in March. Japan Football Association president Junji Ogura also said it was difficult to assemble a squad of mainly home-based players since the domestic J-League calendar had been put back six weeks owing to the devastation from the earthquake and tsunami. The AFA said the South American Football Confederation would send an invitation to Costa Rica yesterday asking if they would like to replace Japan.
Swift takes California lead
Britain’s Ben Swift held off a hard-charging Peter Sagan to win the weather-shortened opening stage of the Tour of California on Monday. The 23-year-old Swift stormed into the lead, emerging from a large sprint pack to finish the 124km stage in two hours, 47 minutes and 12 seconds. It was the fifth win of the season for Swift, who competes for Team Sky. Slovakia’s Sagan, of Liquigas-Cannondale, finished right behind Swift in second and Aussie Matthew Goss, of HTC-Highroad, was third. Monday’s second stage was run on a shortened course because of snow and chilly temperatures in the Lake Tahoe area.