Rio to host new event
Rio the Janeiro will host a combined ATP and WTA event which will be the biggest tournament in South America from next February. Local organizers announced the Rio Open on Wednesday, to be played from Feb. 15 to Feb. 23. The event will be played at the Jockey Club, which features eight clay courts, including a 7,000-seat center court. The men’s prize money will be US$1.2 million, and the women’s US$235,000. The Rio Open will replace the combined ATP-WTA event in Memphis, Tennessee.
Albany win Tavistock Cup
Ian Poulter birdied the first hole of a playoff to lift Albany past Lake Nona in the Tavistock Cup in Florida, ending Lake Nona’s winning streak at four in the team tournament on Tuesday. Poulter shot an even-par 72 at Isleworth, then teamed up with Tiger Woods in the best-ball playoff against Lake Nona’s Graeme McDowell and Henrik Stenson. Albany tied Lake Nona at seven over, with Woods and Tim Clark shooting 73, and Justin Rose finishing with a 77. The event was shortened to one day of stroke play because of the Monday finish in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. McDowell had a 71 to lead Lake Nona. Ross Fisher had a 72, Stenson shot 74, and Peter Hanson 78. Primland and Isleworth tied for third at eight over, Oak Tree were 12 over and Queenwood 20 over. Primland’s Webb Simpson had the best round, shooting 70.
Former champ in hospital
Wilfredo Gomez’s sister-in-law says the former world champion has been hospitalized because of breathing problems. Nydia Hernandez said on Wednesday that the 56-year-old Gomez, widely considered to be the best Puerto Rican fighter in history, is under sedation in an intensive care unit and is breathing with the assistance of a tube. Gomez was a three-time world champion with the WBA and WBC at super bantamweight, featherweight and junior lightweight. He retired in 1989 with a 44-3 record with one draw and 42 knockouts. Nicknamed “Bazooka,” Gomez had a reputation for taking out opponents quickly, averaging less than four rounds a fight. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1995, becoming only the fifth fighter to be elected in his first year of eligibility.
Sri Lankans get OK for IPL
Sri Lanka’s cricket board said on Wednesday it would allow its players to take part in the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 tournament in India next month after receiving assurances about their safety. The government in Colombo had threatened to prevent any of the 13 Sri Lankan players contracted to play in the IPL from taking part after they were all effectively barred from playing in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. However, after talks with the sports ministry on Wednesday, the board said it would give the green light to the players provided they were happy to go and also did not play in Tamil Nadu. The safety concerns surfaced after signs of growing anger among Indian Tamils over the Sri Lankan government’s treatment of their ethnic kinsmen. There have been several anti-Sri Lanka protests in recent weeks and Tamil Nadu lawmakers called on Wednesday for New Delhi to impose an economic embargo on the Colombo government. Tamil Nadu’s chief minister said on Tuesday she would bar any Sri Lankans from playing in her state, prompting organizers to ban all 13 players from taking the field in games in the state capital Chennai.