RUGBY WORLD CUP
All Blacks stay in black
New Zealand will play the World Cup final in their traditional all black strip despite France, who will be in white shirts, winning the toss for choice of colors ahead of Sunday’s match at Auckland’s Eden Park. Historically, shirt color never used to be an issue between the two countries, with France wearing navy blue and New Zealand, this year’s World Cup hosts, black. However, the decision of France’s US-based kit suppliers Nike to develop a darker blue shirt for the 2007 World Cup caused problems ahead of a quarter-final clash against New Zealand in Cardiff. Eventually, after much debate, France played in blue and New Zealand an unfamiliar gray in a dramatic match the French won 20-18. Traditionally in rugby, unlike soccer, if there was a clash of colors between the two teams it was the home side who would change. However, France team manager Jo Maso said yesterday his side were happy to change as a mark of respect.
Contaor to skip Tour of Italy
Two-time champion Alberto Contador reaffirmed his decision to skip next year’s Tour of Italy on Sunday, preferring to concentrate on capturing a fourth Tour de France crown. “Next year, I am going to think about other objectives, like the Tour de France,” said Contador, who first announced that he would not race the Tour of Italy in August. However, the Spaniard has not turned his back entirely on Italy as he plans to race in the Tirreno-Adriatico. “Due to the good memories I have of Italian fans on the roads during my two Giros, I will take part in next year’s Tirreno-Adriatico — a race which I have yet to win,” he said.
100-year-old breaks record
A 100-year-old runner became the oldest person to complete a full-distance marathon when he finished the race in Toronto, Canada, on Sunday. Indian-born Fauja Singh earned a spot in the Guinness World Book of Records for his accomplishment. It took Singh more than eight hours to cross the finish line — more than six hours after Kenya’s Kenneth Mungara won the event for the fourth straight year — and he was the last competitor to complete the course. Event workers dismantled the barricades along the finish line and took down sponsor banners even as Singh made his way up the final few hundred meters. Family, friends and supporters greeted Singh when he finished the race. “Beating his original prediction, he’s overjoyed,” his coach and translator Harmander Singh said. “Earlier, just before we came around the [final] corner, he said, ‘Achieving this will be like getting married again.’ He’s absolutely overjoyed, he’s achieved his lifelong wish.” Sunday’s run was Singh’s eighth marathon — he ran his first at age 89.
Hernandez told to fight again
Yoan Pablo Hernandez was ordered on Sunday to grant deposed IBF cruiserweight world champion Steve Cunningham a rematch within 120 days after the Cuban controversially won the belt two weeks ago. The IBF said that the American fighter’s facial cuts, which were suffered by a clash of heads in the third and sixth rounds, should not have prevented Cunningham from continuing the bout. Hernandez, 26, won the belt in Neubrandenburg, Germany, after English referee Mickey Vann stopped the fight before the seventh round because of two deep cuts. Two of the judges, Pawel Kardyni (59-54) and Dave Parris (58-55), scored the bout for Hernandez, while the third, John Foster (56-57), opted for the defending champion on Saturday night.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on