Officials urge use of buses
Free shuttle buses will be available to take spectators to the course during the Swinging Skirts Invitational tournament which starts tomorrow at the Miramar Golf & Country Club in Linkou, New Taipei City, and fans should use public transportation to avoid traffic congestion, the organizers said on Monday. An estimated 50,000 spectators are expected to attend the invitational tournament that features women’s world No. 1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan and 80 other top female golfers from 10 countries. As part of the planning for the event, the organizers and city officials are taking steps to avoid traffic congestion near the venue. The city’s Transportation Department said spectators can leave their vehicles at two designated parking lots and take free shuttle buses to the course. One parking lot is on Huaya 1st Road in Kuishan Township, Taoyuan County, and it can accommodate 1,000 vehicles, while the other is in front of Hungfu Temple in Linkou and it can accommodate 300 vehicles, the department said. In addition, free shuttle buses will also operate from Banciao Railway Station and Taiwan High Speed Rail’s Taoyuan Station. The city government warned that there will be a strict ban on parking without a permit in the vicinity of the course and it urged spectators to use public transportation and the shuttle buses.
Williams to face Tutaki
Rugby World Cup winner Sonny Bill Williams will switch the pitch for the ring once again in February when he fights for New Zealand’s vacant heavyweight boxing crown, the All Blacks back told local media yesterday. Williams faces 10-year professional Richard Tutaki in Hamilton on Feb. 8, less than three weeks before his debut with his new Super Rugby side, the Waikato Chiefs. Undefeated in four fights against a succession of journeyman opponents, Williams said Tutaki presents a real challenge. “I think every time you step in the ring, there’s a bit of fear in there, but that motivates you to train hard and do your best,” Williams told reporters. “He’s a seasoned campaigner, 40 fights, so hopefully I haven’t bitten off too much, but I’ll be right.” His 33-year-old opponent, nicknamed the “Tutaki Express Train,” has a 19-21 record with one draw in 41 fights. He lost his last bout in April following an 18-month break from the sport, local media said.
Shay Given out for a month
Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given will be out of action for a month after the Republic of Ireland veteran picked up a hamstring injury in his club’s 1-0 loss to Manchester United at the weekend. Scans on Monday confirmed the 35-year-old had suffered a small tear in his left hamstring. Brad Guzan, who replaced Given seven minutes before the break on Saturday, will continue to deputize, starting with this weekend’s Premier League game at Bolton Wanderers.
Marlins sign pitcher Bell
The Miami Marlins signed All-Star pitcher Heath Bell to a three-year US$27 million contract, the Major League Baseball club announced on Monday. The signing of closing pitcher Bell comes a day after the Marlins signed star shortstop Jose Reyes to a preliminary six-year, US$106 million deal. Bell has compiled more than 40 saves in each of the past three seasons for San Diego. He converted 43 saves in 48 opportunities last season with the Padres.