Thu, Jul 14, 2011 - Page 18 News List

Sports Briefs

Staff Writer, with Agencies


Li pips Tseng to win award

Chinese tennis player Li Na has been named the US Sports Academy’s Female Athlete of the Month for last month, leaving Taiwanese golfer Yani Tseng in second place and Dallas Escobedo, a freshman softball ace for Arizona State University in the US, in third. Li became the first player from an Asian nation to win a Grand Slam title when she won the French Open on June 4. World No. 1 female golfer Tseng has defended her title for the 22nd consecutive week, an LPGA report released on Tuesday showed. Although she failed to achieve a career Grand Slam at the US Women’s Open last week, it had no effect on her ranking. The Male Athlete of the Month was Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki. PGA golfer Rory McIlroy came in second, with tennis ace Rafael Nadal third.


Scots hold out against Irish

Scotland upset the odds to beat World Cup giantkillers Ireland by five wickets in a one-day international at the Grange on Tuesday. It looked as if Ireland, who beat Test nation England at the World Cup in India earlier this year, were on course for a sixth successive victory over their Celtic rivals after piling up 320 for 8, featuring 113 from Middlesex’s Paul Stirling. However, with Kyle Coetzer having already made 89, Richie Berrington saw Scotland to the brink of success with six sixes in 23 balls during his 56. Josh Davey, who finished on 50 not out, won the match with a four as Scotland finished on a record one-day total of 323 for 5 with nine balls remaining. The match was part of a triangular series also featuring Sri Lanka, whose opening fixture against Ireland was washed out without a ball bowled on Monday. This series was scheduled to conclude with Scotland’s match against Sri Lanka yesterday.


Japan win Pacific Nations

Japan stunned hosts Fiji 24-13 to capture the Pacific Nations Cup for the first time in dramatic fashion yesterday, giving Asia’s top side a huge boost ahead of this year’s World Cup. The Brave Blossoms need a four-try bonus-point victory over the Fijians and got it when Yuta Imamura skipped over just before the buzzer to trigger wild Japanese celebrations. “Great courage from the boys,” Japan coach John Kirwan said. “They were very physical ... I’m very proud of them.” Japan finished level with Tonga on 10 points in the standings, but won the tournament by virtue of their 28-27 win over the Tongans at the weekend. Tonga beat Samoa 29-19 before Japan’s fireworks tore up the script. Fiji let themselves down with some poor discipline and finished the game with just 12 players on the pitch. All four teams were using the competition as a warm-up for this year’s World Cup in New Zealand.


Turkish teams get go-ahead

UEFA says Turkish clubs Fenerbahce and Trabzonspor can play in next season’s Champions League despite their involvement in a widespread match-fixing probe. UEFA says the investigation is “a complex case which is still evolving,” but “there is nothing according to the UEFA statutes or regulations” to refuse entry. However, UEFA warns that clubs can be kicked out of the Champions League or banned in future seasons “if it transpires (they) obtained qualification via manipulated or fixed matches.” Prosecutors have charged dozens of suspects, including league champion Fenerbahce’s president, over corruption allegations involving 19 games. Runner-up Trabzonspor is in tomorrow’s Champions League third qualifying round draw.

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