Bolt to race in Rio
Usain Bolt, the two-time reigning Olympic champion over 100m and 200m, is to bid to better his world record over the rarely raced distance of 150m on Rio de Janeiro’s famed Copacabana beach tomorrow. The Jamaican sprint star set the world best of 14.35 seconds over 150m at an exhibition race in Manchester in 2009, and is again to race on a track laid over one of the world’s most iconic sandy beaches. “It will be my first speed event of the season,” said the 26-year-old, who last year claimed an unprecendented second treble gold sprint showing at the London Olympics. “I’ve already had the chance to run on a track laid in the street [in Manchester], but it’ll be interesting to run at Copacabana.” While organizers laid on a daytime trip to a Brazilian favela [slum] for Bolt to meet disadvantaged children, the Jamaican’s plans for his time in Rio lay elsewhere. “I know a lot of things about Brazil, but the thing I know most about are the beaches and the girls on the beaches,” he said. “But I’ve never had the time to go there, and I also want to go to a nightclub.”
Fiji play down hopes
Fiji have tempered hopes they can cut the gap on runaway series leaders New Zealand at this weekend’s Tokyo Sevens, despite last week’s magical victory in Hong Kong. The free-running Pacific Islanders put on a Sevens masterclass when they came back from 19-0 down at halftime to beat Wales 26-19 at a packed Hong Kong Stadium on Sunday. However, coach Alifereti Dere highlighted the difficulty of winning consecutive events on the Sevens World Series, which is increasingly competitive in the buildup to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. “It is true it is hard to win two in a row,” he said, according to the tournament Web site.
Cardinals sign Wainwright
The St Louis Cardinals said on Thursday they have signed right-handed pitcher Adam Wainwright to a five-year contract extension through the 2018 Major League Baseball season. Newspaper and television reports have said the deal is the richest in team history for a pitcher at US$97.5 million and is to begin after he completes his current contract this season for US$12 million. The Cardinals, who open the six-month season on Monday in Arizona with Wainwright on the mound, paid Chris Carpenter US$63.5 million over five years in December 2006 in their costliest pitcher’s contract before now. Wainwright would have become a free agent after this season, but chose to remain with a team he helped to their 10th World Series title in 2006 as a closing relief ace.
Levein settles dispute
Former Scotland manager Craig Levein on Thursday settled his legal dispute with the Scottish Football Association following his dismissal. Levein was asked to leave his post on full pay in November last year, but his contract was due to run until the 2014 World Cup, so he then resigned and launched legal action over compensation. After several months of negotiations, former Heart of Midlothian and Dundee United boss Levein has agreed a suitable settlement for an undisclosed figure. “The Scottish FA and Craig Levein confirm that a mutually acceptable settlement has been reached for an undisclosed sum in relation to Craig’s contract with the Scottish FA,” a statement read. “The Scottish FA wishes Craig well for the future. No further comment will be made on this matter.”