PM bets his cognac on win
Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov was so convinced the buoyant co-hosts would beat France in their Euro 2012 Group D match in Donetsk yesterday that he was betting his best-quality cognac on it. After a morale-boosting 2-1 win over Sweden at a rocking Olympic Stadium on Monday, Azarov said he was sure Ukraine would win, even though they have never beaten France, who are on a 22-match unbeaten run. However, with spearhead Andriy Shevchenko on song after his brace in the capital and France going into the game on the back of scoring just once from 19 shots against England, the outcome was far from certain.
Boca grab advantage in semi
Six-time champions Boca Juniors defeated Universidad de Chile 2-0 in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores semi-final on Thursday. Striker Santiago Silva opened the scoring in the 15th minute and Juan Sanchez Mino added to the lead in the 55th to give Boca Juniors the win at La Bombonera in Buenos Aires. Boca Juniors can advance to the final of Latin America’s most important club competition with a draw or even a 1-0 loss next week in Santiago, Chile. Universidad are trying to become the first Chilean team to reach the final since 1991. Defending champions Santos lost 1-0 at home to Brazilian rivals Corinthians on Wednesday in the first leg of the other semi-final.
Sprinter charged with rape
A female Indian athlete has been charged with raping her live-in partner. Pinki Pramanik, who won a 4x400m relay gold medal at the 2006 Asian Games, was arrested late on Thursday and taken to Baguiati police station in the northwest of Kolkata. Police said her partner had accused her of repeated rape and of being male, and that Pramanik had refused to take a medical examination at a government hospital. “I have undergone numerous tests in my career as an athlete,” Pramanik was quoted as saying in yesterday’s Times of India. “Why should I agree to more ridiculous tests?” Prabir Roy, the duty officer at the Baguiati police station, said that Pramanik was remanded in custody on rape charges and would appear in court later yesterday. “She was arrested and taken to a government-run hospital, but she refused to sit for a medical test,” Roy said.
Sagan wins another stage
Slovak Peter Sagan of the Liquigas team continued to dominate the Tour de Suisse by claiming his fourth stage win on Thursday’s stage six. Sagan crossed ahead of Britain’s Ben Swift of Sky, with Australian Allan Davis of GreenEdge third after the 198.5km run between Wittnau and Bischofszell. Portugal’s Rui Costa of Movistar holds the overall race leader’s yellow jersey with an eight-second advantage on Luxembourg’s Frank Schleck. Sagan, who won five stages at the Tour of California last month, has six stage wins in the race in two years.
Kim grabs share of lead
US-based South Korea golfer Kim Sih-wan, who is playing his first season on the European Tour, carved out a share of the lead in the first round of the Saint-Omer Open on Thursday. Kim shares a one-shot lead alongside Englishmen Adam Gee and Simon Wakefield after a four-under 67. The 23-year-old carded five birdies against one bogey. Kim, Gee and Wakefield are one shot clear of Spaniard Raul Quiros, South African Darren Fichardt and Scot Raymond Russell.