Chen does photo shoot
The Baltimore Orioles’ Taiwanese player Chen Wei-yin has shed his baseball uniform to pose in fashionwear for the cover of next month’s issue of the Taiwanese edition of Esquire magazine. Chen said it was a new experience for him and that it felt very different from his normal job of playing baseball. He also said it was a lot less stressful than playing baseball, because all he had to do was follow the directions of the photographer. The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Steve Chen, flew from Taipei to Los Angeles to arrange the shoot, which portrayed another side to Chen’s normally “fierce” image on the ballpark, showing him as both fashionable and stylish, at times severe and other times like a boy.
China picks Li Xuerui
China have omitted Asian Games singles champion Wang Shixian from their Olympic badminton team and picked 21-year-old talent Li Xuerui as the third and final entry in the women’s singles at the London Games. The battle for the final spot between former world No. 1 Wang and Li sparked heated media speculation in China in recent weeks, with the first two slots already sewn up by world champion and No. 1 Wang Yihan and No. 2 Wang Xin. The three Wangs share the same surname, but are not related. Wang Shixian, once tipped to dominate Chinese badminton after winning gold on home soil at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, was surpassed by her teammates over the past year and a half amid fitness concerns. However, Li has been in outstanding form this season, upsetting her top-ranked compatriot Wang Yihan to win the prestigious All England title in Birmingham in March before riding a 30-match winning streak that was broken only last month.
Spain team hopes for gold
Like its all-conquering soccer team, Spain’s basketball squad boasts a camaraderie that will boost their hopes at the London Olympics and maybe even provide an advantage over the favored Americans. Like the world and European champion soccer team, the basketball squad features a tightknit group of world-class players such as Pau and Marc Gasol and Jose Calderon. Unlike the soccer players, though, Spain has yet to break through in top competition such as the Olympics. Coach Sergio Scariolo said on Sunday that Spain’s Olympics preparations were exceeding expectations and he is optimistic about the 2008 silver medalists’ prospects of going one better and winning gold in London.
Syque Caeser blazes trail
Syque Caesar hopes to come, see and conquer his rivals at the London Olympics, but even if he finishes outside the medals, the US-born gymnast is proud to be blazing a trail for Bangladesh at the Games. The 21-year-old gymnast from the University of Michigan learned in April that he had been selected to compete in London after receiving an e-mail from the Bangladesh Olympic Association. Born and raised in the US, Caesar has never lived in Bangladesh, but has close family ties to the South Asian country. Caesar’s mother Rezina and father Quazi grew up in Dhaka and moved to the US in the 1980s. Quazi was the first baby born by Caesarean section at Dhaka Medical College and changed his name from Chanchal to Caesar. A talented soccer player, he encouraged Syque to try different sports.