Pedrosa wins in Germany
Sachsenring specialist Dani Pedrosa won his third successive German MotoGP to open his account for the year yesterday. While the Spaniard took the honors, his Honda teammate Casey Stoner, destined to take second, crashed out with two bends of the final lap remaining to dent his hopes of defending his world title before he heads into retirement. The main beneficiary of Stoner’s spill was Yamaha’s former champion Jorge Lorenzo, who was gifted the runner-up spot to move clear at the top of the riders standings on 160 points. Pedrosa climbed into second on 146 points with Stoner on 140. First-corner carnage in Assen the previous weekend had checked Lorenzo’s title charge, with Stoner arriving at Sachsenring level on points with the Spaniard. Alvaro Bautista was found guilty for that spill and as a punishment the Honda rider was consigned to the back of the grid. Pedrosa cut a happy figure afterwards. “At the start, I wasn’t comfortable because of changes to my bike,” he said. “As I became used to all the changes, I passed Casey and was feeling good. Towards the end I had to fight for the win, on the last lap I was racing at my maximum.”
Keita quits Barcelona
Mali midfielder Seydou Keita has quit Barcelona after his four-year contract ended, having won 14 titles with the team, the club said late on Saturday. “Seydou Keita has announced this evening that he won’t be staying at the club next season,” a statement published on the club’s Web site said. “FC Barcelona thanks Seydou Keita for his services to the club over the years, and wishes him professional and personal success in the future.” The local press reported that Keita, 32, was planning to move to Chinese club Dalian Aerbin. Keita previously played for French clubs Olympique de Marseille, Lorient and Lens, before moving to Spain where he played for Seville for one season.
Deschamps eyes France job
Former France captain Didier Deschamps is in talks with the French Football Federation about becoming the national team’s new manager, a source close to the talks said on Saturday. “We are in full negotiation. It’s a step further, but it’s not yet an outcome. We are in the phase of entry into talks. If there is an outcome and an agreement, I think it won’t be before tomorrow [Sunday],” the source added. The development comes a week after Laurent Blanc’s decision to step down from the post following two years in charge after being unable to reach an agreement with federation president Noel Le Graet on a new contract. Deschamps became increasingly linked as a candidate to fill the vacancy after quitting his position as coach of Olympique de Marseille on Monday last week.
Zola inks Watford deal
Watford have appointed Gianfranco Zola as their new manager after the Championship club’s new Italian owners sacked former manager Sean Dyche. Watford, who play in the division below the Premier League, said the 46-year-old former Italy international and West Ham United manager joined on a two-year contract.”I think Watford’s fans can expect an exciting and attacking style from his team. Gianfranco represents this project perfectly,” technical director Gianluca Nani said. Dyche was in charge for a year and he guided Watford to 11th in the league last season. He was fired after the Pozzo family completed their takeover last weekend. Zola has been out of work since being sacked by West Ham in 2010.
James, Bryant go for gold
With LeBron James and Kobe Bryant already among the NBA stars on board for a bid for a second straight gold, USA Basketball finalized its 12-man squad for the London Olympics on Saturday. James, coming off his first NBA title with Miami, and Bryant are joined by 2008 gold medal-winning teammates Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Deron Williams on the squad again guided by Duke University coach Mike Krzyzewski. NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant and Oklahoma City teammate Russell Westbrook, who lost to Miami in the NBA Finals, are also joined by 2010 world championship teammates Tyson Chandler and Kevin Love, two vital big men for the Americans. With those nine in place, US officials had the task of selecting the last three pieces of the puzzle — filling out the squad on Saturday with Blake Griffin, Andre Iguodala and James Harden.
