Australia faces health scare
Swimming Australia has canceled its last warmup meet before the London Olympics after a water polo coach and two players who train at the venue were diagnosed with whooping cough. Swimming Australia said it called off a relay camp and the meet at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), due to start tomorrow, as a precaution after the women’s water polo team was placed in isolation in Canberra. Olympic swimmers have been advised to continue training in their home cities until leaving to fine-tune in Europe. Swimming Australia head coach Leigh Nugent said he had spoken with AIS officials and, “while we are comfortable with the procedures they have put in place, we have decided to take this precaution.” The cancelation was a setback for the strong Australian squad as it removed a good chance for competitive racing ahead of the London Games. The AIS said in a statement it was treating the whooping cough outbreak “very seriously” and would continue to work closely with the institute’s own health professionals and the provincial health authorities to reduce any potential risk.
Casey returns to BMW
After injury forced him out of the US Open last week, Paul Casey returns to play in the BMW International Open in Cologne, Germany, determined to qualify for the European Ryder Cup team. The Englishman could not compete in San Francisco because of continuing problems since dislocating his right shoulder in a snow-boarding mishap in January. It was only the third major Casey has missed since playing his first at the British Open in 2002. Casey says “this week really now is the start of my season.” Casey is 60th in the world rankings and 30th on the European Ryder Cup points table. He was a member of the winning teams in 2004 and 2006, but lost in 2008 and missed out in 2010 with Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald preferred as wild cards.
Clijsters makes quarters
Kim Clijsters advanced to the UNICEF Open quarter-finals with an easy 6-2, 6-1 victory over Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine on Tuesday. The win on grass a week ahead of Wimbledon was just Clijster’s second since returning from a three-month hip injury. She lost the opening set to Romina Oprandi on Sunday and struggled in the second before taking control of that match. “Bondarenko’s playing style suits me a lot better,” she said. Clijsters played more aggressively and saved the only break point she faced. Among the men, top-seeded David Ferrer of Spain beat Pierre-Ludovic Duclos of Canada 6-4, 6-4 in a first-round match.
Vettori throws hat back in
Former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori wants to return to the short form of the game at this year’s International Cricket Council World Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka, officials said yesterday. The 33-year-old spinner announced last year that he was taking an indefinite break from one-dayers and Twenty20 cricket to concentrate on his Test career after representing New Zealand in all forms of the game since 1997. However, New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said Vettori, the world’s top-ranked Twenty20 bowler in 2009, had declared himself available for the September-October tournament. “[He] is widely regarded as one of the best Twenty20 exponents in world cricket,” White said.
Cuba national players defect