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.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet is already in Florida with the rest of his Toronto teammates, and he knows the time to take a stand and counter the NBA plan to restart the season has passed, but his opinion on the matter has not changed. “It sucks,” VanVleet said on Monday in a videoconference of his choice to return to the court during the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter campaign. “It’s terrible timing, but that’s been 2020 for us. We all know the right thing to do is to not play, to take a stand. Morally, yes, that makes sense, but
Legendary batsman Everton Weekes, the last of the famed West Indies “Three Ws,” died on Wednesday at the age of 95 and was hailed as “a founding father” of the sport in the Caribbean. “Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of an icon. A legend, our hero, Sir Everton Weekes,” Cricket West Indies (CWI) wrote on Twitter. “Our condolences go out to his family, friends and many fans around the world. May he rest in peace.” Barbadian Weekes was part of a feared post-World War II West Indies team who also featured Clyde Walcott and Frank Worrell. Walcott died in