Russia, Lithuania in
Former European champions Russia and Lithuania have claimed two of the last three remaining berths in the men’s basketball tournament at this year’s London Games following their victories in the semi-finals of the ongoing Olympic qualifying tournament. The Russians overcame a stiff challenge from Nigeria to beat the west African nation 85-77, while Lithuania blew away the Dominican Republic 109-83 in the fiercely competitive 12-team tournament in Venezuela on Saturday. The Nigerians and the Dominicans, who have been surprise packages in the event, will lock horns for the remaining Olympic slot. The US, Spain, France, Argentina, China, Tunisia, Argentina and Brazil had earlier qualified alongside hosts Great Britain.
Adrian Peterson arrested
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was arrested at a Houston nightclub on Saturday and charged with resisting arrest. The Houston Police Department Central Jail booked Peterson and held him until a US$1,000 bond was posted, police department data showed. No other details were immediately available, but the Vikings issued a brief statement acknowledging the incident and saying they would not comment further until more information was available.
Stewart upsets the field
Tony Stewart pinched a dramatic win at NASCAR’s Daytona event on Saturday, charging past Matt Kenseth on the last lap and holding on as several challengers crashed behind him. “I don’t even remember what happened that last lap,” Stewart said. He has 18 victories at Daytona, second only to the late Dale Earnhardt. Stewart qualified second, but started near the back of the field because his time was thrown out by NASCAR when his Chevrolet failed inspection. He was at the back for much of the race, letting Roush Fenway Racing teammates Kenseth and Greg Biffle control the front. The Roush drivers thought they had the field covered, and probably still liked their chances on the final green-white-checkered restart. Kenseth was the leader with Biffle on his bumper, as second-placed Stewart was lined up with Kasey Kahne. Kenseth and Biffle pulled away for a lap, but Stewart came up quickly on the outside, moved to the front, then crossed down the track in front of Kenseth for the lead. Seconds later, Biffle seemed to wiggle in traffic and cars began crashing all over the track. “I’m not really sure what happened, they just started wrecking behind us,” Kenseth said.
DRIVING AMBITION: ‘I was excited by playing at the Olympics ... Who knows what’s going to happen? Hopefully, I could have a chance to win a medal,’ Tiffany Chan said After just three tournaments this year, a chance of Olympic glory postponed and two weeks alone in quarantine, golfer Tiffany Chan could be forgiven for feeling sorry for herself. Instead, Hong Kong’s first LPGA Tour player is sporting a broad grin and taking the positives from the game’s COVID-19 shutdown, determined to establish herself in the fiercely competitive world of women’s golf. The talented 26-year-old kept herself fit physically and mentally during the lockdown, and is happy to be back on the fairways since the easing of coronavirus restrictions last month. “When I came back to Hong Kong [in March], I actually did
Eleven-year-old skateboarder Sky Brown, who is hoping to become Britain’s youngest Olympian next year, fractured her skull and broke bones in her left hand after falling from a ramp during a training session in California. Brown posted a video of the accident on Instagram, but reassured supporters that she was fine. “I don’t usually post my falls or talk about them ... but this was my worst fall. I just want everyone to know that it’s OK — don’t worry, I’m OK,” she said. “I’m going to push boundaries for girls with my skating and surfing. I’m going for gold in 2021
It is the land of the world champions, but is it really a soccer country? That is the question that some in France have been asking this week while its European neighbors work to bring the sport back after the COVID-19 shutdown. Debate has raged ever since Ligue 1 decided in late April to bring a premature end to the season with 10 rounds of matches unplayed. By contrast, two weeks have passed since the Bundesliga restarted, while Italian Minister for Sport Vincenzo Spadafora on Thursday confirmed that Serie A would return on June 20, and La Liga and the English Premier
A feel-good campaign allowing fans to have cardboard cutouts of themselves at Australian rugby league games has been hijacked by pranksters, with a notorious serial killer among those making an appearance — while one TV show edited an image of Adolf Hitler into the crowd. The NRL launched “Fan In The Stand” to coincide with the sport’s return at the weekend after its season was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Supporters are barred from stadiums under strict health protocols, but can pay A$22 (US$15) to have their photograph printed on a life-size cutout and placed in the stands of