Costa Rica to attend Copa
Costa Rica have decided to accept an invitation to replace Japan at the Copa America, the Central American country’s Football Federation president Eduardo Li said on Tuesday. “We have taken the decision to take part in the Copa America,” Li, whose squad will take one of two berths for guest teams in the July 1 to July 14 tournament, told reporters. “We can go with an Olympic team, an under-23 [side] with five reinforcements basically over 23 years of age.” Japan pulled out on Monday after failing to get the release of European-based players and facing a problem with J-League clubs whose season has been extended into July following the earthquake and tsunami in March.
Wang completes simulations
Taiwanese pitcher Wang Chien-ming of the Washington Nationals completed all of his seven simulation games in Florida on Tuesday, a step forward in his attempt to return to the Major League. The former New York Yankees starter, who has not pitched in the majors since 2009 because of a shoulder injury, threw five innings for the first time in the extended spring training, including seven strikes. “I felt pretty good overall today. I controlled the ball much better and did not use as many balls as last time. My sliders were also in good position,” he said in a TV interview with Taiwanese media. The right-hander threw 64 balls against the Houston Astros hitters without letting them score. His fastest ball was timed at 138.4km per hour. Wang’s next move will be to the Nationals’ minor league, Class 2A on Sunday, where he will begin a rehab assignment. He will hopefully return to the majors in late June.
Yani Tseng paired with Hart
Top seed Choi Na-yeon of South Korea will face Scotland’s Catriona Matthew in the first round of the US$1.5 million LPGA Match-Play Championship that begins today. A random draw on Tuesday set up the pairings for the showdown at Hamilton Farm Golf Club, which concludes with semi-finals and an 18-hole final for the US$375,000 top prize on Sunday. Seedings were based upon last year’s LPGA money list rather than the current rankings, adding another twist to the bracketing, which saw the top 32 players from last year locked into place and their opponents selected in a blind draw. World No. 1 and LPGA season money leader Yani Tseng of Taiwan, the fourth seed, was paired against American Marcy Hart, the second-worst seed in the field of 64. Second-ranked and second-seeded Jiyai Shin will open against fellow South Korean Meena Lee.
X Games looks to expand
The X Games, a US-based multi-sport festival including such sports as skateboarding and motocross, will expand globally in 2013 with three new events to start in 2013, founder ESPN said on Tuesday. ESPN produces current events in Los Angeles and winter-sport haven Aspen, Colorado, plus another in France with partner Canal Plus. Cities will bid next year to host three other 2013 X Games to be staged outside the US. The X Games, which began in 1995, includes BMX cycling, skateboarding, motocross and rally car racing, while the Winter X Games features skiing, snowboard and snowmobile events. Since 1998, the X Games has organized smaller-level demonstration and qualifying events in Brazil, Canada, China, Dubai, France, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan and the Philippines.