Mechelen slump to 10th
Taiwan international Javier Chen’s KV Mechelen dropped to 10th in the Belgian Jupiler League on Saturday after a 2-0 home defeat to KSC Lokeren Oost-Vlaanderen. Hamdi Harbaoui opened the scoring for the visitors in the 16th minute, but they were reduced to 10 men in the last minute of the first half when Congolese midfielder Tiko was sent off after receiving his second yellow card. Mechelen failed to find a way past the 10 men, though, and Lokeren made sure of the three points four minutes from time when Laurens De Bock added a second. Chen played the full 90 minutes.
Makau sets new record
Patrick Makau of Kenya broke the world record to win the Berlin Marathon yesterday. Makau pulled away after 27km and finished in two hours, three minutes and 38 seconds. Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia, who held the previous record of two hours, three minutes and 59 seconds, pulled up after Makau’s breakaway and seemed on the verge of giving up, but resumed running. For several kilometers, he was second, about two minutes behind Makau, but appeared to have finally given up before the finish. Makau also won last year’s race in driving rain.
Norret pulls two clear
Denmark’s Thomas Norret pulled two strokes clear of the field after a solid two-under par-70 in the third round of the Austrian Open in Atzenbrugg on Saturday to set up a shot at his first tour title. Norret’s 54-hole total of nine-under (207) put him ahead of three Britons in Kenneth Ferrie (67), Simon Wakefield (70) and Robert Coles (72) as well as Joost Luiten (72) from the Netherlands. “I will definitely be talking to the mental coach tonight — hopefully we can get me over the line,” the 37-year-old Norret, whose last win came on the Challenge Tour in 2002, told the European Tour Web site. Ferrie is the only past winner on tour in the top five, so 18-time winner Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain, who posted a 70 to lie just five back (212), was to be among those hunting down the leaders yesterday.
Bronzini retains world title
Italian Giorgia Bronzini retained her world title when she once again denied Dutchwoman Marianne Vos with a perfectly timed surge in the final stretch in the 140km road race in Rudersdal, Denmark, on Saturday. Bronzini launched her sprint with 150m to go, with Vos unable to catch her on the line as Italy won their fourth women’s title in the last five years. Germany’s Ina-Yoko Teutenberg finished third ahead of Briton Nicole Cooke, who produced her effort too late to repeat her 2008 success. It was Vos’s fifth second-place in succession and her 2006 victory is a distant memory.
Taiwan wins mixed doubles
Taiwan’s Chen Hung-ling and Cheng Wen-hsing took gold in mixed doubles at the Japan Open in Tokyo yesterday, defeating Joachim Fischer Nielsel and Christinna Pedersen of Denmark 21-19, 16-21, 21-15. However, Cheng and compatriot Chien Yu-chin lost to Chinese pair Bao Yixin and Zhong Qianxin 13-21, 25-23, 21-12 for the women’s doubles title at the Japan Open in Toyko yesterday. Meanwhile, in men’s singles action, Chen Long claimed his second title in two weeks when he shocked world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei to win. The Chinese fourth-seed, fresh from his victory at the China Masters last weekend, dashed the Malaysian’s defense of the title with a 21-8, 10-21, 21-19 victory.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017