Taiwan in Bronco semi-finals
Taiwan topped a team from Puerto Rico in the Pony League’s Bronco World Series on Monday to finish the preliminary round of play undefeated and clinch a spot in the semi-finals. By winning the White Division, the team from Taoyuan County will face the Green Division runner-up — likely to be Mexico’s Obregon — today for a place in the final. With his team getting a day’s rest yesterday, manager Lee Cheng-ta said all of his pitchers will be available for the semi-final encounter, giving the team a good shot at advancing to the final. Taiwanese teams have reached the Bronco World Series semi-finals for nine consecutive years (excluding 2003, when no Asian team competed because of the SARS scare), but none have won the title since 2000, when a team from Taitung County accomplished that feat.
Nyad calls it quits
Marathon swimmer Diana Nyad’s second bid to swim from Cuba to the Florida Keys is over. According to her Twitter feed, 61-year-old Nyad was pulled from the water early yesterday morning after swimming for 29 hours. She was about halfway in the journey that was expected to take 60 hours to cover at least 166km. Elaine Lafferty, who was on the boat according to Nyad’s blog, posted on Twitter: “It’s over.” The Twitter postings said Nyad decided to end the swim after “realizing the conditions of 5 [9.26kph] to 10 knot winds and less than ideal currents.” An online chart plotting Nyad’s track showed the Gulf Stream currents pushing her to the east of the intended course.
Real sign seven-year-old
Spanish giants Real Madrid have signed a seven-year-old Argentine boy, a spokesman for the club confirmed on Monday. Leonel Angel Coira, who has lived in Spain for the past three years, “will start training with the children’s team on September 6,” spokesman Juan Tapiador said. In an interview with Argentine sports daily Ole last week, Leonel said he hoped to make Real’s first team one day — even though his idol is Lionel Messi, star of Madrid’s arch-rivals Barcelona. His father Miguel, who is the coach of a small team in the Madrid suburbs, told the Spanish newspaper ABC that Leonel had signed a one-year contract that can be renewed, but will receive no salary. From the age of 16 he can play in the first team. He said his son decided on Real after receiving an offer from cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid.
Jersey furor erupts
Sportsware giant Adidas has found itself in a dispute with New Zealand retailers in the lead up to this year’s Rugby World Cup over the price of All Blacks replica jerseys. Adidas released the new jersey last month, expecting strong sales as rugby-mad New Zealand hosts the World Cup. However, New Zealand retailers said the public had shunned the high-tech tops because Adidas set the local retail price too high at NZ$220 (US$180) and they were available for half that cost from online stores in the US and Britain. Rebel Sport general manager Rod Duke, head of the country’s largest sportswear retailer, said Adidas has refused to lower the price, even though it was hurting sales. Duke said Rebel Sport had decided to drop the price of the jersey to NZ$170 to remedy the “intolerable” situation. Prime Minister John Key also weighed into the dispute, saying Adidas needed “to determine whether their actions are in the best interests of the country.”