Le Clos makes girl’s day
South African swimming hunk and Olympic gold medalist Chad le Clos made a girl’s day by agreeing to go to her school dance when she wooed him with a poster at a Johannesburg airport. “I just started to cry. I was shaking and I was so nervous,” said Melanie Olhaus, 17, after Le Clos, 20, agreed to be her date. Le Clos beat US legend Michael Phelps by five-hundredths of a second to take gold in the 200m butterfly on July 31. The final-year pupil at Glenvista High School in Johannesburg skipped class on Tuesday to try her luck when Le Clos was at the O.R. Tambo International Airport to welcome back the rest of the country’s Olympic team returning from London. The pretty blonde held up a baby-blue poster with the words: “Chad, will you be my matric dance date???” together with pictures of her and him holding his gold medal. “He said he thinks he’s in the country at that time and he’ll try and make it,” Olhaus told Beeld newspaper on Thursday. School principal Marius Robinson showed understanding for her bunking. “Let’s just say it was an urgent personal appointment,” he joked.
Maradona’s son to join club
The son of soccer great Diego Maradona is close to joining a third-division Argentine club. Diego Sinagra Maradona — known as Diego Junior — is expected to join the club El Porvenir. The club’s coach says the paperwork is being completed and that the midfielder is expected to arrive in Argentina next week. Diego Junior was born in Italy in 1986, the offspring of a relationship Maradona had with an Italian woman, Cristina Sinagra, while he was playing with Italian club Napoli. “I love Argentine football and to play there is something I’ve wished to do,’’ Diego Junior told the Argentine sports daily Ole. El Porvenir coach Luis Ventura said on his Twitter feed that signing Diego Junior “would not cost the club a cent, but could generate interest and income.” Diego Junior has had little contact with his father and has none of his soccer talent, with his career limited to lower-level clubs in Italy.
Akhtar eyes coach job
Controversial former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar threw his hat into the ring yesterday to become Pakistan’s next bowling coach. Pakistan have been hunting for a bowling coach since appointing Australian Dav Whatmore as head coach in March, with former Essex paceman Ian Pont the leading contender. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) set up a three-man committee to find a suitable candidate. “I am ready to be the bowling coach for Pakistan. If the PCB contacts me then I will offer my services,” Akhtar, 37, told reporters. The paceman, whose career was plagued by fitness and discipline problems, retired from cricket after the World Cup last year. He took 178 wickets in 46 Tests and 247 in 163 one-day internationals. “It’s an honor to serve the country and it can be done by helping the upcoming bowlers. It will give me a chance to pay back what the country has given me,” Akhtar said.
Liverpool to sign Assaidi
Liverpool have agreed to sign Morocco winger Oussama Assaidi from Heerenveen, the Premier League club said on their Web site on Thursday. The 24-year-old winger, who has 22 caps, scored 20 goals in 68 games for the Dutch first division side last season. He is now to undergo a medical before the transfer is completed. Brendan Rodgers, the new Liverpool manager, has already signed Swansea City midfielder Joe Allen and Italy striker Fabio Borini from AS Roma for the new campaign.