Taiwan grab first medal
Taiwan won its first medal at the Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia, on Sunday by taking bronze in the team badminton event. The Taiwanese team reached the semi-finals of the tournament with a win over Japan, but failed to reach the gold medal round when they lost 2-3 to China, instead earning a bronze medal along with Thailand. South Korea beat China in the final to land the gold medal. About 100 athletes from Taiwan are competing in the quadrennial sports extravaganza that began on Saturday and will end on Wednesday next week. Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin is in Kazan to observe the proceedings to help his city prepare to the host the event in 2017. Also known as the World University Games, the 2017 Games will be held in Taipei from Aug. 19 to Aug. 30, with 12,000 athletes and their delegations from 160 countries expected to take part.
Wasim to marry Aussie
Legendary Pakistan paceman Wasim Akram said Monday he will marry his Australian girlfriend, who has converted to Islam and will settle in his home country. Australian media reported that Wasim proposed on bended knee to Shaniera Thompson in her living room. “Yes, I will marry next year and I’ve known Shaniera for the last one-and-a-half years and she has converted to Islam,” Wasim said. “I feel lucky that I have got a second chance in life.” The 47-year-old’s first wife Huma died in 2009. Wasim said Thompson, a former public relations consultant, will settle in Pakistan. “She is close to my kids who are also excited and my in-laws [Huma’s parents] also endorsed the decision after meeting her,” said Wasim, who has two sons from his previous marriage. “It will be a new life, a new beginning and I hope that we will settle down well with the best wishes of family and fans.” Wasim played 104 Tests and 356 one-day internationals and was regarded as one of the best left-arm fast bowlers to have played the game.
Stoichkov quits CSKA
Former European Footballer of the Year Hristo Stoichkov resigned as coach of CSKA Sofia yesterday after only a month in charge of the troubled Bulgarian club, saying he had lost faith in the owners and their “endless lies.” “I’m fed up, I’m leaving,” the former Barcelona striker said in a letter addressed to local media. “I agreed to start coaching without a contract and I had a great desire to help. I had the support of the players and my staff. We endured until it became clear there’s no chance of promises being fulfilled.” Stoichkov had not attended CSKA training sessions for 10 days. CSKA are the most successful Bulgarian club with 31 league titles, but have hit difficult times of late with inept performances on the pitch combining with controversy in the boardroom and stifling levels of debt.
United sign Aeroflot deal
English Premier League champions Manchester United yesterday announced that they had signed a five-year partnership with Russian airline Aeroflot. The club said in a statement that Aeroflot would become the club’s “official carrier” and the deal was a first, as they look to expand their market in Russia. Manchester United have nearly 18 million supporters in Russia, the club said. The deal was signed at an event at United’s Old Trafford ground, attended by Aeroflot chief executive Vitaly Saveliev, Manchester United group managing director Richard Arnold, team manager David Moyes and players. The size of the deal was not revealed.